Play (or not) the Euroleague, in a match

Losing a game is never good news, but a defeat today against Sepsi would be much more detrimental to Spar Girona than, for example, last Saturday’s defeat against Valencia in Fontajau. This afternoon (18.00, on the Esport 3 website or on the FIBA ​​YouTube Channel), Uni is playing to enter the group stage of the Euroleague and the chance to face the best teams in basketball today in a preliminary round that, for health reasons, is played in a single match in a bubble in Izmit. In Turkey, the people of Girona you will find a Sepsi that is the best team in Romania, with good players like the Americans Tobin and Gardner, the Montenegrin Jovana Pasic, or the 39-year-old Romanian veteran Simina Mandache. But that is neither Valencia nor a better team than Spar Girona despite the risk of playing the European season in a single game in a pavilion without an audience after three days locked in a hotel many kilometers from home. “It’s a game that we have marked in the calendar for many days, we know that we are playing because it is the classification for the Euroleague, we know where we are and that we have to change the chip of the League and that we enter the dimension FIBA, where the profile of the match changes because the refereeing allows much more contacts “, explained Surís yesterday, who still faces the match without any new relevant physical setbacks in his squad.

The winner of the tie between Spar Girona and Sepsi, as well as the duel between Izmit and Hungarian Miskolc played three hours earlier, will qualify for a Euroleague that will play the group stage in a bubble format. In the case of Girona, they would share a group with the team that has dominated European basketball in recent years, Ekreaninburg by Breanna Stewart and Alba Torrens, among others, the Italian Scchio and the Latvian Riga. The first bubble is scheduled for November 29 to January 5 and, for now, FIBA ​​has announced that it will be held in Girona or Sfantu Gheorghe (Romania) depending on whether Uni or Sepsi wins this afternoon. Logically, the celebration of the bubble in Fontajau is conditioned to the evolution of the pandemic because the declaration of the state of alarm and the establishment of the curfew is subsequent to the designation of Girona and Sfantu Georghe as the two possible headquarters .

In any case, to get to the bubble, Spar Girona must beat Sepsi today, which, despite losing its top scorer last year (former Uni Crissy Givens), has made a squad designed to try to play the Euroleague. “Sepsi is a Eurocup classic with a block and a coach that they have maintained for years and with some reinforcements that they have made this season thinking about trying to qualify for the Euroleague,” said Suris yesterday about a team that eight years ago he has the same coach, Zoran Mike, and he has Mandache, a three-four shooter with many years of career, the American Gardner on the outside and Tobin on the inside, a Greek base (Pavlopoulu) and a Slovak pivot d ‘1.92 tall, Marie Ruzickova.


Tim Wellens wins stage 5

Belgian Tim Wellens won at the end of the 5th stage of the Tour of Spain cycling (Vuelta), this October 24, 2020 in Sabinanigo (Aragon). The red jersey Primoz Roglic, leader in the general classification of the Vuelta, took the opportunity to grab a few seconds on his opponents, including four on Richard Carapaz.


Olot is training again with an eye on the visit to the Nstic

Olot returned to training yesterday with a morning session at the RoyalVerd facilities. There are ten days of voluntary confinement left behind after three coronavirus positives were detected in the squad just the day before the start of the Second B league in the Cornellà field. That match and last Sunday’s match against Barça B had to be postponed (they will be rescheduled for next week) and now the view is set for next Sunday in Tarragona (12 noon). Garrido was already able to have yesterday one of the players who tested positive, fully recovered. The squad will continue to be tested every three days, and plays tomorrow. The coach says the team is eager to compete.


Real Madrid win a heated Clasico in Barcelona

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Real Madrid won 3-1 at FC Barcelona, ​​this October 24, 2020, during the 7th day of the Spanish Football Championship (Liga). This result relieves the Madrilenians who remained on two defeats at home. On the other hand, he pushes Barça in the La Liga standings.

Zinédine Zidane and his Real Madrid players breathe better, unlike those of Barça and their coach Ronald Koeman. On October 24, 2020, the Madrilenians won 3-1 in Barcelona a Clasico under pressure due to the poor start to the season for the two Spanish clubs.

