New pension research centre in Denmark secures DKK12.5m in funding

first_img“We will work to develop a minor in pensions for our many master students in finance and/or economics at CBS,” he said.These courses – and perhaps the minor – will also be available for masters students at other universities, Sørensen said.Funding has been pledged by the pensions sector to the tune of DKK2m per year for the first five years, and CBS will top this up with an extra 25%, or DKK500,000 a year, for five years.The centre aims to put on a “flagship” conference once a year, as well as workshops and possibly other activities to bridge ideas, knowledge and learning between practitioners and academics interested in pension issues, Sørensen said.The first flagship event will be held in June, focusing on the pension sector investing in a low interest-rate environment.Right now, this is one of the two main challenges Sørensen sees facing the Danish pensions industry, the other being the increasing number of people becoming pensioners who will need to sustain their level of living based on pension savings.The centre already has a number of research projects in progress, including one on forecasting stock returns for long-term investors, one on the implications of credit constraints on retirement saving decisions and another on the macroeconomic effects of longevity adjustment of the retirement age and pension benefits.The three directors – all professors at CBS – are Sørensen, Svend Erik Hougaard Jensen from the department of economics and Jesper Rangvid from the department of finance.“Other academics involved in the centre are mostly other researchers from the department of economics and the department of finance at CBS,” Sørensen said.“But there will also be a few academics from other universities – both in Denmark and outside Denmark – involved.”Besides Lærernes Pension and PensionDanmark, the centre’s list of sponsors from the industry includes ATP, Danica Pension, Industriens Pension, Nykredit Livsforsikring, Topdanmark, SEB Pensionsforsikring and Skandia Livsforsikring.Though the centre will work closely with the pension sector, including people working at pension funds and providers on its advisory board, Hougaard Jensen stressed it would maintain academic objectivity.“The cooperation with the pension sector is an essential part of PeRCent,” he said. “It provides us with a direct dialogue so we can coordinate our work with the sector continuously.“But, of course, we are not in the sector’s pocket, and the research we do is independent.”Torben Andersen, professor at Aarhus University – who is currently chairman of the Pension Commission in Denmark – will chair PeRCent’s advisory board.Other members of the advisory board are Peter Løchte Jørgensen, also a professor at Aarhus University; Susan Christoffersen, professor at the University of Toronto; Möger Pedersen; Brüniche-Olsen; Per Bremer Rasmussen, chief executive of industry association Forsikring & Pension; Danica’s chief executive Per Klitgaard; ATP chief executive Carsten Stendevad; and Laila Mortensen, chief executive of Industriens Pension. A new research centre on pensions has begun work in Copenhagen with DKK12.5m (€1.7m) in funding over the next five years, with the aim of increasing knowledge of the subject through research and helping develop the industry sector in Denmark.The Pension Research Centre (PeRCent) started up in January at Copenhagen Business School (CBS), having secured funding from the industry, as well as the business school itself.CBS professor Carsten Sørensen, one of the centre’s three leaders, told IPE: “We hope to provide excellent research output in the period so that the centre may continue receiving external funding from the pension sector in Denmark also, in continuation of this five-year period.”As well as producing this research, the centre will develop pension courses for CBS students.last_img read more

Barca to enforce pay cuts on players who refuse to leave

first_img Loading… Barcelona are plotting to offload several ‘heavyweight’ players and will attempt to enforce pay cuts on those who refuse to leave. The details are outlined in a report from Cadena Ser, who say that incoming boss Ronald Koeman and sporting director Eric Abidal have been placed in charge of ‘cleaning up’ the first-team squad at Camp Nou. Striker Luis Suarez, left-back Jordi Alba and central midfielder Ivan Rakitic are among three of the highest earners who the club are hopeful of moving on this summer, although there are doubts on any other clubs being able to afford their wages. Promoted ContentYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks6 Secret Origin Stories Of Modern FoodsBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made6 Extreme Facts About Hurricanes5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthMost Appreciated First Ladies In The History Of AmericaInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street ArtWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Which Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Fantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread Artcenter_img Read Also: Europa League: Inter set up Sevilla final after thrashing Shakhtar It is claimed that the club will encourage all three to leave the club and if they refuse an exit, the club will then manoeuvre to impose a salary cut – although there are no indications as to how this could occur. Barcelona transfer news looks likely to be increasingly focused on selling players rather than buying this summer as they aim to reduce their wage bill. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Anelka: No meaning to celebration

