Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Inter director Beppe Marotta maintains reaching the Champions League last 16 would be “a diploma,” but still only a step in the process. Their trip to Borussia Dortmund kicks off at 20.00 GMT, click here for the line-ups and LIVEBLOG. “Aside from the strength of our opponents, they also have this incredible support that will cheer them on to the last minute,” Marotta told Sky Sport Italia. “I have confidence, as the team is growing day by day, there is a clear upward trajectory and progress is made in every area. “The team has shown maturity and organisation in every game, but also impressive football. They have been able to both take control and to fight back to earn a result, as they did last week in Bologna. “Getting through the group stage of the Champions League would be like a diploma, confirming the work of these months has paid off. “It remains the start of the journey and we are developing as time goes on, but it is still a slow progress, we need to eliminate certain errors and of course have a coach who is very demanding. “Alexis Sanchez will be back in January and we’ll see him as a great new signing who can help us take a few steps up the ladder.” Marotta also spoke to Sport Mediaset about the interest from Barcelona and Manchester United around Lautaro Martinez. “We are Inter, a big club who do not necessarily need to sell our champions, unless they ask to leave. In Lautaro’s case, the clause is irrelevant, what matters is his desire to grow and improve along with his teammates.”
Close on the heels of sexual harassment charges against hockey coach MK Kaushik come similar allegations against a national weightlifting coach.Sydney Olympics bronze medallist Karnam Malleswari has levelled charges of sexual harassment against a Sports Authority of India coach who has been with the Indian team for 15 years and has also been recommended for the Dronacharya award.Speaking to MAIL TODAY, Malleswari said that the coach had been sexually harassing junior weightlfitfters for more than a decade now. “This national coach has had a long history of sexual harassment. He has been holding camps for juniors and somehow he impresses upon them that he can help them get into the Indian team.”There are some who fall for it and he has ended up in bed with a lot of juniors,” she alleged. Malleswari went on to say that the coach was transferred for a brief time due to the allegations against him. “After a slew of complaints against him by the girls training there, he was transferred out of SAI Centre, Bangalore.But that was for a brief period, following which he resumed his duties,” she said.Malleswari revealed that the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has recommended the coach for the Dronacharya Award as well. “I was really shocked when I came to know that the IWF has recommended his name for the Dronacharya award. It beats me how a coach who should have been sacked long time back, has instead ended up being recommended for the country’s highest coaching honour,” she said.advertisementShe added that the girls did not feel safe with him. “I can categorically state that the girls are not safe with him. As vice-president of the IWF, I am really concerned about the safety of the junior weightlifters.”I have done my best in various IWF meetings to get rid of him. But that has not happened as the both the president and secretary don’t have much time for the sport,” she alleged.She also said that at least on three occasions, she had impressed upon BP Baishya, president of the IWF, the need to remove the tainted coach.”Despite initially agreeing to my proposal, the IWF shot down the move to sack the coach each time.” she said.Malleswari added that during the executive meeting in Udaipur in February, Baishya had assured her in the presence of the entire committee that the coach would be sacked within a couple of weeks. “It is now July end and he still continues to coach the team,” she said.Malleswari also stressed upon the fact that she had nothing personal against him.”I want to state here that I have nothing personal against him. I hold no grudge against him. As a weightlifter, if I can the help junior compatriots, I will do it. Nobody can stop me from doing this,” she said.Malleswari also asked a very pertinent question. “Are there no other coaches in this country that we have to depend on a person who has such a bad reputation? I am sure the time has come to look beyond this coach,” she said.She concluded on the note that the weightlifting fraternity was like a family.”If we can find a solution to this issue within the family it would be better. Unfortunately, if that does not happen, then I will have to take some other course of action,” she said.