This match, counting for the 7th day of the Championship (Liga), started with a bang. From the 5th minute, midfielder Frederico Valverde opened the scoring with a cross shot, following a good through pass from striker Karim Benzema: 0-1.

However, FC Barcelona replied immediately. In the 8th minute, Lionel Messi launches Jordi Alba. The left side sends a cross tended towards Ansu Fati who resumes at close range: 1-1. At 17 years and 359 days, the Spanish striker of Bissau-Guinean origin becomes the second youngest scorer in the history of these mythical confrontations between the two giants of La Liga [1].

A Clasico that is worth the detour

This Clasico keeps all its promises, despite the absence of spectators at Camp Nou, due to the Covid-19. In the 23rd minute, Messi clears defender Sergio Ramos with a rake and tries to slide the ball to the near post. But Thibaut Courtois throws himself to the ground.

Shortly after, FC Barcelona’s goalkeeper, Norberto Neto, distinguished himself in turn by deflecting a recovery from Benzema (25th).

After the break, Philippe Coutinho misses a golden opportunity to give the advantage to the locals (54th). The striker uncrossed his header a little too much, despite a perfect cross from Ansu Fati. The Brazilian and his partners will quickly regret it.

Sergio Ramos Decisif

On the hour mark, Sergio Ramos collapsed in the penalty area, his counterpart Clément Lenglet having pulled him by the shirt. After resorting to video assistance (VAR), Juan Martinez Munuera whistles a penalty. The charismatic Ramos places the ball low to the ground, to the right of Neto: 1-2, 63rd.

In the 70th minute, the referee did not flinch, however, when the ball struck an elbow by defender Raphaël Varane on a clearance from Ramos.

Koeman then brought in four players – including the French Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembélé – during the last ten minutes. But it rather has the effect of destabilizing his team. And, after having multiplied the miraculous parades in front of the midfielder Toni Kroos (85th) and Ramos (86th), Neto must bow to Luka Modric. In the 90th minute, the playmaker finds himself facing the goalkeeper and mystifies him with a dribble before concluding with a strike from the outside of the foot: 1-3, final score. Barça sinks towards the middle of the La Liga standings …

[1] Alfonso Navarro would have scored at 17 years and 356 days for Barça, during the Clasico of March 30, 1947.


Champions League: follow live the match Basaksehir Istanbul

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PSG are forced to react after their defeat in the opening of the Champions League against Manchester United. Thomas Tuchel’s players are under pressure at Basaksehir Istanbul, amid growing diplomatic tensions between France and Turkey.

On Turkish soil, after its inaugural failure against Manchester United, PSG must bounce back, Wednesday, October 28, in the Champions League at Basaksehir Istanbul.

While this match finds itself at the heart of growing diplomatic tensions between France and Turkey, the Parisians are also in turmoil at the sporting level. The gap is certainly yawning between Basaksehir, absolute neophyte in the Champions League, and PSG, finalist of the last edition, but the pressure is on the shoulders of Parisian coach Thomas Tuchel and his players, for whom the failure in Istanbul is prohibited.


From the Giro de Hesjedal to that of Geoghegan Hart and Hindley, passing through the Girona field

On one of the walls of the McKiernans, the now deserted brewery on the Rambla de Girona, hangs a visible pink sweater of the Giro d’Italia. It is by Ryder Hesjedal, who, with dedication included, gave it to the people in charge of a place that is very close to the apartment where he lived when, in 2012, he was proclaimed champion of the Italian round by overcoming by only sixteen seconds. Catalan Joaquim Purito Rodriguez. Now, like that time, the Italian round has been settled in a time trial on the last day between two cyclists who, like Hesjedal, are part of the almost endless list of professional cyclists who, at one time or another in their careers, have chosen Girona to live and as the basis of his training. The kilometers recorded on Strava’s account indicate that, just a few days before the start of the Giro, the Australian Jai Hindley was training in Girona when he probably still did not dream that he would fight until the last day to win the Italian round. Nor would he do so by playing with an Englishman, Tao Geoghegan Hart, with whom he shared that, like him, he did not appear on the rounds to win the race and that he had also lived and trained in Girona until relatively recently. And, in addition, both Geoghegan Hart and Hindley took advantage of Girona’s two seasons in the First Division to go through Montilivi to watch football.