first_img “There should be no room for such intolerance and racism in sports and we expect that the English Premier League officials as well as the police will give Anelka the appropriate punishment. “We know that English football officials have a very low tolerance for racism at football matches and we hope that all concerned will abhor and show zero-tolerance for this hateful Nazi salute.” Kantor, describing the ‘quenelle’ as “merely a lesser known Nazi salute”, added: “Furthermore, we hope that this gesture is banned in all places of Europe where Nazi salutes are banned. “Merely inverting the traditional Nazi salute should not allow anti-Semites to spread and display their hate with impunity.” West Brom caretaker manager Keith Downing played down the prospect of disciplinary measures immediately after the match. Downing said of Anelka: “He is totally unaware of what the problems were or the speculation that has been thrown around, he is totally surprised by it.” Press Association Sport understands the Football Association will be looking into the matter, while anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out has offered its assistance to the national governing body. Earlier this month FIFA handed Croatia international Josip Simunic a 10-match international ban for leading fascist chanting following his team’s World Cup play-off victory over Iceland. The defender was captured leading songs with associations to Croatia’s former pro-fascist regime. West Brom striker Nicolas Anelka has denied his goal celebration at West Ham on Saturday had any racial or anti-Semitic connotations and asked people not to be “duped by the media”. The former Arsenal and Real Madrid striker caused a storm in his native France by performing the ‘quenelle’ salute made famous in his homeland by comedian Dieudonne M’Bala M’Bala after scoring the first of his two goals at Upton Park in the 3-3 draw. The gesture has been linked to anti-Semitism in France and The European Jewish Congress has demanded action, claiming Anelka should be subjected to the same punishment handed out to those who perform a Nazi salute. Press Association French minister for sport Valerie Fourneyron also condemned the gesture as “shocking” and “disgusting”. But Anelka is adamant it was nothing more than a “special dedication to his friend Dieudonne”. He expanded on Twitter: “I do not know what religion has to do with this story. “This gesture is a dedication to Dieudonne. With regard to the ministers who give their own interpretations of my quenelle, they are the ones that create confusion and controversy without knowing what the gesture really means. “I ask people not to be duped by the media. “And of course I am neither racist nor anti-Semitic.” Dr Moshe Kantor, president of The European Jewish Congress, believes Anelka should be punished, however. “It is sickening that such a well-known footballer would make such an abusive and hateful gesture in front of tens of thousands of spectators,” Kantor said. last_img read more

