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Snatching victory from defeat

September 27th, 2013 No comments


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Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill celebrates onstage after defending the Cup as they beat Emirates Team New Zealand to defend the America's Cup during the final race on September 25 in San Francisco, California.Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill celebrates onstage after defending the Cup as they beat Emirates Team New Zealand to defend the America’s Cup during the final race on September 25 in San Francisco, California.

It didn't take long for the party to get started following Oracle Team USA's victory. The reigning champion, which had trailed 8-1 at one stage, won by 44 seconds in the final race to win the competition 9-8.It didn’t take long for the party to get started following Oracle Team USA’s victory. The reigning champion, which had trailed 8-1 at one stage, won by 44 seconds in the final race to win the competition 9-8.

Emirates Team New Zealand fans thought they would be celebrating a famous victory with their crew taking an 8-1 lead in the contest -- but an incredible fightback by Oracle Team USA forced a decisive race. Only twice before in the competition's 162-year history has there been a winner-takes-all final. Emirates Team New Zealand fans thought they would be celebrating a famous victory with their crew taking an 8-1 lead in the contest — but an incredible fightback by Oracle Team USA forced a decisive race. Only twice before in the competition’s 162-year history has there been a winner-takes-all final.

British Olympic hero Ben Ainslie has been the catalyst for Oracle Team USA's fightback. Ainslie, 36, took over the role of tactician from John Kostecki with his team 4-1 down. British Olympic hero Ben Ainslie has been the catalyst for Oracle Team USA’s fightback. Ainslie, 36, took over the role of tactician from John Kostecki with his team 4-1 down.

Oracle Team USA was given a huge ovation by the home crowd as its team members boarded the ferry. Supporters flocked to watch with the prospect of history being made.Oracle Team USA was given a huge ovation by the home crowd as its team members boarded the ferry. Supporters flocked to watch with the prospect of history being made.

Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, took to the water hoping to turn around its nightmare run of form.Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, took to the water hoping to turn around its nightmare run of form.

Oracle Team USA took the water knowing victory would cap off a historic comeback victory.Oracle Team USA took the water knowing victory would cap off a historic comeback victory.

Emirates Team New Zealand made an encouraging start but it was the reigning champion which went on to dominate the contest -- winning by 44 seconds.Emirates Team New Zealand made an encouraging start but it was the reigning champion which went on to dominate the contest — winning by 44 seconds.

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill celebrates the victory following the race's dramatic conclusion.Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill celebrates the victory following the race’s dramatic conclusion.

The celebrations begin as Oracle Team USA pull off a momentous victory to win the America's Cup 9-8.The celebrations begin as Oracle Team USA pull off a momentous victory to win the America’s Cup 9-8.


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(CNN) — There are comebacks — and then there are comebacks.

As the stars and stripes billowed in the San Francisco wind, Oracle Team USA produced one of the most monumental triumphs in sporting history.

For a team which had stared into the abyss, trailing 8-1 at one stage, Oracle did what nobody outside of its catamaran believed it could do.

Oracle, which defeated the Swiss team Alinghi three years ago, held onto its title when it seemed certain to suffer one of the most humiliating defeats the America’s Cup had ever seen.

Live blog: As it happened

America’s Cup 2013 results

Race 18: Oracle Team USA wins by 54 seconds

Race 17: Oracle Team USA wins by 27 secs

Race 16: Oracle Team USA wins by 33 secs

Race 15: Oracle Team USA wins by 37 secs

Race 14: Oracle Team USA wins by 23 secs

Race 13: Oracle Team USA wins by 84 secs

Race 12: Oracle Team USA wins by 31 secs

Race 11: Team New Zealand wins by 15s

Race 10: Team New Zealand wins by 17s

Race 9: Oracle Team USA wins by 47 secs

Race 8: Oracle Team USA wins by 52 secs

Race 7: Team New Zealand wins by 66 secs

Race 6: Team New Zealand wins by 47 secs

Race 5: Team New Zealand wins by 65 secs

Race 4: Oracle Team USA wins by 8 secs

Race 3: Team New Zealand wins by 28 secs

Race 2: Team New Zealand wins by 52 secs

Race 1: Team New Zealand wins by 36 secs

*Oracle deducted two points before opening race

“It had everything,” said Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill told Sky Sports.

“It was fantastic. We wouldn’t have had it any other way. The guys showed so much heart.”

Backed by billionaire Larry Ellison, who owns a 25% in Oracle, the team pulled off a fairytale ending which money just cannot buy.

The 69-year-old, whose personal fortune is estimated at $41 billion by Forbes Magazine, boarded the boat to take part in the celebrations following a titanic tussle.

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport — but rarely has sailing’s pinnacle event ever been so dramatic.

It speaks volumes that even those who had barely heard of the event last week suddenly became hooked on a race which has been going since 1851.

And yet this contest should have been all over before Wednesday’s fantastic finale with Emirates Team New Zealand having stormed into an 8-1 lead.

In fact, the challenger should have wrapped up the title with victory in race 13 only for it to be abandoned with its yacht just two minutes from the finish line because of a time limit rule.

When the race was rescheduled, Oracle Team USA picked up the win which kept its hopes of a historic comeback alive.

Only on two occasions has the destination of the trophy been unknown going into the final race of the competition.


Seeing San Francisco by sailboat


Meet America’s Cup flying hi-tech boats


Olympic champion: Sailing is not elitist

Oracle has appeared determined to make life difficult for itself since the start of its defense.

The team was given a two point penalty and fined $250,000 after illegally placing lead pellets in their catamarans to gain extra weight.

The incident also cost three crew members their place on the team.

Read: America’s Cup flying machines

Racing in AC-72 catamarans, the first time these boats have been used in the competition, the crews expect to sail at around 40 knots or 74 kilometers an hour.

Excitement is never far away — but then again, never is danger.

Only last March, British sailor Andrew Simpson died after being trapped under a catamaran in an America’s Cup training session with Swedish team Artemis.

Last October, the Oracle team came perilously close to an accident of their own, while the Emirates boat has also had its own share of scary moments.

But this past fortnight has brought sailing to the forefront of world sport with Oracle’s miraculous fightback set to go down as one of the greatest of all time.

With both teams needing to win the race to get its hands on the trophy, a tight fought affair was expected.

But despite a good start from Team New Zealand, it was the reigning champion which dominated.

Led by Britain’s four time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie, who replaced John Kostecki as the team tactician with the score at 4-1, Oracle roared back in dramatic fashion.

Ainslie is the first Briton to experience victory at the event since Charlie Barr led the American team Columbia to three consecutive victories in 1899, 1901 and 1903.

The champagne was in full flow by the time Oracle made it back to dry land with fans in raptures at the side of the port.

“It really is all about the team,” added Spithill. “On your own you’re nothing, the team make you look great.

“I’m so proud of the boys. We were staring down the barrel at 8-1 but the boys didn’t even flinch. It was a fantastic team effort.”

Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker was left inconsolable at the conclusion of the titanic tussle.

He added: “I’m incredibly proud of the team and what they’ve achieved but gutted we didn’t get the last win we needed to take the cup back to New Zealand.

“It’s hard to swallow.”


Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/25/sport/americas-cup-oracle-team-usa-team-new-zealand/index.html?eref=edition

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewsRipplesWeb/~3/yFqDbi0OCwc/snatching-victory-from-defeat

U.S. team win America’s Cup

September 26th, 2013 No comments


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Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill celebrates onstage after defending the Cup as they beat Emirates Team New Zealand to defend the America's Cup during the final race on September 25 in San Francisco, California.Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill celebrates onstage after defending the Cup as they beat Emirates Team New Zealand to defend the America’s Cup during the final race on September 25 in San Francisco, California.

It didn't take long for the party to get started following Oracle Team USA's victory. The reigning champion, which had trailed 8-1 at one stage, won by 44 seconds in the final race to win the competition 9-8.It didn’t take long for the party to get started following Oracle Team USA’s victory. The reigning champion, which had trailed 8-1 at one stage, won by 44 seconds in the final race to win the competition 9-8.

Emirates Team New Zealand fans thought they would be celebrating a famous victory with their crew taking an 8-1 lead in the contest -- but an incredible fightback by Oracle Team USA forced a decisive race. Only twice before in the competition's 162-year history has there been a winner-takes-all final. Emirates Team New Zealand fans thought they would be celebrating a famous victory with their crew taking an 8-1 lead in the contest — but an incredible fightback by Oracle Team USA forced a decisive race. Only twice before in the competition’s 162-year history has there been a winner-takes-all final.

British Olympic hero Ben Ainslie has been the catalyst for Oracle Team USA's fightback. Ainslie, 36, took over the role of tactician from John Kostecki with his team 4-1 down. British Olympic hero Ben Ainslie has been the catalyst for Oracle Team USA’s fightback. Ainslie, 36, took over the role of tactician from John Kostecki with his team 4-1 down.

Oracle Team USA was given a huge ovation by the home crowd as its team members boarded the ferry. Supporters flocked to watch with the prospect of history being made.Oracle Team USA was given a huge ovation by the home crowd as its team members boarded the ferry. Supporters flocked to watch with the prospect of history being made.

Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, took to the water hoping to turn around its nightmare run of form.Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, took to the water hoping to turn around its nightmare run of form.

Oracle Team USA took the water knowing victory would cap off a historic comeback victory.Oracle Team USA took the water knowing victory would cap off a historic comeback victory.

Emirates Team New Zealand made an encouraging start but it was the reigning champion which went on to dominate the contest -- winning by 44 seconds.Emirates Team New Zealand made an encouraging start but it was the reigning champion which went on to dominate the contest — winning by 44 seconds.

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill celebrates the victory following the race's dramatic conclusion.Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill celebrates the victory following the race’s dramatic conclusion.

The celebrations begin as Oracle Team USA pull off a momentous victory to win the America's Cup 9-8.The celebrations begin as Oracle Team USA pull off a momentous victory to win the America’s Cup 9-8.


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(CNN) — There are comebacks — and then there are comebacks.

As the stars and stripes billowed in the San Francisco wind, Oracle Team USA produced one of the most monumental triumphs in sporting history.

For a team which had stared into the abyss, trailing 8-1 at one stage, Oracle did what nobody outside of its catamaran believed it could do.

Oracle, which defeated the Swiss team Alinghi three years ago, held onto its title when it seemed certain to suffer one of the most humiliating defeats the America’s Cup had ever seen.

Live blog: As it happened

America’s Cup 2013 results

Race 18: Oracle Team USA wins by 54 seconds

Race 17: Oracle Team USA wins by 27 secs

Race 16: Oracle Team USA wins by 33 secs

Race 15: Oracle Team USA wins by 37 secs

Race 14: Oracle Team USA wins by 23 secs

Race 13: Oracle Team USA wins by 84 secs

Race 12: Oracle Team USA wins by 31 secs

Race 11: Team New Zealand wins by 15s

Race 10: Team New Zealand wins by 17s

Race 9: Oracle Team USA wins by 47 secs

Race 8: Oracle Team USA wins by 52 secs

Race 7: Team New Zealand wins by 66 secs

Race 6: Team New Zealand wins by 47 secs

Race 5: Team New Zealand wins by 65 secs

Race 4: Oracle Team USA wins by 8 secs

Race 3: Team New Zealand wins by 28 secs

Race 2: Team New Zealand wins by 52 secs

Race 1: Team New Zealand wins by 36 secs

*Oracle deducted two points before opening race

“It had everything,” said Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill told Sky Sports.

“It was fantastic. We wouldn’t have had it any other way. The guys showed so much heart.”

Backed by billionaire Larry Ellison, who owns a 25% in Oracle, the team pulled off a fairytale ending which money just cannot buy.

The 69-year-old, whose personal fortune is estimated at $41 billion by Forbes Magazine, boarded the boat to take part in the celebrations following a titanic tussle.

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport — but rarely has sailing’s pinnacle event ever been so dramatic.

It speaks volumes that even those who had barely heard of the event last week suddenly became hooked on a race which has been going since 1851.