On Sunday evening, after Catalunya Ràdio recovered a photo of the winner of the Giro in Montilivi, Girona hurried to congratulate the INEOS cyclist for his victory, but from the club they overlooked the Australian from Sunweb , who had just lost the pink sweater for only 39 seconds, he had also supported them at the stadium. On Jai Hindley’s Instagram there is an image of him in Montilivi from March 2018 in which he himself remembers that that day Girona defeated Deportivo de La Coruña 2-0. With Pablo Machín on the bench, Girona added the three points with goals from Stuani and Juanpe.

Born in London and a fan of Arsenal, Tao Geoghegan Hart has often talked about Girona in its networks. Beyond the photo in Montilivi with the club’s cap and scarf, on Sunday on Catalunya Ràdio they also retrieved a tweet from Sant Narcís Day three years ago: Long live Catalonia!”. That day, Machín’s team beat Madrid (Stuani and Portu / Isco) 2-1 in a match that, in the previous days, was marked by doubts generated by the Madrid press about the reception that the Zidane’s team would have in Girona, a few weeks after October 1 and with the newly proclaimed DUI. The “Visca Catalunya” with which Tao Geoghegan Hart ended his tweet made it clear that the London cyclist was no stranger to the political climate in a city he frequented from a very young age when he began to excel in amateur hand cycling. of Axel Merckx.

With the team of the son of the legendary Eddy Merckx, Tao Geoghegan Hart grew, spending seasons in Girona itself where he had also lived, for a few months, his idol Bradley Wiggins, until he became a promising cyclist. Sure, the Englishman has not had the rapid explosion of Pogacar or Bernal, but at the age of 25 he has already managed to win a Giro d’Italia.

A growth that, as has happened in many cyclists who used to live in Girona, or with other young people of the future who have been maturing the INEOS, has happened in recent times more in Andorra and its mountains (and its taxation) than not because of the cycling atmosphere of Girona’s Barri Vell. However, his great rival in this Giro d’Italia, Jai Hindley, did not leave Girona until a few days before the Italian round began in Sicily. The Sunweb climber has set his residence in the city, as Ryder Hesjedal had it when he won the 2012 Giro, or as many professionals have, or have had, since the Danish Jonhy Weltz paved the way from the Garrotxa that Joan Llaneras had advised him and that the troupe by Lance Armstrong made it popular. Without going any further, one of the great gumgoers of the Jumbo in the Tour and the Giro, the Dutch veteran Robert Gesink, lives in Girona, as does, for example, the American Joey Rosskopf, who has just completed the Italian test with the CCC Nation, or the Australian Rory Sutherland, who is vying for the Vuelta with the Israel Start Up Nation trying to help its leader: another who knows the city very well, the Irishman Dan Martin.


Tao Geoghegan Hart wins stage 20

The British Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos) won this October 24, 2020 in Sestriere the 20th and penultimate stage of the cycling Tour of Italy (Giro) in front of the Australian Jai Hindley (Sunweb), new bearer of the pink leader’s jersey of the Giro. The two riders are tied for time at the top of the general classification, before the last stage, a 15.7 km time trial in Milan.


match under diplomatic tension between PSG and Basaksehir, “Erdogan club”

After their defeat to Manchester United in the opening match, PSG must avoid another misstep against Basaksehir Istanbul. But beyond sport, politics is also on the ground after questions from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – known to be close to the Istanbul club – on the “mental health” of his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron.

The Parisians will play in hostile terrain, Wednesday, October 28, on the lawn of Basaksehir Istanbul. Blunted by their home loss to Manchester United last week in the first group game, Thomas Tuchel’s men also find themselves caught in a diplomatic storm.