Mourinho admits to Costa gamble

first_imgChelsea manager Jose Mourinho has admitted he is taking a risk in selecting Diego Costa for Sunday’s Premier League clash at Manchester City, but that the Blues cannot do without their star striker. “Let’s hope he comes in the right direction and becomes available to play every game.” After 13 years with Chelsea, Frank Lampard is now part of Manchester City’s squad, having joined on loan from New York City FC. Lampard has made just one appearance for City so far – he was hauled off at half-time at Arsenal – and may not feature against his former club. Mourinho does not believe Chelsea’s record goalscorer has burnt his bridges with west London by moving to City and will return in future. “I believe that nothing has been lost. His place in Chelsea’s history is untouchable,” Mourinho added. “I still believe that what this club proposed to him, which is to be back when he wants and to do what he wants. These were the words from Mr Abramovich (Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner). I think it’s not in any danger. “We thought he was going to play for New York. He decided to play for Man City. It was just an option, and he had that right to do that. “I cannot wish him good while he’s playing for a direct rival, especially when he’s playing against us, but he will always be one of my favourite ever players.” Chelsea, with a 100 per cent record, are already five points clear of City, who have not won in three matches, including the midweek loss at Bayern Munich. But Mourinho played down the significance of the contest on a title race which is only just beginning and which, he says, also features Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United. “We play against 19 other teams and for the title it’s not just City,” he added. “We are in September, we have a long run and we need to try to improve.” Mourinho has analysed last season’s matches at the Etihad Stadium, when Chelsea won, ending City’s 61-game run of scoring at home in the Premier League, before 12 days later falling to a 2-0 loss in the FA Cup. Mourinho continually spoke of City having the best squad in the Premier League last term, but he declined the opportunity to appraise them against his bolstered Chelsea this term. “I don’t want to compare,” he said. “I just want to say that I feel our squad is better than last season.” The Portuguese also insisted his relationship with City boss Manuel Pellegrini is good, despite some verbal barbs last term. “We don’t spend holidays together,” Mourinho said. “I respect the person and the manager. I will be on the bench. If he comes, at his house (stadium) and gives me his hand, I will be more than happy give him mine. “I don’t have a problem. Far from it, no problems.” His relationship with Abramovich also appears good, with the Russian billionaire seen in jubilant celebration during last week’s defend of Swansea. Mourinho said: “I work for him. I cannot call him or knock on his door and ask: ‘Mr Abramovich, are you happy?’ “But my feeling is, yes. My feeling, as every Chelsea fan – and he’s not just a fan, he’s the fan and he’s the owner – is happy.” Press Association Asked if Costa was so important to Chelsea that Mourinho had to pick him, the Blues boss said “yes” before answering in the affirmative when asked if it was a risk. “Diego is not in the best conditions, but he will start the game,” said Mourinho, who reported no other injury problems. “He plays this game, he cannot play against Bolton (in the Capital One Cup next Wednesday). It’s as simple as that. “I know clearly that we have to try to protect him until he gets completely fit.” Only rest will resolve the problem, but Mourinho, Costa and Chelsea’s medical staff have discussed the issue as they bid to find a solution during a challenging period of fixtures. The City trip is the first of four key domestic games in Champions League weeks for the Blues. The trip to Sporting Lisbon is followed by a home clash with Arsenal, Manchester United away follows the Maribor home tie and a date at Liverpool is immediately after the trip to Slovenia. “In this moment I don’t have this problem,” Mourinho said. Mourinho opted to select the Spain striker, who has scored seven times in four Premier League matches this term, only as a substitute in Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw with Schalke in Champions League Group G. The £32million summer signing from Atletico Madrid is not ready to play more than one game a week, according to Mourinho, after a hamstring problem recurred while on international duty earlier this month. last_img read more

Howe faces ‘role models’

first_img The young Bournemouth manager, widely considered among the most promising in the country, observed Brendan Rodgers’ methods while the Northern Irishman was in charge at Swansea before his appointment at Liverpool. As a young player he also worked under Sean O’Driscoll, one of his predecessors at Bournemouth who this summer became Rodgers’ new assistant, and there is little question he has been strongly influenced by the two. Eddie Howe will be competing against two of his “role models” when Bournemouth face Liverpool at Anfield on Monday. Press Association “I thought it was nothing more than he deserved, really, because he’s an outstanding coach. It’s great to see the good guys do well in football. I’m delighted for him but when we meet up it’ll be purely work. “[O’Driscoll was] probably hugely influential, without me really directly knowing it, in a sense that you’re moulded by experiences and people that you work with and work for. “I was associated with Sean for a long time, way back to my youth team days. Naturally, when you look at someone and observe them closely you inherit their beliefs and some of the ways that they work. “I certainly believe Sean had a huge part in my management style. Obviously he’s moved on and I haven’t seen or worked with him for a long time, but I think that stays with you. I was very lucky, as a young professional, to have such a forward-thinking coach as Sean.” Howe also said Bournemouth are not at present bidding for any players, including reported targets Charlie Austin or Jonathan de Guzman. The three share similar philosophies on how football should be played, preferring creativity and possession to pragmatism or being direct. “[Rodgers has] been a role model, really, for me,” said Howe, 37. “Someone you look up to and admire. I admired watching his Swansea teams play. “When you try and analyse games and analyse systems, and philosophies, he’s certainly someone that I’ve looked at. I respect the way he conducts himself as well. “I think he’s now building another Liverpool team, a new Liverpool team, this year, so it’ll be interesting to see how they do. “Liverpool are going to be up there competing in the top places in the league, there’s no doubt about that. That’s why it’s going to be one of our toughest games of the season. [It’s] Liverpool’s first home game of the season, making it even more special. For us, we’ve got to make sure we turn up.” O’Driscoll was appointed to replace Liverpool’s previous assistant manager, Colin Pascoe, after Rodgers controversially chose to reshape his coaching staff at the end of a disappointing season. His arrival at Anfield surprised many observers but Howe was not among them because, as with Rodgers, O’Driscoll taught him so much. “It won’t mean anything to me during the game because you’re working and you’re there to do a job and get a result, but it’s great to see Sean doing so well and at a great club like Liverpool, so congratulations to him on that move,” said Howe. last_img read more

