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Russia’s World Cup headache: Keeping it safe, keeping it fun

first_imgWinfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Vehicles can also be used as weapons, though. Cities from New York to Barcelona can attest to that.Overall, Russia has rolled out exceptionally high security measures for its first-ever World Cup, coordinating with law enforcement from around the world. The measures can seem heavy-handed — fans forced to walk nearly a kilometer (half a mile) to enter a stadium, Cossacks roaming on horseback, riot police watching over night club parties. Officials say they’re just trying to ensure that fans can safely have fun.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownWHAT FANS FACEThe last thing Russian President Vladimir Putin wants is for an attack to spoil this party. He wants the world to walk away from this tournament in awe, not in fear. So Russia has closed sea ports to dangerous cargo, halted factory production that might pose chemical risks, and positioned fighter jets, just in case.In the city center of Kazan, police and military patrols are posted about every 500 meters (yards). To enter the stadium territory, an Associated Press journalist was made to open all his cigarette packs and test out his lighters, among other security measures.A similar scene greets fans in Nizhny Novgorod. Fans must walk several hundred meters through double security checkpoints, with X-ray machines and body frisks, plastic police barriers and metal fences — just to reach the “Fan Fest” site where matches are shown on giant screens.In the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, uniformed police stand guard near bars downtown, and sealed off all roads around the arena several hours ahead of the first match Friday. The traffic lights continued functioning, ignored.In Sochi on the Black Sea, which hosted the 2014 Olympics, the stadium is surrounded on three sides by the well-secured Olympic Park. That creates a natural buffer and leaves only one well-protected road that fans can funnel through to enter the stadium.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations FILE – In the June 16, 2018 file photo a police officer patrols outside the stadium ahead of the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, file)MOSCOW — When a taxi driver suddenly rammed into pedestrians near Red Square, despite intense security measures around Russian cities for the World Cup, fans and other visitors asked themselves: Are we safe?Moscow authorities insist Saturday’s taxi crash was an accident, after the driver apparently fell asleep . And car accidents can happen just about anywhere.ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ The dramatically worded message may be in part politically driven. Security cooperation has shrunk as Russia-West ties have suffered in recent years over the wars in Syria and Ukraine, alleged Russian election meddling, and the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain. U.S. government staff in Russia has shrunk after tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions.Hooliganism is the other big problem. Russia is working with FIFA and authorities in Britain and other countries to identify threats , and threatens to deport anyone unruly.KILLING THE FUN?At times, the security threatens to extinguish the tournament’s festive spirit.As crowds streamed into Moscow’s Spartak stadium Saturday, a police van rumbled through slowly, keeping watch and separating the throngs. Cheerful chants fell silent.At Bar 11 in Kazan, a newly-opened small club with a DJ playing records, heavily armed OMON police officers came in twice overnight Saturday for routine checks.For fans, the security presence is both a reminder of the risk and a relief, said Jan Petersen of Denmark, heading into Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. “I feel pretty secure,” he said, but at the same time, “I feel the excitement.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES WATCH OUT FOR CARSSaturday’s taxi crash in Moscow revived a long-standing concern: that attackers could use cars to attack soft targets like shopping areas or crowded sidewalks.Moscow police said Sunday this risk was already built into World Cup security measures, and the crash was purely accidental. FIFA and Russia’s World Cup organizing committee wouldn’t comment on whether any extra measures were put in place after the crash.But AP reporters discovered the security perimeter for cars was expanded around Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium for Sunday’s Germany-Mexico match — even beyond the broad limit drawn for Thursday’s opening game.In Saransk, a six-lane bridge over the Insar River is shut to all traffic to keep cars away from the stadium crowds on match days. Traffic is blocked not only on the territory of the Mordovia Arena but also from a perimeter stretching another 250 meters (yards) from the property’s edge.WHY THE WORRYThe threats to Russia, and the danger inherent in the world’s most-watched sporting event, are real.First and worst is terrorism. Moscow, St. Petersburg and Volgograd have suffered suicide bombings by Islamic extremists in recent years — and count among the 11 cities hosting World Cup matches over the next month.While security measures are similar at other major sporting events, this one is especially challenging because it lasts so long and is so spread out.The U.S. State Department even sent a travel warning Friday titled “Russia, Level 3: Reconsider Travel.” In addition to terrorism, the warning said Americans “are often victims of harassment, mistreatment and extortion by law enforcement and other officials.”center_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours View comments DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displacedlast_img read more