This Champions League meeting will indeed take place just days after the call for a boycott of French products launched by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish president accused his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, of being hostile to Islam, after the latter defended the freedom to caricature the Prophet Muhammad during a national tribute to assassinated professor Samuel Paty.

As tensions grew, Basaksehir Istanbul president Göksel Gümüsdag, a step-parent of the Turkish head of state, however, tried to calm things down. “Paris Saint-Germain are a friendly club. management team, starting with Mr. Nasser (Al-Khelaïfi, the president of the Parisian club), are our friends, ”he insisted in an interview with the Turkish state press agency Anadolu, adding: “We will be very happy to host this world class club.”

The reference to the Qatari owner of PSG is not trivial. Recep Tayyip Erdogan maintains excellent relations with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim ben Hamad Al-Thani, to whom Nasser Al-Khelaïfi is very close, which should lead the Turkish authorities to do everything to avoid possible disturbances on Wednesday evening. Due to sanitary measures, the meeting, scheduled for 5:55 p.m. GMT at Istanbul’s Fatih-Terim stadium, will be played behind closed doors anyway.

Asked about this at a press conference on the eve of the meeting, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel also tried not to fuel the controversy. “I am personally sad that it is not possible for everyone to live in harmony. I think every person would like it. But I am not worried. I really hope that there will be no implication. between sport and politics, “he said, before refocusing the subject on the sporting level. “The focus is on the match. The challenge for us is to play in the Champions League and give the signal that we can fight at the sporting level. (…) We will focus on that”.

Multiple links with Turkish power

But the story of Basaksehir Istanbul, crowned Turkish champion for the first time in its history last July, is closely linked to politics. In 2014, Istanbul’s Büyüksehir Belediyespor acceded to Süper Lig, the Turkish first division. In the process, this club, which until then belonged to the municipality of Istanbul, is sold to relatives of the AKP, the party of the Turkish president. In passing, he changed his name by settling in the district of Basaksehir, stronghold of the AKP.

The links with Turkish power are multiple: the club is sponsored by Medipol, a private hospital group led by President Erdogan’s personal doctor, Farhettin Koca, while the new stadium is being built by Kayon Grup, specializing in the construction of infrastructure states. Finally, the new president is Güksel Gümüsdag, who is none other than the husband of a niece of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“The Basaksehir neighborhood fully reflects Erdogan’s strategy on the Basaksehir club. He created this neighborhood in the 90s, when he felt that the Islamist lifestyle was dominated by the modern, secular lifestyle of Istanbul. He presented it as the epicenter of his cultural project, which replaces the old cultural centers of the city, Beyoglu, Besiktas and Kadikoy. Today, he does the same with the club: he tries to replace the tradition of the big clubs with Basaksehir “, explained Daghan Iraq, lecturer at the University of Huddersfield (United Kingdom) and author of the book” Football Fandom, Protest and Democracy: Supporter Activism in Turkey “, (football fans, protests and democracy: supporter activism in Turkey), interviewed by France TV sport.

Erdogan on the pitch for the inauguration of the new stadium

Basaksehir also plays in orange – by chance or not, the same colors as the AKP – and takes up residence in the brand new Fatih Terim stadium. July 26, 2014, during the inaugural match, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is present in person on the ground.

The then Prime Minister of Turkey’s passion for football is not new : in his youth, the current head of state evolved to a semi-professional level within Kasimpasa and was even nicknamed “Imam Beckenbauer”. And for his appearance in the jersey of Basaksehir, Recep Tayyip Erdogan even scored a hat-trick. His jersey – number 12 because he was the favorite to become the 12e President of Turkey – is then removed from the squad, a tradition usually reserved for club legends.

Basaksehir then experienced a meteoric rise in power under the leadership, in particular, of the former coach of the Turkish selection, Abdullah Avci. The Istanbul club also benefits from the financial infusion of investors who have enabled the club to attract big European names on the decline. Emmanuel Adebayor, Gaël Clichy, Robinho… In the champion squad last season, 18 of the 26 players are of foreign nationality. But the figurehead of the team remains Arda Turan, a true idol in Turkey and loyal support of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who came from FC Barcelona to join the president’s club.