Man City smash eight past Watford, VAR drama in Spurs defeat

first_imgBy Peter HallLONDON, England (Reuters) – Manchester City responded to last weekend’s first Premier League defeat since January, with an emphatic 8-0 hammering of Watford, while Tottenham Hotspur were on the wrong end of a tight VAR call in a 2-1 loss at Leicester City yesterday.With league leaders Liverpool not in action until their today trip to Chelsea, City were looking to close the gap to two points.It took City less than a minute to prove the defeat against Norwich City was a minor setback as David Silva opened the floodgates with a well-worked opener. Further goals from Sergio Aguero, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Nicolas Otamendi gave City a 5-0 lead in under 18 minutes – the fastest a team has scored five times in Premier League history. City had Manchester United’s Premier League record victory margin – a 9-0 win over Ipswich Town in 1995 – in their sights but fell short by one goal.Bernardo Silva completed his first top flight hat-trick to make it 7-0 before Kevin De Bruyne’s brilliant strike completed the rout. “The same feeling I have now I had after Norwich so it was not a bad performance,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. “We can lose the games but the important thing is the approach and how we react.“What I like the most is normally when it’s 5-0 at halftime the second half is not serious, it’s boring but we did the opposite and we were more aggressive and made a very good second half.”VAR FRUSTRATION FOR SPURSThe Video Assistant Referee (VAR) disallowed two goals in a Premier League match for the first time as Tottenham slipped to a second defeat of the season after Leicester came from behind to secure the 2-1 win at the King Power Stadium.Wilfred Ndidi thought he had given Leicester the lead when he bundled the ball into the net only for VAR to rule out the effort for offside. However, there was no question over Harry Kane’s 29th minute strike as he fired past Kasper Schmeichel to give Spurs the lead.Serge Aurier thought he had doubled the visitors’ advantage but VAR, to the delight of the home fans, ruled that Son Heung-min was offside during the build-up. Replays showed the call was marginal.“If we scored the second, the game is over,” Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said. “It gives belief to a team that could have been dead.”The reprieve did shift the momentum in the home side’s favour, as Ricardo Pereira converted Jamie Vardy’s cross to equalise three minutes later, before James Maddison fired in an unstoppable winner five minutes from time. “It’s what happens with VAR, you have to get your head round it,” Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said. “It works for you and against you. Worked both ways for us today!”Elsewhere, the pressure was mounting on manager Marco Silva after Everton slipped to a third defeat in four league games after newly-promoted Sheffield United came away from Goodison Park with a 2-0 victory.Manchester City’s conquerors Norwich City came back down to earth with a bang after slipping to a 2-0 defeat at Burnley. Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion played out a goalless draw.last_img read more

