UK government to force £85bn shift to passive in LGPS funds

first_imgThe UK government has launched a consultation on the creation of two collective investment vehicles (CIVs) for the 89 local government pension schemes (LGPS) in England and Wales.The consultation was created following a call for evidence on the future of the LGPS, and independent analysis by Hymans Robertson, a consultancy that dominates advisory services to the LGPS.It proposed the creation of two CIVs for the funds, one to manage entirely passive investments in equities and bonds and one to actively manage alternatives such as private equity, infrastructure and property.The government decision to move towards CIVs comes after speculation it would propose one of three options, including the merging of local funds, or creating geographical CIVs. In a bold move, the government has proposed that funds shift all active listed equities and bonds into passive arrangements, via a new CIV.According to the Centre for Policy Studies, a right-leaning think tank, the funds jointly have around £85bn (€103bn) in active listed assets.The government cited analysis from Hymans Robertson that claimed funds would not have seen lower returns had assets been managed passively over the previous 10 years.The consultancy said the 89 funds would also pay £230m less in management fees in a passive-only CIV.Without taking into account any impact on returns, it also claimed asset turnover fees, for the buying and selling of assets, would have been £190m lower in 2012-13 under passive arrangements.Several funds, however, have defended their employment of active managers, arguing that it has provided outperformance of the market by 5.7% over the last three years.The government is to consult on how it will dictate to funds. It will consider forcing them to shift all active listed mandates to passive, forcing a percentage allocation, implementing a ‘comply or explain’ mechanism, or the status quo.Regarding the alternative asset CIV, the government said its creation would still allow asset allocation to remain at fund level, a critical point against mergers highlighted by respondents to its prior consultation.Hymans Robertson’s analysis showed the LGPS funds could save as much as £240m a year, within 10 years, by aggregating mandates.Schemes currently allocate roughly 10% of assets to alternatives, where it accounts for 40% of fees.The government criticised the heavy use of funds of funds – an expensive yet common way LGPS funds currently access alternatives such as private equity.It also said a CIV based on active alternatives management would allow the funds to further access infrastructure projects by pooling risk.Brandon Lewis, the Conservative minister responsible for the LGPS, said the move would reduce the unsustainable cost of public sector pensions.“The proposals I am setting out today will help reduce investment costs by £660m a year,” he said.Linda Selman, head of LGPS investments at Hymans Robertson, said CIVs might allow the funds to further reduce fees, and reduce the use of active management and funds of funds.“Active management still has an important role to play in accessing market opportunities but should be deployed selectively, when it adds value,” she said.“Ultimately, the balance between passive and active should depend upon the fund’s governance budget, investment beliefs and objectives, and the expected net of fee returns.”Gavin Bullock, pensions partner at Deloitte, warned of the potential impact on the UK asset management industry.“Both the move to pooling vehicles and the potential shift to passive will have a major impact on the UK asset management industry, given the £178bn assets currently under management by the LGPS,” he said.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to consultation on collaboration, cost savings and efficiencies among LGPSlast_img read more

Women of Troy take on Oregon and Washington

first_imgMaking its first-ever trips to Colorado and Utah this past weekend, the USC women’s tennis team came out victorious after notching back-to-back 7-0 sweeps and now they head home for a four-game homestand in Pac-12 play.USC (14-2, 3-0) is set to face off against two conference foes this weekend, starting with Oregon at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and the No. 22 Washington Huskies Saturday at noon.Building off of momentum from easy wins last week, the Women of Troy will once again need the bottom of their lineup to step up and provide the type of support that has been commonplace over the past few weeks.Against the Utes, USC used the 4-6 positions to secure its landslide victory as senior Alison Ramos started singles with a punctuating win in the sixth slot, followed by a win from freshman Gabriella DeSimone on court 5 and a comeback victory by Kaitlyn Christian 5-7, 6-0, 6-0.Facing Colorado, the Women of Troy duplicated their strong performance from early in the weekend, storming past the Buffaloes, first dominating doubles and then sweeping singles. Once again, Ramos started off the show with a win on court 6 and the rest of the USC squad followed in unison with five consecutive victories to end the match.The two victories last weekend allowed the Women of Troy to head back to Marks Stadium with a chance for coach Richard Gallien to secure his 300th career victory as USC’s head coach at the place where it all started.On top of that milestone, USC now has four players who have topped the 20-win mark this season. Led by freshman Zoe Scandalis and her 27-7 record, the Women of Troy also boast fellow freshman Sabrina Santamaria at 24-5 along with Christian and junior Danielle Lao with 22 and 21 wins, respectively.With this strong core, along with the aforementioned strong bottom of the lineup that USC has, the Women of Troy will look to continue their trend of sweeping inferior opponents as the Ducks roll to town Friday. Without a top-100 player, Oregon (9-5, 0-4) will try to break their winless record over USC, which currently stands at 0-18.On Saturday, the Huskies (6-7, 0-4) are coming off of back-to-back losses to Arizona and Arizona State and will seek to rebound against a strong USC squad. With No. 20 senior Denise Dy leading the Huskies’ attack, Scandalis should be tested on court 1, which could amount to Washington’s only victory of the day.As long as the Women of Troy continue to start off strong and boast a potent backend of their lineup, they will remain an extremely tough match for any competitor.last_img read more