And yet this contest should have been all over before Wednesday’s fantastic finale with Emirates Team New Zealand having stormed into an 8-1 lead.

In fact, the challenger should have wrapped up the title with victory in race 13 only for it to be abandoned with its yacht just two minutes from the finish line because of a time limit rule.

When the race was rescheduled, Oracle Team USA picked up the win which kept its hopes of a historic comeback alive.

Only on two occasions has the destination of the trophy been unknown going into the final race of the competition.


Seeing San Francisco by sailboat


Meet America’s Cup flying hi-tech boats


Olympic champion: Sailing is not elitist

Oracle has appeared determined to make life difficult for itself since the start of its defense.

The team was given a two point penalty and fined $250,000 after illegally placing lead pellets in their catamarans to gain extra weight.

The incident also cost three crew members their place on the team.

Read: America’s Cup flying machines

Racing in AC-72 catamarans, the first time these boats have been used in the competition, the crews expect to sail at around 40 knots or 74 kilometers an hour.

Excitement is never far away — but then again, never is danger.

Only last March, British sailor Andrew Simpson died after being trapped under a catamaran in an America’s Cup training session with Swedish team Artemis.

Last October, the Oracle team came perilously close to an accident of their own, while the Emirates boat has also had its own share of scary moments.

But this past fortnight has brought sailing to the forefront of world sport with Oracle’s miraculous fightback set to go down as one of the greatest of all time.

With both teams needing to win the race to get its hands on the trophy, a tight fought affair was expected.

But despite a good start from Team New Zealand, it was the reigning champion which dominated.

Led by Britain’s four time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie, who replaced John Kostecki as the team tactician with the score at 4-1, Oracle roared back in dramatic fashion.

Ainslie is the first Briton to experience victory at the event since Charlie Barr led the American team Columbia to three consecutive victories in 1899, 1901 and 1903.

The champagne was in full flow by the time Oracle made it back to dry land with fans in raptures at the side of the port.

“It really is all about the team,” added Spithill. “On your own you’re nothing, the team make you look great.

“I’m so proud of the boys. We were staring down the barrel at 8-1 but the boys didn’t even flinch. It was a fantastic team effort.”

Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker was left inconsolable at the conclusion of the titanic tussle.

He added: “I’m incredibly proud of the team and what they’ve achieved but gutted we didn’t get the last win we needed to take the cup back to New Zealand.

“It’s hard to swallow.”


Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/25/sport/americas-cup-oracle-team-usa-team-new-zealand/index.html?eref=edition

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewsRipplesWeb/~3/Hd73vJhcTK4/u-s-team-win-americas-cup

Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat

September 26th, 2013 No comments


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Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill celebrates onstage after defending the Cup as they beat Emirates Team New Zealand to defend the America's Cup during the final race on September 25 in San Francisco, California.Oracle Team USA skippered by James Spithill celebrates onstage after defending the Cup as they beat Emirates Team New Zealand to defend the America’s Cup during the final race on September 25 in San Francisco, California.

It didn't take long for the party to get started following Oracle Team USA's victory. The reigning champion, which had trailed 8-1 at one stage, won by 44 seconds in the final race to win the competition 9-8.It didn’t take long for the party to get started following Oracle Team USA’s victory. The reigning champion, which had trailed 8-1 at one stage, won by 44 seconds in the final race to win the competition 9-8.

Emirates Team New Zealand fans thought they would be celebrating a famous victory with their crew taking an 8-1 lead in the contest -- but an incredible fightback by Oracle Team USA forced a decisive race. Only twice before in the competition's 162-year history has there been a winner-takes-all final. Emirates Team New Zealand fans thought they would be celebrating a famous victory with their crew taking an 8-1 lead in the contest — but an incredible fightback by Oracle Team USA forced a decisive race. Only twice before in the competition’s 162-year history has there been a winner-takes-all final.

British Olympic hero Ben Ainslie has been the catalyst for Oracle Team USA's fightback. Ainslie, 36, took over the role of tactician from John Kostecki with his team 4-1 down. British Olympic hero Ben Ainslie has been the catalyst for Oracle Team USA’s fightback. Ainslie, 36, took over the role of tactician from John Kostecki with his team 4-1 down.

Oracle Team USA was given a huge ovation by the home crowd as its team members boarded the ferry. Supporters flocked to watch with the prospect of history being made.Oracle Team USA was given a huge ovation by the home crowd as its team members boarded the ferry. Supporters flocked to watch with the prospect of history being made.

Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, took to the water hoping to turn around its nightmare run of form.Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, took to the water hoping to turn around its nightmare run of form.

Oracle Team USA took the water knowing victory would cap off a historic comeback victory.Oracle Team USA took the water knowing victory would cap off a historic comeback victory.

Emirates Team New Zealand made an encouraging start but it was the reigning champion which went on to dominate the contest -- winning by 44 seconds.Emirates Team New Zealand made an encouraging start but it was the reigning champion which went on to dominate the contest — winning by 44 seconds.

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill celebrates the victory following the race's dramatic conclusion.Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill celebrates the victory following the race’s dramatic conclusion.

The celebrations begin as Oracle Team USA pull off a momentous victory to win the America's Cup 9-8.The celebrations begin as Oracle Team USA pull off a momentous victory to win the America’s Cup 9-8.


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(CNN) — There are comebacks — and then there are comebacks.

As the stars and stripes billowed in the San Francisco wind, Oracle Team USA produced one of the most monumental triumphs in sporting history.

For a team which had stared into the abyss, trailing 8-1 at one stage, Oracle did what nobody outside of its catamaran believed it could do.

Oracle, which defeated the Swiss team Alinghi three years ago, held onto its title when it seemed certain to suffer one of the most humiliating defeats the America’s Cup had ever seen.

Live blog: As it happened

America’s Cup 2013 results

Race 18: Oracle Team USA wins by 54 seconds

Race 17: Oracle Team USA wins by 27 secs

Race 16: Oracle Team USA wins by 33 secs

Race 15: Oracle Team USA wins by 37 secs

Race 14: Oracle Team USA wins by 23 secs

Race 13: Oracle Team USA wins by 84 secs

Race 12: Oracle Team USA wins by 31 secs

Race 11: Team New Zealand wins by 15s

Race 10: Team New Zealand wins by 17s

Race 9: Oracle Team USA wins by 47 secs

Race 8: Oracle Team USA wins by 52 secs

Race 7: Team New Zealand wins by 66 secs

Race 6: Team New Zealand wins by 47 secs

Race 5: Team New Zealand wins by 65 secs

Race 4: Oracle Team USA wins by 8 secs

Race 3: Team New Zealand wins by 28 secs

Race 2: Team New Zealand wins by 52 secs

Race 1: Team New Zealand wins by 36 secs

*Oracle deducted two points before opening race

“It had everything,” said Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill told Sky Sports.

“It was fantastic. We wouldn’t have had it any other way. The guys showed so much heart.”

Backed by billionaire Larry Ellison, who owns a 25% in Oracle, the team pulled off a fairytale ending which money just cannot buy.

The 69-year-old, whose personal fortune is estimated at $41 billion by Forbes Magazine, boarded the boat to take part in the celebrations following a titanic tussle.

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport — but rarely has sailing’s pinnacle event ever been so dramatic.

It speaks volumes that even those who had barely heard of the event last week suddenly became hooked on a race which has been going since 1851.

And yet this contest should have been all over before Wednesday’s fantastic finale with Emirates Team New Zealand having stormed into an 8-1 lead.

In fact, the challenger should have wrapped up the title with victory in race 13 only for it to be abandoned with its yacht just two minutes from the finish line because of a time limit rule.

When the race was rescheduled, Oracle Team USA picked up the win which kept its hopes of a historic comeback alive.

Only on two occasions has the destination of the trophy been unknown going into the final race of the competition.


Seeing San Francisco by sailboat


Meet America’s Cup flying hi-tech boats


Olympic champion: Sailing is not elitist

Oracle has appeared determined to make life difficult for itself since the start of its defense.

The team was given a two point penalty and fined $250,000 after illegally placing lead pellets in their catamarans to gain extra weight.

The incident also cost three crew members their place on the team.

Read: America’s Cup flying machines

Racing in AC-72 catamarans, the first time these boats have been used in the competition, the crews expect to sail at around 40 knots or 74 kilometers an hour.

Excitement is never far away — but then again, never is danger.

Only last March, British sailor Andrew Simpson died after being trapped under a catamaran in an America’s Cup training session with Swedish team Artemis.

Last October, the Oracle team came perilously close to an accident of their own, while the Emirates boat has also had its own share of scary moments.

But this past fortnight has brought sailing to the forefront of world sport with Oracle’s miraculous fightback set to go down as one of the greatest of all time.

With both teams needing to win the race to get its hands on the trophy, a tight fought affair was expected.

But despite a good start from Team New Zealand, it was the reigning champion which dominated.

Led by Britain’s four time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie, who replaced John Kostecki as the team tactician with the score at 4-1, Oracle roared back in dramatic fashion.

Ainslie is the first Briton to experience victory at the event since Charlie Barr led the American team Columbia to three consecutive victories in 1899, 1901 and 1903.

The champagne was in full flow by the time Oracle made it back to dry land with fans in raptures at the side of the port.

“It really is all about the team,” added Spithill. “On your own you’re nothing, the team make you look great.

“I’m so proud of the boys. We were staring down the barrel at 8-1 but the boys didn’t even flinch. It was a fantastic team effort.”

Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker was left inconsolable at the conclusion of the titanic tussle.

He added: “I’m incredibly proud of the team and what they’ve achieved but gutted we didn’t get the last win we needed to take the cup back to New Zealand.

“It’s hard to swallow.”


Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/25/sport/americas-cup-oracle-team-usa-team-new-zealand/index.html?eref=edition

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewsRipplesWeb/~3/OazLfB5Qdc0/snatching-victory-from-the-jaws-of-defeat

Sailing hero on America’s Cup

September 26th, 2013 No comments


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CNN’s Human to Hero series screens every week on World Sport. Click here for show times, videos and features.

(CNN) — Ben Ainslie lives for sailing. He grew up near the sea, and he wants to retire on the ocean wave.

But before then, the most successful yachtsman in Olympic history is taking on one of the biggest challenges his sport has to offer — the America’s Cup.

From dominating the world of dinghy racing as a fiercely competitive individual — who once famously warned his rivals, “You don’t want to make me angry” — the 36-year-old is now learning to helm towering 72-foot multihull catamarans.

The masts are 130-foot high — more than 20 times the average height of the 11 crew.

“I really love these boats because they are very physical, they’re very dynamic, they’re fast, exciting and the racing is very close, and I think it’s great to watch on TV now,” the Briton told CNN’s Human to Hero series.


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“The top speed of these boats is around about 30 knots, or 35 miles an hour, which is pretty quick when you’re that close to the water.”

Read: Ainslie captures fourth straight gold for GB

While Britain has a strong naval history and has had a lot of sailing success in the Olympics — Ainslie won four golds and a silver medal — it has never won the America’s Cup, the elite competition in yachting that is funded by billionaires and traditionally dominated by the U.S. since it started in 1851.

“All my career the America’s Cup has been a goal, I’ve always wanted to be with a winning team — preferably a winning British team — and I really felt that I’d done all I could at the Olympic level,” he said.

“We’ve never won it so I think there’s something there in our maritime history … we really need to put that record straight.”

Ainslie has set up his own team with a view to taking part in a future America’s Cup, but for now he has taken on a role as helmsman for the second boat run by defending champion Oracle ahead of the 34th edition of the race in San Francisco in September, making him effectively a reserve to its No. 1 Jimmy Spithill of Australia.

His JP Morgan-sponsored BAR team — which is supported by Oracle — finished third in the final event of the America’s Cup World Series in Naples this month, competing in smaller 45-foot catamarans.

Read: Outstanding sailing moments of 2012

“It will take time. We’re building the team up through this series,” he said. “That’s great for us to get out there racing against these other teams and learn how to get the most speed out of these multihulls.

