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OFW Trestle Tan relishes chance to resume pro career at ONE

first_imgReport: Disney dropping the ‘Fox’ from movie studio names Trump assembles a made-for-TV impeachment defense team Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments Most Filipinos are no strangers to having a side job apart from their main source of income, and Trestle Tan is one of the many workers who have a second career.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 PSL: Generika-Ayala barges into quarterfinals, escapes Petron MOST READ Putin’s, Xi’s ruler-for-life moves pose challenges to West ‘High crimes and misdemeanors’: Trump impeachment trial begins LATEST STORIES Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Palace OKs total deployment ban on Kuwait OFWs Working as an overseas Filipino worker for the past six years, Tan managed to squeeze in a mixed martial arts career to help make ends meet.And after sitting idly from the sidelines for the past two years, Tan is ready to continue his MMA career.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone still willing to coach Gilas but admits decision won’t be ‘simple yes or no’Tan will face South Korea’s Dae Sung Park in the undercard of ONE: Pursuit of Power at Kuala Lumpur’s Axiata Arena on Friday.“I’ve been waiting for this for almost two years, I’m happy to be back,” said Tan (4-6). “I can finally resume my professional career. I would like to thank ONE Championship for opening its door again. It’s time to put in the work.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Tan has bounced around Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore but is currently a trainer at a high-end martial arts training facility in Ho Chi Minh City.“It was hard at first because I had to set aside what I wanted, but I know my family back home is my priority,” said Tan who last loss to Agilan Thani on Sept. 2, 2016. “I chose to work abroad and try to give them a good life.”“It’s difficult because I wouldn’t see my family and friends for a very long time, I just kept on reminding myself that all would be worth it someday.”ADVERTISEMENT In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’last_img read more

Mighty Sports sweeps group stage in Dubai tilt

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Brownlee unleashed 27 points, including a 3-pointer that put Mighty Sports ahead for good, 79-76, with 2:32 to go.Roosevelt Adams was again a spark off the bench with 21 points, highlighted by four triples, and seven rebounds in 29 minutes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsRandolph Morris added 19 points, six rebounds and two blocks for the Philippine side, which climbed to 4-0.Jordan Adams, who had a brief stint with the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA, paced Al Wahda with 22 points. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:43Philippines make clean sweep in Men’s and Women’s 3×3 Basketball02:14Carpio 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 In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ LATEST STORIES Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Wizards lose John Wall for year with ruptured left tendon Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California collegecenter_img View comments Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMighty Sports Philippines needed a late run to put away Al-Wahda Syria, 85-81, and finish the group stage undefeated in the 30th Dubai International Basketball Championship Wednesday (Manila time) at Shabab Al Ahli gymnasium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.Justin Brownlee and Roosevelt Adams led the game-clinching 14-0 blast after Mighty Sports trailed, 76-70, with less than five minutes remainingADVERTISEMENT Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebralast_img read more

