Category Archives: Sports

Special To CNN: How Marathons Can Bring Peace By May El Khalil

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May El Khalil is the founder and president of the Beirut Marathon Association. The Beirut Marathon is taking place next Sunday.

(CNN)The sports world was shaken this past year by violence at the Boston Marathon, reminding us of the fragility of peace no matter the place and time. However, marathons in the United States, and the world for that matter, rallied bouncing back as they defied fear through running.

The drive to keep moving forward is at the very heart of marathon running, and nothing is better than large-scale sports events when it comes to helping people to overcome insecurities and fears together.

Peace is an emotionally charged word. It is something that everyone wants, and it is so elusive to so many. I come from Lebanon, a country that has seen more than its share of conflict and war, but it is also a country that embraces life and peace.

Many underestimate the power of sports to create real change in society. But in Lebanon, we have seen how sports, and especially running, can have a positive impact on individuals and ultimately on communities and countries. [CNN]

#We_Want_Lebanese_Basketball_Back

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The shameful Lebanese Federation that got Lebanon suspended by the FIBA for 4 years still didn’t resign, the President of the federation who was found guilty of stealing money from the federation is still in his position, last year’s season is still unfinished and the new season has not yet to kick off.

The teams are all ready and it promises to be an exciting year, so let’s get rid of this current federation, elect a new decent one and get things started once and for all!

Goals: Kuwait 1 – 1 Lebanon

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Despite conceding a goal in the first half-time, Lebanon had a great second half against against the Kuwaiti team and could have won the game but only managed to score the equalizing goal. A draw places us behind Kuwait in the rankings but we still have a chance to qualify to the Asian Cup if we win the next game.

As far as refereeing is concerned, I still can’t believe the Kuwaiti player got away with a yellow card after his flagrant handball. What the hell was the referee thinking?

I wasn’t able to find a Youtube video showing what he did but it was a deliberate handball and deserved a red. It’s called as per the Laws of the Game shown below “A deliberate handling offense to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by any player other than a goalkeeper in his own penalty area”

Law 12 of the Laws of the Game lists the categories of misconduct for which a player may be sent off. These are:
- Serious foul play (a violent foul)
- Violent conduct (any other act of violence) e.g. assaulting the referee.
- Spitting at anyone or another player
- A deliberate handling offense to deny an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by any player other than a goalkeeper in his own penalty area
- Committing an offense that denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity (informally known as a professional foul)
- Using offensive, insulting or abusive language or gestures
- Receiving a second caution (yellow card) in the same game [Wiki]

Update On The Lebanese Triathlete Roy Nasr’s Case

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The decision to jail the drunk driver one month only was outrageous and unacceptable. Let’s hope they agree on a harsher punishment out of respect for Roy and his family.

Dubai Public Prosecution is seeking a stiffer punishment for the drunk driver who fatally ran over former Arab triathlon champion Roy Nasr. On September 30, the Dubai Traffic Misdemeanour Court had pronounced the Filipino driver, aged 24, guilty.

He was sentenced to a month in prison, ordered to pay Dh200,000 in blood money and had his driving license suspended for three months. WJ had confessed that he was intoxicated when he had crashed into Roy and his two riding companions near Safa Park at 5.30am on September 6. He also admitted to causing death, injuring two cyclists, drunk driving, illegal consumption of alcohol and damaging property. [Source]

Drunk Dubai Driver given one month of jail time for killing Triathele Lebanese Champion Roy Nasr

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The driver was drunk and ran into the cyclists killing Roy Nasr and injuring two others and he gets one month of jail time? Is this some kind of sick joke? That’s unfreaking unbelievable!

I really don’t get it how a reckless idiot who kills a triathlon champion, a loving husband and a father of two like Roy gets jailed for one month and banned from driving for 3 months only. Someone should appeal this decision because it’s ridiculous!

A Dubai motorist who fatally injured former Arab triathlon champion Roy Nasr while driving under the influence of alcohol has been sentenced to one month in prison and ordered to pay AED200,000 ($54,451) in blood money to the victim’s family.