“From there on it’s going to be important to really start building the commercial relationships so we have the funding in place for 2014 onwards so we can really start building up the team.”


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From being his own boss in the dinghy classes, Ainslie is now learning to enjoy being part of a collective effort.

“That element of team work is something that’s really critical,” he said. “It’s also a lot of fun sailing with other guys rather than just on your own all the time.”

The America’s Cup is big business. Oracle owner Larry Ellison — last year named the third-richest man in the U.S. — spent a reported $300 million before winning the coveted title in 2010.

That victory came after a series of lawsuits against the defending team Alinghi which delayed the historic competition and raised big doubts about its future.

Read: ‘Beauty is a woman riding a wave’

It will be hosted by an American syndicate, the Golden Gate Yacht Club, for the first time since 1995 and Oracle — as it has the right as defender — has revamped the rules to bring the racing closer to shore and more accessible to spectators.

But while the sport has an elitist image, Ainslie says that anyone can enjoy sailing.

“People think it’s either a very expensive sport or it’s just far too complicated — and really it’s neither,” said the Englishman, whose family moved to Cornwall on the south-west coast of the UK when he was young.

“At the grassroots level you can go down to a sailing club and you can just get into a dinghy and borrow a boat or start sailing and crewing for someone else and get into it for very little money.”

Ainslie’s Olympic days came to a glorious golden end at London 2012, as he overcame what he thought were dubious race tactics to beat his rivals and claim the Finn Class title in the final race.


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He accused Dane Jonas Hogh-Christensen and Dutchman Pieter-Jan Postma of teaming up on him, forcing him to do a penalty turn in race two, which left him trailing.

Read: From townships to the Tour de France

Ainslie went public with his displeasure. “They’ve made a big mistake,” he told reporters, and promptly fought back to match the record for successive sailing golds held by the legendary Dane Paul Elvstrom.

“It was the highlight of my career and so special being in front of a home crowd and being my fourth gold medal,” he said.

It capped a Games career which began as a teenager in Atlanta in 1996 where his “disappointment” at having to settle for a silver medal in the Laser Class gave an early glimpse of his burning desire for victory.

The 19-year-old Ainslie was edged out of the top spot on the podium by the hugely experienced Brazilian Robert Scheidt, but he was never beaten again in Olympic competition.

“It was a great achievement for my age but in a way something inside of me still wanted more and I guess that what’s drove me on,” Ainslie admitted.

By the time the Sydney Games came along four years later Ainslie was ready to take his revenge on Scheidt, relegating him to the silver medal position after a bitter and often controversial personal battle.

Read: The Taliban’s favorite sport

“I had an immense rivalry with Scheidt and I just managed to come out on top of that, and from then on really that gave me the confidence to come back each time and take the gold, and fortunately I was able to do that,” he said.


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After the Sydney Olympics he stepped up to the more demanding Finn Class, meaning he had to add nearly 20 kilograms of extra body weight to be competitive in his new discipline in a bigger boat.

“That was a big switch physically, I had to try and do most of that in muscle so I got into a lot of weight training and fitness training,” he said.

“I guess it put quite a lot of load on the body as well and hence the back injuries which I started picking up later on in my career.”

Those injury niggles were the result of hours of training in the gym and on the water, pushing himself to the limit in search of that fourth gold — in front of fanatical home support at the southern coastal resort of Weymouth, where the sailing events for London 2012 were held.

“The pressure for London was like nothing else I’ve ever experienced, ” Ainslie said.

Read: Wonder of Yu – Fencer’s power of positivity

A hint of the almost crushing weight of expectation came as he competed for a sixth world championship title in the Finn Class in Perth in late 2011, one of his last major competitions before London.

After finishing second in race nine of the event, Ainslie made the headlines for the wrong reasons after swimming over to a media boat and angrily remonstrating with the crew.

He felt they had impeded his progress during a downwind leg and his frustration boiled over.

Ainslie’s subsequent disqualification was a bitter pill, but he later apologized for “overreacting.”

Although injuries have taken their toll on Ainslie — whose success at London 2012 earned him a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth — he says that he has never lost his love for being on the water.

“If I get a holiday or some down time I love still sailing, but not racing — just going out on maybe a beautiful classic yacht, relaxing with friends and being on the water,” he said.

“My idea of retirement would be having a nice boat, sailing around the world and exploring and being able to relax and enjoy being on the water — to just enjoy life without running around quite so hectically!”


Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/24/sport/sailing-ainslie-olympics-americas-cup/index.html?eref=edition

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewsRipplesWeb/~3/phk1y2lbNwI/sailing-hero-on-americas-cup

America’s Cup: A stunning win

September 26th, 2013 No comments


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It didn't take long for the party to get started following Oracle Team USA's victory. The reigning champion, which had trailed 8-1 at one stage, won by 44 seconds in the final race to win the competition 9-8.It didn’t take long for the party to get started following Oracle Team USA’s victory. The reigning champion, which had trailed 8-1 at one stage, won by 44 seconds in the final race to win the competition 9-8.

Emirates Team New Zealand fans thought they would be celebrating a famous victory with their crew taking an 8-1 lead in the contest -- but an incredible fightback by Oracle Team USA forced a decisive race. Only twice before in the competition's 162-year history has there been a winner-takes-all final. Emirates Team New Zealand fans thought they would be celebrating a famous victory with their crew taking an 8-1 lead in the contest — but an incredible fightback by Oracle Team USA forced a decisive race. Only twice before in the competition’s 162-year history has there been a winner-takes-all final.

British Olympic hero Ben Ainslie has been the catalyst for Oracle Team USA's fightback. Ainslie, 36, took over the role of tactician from John Kostecki with his team 4-1 down. British Olympic hero Ben Ainslie has been the catalyst for Oracle Team USA’s fightback. Ainslie, 36, took over the role of tactician from John Kostecki with his team 4-1 down.

Oracle Team USA was given a huge ovation by the home crowd as its team members boarded the ferry. Supporters flocked to watch with the prospect of history being made.Oracle Team USA was given a huge ovation by the home crowd as its team members boarded the ferry. Supporters flocked to watch with the prospect of history being made.

Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, took to the water hoping to turn around its nightmare run of form.Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Dean Barker, took to the water hoping to turn around its nightmare run of form.

Oracle Team USA took the water knowing victory would cap off a historic comeback victory.Oracle Team USA took the water knowing victory would cap off a historic comeback victory.

Emirates Team New Zealand made an encouraging start but it was the reigning champion which went on to dominate the contest -- winning by 44 seconds.Emirates Team New Zealand made an encouraging start but it was the reigning champion which went on to dominate the contest — winning by 44 seconds.

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill celebrates the victory following the race's dramatic conclusion.Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill celebrates the victory following the race’s dramatic conclusion.

The celebrations begin as Oracle Team USA pull off a momentous victory to win the America's Cup 9-8.The celebrations begin as Oracle Team USA pull off a momentous victory to win the America’s Cup 9-8.


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(CNN) — There are comebacks — and then there are comebacks.

As the stars and stripes billowed in the San Francisco wind, Oracle Team USA produced one of the most monumental triumphs in sporting history.

For a team which had stared into the abyss, trailing 8-1 at one stage, Oracle did what nobody outside of its catamaran believed it could do.

Oracle, which defeated the Swiss team Alinghi three years ago, held onto its title when it seemed certain to suffer one of the most humiliating defeats the America’s Cup had ever seen.

Live blog: As it happened

America’s Cup 2013 results

Race 18: Oracle Team USA wins by 54 seconds

Race 17: Oracle Team USA wins by 27 secs

Race 16: Oracle Team USA wins by 33 secs

Race 15: Oracle Team USA wins by 37 secs

Race 14: Oracle Team USA wins by 23 secs

Race 13: Oracle Team USA wins by 84 secs

Race 12: Oracle Team USA wins by 31 secs

Race 11: Team New Zealand wins by 15s

Race 10: Team New Zealand wins by 17s

Race 9: Oracle Team USA wins by 47 secs

Race 8: Oracle Team USA wins by 52 secs

Race 7: Team New Zealand wins by 66 secs

Race 6: Team New Zealand wins by 47 secs

Race 5: Team New Zealand wins by 65 secs

Race 4: Oracle Team USA wins by 8 secs

Race 3: Team New Zealand wins by 28 secs

Race 2: Team New Zealand wins by 52 secs

Race 1: Team New Zealand wins by 36 secs

*Oracle deducted two points before opening race

“It had everything,” said Oracle skipper Jimmy Spithill told Sky Sports.

“It was fantastic. We wouldn’t have had it any other way. The guys showed so much heart.”

Backed by billionaire Larry Ellison, who owns a 25% in Oracle, the team pulled off a fairytale ending which money just cannot buy.

The 69-year-old, whose personal fortune is estimated at $41 billion by Forbes Magazine, boarded the boat to take part in the celebrations following a titanic tussle.

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport — but rarely has sailing’s pinnacle event ever been so dramatic.

It speaks volumes that even those who had barely heard of the event last week suddenly became hooked on a race which has been going since 1851.

And yet this contest should have been all over before Wednesday’s fantastic finale with Emirates Team New Zealand having stormed into an 8-1 lead.

In fact, the challenger should have wrapped up the title with victory in race 13 only for it to be abandoned with its yacht just two minutes from the finish line because of a time limit rule.

When the race was rescheduled, Oracle Team USA picked up the win which kept its hopes of a historic comeback alive.

Only on two occasions has the destination of the trophy been unknown going into the final race of the competition.


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Oracle has appeared determined to make life difficult for itself since the start of its defense.

The team was given a two point penalty and fined $250,000 after illegally placing lead pellets in their catamarans to gain extra weight.

The incident also cost three crew members their place on the team.

Read: America’s Cup flying machines

Racing in AC-72 catamarans, the first time these boats have been used in the competition, the crews expect to sail at around 40 knots or 74 kilometers an hour.

Excitement is never far away — but then again, never is danger.

Only last March, British sailor Andrew Simpson died after being trapped under a catamaran in an America’s Cup training session with Swedish team Artemis.

Last October, the Oracle team came perilously close to an accident of their own, while the Emirates boat has also had its own share of scary moments.

But this past fortnight has brought sailing to the forefront of world sport with Oracle’s miraculous fightback set to go down as one of the greatest of all time.

With both teams needing to win the race to get its hands on the trophy, a tight fought affair was expected.

But despite a good start from Team New Zealand, it was the reigning champion which dominated.

Led by Britain’s four time Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie, who replaced John Kostecki as the team tactician with the score at 4-1, Oracle roared back in dramatic fashion.

Ainslie is the first Briton to experience victory at the event since Charlie Barr led the American team Columbia to three consecutive victories in 1899, 1901 and 1903.

The champagne was in full flow by the time Oracle made it back to dry land with fans in raptures at the side of the port.

“It really is all about the team,” added Spithill. “On your own you’re nothing, the team make you look great.

“I’m so proud of the boys. We were staring down the barrel at 8-1 but the boys didn’t even flinch. It was a fantastic team effort.”

Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker was left inconsolable at the conclusion of the titanic tussle.

He added: “I’m incredibly proud of the team and what they’ve achieved but gutted we didn’t get the last win we needed to take the cup back to New Zealand.

“It’s hard to swallow.”


Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/25/sport/americas-cup-oracle-team-usa-team-new-zealand/index.html?eref=edition

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewsRipplesWeb/~3/8-4x-4SRt9k/americas-cup-a-stunning-win

The advert that changed a life

September 26th, 2013 No comments


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CNN’s Human to Hero series screens every week on World Sport. Click here for show times, videos and features.

(CNN) — Some people take many years to find their calling in life — but for Adam van Koeverden, it was right in front of him in black and white.

On a small section of his local newspaper, the Canadian boy who would become an Olympic champion saw his future flash before him.

An advert, in the otherwise unremarkable Oakville Beaver, had caught his mother’s eye. It was calling out for the next kayak superstar — and her son had already tried everything else without much success.

