Category Archives: Sports

What The Lebanese Basketball Federation Should Do …

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I’ve watched all the videos being shared online on the Riyadi and Sagesse fight in Game 4 and I reassert what I said yesterday that the federation and those in charge of organizing the games are the ones to blame first and foremost.

Nevertheless, mistakes happen and fights do erupt even in the NBA and the Euro League and for that sake, teams and players should be fined for breaking the rules. Having said that, let’s go back to how the fight started based on what the videos have shown:

1- Sagesse were winning by 9 points with few seconds left and Spencer (Hekmeh) had the ball, yet instead of just waiting for the seconds to go, he went and dunked the basketball which is considered as an unsportsmanlike conduct specially that no one was defending him anymore. Loren Woods (Riyadi) came close as he was upset about the dunk, both started arguing and Spencer slightly pushes Woods away. This is where Chris Daniel comes in for some reason and pushes Woods, then all the fans start invading the court to cheer for their team. If you look closely, Woods took some hits from nearby fans as he was being pulled out.

2- As fans were all over the field, one of them goes straight at Ismail and hits him for some reason and this is very obvious in more than a video. That’s where Ismail lost it and ran after him, kicked him and started beating fans left and right. At this moment, things went out of control and 3 of Riyadi’s players found themselves fighting with undisciplined fans.

3- Few minutes later, Riyadi players were escorted out of Ghazir by the Lebanese Army.

This being said, here’s what the Lebanese Basketball Federation should do in my opinion:

– Only 500 Sagesse and Riyadi Fans will be allowed to watch the remaining games.
– All the fans that were involved in the brawl should be banned from the next 15 games. Both teams should help identify the individuals involved in Game 4 and the previous 3 games.
– Ismail Ahmad should be banned for 1 game for going after a fan and hitting him. Just to be clear, I don’t think any of the other Riyadi players should be banned or fined because they were surrounded by tens of fans and got involved unwillingly in the brawl. Ismail on the other hand went after one of them and even though I admire him as a player, it’s an unacceptable behavior.
– Riyadi and Sagesse teams should be fined for letting fans inside the court once the game is over. The Federation should issue a clear statement that no fans are allowed inside the court at any time during the game or while the teams are still on the court.
– The Federation should force all Lebanese basketball teams to register their fans with all the required details. This will help identify trouble makers when a fight erupt.
– If religious or racist chants are heard in any of the games, the team shall be fined and fans behind the chants banned from attending 5 games.
– ANY team who threatens to withdraw from the championship at this point will be banned next year.

We’ve had enough of these stupid fights and some of the comments that I heard following the game were disgusting and sick. These fans are not basketball fans and shouldn’t be allowed in. It is the responsibility of the team and the federation to put the game above all, and take necessary and pro-active measures.

Another Sagesse – Riyadi Game That Ends With A Fight

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[YouTube] You can see Ismail Ahmad fighting with Sagesse Fans towards the end

Update: Sports and Youth Minister Abdul-Mutalleb al-Hinawi canceled Thursday’s game in the Lebanese Basketball Championship following a violent fight involving Sagesse fans and Riyadi players.

I’ve heard a lot of versions and I think the only party to blame is the Lebanese Basketball Federation. The fans should not be allowed in the court when the game ends and the players are still on the field. It’s as simple as that and this is always how the fights begin. NO ONE is allowed to leave his place till all the players or at least the opposing team goes into the lockers. Moreover, if any of the team officials takes part in a fight, he should be banned for 5 years and not just the season.

If any team violates this rule, the person and the team are fined, the same way the FLB fined both teams for the behavior of their fans for Game 2 and 3.

As far as the game is concerned, it was yet another close one and it’s very hard to predict who’s going to win. What matters is that the series end and we have a winner not like last year.

You can see another video of the fight [Here].

Thank you Anthony for the video!

Lebanese Champion Edward Maalouf CrowdFunding His Way To The Rio De Janeiro 2016 Paralympics

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Edward Maalouf is a Lebanese professional athlete and the winner of 2 Bronze medals at the Paralympic Games in Beijing back in 2008. He’s been competing in races for more than 10 years without any financial or official support from the Lebanese authorities. He has won the Hand-cycle Marathon in New York back in 2006, the silver medal in the Disability Cycling World Championships in Bordeaux, the Beirut Marathon in 2012 and has participated in the 2012 Paralympics in London but failed to win any medals.