Spence keeps IBF title at home with quick knockout of Ocampo

first_imgReferee Laurence Cole sends Errol Spence Jr. to a neutral corner after Carlos Ocampo went down during the first round of a welterweight boxing match Saturday, June 16, 2018, in Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)FRISCO, Texas — Errol Spence Jr. gave the home folks the knockout he figured they wanted. There just wasn’t much of the show he hoped would go with it.Spence stopped Carlos Ocampo to retain his IBF welterweight title, dropping the Mexican challenger with a right hand to the body as the first round was ending Saturday night.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Ocampo (22-1) was fighting professionally outside his home country for the first time.“l got a lot of experience out of fighting Errol,” Ocampo said. “It would have been a very difficult fight for me. I got overconfident at the end of the round and he caught me.”The buildup for the right was all the crowd got, with Spence taking the ring to big cheers with a big Cowboys star logo on the front of his robe. Earlier, Spence got a good roar when he was shown on camera alongside Jones near his locker room.“This moment is a dream,” Spence said. “I wanted to play for the Dallas Cowboys and now I’m fighting in front of the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones.”Spence battered Lamont Peterson in his first title defense in New York in January, winning in the eighth round. Last summer in Sheffield, England, Spence broke Brook’s orbital bone and knocked him down in the 10th round before the fight was stopped in the 11th.This was Spence’s first fight as a co-promoter, the other reason besides the hometown crowd that the show was part of the story line.“We’ll definitely be back after I unify some titles,” Spence said. “We’ll make this an annual thing where I fight here.”Spence’s victory came a week after Terence Crawford took the WBO crown from Jeff Horn, who had beaten Manny Pacquiao a year earlier. But Spence’s focus is on the expected August fight between Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter for the WBC title.“I definitely want to make that a unifying fight,” Spence said. “We both have the same management. Why not make that happen? I definitely want that fight whenever it’s available.”In the previous fight, WBA super bantamweight champion Danny Roman won a unanimous decision over Moises Flores. Roman would have retained the belt regardless of the outcome because Flores didn’t make weight. “I went for the body because we knew he was so drained from cutting weight,” Roman said. “Him missing weight and not being able to win my belt didn’t change anything.”A 10-round junior welterweight fight between Javier Fortuna and Adrian Granados ended in a no-decision after Fortuna appeared to hit his head while falling backward out of the ring during the fourth round. Fortuna was placed in a neck brace and taken away on a stretcher.The 28-year-old Fortuna went to a hospital and was diagnosed with a concussion.“I didn’t push him,” Granados said. “I think he was looking for an excuse on his way out. We were both battling, but I knew he could feel I was getting stronger. Let’s do the rematch.” Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Fighting at the Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility after growing up in the suburbs as a fan of America’s Team, Spence improved to 24-0 with his 11th straight knockout and 21st overall.The crowd might have been left wanting more, as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones jokingly suggested after winking at the camera while celebrating with the 2012 U.S. Olympian in the ring.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown“He can fight again tonight if someone wants to step up and fight him,” Jones said.Ocampo crumpled to the canvas after taking the body shot. He tried to get up but went down to his knees and was counted out in the battle of unbeaten fighters. Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Brother of NBA’s Zach Randolph killed outside of Indiana bar Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial LATEST STORIES DepEd’s Taal challenge: 30K students displaced Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls “I was a little disappointed,” Spence said. “I wanted to give the crowd their money’s worth. I wanted him to sustain a bit and give him some punishment, but the body shot got him and I dropped him.”The 28-year-old Spence was fighting in front of a sellout crowd in the 12,000-seat football stadium that doubles as the indoor practice facility for the Cowboys at their headquarters about 30 miles north of Dallas.Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and several teammates were in the crowd along with Jones.“This room was full of Dallas Cowboys football players supporting you,” Jones said. “They share your passion. I saw a guy in this ring who knew what he wanted. When you knock a guy out by hitting him once on the side of his back, you’re bad to the bone.”It was the second defense of the 147-pound title that Spence won last summer in Englishman Kell Brook’s hometown.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

