Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ UEFA have confirmed the seeding for the Euro 2020 draw on November 30, as Italy risk a Group of Death with France and Portugal. Roberto Mancini’s Italy find themselves in Pot 1 after winning all 10 games in Group J, the first time in their history that the Azzurri qualified for a major tournament with a 100% record. There is a nightmare scenario for Italy, in which they could find themselves in a group containing France and Portugal. Pot 1 Belguim, Italy, England, Germany, Spain, Ukraine Pot 2 France, Poland, Switzerland, Croatia, Netherlands, Russia Pot 3 Portugal, Turkey, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Czech Republic Pot 4 Wales, Finland, Play-off winner A, Play-off winner B, Play-off winner C, Play-off winner D Euro 2020 begins in Rome on June 12.
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Gonzalo Higuain scored twice as Juventus came back to beat Atalanta 3-1, but credited the defence for “a heck of a performance.” Musa Barrow had missed a penalty before Robin Gosens nodded in the opening, but a late flurry saw Higuain bag a brace and Paulo Dybala seal it in stoppages. “We knew this was going to be an extremely complicated match, as Atalanta are so strong at home and they had taken the lead, along with missing a penalty,” Pipita told Sky Sport Italia. “It was a performance of great maturity and three important points in the Scudetto race. Paulo and I are very happy with our goals, but the whole team did well and it was a heck of a performance from the defence. “Now we have a couple of days to rest and prepare for the Champions League.”
Call timeChristian Dior launches a mini handset that’s elegant, sensual and truly exclusive. Designed like a piece of jewellery, this phone is a first-of-its-kind gem that anyone would love to flaunt. Among the smallest and lightest mobile phones in the market, it’s quite a marvel of miniaturisation. Weighing just 25,Call timeChristian Dior launches a mini handset that’s elegant, sensual and truly exclusive. Designed like a piece of jewellery, this phone is a first-of-its-kind gem that anyone would love to flaunt. Among the smallest and lightest mobile phones in the market, it’s quite a marvel of miniaturisation. Weighing just 25 grams, this is the ultimate object of desire. Flaunt it.Wristy businessThis summer, what better colour than a cool blue? This stunning watch from the house of Seiko is part of their Ladies Elegant Dress Series. The handpiece is classy and at the same time sports a youthful design and colour. With its stainless steel case, it’s a tough one. At the office, at a party with friends, or just chilling by pool, this stunning piece is sure to grab eyeballs (and yes, it is water resistant). Price: Rs 10,400. Available at Helvetica, Spencer Plaza. Tel: 28490013.Best footStep out in style with these well-cut boots from Pavers England. The perfect finishing touch to a business suit, this sleek pair can also be combined with clubwear for a stylish night out. Four-eyelet lace, squared toe and side overlay accents make them ultra chic. Price: Rs 2,999.Au naturaleWhat’s new Kalpa Kshema is Chennai’s finest one-stop retail store for organic products.Price Rs 70 onward.Try out Rice, sugar, cereals (all organic), handmade soaps and shower gels.Go to Gopalapuram 1st Street, Cathedral Road. Call 28117652.
A move to confer honorary doctorate for Chess icon Vishwanathan Anand was today at the centre of a raging storm after the HRD ministry reportedly raised questions over his Indian nationality but Minister Kapil Sibal stepped in to apologise to him.The HRD Minister, who called Anand over telephone in Hyderabad, said there was no question of his ministry raising queries being raised over Anand’s citizenship and that he has persuaded him to accept the doctorate.But the chess wizard politely turned it down for the present saying he would accept it on a later date because of his travel schedule and prior commitments now.Anand was to have been conferred the honorary doctorate along with Prof. David Mumford of Harvard University at a function here last night coinciding with the current International Congress of Mathematicians in Hyderabad.Bureaucratic hurdles caused by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry put paid to the plans of University of Hyderabad to confer the honour on the 39-year-old champion, who lives in Spain for the last few years but holds an Indian passport.As reports on the unsavoury episode broke out in the media, Sibal sought to do some damage limitation. He called Anand in Hyderabad over telephone and expressed his apologies, apparently over questions raised in regard to his citizenship.”But in the case of Vishwanathan Anand there is no question (of questions over his citizenship). We are sorry for what has transpired. I told him even if some Indian were to acquire foreign nationality we are still proud of him,” the minister told a hurriedly-called press conference in Delhi.advertisementHe blamed bureaucratic procedures in the delay on clearance of the doctorate degree for Anand, who maintained he had always played under the Indian flag and held an Indian passport.”I don’t understand this issue. I am in Hyderabad to play with Mathematicians and enjoy the Congress,” said the Grand Master who went ahead to play a game of Chess simultaneously