20 Political Parties Dragged to Court

first_imgTwenty political parties have been sent to court for failing to live up to party standard; that is according to Liberia’s elections body, the NEC.The commission on Monday filed a petition to revoke the “Registration and Accreditation” of 20 registered political parties in Liberia.Those suspected delinquent parties include: 1) former warlord, Senator Prince Y. Johnson’s National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP); 2) the Liberian Transformation Party of former presidential candidate Rev. Kennedy Sandy; 3) the National Vision Party; 4) Ambassador Dew Mason’s National Democratic Coalition; 5) the Citizens Unification Party.The National Elections Commission also announced that the: 6) Freedom Alliance party; 7) Original Congress Party; 8) Progressive Democratic Party; 9) Liberian Destiny Party; 10) Liberian National Union; 11) Alliance for Peace and Democracy; 12)Liberian Empowerment Party; 13) Progressive People’s Party; 14) National Reformation Party; 15) National Democratic Party of Liberia; 16) Reconstruction Party; 17) National Social Democratic Party of Liberia; 18) Republican Party; 19) Liberia Equal Rights Party; 20) the Majority Party of Liberia, are all expected to face the Civil Law Court shortly.According to the petition, the political parties violated Articles 83(d)  and 79 (c)(i) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia as well as Part II Chapter IV of the Guidelines Relating to the Registration of Political Parties and Independent Candidates.Article 83(d) of the Constitution makes it mandatory that every political party in Liberia shall on September 1, of each year, publish and submit to the NEC detailed statements of assets and liabilities. These shall include the enumeration of sources of funds and other assets, plus a list of expenditure. Article 79(c)(i) in relevant part, mandates that no association shall function as a political party, unless the headquarters of the association is located in the Republic’s capital, while Part II, Chapter IV of the Guidelines Relating to the Registration of Political Parties and Independent Candidates mandates that “each political party shall maintain an updated bank account with a balance not less than US$10,000 or its equivalence in Liberian Dollars.The Electoral body explained that the Liberian Reconstruction Party,  National Social Democratic Party of Liberia, Republican Party, Liberia Equal Rights Party, Majority Party of Liberia and the Progressive People’s Party “absolutely failed to comply with the constitutional requirement of Article 83(d) as well as the regulatory requirement of Part II Chapter IV of the Guidelines relating to the registration of Political parties and Independent Candidates by the failure to  publish and submit detailed statements of their assets and liabilities and maintaining a bank balance of not less than 10,000 United States Dollars or its Liberian Dollars Equivalence.In the case of the National Democratic Coalition, National Democratic Party of Liberia, and Alliance for Peace and Democracy, NEC intoned that the parties did not only neglect the above mentioned constitutional and regulatory requirement to publish and submit detailed statement of their assets and liabilities on September 1, they also failed to make such submission during a grace period provided to them by the Commission.The National Vision Party of Liberia, National Union for Democratic Progress, Citizens Unification Party, Freedom Alliance Party, Original Congress Party, Liberia Empowerment Party, Progressive Democratic Party, Liberia Destiny Party, Liberia National Union, Liberia Transformation Party and the National Reformation Party in addition to failing to meet the above mentioned mandatory constitutional and regulatory requirement, knowingly submitted misleading and false assets and liability statements to the NEC, knowing full well that the declared amount and or accounts were false or did not exist.In the petition filed before assigned Circuit Judge, Peter Gbeneweleh Monday in Monrovia, the Commission asked the Civil Law Court to revoke, nullify and set aside the respective registrations and accreditation of the 20 political parties, declaring them no longer in existence.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

VP Boakai Wants Media to Expose Societal ills

first_imgVice President Boakai with members of ALJA, including its President, Moses SandyVice President, Joseph N. Boakai has urged the Liberian media to be robust and objective in exposing societal ills by reporting nothing but the truth.He said truth telling based on research and verification of facts by journalists in their coverage of happenings in the country is critical for unbiased and accurate reporting.According to a press release issued by the Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) on April 19, Vice President Boakai made the statement last Tuesday in Washington, D.C. when he granted audience to a four-man delegation of the Association, led by its President, Moses D. Sandy.A member of the Association’s National Board of Directors, Volcano Shelton, and the Delaware Valley Chapter President, Jackson T.S. Seton, and Vice President, Pewee Baysah met with the Vice President.The Vice President and the ALJA delegates discussed the Association’s role in sustaining the prevailing peace and stability in Liberia, government-media relations, and the current political situation in the country, with particular focus on the 2017 general and presidential elections.Mr. Boakai said the current wave of ethical transgressions in the local press is not healthy for the projection of a positive image of Liberia at home and abroad.He said journalism is a noble and respectable profession, but the ongoing reporting of falsehood, blackmailing and the character assassination of public officials by some journalists and media institutions with impunity are literally hurting the credibility of the Liberian media. He observed, “Not all public officials are corrupt or dishonest.”He maintained that sensational journalism influenced by the drive for economic gain by some media houses and journalists in Liberia is unpatriotic and such practice dampens the image of the country in the international community.“It drives away investors, stalls national development, and influences foreign policies that are not favorable to our country and people,” Mr. Boakai, who is also the standard bearer of the ruling Unity Party (UP), said. He stressed: “We have done a lot of good things in Liberia, but they are not reported in the press.”He said in the wake of the stated problems, it is sad that the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), the umbrella organization of the local Liberian press, is yet to take the needed corrective actions against journalists and media institutions that are blatantly violating media ethics and eroding the trustworthiness of the press.On the 2017 general and presidential elections, the Vice President said the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration is committed to ensuring a free, fair, and transparent election in Liberia.“As Vice President and standard bearer, I want to see a Liberia that works for all Liberians, including those in the Diaspora,” he noted.ALJA President Moses Sandy thanked the Vice President and the Liberian government for the good work they are doing in maintaining peace and stability in the country.Mr. Sandy said ALJA is a non-partisan organization which is interested in seeing a Liberia where the media, public officials, and all human beings regardless of race, religious, social, political and ideological differences would live in peace and harmony.He called on the Sirleaf administration to ensure that the pending 2017 elections are held peacefully. “Mr. Vice President, this election is a critical period in Liberia. It can either make or break the peace and quietude that Liberia now enjoys; so, everything must be done to make sure that the process is free of intimidation, violence and fraud.”He said ALJA remains devoted to ensuring that press freedom in Liberia is protected. “ALJA will not support any media institution or journalist that opts to engage in ethical transgressions or any other form of media malpractices. If the government encroaches on press freedom, we will raise the alarm and ask for corrective actions. But if journalists or media houses choose to engage in acts that are inimical to the peace and stability of Liberia, we will not support them blindly,” he said.He emphasized that ALJA as a critical voice of the voiceless in Liberia, will continue to speak out on policy issues that adversely affect the lives of Liberians at home and abroad.ALJA is a US based 501c (3) non-profit media advocacy group that brings together current and retired Liberian journalists residing in the Americas. It was founded in 1998 in Washington, D.C.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Ex-soldier gunned down at Eccles