They let India level the three-match series by not grabbing chances but Sri Lanka was a better side throughout, host skipper Kumar Sangakkara said on Saturday.India on Saturday won the third Test by five wickets to deny Sri Lanka a series-win but Sangakkara drew satisfaction from their dominating performance.”It is one all. It is neither here nor there. But I thought right through the Test series we took more wickets. We scored more runs and we definitely created a lot more opportunities.”Of course we did not convert those opportunities in these two tests. It was the only window India had to come back to the series,” Sangakkara said.The Lankan skipper said the third Test could have taken a different turn had they grabbed chances against Sachin Tendulkar and Suresh Raina on Saturday.”I think we had a couple of chances this morning with Sachin and then with Raina. I think that would have made it lot more interesting. But the way they batted was excellent.They batted very positively, they kept scoring runs. And apart from Suraj Randiv and Malinga we could not exert pressure from the other end either to take wickets or to cut down runs.”Sangakkara said a score of near-300 would have made the contest more tight.”I think we would have liked to have close to 300 runs but the situation that we had 250 to defend was a great effort from Mendis and Thilan Samaraweera. Few chances here and there and all of them have proved crucial in the final analysis,” he said.advertisementSangakkara also praised the preparation of the wicket, which had something to offer to all the players.”Usually it helps the fast bowlers a bit more than that, But the statistics show that the team batting last have won every test match here in the past two years.”But probably the wicket was dry than it has been before.And probably it offered enough for every one in the first two days and more more to the spinners over the last three days.But over all a great wicket,” he said.
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram will on Wednesday review the security preparations for Commonwealth Games (CWG), 2010. With just a month to go for the Games, ensuring foolproof security for the event has become the government’s top priority now. Chidambaram will hold a high-level meeting to take stock of the security measures being put in place for the Games. Foolproof security for CWG is government’s top priority right now.The meeting will be attended by top officials of different security agencies. Delhi Police commissioner Y.S. Dadwal is expected to brief the minister on the deployment of security personnel, traffic management and contingency plan for emergency. A four-tier security apparatus will be put in place during the Games. Besides, after the takeover of all the venues and the Games Village, security agencies will start their work for putting in place metal barriers, CCTV cameras, metal detectors and conduct anti-sabotage drills.
The year gone by has been an unsettling one. In this year we have plumbed the depths of despair as scandal after scandal brought the government to a standstill. But it was also the year of hope and expectations, when the popular movement around Anna Hazare showed the extent of the people’s anger against venal bureaucrats and politicians. This dialectic of despair and hope has produced a synthesis that suggests the country is on the threshold of change – for the better.It has been just a short four years ago, on November 16, 2007, when this newspaper was born. Yet, in terms of what the country has gone through, it seems like several lifetimes. That was a time, with growth riding high, when almost anything was possible. But in the intervening years we have learnt that growth is not an unmixed blessing, and that institutions deemed infallible, too, can fail. More important, we have learnt that there is no limit to the greed of the greedy, and that power corrupts – and absolute power corrupts absolutely.At the outset, I had promised you a newspaper that was irreverent and bold. And even if I say so myself, that is exactly what we have been and remain.Our attitude has been there for all to see. We were not taken in by the hype of the second United Progressive Alliance government’s first year. Neither have we given a free ride to its detractors in its second year. Our coverage of the Anna Hazare movement has been detailed, informative, but always questioning. In my experience, most messiahs sooner or later are found to have feet of clay.advertisementAS IN past years, Mail Today reporters have been in the forefront of exposing scandals and scams that, like worms, seem to keep coming out of the rotten woodwork in the country. Our Bangalore bureau was notable in the series it did on how former chief minister B. S. Yeddyurappa’s family benefited from denotifying land in favour of his favourites. In another expose, it revealed how the chief minister who replaced him, D. V. Sadananda Gowda, was building a house in violation of rules in Bangalore. Finally, because of yet another report, this time on the state’s newly appointed Lokayukta, Justice Shivaraj V. Patil, he was compelled to resign when we revealed that he had acquired multiple properties contravening the rules.Not to be left behind, our Mumbai bureau came up with a series of reports that showed how pressure from influential quarters led to the watering down of the chargesheet against Hasan Ali, who has been accused of a multi-billion dollar tax fiddle. The Supreme Court, as a result, hauled up the Enforcement Directorate for short- changing the investigation. Another report in the series revealed that Hasan Ali had given the names of two former chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and