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Rodgers: Mario must be consistent

first_imgLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Mario Balotelli has some way to go before he can be considered in the same class as Luis Suarez. Italy international Balotelli joined the club in the summer from AC Milan to replace Suarez, who moved to Barcelona. The 24-year-old has scored once in five appearances for a Liverpool side who have struggled to replicate their form from last season. And asked if Balotelli was the right man to replace the Uruguayan who netted 31 times last season, Rodgers said “We shall see. “There is no comparison between the two as players. Luis was brilliant for me in his time here and developed to become a player who consistently delivered in terms of scoring and creating. “Mario is different. He’s got a lot of experience for 24, he has come here as an established international.” And for Rodgers, consistency is the key for Balotelli if he is to be as big a player for the Reds as Suarez was. “Suarez elevated himself, that was clear,” he told national newspapers. “He wasn’t world class when he came in but when he left to go to Barcelona he had put himself in that bracket. “He did that because of his consistency in scoring goals and keeping his performance level high. World class is about being at the highest level consistently, being at that level in your game consistently. That’s what takes you there. “I think Mario is potentially world class. You can’t compare Suarez and him, but Mario is coming in as an international striker and he’s a talent, no doubt.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Todd McNair granted new trial in case against NCAA

first_imgLast May, a jury sided with the NCAA, stating that the allegations brought against McNair were not defamatory. However, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Frederick Shaller wrote in a ruling Wednesday morning that the jury’s decision was not supported by sufficient evidence, specifically citing an incorrect answer in a special jury verdict question meant to draw a certain answer. Moreover, the presiding juror, Anthony Bruno, should not have been allowed to serve due to an implicit bias, Shaller said. Bruno is a member of the Latham & Watkins law firm, which was a part of the NCAA’s legal team on the McNair case. However, Bruno had no relation to or role in the case and worked at a different branch of the firm from those involved. A week ago, McNair agreed to become the running backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. McNair has not coached at the collegiate or professional level since leaving USC in 2009. “Permitting Juror No. 2 to remain on the jury and participate in deliberations … resulted a miscarriage of justice and in [the] Plaintiff being deprived of a fair trial,” Shaller said. center_img Former USC assistant football coach Todd McNair was granted a motion for a new trial in his defamation lawsuit against the NCAA Wednesday. The suit has been ongoing since 2011, after the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions brought allegations in 2010 stating that McNair was involved in the Reggie Bush scandal. The NCAA found that Bush, a former USC running back, had received impermissible benefits while at USC, and he had to forfeit his Heisman trophy while the program vacated the 14 wins and national title from the 2004 season. “In the court’s judgment, no reasonable trier of fact could have made the determination that the answer to Special Verdict Question 3 should be ‘NO,’” Shaller said in the ruling.last_img read more


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Brown to face the world number one

first_imgAllen has beaten China’s Zhao Xintong by 6-frames to 2. While Brown faces the daunting prospect of the reigning world champion Stuart Bingham in the afternoon session.last_img


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Liverpool take on Man Utd this evening

first_imgLiverpool welcome Manchester United to Anfield tonight.Ahead of that match former United great Paul Scholes says the side lack at identity under manager Jose Mourinho.Ahead of tonight’s game United are 7th while Liverpool are 4th.last_img


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Real Madrid are Champions League Winners

first_imgHe says his track record speaks for itself. Photo: © UEFA.com Real Madrid are Champions League winners for a record 12th time – after a 4-1 win over Juventus in the final in Cardiff.Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice – with Welshman Gareth Bale coming on as a substitute.The Portuguese forward’s scored 51 goals in all competitions this season – as Real secured a double.last_img


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Kwesé Free Sports to Host Live Screenings of Joshua Vs Takam…