However, if the sporting success is there, the club struggles to gain popularity. The Fatih Terim stadium still rings hollow. The average attendance does not exceed 3,000 people – the twelfth in Turkey – while it is designed for 17,000 people. “You can not invent a club and push this club to popularity using its political power either. That was Erdogan’s goal with Basaksehir, but in Turkey, it does not work like that,” Daghan said. Iraq on France TV sport. “A citizen can fanatically support Erdogan politically and continue to support Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe or Besiktas. This is not incompatible.”

No room for error for PSG

For his first participation in the group stage of C1, the Turkish kid was relatively unlucky, since he inherited Leipzig, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United as opponents. Sportingly, the gap is yawning between Basaksehir, absolute neophyte in the Champions League, and Paris SG, finalist of the last edition. What to put pressure on the Parisian coach and his players, for whom failure in Istanbul is prohibited.

The Parisians remain in effect on a missed entry, last Tuesday, at home, against Manchester United (2-1 defeat), far from the face they had shown in August to reach the final of the C1, defeated only by the untouchable Bayern Munich (1-0).

Any other result than a success would leave the opportunity to extend their lead to Group H competitors, Manchester United and Leipzig, who face off in England on Wednesday. Thomas Tuchel can in any case count in attack on three of his “Fantastic Four”, Neymar, Angel Di Maria and Kylian Mbappé. Only Mauro Icardi, injured, will be missed, as will Marco Verratti and Leandro Paredes.


Catalan sport is asking for 1 billion in aid to survive

The sector sport in Catalonia warned yesterday of his “Black future” if not work for its reactivation and go demand that the state inject 1 billion euros to be able to “subsist” until European funds arrive, according to Labor Promotion calculations. In an event organized by the employer, the sector presented its requests in a rescue plan that requires the Government to equate sports activities with cultural and therefore allow workouts until 10 p.m. –When the curfew begins– and that the athletes can return home later. They also demand that the federated competitions be resumed and that the capacity be increased from 50 to 70%.

According to the president of the Union of Sports Federations of Catalonia (UFEC), Gerard Esteva, the Government is “underestimating” Catalan sport by not taking into account the sector when applying measures, such as curfew , and warned that they are “on the verge of death”.

The President of Public Works, Josep Sánchez Llibre, assured that all the petitions will be moved to the meetings they have with the Government and insisted that the 1,000 MEUR must be injected “into a vein” so that they can survive. In addition, the sector demands that the federated competitions be resumed from this week and that the capacity in sports facilities be increased from 50% to 70%.

According to the UFEC, more than 70% of federated sports workouts are from 9 p.m., so he warned that if the curfew is applied to them they will not be able to train despite complying with health protocols. Esteva defended being able to resume all sporting activity because, she believes, when the competitions were canceled it was to be able to “stop mobility” and now “it turns out that it has not stopped but there is a lack of control.” “Sport is not only safe, but it is essential to fight for health,” he said. With regard to economic measures, the sector calls for a super-reduced VAT of 4% on sports services, the abolition of VAT on investments in sports equipment and the deduction in personal income tax of the fees for sports facilities and of licenses.

The intervention of the GEiEG

The president of the GEiEG, Francesc Cayuela, was one of the participants in the presentation of the Rescue Plan to the sports sector. “The clubs are very worried and tired of this situation. Since the pandemic began, we have lost too much social and income … these resources are necessary because we maintain grassroots and amateur sport. It is becoming more and more difficult to move forward “, he said during his speech at the event promoted by the UFEC.


French Kévin Séraphin announces his retirement

French basketball player Kévin Séraphin, who spent seven seasons in the North American league, the NBA, (Washington, New York and Indiana), announced on October 24, 2020, that he was putting an end to his career at 30 years old. The interior evokes a somewhat forced retirement due to numerous injuries to the knees (cartilage). Séraphin has donned the French team’s jersey 47 times, the last time in the defeat in the round of 16 of the 2017 European Championship against Germany. He was vice-champion of Europe in 2011 (defeat against Spain 98-85 in the final), alongside Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, or Boris Diaw.