Manchester City vs Lyon: TV channel, live stream, kick-off time and team news

first_img silverware MONEY Every Championship club’s best signing of the decade, including Taarabt and Dack The Premier League champions have their sights set on the Champions League.Last season’s painful exit to Liverpool is still raw to Pep Guardiola, who wants to conquer Europe as he did with Barcelona. Notre équipe évoluera ce soir en 4-4-1-1 pour affronter Manchester City. 🔴🔵#MCOL— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) September 19, 2018 Draw in Group F, City’s first game is against Ligue 1 side Lyon, who have made a steady start to their domestic season.They needed a late equaliser to scramble a point against ten-man Caen at the weekend though and will need a big improvement at the Etihad.What time is kick-off?This Group F opener is set for Wednesday, September 19.Kick-off is at 8pm.This is the first ever competitive meeting between the two sides, although City have an excellent home record against French opposition.Which TV channel can I watch it on?You can catch this match on BT Sport 3 and 4K UHD from 7.30pm.If you want to stream the action, grab the BT Sport App which is availabel on mobile, tablet and laptops. RANKED smart causal possible standings Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won What is the team news? impact Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade 1 How we line-up in the #UCL tonight! 🙌City XI | Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Delph, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Silva (C), Bernardo, Sterling, JesusSubs | Muric, Kompany, Agüero, Sané, Mahrez, Otamendi, Foden#cityvol #mancity— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 19, 2018 Guardiola is targeting the Champions League this season FOOTBALL LATEST How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Getty last_img read more

DeGale backs O’Meara to win title

first_imgJames DeGale is backing his friend Steve O’Meara to become Commonwealth light-middleweight champion this weekend.Both men are products of Dale Youth boxing club in Notting Hill and as professionals have worked under trainer Jim McDonnell.McDonnell has nurtured O’Meara.And European super-middleweight champion DeGale believes O’Meara has what it takes to beat unbeaten Liverpudlian Liam Smith at the ExCel London on Saturday and win the vacant title.DeGale told West London Sport: “I’ve seen myself how much he wants it and how much work he’s put in.“I hope all that work pays off and I believe it will. I think he’s going to do it and no-one deserves it more.”O’Meara, who has won his last three fights with early knockouts, will be appearing on the undercard of fellow West Londoner George Groves’ Commonwealth super-middleweight title defence against former world champion Glen Johnson.And McDonnell, who has long been keen for O’Meara to fight for a major title, is confident his man will prevail.“With Steve we’re talking about a quality boxer who’s now also showing he’s got power to match.” said McDonnell.“The improvement in the guy has been phenomenal. When he first came he was probably the weakest guy in the gym. Not anymore.“He’s so strong these days and is ready to take his chance, no doubt about it.”West London Sport will have live updates from ExCel London during Groves and O’Meara’s title fights.See also:O’Meara stuns Toms in west London clashTrainer eyes title shot for O’MearaO’Meara aiming for title gloryO’Meara tipped for title glory in 2012Victory moves O’Meara closer to title shotSteve O’Meara v Tony Randell in picturesO’Meara to fight for Commonwealth titleGroves believes he can stop JohnsonGroves and DeGale in new war of wordsO’Meara ready to seize title chanceSteve O’Meara ‘excited’ as he prepares for his title clashWatch O’Meara and Smith weigh in ahead of their title fightDuo weigh in ahead of title 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Soccer City: an architect’s dream