three former chief ministers of Maharashtra as being parties to his moneylaundering operations.Speaking of Andhra Pradesh, it was our reporter who first wrote about the opulent palace that Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy had constructed in Hyderabad and the interest that the CBI was taking in its undervaluation. Reporters in New Delhi revealed the manner in which the government was seeking to muzzle the press in the Kashmir Valley by withdrawing advertising from them. More dramatic, perhaps, was the report of the discovery of unmarked graves in the Poonch and Rajouri districts of Jammu and Kashmir that came on the heels of earlier reportage on such graves in the Valley.Though scams and crooks were the talk of the year, Mail Today also focused on issues of concern to you, the reader. Perhaps the most telling was the series on the so- called fake pilots scam. It was a Mail Today report on a pilot’s incompetence in landing an aircraft which triggered the investigation that led to the revelation that many of the people at the helm of the flights we take had forged training diplomas.A major report from our science bureau exposed how the poor security practices by banks and credit card companies made Indian consumers vulnerable to fraud. In another story, based on a scientific survey, we held up a mirror to contemporary India which showed that far from being liberal, India was one of the most restrictive societies in the world.FOR Mail Today, this past year has been one of consolidation. We have tried to do better what we did well before. We are, notwithstanding our short years, already seen as an icon of new journalism in the country. This is the paper that seamlessly fuses politics, entertainment, sports, personal finance, health and education in its pages in a manner that many have begun to imitate. But a newspaper’s personality cannot be simply copied, defined as it is by an attitude that has been honed over the past four years. Though the year gone by has been one of drift and missed opportunities, there is every reason to see the one ahead as being one of renewal and growth. The long tussle between the people and the government seems to be yielding positive results, especially in the battle to fight corruption and the government’s sloth. A slew of laws are on the cards, but more important, we have an awakened civil society on the threshold of transforming the politics of this country. This is the transformation for which Mail Today will stand witness to in its iconic way.advertisementAs the years in the story of Mail Today roll, the burden of your expectations on us increases. There’s the accumulation of commitments and the standards to which we must live up to. All I can say is that we will be everything we have been – and more – in the coming year. This is an India, I think, that has been profoundly changed by the churning of the last couple of years and I believe will continue to change rapidly in the year to come. For a newspaper, there is no better news than to report on a fastchanging world.
It was supposed to be BJP leader Varun Gandhi’s “secret visit” to the temple town of Kukke Subramanya in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district.But he ended up upsetting the devotees by asking the authorities to bar the entry of pilgrims to the temple on Tuesday while he was there. He also riled the BJP workers by refusing to meet them.The BJP unit had invited the media to the temple town for the coverage of his visit. But they were taken aback when Varun refused to meet the leaders.”It is unbecoming of Varun Gandhi. He has insulted the footsoldiers of the BJP. He is an MP, and he should have spoken to the local BJP party workers and pilgrims,” Manjunath Ammanna, a BJP worker in the town, said.Varun Gandhi at Karnataka’s Kukke Subramanya temple.The temple authorities refused to comment on his visit, but said they did not prevent other pilgrims from entering the shrine when Varun was around.”It is just that Varun did not want to be disturbed. His visit to the temple was for personal reasons, and we are not in a position to disclose them,” an official said.Varun arrived in Mangalore on Sunday and proceeded to Kukke Subramanya, located in the Western Ghats, by road.”We were supposed to accord him a grand welcome. But he shunned our reception. We will take it up with the BJP state leaders,” Ammanna said.It is common for VIPs, sports personalities and celebrities to visit Kukke Subramanya. Even Sachin Tendulkar visited the temple town in 2006.The town was recently in the news for “made snana” (an uncivilised practice in which people from the scheduled tribes and lower castes roll on plantain leaves and the leftovers of lunch served to the Brahmins).advertisement
Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday sustained a finger injury in his left-hand and was retired hurt, when he tried to fend off an ugly snorter from Chennai Super Kings bowler Doug Bollinger in the IPL opener in Chennai.However, it is still not clear whether it is fracture or a simple bruise.It was the fifth ball of the ninth over and Tendulkar who was batting on 15 got a short ball from Bollinger. It climbed onto him as the delivery hit one of the green patches and reared up uncomfortably.Tendulkar could just fend it off as it hit him on the glove. The iconic batsman however faced the next delivery and got a single to go onto 16.However at the end of the over, he sought medical attention. But after being advised to retire, Tendulkar was seen returning to the dug-out looking inconsiderable pain.He had scored 16 off 15 balls with a four and a six off Albie Morkel.MI play their next match against Pune Warriors on Friday.
