RelatedPosts No directive to constitute disciplinary committee against us — Ojudu, others ‘Army Officer’ in EFCC net for alleged multiple fraud COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance Sir Alex Ferguson fixed a Manchester United match with a corrupt football agent who then gifted the legendary manager a £30,000 gold Rolex watch, a court heard on Thursday.Giuseppe “Pino” Pagliara, 64, made the claims about a Champions League game against Italian giants Juventus to an undercover reporter posing as a businesswoman looking to invest in football during a secretly recorded meeting, jurors were told.He also claimed that Ferguson trousered money from transfer deals, Southwark Crown Court heard.Pagliara and fellow agent Dax Price tried to “impress” Claire Newell by arranging meetings with former England coach Steve McClaren, ex Spurs boss Harry Redknapp and footballer Kanu, prosecuter Brian O’Neill QC told Southwark Crown Court.He said Pagliara claimed that “99 per cent of the people in football if they weren’t in football would be selling second-hand cars.”Pagliara was said to be“furious” with Redknapp for suggesting the reporter should buy a football club instead of using a legal loophole to get around a ban on third party ownership of players in England during a meeting in July 2016, the court heard.Describing another meeting, O’Neill said: “Towards the end of the meeting Pagliara launched into what could only be described as a diatribe of Sir Alex Ferguson, accusing him of having conspired with Pagliara to fix the result of a football match between Juventus, a club which Pagliara was associated with, and Manchester United in the Champions League for which Pagliara had thanked him with a gold 30 grand Rolex watch.”
By Martyn HermanLONDON (Reuters) – Grigor Dimitrov claimed the biggest title of his career and sent out a huge statement of intent as the stylish Bulgarian beat David Goffin 7-5 4-6 6-3 to win the ATP Finals on Sunday.The 26-year-old recovered from losing his opening two service games to finally get the better of the willowy Belgian player, but it was fiercely-fought two-and-a-half hour duel with Goffin saving four match points before finally succumbing.Dimitrov’s unbeaten run this week in London earned him $2.5 million while the 1,500 ranking points have catapulted him to end an impressive year ranked third in the world — behind only all-time greats Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.More significantly perhaps, landing the unofficial “fifth” grand slam appears to be proof that the former junior Wimbledon champion, once dubbed ‘Baby Federer’ because of his easy-on-the-eye style, has finally come of age.“It’s been an amazing week for me,” Dimitrov said on court after becoming the first player to win the elite eight-man tournament on his first appearance in the event since Spaniard Alex Corretja beat countryman Carlos Moya in 1998.“It’s such an honour to be here and this week has been one of the best weeks I’ve ever had.”He was still on court nearly an hour after the match ended, signing autographs for the sizeable Bulgarian contingent who had roared their man to victory.Yet it was tough on Goffin who, like Dimitrov, was his country’s first qualifier for the ATP Finals.His substantial consolation, though, was to end the year at a career-high seventh, having become only the sixth man to beat Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the same tournament.He will need to recover fast from the two hour 30 minute final — the longest since the event adopted a three-set format — as a Davis Cup final looms in France next weekend.Many of the capacity crowd in the O2 Arena had doubtless booked their tickets in anticipation of watching the top two seeds Federer and Nadal go head-to-head but the two newcomers provided a fitting end to an extraordinary ATP season.Goffin managed only two games against Dimitrov when they met on Wednesday in group play but recovered to beat Dominic Thiem to reach the semis where he stunned six-times champion Federer.For Dimitrov, he was quickly a different proposition in the final, using his pinpoint accuracy to keep his gifted opponent under control and he was way ahead on the winner count as he moved 4-3 ahead.A double-fault at 30-30 followed by a wayward forehand, though, gifted Dimitrov a break and seemed to energise the Bulgarian.Dimitrov began to assert himself and piled on the pressure when Goffin served at 5-6. Goffin saved four set points, two with forehand winners, but double-faulted on a game point of his own before Dimitrov forced an error to wrap up the opener.Goffin needed just one break of serve to take the match into a decider and looked the more likely winner for a while but when Dimitrov survived a 10-minute service game at the start of the third, saving four break points, it proved crucial.With Goffin beginning to tire, Dimitrov moved 5-2 ahead with a break and then went 0-40 ahead on Goffin’s serve.Somehow Goffin survived to extend the contest to another game and saved another match point on the Bulgarian’s serve.He looked poised to save another one as he stretched Dimitrov all over the court but with the court at his mercy he put an attempted drop-volley into the net.
