Topics : “We can’t let our foot off the pedal, we can’t relax,” New South Wales (NSW) state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in Sydney. “It doesn’t take long for things to get out of control.”NSW, the country’s most populous state, is responsible for almost half of the national cases and has imposed the strictest penalties for anybody found breaching the rules restricting movement.At Bondi Beach, health workers wearing masks and plastic gloves greeted people at the pop-up testing clinic. NSW officials said earlier this week the virus may have been transmitted in the Bondi community via an infected backpacker who was not aware they were carrying the disease.”Bondi is one of those places where we are seeing local transmission, and we have seen cases among backpackers in recent days,” NSW Health director Jeremy McAnulty said in Sydney on Wednesday. Bondi made headlines in March when thousands of people were seen ignoring social distancing rules at its world-famous beach.Official data showed that young people aged 20-29 account for the highest rates of coronavirus infections across the country, followed by those in their early 60s. Experts told local media the former were most likely to travel or socialize in groups, while the latter represented the cruise ship demographic.The rate of growth in new infections across Australia has slowed to just under 10% over the past three days, from 25-30% a week ago, raising hopes that Australia is starting to “flatten the curve”.”Whilst there are still more cases each day, we’re not seeing the scenes and the kind of growth in cases that so many other parts of the world are experiencing right now,” Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, the country’s second most populous state, said in Melbourne.The federal government has planned for up to 100 pop-up clinics across the country to ramp up testing in transmission hot spots.In South Australia, the Barossa Valley wine region has closed schools and facilities this week due to a localized outbreak, while six baggage-handlers working at the state’s Adelaide airport have also tested positive to COVID-19.Barossa council mayor Bim Lange said that put pressure on vineyards and related businesses at the height of the grape-picking season.”We’ve had three years of drought, and now this,” Lange told Reuters.A single aged-care facility in Sydney accounts for a quarter of the national death toll.Economic fallout The Reserve Bank of Australia warned on Wednesday the country’s A$2 trillion ($1.23 trillion) economy would likely experience a “very material contraction” in economic activity that would spread across the March and June quarters and potentially longer. The RBA held an out-of-cycle meeting on March 18 when it reduced its cash rate to a record low 0.25% and embarked on a bond buying program to try and shield the economy from the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Like many countries, Australia’s financial and jobs markets have been roiled by the outbreak, prompting the government to unveil several stimulus packages, including a A$130 billion ($79.9 billion) six-month wage subsidy. Australian authorities opened a pop-up coronavirus testing clinic at Sydney’s Bondi Beach on Wednesday, as the country’s central bank warned the economic fallout from the pandemic could last for more than a year.Authorities were zeroing in on specific areas that have reported clusters of infections, following a sustained slow down in new cases in recent days to around 4,700 nationally. The death toll stands at 20, after a steady creep upward in recent days.Officials have stressed the need for continuing strict social distancing measures despite the slowdown, including restricting the number of people meeting in public to just two and the closure of parks, beaches and gyms.
“This is a tremendous help to our people at a time when our economy is feeling the effects of this health crisis. This will go a long, long way in helping needy families,” he said. Mayor Evelio Leonardia said on Thursday he is optimistic that such infusion of public funds will pump-prime the local economy. Leonardia, national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines and a member of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council, thanked President Rodrigo Duterte for the approval of the second tranche release for this city. (With a report from PNA/PN) BACOLOD City – Beneficiaries of government cash assistance for the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis in this city are expected to receive a total of P1.3 billion in Social Amelioration Program (SAP) grant. In this city, each recipient is entitled to receive P6,000 for two months. On Thursday, the DSWD, through the city’s Department of Social Services and Development, started rolling out the second tranche of the SAP grant to recipients here. Under the Emergency Subsidy Program which is provided under the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act, qualified beneficiaries from low-income households are given the cash aid being downloaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Bacolod is one of the few cities granted the second tranche among the 146 cities nationwide. The second tranche of P583.6 million will benefit 97,266 city residents.Some P188.5 million will go to the 15,713 recipients who were listed as “left out” or those who did not avail themselves of the first tranche. Each of them will receive P12,000, which is equivalent to two months. This beneficiary in Barangay 35, Bacolod City receives her Social Amelioration Program (SAP) grant of P6,000 during the release of the first tranche in April. In Bacolod, the SAP beneficiaries are expected to receive a total of P1.3 billion in government subsidy, according to Mayor Evelio Leonardia. PNA Figures released by the city government showed that the first tranche amounting to P588.9 million was distributed to 98,143 residents.Leonardia said that with more than 113,000 family-beneficiaries in this city will benefit from the government’s subsidy program. This was after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the city’s request to extend its enhanced community quarantine status for 15 days from April 30 to May 15.