I’ve been following Maalouf’s successes for years and always wondered how he managed to achieve all that with so little support and a limited budget. Of course you’d expect a successful athlete like him to get substantial support from the Lebanese authorities specially after winning 2 medals for Lebanon at the Paralympic Games in Beijing back in 2008 but that’s not the case unfortunately as Maalouf has been struggling financially year after year and cutting back on everything to compete in international tournaments.

This being said, Maalouf is still determined to achieve his dream and win a gold for Lebanon at the Rio De Janeiro 2016 Paralympics but he cannot do it without the help of a professional coach, a professional nutritionist and without the proper equipment. That’s why he’s seeking the help of all the Lebanese who believe in him by crowdfunding his way to the next Paralympics games in Brazil.

The amount needed is $90,000 for the next 3 years and is easily achievable if this campaign goes viral so let’s spread the word and show Edward our support because he truly deserves it.

For the individuals interested in helping Maalouf, you can donate [Here]. For the companies interested in sponsoring this campaign, there are packages that you can check [Here].


The 8 Types of FIFA World Cup Fans You’ll Encounter In Lebanon

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The 2014 FIFA World Cup is less than a month away and people are already buying flags, jerseys and other accessories to cheer for their favorite team. Almost everyone watches football during the World Cup, even those who don’t like the game and the atmosphere is always a fun one everywhere you go. Having said that, here are the 8 types of World Cup fans you might run into this year:

1- The loyal fan: He loves and plays football, he’s been cheering for the same team for years and will never change sides. I belong to this category as I’ve been supporting The “Mannschaft” (Germany) since 1990 and I doubt that I will ever change my mind.
2- The hardcore fan: He’s pretty much like the loyal fan but his team is always right no matter what they do. Watching the games with these fans is not always fun.
3- The undecided fan: He has the Italian, German and Brazilian flag on his car and is cheering for all 3 teams. I will never understand the logic behind that.
4- Girls who support Italy: Taking aside those who are loyal fans, they support Italy just because the players are cute.
5- Guys who support Italy: Taking aside those who are loyal fans, there are guys who support Italy just because a lot of girls do.
6- Portugal fans: Because Cristiano Ronaldo is on the team.
7- Underdog teams fans: They are either Lebanese born or living in these countries or have no favorite team and just like picking underdog teams.
8- The fan who likes “el le3eb el 7elo”: He doesn’t want to support any team and just likes to watch games.

World Cup 2014 Giveaway: Win 1 Of 3 Adidas Brazuca Official World Cup Balls

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Adidas sent me the official World Cup Brazuca ball few months back and I organized a football tweetup to try out the ball and have some fun and it turned out to be awesome! Unfortunately, we were all busy playing so we barely took any pictures but hopefully I will have plenty of pics to share when I organize another football game.

Having said that and since the 2014 World Cup is barely a month away, I thought of organizing a small football giveaway and give out 3 Brazuca balls to football fans who follow the blog. Two balls will be given out on the blog and the third one on my Instagram account.

The competition is pretty simple as you have to answer the below 3 questions correctly to get into a draw. As for the Instagram competition I will share the details in the next couple of days on Instagram so stay tuned!

Here are the 3 questions that you need to answer:
1- What is the name of the stadium that hosted the 1950 World Cup Final and had a capacity of almost 200,000 people?
2- Who won the Golden Ball award for best player at the 2002 World Cup held in Japan/South Korea? (Hint: He was a goalkeeper)
3- Which Brazilian legend played a friendly game with the Lebanese Nejmeh team? (Hint: I posted about this few weeks back)

You have to get 2 out of the 3 questions right and submit your answers before tomorrow night. I will announce the two lucky winners on Thursday morning.

NB: You need to put your proper email in the email field while commenting since winner will be contacted by email. You can only comment once, anyone caught commenting more than once will get disqualified.