“It was one of those turning points in your life where you look back and you’re like, ‘Wow that day really changed the rest of my life quite significantly,’ ” van Koeverden told CNN’s Human to Hero series.

“It was a long time ago now. I wonder what would have happened with me and where I’d be today if instead of that newspaper article, my mum was reading something different or brought me down to another sports club? Or didn’t at all? I think about that a lot.”

As a 13-year-old who had tried his hand at a whole host of sports including soccer, basketball and volleyball, it was the kayak which caught the imagination of a determined teenager.

After his first foray into the world of paddling, there was never a chance he’d turn back.

“Every kid wants to have something to brag about. I tried out for all the teams growing up but I just wasn’t really showing any signs of any athletic prowess,” van Koeverden said.

“In kayaking it was the sort of a thing I could go out there and practice on my own. It took a lot of concentration.”

Unknown quantity

Some 18 years have passed since he first picked up a paddle, but van Koeverden has lost none of the boyish enthusiasm which propelled him from an unknown to one of the sport’s most famous stars.


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From arriving as a virtual unknown at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he won gold in the K1 500-meter event and bronze in the K1 1,000-meter race, he went on to establish himself as an icon of the sport.

But even now, with four Olympic medals, two World Championship wins and 26 World Cup stage victories to his name, van Koeverden is still desperate for more success.

The opportunity to compete at Rio in 2016 is a huge lure for the man who grew up dreaming of the day he would compete at the greatest Games on earth.

And at the age of 31, that dream still remains — perhaps burning even stronger.

Rio Games

“I’ve definitely committed to Rio,” he said.

“I’m training like I’m training for the Olympics, and it’s just difficult committing to something that’s so far away.

“I really have enjoyed the process of diversification and trying new things but I can’t really get away from the fact that I’m a kayaker and I love to race, and there’s a big race happening in Brazil in a couple of years’ time.

“I’m not going to be too old for it. I don’t want to retire … but I don’t want to be washed up. I don’t want to be the old guy on the water.

“I don’t want to think about retirement and I hope the next phase of my life is just as rewarding and provides me with the same opportunity to work hard.”

Climbing peaks

Van Koeverden has stood on top of the world — in more ways than one — but he has not lost sight of the smaller things in life.

The man who walked into Beijing’s Bird Nest stadium holding the Maple Leaf aloft in 2008 is now busy flying the flag for children across the world who can only dream of becoming a Olympic hero.

In November last year, van Koeverden climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania for charity Right to Play.

By ascending the world’s tallest freestanding mountain — its peak is 5,895 meters (19,336 feet) above sea level — he and six others helped to raise over $100,000 for children across the world.

The scheme runs a whole host of educational programs which include seminars on AIDS and HIV, conflict resolution, healthy active living, sanitation and cleanliness.

Van Koeverden proudly sports a “Right to Play” sticker on his kayak — something which he is often asked about.

“When I’m racing my boat in Europe people always ask me, ‘Is that like a gaming site, are they like your sponsors?’

“It’s a good conversation starter because they don’t know it’s a charity that I do some work with.

“They’re a children-focused charity that is helping to improve lives for those who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to say that they can take sport and play for granted.

“Unfortunately it’s not something everybody globally can take for granted.

“When I was 13, I just wandered into a canoe club and had access to a competitive sport with great coaching and great facility.

“That’s just not available to everybody, so it’s great that the Right to Play is bridging that gap and leveling the playing field.”

A bigger picture

Despite a hectic competition schedule and his constant traveling, the opportunity to help others remains a driving force for van Koeverden.

“It comes down to priorities,” he added.

“I’m tremendously fortunate to be able to do a sport for my living and be a full-time athlete, so any spare time that I have, I should be able to devote to these sorts of efforts.

“It’s easy to turn a blind eye or forget when you’re so focused on moving a kayak, like how obscure that is and how selfish it is in the long run because, really, I can’t think of a more selfish sport.

“I’m in a little boat all by myself out on the water paddling as fast I can every single day just so I can go and win a kayak race.

“While I feel very fortunate, I also know there’s a bigger picture and there’s other things out there that we need to consider and if I can be a part of that then I will.”


Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/25/sport/adam-van-koeverden-canoeing-canada/index.html?eref=edition

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewsRipplesWeb/~3/n5JD362gAvg/the-advert-that-changed-a-life

Racism in soccer: Tackling ‘the Y word’

September 15th, 2013 No comments


Tottenham Hotspur fans have seen the term

(CNN) — English football fans have been warned they face criminal prosecution if they continue to chant a word which has been deemed anti-Semitic.

The English Football Association (FA) have told fans to stop using the word “Yid”, a term which at different times throughout history has been used by Jews and also to abuse them.

Tottenham Hotspur, a north London-based club, are known for having a large number of Jewish supporters. A section of Spurs fans have attempting to reclaim the “Y word” by referring to themselves as the “Yid Army” and chanting it at matches.

But the FA has warned that such practices are no longer acceptable as it continues its fight against discrimination in the English game.

Read: Football grapples with anti-Semitism storm

West Ham have already banned one fan for life after he was cautioned by police for racially aggravated gesturing during their match with Tottenham on Sunday. West Ham's fans are also reported to have aired songs about Adolf Hitler. The FA are to investigate. Tottenham won the game 3-1 with Gareth Bale (left) on the scoresheet.
West Ham have already banned one fan for life after he was cautioned by police for “racially aggravated gesturing” during their match with Tottenham on Sunday. West Ham’s fans are also reported to have aired songs about Adolf Hitler. The FA are to investigate. Tottenham won the game 3-1 with Gareth Bale (left) on the scoresheet.

Neither West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (L) or his Tottenham counterpart Andre Villas-Boas were keen to wade into the controversy. Allardyce told reporters at a post match press call: I don't want to be a political animal -- I'm here to talk about football.Neither West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (L) or his Tottenham counterpart Andre Villas-Boas were keen to wade into the controversy. Allardyce told reporters at a post match press call: “I don’t want to be a political animal — I’m here to talk about football.”

West Ham's Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun took to Twitter to express his view of the chants. He said: I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing. But we need to remember that it was made by a minority group of fans and I'm sure the FA together with West Ham will do everything to find and punish them.
West Ham’s Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun took to Twitter to express his view of the chants. He said: “I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing. But we need to remember that it was made by a minority group of fans and I’m sure the FA together with West Ham will do everything to find and punish them.”

A group of Tottenham fans were attacked before their recent Europa League match with Lazio as they drank in the city center. One supporter is still in hospital suffering from stab wounds. West Ham's fans allegedly made reference to the incident in their chants.A group of Tottenham fans were attacked before their recent Europa League match with Lazio as they drank in the city center. One supporter is still in hospital suffering from stab wounds. West Ham’s fans allegedly made reference to the incident in their chants.

A section of Lazio fans unfurled a Free Palestine banner during the 0-0 Europa League draw with Tottenham, which was marred by anti-Semitic chanting from the home supporters. Tottenham traditionally have a strong Jewish following.A section of Lazio fans unfurled a “Free Palestine” banner during the 0-0 Europa League draw with Tottenham, which was marred by anti-Semitic chanting from the home supporters. Tottenham traditionally have a strong Jewish following.

Just last week Chelsea's complaint that Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg aimed racist language at midfielder Jon Obi Mikel was dismissed by the Football Association due to a lack of evidence.Just last week Chelsea’s complaint that Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg aimed racist language at midfielder Jon Obi Mikel was dismissed by the Football Association due to a lack of evidence.

Chelsea's John Terry (L) was found not guilty in a criminal court of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand but received a four-match ban from the FA and a $356,000 fine for calling his opponent a f*****g black c***.Chelsea’s John Terry (L) was found not guilty in a criminal court of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand but received a four-match ban from the FA and a $356,000 fine for calling his opponent a “f*****g black c***.”

Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez served an eight-match ban in the 2011/12 season for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. Suarez maintained his innocence but Liverpool were heavily criticized for their handling of the case.Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez served an eight-match ban in the 2011/12 season for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. Suarez maintained his innocence but Liverpool were heavily criticized for their handling of the case.


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Hammers vow action on anti-Semitic chantsHammers vow action on anti-Semitic chants

Racism has long been a stain on football but a resurgence of incidents in recent years has prompted soccer's authorities to launch a renewed bid to rid the game of discrimination for good. Here a Fenerbahce fan holds a banana towards Galatasaray's Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba during a Turkish league match in May 2013.Racism has long been a stain on football but a resurgence of incidents in recent years has prompted soccer’s authorities to launch a renewed bid to rid the game of discrimination for good. Here a Fenerbahce fan holds a banana towards Galatasaray’s Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba during a Turkish league match in May 2013.

The spark for a raft of racism reforms from the game's power brokers came when AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off in a match with Italian lower league side Pro Patria in January after their fans abused him with monkey noises. The game was abandoned and his protest made headline news the world over.
The spark for a raft of racism reforms from the game’s power brokers came when AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off in a match with Italian lower league side Pro Patria in January after their fans abused him with monkey noises. The game was abandoned and his protest made headline news the world over.

CNN's Pedro Pinto stands on the spot where Boateng decided he'd had enough. He told the World Sport Presents Racism in Football documentary: I decided to walk off the pitch because I said to myself, in this kind of environment, in this situation, I don't want to play football anymore.CNN’s Pedro Pinto stands on the spot where Boateng decided he’d had enough. He told the World Sport Presents Racism in Football documentary: “I decided to walk off the pitch because I said to myself, in this kind of environment, in this situation, I don’t want to play football anymore.”

Boateng's AC Milan teammate Mario Balotelli has been the subject of racial abuse over a number of years. He and Boateng were abused by AS Roma fans during a match at the San Siro in May that was briefly suspended by the officials as a result. A public address announcement implored visiting supporters to stop their chants.
Boateng’s AC Milan teammate Mario Balotelli has been the subject of racial abuse over a number of years. He and Boateng were abused by AS Roma fans during a match at the San Siro in May that was briefly suspended by the officials as a result. A public address announcement implored visiting supporters to stop their chants.

Balotelli has had to deal with racism throughout his career. As far back as 2009, when he played for Inter, he was racially abused by opposing Juventus fans. Here, Inter's fans hold up banners in support of the striker.Balotelli has had to deal with racism throughout his career. As far back as 2009, when he played for Inter, he was racially abused by opposing Juventus fans. Here, Inter’s fans hold up banners in support of the striker.

Balotelli told Pedro Pinto he was prepared to walk off if he receives more racial abuse: After what happened to me in (the Roma) game, I felt a little bit alone when I was home. I always said that if that happened in the stadium, like if nobody said anything, I don't care. But this time I think I changed my mind a little bit, and if it is going to happen one more time, I'm going to leave the pitch because it's so stupid.Balotelli told Pedro Pinto he was prepared to walk off if he receives more racial abuse: “After what happened to me in (the Roma) game, I felt a little bit alone when I was home. I always said that if that happened in the stadium, like if nobody said anything, I don’t care. But this time I think I changed my mind a little bit, and if it is going to happen one more time, I’m going to leave the pitch because it’s so stupid.”

Boateng's walk-off prompted the game's governing body to act and FIFA president Sepp Blatter invited the midfielder to sit on a task force dedicated to tackling racism in football. A raft of reforms have now been passed that could see teams relegated or expelled from competitions.Boateng’s walk-off prompted the game’s governing body to act and FIFA president Sepp Blatter invited the midfielder to sit on a task force dedicated to tackling racism in football. A raft of reforms have now been passed that could see teams relegated or expelled from competitions.

The head of FIFA's racism task force, Jeffrey Webb, told CNN the new measures could be a defining moment in the fight against racism and discrimination. He labeled the recent abuse of Balotelli and Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba as ignorant and unbelievable.The head of FIFA’s racism task force, Jeffrey Webb, told CNN the new measures could be “a defining moment in the fight against racism and discrimination.” He labeled the recent abuse of Balotelli and Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba as “ignorant” and “unbelievable.”