first_imgNigerian audiences can join the estimated 80, 000 spectators expected at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium for two live screenings of the fight in Nigeria. Simulcast viewings will be held in Joshua’s ancestral hometown of Sagamu at the Baba Josh Memorial Hall, as well as at the Hard Rock Café in Lagos.The live screenings, which coincide with the Sagamu Day celebrations, are endorsed by the Sagamu Youth Congress and will have members of the Joshua clan in attendance.The main bout is scheduled to start at 10.30pm however, doors at the Sagamu and Lagos viewing centres will open from 6pm to give boxing fans the opportunity to watch all the undercard fights. Spectators at the viewing centres will also be kept entertained by musical performances and stand-up comedy from local artists in the build up to the fight.“We pride ourselves on broadcasting nothing but the best in international and African sporting action. We will once again provide exclusive broadcast of yet another epic Joshua showdown on our platform, as well as live screenings of the fight where we will see one of our own hopefully retain his unbeaten track record,” expressed General Manager Kwesé Free Sports Nigeria, ChiChi Nwoko.“As the only pan-African and local sports channel in Nigeria with exclusive rights to the fight, Kwesé Free Sports will broadcast the fight on UHF 32 in Lagos or channel 732 on Free TV decoders in Jos and Abuja,” added Nwoko.Boxing fans can also visit their nearest Kwesé branded store(s) to purchase a decoder and dish for N10,960 (inclusive of one month free subscription) to catch the fight on Kwesé Sports 1, channel 300 on Kwesé TV bouquet.This is Joshua’s return to the ring after his memorable win against Wladimir Klitschko in April this year. Following this impressive win, Joshua will enter the ring with 19 knockout victories under his belt and the confidence to match.Takam is a new match up, following Kubrat Pulev’s unexpected withdrawal, both fighters are ready to put it all on the line for bragging rights and three heavyweight titles. Both opponents trace their roots to African soil, and will generate a lot of conversation among youths on the continent.Kwesé has made the fight available to sports fans across the continent on multiple platforms; including free-to-air TV, satellite (pay) TV and mobile phones through the Kwese App. The broadcaster has also made provision for fans who prefer digital viewing and will broadcast the fight live on the Kwesé ESPN Facebook page – www.facebook.com/kwesesports.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram As the exclusive African broadcaster for all Anthony Joshua fights, Kwesé will broadcast his fight against Takam live on the continent’s largest pan-African free-to-air channel Kwesé Free Sports.This means sports fans across the continent have free access to enjoy this explosive fight wherever they are. Kwesé Free Sports Africa’s largest sports channel will provide full ring side access as Nigeria’s son Joshua defends his world heavyweight titles against Takam.last_img read more


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Debt free Raketech seeks optimal financing structure

first_imgShare StumbleUpon Share Related Articles Betsson outrides pandemic challenges as regulatory dramas loom July 21, 2020 GiG lauds its ‘B2B makeover’ delivering Q2 growth August 11, 2020 Kindred marks fastest route to ‘normal trading’ as it delivers H1 growth July 24, 2020 Submit Issuing a market filing, Stockholm-listed industry affiliate marketing network Raketech Group Plc has disclosed that it has repaid its entire corporate debt of €7.7 million.Updating investors, Raketech governance details that the company has completed one of its post-IPO directives, repaying its outstanding corporate debt to allow for a better future capital operating structure.As a result of the transaction, Raketech governance anticipates accruing corporate savings of approximately €200,000 per quarter.Commenting on the corporate filing, Andreas Kovacs, CFO at Raketech Group, stated: “To have successfully cleared our former loan facility is a milestone for Raketech’s finance strategy. We now have optimal conditions to carry out additional acquisitions, with lower financial expenses over time”.Moving to secure a more favourable corporate financing structure, last December Raketech governance entered into a private revolving credit facility of €10 million backed by  Swedbank AB.This February, Raketech published its full-year 2018 results, detailing a continued strong commercial momentum since the firm’s June 2018 IPO on the Stockholm Nasdaq Exchange as its network performance was boosted by the acquired Finnish sports betting assets of urheiluveikkaus.com and esportsguide.com.last_img read more


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George Fotopoulos, Vermantia: Decoding the customer engagement enigma