Press Association And the 45-year-old does not believe there is any comparison between the two jobs, adding: “It will be a lot more stressful if our under-12s are not passing the ball and I am thinking who is going to come through. That is the way I could lose my job. “With the first-team, everyone gets time off during the international break. It doesn’t work like that in the academy. We are a serious club. I go and watch kids from between nine and 15 at Hogwood.” At some point though, Dolan needs to have a chat with owner Anton Zingarevich to discover what job he will be required to carry out for the next few weeks. For whilst results seemed to underline the folly of axing McDermott given Reading now have just eight games left to haul back the yawning seven-point gap to safety, Zingarevich is evidently a man of high ambition. “The owner has been very clear with me,” said Dolan. “We will sit down early next week and do what is best for Reading FC.” And whilst his own managerial experience only extends to a couple of seasons at Exeter before he left to take up his current role of academy manager in September 2004, Galway-born Dolan, an Irish youth international before he was forced to retire after contracting cancer, is not underplaying his own strengths. “I am a valuable commodity,” he said. “I have been a very good manager before and my skill set suggests I would be a manager rather than anything else. But the job of manager and academy manager are totally different.” Dolan stepped into the breach at Manchester United following the shock dismissal of Brian McDermott last week, and was in charge of the first team for their 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford thanks to a Wayne Rooney strike. After returning to his day job at Reading’s Hogwood academy base, running the rule over the club’s youngest players, the 45-year-old said: “It is easy being a manager compared to an academy manager.” Stand-in Reading boss Eamonn Dolan insists coaching the Royals’ Under-12s is a much stiffer task than taking charge of their Premier League strugglers.
Press Association The trio have all been missing in recent weeks but have trained fully during the international break and look set to start. Captain Curtis Davies has been struggling with a back problem but is hoping to prove his fitness, while Alex Bruce is available following a hamstring injury. Head coach Mauricio Pochettino will check on the fitness of several players who were away on international duty, such as striker Emmanuel Adebayor, before deciding on his travelling party. Kyle Walker continues to miss out following abdominal surgery, while Nabil Bentaleb is absent due to an ankle complaint. With Hull defender Dawson expected to return from injury, he will come up against his former side. Dawson headed to the Tigers in August after not being able to hold down a regular place in the Spurs backline. The 31-year-old, though, was a popular figure at White Hart Lane, with some fans suggesting he could have helped solve Spurs’ inconsistencies following a fourth home Premier League defeat to Stoke before the international break. Pochettino, who took charge at the start of the season, just wants to move on ahead of the clash. “It was not only my decision – we had a chat with Michael about the situation and we agreed the best thing for him was to join Hull,” he said. “We were transparent with him all the way and we had a very good relationship – we always talked face-to-face, but I don’t (regret letting him go) because it wasn’t only down to me. “It was a shared decision – between me, Michael, the club, and we decided the best thing was for him to join Hull. “It is always sad, for the people who have been close to you for 10 years, when you part because you share a lot of emotions together. “But this is professional football and when you decide to do something different, you need to look forward. “Dawson chose to join Hull shortly after I arrived, while the decision to sell (Jake) Livermore and (Tom) Huddlestone was taken before I came here, but I am not scared of our old players at Hull. “We need to be more concerned about improving our own game and the focus will be on how we perform on Sunday. “I have been happy with Younes Kaboul as captain and I am happy with all my players. “We need to improve, it’s true, but our problem is at home. “We have only lost five games out of 19, but four of those have been at White Hart Lane.” Andrew Robertson is expected to start at left-back and Hull manager Steve Bruce believes he “has the world at his feet” after his starring role against England. The 20-year-old left Dundee United in the summer for a modest £2.85million and has rapidly become one of the rising stars of the Premier League. He has excelled in his early Tigers performances and earned a whole new level of exposure when playing for Scotland in the recent international break. Robertson was a stand-out performer in the 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland and went on to score a fine goal in the friendly defeat by the old enemy on Tuesday. Admiring