Blatter's new-found vigor to tackle racism was at odds with his sentiments in a 2011 interview with CNN when he expressed his belief that there was no on-field racism in football and that players who think they have been abused should simply say this is a game. He later said his comments had been misinterpreted.
Blatter’s new-found vigor to tackle racism was at odds with his sentiments in a 2011 interview with CNN when he expressed his belief that there was no on-field racism in football and that players who think they have been abused should simply say “this is a game.” He later said his comments had been misinterpreted.

One of the most high-profile incidents in England saw Liverpool striker Luis Suarez banned for eight-matches for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra in October 2011. Prior to the teams' return fixture the following February, Suarez refused to shake Evra's hand. Suarez subsequently apologized.One of the most high-profile incidents in England saw Liverpool striker Luis Suarez banned for eight-matches for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra in October 2011. Prior to the teams’ return fixture the following February, Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand. Suarez subsequently apologized.

Former England captain John Terry was found not guilty in a criminal court of racially abusing rival footballer Anton Ferdinand but was banned for four-matches by the Football Association. He accepted the charge, a 220,000 fine and apologized, saying: I accept that the language I used, regardless of the context, is not acceptable on the football field or indeed in any walk of life.
Former England captain John Terry was found not guilty in a criminal court of racially abusing rival footballer Anton Ferdinand but was banned for four-matches by the Football Association. He accepted the charge, a £220,000 fine and apologized, saying: “I accept that the language I used, regardless of the context, is not acceptable on the football field or indeed in any walk of life.”

The Serbian Football Association was hit with an $84,000 fine after a brawl between their under-21 team and England's in the city of Krusevac in October 2012. England player Danny Rose (far right) said he had been subjected to monkey chants throughout the game. The Serbian FA insisted their fine was for the altercation.The Serbian Football Association was hit with an $84,000 fine after a brawl between their under-21 team and England’s in the city of Krusevac in October 2012. England player Danny Rose (far right) said he had been subjected to monkey chants throughout the game. The Serbian FA insisted their fine was for the altercation.

Serbian fans are renowned for creating an intimidating atmosphere, as CNN discovered at the Belgrade derby in May. Despite previous incidents, there was no hint of racism in the match, though the Serbian Football Association's technical director Savo Milosevic did reveal they have no program in place to tackle racism.Serbian fans are renowned for creating an intimidating atmosphere, as CNN discovered at the Belgrade derby in May. Despite previous incidents, there was no hint of racism in the match, though the Serbian Football Association’s technical director Savo Milosevic did reveal they have no program in place to tackle racism.

European football's governing body, UEFA also passed new laws on racism. They introduced a minimum 10-match ban for racist abuse by players or officials and escalating measures for clubs including fines and stadium closures for repeat offenders.
European football’s governing body, UEFA also passed new laws on racism. They introduced a minimum 10-match ban for racist abuse by players or officials and escalating measures for clubs including fines and stadium closures for repeat offenders.

Various initiatives across Europe's leagues help to try and combat racism and offer opportunities to those communities that are under represented at the top of the game. The Asian Stars event, recently held at Chelsea's training ground, aims to encourage participation among aspiring Asian players at all levels of football.Various initiatives across Europe’s leagues help to try and combat racism and offer opportunities to those communities that are under represented at the top of the game. The Asian Stars event, recently held at Chelsea’s training ground, aims to encourage participation among aspiring Asian players at all levels of football.


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Racism in footballRacism in football

AC Milan's Mario Balotelli reacts to racist abuse from the visiting Roma fans at the San Siro in May. It was not the first time the Italian-born striker has been racially abused in Serie A.AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli reacts to racist abuse from the visiting Roma fans at the San Siro in May. It was not the first time the Italian-born striker has been racially abused in Serie A.

Serie A side Lazio has already been punished four times in the 2012-13 season due to racist offenses by its fans in European matches.Serie A side Lazio has already been punished four times in the 2012-13 season due to racist offenses by its fans in European matches.

I don't care what game it is -- a friendly, Italian league or Champions League match -- I would walk off again, the Germany-born Kevin-Prince Boateng, who has represented Ghana, told CNN in an exclusive interview in January after he walked off in protest at racist abuse he was subjected to in a friendly match. “I don’t care what game it is — a friendly, Italian league or Champions League match — I would walk off again,” the Germany-born Kevin-Prince Boateng, who has represented Ghana, told CNN in an exclusive interview in January after he walked off in protest at racist abuse he was subjected to in a friendly match.

I'm sad and angry that I'm the one that has to take action, added the AC Milan midfielder. All the people who support me would support me in a big game. Players like Rio Ferdinand and Patrick Vieira have supported me and I just want to say thank you.
“I’m sad and angry that I’m the one that has to take action,” added the AC Milan midfielder. “All the people who support me would support me in a big game. Players like Rio Ferdinand and Patrick Vieira have supported me and I just want to say thank you.”

At the end of January, Boateng had a new teammate after AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi sanctioned a $30 million deal to sign striker Mario Balotelli from Manchester City. Berlusconi had previously branded Balotelli a rotten apple. At the end of January, Boateng had a new teammate after AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi sanctioned a $30 million deal to sign striker Mario Balotelli from Manchester City. Berlusconi had previously branded Balotelli a “rotten apple.”

La Stampa newspaper estimated that the signing of Super Mario could have been worth 400,000 votes in Berlusconi's bid for re-election in Italy back in February. La Stampa newspaper estimated that the signing of “Super Mario” could have been worth 400,000 votes in Berlusconi’s bid for re-election in Italy back in February.

Before moving to England, the Italy-born Balotelli played for AC Milan's rivals Inter Milan, and during one Serie A match against Juventus the Turin club's fans once shouted: There are no black Italians.Before moving to England, the Italy-born Balotelli played for AC Milan’s rivals Inter Milan, and during one Serie A match against Juventus the Turin club’s fans once shouted: “There are no black Italians.”

Soon after Balotelli returned to Italy, Inter Milan were fined $20,000 after racist chants from their fans about the AC Milan's striker at a match against Chievo. Inter play AC in the Milan derby on February 24.Soon after Balotelli returned to Italy, Inter Milan were fined $20,000 after racist chants from their fans about the AC Milan’s striker at a match against Chievo. Inter play AC in the Milan derby on February 24.

Berlusconi is an opportunist, who will say anything to win short-term support, Italian historian John Foot -- the author of the authoritative book on Italian football Calcio -- told CNN, in reference to the AC Milan owner's support for Boateng after the player walked off the pitch. His comments are hypocritical at best, especially given his alliance with anti-immigrant and far-right parties, and his comments on Barack Obama (he called him 'sun-tanned'), added Foot. Berlusconi is pictured in the center, wearing a scarf.“Berlusconi is an opportunist, who will say anything to win short-term support,” Italian historian John Foot — the author of the authoritative book on Italian football “Calcio” — told CNN, in reference to the AC Milan owner’s support for Boateng after the player walked off the pitch. “His comments are hypocritical at best, especially given his alliance with anti-immigrant and far-right parties, and his comments on Barack Obama (he called him ‘sun-tanned’),” added Foot. Berlusconi is pictured in the center, wearing a scarf.

Soon after Balotelli returned to Serie A, Berlusconi's brother Paolo -- during a political rally -- invited the public to an upcoming AC Milan match and was caught on camera -- the video was featured on the website of Italian newspaper La Repubblica -- saying: OK, we are all off to see the family's little black boy. Paolo is pictured here, wearing glasses.Soon after Balotelli returned to Serie A, Berlusconi’s brother Paolo — during a political rally — invited the public to an upcoming AC Milan match and was caught on camera — the video was featured on the website of Italian newspaper La Repubblica — saying: “OK, we are all off to see the family’s little black boy.” Paolo is pictured here, wearing glasses.

I don't think you can run away, because then the team should have to forfeit the match, FIFA president Sepp Blatter told Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper. This issue is a very touchy subject, but I repeat there is zero tolerance of racism in the stadium, we have to go against that. The only solution is to be very harsh with the sanctions (against racism) -- and the sanctions must be a deduction of points or something similar.“I don’t think you can run away, because then the team should have to forfeit the match,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter told Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper. “This issue is a very touchy subject, but I repeat there is zero tolerance of racism in the stadium, we have to go against that. The only solution is to be very harsh with the sanctions (against racism) — and the sanctions must be a deduction of points or something similar.”

Two days after Boateng's walkoff, some sections of Lazio's crowd at Rome's Olympic Stadium were heard making monkey noises at Cagliari's Colombian striker Victor Ibarbo. However, the majority of the home crowd jeered and whistled to drown out the racists.Two days after Boateng’s walkoff, some sections of Lazio’s crowd at Rome’s Olympic Stadium were heard making monkey noises at Cagliari’s Colombian striker Victor Ibarbo. However, the majority of the home crowd jeered and whistled to drown out the racists.

In 2010, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o suffered racist abuse from Cagliari fans when playing for Inter Milan in a Serie A game. The Sardinian club was subsequently heavily fined.In 2010, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o suffered racist abuse from Cagliari fans when playing for Inter Milan in a Serie A game. The Sardinian club was subsequently heavily fined.

In 2005 the Italian authorities banned Paolo di Canio -- then playing for Lazio -- and fined him almost $11,000 for his use of a straight-arm salute. The sports court decided that it was an act of racism, the head of Italy's Observatory on Racism and Anti-racism in Football, Mauro Valeri, told CNN. The ordinary court, however, did not intervene. For me it's racism, for the Ministry of the Interior, no. Di Canio is now manager of English club Swindon Town.In 2005 the Italian authorities banned Paolo di Canio — then playing for Lazio — and fined him almost $11,000 for his use of a straight-arm salute. “The sports court decided that it was an act of racism,” the head of Italy’s Observatory on Racism and Anti-racism in Football, Mauro Valeri, told CNN. “The ordinary court, however, did not intervene. For me it’s racism, for the Ministry of the Interior, no.” Di Canio is now manager of English club Swindon Town.

While English football embarked on a program of stadium reconstruction after the 1980s disasters at Bradford, Heysel (pictured) and Hillsborough, Italian football has been arguably hampered by a lack of stadium redevelopment. While English football embarked on a program of stadium reconstruction after the 1980s disasters at Bradford, Heysel (pictured) and Hillsborough, Italian football has been arguably hampered by a lack of stadium redevelopment.

Of Serie A's big clubs, only Juventus has built a new stadium in recent years.Of Serie A’s big clubs, only Juventus has built a new stadium in recent years.

The Italian Ministry of the Interior has introduced an identity document -- tessera del tifoso -- for supporters to counteract hooliganism. In order to buy match tickets, fans must present their document, with the system designed to ensure away fans can't buy home tickets for games.The Italian Ministry of the Interior has introduced an identity document — “tessera del tifoso” — for supporters to counteract hooliganism. In order to buy match tickets, fans must present their document, with the system designed to ensure away fans can’t buy “home” tickets for games.

Owen Neilson is writing a book about Italian football grounds, Stadio: The Life and Death of Italian Football. If a stadia revolution is undertaken in Italy -- as it has happened in England -- a layer of culture unique to Italy will be tarmacked over, with 'Juventus Stadium' type replacements, said Neilson. Football will be changed again in favor of profit and central figures in a club's history, such as Giuseppe Meazza (who played for both AC Milan and Inter) or Romeo Menti (Vincenza), will be moved from the spotlight . That will be a real loss.Owen Neilson is writing a book about Italian football grounds, “Stadio: The Life and Death of Italian Football.” “If a stadia revolution is undertaken in Italy — as it has happened in England — a layer of culture unique to Italy will be tarmacked over, with ‘Juventus Stadium’ type replacements,” said Neilson. “Football will be changed again in favor of profit and central figures in a club’s history, such as Giuseppe Meazza (who played for both AC Milan and Inter) or Romeo Menti (Vincenza), will be moved from the spotlight . That will be a real loss.”