first_img25 February 2010 Architect Bob van Bebber waited 15 years to realise his dream – and it’s a dream the world can share on 11 June when 88 851 spectators take their seats at South Africa’s spectacular Soccer City stadium for the opening of the 2010 Fifa World Cup™. Van Bebber originally proposed a stadium – not just any stadium but a World Cup stadium – back in 1991 while completing his architecture degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. But he was told a stadium required too much engineering – until then engineers mostly designed stadiums. So he told his professor at the time, respected conservation architect Herbert Prins, that one day he would do it. That day arrived in 2006, when his design for Soccer City was approved. “This has been a dream project that I have been chasing for so long,” he says. A massive calabash, one of the symbols of rural African life, rises from the ground at Nasrec on the outskirts of Soweto in Johannesburg, outflanking the long, surrounding mine dumps. “I wanted to bring aesthetics and design into a stadium,” explains Van Bebber, a keen footballer at one time. The calabash was selected from a number of designs as being “the most recognisable object to represent what would automatically be associated with the African continent and not any other”, he says. “The calabash, or ‘melting pot of African cultures’, sits on a raised podium, on top of which is located a ‘pit of fire’. Thus the pot sits in a depression, which is the ‘pit of fire’, as if it were being naturally fired,” reads the info pack. It is hoped that the calabash shape will be “recognised instantly by spectators in every corner of the world”. Aesthetics and design So, does it have aesthetics and design? Its large, rounded shape is created by means of thousands of glass-fibre concrete panels in eight different earthy colours, fitted together in a patchwork, and curving around into the cantilevered roof. Odd glazed panels punctuate this facade, allowing sunlight to stream in. The three-tier stadium soars 60 metres into the air, and stretches across 300 metres. At night when the lights are on, it takes on a fantastic glow, something almost extraterrestrial. It looks magical from a distance; it looks magical from inside, with its multiple shapes and colours soaring above your head in a curve, as you enter. Although it encases you in its roundness, that roundness is tempered by huge angled concrete columns and ramps on the inside, and although the concrete is dead and grey, the contrasting shapes are alive with design, enhanced by tall open spaces. Van Bebber says that for him the design of the calabash has special meaning. “It symbolises people coming together, a melting pot of cultures, sharing and passing around the calabash.” And the world is going to be sharing from that calabash come June. He says now, with the stadium almost complete and a truly splendid addition to Johannesburg’s growing list of African-inspired structures, that he is “very proud” of it. Construction will take three years – it started in February 2007 and will be complete in March 2010. Sibongile Mazibuko, the executive director of Joburg’s 2010 unit, says the design of the stadium “symbolises the unity of Africa”. “There is something very cultural about it, it touches who we are,” she says. World football body Fifa describes it as “one of the most artistic and awe-inspiring football venues on the African continent”. Seats Arguably the most striking of all the 10 stadiums, teams playing at Soccer City are likely to be overwhelmed by the sounds of cheering and vuvuzelas coming from 88 851 people, the number of seats in the stadium. This is almost double the capacity of any of the other nine World Cup stadiums around the country. Symbolism has been built into it. Nine vertical lines run through the seats and through the facade, aligning with the other nine 2010 stadiums, as well as the Berlin Stadium, where the 2006 World Cup was held. “These are representative of the road to the final, and it is hoped that, after the World Cup, the scores of each game at each venue will be placed in pre-cast concrete panels on the podium,” reads the information statement. “A visit to the stadium will thus provide one with a full history of the World Cup and all its scores.” The stadium has other significance, too. In 1990, Nelson Mandela was welcomed back to his home town, Johannesburg, here. A funeral service was held here for Communist Party leader Chris Hani, who was assassinated in Boksburg in 1993. First in South Africa Van Bebber is an architect at Boogertman Urban Edge & Partners. The firm was ranked first in South Africa and Africa and 63rd in the world for 2008, according to the World Architecture Magazine. It has been around for 25 years, with offices in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town, Dubai and Mauritius. Its designs range from hotels, shopping centres, office parks and showrooms, to industrial parks and homes and palaces. It has picked up awards for the design of the Parktown Quarter, the Irene Village Mall, the Blu Bird Centre in Rivonia and the Bigen Centre in Pretoria. Van Bebber has previously been involved in the design of office towers, a beach resort in Dubai, retail developments, a parkade, sections of OR Tambo International Airport, and Emperor’s Casino in Benoni. He had been working on a stadium design since 2001, believing that South Africa would win the bid to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup. So when, in 2004, it was announced as the host for the tournament, the firm was asked for its design. Boogertman were ready with seven different proposals, among them a design acknowledging the city’s disappearing mine dumps; the kgotla, defined by the tree, of the African city state; the African map as a horizontal representation, with the roof of the stadium depicted as a desert plane set within the mineral wealth of southern Africa; and a representation of the national flower, the protea. Van Bebber says that very little of the old remodelled FNB Stadium was kept. It had only one grandstand, on its western side, with the other three sides simply banked seats. All sides now have covered stands, with two levels of VIP boxes and suites running completely around the stadium. The moat and the curved geometry of the edges of the field have been retained. Van Bebber is particularly proud of the fact that all seats have a good view of the field. The stadium has green-friendly elements. All lighting is energy efficient; materials from dismantled sections of the old stadium were re-used; water collected in the moat around the field is used to water the field, and excess water is used to flush the toilets. The flushing of the urinals is programmed, releasing water in tune to the use of the toilets. Budget The major challenge has been making the budget stretch as far as it can, says Van Bebber. “But despite this, I think we have given value for money.” The original budget started at R1.9-billion in 2007, and escalated to R3.3-billion by the end. Increasing costs for items like materials, the scope of the stadium and import duties led to the jump in budget, costs felt equally by all the stadium construction teams. Mazibuko agrees, saying that the City has got value for money in Soccer City, and that the investment was “quite justified”. She is also pleased with the impact of the development on the surrounding neighbourhood, which is receiving an upgrade. A transportation hub and pedestrian mall is being constructed to its south and the precinct will contain new roads, walkways, lighting, signage, landscaping, CCTV cameras and public amenities. Boogertman brought in overseas stadium contractors Populous, despite not being required to. One person spent three to four days for six weeks working with Van Bebber’s team, fine-tuning the design. “It was amazing how much we had done right,” says Van Bebber. He admits, however, that building the stadium has been an “almost vertical learning curve”. He is pleased with the comparison with the other stadiums around the country. He feels three of them – in Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth – are good but Eurocentric designs, having been designed by German architects. “They’re very slick, with very high specs, and therefore more expensive.” The Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban cost R4.8-billion to build and the Green Point Stadium in Cape Town cost R5,8-billion. “Soccer City compares very favourably with the others, but we feel it’s ahead of the pack,” he says. It seems appropriate that South Africa will play the first game here. At 4pm on 11 June, Bafana Bafana will run on to the field, to face Mexico. Every South African hopes that the final game, at 8.30pm on 11 July, will also see Bafana Bafana run into the stadium, to take the trophy. Standing with Van Bebber in the stands on a wet day, I suddenly became aware of a gentle roar. I looked around, wondering what it was, then realised: it was the rain flashing down on the roof. A gentle roar seemed a good sound for this spectacular stadium. Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Zambian hydro projects in full swing