glances and lofty praise has followed in the wake of those performances, and Bruce was in no mood to downplay them ahead of Sunday’s clash. “He is a truly fantastic young talent who can only get better. He’s a wonderfully gifted young lad who’s got the world at his feet,” the Hull boss said. “He’s gone from playing second division football in Scotland to scoring a goal against England in a couple of years. A 20-year-old lad playing one-twos past England players and smashing it in the bottom corner – that will stay with him for a long time, being the proud Scot he is.” Tottenham will be without defender Kyle Naughton through suspension. Hull expect to welcome Allan McGregor, Michael Dawson and Nikica Jelavic back for Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash with Tottenham.
I am saddened that two of our top teams – Alpha United and Slingerz FC – will not be able to participate in this year’s Caribbean Club Championship, the premier tournament for the CFU region.This would have been a great chance for some of our best players to showcase their skills on an international platform.I am disappointed that the actions of these clubs have resulted in this lost opportunity for our boys. Rest assured, the GFF stands ready to support the players so their personal development is not held back. We will intervene to protect the interests of the players, if necessary.The responsibility for this regrettable situation lies solely with the leadership of those clubs that failed to adhere to the agreed structure of football, and put political ambition above the collective good.There are rules for football on the pitch, and there are rules off the pitch. All members of our fraternity must respect these rules in a spirit of fair play.All of our members have signed the 2015 GFF Constitution, which gives the GFF the authority and mandate to regulate football in all its forms in Guyana, including how competitions are organised and structured.The clubs in question have betrayed the spirit of our constitution by refusing to participate in the expanded, domestic Elite League, despite numerous attempts by the GFF to find a solution, including the approval of accommodative measures requested by the clubs.As these teams have failed to honour their constitutional obligations, the regional governing body CONCACAF has had little choice but to take the decision to exclude them from regional competition. We have to respect this decision and work together to ensure that it never happens again.The GFF Executive Committee took the decision to expand the Elite League to accelerate the development of football, by spreading its reach, increasing participation, and improving the commercial opportunities necessary for the sustainable growth of the game.The vast majority agree that an expanded league is in the best interests of Guyanese football, and we certainly have the full support of CONCACAF and FIFA in this matter.The only opposition to this necessary expansion came from clubs led by individuals that unsuccessfully contested the 2015 GFF elections.Their recent actions are an example of the kind of politics that we must move away from if we are to restore credibility to football.My job is to concentrate on the future of football and not to engage in the negative politics of the past. I am determined to make up for all the damage that years of infighting, misdirected personal ambition and vested interest have inflicted on Guyanese football.FIFA expects me to ensure that its financial resources are invested directly and responsibly into football development. We know that this has not always been the case in Guyana, but it is now.The global football community is working to rebuild the integrity of the game, and to get the focus back on football. Most of our members here are doing the same, and we support them in those efforts.We were elected on that mandate. It is our goal to lay the foundation for sustained development by investing carefully in all areas of the game, from youth to senior levels.My track record shows that I am in football for the right reasons, and not for personal gain. I want to make a genuine difference so that our young boys and girls can fulfill their potential, and so we can all be proud of Guyana’s football.I look forward to working with all the members of the GFF to develop football and to leave the problems of the past behind us.We will announce, in due course, the way forward for clubs that have boycotted this year’s Elite League, so that their players can have a chance to get back into top-level football as soon as possible.The GFF is greatly disappointed by the clubs’ actions, but we are ready to work with them again in good faith, and to put this matter behind us in the interests of the game.The GFF has already made extremely encouraging progress in football over the last year. This is only just the beginning.We look forward to making further announcements that will show we are leading football in the right direction and away from the problems of the past.Yours sincerely,Wayne S. Forde,President,Guyana Football Federation.
