Manchester United face battle for La Liga contract rebel

first_img Valencia star Sofiane Feghouli 1 Inter Milan have joined Manchester United in the race to land Valencia contract rebel Sofiane Feghouli, according to reports in Italy.United are keen on the Algerian, whose deal at the Mestalla runs out in the summer, but face competition for his signature from Fenerbahce, who are said to be preparing a January bid.Valencia do not want to lose him for nothing and could choose to cash in on him when the window opens so he cannot walk away as a free agent.And now, according to Tuttosport, Inter Milan are ready to join the chase to sign him and may open the bidding in January.last_img read more

Youd Have To Be Pretty Dumb To Fix A Tennis Match This

If suspicions that a mixed-doubles match was fixed at the Australian Open on Sunday prove true, it could go down in the gambling annals as the dumbest fix in sports history. Many of the telltale signs of match-fixing are indeed present; to a large degree, however, the stupidity of fixing a match now is just as strong a reason to doubt it happened.Pinnacle Sports suspended betting before a mixed-doubles match in which Andrea Hlavackova and Lukasz Kubot faced the Spanish pair of Lara Arruabarrena and David Marrero. Even though it looked on paper like a close matchup, with all four players experienced and highly ranked in doubles, most bettors backed Hlavackova and Kubot, even after the books shifted the odds to promise a bigger payout if Arruabarrena and Marrero won. And volume was heavy for mixed doubles, which many players treat more like an exhibition than like a meaningful match.After Hlavackova and Kubot won easily, 6-0, 6-3, all four players were questioned by journalists — a rarity in mixed doubles, especially in the first round. Kubot, facing more reporters than he did after winning the 2014 Australian Open men’s doubles title, said Arruabarrena and Marrero “were trying 100 percent.” The Spanish pair also dismissed the idea that they fixed the match. The New York Times put its story about the match on its home page Sunday, sent out a news alert and ran the print version on the front page Monday.The prominence given to the story by the Times is prima facie evidence for why this would be such a dumb fix. Since BuzzFeed News and the BBC published an investigation a week ago into accusations that tennis authorities aren’t doing enough to stamp out corruption in the sport, journalists have been focused on the possibility of match-fixing — and getting a piece of the story — like never before.Meanwhile, pressure is on tennis authorities to show they are taking the problem seriously, making it a bad time to try to slip something past them. Hlavackova and Kubot said at their post-match news conference that they’d already been contacted by the Tennis Integrity Unit, a joint initiative of tennis governing bodies that is tasked with fighting corruption in the sport.Grand Slam tournaments in particular have more officials on site than other events and far more journalists — an order of magnitude more than some of the tennis tour’s smallest stops. And for reporters at Slams, it’s easy to watch matches — tune your television to any court while the match is in progress, or access video of many matches after the fact. Doubles matches at other events usually aren’t televised at all. The Times story included a detailed account of the match that would be difficult to produce if a reporter were chasing reports of suspected fixing at a smaller tournament — such as many of the matches mentioned in the BuzzFeed-BBC report.Grand Slams also are more lucrative than other events. Although mixed doubles is worth less in prize money than men’s or women’s doubles — and doesn’t earn players ranking points — a win would have netted Arruabarrena and Marrero 2,250 Australian dollars ($1,570 U.S.) more each than their loss did. And they’d have had the chance to win 78,500 Australian dollars each if they went on to win the title. That’s not bad for doubles, where purses generally are far smaller than in singles.By losing, Arruabarrena and Marrero also miss chances to compete together and impress their national tennis federation. That matters because another mixed-doubles tournament is coming up this summer, one that should be easier to win yet matters far more than an exhibition. Just 16 pairs will get into the mixed-doubles event at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, meaning it will take just four wins to get gold, or three to win silver or bronze. Arruabarrena and Marrero are ranked in the top 35 in women’s and men’s doubles, respectively, which gives them a shot at making the Spanish Olympic team. Here’s one sign that mixed doubles matters more to pros this year: There are 12 pairs in the 32-team Australian Open draw made up of two players who represent the same country, up from just seven last year.At this site, we often try to use Bayesian thinking. That means we try to estimate the probability of something being true — our prior — and then update it as we gain new information. My Bayesian prior after match-fixing became the dominant tennis topic last week is that we were unlikely to see actual match-fixing with scrutiny so high, and that any suspected match-fixing was likely to be something else. How much should reports about the suspicious mixed-doubles betting change my beliefs?On the one hand, perhaps quite a bit. Betting on the match really did look funny. Tennis bettors and betting analysts told me that volume on the match — both in terms of the raw number of bets and overall liability — was far heavier than usual for mixed doubles, though the maximum bet at Pinnacle was just $500 at its peak, making it tough to turn too large a profit. And several Marrero doubles matches last year had unusual betting movements, the Times reported. So my Bayesian prior for a Marrero match being fixed might be higher.“It’s a strange one,” Ian Dorward, a London-based tennis bettor who used to set and adjust tennis betting lines for a bookmaker, said in an email. It “would be a really stupid time to fix it, but maybe he just does not care.” Dorward added, “Either way, it is this type of thing that the TIU should be investigating.” (The TIU doesn’t comment on details of its work.)On the other hand, as I wrote last week, betting data alone isn’t enough to identify match fixers. There are many other plausible explanations. One that Marrero offered is that he’s injured and that someone in his or his partner’s camp might have let that information slip. Or at a tournament with thousands of fans on the grounds, one could have seen Marrero struggle in practice or in his men’s doubles match, which he’d already lost. The video clips embedded in the Times article from the match hardly are conclusive evidence that Marrero wasn’t trying.There’s so little data on mixed doubles that it’s not surprising that bookies who often struggle to set opening odds for singles matches might miss big on mixed. Players’ lifetime match records in mixed doubles aren’t readily available and often include just a couple of dozen matches. “With only four mixed doubles events annually, it’s easy to get the opening prices wrong,” Scott Ferguson, a sports gambling consultant, wrote in an email. Odds at Pinnacle for at least two earlier mixed-doubles matches moved by even more.It could be that bettors noticed before bookies did that Marrero simply stinks at mixed doubles. As the Times reported, he has now lost his last 10 mixed matches and is 7-21 in his career. “Normally, when I play, I play full power, in doubles or singles,” Marrero told the Times. “But when I see the lady in front of me, I feel my hand wants to play, but my head says, ‘Be careful.’ This is not a good combination.” read more

