ZURICH, Switzerland (Reuters) – Soccer body FIFA yesterday said it may extend punishments globally after racist incidents, including monkey chants directed at black players, marred a match between Bulgaria and England.“FIFA may extend worldwide any sanctions that a Confederation or Member Association imposes for racist incidents, such as those which occurred in Sofia during the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier match between Bulgaria and England,” the Zurich-based organisation said.“FIFA therefore expects to be informed as soon as practicable regarding the relevant decisions of the UEFA disciplinary bodies in relation to this particular case,” it added. “This would allow any sanctions imposed to be extended worldwide.”European soccer’s ruling body UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Bulgaria for racist behaviour, including Nazi salutes and chants, and against England for not providing enough travelling stewards.The game, won 6-0 by England on Monday, was twice halted in the first half and a public announcement was made under UEFA’s three-step protocol for dealing with racist incidents during matches.FIFA president Gianni Infantino said more needed to be done to tackle the “obnoxious disease” of racism which seemed to be getting worse.“I call on all football governing bodies to join us and think together of new, stronger and more effective ways to eradicate racism in football,” he said.Competition organisers should enact regulations which envisage life bans from stadiums for those who are found guilty of racist behaviour at a football match, Infantino said.
Facebook Twitter Google+ UPDATED: March 31, 2017 at 12:50 p.m.Before a recent game against North Carolina State, Sydney O’Hara had hit only one home run on the season. In her first at bat, she smashed an outside pitch over the left field wall — a rarity for the pull-hitting O’Hara.“An oppo home run means (your) hands are working well that day,” O’Hara said.She batted three more times in the game. She went yard in all three.The four home-run game tied a NCAA record and landed the senior Louisville Slugger NFCA Division 1 Player of the Week honors. She was also named the espnW player of the week, the first time a member of the Orange has won that award. In her final season with Syracuse (17-10, 3-4 Atlantic Coast), O’Hara leads the ACC in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Her .493 batting average is good for fifth in the nation. O’Hara, sometimes a designated hitter, other times first baseman and frequent relief pitcher, is going out with a bang in her final season with Syracuse.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s just different,” O’Hara said. “I’m not as tense up there. I am more relaxed than ever.”The comfort stems from steady improvement in practice sessions. O’Hara spent much of the summer focusing on hitting with her father. The pair traveled to a local middle school and set up a batting tee or hit soft toss three or four times a week.The focus of the sessions remained on outside pitches. In the past, O’Hara faced many outside pitches but failed to capitalize on them. To fix the issue, the lefty put the tee on the outside of the plate and soft toss pitches scraped the edges of the plate, forcing O’Hara to stay on the ball.“It’s hard enough to be a great hitter when you’re swinging at good pitches,” said Syracuse assistant coach Alisa Goler. “If you’re going to expand your zone, you’re really not making it any easier. But I think for Syd, I don’t think I’ve seen her swing at more than one bad pitch in her last few weeks of at-bats. That just shows she is dialed in.”In offseason training sessions, O’Hara drew a line in the batter’s box. The mark in the dirt signals where O’Hara’s front foot should remain throughout her swing. If her foot passes the line on her follow through, she sees the dirt mark in the box. Syracuse’s top batter completes the routine each time she reaches the box.“I think she has just a pretty good idea of what she’s doing right now and what pitch selection she wants to have,” Syracuse head coach Mike Bosch said. “It’s just a confidence that when she steps up there, good things are going to happen.”Since the four-home run game and the subsequent appearance on SportsCenter’s Top 10 the next morning, O’Hara’s tacked on three more bombs, placing her one shy of her previous season best of nine. She’s on pace to break all of her season-high batting statistics through half of the season. And if her current batting average holds, she’ll finish her career with the best batting average in program history.After four years, O’Hara’s approach hasn’t changed. The results have.CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, the first national award Sydney O’Hara won for Syracuse was misstated. O’Hara became the first player in program history to win the espnW player of the week. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Comments Published on March 28, 2017 at 10:35 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] | @Schafer_44 read more
Ghana’s Akwasi Frimpong finished last in his Olympic debut but was a smash-hit nonetheless with his plucky efforts in the crackpot sliding sport of skeleton on Friday.The 32-year-old, who spent two years selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door to finance his unlikely journey to Pyeongchang, now can’t wait to take a deserved break and go lie on a beach.”I’m going to take my wife on vacation,” Frimpong told AFP.”I don’t know where yet, but somewhere warm — I want the sun and the sand. Hopefully, I can surprise her by taking her somewhere like Hawaii. Or maybe the Dominican Republic, where we went on honeymoon.”Despite freezing temperatures, Frimpong has lit up the Olympic skeleton competition.He trailed home in 30th position — over 11 seconds behind eventual winner Yun Sung-bin of South Korea after his third and final run — but still felt like a champion. “I came last but the most important thing is that I won the hearts of the people,” said Frimpong, who previously failed to qualify for the Olympics as a sprinter and in bobsleigh.”The Olympic experience was awesome. I’ve never been in a place where so many people are cheering you on,” he added after becoming only the second athlete from Ghana to compete at a Winter Games.”You feel like you’re a gold medallist, that’s how they make you feel each run. It’s incredible.”Frimpong smiled sheepishly when asked what it feels like to throw oneself off an icy mountain head-first at 125kph (77mph) on what looks, to the casual observer at least, like a glorified baking tray.– ‘Little bit crazy’ – “You definitely have to be a little bit crazy,” he laughed. “But it’s also about chasing the unknown. You gotta try something different — life is all about trial and error.”Watched by his wife Erica and their 10-month-old daughter Ashanti, Frimpong’s appearance triggered a huge roar from Korean fans, as well as a vocal, flag-waving group of supporters from his native Ghana.”It was such an emotional moment for me because I remember in July 2015 my wife told me she didn’t want me to be 99 years old and still chasing my Olympic dream,” said Frimpong, who moved to the Netherlands when he was just eight.”My wife wanted me to go after it and without her support and her pushing me, doing two, three jobs while she was pregnant, I wouldn’t be here today.”Before following in the footsteps of Ghana’s “Snow Leopard” Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong, who competed in slalom skiing at the 2010 Vancouver Games, Frimpong struggled to convince sponsors he was serious about the skeleton. But after becoming one of the biggest stars of the Pyeongchang Olympics, adrenaline junkie Frimpong already craves more. “I still have a lot to improve on,” he said. “I came last but it doesn’t matter. I’ve only been doing it for a year and a half. “The rest of the world doesn’t understand the work you have to do behind the scenes,” added Frimpong. “But I know what it takes to get here and I’m just really eager and excited for the next four years.” read more