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Head coach Dennis Lawrence believes Trinidad and Tobago deserved at least a point from their World Cup qualifier against Mexico last Tuesday.The hosts crashed to a narrow 1-0 defeat to the CONCACAF giants after having a goal wrongfully disallowed for off-side in the 32nd minute.And while Lawrence conceded his side had not played well enough to win the contest, he contended a share of the points would have been a more just result.“I didn’t think we did enough to win the game but I also felt we did enough to get something out of the game,” the former national defender said.“I think we were a bit unlucky with the goal that we scored – it was clearly onside from what I saw. I can’t fault the boys for effort. The only thing (as) I said to them is that sometimes we have to believe how good we can be.“We spoke about things before the game (but) we go into the game and we allowed the Mexico team to get too much control of the game. As soon as we won the ball, we gave it back to them …”He added: “In terms of our organisation, our structure defensively … it was difficult to break us down in open play but we didn’t do enough to take the game to the other end, we didn’t test their keeper enough so I felt we fell short in that aspect but in terms of losing the game, I think we did enough to get something out of the game.”T&T thought they were ahead in the first half when Joevin Jones, on the left, picked up Kevin Molino’s pass and burst into the box before unleashing an explosive volley into the back of the nets.The goal was ruled offside by Jamaican referee Valdin Legister even though replays showed Jones was a couple yards behind the last defender when the ball was played.Diego Reyes settled the game in the 58th minute, however, nodding home strongly from the centre of the box following a right-sided corner.Despite the defeat, Lawrence said there were positives to be taken from the game which could help Trinidad in the future.“We are obviously starting to get that belief in ourselves slowly. We played a very, very good Mexican team. They are obviously very confident and capable in their abilities in managing the game and keeping possession of the ball and we matched them in a lot of the aspects of the game.“So in terms of progression, I can take a lot of confidence and faith in our organisation and try to understand the things we wanted to do.”The defeat left Trinidad and Tobago bottom of the CONCACAF qualifying final round, with tough road fixtures against United States and Costa Rica looming in June.