The Football Italian Federation, FIFA and UEFA must empower fan-based initiatives that are capable of creating a culture of self-regulation, Professor Clifford Stott, who has advised governments and police forces internationally on crowd management policy and practice, told CNN.“The Football Italian Federation, FIFA and UEFA must empower fan-based initiatives that are capable of creating a culture of self-regulation,” Professor Clifford Stott, who has advised governments and police forces internationally on crowd management policy and practice, told CNN.


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Italy's complex racism problemItaly’s complex racism problem

“We are committed to tackling discrimination in all its forms and that includes anti-Semitic behavior in football,” FA general secretary Alex Horne said in a statement.

“The Y-word has no place in our game and its use in stadiums can result in a football banning order. We are determined that everyone can enjoy football in a fan friendly and safe environment.”

The FA also stated that, while it understands the motives of fans attempting to reclaim an offensive term, it still deems the word a discriminatory slur.

“The FA appreciates that language is a complex issue: the use and meaning of words is constantly evolving,” read a statement.

“This means that, over time, sometimes neutral words or phrases can come to be understood as offensive; and, similarly, words or phrases previously considered as offensive can become more acceptable.

“Although the term derives from the Yiddish word for a Jew, its use in the English language has been, both historically and in contemporary use, derogatory and offensive.

“It is noted that many minority communities have sought to reclaim historic terms of abuse such as this as a means of empowerment. The process of empowerment through reclaiming language is complex and can often divide opinion within the same community.

“In light of the historic and contemporary use of the term, The FA considers that the use of the term ‘Yid’ is likely to be considered offensive by the reasonable observer.”

Read: Anti-Semitic chants mar Spurs match

Speaking on behalf of Maccabi GB, a British charity aimed at promoting Jewish participation in sports, Dave Rich declared the word does not have a place in modern language due to its associations with fascist views of Oswald Mosley, a politician during the early decades of the 20th century.

“The Y-word causes offense to many people, Jewish and non-Jewish, however it is intended,” said Rich.

“Its historic association with Mosley’s fascists and continued use by antisemites outside football mean that it has no place in football grounds or anywhere else.”


Racism in Football: Part 1


Racism in Football: Part 2


Racism in Football: Part 3

Raymond Simonson, chief executive of the Jewish Community Center in London, says he has no problem with fellow Tottenham fans using the word, although he cannot bring himself to say it out loud.

He told CNN World Sport: “I’ve had that word spat at me in the street, had the word scrawled over my exercise book at school and been held up by the scruff of my neck and had that word shouted at me.

“That word has a lot of meaning for me and it’s the reason I can’t say the word.

“The problems with words which have racist connotations is that it’s about context.

“When I go to football matches and I have to listen to fans, a minority mind you, hissing to make the sounds of the gas chambers,I don’t believe anybody can tell me the reason they do it is because some Spurs fans are singing a song about Jermain Defoe which rhymes with the ”y” word.”

Tottenham explained how the uses of the term by their fans was a “defense mechanism” rather than a deliberate attempt to insult the Jewish community.

“Last season saw a number of incidents where fans were targeted by allegedly far-right activists on the continent and subjected to anti-Semitic abuse by opposition fans,” said a club spokesman. “Subsequently, the debate on this issue has two key considerations.

“Firstly, whether or not its use now plays a role in deflecting or attracting unjustified abuse, abuse that is inexcusable on any grounds; and secondly, whether it is liable to cause offense to others even if unintentionally. Our fans have themselves engaged in this debate following the events of last season.

“We recognize that this is a complex debate and that, in the interests of encouraging a positive and safe environment for all supporters, consideration should be given to the appropriateness and suitability of its continued use.

“We are already in the process of engaging with our fans and shall be consulting more widely in due course.”

But Peter Herbert, chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, believes Tottenham supporters must take more responsibility in tackling the issue.

“We’re not blaming Spurs fans,” he told CNN World Sport.

“But they have to take responsibility. Those same fans would not dare use that word on a Saturday afternoon outside the ground. You cannot have an area of London which is ring fenced for racism or anti-Semitism.”

In recent years, the FA has shown its sensitivity to the concerns of the English football’s Jewish community.

The England national team paid a visit to the World War II concentration camp Auschwitz I in Berkanau ahead of the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine last year.

In October, England manager Roy Hodgson will open the “Four Four Jew” exhibition at the Jewish Museum London.

The exhibition celebrates the Jewish community’s contribution to British football.


Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/12/sport/football/tottenham-hotspur-yid-anti-semitism-football/index.html?eref=edition

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewsRipplesWeb/~3/Lj6oSTI8pIE/racism-in-soccer-tackling-the-y-word

‘The Y word’

September 13th, 2013 No comments


Tottenham Hotspur fans have seen the term

(CNN) — English football fans have been warned they face criminal prosecution if they continue to chant a word which has been deemed anti-Semitic.

The English Football Association (FA) have told fans to stop using the word “Yid”, a term which at different times throughout history has been used by Jews and also to abuse them.

Tottenham Hotspur, a north London-based club, are known for having a large number of Jewish supporters. A section of Spurs fans have attempting to reclaim the “Y word” by referring to themselves as the “Yid Army” and chanting it at matches.

But the FA has warned that such practices are no longer acceptable as it continues its fight against discrimination in the English game.

Read: Football grapples with anti-Semitism storm

West Ham have already banned one fan for life after he was cautioned by police for racially aggravated gesturing during their match with Tottenham on Sunday. West Ham's fans are also reported to have aired songs about Adolf Hitler. The FA are to investigate. Tottenham won the game 3-1 with Gareth Bale (left) on the scoresheet.
West Ham have already banned one fan for life after he was cautioned by police for “racially aggravated gesturing” during their match with Tottenham on Sunday. West Ham’s fans are also reported to have aired songs about Adolf Hitler. The FA are to investigate. Tottenham won the game 3-1 with Gareth Bale (left) on the scoresheet.

Neither West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (L) or his Tottenham counterpart Andre Villas-Boas were keen to wade into the controversy. Allardyce told reporters at a post match press call: I don't want to be a political animal -- I'm here to talk about football.Neither West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (L) or his Tottenham counterpart Andre Villas-Boas were keen to wade into the controversy. Allardyce told reporters at a post match press call: “I don’t want to be a political animal — I’m here to talk about football.”

West Ham's Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun took to Twitter to express his view of the chants. He said: I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing. But we need to remember that it was made by a minority group of fans and I'm sure the FA together with West Ham will do everything to find and punish them.
West Ham’s Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun took to Twitter to express his view of the chants. He said: “I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing. But we need to remember that it was made by a minority group of fans and I’m sure the FA together with West Ham will do everything to find and punish them.”

A group of Tottenham fans were attacked before their recent Europa League match with Lazio as they drank in the city center. One supporter is still in hospital suffering from stab wounds. West Ham's fans allegedly made reference to the incident in their chants.A group of Tottenham fans were attacked before their recent Europa League match with Lazio as they drank in the city center. One supporter is still in hospital suffering from stab wounds. West Ham’s fans allegedly made reference to the incident in their chants.

A section of Lazio fans unfurled a Free Palestine banner during the 0-0 Europa League draw with Tottenham, which was marred by anti-Semitic chanting from the home supporters. Tottenham traditionally have a strong Jewish following.A section of Lazio fans unfurled a “Free Palestine” banner during the 0-0 Europa League draw with Tottenham, which was marred by anti-Semitic chanting from the home supporters. Tottenham traditionally have a strong Jewish following.

Just last week Chelsea’s complaint that Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg aimed racist language at midfielder Jon Obi Mikel was dismissed by the Football Association due to a lack of evidence.

Chelsea's John Terry (L) was found not guilty in a criminal court of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand but received a four-match ban from the FA and a $356,000 fine for calling his opponent a f*****g black c***.Chelsea’s John Terry (L) was found not guilty in a criminal court of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand but received a four-match ban from the FA and a $356,000 fine for calling his opponent a “f*****g black c***.”

Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez served an eight-match ban in the 2011/12 season for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. Suarez maintained his innocence but Liverpool were heavily criticized for their handling of the case.Liverpool’s Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez served an eight-match ban in the 2011/12 season for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. Suarez maintained his innocence but Liverpool were heavily criticized for their handling of the case.


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Hammers vow action on anti-Semitic chantsHammers vow action on anti-Semitic chants

Racism has long been a stain on football but a resurgence of incidents in recent years has prompted soccer's authorities to launch a renewed bid to rid the game of discrimination for good. Here a Fenerbahce fan holds a banana towards Galatasaray's Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba during a Turkish league match in May 2013.Racism has long been a stain on football but a resurgence of incidents in recent years has prompted soccer’s authorities to launch a renewed bid to rid the game of discrimination for good. Here a Fenerbahce fan holds a banana towards Galatasaray’s Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba during a Turkish league match in May 2013.

The spark for a raft of racism reforms from the game's power brokers came when AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off in a match with Italian lower league side Pro Patria in January after their fans abused him with monkey noises. The game was abandoned and his protest made headline news the world over.
The spark for a raft of racism reforms from the game’s power brokers came when AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng walked off in a match with Italian lower league side Pro Patria in January after their fans abused him with monkey noises. The game was abandoned and his protest made headline news the world over.

CNN's Pedro Pinto stands on the spot where Boateng decided he'd had enough. He told the World Sport Presents Racism in Football documentary: I decided to walk off the pitch because I said to myself, in this kind of environment, in this situation, I don't want to play football anymore.CNN’s Pedro Pinto stands on the spot where Boateng decided he’d had enough. He told the World Sport Presents Racism in Football documentary: “I decided to walk off the pitch because I said to myself, in this kind of environment, in this situation, I don’t want to play football anymore.”

Boateng's AC Milan teammate Mario Balotelli has been the subject of racial abuse over a number of years. He and Boateng were abused by AS Roma fans during a match at the San Siro in May that was briefly suspended by the officials as a result. A public address announcement implored visiting supporters to stop their chants.
Boateng’s AC Milan teammate Mario Balotelli has been the subject of racial abuse over a number of years. He and Boateng were abused by AS Roma fans during a match at the San Siro in May that was briefly suspended by the officials as a result. A public address announcement implored visiting supporters to stop their chants.

Balotelli has had to deal with racism throughout his career. As far back as 2009, when he played for Inter, he was racially abused by opposing Juventus fans. Here, Inter's fans hold up banners in support of the striker.Balotelli has had to deal with racism throughout his career. As far back as 2009, when he played for Inter, he was racially abused by opposing Juventus fans. Here, Inter’s fans hold up banners in support of the striker.

Balotelli told Pedro Pinto he was prepared to walk off if he receives more racial abuse: After what happened to me in (the Roma) game, I felt a little bit alone when I was home. I always said that if that happened in the stadium, like if nobody said anything, I don't care. But this time I think I changed my mind a little bit, and if it is going to happen one more time, I'm going to leave the pitch because it's so stupid.Balotelli told Pedro Pinto he was prepared to walk off if he receives more racial abuse: “After what happened to me in (the Roma) game, I felt a little bit alone when I was home. I always said that if that happened in the stadium, like if nobody said anything, I don’t care. But this time I think I changed my mind a little bit, and if it is going to happen one more time, I’m going to leave the pitch because it’s so stupid.”

Boateng's walk-off prompted the game's governing body to act and FIFA president Sepp Blatter invited the midfielder to sit on a task force dedicated to tackling racism in football. A raft of reforms have now been passed that could see teams relegated or expelled from competitions.Boateng’s walk-off prompted the game’s governing body to act and FIFA president Sepp Blatter invited the midfielder to sit on a task force dedicated to tackling racism in football. A raft of reforms have now been passed that could see teams relegated or expelled from competitions.

The head of FIFA's racism task force, Jeffrey Webb, told CNN the new measures could be a defining moment in the fight against racism and discrimination. He labeled the recent abuse of Balotelli and Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba as ignorant and unbelievable.The head of FIFA’s racism task force, Jeffrey Webb, told CNN the new measures could be “a defining moment in the fight against racism and discrimination.” He labeled the recent abuse of Balotelli and Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba as “ignorant” and “unbelievable.”