Now UP Jats plan nationwide protest over reservation

first_imgAfter their community leaders in Haryana threatened to revive their agitation demanding reservation, Jats in Uttar Pradesh have said they will take their protest to every part of the country, blocking rail and road traffic and halting power and water supply.During a Jat Aarakshan Bachao Maharally at Bamrauli village in Bagpath on Sunday, the community leaders said they would have their “right to reservation at all cost”. Also Read – Ponzi scheme company: ED attaches assets worth `261 crFormer Congress MP Harendra Malik said the agitation would be taken to every part of the country. The campaign’s chief coordinator, Dharmveer Chaudhary, said the fight for reservation would be fought on three fronts – government, court and public.He said Jats from across the country, including Uttar Pradesh, would soon camp in Delhi and stop supply of power, water and essential commodities to press for their demand. “We would block rail, and road traffic throughout the country if government did not meet our demands,” he said. Also Read – New head priest selected for Ayyappa temple at SabarimalaAll India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, Haryana, had earlier this week announced that they would launch a peaceful agitation next month to demand reservation.Chaudhary alleged that due to weak perusal of the Centre, the community suffered heavy loss as the Supreme Court struck down reservation for them under OBC category in several states. Jat leader Chaudhary Surendra Singh said they would support Patels if the Patidar community supported their demands in return.last_img read more