Okon Bassey in UyoSuper Eagles’ 1-0 victory over Tanzania in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations clash has reinforce Gernot Rohr’s confidence of Nigeria qualifying for the next FIFA World Cup scheduled to hold in Russia.The late lone strike by Manchester City star, Kelechi Iheanacho, earned the Franco-German coach his first victory in-charge of the Super Eagles in Uyo last weekend. Now, he is full of confidence that the three-time African champions can beat Algeria, Cameroun and Zambia to the lone group ticket to Russia 2018 Mundial. Though a dead-rubber game as both Nigeria and Tanzania had earlier lost out in the qualifier for the AFCON 2017, Rohr used it to prepare his team for an October 3 World Cup qualifier in Zambia before Eagles welcome Algeria the following month.“I’m happy I won my first match,” began Rohr.“We have a good chance of qualifying for the World Cup.“A team that failed to qualify for the AFCON need confidence and the confidence is coming back gradually.“We played well and any team who created 12, 14 chances in a match, that tells you it’s a good team.“We were wasteful but we will work on our finishing.”He further said he looks forward to having Alex Iwobi and Oghenekaro Etebo, who both missed Saturday’s match on account of injury.“We need to look at the player in Arsenal (Iwobi) and the player who scored four goals in match at the Olympics (Etebo),” he said.The experienced coach also praised the heroic Tanzania goalkeeper Aishi Manula, who made several big saves to keep his team in the game till Iheanacho’s 78th minute blaster.Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi also shared in Rohr’s sentiment about Nigeria qualifying for Russia 2018.“I always strive to be exemplary and to live as a model for others,” Obi noted.“I know how important the (qualifiers) are in our bid to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. That was the reason why I came for the Tanzania encounter which is a good preparation for the clash against Zambia.“We all must do our part. We should not continue to dwell on the past to move forward. We must put our house in order if we are to play in Russia,” observed the Chelsea FC star in apparent reference to the AFCON 2017 in Gabon that Nigeria failed to make the cut despite winning the last group game.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Senior striker Scott Lorenz has had trouble finding the net in recent games despite several attempts.[/media-credit]After two defeats last weekend at the San Diego State Tournament, the men’s soccer team has a much closer destination this weekend, though their opponents are just as strong.The team will be traveling to Milwaukee to compete in the Panther Invitational, where they are set Friday to face the Oakland Grizzlies, a team with a 2-2-1 record. The Grizzlies had a disappointing weekend with consecutive losses to No. 25 Northwestern and Northern Illinois.“Oakland’s strong,” head coach Todd Yeagley said. “They’re a team that certainly has some young players, but they’ll be a very formal opponent and our team is looking forward to it.”Sunday, the team will be put against the UC-Santa Barbara Gauchos. The Gauchos, currently ranked No. 9, could be a tough opponent for the Badgers. With a record of 4-1-0, they have had a very strong start to their season, winning their first four games only to lose to Loyola Marymount at home last Monday.Although competition within the Big Ten will begin next weekend with No. 8 Indiana, UC-Santa Barbara will be the third California team for the Badgers in just two weeks.“If you look at it historically, it’s been difficult for teams from the Midwest and the East to go west and get positive results, so we’re keeping it in perspective,” Yeagley said.Yeagley encourages his players to focus on what is ahead rather than dwell on past games.“There’s nothing we can do now, but we have a heck of a lot of season ahead,” Yeagley said. “We focus on what we did well and learn from what we didn’t; this is the time to make a mistake, right at the beginning of the season.”Senior Scott Lorenz shares his coach’s attitude. After three shots on goal last weekend, none resulting in a score, he is frustrated yet optimistic for upcoming games.“Even the best strikers hit rough patches, so the best thing you can do is have a short memory and play through,” Lorenz said. “I’ll get my chances and I’m not worried about it. I’ll start to find the back of the net.”This weekend’s game against Oakland will be the teams’ third meeting in five years. In 2007, Wisconsin lost to Oakland by a score of 3-2. However, in 2005, the Badgers beat the Grizzlies at the Panther Invitational with a score of 2-1.“[Oakland] is all we’re looking at right now since the game is on Friday,” Yeagley said. “Once we get through Friday, we’ll reevaluate and get ready for a nationally ranked team in Santa Barbara. Each game has different matchup concerns, and this group knows that we take it a game at a time.”Since becoming head coach before this year’s preseason, Yeagley has concentrated strongly on disciplining the team’s defense. Though six goals got past them last weekend, two were due to penalty kicks.In the first two games of the season against Virginia Tech and Western Illinois, the Wisconsin defense was strong and shut out the opponents. Yeagley still remains optimistic about his defense.“There were some mistakes that I think we will correct, but I look at the whole unit and after I evaluated the performance, I think it was overall pretty good,” Yeagley said. “I want to be a team that is very difficult to score upon. We got back to the drawing board and we got back to some individual principles [Wednesday], and I think that we’ll show we can do something with that.”In last weekend’s game against San Diego State, senior goalkeeper Alex Howath was lifted from the game in the 37th minute due to a sliced finger. However, he returned midway through the second half and finished out the game.This weekend marks the 36th annual Panther Invitational, making it the longest-running tournament in NCAA Division I men’s soccer.“The team is still very confident, and all the goals that the team has set forth are still attainable,” Yeagley said. “We’re pushing forward, but obviously we’d love to come away with some wins this weekend.”