first_imgDead: Kelvin WaltersA man was on Tuesday evening gunned down in the vicinity of the Two Brothers Service Station, Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD) by two men on a motorcycle.The dead man has been identified as 35-year-old Kelvin Walters of Eccles Public Road.He was reportedly an ex-soldier and worked as a bodyguard at a mining company up to the time of his demise.The car that Walters was driving at the time of his demiseWhile information remains sketchy, Guyana Times understands the man was shot to his face by one of the men on the motorcycle after he refused to pull his car over into the corner. After being shot, Walters reportedly slammed into the two men on the bike.The abandoned motorcycle at the sceneBased on reports received, the two men fell to the roadway, but hurriedly got up and made good their escape on foot leaving the motorcycle and a weapon at the scene. From reports received, one of the men might have suffered a broken leg.An injured Walters was pulled from his motor car and rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. At the time of the shooting incident, his wife and daughter were in the vehicle and sustained minor injuries as a result of the collision.The Police have launched a manhunt for the two men as they continue their investigations.last_img read more

Work plan on H2H Registration shows exercise will run into 2020 – Jagdeo

first_img…alleges underage, foreign nationals being registered…UN body says new list will not have credibility as oldOpposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday stated that the “illegal” House-to-House (H2H) Registration currently ongoing is likely to run into the first quarter of 2020, which is way beyond the time to host General and Regional Elections so stipulated by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo with the ‘House-to-House Registration Work Plan 2019’This, he noted, is according to a work plan of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) which was created some time ago.Despite objections from the Opposition and other stakeholders, GECOM went ahead and started fresh registrations last Saturday. The Commission said the exercise will last some three months.The Opposition Leader shared the two-page document which detailed a list of activities to be done leading up to and during this exercise and the number of days for each activity. He pointed out that the work plan contained a 290-day period for the registration exercise, which Jagdeo explained will run until February 2020, thus, further delaying the early elections constitutionally due on or before September 18, 2019.“If you go down this list, you will see from the timeline laid out here when they should start House-to-House Registration. They have been late on that and so they were delayed one month; it was supposed to start in June and its now July. So, you have to add to this timeline, one month and that takes us to end of January 2020. And you will see… number 42 (on the list) is to produce voters’ ID (Identification) Cards and they have 60 days for that. That would take us to February 18, 2020. So, this GECOM’s timeline, 290 days for House-to-House registration,” he stated.According to Jagdeo, GECOM will be spending the next six months to get a voters list, when there is already one available that can be sanitised through an extended Claims and Objections period. This, he explained, was reaffirmed as recent as earlier this week by the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield and as far back as May 2018 by a United Nations (UN) Needs Assessment Mission.The visiting mission did an assessment on Guyana’s electoral needs following a request for assist from GECOM and reported in its report that, “…there is no certainty that a new voters’ list will have more credibility than the current list and that stakeholders will trust it more. Furthermore, any list created close to the elections will likely to be criticised as political motivated”.In fact, Jagdeo at Thursday’s press briefing went on to say that already, the currently registration exercise is a cause for concern.