The accident occurred on the morning of September 6 when the 24-year old Philippines national swerved into a group of three cyclists, including Nasr, near Dubai’s Safa Park. Fifty-year old Nasr died, while his fellow cyclists sustained serious injuries. [Source]

FIFA World Cup 2022 could be taken away from Qatar

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FIFA President Sepp Blatter asked for findings as to how the tournament was awarded

I was surprised when Qatar won the rights to host the World Cup in 2022 3 years ago even though I was sure they had the necessary means to organize a great tournament. However, there’s more to it than just money.

In fact, the decision taken three years ago is being reconsidered as FIFA’s President Sepp Blatter said and I quote : ‘There was definitely direct political influence. European leaders recommended to voting members to opt for Qatar, because of major economic interests in the country.’

Of course it’s normal for politicians to lobby in favor of a country, but the the Qatari state influence in the 2022 process was ‘unprecedented’ according to the same report, and holding the World Cup in Qatar might disrupt leagues worldwide as it needs to be held in winter to avoid temperatures of up to 50ºC (Air Conditioned stadiums, if feasible, did not convince FIFA’s chief medical officer). The high temperatures are as bad for the players as they are for the fans who would want to go out and not just hang out at malls and in the hotel.

Opponents of the move, including the Premier League, have argued that it will cause untold disruption not only to the 2021/22 campaign but to a season either side. To comply with Fifa rules, the football season will have to be suspended for up to eight weeks in either January and February or November and December of that year.

They argue there will be huge disruption to broadcasting partners, players’ contracts, sponsors and other sports that will be hard to resolve. Losing bidders for the 2022 tournament, including the US and Australia, are also unhappy at the prospect of the goalposts being moved.

Fox, which paid $1bn for the rights to show the World Cup in the US, is understood to be concerned about any possible clash with the NFL season while Frank Lowy, who led the Australia bid, has already called for compensation if the tournament is moved.

But Fifa, which is likely to ratify the decision to move to the winter in principle at a meeting of its executive committee on 3-4 October in Zurich, has insisted that the wording of its bidding documents gave it the right to shift the tournament and has insisted no compensation will be paid.

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There’s also another issue which is related to the abuse of migrant workers in Qatar. In fact, it is reported that there will be at least one death per day till all the stadiums, hotels and road are built for the 2022 World Cup.

Personally speaking, the South Africa and Korea World Cups were major disappointments and I would rather have European countries host the World Cup, but I am curious and excited to see how Qatar will be able to pull out a World Cup, of course as long as they do so without causing the death of half a million workers. It’s an immense challenge and a first for Arab countries so let’s make the best out of it.

All being well, the 2022 tournament will be held in the winter. Just one niggling question remains: how many lives will be lost so that the Fifa World Cup™ can live up to its boast that it is the most successful festival of sport on the planet. “More workers will die building World Cup infrastructure than players will take to the field,” predicts Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation. Even if the teams in Qatar use all their substitutes, she is likely to be right.

Qatar’s absolute monarchy, run by the fabulously rich and extraordinarily secretive Al Thani clan, no more keeps health and safety statistics than it allows free elections. The Trade Union Confederation has had to count the corpses the hard way. It found that 83 Indians have died so far this year. The Gulf statelet was also the graveyard for 119 Nepalese construction workers. With 202 migrants from other countries dying over the same nine months, Ms Burrow is able to say with confidence there is at least one death for every day of the year. The body count can only rise now that Qatar has announced that it will take on 500,000 more migrants, mainly from the Indian subcontinent, to build the stadiums, hotels and roads for 2022.

Not all the fatalities are on construction sites. The combination of back-breaking work, nonexistent legal protections, intense heat and labour camps without air conditioning allows death to come in many guises. To give you a taste of its variety, the friends of Chirari Mahato went online to describe how he would work from 6am to 7pm. He would return to a hot, unventilated room he shared with 12 others. Because he died in his sleep, rather than on site, his employers would not accept that they had worked him to death.