TIME NFL

Chargers and Raiders Propose Joint Los Angeles Stadium

Charles Woodson #24 of the Oakland Raiders congratulated Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers after the Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders 13-6 in the game at Qualcomm Stadium on Nov. 16, 2014 in San Diego, Calif.
Donald Miralle—Getty Images Charles Woodson #24 of the Oakland Raiders congratulated Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers after the Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders 13-6 in the game at Qualcomm Stadium on Nov. 16, 2014 in San Diego, Calif.

Chargers and Raiders Propose Joint Los Angeles Stadium

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are pursuing the possibility of building a joint stadium in the Los Angeles area, the teams announced on Thursday.

The plan would be to build a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson that they would share, according to the Los Angeles Times. The venue would be privately financed.

Both teams will continue to look to get a deal done for new stadiums in their home markets and are looking for public subsidies, according to the Times. From the joint statement:

We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises.

The teams said they understand the NFL’s rules for relocation and “respect the right of the NFL’s owners to decide on all Los Angeles-related relocation issues.” All relocations most be approved by three-fourths of the league’s owners.

Both teams are currently in year-to-year leases in their home stadiums and have long been the subject of relocation talk.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Australia

Australians Outraged by Revelations of Greyhounds Trained With Live Baiting

Greyhound racing,dogs in red and black/whites striped coats
Bob Thomas—Getty Images

Live animals were filmed being tied to lures and torn apart by the dogs

Animal lovers are in uproar after a television report in Australia showed racing greyhounds trained using live animals as bait.

Secret footage aired on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners program Monday showed live piglets, possums and rabbits being fixed to a mechanical lure and flung around the track, as dogs chased and ultimately killed the animals. One possum was used as bait for almost an entire hour.

Governing body Greyhounds Australasia has begun an urgent review of animal welfare and has suspended more than 20 trainers, owners and trial-track operators in the past week.

“I am appalled at some of the footage shown on the Four Corners program. The use of live animals to train greyhounds is disgusting, illegal, unethical and totally rejected by the industry,” Scott Parker, CEO of Greyhounds Australasia, said in a statement.

If found guilty of using live bait, the accused will face heavy fines and up to five years in jail.

Live baiting is outlawed but some trainers continue with the practice, believing it improves the performance of dogs.

Caution: The below clip contains graphic images that some viewers may find distressing.

TIME celebrity

Tennis Star Andy Murray’s Fiancée Drops the F-Bomb Courtside, Internet Goes Wild

You need to have this girl on your side

Scottish tennis star Andy Murray may have just beaten Czech Tomas Berdych to make it through to the finals of the Australian Open, but it’s his fiancée Kim Sears who has taken social media by storm.

Cameras caught 27-year-old Sears’ apparent expletive-filled reaction to Murray’s break in the first set.

 

And professional lip-readers have been called in to suggest what Sears — an artist who specializes in animal portraits — was actually saying, the Telegraph reports.

Lip reader Tina Lannin believes Sears says,“F—— have that you flashy Czech, you flashy f—. If that’s what you get…”

Whereas lip reader and teacher Martine Monksfield thinks it was, “F—— have that Czech you fat old f—.”

But Jessica Rees, a forensic lip reader says it could be, “F—— hell! That f—— Czech could fight to five now he’s one down.”

Murray came to her defense after the match, saying the outburst was “completely normal.”

The Internet too found little wrong with somebody voicing, shall we say, impassioned support for her partner. German tennis player Andrew Petkovic summed up the feelings of many when she tweeted:

[Telegraph]

TIME College football

Chaos as Miami Beach Bowl Turns into Brawl

Helmets were thrown and sucker punches were seen as well

Celebrating a bowl victory is supposed to be a proud moment. Unfortunately, Memphis and BYU turned in one of the uglier postgame bowl moments seen in years. After Memphis picked off a pass from BYU quarterback Christian Stewart to seal a wild 55-48 double-overtime victory, joy quickly turned ugly as players from both teams started exchanging punches instead of postgame handshakes.

Helmets were thrown and sucker punches were seen as well. It was eerily reminiscent of another college football game played in Miami years ago between Miami and FIU…

Read the rest of the story from our partners at NBC News

TIME World Cup

Watch: The History Behind the Germany vs. Argentina Rivalry

This Sunday, Germany and Argentina will face off in the World Cup final. But this is not the first time that the two countries played against each other

This weekend, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Trophy will go from the current holder of the gold statue, Spain, winner of the 2010 World Cup, to either Argentina or Germany. But this is not the first time the two countries have faced each other in a World Cup final.