“I’ve heard nightmare stories that in some areas about underage people being registered, foreign nations being registered and I wonder if this is the aim of APNU, that is, to create enough confusion about the list… You don’t know if you’re gonna get on the new list because the enumerator may not come to your home or you may be out the country or you may be in another part of the country,” he stated. He noted that these foreign nationals are not qualified to be registered since they only recently arrived in Guyana.Since starting fresh House-to-House exercise on Saturday, GECOM say already some 20,000 Guyanese have been registered.However, the Opposition Leader asserted that the information gathered during this process will be scrapped since it is an “illegal” exercise which goes against not only the Constitution, but the recent rulings and orders of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which said that the elections body should be preparing for the hosting of polls to be held three months after its June 18, 2019 ruling.In fact, Jagdeo said, as it is, House-to-House registration is being done when there is no functioning Elections Commission in place, since it is without a chair and is not being scrutinised on the ground by the Opposition, despite there being a requirement in the enumeration forms for political scrutineers to sign after each registration.To this end, the Opposition Leader reiterated his party’s – the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) – decision not to be complicit by partaking in the illegal exercise.“I heard that they are threatening to charge people. They cannot charge 50,000 people and 100,000 people; and especially, they can’t force you to participate in an act that, as far as we’re concerned, is illegal. Should they try to strong-arm people, then please notify us so we can take legal actions,” he stated while also warning the Guyana Police Force not to be complicit in undermining both the Constitution and the country’s highest Court.Furthermore, Jagdeo maintained that the Opposition will not be returning to Parliament to extend the caretaker Government’s life. He noted that had the coalition acted in good faith since the December passage of the No-Confidence Motion, this could have been done then. But instead, Government wasted taxpayer’s money and time to go to the Court, and in the end, is refusing to abide by the rulings.last_img read more

“Reds” Perreira explores sports tourism possibilities for Guyana

first_imgSports tourism, now attracting much needed attention worldwide, is seemingly the next big initiative for Guyana.Joseph “Reds” PerreiraTo assist in boosting this rapidly growing sector, veteran cricket commentator and sports consultant Joseph ‘Reds’ Perreira has taken the initiative to compile a list of sports tourism projects in which the tourism sector can invest.Speaking from decades of experience in the field of sports, Perreira posited: “I feel it’s time that the Guyana tourism officials implement a sports tourism programme that would allow Guyana to join the Caribbean nations and the rest of the world in benefiting from this expanding niche market.”He cautioned that the success of a sports tourism programme would need the support of a department strictly dedicated to sports tourism, even though situated within the Ministry of Tourism. This department can work alongside other national sports associations, and receive support from organisations with a mandate to promote Guyana through tourism, such as the Guyana Tourism Authority, travel companies, embassies, high commissions, and the national press.Perreira has said that to commence a sports tourism programme successfully in Guyana is not by any means reinventing the wheel. Such programmes have already been done by many Caribbean nations, both small and large. However, for such a programme to be successful, it must have full support and commitment from the national associations, the individuals, the Guyana Private Sector and the Chamber of Commerce. Events might be named after, he said.‘Reds’ has indicated his availability to bring the relevant stakeholders together, to confirm their interest in order to begin a sports tourism programme. He has also noted that the initiative can be promoted at the World Travel Market in November, and events can be hosted as early as in 2019.Proposed events:1) The Clive Lloyd Club 20/20 (Cricket)Target areas: the Caribbean, UK, USA and Canada2) Rugby International Magnificent Clubs SevensTarget areas: the Caribbean, Central & South America, UK, USA and Canada3) Caribbean Club Basketball FestivalTarget areas: the Caribbean, USA, Canada, Central & South America4) 69-mile Cycling Endurance Race from Blairmont to Georgetown (to honour cycling greats George Cumberbatch and Boogie De Freitas)Target areas: The Caribbean, Central & South America, USA, Canada, and UK5) Athletics and Cycling on the Avenue (Main Street, Georgetown)Target area: The Caribbean6) Caribbean Squash Singles’ FestivalTarget area: the Caribbean, USA, Canada and UKThe following events should also be included; they have been established without an official sports tourism programme.7) Schoolboys’ Boxing and Youth TournamentTarget area: the Caribbean, USA, Canada, UK and Europe8) South American 10K9) The Hockey Club Festival10) Guyana’s November Motor Racing Meet11) Ride Guyana Experience — from Corriverton to Parika: a cycling experience crossing three rivers and ending at the mighty Essequibo.last_img read more