with 40 mathematicians.He defeated all his opponents barring one in a game that lasted over three hours and participated in a question-answer session with them. With one, the game was drawn. The media was told not not to put any questions.Earlier, he was accorded a grand welcome at the Congress venue and Anand remained unfazed and did not not betray any emotions over the treatment meted out to him.Anand’s wife said the minister was apologetic when he spoke to the player and wanted the matter to be put to rest now now.But she made it clear that the issue of questions over Anand’s nationality did not not come as a surprise to them as they were asked to give a copy of the passport, which she had sent to the HRD ministry in June last year.Giving his version of the story, Sibal dismissed suggestions that the ministry had doubted Anand’s nationality.”There is no question, there is no issue. There is no question of nationality (about Anand),” he said adding that he had cleared the file on Anand’s name for conferring the doctorate on May 22 last year.But, he said, there were five other names. “When I went to the Visitor it came back to me with reference to an individual. Then the University event was over. This issue arose when another file came regarding a foreigner. If I had known I would have put my foot down,” he said.Sibal said he told Anand that the honorary degree could be conferred today itself. But he indicated that he had some problem about this evening. “Then I told him that any date of his convenience for the function was okay. He has accepted it,” the minister said.He said procedural error has led to problems regarding doctorate for Anand. Immediate corrective action was taken.It should not nto take time (to implement such decisions) but sometime it happens, he said adding this was not not the time for apportioning blame on anyone.Hailing Anand for his achievements, Sibal said “Vishwanathan Anand has done India proud like Arjun Atwal (who won a top professional golf championship in the US yesterday). We should be proud of those who climb the heights of global excellence.”Meanwhile, the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) expressed sadness over not not being able to confer the honorary doctorate on Anand because of “insensitive bureaucratic obstructions”.The ICM executive committee has conveyed its deep apology to Anand over this development, its Chairman M S Raghunathan and Secretary Rajat Tandon said in a statement.advertisementThey said the idea of conferring an honorary doctorate was mooted as early as in October 2009. The UoH took up the proposal and did all the necessary work and submitted it for clearance to The HRD Ministry, they said.Despite repeated follow-up by the university, the HRD Ministry did not forward this proposal for signature by the President of India, they claimed adding, as a result “this unfortunate turn of events had taken place”.Tandon earlier told reporters that as per UoH Vice Chancellor Syed Hasnain’s direction they had made necessary arrangements for conferring the Ph.D degree tonight itself.”He (Anand) changed his mind and he is not willing to take the degree. He doesn’t want it (degree) due to the controversy,” Tandon said.Asked whether Anand has said no, Raghunathan said, “He has not told me”.
Badminton ace Saina Nehwal, whose phenomenal rise was highlighted by three top-flight international titles recently, was conferred the coveted Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award at a glittering ceremony on Sunday.Saina’s achievements in the past one year made her an automatic choice for the prestigious award, the highest sporting honour in the country.The Hyderabadi shuttler though did not collect the award, which consists of a medal, citation and cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh, personally as she is yet to return from Paris where she lost in the quarter-finals of the World Championships.An Arjuna awardee last year, Saina rose to number two in world rankings and also completed a hat-trick of international titles, including back-to-back Super Series victories in Singapore and Indonesia in June.Former Indian hockey skipper Sandeep Singh and women’s cricket captain Jhulan Goswami were among the 15 sportspersons who received the Arjuna Award from President Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhawan.Saina Nehwal unable to attend the award ceremony.Boxer Dinesh Kumar, swimmer Rehan Poncha, world’s second youngest Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi and Olympian wrestler Rajiv Tomar also received the Arjuna award for their achievements in the last one year.Women hockey player Jasjeet Kaur Handa also missed the ceremony as she is now in Argentina for the FIH World Cup.No male cricketer got the honour, while Deepak Mondal was the lone footballer and Rajeev Tomar was the lone wrestler to get Arjuna award.Others to get the award were Sanjeev Rajput (shooting), Kapil Dev (volleyball), Rehan Poncha (swimming), Dinesh Kumar (kabaddi), Rajesh Chaudhary (yachting) and Jagseer Singh (para-Olympian).advertisementSandeep was in a superb form during India’s recent hockey tour of Europe, while seasoned pace-woman Jhulan is currently heading the bowling list of International Cricket Council’s ODI Women’s Rankings.Dinesh had won the light heavyweight 81kg Commonwealth Championships title