Segun Toriola: Heading for 7th Olympics with Hope

first_imgThough Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung has set a target of 10 gold medals for Nigeria at the Rio Olympics, but aside few optimists, not many are counting on the country to do well at the world’s biggest sporting fiesta considering shabby preparations and the quality of athletes. However, when the competition starts on August 5, a Nigerian would be setting a record. Segun Toriola would be the first and only African to have appeared seven times at the global show-piece. In this report, Kunle Adewale, captures Toriola’s mood ahead of the eventIf Segun Toriola had not taken to table tennis, it would have been a big surprise. The game runs in the family as all his older siblings played the game that is generally believed to be China’s biggest export to the world of sports. Indeed, Segun’s father adored the game a lot, so much so that he gave out a whole floor of his house for it.“Table tennis runs in my family. All my brothers played table tennis and some of them even played for Nigeria before me. My father loves table tennis a lot. He bought table boards and installed them in a big building in our family house in Lafenwa area of Abeokuta, Ogun State. Here, we all played the game. He allowed us to make use of the entire third floor of the building for table tennis,” Toriola said. According to Toriola, he never went to any table tennis club or stadium, but simply developed his skills in his father house. It was therefore not surprising that scouts were quick to recognise the potentials in him while playing local competitions in Abeokuta.“I was discovered in Abeokuta. I was about the only junior player in the state then that was doing very well. From then on, I was invited to participate in tournaments across the country after which I started representing my state in national competitions and that was how I came to the limelight,” the Olumo High School, Abeokuta,  graduate recalled.But it was not until after the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona that Toriola decided to turn professional. “By 1992, I had become one the best players in the country and I realised that if I needed to improve my game or want to become a professional player, which had always been my dream I had to go abroad where there are better opportunities, exposure to better facilities and coaching. So, I left for Italy to pursue my dream,” he said.Since then, he has not looked back. He has represented Nigeria at every level – the All African Games, Commonwealth Games and the Olympics.On how he feels going for his seventh Olympics, a feat no African athlete had achieved, he said: “I feel so happy to be the first African to achieve such a feat and it was something I never dream of. It was really unexpected. When I participated in my first Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, I did not expect that I would still be playing up till now, because it was a very long way.Toriola now joins table tennis legends, Jean-Michel Saive of Belgium, Jorgen Persson of Sweden and Zoran Primorac of Croatia in an elite group of players who have played at seven Olympic Games.Asked whether the inability of the Nigeria Table Tennis Federation (NTTF) to focus on the development of young players that could have taken over from him that was responsible for his being around up till now, Toriola said,  “Nigeria is really improving in table tennis. For instance Aruna Quadri is one of the best in the world today. Bode Abiodun and Sheyi Ojo are also doing very well. There are many upcoming players in the country that are doing very good but what has kept me going is hard work. People always say that I have been around for so long but they don’t know how hard I work. It is my hard work that is giving me the edge and not that the upcoming once are not improving.”He however admitted that the Rio Olympics would be his last in the world’s biggest sporting fiesta. “This would definitely be my last Olympics because its time I needed to start supporting the young ones and also see to the discovery of another great table tennis player for Nigeria.”Since the country has been participating in the Olympics no table tennis player has stood on the podium to collect a medal of any colour, but Toriola believes the tide may change this time around, especially with the new rules in place in which every country represented now have equal advantage in numbers of representation. “The chances of Nigeria table tennis team winning a medal are 50-50. With the new system in place, whereby every country have equal representation, we stand a good chance of taking something back, unlike in the past whereby the Chinese would be represented by about five or more players. Though, the Chinese still have the edge over other countries because they are still the best,” the four-time All-African Games champion admitted.The captain of the table tennis team to the Rio Olympic in Brazil, however believes the team would not be under pressure to perform at the games.“It is very important that we put up a good performance and make the country proud at the Olympics. We are preparing ourselves very well and hopefully, we will have something to celebrate in Rio.“Quadri is an experienced player and he is the best in Africa for now based of his achievement but I don’t think that he will be under unnecessary pressure in Rio because he is not going to be thinking about the games. It is only when an athlete thinks like that, that he put himself under unnecessary pressure. As a team, we will not be playing under pressure too as we want to go out there and make names for ourselves and the country,” he said.The NTTF President, Wahid Oshodi also believes the players are gearing up to do well in Brazil: “Our preparation could be a lot better but we all know the problem that is facing sports today. The players have been doing their best to keep in shape and working very hard before the tournament kicks off. We are hopeful and confident that these players will do us proud,” Oshodi said. Toriola was born in September 1974 and he is the youngest of nine brothers. He has been amongst the top table tennis players in Africa since the mid-1990s. Ranked number 1 in Africa from 1998 to June 2008.He is renowned for his unusual style of forehand play, which makes him an awkward opponent for many. Despite lacking good footwork, he has an excellent topspin, which has allowed him to pull off many upsets with top world players.His biggest achievement at the Olympics was reaching the men’s singles 1/16 final at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. His 1/32 match-up with Jean-Michel Saive was seen by many as one of the highlights of the men’s singles tournament.His fifth Olympic appearance in 2008 made him the first Nigerian to appear at five Olympics. This feat was achieved four years earlier by Mary Onyali and also in 2008 by fellow table tennis player, Bose Kaffo. By the end of the 2008 Summer Olympics, only thirteen table tennis players worldwide had appeared at least five Olympics. With his participation in 2012 Olympics in London, he became the only Nigerian athlete to appear at six Olympics, and one of the three African to do so.During his career, he has won multiple medals in international singles tournaments.Nigeria would be represented in Rio by the trio of Toriola, Aruna Quadri and Bode Abiodun. Toriola and Quadri would be participating in the singles events while Abiodun would join in the team event, while Funke Oshinaike in the only female player that will represent the country in the women’s singles.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Bookies Corner – By POPular Demand – Eurovision 2017