Poetry March 12, 2015

first_imgEIGHTY-SIX HEARTY CHEERSA BIRTHDAY WISH FOR“THE GRANDE MOTHER MARY NEMA BROWNELL”By Matenneh-Rose L. DunbarA count of twenty…and lots of grounds coveredA rugged walk from childhood to stateswomanshipA bright light that illuminates many dark crevicesA pillar rung deep in the earth that still towers firmlyA friendly wind that blows and lighten heavy loadsA tint of the golden setting sun through grey skiesEight-six hearty cheersA count of forty….and her leadership will struckA child of potency build from timbers of fine woodA patriot of heroism forged for a place of amazonsA tall hut set in the town center to bring us togetherA bucket that draws wisdom in the wells of knowledgeA warmth once experienced creates endless yearningEighty-six hearty cheersA count of sixty…and the platforms is loud for freedomA walk with the ruthless for the sake of a people peaceA plead for the tears of mothers who stood on frontlinesA riot to feed hungry babies with eyes frail from hungerA voice alone on the rocks of ducor for innocent bloodA sweet mother with a legacy which perfumes beautifullyEighty-six hearty cheersA count of eighty… and the songs are still being trumpetedA happy great great grand with a smile that costs millionsA blessing to a younger root who roost near her galaxyA presence of faithfulness to even the smallest of ideasA purple velvet flown on the sails of our ship still in sailA feminine fort for the rights of the girls to be born yetWE DECORATE WITH TEARSBy Matenneh-Rose L. DunbarOn pathless steel grasped concrete slabsMany busied to weep out grown loose grassThat sprouts notoriously in the cement bedsIt is another day to sit and reflect out lossMany souls fell in the wake of the evil plagueWe decorate with tearsOn roads we shall never see or know everMansions watched as the sick were ferriedThat in white suits all protected from harmIt is a story of pain as we shriveiled in fearMay the wounded find solace in JesusWe decorate with tearsOn dusty paths that leads to huge farmsMotorist fled for the lack of what was trueTurning dangerously at the sound of EbolaIce cold feeling entrapped communities dailyMay we never come by this horror againWe decorate with tearsOn heights of wood the die was castMothers fathers sons daughters aunts unclesTaken to a place not heard of before this deathIsolated far from the care of dear loved onesMay God save the land and have mercyShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

La Grange residents benefit from medical outreach

first_imgMore than 100 residents from the village of La Grange on the West Bank of Demerara received medical treatment as part of an outreach organised by the La Grange People’s Progressive Party Group.A resident donating bloodThe medical outreach is the second of its kind organised by the PPP Group and saw numerous residents benefiting.Secretary of the Group, Anjanie Narine, told Guyana Times that the outreach was their way of giving back to the community as well as aiding the National Blood Bank in its calls for more blood donations. Just two hours into the activity, the Group was able to secure 20 units of blood, and members hoped to collect in excess of 75 units by the end of the day.“Our outreach today so far has been very successful. Apart from the medication giving out, we are also giving a hamper to 50 senior citizens in the area and this is in commemoration of the 100th birth anniversary of our founder, Dr Cheddi Jagan and all year we will be having activities. So, the La Grange PPP Group did this sort of activity in remembering Dr Cheddi and he would have wanted us to do this if he was here,” Narine said.The residents were able to benefit from regular medical check-ups, dental care as well as preliminary eye tests. Narine said that as long as the support is available, the Group intends to make the activity an annual one and on a larger scale.The team of doctors included former Culture, Youth and Sport Minister, Dr Frank Anthony; Opposition Member of Parliament, Dr Vishwa Mahadeo; Dr Bheri Ramsarran along with representatives from the Blood Bank.One resident, Golyn Persaud, thanked the Group for the initiative, noting that she was able to receive her diabetes medication without visiting the clinic. In addition, she and her grandson each had a medical check-up. The Group also prepared lunch for the 50 senior citizens to whom hampers had been distributed.last_img read more