earlier this year, while Poncha would be India’s bets bet for a swimming medal in this year’s Commonwealth Games.Dronacharya Award, the top recognition for coaches in the country, was conferred on five including L Ibomcha Singh (boxing), Ajay Kumar Bansal (hockey), AK Kutty (athletics), Captain Chandrup (wrestling) and Subhash B Aggarwal (billiards and snooker).The Arjuna and Dronacharya awardees got statuettes, citations and cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.Dhyan Chand Award, given for the life-time contribution to sports development, was conferred on Satish Pillai (athletics), Kuldeep Singh (wrestling) and Anita Chanu (weightlifting).The award carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, a statuette and a citation.Services Sports Control Board (SSCB), Tata Steel Limited and Khel Evam Yuva Vibhag of Government of Madhya Pradesh won Rashtriya Khel Protsahana Puruskar, instituted last year, for their contribution to sports.List of the awardees:Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Saina Nehwal (Badminton).Arjuna Awards: Joseph Abraham, Krishna Poonia (both Athletics), Dinesh Kumar (Boxing), Parimrajan Negi (Chess), Julan Goswami (Women’s Cricket), Deepak Kumar Mandal (Football), Sandeep Singh (Men’s Hockey), Jasjeet Kaur Handa (Women’s Hockey), Dinesh Kumar (Kabaddi), Sanjeev Rajput (Shooting), Rehan Jehangir Poncha (Swimming), Kapil Dev KJ (Volleyball), Rajeev Tomar (Wrestling), Rajesh Chaudhary (Yachting), Jagseer Singh (Para- Olympics athletics).Dhyan Chand Awards: Satish Pillai (Athletics), Kuldeep Singh (Wrestling), Anita Chanu (Weightlifting).Dronacharya Awards: A K Kutty (Athletics), Subhash B Aggarwal (Billiards and Snooker), L Ibomcha Singh (Boxing), Ajay Kumar Bansal (Hockey), Captain Chandrup (Wrestling).Rashtriya Khel Protsahana Puruskar: Services Sports Control Board (SSCB), Tata Steel Limited, Khel Evam Yuva Vibhag (Government of Madhya Pradesh).
Narayanaswami SrinivasanNarayanaswami Srinivasan, 65, is in the middle of several controversies, befitting his status as newly anointed president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the richest, most powerful and most-pilloried cricket board in the world. He has rejected demands for an inquiry into India’s disastrous England,Narayanaswami SrinivasanNarayanaswami Srinivasan, 65, is in the middle of several controversies, befitting his status as newly anointed president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the richest, most powerful and most-pilloried cricket board in the world. He has rejected demands for an inquiry into India’s disastrous England tour, sought legal advice on how to resolve the Kochi Tuskers crisis, and parried countless calls from Pakistan Cricket Board president Ijaz Bhatt seeking a renewal of Indo-Pakistan cricket ties.The chairman of India Cements which, in turn, is the prime investor in IPL team Chennai Super Kings, Srinivasan is a chemical engineer from the Illinois Institute of Technology as well as a chartered accountant. As he sits in the Chennai office of India Cements, which has a turnover of Rs 3,800 crore, surrounded by pictures of grandchildren, a clay model of Mahatma Gandhi and a miniature charkha on his table, he is determined to change the course of BCCI in his three years as president.”I hate this middle path where you have to please everybody. The Lalit Modi issue has been hanging fire, it has to end. In the International Cricket Council (ICC), I would like members to strongly take up various cricketing issues and involve associate members as well. Let’s expand, let the best man lead ICC,” he says. With fewer hours devoted to golf-he used to play daily as compared to his current weekly cycle-he has also dropped out as president of the All India Chess Federation so that he can devote more time to BCCI.advertisementHe has enough on his plate. The finance ministry claims the board owes it Rs 160 crore in service tax on IPL franchisee fees and sale of advertisement space in 2010. Worse, his one-time mentor and former BCCI president, A.C. Muthiah, has been seeking an injunction from the Supreme Court against Srinivasan holding top slots in the BCCI and an IPL team. The courts have refused to restrain Srinivasan who, as a matter of routine, maintains that he does not own Chennai Super Kings and that it’s run by a team of professionals.From district vice-president of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association in 2001 to his big break in 2005, when he became treasurer in the Sharad Pawar-led BCCI, he has managed to steer clear of controversy until now. Excerpts from an interview with deputy editor Shantanu Guha Ray.Q. Did you check your stars before assuming the role of BCCI president?A. (Laughs) I did but cannot share the name of my astrologer, nor what he told me about my future.Q. List three of your immediate priorities as board president.A. I want to focus on the development of the game, greater accountability and transparency. There is a fourth priority: The public must know the truth about former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. It must also know that the BCCI is an honest body.Q. Why is the BCCI not pushing for Modi’s extradition? He is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax department on charges of accepting kickbacks in IPL television deals, rigging bids for