first_img Danske Spil calls for esports makeover with Pinnacle Solution August 25, 2020 StumbleUpon Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 Share Submit Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 Europe’s live pan-continental pop contest ‘Eurovision’ will be broadcast this Saturday night to an expected audience of +300 million.  SBC gets the bookies low-down in what may be the most interesting TV/novelty market in sports betting. Bookies reveal what makes a great Eurovision contender, how politics and culture can affect the song contest and whether Britain pop’s standing will be the first real casualty of Brexit!___________________________Feilim Mac An Iomaire – Paddy PowerSBC: Why is Italian singer Francesco Gabbani’s “Occidentali’s Karma” the current market favourite? What makes a strong Eurovision contender?Feilim Mac An Iomaire (Paddy Power Head of PR): Italy’s Occidentali’s Karma by Francesco Gabbani is the bookies favourite for a combination of reasons.It’s original video has amassed over 110 million views, outlining its popularity. The Pop song has an upbeat tempo making it an easy one to sing along to (if you can speak Italian and even if you can’t you’ll try!)It has a peaceful message that will resonate to the viewers without being too cheesy. To top it all off it Francesco will be joined on stage by a dancing gorilla which cant be underestimated…It’ll be a tough one to beat! Mirio Mella, PinnacleSBC: How has the new round of voting introduced last year impacted bookmaker’s Eurovision markets? Has this proved to be an effective tool at making the competition fairer and more exciting?  Mirio Mella (Pinnacle, Head of Customer Engagement): Eurovision has always been promoted as an angel of peace and unity across the continent singing hymns of fluffy Euro-pop. Unfortunately, rather than producing an open forum for the appreciation of a wide spectrum of musical cultures, the contest can appear like an exercise in selective back-scratching of country blocks.The addition, in 2009, of points from the good citizens of Europe via TV-votes – in a 50-50 split alongside the jury panels – was intended to change this.Unfortunately, this didn’t address the issues around block-voting, but the decision to double the number of points available and announce the TV-vote results in reverse order after all of the jury panel votes in Eurovision 2016 did at least appear to inject some edge-of-the-seat excitement.There was a marked difference of opinions between juries and TV-voters, which ratcheted the drama of scoring up several octaves. Famous Europeans ‘Australia’ had looked to be in control from the jury vote until viewers swept Ukraine’s Jamala home to victory.The shifting sands of politics can of course mix things up, Russia’s absence this year a case in point, while any spread on the UK’s points haul in 2017 is likely to be significantly lower as a result of Brexit.In general, however, the change in voting presentation seems to be progressive and a recognition of the importance of adding excitement to the growing sense of spectacle. This change doesn’t make Eurovision any easier for bookmakers to price, but on the other side of the Euro, there is still potential value for specialist bettors. Pinnacle currently has Italy, represented by Francesco Gabbani, as the very short 1.719* favourite.Tim Reynolds – Sun BetsSBC: Is the impact of ‘block voting’ overstated within the Eurovision Finals markets, can European political and cultural complexities be overvalued or misplaced for what is simply a Song Contest?Tim Reynolds (Sun Bets Head of PR ): “I think we probably need to make a distinction between the dodgy Eastern European block voting we’ve seen in the past, and the cultural reasons some countries vote certain ways.On the latter, it’s completely understandable that some countries have their favourites. Greece and Cyprus are a good example of one little pact that no one really minds- and with just one win between them in the history of Eurovision, a pact that doesn’t really influence the outcome of the competition! Likewise, I think a lot of us Brits know that after Brexit, we’re not exactly Europe’s cup of tea at the moment! The public are swayed by political and culture events, and it’d be naïve to think there isn’t an impact in their voting.The serious and organised block voting is very different, and hopefully won’t happen again this year. The very possibility that it could happen tells us one thing- Eurovision matters so much more on the continent than it does to us Brits. Eurovision is everything to some of these ex-Soviet and Balkan states… to us, it’s an opportunity for a cheeky little bet and a night in with a Chinese take-away.”Kate Baylis – BetfairSBC: Former X-Factor contestant Lucie Jones is Brexit Britain’s Eurovision candidate…surely its ‘Null Points’ for UK pop in 2017?Kate Baylis (Betfair Media Relations Manager): This year’s Eurovision will be a barometer which gauges the level of animosity that the big three continental nations feel towards the UK, and while Germany are favourites at 5/4 to award zip to the UK, the betting suggests that France and Italy may be a little more generous in their allocation of points.’While Brexit might mean that the other European countries have a bit of ill-feeling towards us, the Irish are usually good for a few votes for the UK – so while Lucie is a 50/1 outsider for the Eurovision crown, we have her at 16/1 for Nul Points overall as we still expect her to pick up some votes. 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Winning start for Bechem and Guan in play-offs