first_img Share Related Articles The future for retail: Could ‘staff-less’ shops become a reality? November 18, 2019 New look ARC revamps executive leadership team February 18, 2020 Vermantia COO George Fotopoulos writes for SBC News about rising to customer expectations in the modern betting landscape.A few days back, I came across an interesting article in a quite famous economic magazine about customer experience (CX) and its importance in today’s business world for every industry. The topic is not new since there has been a fuss around it the past decade, but the emerging trends point to a new way of thinking for business, whether it be for the retail or online environment, niche or mainstream. CX is now more significant than ever as customers seek experiences that will be designed to meet their needs through a smooth process. With this year’s pandemic, significant changes in customer expectations and behaviours have been generated, in turn changing the customer-business relationship. Businesses and organisations that fail to adapt will experience an increased customer turnover. According to recent research, two out of three customers are willing to switch to the competitor who provides the best experience. On the flip side, in this ‘new normal’, there is an opportunity for companies who consistently provide the best CX across their whole offering and work out how to reinvent their ability to service customers in line with changing customer needs and expectations. Those are the ones who will dominate the marketplace.This made me think about the betting industry, which is always on the move and continuously introduces innovative trends that have been in many ways ahead of even the most positive industry experts’ forecasts. How can the betting industry bridge the gap between the “always changing” customer expectations and its commitment to deliver valuable experiences? The coordination problem is a genuine one since it is necessary to establish a delicate balance between different players’ expectations. What applies to one country may not apply to another, a tiered bespoke structure makes far more sense than a one-size-fits-all approach. Thereby, when you are dealing with customers around the globe you will have to pull new tricks out of your sleeves to set a winning strategy. Optimum player experience is far easier said than done. If you want to bring a new level of engagement to your customers you need to have Spherical Thinking, aligned with today’s digital age. The world is evolving and so is the betting experience that modern, tech-savvy players require. Nothing can beat the excitement of premium live content streamed in real-time, seamlessly on a 24/7 basis, whether we are talking about retail, online or mobile. Quality data feeds also play a vital role in the overall player experience, as well as the provision of extensive – and readily available – betting opportunities to provide an instantly wider choice, all tailored to meet each market’s requirements. It is a bit like putting together a puzzle, where all the pieces must be slotted into place to deliver an exceptional betting experience. Therefore, the challenge is to identify those pieces, to combine them and implement them to a bespoke offering. Ultimately this will drive customer engagement. The driving force of CX is the better understanding of your players. Design a complete personalised solution to meet their demands, and you are betting on the correct horse to drive stronger customer relationships.  At Vermantia, technology and customer-focused mentality lie at the heart of everything we do. CX should be at the heart of any successful initiative, and the understanding of the importance to deliver it must span every level of an organisation. This is exactly what we do at Vermantia, by designing bespoke solutions, utilising the best in terms of content and technology according to each operator’s needs. With customers being open to companies that employ the latest technology to enhance their experiences and the critical importance of CX in today’s changing and challenging marketplace, providing a robust offering is a bet worth taking.A complete product mix comprised of quality and adaptive data feeds, superior live content delivered close to real-time and readily available betting markets will push customer experience towards and pave the way to increased customer engagement. Tech advancements and shifting customer needs and behaviours are reshaping the betting landscape, and it is the industry’s job to follow. And it will, by harnessing the latest in technology and always having the player’s overall experience in mind. StumbleUpon Submit Share George Fotopoulos, Vermantia: The future for retail betting April 30, 2020last_img read more


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I don’t think countries have applied to host AFCON 2015- Famhy

first_imgEgyptian Sports  Journalist Amr N. Famhy has casted doubt over the Confederation of  Africa football’s claim that it has received applications from more than one  nation with regards to hosting next year’s AFCON following Morocco’s decision to relinquish their hosting rights..But the Egyptian Sports  Journalist doubts if any country has shown interest in hosting the tourney after CAF’s knee-jerk attempt to have Egypt accept the hosting rights.”Am surprised that CAF did not name the countries they claim are interested but only said they have some countries who are interested”.Speaking with the BBC, Mr Famhy said the situation raises doubts, after CAF chairman, Issa Hayatou and his General secretary Hicham El Amrani, yesterday met the Egyptian Sports Minister ,Halid Abdul Aziz in Cairo and tried to convince him  that Egypt can host the tournament.But the Sports minister according to him, rejected the offer and insisted Egypt will only welcome  the 2017 edition, so “if CAF really has countries who are interested, why do you run to Egypt and ask them to stage the tournament?” he questioned. Media reports on the continent inidcate that Nigeria, Angola and Gabon could be in the running for the 2015 AFCON hosting rights. Gabon and Angola are widely thought to be financially placed and also might find the offer even more appealing because both might not qualify for the showpiece with where they stand on their respective qualifying logs.Nigeria despite the experiencing a mild form of Ebola and being declared free from the virus, pundits pointsat the West African Nation can do a good job at hosting the three week tournament given the recent opening of the magnificent Akwa Ibom Staduim in Oyo State. Meanwhile, CAF is likely to announce  the new host or the future of the competition at its Emergency Executive committee meeting  in Cairo, Egypt later today.last_img read more