The melange of global cinema

first_imgFilm Festival of India (IFFI) recently announced a stellar lineup of International competition, Indian panorama films and juries for its 46th edition. It will be held in Goa from November 20 to 30. The film festival will showcase 187 films from 89 countries in world cinema section along with 26 feature and 21 non-feature films in Indian panorama section. Arun Jaitley, Minister, I&B, Finance & Corporate Affairs said, “The Kingdom of Spain is the focus country of IFFI this year.The films of master Spanish filmmakers Carlos Saura and Pedro Almadovar along with contemporary filmmakers like Alejandro Amenabar will be screened at the festival.” Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’He added, “The section will also feature Spanish actor Leticia Dolera’s directorial debut Requirements to Be a Normal Person. The Man Who Knew Infinity, written and directed by Matthew Brown, would be the opening film of IFFI. Anil Kapoor will be the Chief guest at the opening ceremony. The jury for the International competition includes chairperson Shekhar Kapur along with Michael Radford, Julia Jentsch, Suha Arraf and Jeon Kyu-Hwan.” In another pioneering step, IFFI in collaboration with the International Council for Film, Television and Audiovisual Communication (ICFT), Paris and UNESCO will be presenting the ‘ICFT- UNESCO Fellini Prize’ to a film which reflects the ideals of peace, tolerance, non-violence and friendship promoted by the UNESCO.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe section focus on North-East cinema has emerged as a great platform to showcase the best of films and filmmakers from the region to the world. This year, the section will have a special retrospective on Aribam Syam Sharma, the eminent filmmaker, actor and music composer from Manipur along with a unique segment featuring next generation filmmakers from North East. Commencing a special feature this year, the festival in association with the Oscar Academy will organise master classes with eminent Academy members Mark Mangini, Milt Shefter and Humphrey Dixon on varied topics like sound designing, film archive and film editing.  Concluding the conference, Arun Jaitley said, “The International Film Festival of India has become a common platform to celebrate the excellence of filmmaking and appreciate the film cultures of different nations. Today, the festival has grown as one of the biggest film festivals in Asia and with each edition; it is creating new benchmarks of success all over the world.”“The festival has gained huge popularity amongst the global cinema lovers and the world is eagerly waiting for the IFFI 2015,” he added.last_img read more

St Xaviers Convocation JU VC bats for rise in Gross Enrolment Ratio

first_imgKolkata: Jadavpur University (JU) Vice-Chancellor Prof Suranjan Das on Wednesday stressed the need to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in higher education in the country.Prof Das was speaking at the 12th Convocation and Valedictory of St Xavier’s College on its Park Street Campus. He said: “We should focus to make the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) of the country in Higher Education reach at least the world’s average of 32 percent and address the difference between class, caste gender, creed and religion within our education system.” Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalSpeaking on the stark disparity in the standard of higher education among states, Das said: “How do we remove the gross regional disparity in higher education in the country? It is evident from the fact that GER varies from 56 percent in Chandigarh to 47 percent in Tamil Nadu and 14 percent in Bihar. Why is the situation like this even after seven decades of Independence? Not even one percent of the country’s GDP is spent in Higher Education and only 0.69 percent of the country’s GDP is utilised for research purpose.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”How can India deal with a situation where job creation has not kept pace with the growth of the GDP,” Das remarked. He expressed his gratitude to St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous) for preparing the students to excel in all walks of life and producing creative and aware citizens as well. “I had closely observed how the college had used effectively the status of autonomy to attain new mark of excellence, I compliment them for introducing new courses initiating academic steps,” he said. Das was awarded with the “Nihil Ultra” award of Excellence. “I am being honoured and feel humbled. I was formerly connected with the college that I will cherish forever.” “I sincerely express my gratitude to the principal of the college. I had the unique opportunity to be a part of the process when the college got the autonomous status and have also closely observed the transformation of it afterwards. It has attained new heights of excellence,” Prof Das maintained. “I am happy that the college introduced postgraduate courses in History and Political Science. As my present term comes to an end, I shall be happy to take classes free of costs,” Das added. Rev Dr Dominic Savio, Rector and principal of the college, congratulated all the 2,328 undergraduate, post-graduate and B.Ed students who received their degrees. Savio said in his address as per the UGC norms the college introduced Choice Based Credit System in Arts and Science subjects after approval on March 22, 2018 while B.Com and BMS departments are already following the CBCS. He said the college proposed to introduce PG courses in MA in English, MA in Political Science, MA in Bengali in the Raghabpur campus and M Ed.last_img read more