Tourism highlighted during Mash parade

first_imgThis year’s Mashramani parade attracted Guyanese and foreigners alike who were lucky to witness this event which reflects the country’s patriotism and rich and diverse culture.With favourable sunny weather and a radiant crowd of hospitable Guyanese, international visitors found the occasion extremely attractive. These included persons from Cuba, Brazil and French Guiana and further north from the United States of America and Canada.Enjoying a savouring Guyanese brew, Julio from Cuba was the picture of satisfaction. An overwhelmed Julio said, “I am feeling great. I am enjoying it with my people – mash is top of the line, it is the best,” he is quoted by the Department of Public Information as saying. He shared that this is his second time in experiencing Mashramani in Guyana.Standing a little further down the way from Julio was French-citizen Bastian and his friend who were immersed in the day’s activities. Bastian who currently lives in French Guiana was witnessing the annual Costume and Float parade for the first time. When asked of his opinion on the event, he stated, “It is very colourful compared to the French Guiana carnival… it is really great and a wonderful experience.”Also present at the parade was Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Brian Mullis and his family. Mullis remarked that he enjoyed the demonstration of national pride evident in all the costumes and the floats and the general vibe of “togetherness.”last_img read more

Farmer mistaken for “acourie” shot by hunter

first_imgAn Essequibo farmer is now nursing two wounds after he was shot by a hunter in the vicinity of the Queenstown Backlands, Essequibo Coast on Friday morning.The injured man has been identified as 54-year-old Lynden Smith of Lot 57 Queenstown, Essequibo Coast.Based on reports received, a 66-year-old resident of Mocha, Essequibo Coast who is a licensed firearm holder was hunting in the area when he heard a sound and thought it was a wild animal, so he discharged two rounds in the direction of the sound.However, it was Smith who was on his farm working about 05:30h on Friday. Smith recalled hearing a loud explosion followed by a burning sensation on his lower back and his buttocks.He also recalled hearing something screaming “Me miss the ackurie” (a wild animal).He, nevertheless, did not see anyone and he went to the Suddie Regional Hospital, where he was treated and the matter was reported.The shooter was arrested, but has since denied that he shot Smith.At the time, he was carrying his licensed Maverick Shotgun along with six cartridges.He was detained and was currently assisting the Police with their investigations.last_img read more