In 1986, Argentina beat Germany 3-2, in a magic match where Maradona became Maradona. And it happened a second time in, 1990, when the Germans won 1-0 in what was considered at the time a less than exciting performance from the two teams.

Will Sunday’s match be a 1986-type final – energetic, surprising, memorable – or a 1990 final?

TIME’s Bill Saporito takes a look back at the rivalry between the countries.

TIME China

Welcome to China’s Evergrande, the World’s Biggest Soccer Academy

It has 2,400 boarding students, dozens of pitches and the ambitious aim of transforming China into a global soccer powerhouse

China, the world’s most populous country, tends toward the superlative. So, too, with the Evergrande International Football School in southern China’s Guangdong province, which bills itself as the world’s largest such sporting academy. Photographer Kevin Frayer documented life at the sprawling soccer school, which boasts 2,400 boarding students, dozens of fields, Harry Potter towers and coaches “assigned by Real Madrid,” according to Evergrande’s website.

Conceived of by property tycoon Xu Jiayin — who also has ownership stakes in the nation’s most successful football club — the Evergrande academy opened in the fall of 2012 with the decidedly ambitious aim of transforming China into a football dynamo. (Most of the school’s students are boys, but there are some girls.)

China has cultivated athletic dominance in a mind-blowing array of sports by funneling thousands of kids into state-run athletic schools. At the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, China topped the gold-medal rankings for the first time. But China remains a men’s soccer laggard, having qualified for the World Cup only once.

Whether the Evergrande school will fulfill its motto of “Boosting China’s football and cultivating football stars” isn’t at all assured. (There is another competing private football academy gathering talent in southern China.) Still, in a country where kids rarely gather for a pickup match, just seeing so many children playing soccer together is a definite game changer.

TIME Bangladesh

You’ll Never Guess Where Some of the Most Fanatical Fans of the Argentina and Brazil Soccer Teams Can be Found

Bangladesh Soccer WCup
A.M. Ahad—AP A man examines a T-shirt in the style of Brazil's national soccer team, being offered by a street vendor in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on June 1, 2014

Hint: it's a long way from South America

Correction appended, June 20, 2014

On June 7, groups of Argentina and Brazil fans clashed over the World Cup — but not on the streets of Rio or in a sports bar in Buenos Aires. Instead, the unlikely location was Barisal, which is not — as it vaguely sounds — some upcountry Amazon backwater. It’s a port city of some 270,000 souls on the Kirtankhola River in Bangladesh. And the fans were Bangladeshi.

The trouble began when a Brazil fan, called Mahmud Hasan, was sitting in the dining room of the Barisal Polytechnic Institute and began chanting that the infamous 1986 “Hand of God” goal against England scored by Argentine star player Diego Maradona’s was “illegal.” Argentina fans sitting nearby took umbrage — and the subsequent clash injured 11.

Then, on June 18, in the town of Hatibandha in Bangladesh’s far north, an 18-year-old restaurant worker, Milon Hossain, was killed when rival groups of Argentina and Brazil fans began hurling stones at each other.

Bangladesh is a country in the grip of World Cup madness — and the two South American giants are luring fanatical levels of support.

The flags of Argentina and Brazil are flying everywhere. Local authorities in the western town of Jessore have gotten nationalist angst over the sight of so many foreign flags and tried to ban them, but in vain.

“We don’t mind people wearing jerseys of their favourite teams or [using] billboards or banners,” Mustafizur Rahman, a government administrator, told AFP. “But it does not look good when flags of foreign nations are flying on your rooftops. We have become a nation of Argentina and Brazil.”

The danger isn’t just limited to outbreaks of violence. In the capital Dhaka, at least three enthusiasts have died hanging Argentina flags from the city’s precarious electric wiring. They were later dubbed “World Cup martyrs” by the local press.

Ifty Mahmud, a journalist at Bangladesh’s largest daily newspaper, the Prothom Alo, says support for Brazil is rooted in Bangladeshi poverty. The Brazil team also “looks like us,” explains Ifty, “just see Pelé, Romário and Neymar, they are dark-skinned so are we, [Brazil] are poor, so are we.”

Support for Argentina, meanwhile, has an “anticolonial character, because Maradona beat the English,” the country’s former colonial ruler. “Beckham is not popular here.” Maradona meanwhile, “is crazy, Bangladeshis love crazy people!”