teams and openly flouting BCCI guidelines.A. He is mocking us from England with his tweets. He is making a mockery of our judicial system. He thinks he can still control cricket with his tweets and blogs. I cannot issue summons, I do not run a court in this country. There are investigating agencies which are pursuing these cases against him. There are courts which will take note if summons are being avoided. If the Government wants, his passport will be cancelled. The recent Supreme Court judgment rejected Modi’s demand for a change in the BCCI Disciplinary Committee probing him.Q. But the Kochi issue is hanging fire and the team has been suspended because of payment defaults. There are rumours that some of the players could be put up for auction.A. We did what was written in the rule book. The team was repeatedly warned and asked to pay its dues. Now, the Kochi Tuskers management has threatened legal action. As far as the BCCI is concerned, Kochi is out of IPL. The case needs to be resolved. I know what you will ask next. There’s no personal agenda here. We had issues with Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab but those were sorted out.Q. What are your thoughts on icc’s recent efforts to revisit the governance of the game? There are demands that associate members be given a larger say.A. I am not in favour of regulations which give only a few the upper hand. They need to be changed. After all, members own the ICC and have to play an integral part in running the game.advertisementQ. Do you think the ICC’s rotation system of appointing a president should be done away with?A. It’s my view that the best person should run ICC. We can work out a system where professionals take charge.Q. Does this mean the president has to be from India?A. No, I didn’t say that. He can be from any member country.Q. Is the BCCI behind the ICC’s call for depoliticisation of cricket because of the mooted National Sports Development Bill that seeks to rein in sports bodies in India?A. There should be depoliticisation of cricket. But I was not on the executive board when this decision was taken. I think it would be grossly unfair to lay the blame at BCCIs doorstep.Q. Politicians like Rajiv Shukla, Vilasrao Deshmukh and Anurag Thakur are holding crucial posts in the BCCI. It appears as if you are seeking a political solution to what has become a political problem (the sports ministry’s demand to bring BCCI under its control) in sports?A. Scan the list of BCCI’s state bodies and you will see loads of politicians, except in the south where people associated with cricket run the show. So, appointing politicians is not a recent phenomenon and I am certainly not doing it to fortify my defence.Q. The parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in 2010 asked the Government to investigate FEMA and FIPB violations by IPL franchisees. Will the BCCI cooperate?A. Aren’t we cooperating? All papers pertaining to IPL during Modi’s tenure were handed over to the investigating agencies in 2010.Q. The Indian team is riddled with injury-related problems. You lost as many as eight players on the England tour. Already short of pacers, the batting mainstay of Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S. Laxman is unlikely to last your three-year term. How do you propose to reinforce the side?A. We have a strong bench. That’s why we could send a team to the West Indies and survive the England tour. This is cricket, not child’s play. It’s an ordeal by fire. Those in it will have to perform if they wish to replace legends like Sachin and Rahul.Q. Do you think the huge sums of money involved in cricket distract attention from other sports?A. That is an unfair charge. Corporations in India put in money because they find the game of cricket an attractive investment. You cannot blame BCCI for the decline of other sports. On the contrary, the BCCI continues to help games like football in India.Q. Finally, when will you play a series against Pakistan?A. This needs a political answer. Please get it from Delhi.
For once, the excitement is not about cricket, rather some rubber smoking Formula 1 action at India’s own racing track at Buddh International Circuit. The country is all set to host its first Grand Prix. The final touches are being given to the preparations and everyone is eagerly waiting for the race weekend that is being billed as a “car-nival”. The world’s third most watched sporting event after the Olympics and the Football World Cup is finally set to enthral Indians on their own soil. Come October 28 to 30, the 12 teams with their 24 mean machines will sweat it out and burn the rubber on this newly laid track. The venue is all prepared to host the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, from tri-colour stands to one of the best elevation changes. It all looks in good shape. In fact the cars, equipment and cargo have already started arriving. The Buddh International Circuit has a capacity of over 1 lakh. The drivers and the F1 officials will stay at the organisers’ plush property — Jaypee Resort — in Greater Noida. All the hotels in the national capital region are already overbooked and with rooms at a premium, the rates have gone through the roof. Most of the hotels in the luxury and business category in the capital are looking forward to cashing in on an uncharacteristically busy weekend.