Huskies open season with OT win

first_imgThe Fort St. John Huskies opened the 2008-09 regular season with a dramatic 6-5 win over the Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks on Friday night. New arrival Dustin Heitman scored the first goal of the season, and the only goal of the first period. He knocked in a Paydon Wongstedt rebound, for a powerplay goal – his first as a Husky. Dawson Creek’s Reid Smith scored early in the second, but then the Huskies poured it on, scoring 3 unanswered goals to take a 4-1 lead into the dressing room after 40 minutes. The lead would not last. Dawson Creek came out hard in the third, taking advantage of some sloppy play in the Fort St. John zone, to score 4 goals and take a 5-4 lead. Coach Bob Kalb on the third period collapse. [asset|aid=330|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=ca95e6047c4e070de20b46eee0f077b9-bob-1_1_Pub.mp3] But, the Huskies would fight back. With 3 1/2 minutes remaining, and Fort St. John on a powerplay, Paydon Wongstedt powered from the right corner towards the front of the net. His attempt was blocked by goalie Cody Garnett, but the rebound bounced to newcomer Jason Arnouse, who banged it home to tie the game 5-5. Arnouse only arrived in Fort St. John on Thursday, and describes why and how he ended up in Fort St. John. [asset|aid=331|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=ca95e6047c4e070de20b46eee0f077b9-Jason-1_1_Pub.mp3] As the third period ended, a small scuffle broke out in the neutral zone, and Dawson Creek’s Reid Smith was singled out. His roughing penalty gave the Huskies a 4 on 3 advantage to open the five minute overtime. The penalty would prove costly. With 50 seconds gone in overtime, another Paydon Wongstedt shot was blocked, with a tantalizing rebound lying in the crease for what seemed like several seconds, before Cody Kalb muscled it in to win the game for FSJ. Cody reflects on the winning goal [asset|aid=332|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=ca95e6047c4e070de20b46eee0f077b9-cody-1_1_Pub.mp3] Bob and Cody Kalb reflect on Jason Arnouse [asset|aid=333|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=ca95e6047c4e070de20b46eee0f077b9-bob-2_1_Pub.mp3] [asset|aid=334|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=ca95e6047c4e070de20b46eee0f077b9-cody-2_1_Pub.mp3] The Huskies ended up going 3/9 on the powerplay, with Dawson Creek going 1/5. Husky goals were scored by Dustin Heitman, Tyson Pederson, Luke McInerney (a beautiful move, only 11 seconds after Pederson’s), Jonathan Spence, Jason Arnouse, and Cody Kalb. Paydon Wongstedt had 3 assists, while Steven Fast had 2 helpers. Coach Kalb says he was happy with the play of Andrew Van der Merwe in goal, but he plans to give newcomer Zachary Blain the start on Saturday. Saturday’s game starts at 8 pm at the NPA, against the Grande Prairie Wheelers.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Fly Jamaica on board for GSCL Inc Prime Minister’s Cup 2

first_imgAfter the first successful tournament, Fly Jamaica has thrown its support behind the Georgetown Softball Cricket League (GSCL) Inc as it prepares to stage the Prime Minister’s Cup 2, which is set to commence on October 19 in Georgetown.At a simple ceremony on Monday at the entity’s office in Ogle, Fly Jamaica Ticket Office Marketing Coordinator Patricia Lewis presented the cheque to MarioFly Jamaica Ticket Office Marketing Coordinator Patricia Lewis presents the cheque to Mario Allicock of GSCL IncAllicock of GSCL Inc, and stated that Fly Jamaica was always serious about its corporate responsibility and was happy to give back to society.Lewis congratulated the GSCL Inc for their efforts and wished the teams well, while Allicock expressed gratitude on behalf of the GSCL to the company as the tournament promised to be exciting.The tournament will be played with open and masters’ categories: in the open segment, the winning team will take home $700,000 and runners-up $100,000, while in the masters’ category, the champion team will be given $600,000 and the runners-up will have to settle for $100,000.Some of the venues identified for the playing of preliminary matches are the GNIC SC, Muslim Youth Organisation, Gandhi Youth Organisation, Demerara Cricket Club, Malteenoes Sports Club, Eve Leary, and Everest.Among the teams battling for supremacy in the open segment are Wales Challengers, Enterprise Rebel, Hill Foot Vipers, Farm All-stars, Speedboat, Success, Regal All-Stars, Corriverton, Bartica All-Stars, SVC and Booths XI. The masters’ category includes Albion Masters, Regal Masters, Mike’s Wellman, Enterprise Masters, Ontario Masters, Narine Masters, Florida Guyana, Tropical Spring Masters, Parika Defenders and Fishermen Masters.Regal Masters and Speedboat (open) will be preparing to defend their championship titles. The tournament will culminate on October 21 at the Everest Cricket Club.last_img read more