Blatter's new-found vigor to tackle racism was at odds with his sentiments in a 2011 interview with CNN when he expressed his belief that there was no on-field racism in football and that players who think they have been abused should simply say this is a game. He later said his comments had been misinterpreted.
Blatter’s new-found vigor to tackle racism was at odds with his sentiments in a 2011 interview with CNN when he expressed his belief that there was no on-field racism in football and that players who think they have been abused should simply say “this is a game.” He later said his comments had been misinterpreted.

One of the most high-profile incidents in England saw Liverpool striker Luis Suarez banned for eight-matches for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra in October 2011. Prior to the teams' return fixture the following February, Suarez refused to shake Evra's hand. Suarez subsequently apologized.One of the most high-profile incidents in England saw Liverpool striker Luis Suarez banned for eight-matches for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra in October 2011. Prior to the teams’ return fixture the following February, Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand. Suarez subsequently apologized.

Former England captain John Terry was found not guilty in a criminal court of racially abusing rival footballer Anton Ferdinand but was banned for four-matches by the Football Association. He accepted the charge, a 220,000 fine and apologized, saying: I accept that the language I used, regardless of the context, is not acceptable on the football field or indeed in any walk of life.
Former England captain John Terry was found not guilty in a criminal court of racially abusing rival footballer Anton Ferdinand but was banned for four-matches by the Football Association. He accepted the charge, a £220,000 fine and apologized, saying: “I accept that the language I used, regardless of the context, is not acceptable on the football field or indeed in any walk of life.”

The Serbian Football Association was hit with an $84,000 fine after a brawl between their under-21 team and England's in the city of Krusevac in October 2012. England player Danny Rose (far right) said he had been subjected to monkey chants throughout the game. The Serbian FA insisted their fine was for the altercation.The Serbian Football Association was hit with an $84,000 fine after a brawl between their under-21 team and England’s in the city of Krusevac in October 2012. England player Danny Rose (far right) said he had been subjected to monkey chants throughout the game. The Serbian FA insisted their fine was for the altercation.

Serbian fans are renowned for creating an intimidating atmosphere, as CNN discovered at the Belgrade derby in May. Despite previous incidents, there was no hint of racism in the match, though the Serbian Football Association's technical director Savo Milosevic did reveal they have no program in place to tackle racism.Serbian fans are renowned for creating an intimidating atmosphere, as CNN discovered at the Belgrade derby in May. Despite previous incidents, there was no hint of racism in the match, though the Serbian Football Association’s technical director Savo Milosevic did reveal they have no program in place to tackle racism.

European football's governing body, UEFA also passed new laws on racism. They introduced a minimum 10-match ban for racist abuse by players or officials and escalating measures for clubs including fines and stadium closures for repeat offenders.
European football’s governing body, UEFA also passed new laws on racism. They introduced a minimum 10-match ban for racist abuse by players or officials and escalating measures for clubs including fines and stadium closures for repeat offenders.

Various initiatives across Europe's leagues help to try and combat racism and offer opportunities to those communities that are under represented at the top of the game. The Asian Stars event, recently held at Chelsea's training ground, aims to encourage participation among aspiring Asian players at all levels of football.Various initiatives across Europe’s leagues help to try and combat racism and offer opportunities to those communities that are under represented at the top of the game. The Asian Stars event, recently held at Chelsea’s training ground, aims to encourage participation among aspiring Asian players at all levels of football.


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Racism in footballRacism in football

AC Milan's Mario Balotelli reacts to racist abuse from the visiting Roma fans at the San Siro in May. It was not the first time the Italian-born striker has been racially abused in Serie A.AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli reacts to racist abuse from the visiting Roma fans at the San Siro in May. It was not the first time the Italian-born striker has been racially abused in Serie A.

Serie A side Lazio has already been punished four times in the 2012-13 season due to racist offenses by its fans in European matches.Serie A side Lazio has already been punished four times in the 2012-13 season due to racist offenses by its fans in European matches.

I don't care what game it is -- a friendly, Italian league or Champions League match -- I would walk off again, the Germany-born Kevin-Prince Boateng, who has represented Ghana, told CNN in an exclusive interview in January after he walked off in protest at racist abuse he was subjected to in a friendly match. “I don’t care what game it is — a friendly, Italian league or Champions League match — I would walk off again,” the Germany-born Kevin-Prince Boateng, who has represented Ghana, told CNN in an exclusive interview in January after he walked off in protest at racist abuse he was subjected to in a friendly match.

I'm sad and angry that I'm the one that has to take action, added the AC Milan midfielder. All the people who support me would support me in a big game. Players like Rio Ferdinand and Patrick Vieira have supported me and I just want to say thank you.
“I’m sad and angry that I’m the one that has to take action,” added the AC Milan midfielder. “All the people who support me would support me in a big game. Players like Rio Ferdinand and Patrick Vieira have supported me and I just want to say thank you.”

At the end of January, Boateng had a new teammate after AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi sanctioned a $30 million deal to sign striker Mario Balotelli from Manchester City. Berlusconi had previously branded Balotelli a rotten apple. At the end of January, Boateng had a new teammate after AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi sanctioned a $30 million deal to sign striker Mario Balotelli from Manchester City. Berlusconi had previously branded Balotelli a “rotten apple.”

La Stampa newspaper estimated that the signing of Super Mario could have been worth 400,000 votes in Berlusconi's bid for re-election in Italy back in February. La Stampa newspaper estimated that the signing of “Super Mario” could have been worth 400,000 votes in Berlusconi’s bid for re-election in Italy back in February.

Before moving to England, the Italy-born Balotelli played for AC Milan's rivals Inter Milan, and during one Serie A match against Juventus the Turin club's fans once shouted: There are no black Italians.Before moving to England, the Italy-born Balotelli played for AC Milan’s rivals Inter Milan, and during one Serie A match against Juventus the Turin club’s fans once shouted: “There are no black Italians.”

Soon after Balotelli returned to Italy, Inter Milan were fined $20,000 after racist chants from their fans about the AC Milan's striker at a match against Chievo. Inter play AC in the Milan derby on February 24.Soon after Balotelli returned to Italy, Inter Milan were fined $20,000 after racist chants from their fans about the AC Milan’s striker at a match against Chievo. Inter play AC in the Milan derby on February 24.

Berlusconi is an opportunist, who will say anything to win short-term support, Italian historian John Foot -- the author of the authoritative book on Italian football Calcio -- told CNN, in reference to the AC Milan owner's support for Boateng after the player walked off the pitch. His comments are hypocritical at best, especially given his alliance with anti-immigrant and far-right parties, and his comments on Barack Obama (he called him 'sun-tanned'), added Foot. Berlusconi is pictured in the center, wearing a scarf.“Berlusconi is an opportunist, who will say anything to win short-term support,” Italian historian John Foot — the author of the authoritative book on Italian football “Calcio” — told CNN, in reference to the AC Milan owner’s support for Boateng after the player walked off the pitch. “His comments are hypocritical at best, especially given his alliance with anti-immigrant and far-right parties, and his comments on Barack Obama (he called him ‘sun-tanned’),” added Foot. Berlusconi is pictured in the center, wearing a scarf.

Soon after Balotelli returned to Serie A, Berlusconi's brother Paolo -- during a political rally -- invited the public to an upcoming AC Milan match and was caught on camera -- the video was featured on the website of Italian newspaper La Repubblica -- saying: OK, we are all off to see the family's little black boy. Paolo is pictured here, wearing glasses.Soon after Balotelli returned to Serie A, Berlusconi’s brother Paolo — during a political rally — invited the public to an upcoming AC Milan match and was caught on camera — the video was featured on the website of Italian newspaper La Repubblica — saying: “OK, we are all off to see the family’s little black boy.” Paolo is pictured here, wearing glasses.

I don't think you can run away, because then the team should have to forfeit the match, FIFA president Sepp Blatter told Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper. This issue is a very touchy subject, but I repeat there is zero tolerance of racism in the stadium, we have to go against that. The only solution is to be very harsh with the sanctions (against racism) -- and the sanctions must be a deduction of points or something similar.“I don’t think you can run away, because then the team should have to forfeit the match,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter told Abu Dhabi’s The National newspaper. “This issue is a very touchy subject, but I repeat there is zero tolerance of racism in the stadium, we have to go against that. The only solution is to be very harsh with the sanctions (against racism) — and the sanctions must be a deduction of points or something similar.”

Two days after Boateng's walkoff, some sections of Lazio's crowd at Rome's Olympic Stadium were heard making monkey noises at Cagliari's Colombian striker Victor Ibarbo. However, the majority of the home crowd jeered and whistled to drown out the racists.Two days after Boateng’s walkoff, some sections of Lazio’s crowd at Rome’s Olympic Stadium were heard making monkey noises at Cagliari’s Colombian striker Victor Ibarbo. However, the majority of the home crowd jeered and whistled to drown out the racists.

In 2010, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o suffered racist abuse from Cagliari fans when playing for Inter Milan in a Serie A game. The Sardinian club was subsequently heavily fined.In 2010, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o suffered racist abuse from Cagliari fans when playing for Inter Milan in a Serie A game. The Sardinian club was subsequently heavily fined.

In 2005 the Italian authorities banned Paolo di Canio -- then playing for Lazio -- and fined him almost $11,000 for his use of a straight-arm salute. The sports court decided that it was an act of racism, the head of Italy's Observatory on Racism and Anti-racism in Football, Mauro Valeri, told CNN. The ordinary court, however, did not intervene. For me it's racism, for the Ministry of the Interior, no. Di Canio is now manager of English club Swindon Town.In 2005 the Italian authorities banned Paolo di Canio — then playing for Lazio — and fined him almost $11,000 for his use of a straight-arm salute. “The sports court decided that it was an act of racism,” the head of Italy’s Observatory on Racism and Anti-racism in Football, Mauro Valeri, told CNN. “The ordinary court, however, did not intervene. For me it’s racism, for the Ministry of the Interior, no.” Di Canio is now manager of English club Swindon Town.

While English football embarked on a program of stadium reconstruction after the 1980s disasters at Bradford, Heysel (pictured) and Hillsborough, Italian football has been arguably hampered by a lack of stadium redevelopment. While English football embarked on a program of stadium reconstruction after the 1980s disasters at Bradford, Heysel (pictured) and Hillsborough, Italian football has been arguably hampered by a lack of stadium redevelopment.

Of Serie A's big clubs, only Juventus has built a new stadium in recent years.Of Serie A’s big clubs, only Juventus has built a new stadium in recent years.

The Italian Ministry of the Interior has introduced an identity document -- tessera del tifoso -- for supporters to counteract hooliganism. In order to buy match tickets, fans must present their document, with the system designed to ensure away fans can't buy home tickets for games.The Italian Ministry of the Interior has introduced an identity document — “tessera del tifoso” — for supporters to counteract hooliganism. In order to buy match tickets, fans must present their document, with the system designed to ensure away fans can’t buy “home” tickets for games.

Owen Neilson is writing a book about Italian football grounds, Stadio: The Life and Death of Italian Football. If a stadia revolution is undertaken in Italy -- as it has happened in England -- a layer of culture unique to Italy will be tarmacked over, with 'Juventus Stadium' type replacements, said Neilson. Football will be changed again in favor of profit and central figures in a club's history, such as Giuseppe Meazza (who played for both AC Milan and Inter) or Romeo Menti (Vincenza), will be moved from the spotlight . That will be a real loss.Owen Neilson is writing a book about Italian football grounds, “Stadio: The Life and Death of Italian Football.” “If a stadia revolution is undertaken in Italy — as it has happened in England — a layer of culture unique to Italy will be tarmacked over, with ‘Juventus Stadium’ type replacements,” said Neilson. “Football will be changed again in favor of profit and central figures in a club’s history, such as Giuseppe Meazza (who played for both AC Milan and Inter) or Romeo Menti (Vincenza), will be moved from the spotlight . That will be a real loss.”