first_imgZambia’s Kariba North Bank hydro power station is being upgraded (Image: Travel Pod)  All required funds for the US$430-million expansion of Zambia’s Kariba North Bank hydro power station have been secured, and the project is steaming ahead.The scheme got going in 2008 with $325-million provided by Exim Bank, owned by the Chinese government. The outstanding amount of US$105-million has recently been sourced through a loan from the Development Bank of Southern African (DBSA).The granting of the loan was announced on 26 October 2010 in Zambia.Dr Bane Maleke, a divisional executive at DBSA, confirmed the following day that all funding is now in place. The hydro plant is owned by Zesco, Zambia’s state-owned power utility.Maleke said the funding from China is based on an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) agreement.Sino Hydro Corporation, also of China, is the sole project contractor, and the EPC contract means they have taken full responsibility for construction – including the supply of material and labour. The project is due to be completed by December 2012, and it’s hoped that the plant will be operational by early 2013.The expansion plans revolve around the installation of two units with a power-generating capacity of 180MW each. “Through the additional 360MW, this loan facility will ensure that the capacity of the power station is increased from 720MW to 1 080MW,” said Maleke.Kariba North Bank’s capacity was recently increased from 540MW, after four existing generators were upgraded.Delivering Zambia’s 2011 budget speech on 8 October, the country’s Minister of Finance Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane said “impressive progress is being made on the Kariba North Bank Extension Project”.Power supply is expected to improve in local communities in the Siavonga district when the project is complete, DBSA said.More new hydro power projectsThe revamp of the Kariba North Bank hydro plant, located more than 130km south of the capital city Lusaka, forms part of the Zambian government’s efforts to meet growing demand for electricity in the country.There are advanced plans for the construction of a $1.5-billion new project, the 600MW Kafue Gorge Lower hydro station. Work will begin there by mid-2011.Sino Hydro Corporation will also work with Zesco on this project, which Musokotwane said will be “one of Africa’s largest public-private partnerships in the energy sector”. It’s set for completion in 2016.Kabompo Gorge and Kalungwishi hydro electric projects are due to start in 2011. “When completed over the medium-term, these projects will add about 258MW in generation capacity,” the minister added.Zambia has potential to produce over 6 000MW of hydro electric power, but is currently exploiting less than 2 000MW, Maleke said.Improving power access in rural ZambiaThe Zambian government is also planning to develop mini-hydro power stations to improve access to electricity in rural areas as part of its Rural Electrification Programme, Musokotwane said.He added that the about of $6.4-million allocated for the programme in 2011 is the “first step in attaining the government’s target of increasing rural access to electricity from 3% to 15% by 2015”.“The demand for hydropower – which is considered a clean, renewable and environmentally friendly source of energy – has increased tremendously in Southern African, alongside a need to increase the generation capacity of the region,” Maleke said.• At the time of being published, the exchange rate was R7.24 to US Dollarlast_img read more