The Arsenal youngster poised to burst into the first team – Young Guns Blog

first_img Chris Willock has been singled out by Arsene Wenger during Arsenal’s pre-season Arsenal blogger Jamie Sanderson looks at the next young star expected to make the step up from the Gunners’ academy to the first team…It seems like every year there’s a top talent ready to burst out of Arsenal’s glittering academy – and this year is no different.During the friendly with Boreham Wood at the weekend, Arsene Wenger gave a run out to the next exciting prospect to emerge in the form of 16-year-old Chris Willock.This was no reserve run out, as he lined up alongside the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky and Wojciech Szczesny in a strong team. It’s a sign of just how highly he is regarded.Wenger admitted he was interested and intrigued by the winger after hearing plenty about him.Rightly so – Willock has been sparkling for the youth team and despite his young age, has been impossible to ignore.A technical wide man who can play as a number 10, he boasts great skill and speed, and is working hard to add power and physicality to his game in order to become a complete package.Ability must be mixed with attitude for Willock to reach the top, and all the reports are that he’s a good kid, has a great attitude and is hungry to listen and improve.We’ve only just started to get a glimpse of Willock but all the signs are that we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in future.From Jack Wilshere to Serge Gnabry, plenty of talents have used the pre-season to force their way into the first-team setup, and while Willock has time on his side, he’s good enough to make waves this summer and put himself in contention with the senior boys.Arsenal fans, have you seen Willock in action? If so, what do you think? Let us know below… 1last_img read more

Folau could play in billionaire’s Asian venture: report

first_imgThe devoutly Christian player was found guilty this week of a “high-level” breach of the sport’s code of conduct after posting an anti-gay statement on social media, leaving his career hanging in the balance.The 30-year-old has limited options if his lucrative Rugby Australia contract is torn up, with the National Rugby League ruling out signing him and many overseas rugby clubs shying away from his anti-gay views.But Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported that Forrest, himself a committed Christian, could find a spot for Folau in his Global Rapid Rugby competition, which is set to kick off next year.It said the competition was interested in making the fullback a marquee signing for either the Hong Kong-based South China Tigers or the Singapore-based Asia Pacific Dragons.“Global Rapid Rugby has spoken to a number of talented international players and will continue to do so,” a spokesman for the competition told AFP when asked about Folau.“No contracts have been offered to any players.”He added that marquee players were likely to be a part of the competition.Global Rapid Rugby, a fast-paced game with radical new rules, was set up by mining magnate Forrest after his beloved Western Force were cut from the Super Rugby competition in 2017.– Play for free –An eight-team, 56-game competition is due to begin in 2020 after its launch was delayed by 12 months because of this year’s World Cup in Japan.Instead, some of the teams are involved in a “Showcase Series” travelling throughout Asia and the Pacific. The next match is in Hong Kong on Sunday followed by fixtures in Fiji, Australia and New Zealand.But Forrest could face competition from Tonga for Folau, with Kefu saying he would welcome the prolific try scorer.“I’d love that. I think he would get a lot of satisfaction out of playing for Tonga,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.“He could definitely be available for the next World Cup (in 2023).”However, the former Wallabies forward revealed there was a catch if Sydney-born Folau chose to represent his parents’ homeland — he would have to do it for free.“The Tonga Rugby Union has no money, we are 100 percent funded by World Rugby, he said.“We cant afford to pay our players. So our players they play for pride of jersey, they play to representative their families, they play to go to a World Cup.”Rugby Australia’s code of conduct panel is yet to decide what sanction Folau will face — he could be fired from his four-year Aus$4 million contract, fined or suspended.No timescale has been given for the decision, with legal experts warning that whatever happens an appeal is likely, potentially followed by a drawn-out court battle.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Australia’s full-back Israel Folau leaves hisa code of conduct hearing in Sydney earlier this week © AFP / Saeed KHANSYDNEY, Australia, May 9 – Australian billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest could offer Israel Folau a career lifeline in Asia if the star Wallaby’s contract is terminated over his homophobic comments, it was reported Thursday.Tonga coach Toutai Kefu has also said he is keen for Folau to switch allegiance to his team, even though the fullback would have to serve a three-year stand-down period to be eligible.last_img read more