That match kicks-off at 12:45.In this afternoon’s 3pm matches…Aston Villa begin life without Roy Keane with a trip to Turf Moor to face Burnley.West Ham manager Sam Allardyce will try to plot the defeat of his former club, Newcastle at Upton Park.Elsewhere, Man United host Hull City, QPR are at home to Leicester and Crystal Palace visit Swansea.Also at 3 o’clock, the pressure is on Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers as his mis-firing side play host to Stoke.After a poor run of results, Rodgers has suddenly emerged as the favourite to become the next Premier League manager to lose his job.But the Reds boss is taking it all in his stride… With Southampton facing Man City tomorrow, the Blues can go nine points clear at the top today with a win over Sunderland.That game at the Stadium of Light is the late kick-off this evening at half-past five.– But first-up today will be the clash at the Hawthorns as West Brom prepare to host an Arsenal side that will be hoping to follow-up on their Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund in mid-week.
Chants in favour of independence are common at the Camp Nou from a section of the Barca fanbase, most notably in the 17th minute to mark the fall of Catalonia in the Spanish War of Succession in 1714.Barca have also been repeatedly fined by UEFA for fans flying the Catalan ‘Estelada’ flag, which has become a symbol of the independence movement within Catalonia, at Champions League matches.Leading Barca players such as Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta called for politicians on both sides of the independence debate to negotiate in the wake of the October 1 referendum.As Spanish riot police fired rubber bullets and seized ballot papers leaving 92 injured, among nearly 900 who sought medical attention that day, Barca beat Las Palmas 3-0 behind closed doors.Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu insisted he tried to have the match abandoned, but instead settled for showing their opposition by playing the match in an empty 99 000 capacity Camp Nou.Yet, players have been less keen to position themselves on the confused political fallout in the past few weeks.A standoff has ensued with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy calling on Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont to clarify if he has declared independence for Catalonia on the basis of the referendum, deemed illegal by the Spanish government.“What we like is playing and enjoying ourselves in a spectacular atmosphere like today,” said Iniesta after Barca’s 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid on Saturday.Barca’s first visit to the capital since the escalation of the political divide was expected to provoke a hostile welcome for the visitors.However, other than the waving of more Spanish flags than normal at Atletico matches and some jeers for Pique, the match passed off peacefully.“It was a great game, in a great atmosphere, in a great stadium,” said Barca boss Ernesto Valverde.Despite a series of distractions on and off the field, including the loss of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and calls for Bartomeu to resign on top of the Catalonia crisis, Barca have started impressively under Valverde.A run of nine straight wins in La Liga and Champions League was ended on Saturday, but Barca are heavy favourites to get back to winning ways against one of Valverde’s former clubs.Valverde won three league titles with the Greek giants, who have never won in 14 previous visits to Spain. TONIGHT FIXTURESQarabag Vs AtleticoChelsea Vs RomaAnderlecht Vs PSGBarca Vs OlympiacosCSKA Vs BaselBenfica Vs Man UtdJuventus Vs SportingBayern Vs CelticShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram For the first time since playing to an empty stadium in protest at a violent crackdown of an independence referendum in Catalonia, Barcelona’s Camp Nou opens its doors when Olympiakos visit tonight.On the field, Barca should have little problem sweeping aside an Olympiakos side without a point in the Champions League so far this season to consolidate their position atop Group D.However, how Barca’s fans will react to a tumultuous few weeks of political tension in Catalonia is less predictable with the support split like the rest of society on wealthy northeastern region of Spain.