Memories of Mandela

first_imgNelson Mandela, a towering figure who was revered by many, touched an incredible number of lives. (Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation) • Sello Hatang CEO Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory +27 11 547 5600 • The world pays tribute to a great man • On this day 50 years ago: Mandela arrives at Robben Island • Nelson Mandela’s life on the run, captured • Liliesleaf remembered 50 years on • Nelson Mandela: A final goodbye before life goes onMelissa Jane CookNelson Mandela, a towering figure who was revered by many, touched an incredible number of lives. When he died the world went into mourning and there was a dreaded sense that one of the last men who stood for peace, justice and equality had been returned to the Earth.Condolences poured in from around the world. Dignitaries and diplomats, prime ministers and presidents, kings and queens, domestic worked and teachers, lawyers and children came together to grieve and pay respects for one of the most loved of all world leaders of the 20th century.Rick Stengel, former managing editor of Time and collaborator with Mandela on the latter’s 1993 autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, wrote: “[Mandela]… has become a kind of fairy tale: he is the last noble man, a figure of heroic achievement.”What is most notably remembered by many was his generosity of his time with people. Everyone wanted to meet him, even for just a snatch of conversation or a handshake. Many sought a philosophical conversation or a stirring debate. And he unstintingly gave attention to many, leading to many stories told after his death.In December 2013, Time Magazine published anecdotes from people who knew him best. Jessie Duarte is today the deputy secretary-general of the African National Congress, South Africa’s ruling party, but she was Mandela’s personal assistant between 1990 and 1994, before he entered parliament.“He always made his own bed, no matter where we travelled,” she recalled. “I remember we were in Shanghai, in a very fancy hotel, and the Chinese hospitality requires that the person who cleans your room and provides you with your food, does exactly that. If you do it for yourself, it could even be regarded as an insult. So in Shanghai I tried to say to him, ‘Please don’t make your own bed, because there’s this custom here.’ And he said, ‘Call them, bring them to me.’“So I did. I asked the hotel manager to bring the ladies who would be cleaning the room, so that he could explain why he himself has to make his own bed, and that they not feel insulted. He didn’t ever want to hurt people’s feelings. He never really cared about what great big people [thought] of him, but he did care about what small people thought of him,” she said.Watch Jessie Duarte speak about Nelson MandelaHumanitarian heartSouth African photographer Steve Bloom, whose father Harry Bloom was a political activist, remembered: “During the 1950s my parents, who were anti-apartheid activists, knew Nelson Mandela. I remember the story he told them about the occasion he saw a white woman standing next to her broken car in Johannesburg. He approached her and offered to help. After fiddling with the engine he fixed the car. Thankful for his help, she offered to pay him sixpence. ‘Oh no, that’s not necessary,’ he said, ‘I am only too happy to help.’ ‘But why else would you, a black man, have done that if you did not want money?’ she asked quizzically. ‘Because you were stranded at the side of the road,’ he replied.”Neville Alexander, a political activist who spent 10 years imprisoned on Robben Island alongside Mandela, described his first meeting with the leader: “I was impressed mainly by the warmth and the genuine interest, which was a feature that, subsequently I discovered, is very much part of the man and something which I also must admit now, I learned from him… to give your full attention to your interlocutor, and really take notice of what people are saying, listen to them carefully. In his case, there was a spontaneous, charismatic exuding of warmth. That’s probably the most important, most vivid memory I have of our first meeting.”In hidingWolfie Kodesh, who hid Mandela for nearly eight weeks in 1961 in his flat in a white suburb of Johannesburg, also spoke of his memories: “We had a discussion and an argument about who [was] going to sleep where. I had a tiny flat… and I had a bed and I had a camp stretcher in a cupboard. So when I brought out the camp stretcher, I said to him, ‘Well, I’ll sleep on the camp stretcher. You sleep on the bed because you are six-foot something, I am five-foot something. So the stretcher is just right for me.’ No, he wasn’t going to have that. He hadn’t come there to put me out, and we had a bit of a talk about that and… it was arranged, and I would sleep on the bed.”Stengel, who spent almost two years with Mandela working on Long Walk to Freedom, said: “In 1994, during the presidential election campaign, Mandela got on a tiny propeller plane to fly down to the killing fields of [KwaZulu-Natal] and give a speech to his Zulu supporters. I agreed to meet him at the airport, where we would continue our work after his speech. When the plane was 20 minutes from landing, one of its engines failed. Some on the plane began to panic.“The only thing that calmed them was looking at Mandela, who quietly read his newspaper as if he were a commuter on his morning train to the office. The airport prepared for an emergency landing, and the pilot managed to land the plane safely. When Mandela and I got in the backseat of his bulletproof BMW that would take us to the rally, he turned to me and said, ‘Man, I was terrified up there!’”last_img read more