The Football Italian Federation, FIFA and UEFA must empower fan-based initiatives that are capable of creating a culture of self-regulation, Professor Clifford Stott, who has advised governments and police forces internationally on crowd management policy and practice, told CNN.“The Football Italian Federation, FIFA and UEFA must empower fan-based initiatives that are capable of creating a culture of self-regulation,” Professor Clifford Stott, who has advised governments and police forces internationally on crowd management policy and practice, told CNN.


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Italy's complex racism problemItaly’s complex racism problem

“We are committed to tackling discrimination in all its forms and that includes anti-Semitic behavior in football,” FA general secretary Alex Horne said in a statement.

“The Y-word has no place in our game and its use in stadiums can result in a football banning order. We are determined that everyone can enjoy football in a fan friendly and safe environment.”

The FA also stated that, while it understands the motives of fans attempting to reclaim an offensive term, it still deems the word a discriminatory slur.

“The FA appreciates that language is a complex issue: the use and meaning of words is constantly evolving,” read a statement.

“This means that, over time, sometimes neutral words or phrases can come to be understood as offensive; and, similarly, words or phrases previously considered as offensive can become more acceptable.

“Although the term derives from the Yiddish word for a Jew, its use in the English language has been, both historically and in contemporary use, derogatory and offensive.

“It is noted that many minority communities have sought to reclaim historic terms of abuse such as this as a means of empowerment. The process of empowerment through reclaiming language is complex and can often divide opinion within the same community.

“In light of the historic and contemporary use of the term, The FA considers that the use of the term ‘Yid’ is likely to be considered offensive by the reasonable observer.”

Read: Anti-Semitic chants mar Spurs match

Speaking on behalf of Maccabi GB, a British charity aimed at promoting Jewish participation in sports, Dave Rich declared the word does not have a place in modern language due to its associations with fascist views of Oswald Mosley, a politician during the early decades of the 20th century.

“The Y-word causes offense to many people, Jewish and non-Jewish, however it is intended,” said Rich.

“Its historic association with Mosley’s fascists and continued use by antisemites outside football mean that it has no place in football grounds or anywhere else.”


Racism in Football: Part 1


Racism in Football: Part 2


Racism in Football: Part 3

Raymond Simonson, chief executive of the Jewish Community Center in London, says he has no problem with fellow Tottenham fans using the word, although he cannot bring himself to say it out loud.

He told CNN World Sport: “I’ve had that word spat at me in the street, had the word scrawled over my exercise book at school and been held up by the scruff of my neck and had that word shouted at me.

“That word has a lot of meaning for me and it’s the reason I can’t say the word.

“The problems with words which have racist connotations is that it’s about context.

“When I go to football matches and I have to listen to fans, a minority mind you, hissing to make the sounds of the gas chambers,I don’t believe anybody can tell me the reason they do it is because some Spurs fans are singing a song about Jermain Defoe which rhymes with the ”y” word.”

Tottenham explained how the uses of the term by their fans was a “defense mechanism” rather than a deliberate attempt to insult the Jewish community.

“Last season saw a number of incidents where fans were targeted by allegedly far-right activists on the continent and subjected to anti-Semitic abuse by opposition fans,” said a club spokesman. “Subsequently, the debate on this issue has two key considerations.

“Firstly, whether or not its use now plays a role in deflecting or attracting unjustified abuse, abuse that is inexcusable on any grounds; and secondly, whether it is liable to cause offense to others even if unintentionally. Our fans have themselves engaged in this debate following the events of last season.

“We recognize that this is a complex debate and that, in the interests of encouraging a positive and safe environment for all supporters, consideration should be given to the appropriateness and suitability of its continued use.

“We are already in the process of engaging with our fans and shall be consulting more widely in due course.”

But Peter Herbert, chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, believes Tottenham supporters must take more responsibility in tackling the issue.

“We’re not blaming Spurs fans,” he told CNN World Sport.

“But they have to take responsibility. Those same fans would not dare use that word on a Saturday afternoon outside the ground. You cannot have an area of London which is ring fenced for racism or anti-Semitism.”

In recent years, the FA has shown its sensitivity to the concerns of the English football’s Jewish community.

The England national team paid a visit to the World War II concentration camp Auschwitz I in Berkanau ahead of the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine last year.

In October, England manager Roy Hodgson will open the “Four Four Jew” exhibition at the Jewish Museum London.

The exhibition celebrates the Jewish community’s contribution to British football.


Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/12/sport/football/tottenham-hotspur-yid-anti-semitism-football/index.html?eref=edition

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/NewsRipplesWeb/~3/heJhk9LgCr0/the-y-word

Meet John McEnroe of ‘chess on ice’

September 6th, 2013 No comments


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CNN’s Human to Hero series screens every week on World Sport. Click here for show times, videos and features.

(CNN) — Winters can be depressingly long in Sweden but when it comes to sports played in those chillier months, curling usually isn’t the first choice for youngsters in the Scandinavian nation.

They would rather put on skates and dabble in ice hockey or go skiing, with the likes of Nicklas Lidstrom and Ingemar Stenmark providing ample inspiration.

The country has also produced legendary tennis players, such as Bjorn Borg, and in Zlatan Ibrahimovic possesses one of football’s biggest talents in recent decades.

Niklas Edin is glad, though, that he chose curling — even if it is less glamorous and lucrative.

He has mostly overcome his fiery temper and a troubling back injury to make history and end Canada’s dominance in a sport dubbed “chess on ice.” And, at 28, he is part of a younger generation with big ambitions.

For Edin, his teammates and Sweden, the timing is good since the Sochi Winter Olympics are a mere five months away.

“We’re going into the biggest season of our careers and it’s going to be huge playing the Olympics,” Edin told CNN’s Human to Hero series. “We’re one of the favorites to do good so it’s definitely going to be a different season for us leading up towards that.”

As the men’s skip and team leader, Edin led Sweden to victory at the 2013 world championships in April.

He not only beat Canada’s Brad Jacobs — another 28-year-old — in the gold-medal game but did so on Canadian soil in Victoria.


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It snapped Canada’s three-year stranglehold on men’s gold at the world championships and gave Sweden its first men’s title since 2004.

Read: Back to school for rally superstar

Having also triumphed at the European championships last December in his hometown of Karlstad — a small city located about 160 miles west of the Swedish capital Stockholm — Edin became the first skip to achieve that double in the same season.

No wonder Sweden is one of the favorites in Sochi.

Edin has already visualized capturing gold at the Olympics. Far from being a sign of cockiness, it provides him with motivation.

“We know we can win and we truly believe in ourselves,” he said. “I think that’s one of the main things you need to be able to do going into the Olympics — if you want the medal, you need to be able to see yourself winning.

“It’s always good to be the underdog and to not have anything to lose. It’s easier that way. But now that we’ve come a bit further I think we’ll like the situation even more where we’re one of the favorites.”

Edin decided to try curling after he watched the Swedish women win bronze at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Curling didn’t run in the family, as his father is a farmer and his mother is a teacher who instead liked figure skating.

“I tried it in the local curling rink and I was struck right away,” said Edin.

The sport combines power with touch and strategy.


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Controlling the 20-kilogram stone while sliding isn’t easy and placing it in a particular spot at the other end requires ample skill. Despite the indoor venues, the weather outside can affect conditions inside.

“You can go up to 90% of your maximum pulse when sweeping and during a game we have to do that multiple times throughout that three-hour game, so it can be really exhausting,” said Edin. “Then the tournaments are long, the days are long, so you need to be quite fit to be among the best.

“When you try it at first it’s so slippery, it’s way different than hockey and those sports. It’s so tough to find your balance at first but then when you do that it’s more about tactics and more about the skills.

“To be amongst the top-10 teams in the world, you definitely need to be good at chess to have a good strategy.”

Read: Why Sochi is a battleground for gay rights

Once it was apparent that he had a special talent, Edin focused solely on curling and devoted all of his time to his new passion.

A world junior title followed and at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, not far from Victoria in British Columbia, Sweden finished a respectable fourth under Edin.

The team now plays about 20 tournaments a season, enough to make a living.

And if Edin stands highest on the podium in Russia next February, his finances will likely improve further given the endorsement opportunities a gold medal brings.

Sweden is the two-time defending champion among the women, but its men are seeking a maiden Olympic triumph.

“There’s not a lot of money in this sport but you can still go full time if you’re reaching towards the Olympics and you get funding from the Olympic association and stuff like that,” said Edin. “For us it’s been full-time the last few years and building up to the Olympics.”

Although Edin’s rise has been quick, it hasn’t been without struggles.

He had back surgery in 2010 after being diagnosed with multiple herniated discs, and needed another operation after the problem flared up on the eve of the 2012 world championships in Switzerland.

He shared skip duties with Sebastian Kraupp yet amid the turmoil Sweden grabbed bronze in a tense win over Scandinavian rival Norway.

“It’s been a long struggle for the whole team and for (Edin) especially,” Kraupp told reporters.

Edin now says of the back issues: “I’m feeling better.”

Read: The kite rider who fought back from the brink

His composure has gotten better, too, although it remains a work in progress.

He openly admits to having acted like tennis bad boy John McEnroe in the past, losing his cool when things weren’t going his way.

“Over the years I’ve calmed down quite a bit and try to be as good as I can towards all the people around me on the curling sheet or curling rink because I think it’s in the interest of the sport — like golf, where you show respect to one another,” said Edin.

“Even if you want to win you don’t want to show that disrespect to the other people around you so I try to calm myself down. But if we’re losing in a bad way I definitely (have a) temper.”

However, Edin doesn’t often lose in a bad way nowadays.


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Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/04/sport/niklas-edin-curling-sweden/index.html?eref=edition

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Golf star’s battle against bone disease

August 21st, 2013 No comments

(CNN) — Breaking four ribs in six years has turned out to be more than just bad luck for golfer Brandt Snedeker.

After another rib injury saw his early season form vanish, the American World No. 7 discovered he had a debilitating bone disease.

“It’s something called low bone turnover,” Snedeker told CNN World Sport. “For some reason my rib cage doesn’t generate the right amount of bone it should do.

“It boils down to the fact that I have brittle ribs. I’m now on medication to try and counteract it. It’s been helping a lot.

“I haven’t had any issues in the last few months and it’s nice to get that behind me and focus more on golf.”

Getting back on course, literally, will be a relief to Snedeker, who is targeting a big finish to the season in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs — which start this week with The Barclays at Liberty National in New Jersey.


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After winning the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in February, the 32-year-old was forced to take a month long break from the game.

That hiatus interrupted what he considered to be a halcyon period on the golf course.

“I played the best golf of my career in the first couple of months (of the year),” Snedeker explained.

“Then I got injured and I had to fight my way back from that.

“I’ve had some glimpse of playing some great golf again but I haven’t had the consistency I had at the beginning of the year — hopefully I can get back to that, I’m close.”

Getting back to his best saw Snedeker clinch a three-shot victory at the Canadian Open at the end of July and climb to third in the FedEx Cup standings.

Read: Snedeker profits from Mahan new arrival

Snedeker is the defending FedEx Cup champion and this week heads to New Jersey for the first of four playoffs.

But with Tiger Woods, who has won five times this season, leading the tournament rankings from fellow American Matt Kuchar, the golfer from Nashville is under no illusions about his chances of becoming the first person to successfully defend the crown.

“It’s going to be really, really tough,” said Snedeker. “I’m excited to be in a good position going into the playoffs but you never really know what’s going to happen until you get in the mix of it.

“Tiger is leading that race and he is going to be a formidable guy going into the final stretch.

“But there are four tournaments and these are all great golf courses culminating at East Lake in Atlanta and it should be a lot of fun.”

The FedEx Cup sees player accrue ranking points throughout the season with the top 125 taking part in the first playoff.

The field is whittled down with a final 70 players competing for the $10 million prize purse at the Tour Championship in Atlanta in September.


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Article source: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/19/sport/golf/golf-snedeker-fedex-cup-preview/index.html?eref=edition

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