The first football practice of the 2014 school year is over for USC as the Trojans inch closer to their first game of the season. The 15th-ranked Trojans are prepping for the unranked Fresno State Bulldogs, whom they defeated 45-20 in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl.In good hands · Junior wideout Nelson Agholor will be one of six co-captains for USC this season. Agholor led the Trojans with 918 receiving yards and six touchdowns while starting every game in 2013. – Ralf Cheung | Daily TrojanCall upon your captainsThe Trojans made history this weekend by electing six co-captains for the 2014 season, the most the team has ever had.Junior wide receiver Nelson Agholor, junior quarterback Cody Kessler, senior linebacker Hayes Pullard, senior cornerback/safety Josh Shaw, junior center Max Tuerk and junior defensive end Leonard Williams were voted as captains by their teammates.Pullard, USC’s leading tackler in 2013, will serve as the only returning captain on a squad that has seen a great deal of turmoil in the past year. The Inglewood, California native was one of the most decorated Trojans during this preseason, earning nods to the watchlists for the Nagurski Trophy (top defensive player), the Bednarik Award (top defensive player), the Lott IMPACT Trophy (top defensive impact player), the Lombardi Award (top lineman or linebacker) and the Butkus Award (top linebacker).Last season, Pullard was joined by wide receiver Marqise Lee, center Marcus Martin and linebacker Devon Kennard, all since selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, as the team captains. It was the first time since 2009 that a quarterback was not among the captains.Kessler, entering his first full year as a starter in 2014, made sure that wasn’t the case this season.Williams praised Kessler’s newfound confidence and leadership when the pair represented USC at Pac-12 Media Day this summer.“He’s been a great leader so far,” Williams said. “He’s all in for it on the team and he’s ready to put his heart out there for it.”Williams, who played the entire 2013 season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder, will also serve as a team leader this year, a role he says he has had to grow into.“I guess I could say I’m a natural leader, but I’m more by example, just working hard, showing people what to do the right way,” Williams said. “But I’m not much of a vocal leader, I don’t like to hawk on guys if they’re doing something wrong, I’d just rather they see me doing it right and follow my footsteps.”Depth chart releasedOn Sunday, Sarkisian released his first official depth chart of the 2014 season.If it holds, Saturday will mark the first time in USC’s history that two true freshman guards will start an opening game.Toa Lobendahn and Damien Mama currently sit atop the depth chart at the left and right guard positions, respectively.“They’re going to go out and play really good football for us,” Sarkisian said of the freshmen. “Are they perfect? No, they’re going to make some mistakes. But the goal is that they gradually get better as the season continues to go on and they play their best football in November.”The offensive line has seen many changes in the last year, as redshirt sophomore Chad Wheeler is the only player anticipated to start the same position he played last year (left tackle). Tuerk started 13 games at left tackle last year and one at right tackle, but will now serve as the starting center following Martin’s departure.Redshirt junior Zach Banner managed to fight his way into the starting spot at right tackle. Banner appeared in only two games last season before suffering a season-ending injury that required surgery on both hips.Other than Lobendahn and Mama, the only freshman slated to start this weekend is wide receiver Ajene Harris. Harris, who prepped at Crenshaw High, will start across from Agholor at the wideout position. Sophomore Darreus Rogers was expected to start, but is listed behind Agholor on the depth chart.Redshirt junior tailback Javorius “Buck” Allen, USC’s breakout star in 2013, is listed atop the running back ladder. Allen led the team with 785 yards and 14 touchdowns last year, noticeably improving under the tutelage of interim head coach Ed Orgeron.Redshirt junior Tre Madden will likely be a game-time decision on Saturday after missing the last few practices with turf toe. Madden missed three games last year with a hamstring injury after missing the entire 2012 season with a knee injury. Despite only playing in 11 games last year, Madden led the Trojans in carries and put up 703 yards.There were fewer surprises on the defensive side of the ball — the only real question was who would earn the starting outside linebacker spot following redshirt sophomore Jabari Ruffin’s season-ending injury in camp. Redshirt sophomore Scott Felix (formerly Scott Starr before legally changing his last name) earned that honor.Redshirt junior Antwaun Woods earned the nod at nose tackle, which Williams said was a position up for grabs between the defensive linemen. Williams seems confident in Woods’ abilities.“[He’s] a phenomenal player and guy,” Williams said. “He’s a great leader this year and he’s gonna step up big time.”Quick hitsSarkisian will hold practice at 8 a.m. throughout the season rather than in the afternoons like last year. Sarkisian believes that this schedule helps the student athletes be more productive both on and off the field.USC Athletic Director Pat Haden was hospitalized this weekend and missed Saturday night’s Salute to Troy as a result. USC Athletics reported that Haden was feeling fine on Sunday.