Pyeongchang Games set to open with Russians still in doubt

first_imgAFP official booed out of forum Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises View comments LATEST STORIES The Gangneung Ice Arena is illuminated at night prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The Pyeongchang Winter Olympics open in two days, but the issue of which Russians are in — and which are out — is dominating the agenda of IOC President Thomas Bach.As Bach presides Wednesday over meetings with roughly 100 IOC members, the Court of Arbitration for Sport — sport’s top legal body — is expected to decide appeals by 32 Russian athletes seeking spots in the Games.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ English Premier League mulls winter break to emulate Europe Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting The 32 failed to pass mandatory International Olympic Committee vetting, imposed as a result of Russian doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.The International Olympic Committee expects 168 Russian athletes to compete under the neutral banner of “Olympic Athletes From Russia.” Hundreds more have been barred, and many have gone to court seeking entry and causing last-minute chaos.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon Citylast_img read more

Arsenal striker Lacazette eager to move past last season’s struggles

first_imgArsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette says he’s not bothered by his critics as he prepares to improve his goal tally at the club.The French striker was heavily criticised by a section of pundits and fans for an underwhelming campaign in his debut season at Arsenal. The former Lyon player who joined the London club last season for a club record fee, scored 17 goals in 39 matches across all competitions.”I don’t care how people judge me,” Lacazette told Football London. “I know if I stay in Arsenal the club is happy and my team-mates as well. This is the most important thing.”It (last season) has finished and for me it’s the past. OK, when I didn’t score, of course I was frustrated but it’s finished. It was my first season so I can’t be too hard on myself, even if I wanted to score more goals.”I’ve learned from this and now I am happy to start a new season.”Arsenal recruited Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund in January, with many seeing the move as an indication of Lacazette’s poor form, but the 27-year-old has dismissed the notion and denies a rivalry with his fellow forward.”I never said it (Aubameyang’s arrival) was bad for me, only people in the press said it was bad,” Lacazette he said. “I was happy because I knew I could play with him.”I didn’t see him as a rival, more like a team-mate, so since the beginning I was happy about his signature.”advertisementBoth Lacazette and Aubameyang have impressed for Arsenal in pre-season and will be hoping to continue their form as the north London outfit host champions Manchester City in their opening league match on August 12.(With Reuters inputs)last_img read more