Cabin fever and comedians – life in the World Cup bubble

first_imgContact with family is usually strictly controlled or non-existent, leaving the young men cooped up for weeks, rubbing shoulders with the same teammates day after day.Australia coach Bert van Marwijk admits it can be a recipe for disaster if cabin fever takes hold, causing factionalism or infighting among the squad.In 2010, the Dutchman managed to unite the notoriously fractious Netherlands enough to reach the World Cup final, despite the presence of several big personalities who each wanted to be pack leader.Thomas Mueller says Germany’s Euro 2012 squad was divided © AFP/File / Odd ANDERSEN“I told the Holland players in 2010, we will get bored. But we have to win the World Cup, we have to work together,” he told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.Van Marwijk said a major part of maintaining harmony was making players understand they had to respect one another, even if they might never be friends.“Everyday a few small things happen and those things are very important for the atmosphere in the whole group,” he said.“You cannot find it in any book, it’s the way you lead the group, manage the group.”– Club v country –Club rivalries can emerge, such as those which in the past have created splits in the Spain team between Barcelona and Real Madrid players.Thomas Mueller admitted Germany divided into Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund blocs at Euro 2012 but denied a similar schism was behind their opening-round loss to Mexico at the current tournament in Russia.“We didn’t have the best kind of chemistry back then, but it is totally different today,” he insisted.Sometimes players fed up with their camp routine take desperate measures.Former England forward Jermain Defoe was so mind-numbingly bored at England’s 2010 base in South Africa that he watched strike partner Wayne Rooney’s entire wedding video from beginning to end.Years later, details of Rooney’s nuptials remained seared into his brain.“Wayne had something like a flash mob, the waiters were singing, dancing, if I can remember,” he said.“Yeah, you do get bored, but all the teams get bored.”England seem to have learned their lesson and have tried to make their current camp at Repino, outside Saint Petersburg, a relaxed, fun environment.– Climbing the walls –England’s siege mentality of the past has eased as Gareth Southgate’s men race inflatable unicorns in the pool and engage in darts competitions with the media.Iceland are taking a similar approach, flying in a group of comedians to give the players a boost.Wayne Rooney’s wedding video helped keep boredom at bay for former England forward Jermain Defoe in 2010 © AFP/File / Justin TALLIS“The team is here for the long haul and we are in it together. It is important to keep us all fresh and do something entirely different every now and then,” said team spokesman Omar Smarason.World Cup boredom can lead to players literally climbing the walls to get away from camp and blow off some steam, and it’s not a new phenomenon.Former Mexico goalkeeper Antonio “Tota” Carbajal recalled how at the 1966 tournament in England two players sneaked away to a bar — with coach Ignacio Trelles hot on their heels to drag them back.Carbajal, a veteran of five World Cups, argued players behaving badly was not necessarily a bad thing.“These things unite the team,” the 89-year-old told AFP.A laid-back approach certainly worked for the late Denmark coach Richard Moller Nielsen, who gave his players unprecedented freedom — including visits to fast-food outlets — during their victorious run at Euro 92.“Perhaps it would be a good idea if we drink a beer and drive past McDonald’s now and then. I will suggest that to the coach,” current Denmark defender Jannik Vestergaard suggested, perhaps a touch wistfully.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000England coach Gareth Southgate has taken a relaxed approach with his squad at the World Cup in Russia © AFP / Paul ELLISMOSCOW, Russian Federation, Jun 24 – World Cup footballers often face an unexpected hurdle as they try to cope with the intense scrutiny and pressure of the game’s biggest showpiece — it can be boring… really, really boring.In the periods between matches, players are isolated at remote training camps in the countryside, surrounded by tight security and high walls to discourage prying eyes.last_img read more