In the backdrop of growing outrage over Dow Chemicals’ sponsorship of the London Games, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has decided to convey the concerns of the 1984 Bhopal Gas disaster victims to the world body.In a letter to acting IOA president Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the sports ministry has asked him to take up the matter with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which has entered into a 10-year agreement with Dow Chemicals.Dow has bought Union Carbide, considered to be responsible for the loss of thousands of lives due to the leakage of toxic gas in their Bhopal plant.While Malhotra said they will convey the concerns to the IOC, he admitted that the IOA is still undecided about its stand if the world body refuses to heed their requests.”On December 15 we have a meeting with all the IOA officials and we will decide what exactly has to be asked for,” Malhotra told Mail Today.”As of now what has been decided is that IOA will make IOC aware of the feelings of the people in India with regard to Dow Chemicals’ involvement. In the IOA meeting, we”ll decide on the other options as well.”In its letter, the ministry also states that Dow’s agreement is not only with the IOC but also with other National Olympic Committees (NOC), including the IOA.”Under the agreement between Dow and IOC, Dow will partner IOC and National Olympic Committees around the world, including India. We would advice the Indian Olympic Association to raise this matter immediately with the IOC, while keeping the government informed,” read the letter from joint secretary (sports) Rahul Bhatnagar.advertisement”You are also aware that the matter of Dow’s liability, in respect of the Bhopal Gas tragedy victims, is sub judice and that the government of India has itself filed a suit against the company. Strong public sentiment exists in this matter and a number of eminent Olympians have also raised concerns.”Many Olympians have come out in protest of Dow’s agreement with the IOC. Malhotra, however, stuck to his stand and reiterated that India will not boycott the Games.He admitted that the deal signed by the IOC with the sponsors automatically brings into it the National Olympic Committees although he claimed that the agreement was till the 2016 Olympics.”The National Olympic Committees automatically fall under the agreement because they are also involved in profit sharing with the IOC for the event.” Organisers of the London Olympics have entered into a sponsorship deal with Dow Chemicals for an $ 11million artistic wrap around the Olympic Stadium.
Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare on Friday said he is ready to fast in jail if he doesn’t get permission to hold his protest elsewhere. Maharashtra state sports department has denied permission to Team Anna for their three-day protest at Azad Maidan in Mumbai.Team Anna was earlier holding the fast at the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) ground but due to financial constraints the venue was shifted to Azad Maidan.Also read: Full text of Lokpal BillThe 74-year-old activist plans to sit on a hunger strike from December 27 to December 30 to protest against the government’s Lokpal Bill draft. This is the same time when the bill will be debated in Parliament.The Mumbai Police was in a dilemma over Hazare’s protest as it was unable to limit the number of people participating in the agitation at Azad Maidan to 4,000.Team Anna had once considered Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan as their protest venue but with the city reeling under cold waves, the venue was shifted to Mumbai. Team Anna begins resgistrations for jail bharoTeam Anna has now launched an online campaign for their ‘jail bharo’ agitation from December 30 against government’s Lokpal Bill wherein people can register themselves for the protest.Besides online registration, people can also approach Team Anna through text messages and a missed call service.Those planning to participate in the ‘jail bharo’ agitation can either register through www.jailchalo.com or sent a text message to 575758 or give a missed call to 073031509500.Till now, over 5,500 people have registered for the agitation through online alone with Maharashtra and Delhi topping the list with over 1,000 each volunteers joining hands with Team Anna.advertisement
The Aussies were struggling at 27 for 4 in their second innings when veterans Ricky Ponting (60) and Michael Hussey (batting at 79) came to the team’s rescue on the third day of the first Test against India at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday. The duo has been facing criticism from the Australian media for their poor form with experts asking for them to be given the boot. However, the Aussie top order collapse brought out the best from the two cricketing giants. Repaying the faith imposed on them by the Aussie selectors, the veterans struck crucial half centuries to rescue the hosts. The duo was at its aggressive best adding a crucial 115 runs to power the hosts from 27 for 4 to 142 for 5 to save Australia the blushes and silence their critics. “I don’t care what people from outside the dressing room are saying. If I feel like I have got some support inside the dressing room then that’s all that really matters to me… There is plenty of motivation out there for me but first and foremost it’s for me to be a successful player in a successful team,” Ponting told newsmen after the third day’s game. The former Australian skipper had scored 62 in the first innings of the Test.