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Jeter’s departure leaves void as face of MLB

first_imgIn this Sept. 21, 2014, file photo, Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen (22) warms up in the on deck circle during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are heading to the playoffs yet again led by McCutchen an intense, charismatic and imminently talented player who has become the biggest star in a city where Sidney Crosby, Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu also work. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)PITTSBURGH (AP) — Derek Jeter will walk off the baseball field for the final time as a player this weekend, taking his mystique, his iconic No. 2 jersey and a fistful of World Series rings along with him.For the better part of two decades the New York Yankees great graciously accepted the role as the face of Major League Baseball. Scandal came and went. Dynasties rose and fell.Jeter remained. Through Barry Bonds and A-Rod. Through Roger Clemens and Ryan Braun. Through milestones and slumps. Through the Mitchell Report. Through spring trainings and October after October (and in one memorable case, November).When he quietly slips out of the visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park and into history, the Yankees will lose more than their captain. The game will lose a Hall of Famer between the lines and an eloquent ambassador for the sport outside them.“There will be a void that nobody will replace,” Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “But there will be another opportunity for someone in some other place.”Like say, Pittsburgh or Los Angeles or a dozen other cities where a new generation of stars are poised to grab the mantle Jeter so delicately curated during 20 singular seasons that brought MLB into the 21st century.Not that the likely candidates want to talk about it.Press Andrew McCutchen, Mike Trout or Bryce Harper on if they’re part of the group who will pick up where Jeter left off and they sound downright Jeteresque: professional and polite, even if their play screams they’re more than ready to be the next chain in a link that stretches from Jeter to Cal Ripken Jr. to Mike Schmidt to Hank Aaron to Mickey Mantle and beyond.“It really doesn’t matter,” said McCutchen, the reigning National League MVP. “I’m just trying to do the right thing, play the game the right way. If somebody feels I should be in that category, so be it.”The 27-year-old center fielder has already accomplished something Jeter never struggled with: transforming a moribund franchise into a contender. His trademark dreadlocks a bobbing blur as he darts around the bases, McCutchen has guided the Pirates to a second consecutive playoff berth after two decades of losing.It’s a revolution that started on March 5, 2012, when he signed a contract extension that will keep him in black and gold through 2018. It didn’t matter that the Pirates were coming off their seventh straight 90-loss season. McCutchen saw a bright future where others saw a lost cause.Now the Pirates are heading to the playoffs yet again led by an intense, charismatic and eminently talented player who has become the biggest star in a city where Sidney Crosby, Ben Roethlisberger and Troy Polamalu also work.Jeter, though, has five World Series rings tucked away somewhere while McCutchen’s fingers are currently bare save for his wedding band.And maybe that’s why it could take a handful of players to move the sport forward, rather than just one. Jeter became Jeter in October.“He became the face for his World Series and his postseason numbers,” Oakland outfielder Jonny Gomes said. “He earned it.”Want to become the face of the game? Do it when the spotlight shines brightest.“If Mike Trout wins the World Series this year, I think he goes to the top of the list,” Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said. “I think you could say the same with Andrew McCutchen. There are some great young players that are going to be around for a long time.”San Francisco catcher Buster Posey already has a pair of titles but also spends three hours a night working behind a mask, not the best way to raise your Q-rating. Perhaps the new face plays in a different part of California, where the unapologetically precocious Trout is the relentless turbine on a Los Angeles Angels team that includes Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton.“Talking to other managers, no doubt Mike’s the MVP of our league, but the best player in our league,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.Whether Trout is the best player within a 30-mile radius of his home ballpark is another matter.The scruffy 26-year-old Clayton Kershaw has baseball’s second-most popular jersey behind Jeter and is the favorite to become the first NL pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1968 to win the league’s MVP award.Dodgers teammate Yasiel Puig may join the group too, provided the dynamic Cuban-born outfielder can rein himself in, both on the diamond and off.Hailed as the baseball version of LeBron James on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a 16-year-old, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper lacks Jeter’s polish. Talent, Harper’s got.Harper called Jeter “irreplaceable,” and the 21-year-old said he doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about his place in MLB’s hierarchy.“That should be left up to what fans think or how they feel or who … little kids want to look at and how they want to go about having a hero and what they think the game should be like or how it should be played,” he said. “If that’s some guy in this league, we’ll let fans figure that out.”And it will be figured out after Jeter’s gone.“Obviously he’s going to be missed but he’s not the game of baseball,” said Pirates catcher Russell Martin, who spent two years playing alongside Jeter. “The game is going to keep going on after he plays. No matter who you are as a person, the game is going to keep evolving, hopefully in the right direction.”One that will be steered by the next wave as Jeter waves goodbye.___AP Sports Writers Janie McCauley in San Francisco, Howard Fendrich in Washington, D.C., Ron Blum in New York and freelance writer Amy Jinkner-Lloyd in Atlanta contributed to this report.last_img read more