“The way he cheated the colonial power, because it was daylight cheating, had symbolic resonance,” concurs Abu Ahasan, a researcher and anthropologist at BRAC (formerly the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, though these days it is known solely by the acronym). “The same thing happened with Muhammad Ali and the West Indies cricket team; it captured the imagination.”

The Argentina team, perhaps aware of their huge support base in Bangladesh, made a rare visit to the country in September 2011 playing Nigeria in a friendly match at Bangladesh’s packed national stadium. Current Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi shimmied his way into the nation’s affections, and giant screens were erected around the city for fans who could not get tickets.

Such is the fanaticism for the two South American teams that members of an E.U. mission have been trying to understand why European teams aren’t more popular. Despite the game being introduced in the country by the British, its mournful memo pointed out, “there are hardly any visible England flags on the streets.”

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the name of a journalist. He is Ifty Mahmud, not Ifty Islam.

TIME Soccer

Soccer Bosses Are Turning the Heat on Sepp Blatter, Days Before the World Cup Starts

FBL-WC-2014-BRAZIL-FIFA-CONGRESS
Fabrice Coffrini—AFP/Getty Images FIFA president Sepp Blatter has been under mounting criticism in recent days. Here he takes part in the opening ceremony of the FIFA Congress in São Paulo on June 10, 2014

Sepp Blatter is being urged to not seek re-election following the latest flurry of corruption allegations

Days before the World Cup kicks off, and Sepp Blatter, the head of soccer’s global governing body FIFA, is facing a barrage of criticism from his peers, whose frustrations at the lack of action over corruption allegations is forcing them to become increasingly vocal.

The Royal Dutch Football Association head Michael van Praag, and David Gill, vice president of UEFA, which governs European soccer, have called on Blatter to not seek re-election next year, according to the BBC.

“Few people still take FIFA seriously and, however you look at it, Blatter is mainly responsible,” said van Praag.

The appeal comes amid reports that illegal payments were made by disgraced Qatari soccer official Mohamed bin Hammam in return for support for its bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Qatar was awarded hosting rights, outdoing Australia, South Korea, Japan and the U.S.

But yesterday Blatter dismissed the latest corruption claims as racist, prompting a critical response from soccer bosses in Europe.

“These allegations need to be properly investigated and properly answered,” said Greg Dyke, chairman of the English Football Association.

Asked by BBC if Blatter ought to step down next year, UEFA vice president Gill replied: “Personally, yes. I think we need to move on.”

So far, Blatter has yet to respond to the calls.

[BBC]

TIME tennis

Roger Federer Wins Another Set — of Twins

Roger Federer at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Tennis tournament, April 16, 2014.
Imago/Zumapress Roger Federer at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters, April 16, 2014.

The Swiss tennis star and his wife Mirka Vavrinec welcomed twin boys on Tuesday, five years after having twin girls. "Mirka and I are so incredibly happy to share that Leo and Lenny were born this evening!" he tweeted

Roger Federer and his wife Mirka Vavrinec had a second set of twins on Tuesday.

The world-famous tennis player announced the birth of the baby boys on his Twitter account a few hours after revealing he was pulling out of a tennis tournament in Madrid to be at the birth.

“Mirka and I are so incredibly happy to share that Leo and Lenny were born this evening!” he wrote, hashtagging the post “#TwinsAgain” and “#Miracle.”

The couple had their first set of twins, two daughters, in 2009.

TIME Middle East

Saudi Clerics Condemn Gym Classes for Girls

Plans to expand physical education for girls beyond private schools has caused outrage among conservative clerics, who consider it a pathway to adultery and prostitution

A move to introduce physical education for girls to Saudi Arabian public schools has been condemned by conservative clerics, reports the Wall Street Journal, who say allowing girls to take gym classes will only end in adultery and prostitution.

Currently only private schools in Saudi Arabia allow girls to do P.E. The Shoura Council, a body in Saudi Arabia appointed by King Abdullah, voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday in favor of encouraging the kingdom’s education minister to look at introducing physical education for girls. After the news broke of the vote, several conservative clerics condemned it on social media.

“We are giving the Shoura Council a green light to continue the steps of Westernization and these steps will end in infidelity and prostitution,” tweeted Abdullah Al Dawood. Others called for the mass resignation of Saudi Arabia’s most senior council of clerics, a body normally responsible for declaring fatwas.

King Abdullah has loosened various restrictions on women in recent years, including laws allowing women to vote in municipal elections and also to work in retail. He has upheld, however, conservative objections to women driving cars and traveling without a male guardian.

[Wall Street Journal]

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