first_imgBechem United and Guan United picked up wins in their opening fixtures in the Division One play-offs for Premier League football on Wednesday.Four teams are involved in the Zone 1 competition with the side that finishes top after three rounds of matches qualifying for the elite division.Guan kicked off their promotion campaign with a 2-1 win against Yassin at the Essipong Stadium to go top of the standing.At the Robert Mensah Stadium in Cape Coast, the clash of the former Premier League campaigners ended in favour of Bechem, who defeated local rivals B.A. United 1-0. The win leaves Bechem in second place behind Guan.All sides will be back in action on Saturday with the top of the table clash between Bechem and Guan coming at the Essipong Stadium.B.A Utd will battle Yassin at the Robert Mensah Stadium. Zone 1 – Match-day-1 – June 19Guan 2-1 Yassin – Essipong StadiumBechem 1-0 B.A Utd – Robert Mensah Stadiumlast_img read more

Appiah:Black Stars cannot get complacent

first_imgThough assured of massive home support in the first leg playoff of the World Cup qualifier against Egypt, Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah insists the Black Stars cannot get complacent.The Black Stars, chasing their third consecutive appearance at the finals must navigate past Egypt over two-legs to reach Brazil.Appiah is confident that Ghana can turn their World Cup dream into reality if they stay grounded and show respect to their opponents, who are one of the continent’s best teams. “It’s a big game,” the Black Stars coach told “It’s a game which is important to all Ghanaians and every member on my team is aware of that.””Egypt are seven-time African champions and trying to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1990. That will give them some added boost going into the game.”Egypt’s achievement, according to Appiah should serve as motivation for his players to get a good result at the Baba Yara Stadium. “Their record in its sense means that we cannot look down on them. We can’t get complacent. We have to prepare well and remain focused,” Appiah said.The Ghana coach believes the Black Stars will be better equipped to deal with the atmosphere in Kumasi, having experienced big game moments like their previous World Cup qualifier against Zambia.”The expectation will always be there whenever the Black Stars have a game.”I can say I was more anxious during the Zambia game. There’s been no panic since the pairing with them[Egypt].”I have respect for them. They are a good side,” concluded the Ghana coach. The aggregate winner after both legs qualifies for next year’s finals in Brazil.last_img read more