Croatia face Portugal but look to the future

first_img0Shares0000Croatia midfielder Luka Modric led his nation to the World Cup final © AFP / FRANCK FIFEZAGREB, Croatia, Sep 5 – Still riding the wave of their historic World Cup run, Croatia are heading for a potential reality check as their new season starts with a friendly against Portugal in Faro on Thursday.It will be the tiny Balkan nation’s first match since the side led by star midfielder Luka Modric succumbed to France in the World Cup final in July — a loss celebrated like a victory by underdogs who had never made it so far on the world stage. That fairytale glow took the spotlight off controversies plaguing football in Croatia, from the unsavoury ultra-nationalism of its hardcore supporters to a litany of legal problems.But fans will be reminded of the former when Croatia face England in its first Nations League home match on October 12.The game will be played in an empty stadium — punishment by UEFA for the swastika drawn on a pitch in Split, on Croatia’s Adriatic coast, ahead of a Euro 2016 qualifier with Italy.The perpetrators were never found, but it was not the first time Croatian fans have tainted the team’s image by using fascist slogans and symbols.That darker side of Croatia’s football fairytale also reared its head during the World Cup celebrations, when the players invited a singer known for pro-Nazi sympathies to join them on the bus and stage at their welcoming party in Zagreb.– Legal woes –Even during the euphoria of the World Cup one local paper warned that “after showering in the champagne of victory, not only cosmetic but deep changes should be made” in the sport.It may be only a matter of time before fans resume calls for the departure of the federation’s president, Davor Suker, accused of being a puppet in the hands of Zdravko Mamic, the self-exiled strongman of Croatian football.Mamic, the former head of the Dinamo Zagreb club, fled to Bosnia after being sentenced in June to a six and a half years in prison for corruption and embezzling funds from players’ transfers.“His influence on Croatian football maybe did not disappear overnight, but now he cannot influence Dinamo or even less the federation as he used to,” prominent sports journalist Davorin Olivari told AFP.The controversy also ensnared Modric, who was charged with giving false testimony during Mamic’s trial over his transfer from Dinamo.For now Modric, who won the Champions League with Real Madrid and the Golden Ball for the World Cup’s best player, appears untouchable.His reputation as a national hero was further cemented when he won the UEFA Player of the Year last month.– Player shake-up –Both Modric and Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, who will skip the Portugal match, will continue to be the pillars of the “Vatreni” — Croatian for “Fiery Ones”.But they are ageing fast. Modric turns 33 on Sunday while goalkeeper Danijel Subasic, striker Mario Mandzukic and defender Vedran Corluka all ended their international careers in August.Coach Zlatko Dalic admits it will take time to rebuild.“We are world vice-champions, we reached our peak in Russia and now everything will go down, which is normal,” he told the Sportske Novosti daily paper.Eight of his 22 World Cup players will be missing on Thursday — as will Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal.But the coach says he is focusing on the long game.“I am not worried or restless. My goal is Euro 2020, not the match with Portugal or the Nations League… We will try to win, but our real goal is the Euro.”Dalic sees the upcoming matches, including a Nations League match against Spain on September 11, as a good opportunity for younger players who did not get a chance in Russia.They include promising midfielders Marko Rog (Napoli), Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea) and Mario Pasalic (Atalanta), as well as strikers Marko Pjaca (Fiorentina), Ivan Santini (Anderlecht) and Marko Livaja (AEK Athens). In goal, Lovre Kalinic of Belgian club Gent will replace Subasic.“We will use Portugal and Spain for real preparations, to find a new energy,” said Dalic.“Our goal is to shape… three to four new players in order to find a new energy and get to the Euro in the same shape as at the World Cup in Russia. Not weaker!”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more