Mamata Banerjee on Monday announced plans for an elaborate state function to celebrate the Kolkata Knight Riders’ IPL triumph. The West Bengal chief minister also said that the entire team would be felicitated by her government during a special ceremony.”Celebrations will begin tomorrow (Tuesday) morning from 11 am,” Mamata declared. “The players will travel in an open trailer truck from Hazra to Writers’ Building. The team will then proceed to the Eden Gardens for a special programme.”The Trinamool Congress supremo added that the victorious players would be felicitated by the state government as well as her own party during the function at the Eden Gardens. The good news for fans is that it is an open celebration and there are no tickets to attend the ceremony.”There will be no tickets for the function,” Mamata said. “Kolkata police will announce further details, but anybody and everybody can enter the stadium.”There will be a cultural programme at Eden for one hour. Three Bengali bands will play during the ceremony and there will be songs like chak de.”Earlier, Mamata expressed joy over Kolkata’s victory in the final against Chennai. “I’m happy over the victory of KKR. All the teams played well. In a game, there is victory and defeat. I congratulate KKR team specially for winning the title,” she said.
India has never won a track and field medal at the Olympics but after Krishna Poonia stood at the top of the podium during the 2010 Commonwealth Games, hopes were raised that the long drought will come to end at last.Nineteen months after winning the historic gold here at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the ace Indian discus thrower has set her sights on achieving glory at the London Games.Krishna has been going through gruelling training sessions abroad and it was in May this year that she recorded her personal best throw of 64.76m, which also happens to be the national record.With the world’s best athletes on show at the Olympics, Krishna has her task cut out but the tall thrower knows she has it in her to finish on the podium.”For the last one year, my only focus has been the Olympics and the preparation has been going on really well,” Krishna told Mail Today from Portland in the United States.”I have had decent success in some of the tournaments that I have competed in recently here and hopefully, I will be able to do something special for my country at the Olympics,” she added.At the Beijing Olympics, Stephanie Brown-Trafton won the discus gold with a 64.74m throw, which was 0.02m short of Krishna’s personal best.Krishna is in the US with her husband-cum-coach Virender Poonia and they are hopeful that she will break the 65m barrier at the London Olympics.However, Krishna is well aware that reputations count for little when the big stage arrives. Recently, the Indian competed at the Diamond League in Eugene which had a starstudded field with American Stephanie also in the fray.advertisementKrishna missed the podium with 62.11m being her best throw while Stephanie came a cropper and was disqualified after three failed attempts.In Eugene, it was for the first time that Krishna competed in rain so she doesn’t mind missing out on a medal.”I hope to cross the 65m mark at the Olympics and that should be good enough to win a medal for me. I am satisfied with how I have been performing of late.”We had planned our training schedule long back and everything is going according to it. At the Diamond League in Eugene, it was very difficult competing in rain with the surface very slippery. Since it was a first experience for me, I am not very disheartened.”I know there are several athletes going through strict regimes in the lead-up to the Games, but my focus is on my preparation. It all depends on that particular day and anything could happen. You may be having a world record against your name but one bad day can ruin all your hard work.”Virender has also made a few technical changes in Krishna’s technique to cover more ground. She has added weight to her throws, besides starting new exercises to develop her shoulder muscles.”I have also made a few small changes in my action like reducing the jump that was there earlier.”Krishna doesn’t get to see her 10-year-old son much but says her husband’s constant presence adds to her confidence and determination.”He is a great source of inspiration. There are times when I get dejected and can’t concentrate. But with my husband around, he doesn’t allow me to get depressed and keeps my morale high all the time,” she said.Krishna doesn’t want to leave anything to chance as far as training for the Olympics is concerned and, will leave for London on July 1 itself to acclimatise to the conditions.
The 67th annual Cannes Film Festival is scheduled to take place from May 14 to 25.Our fashionista Sonam Kapoor, and our yummy mummy Aishwarya Rai Bachchan are scheduled to be attending the festival this year too. The fashion police’s favourite, Sonam Kapoor will attend the carnival on May 18 and 19 as the brand ambassador of L’Oreal, Paris.Sonam has always lived up to her fashionista image in previous award functions and events. We have always seen her looking extravagant, be it the white Jean Paul Gaultier couture she wore in 2011, the Alexander McQueen black lacy gown in 2012 or the statement kundan nath she sported last year. She always pulls it off.The 67th annual Cannes Film Festival is scheduled to take place from May 14 to 25.When questioned about her look this year Sonam told a leading daily, ” I can’t divulge much but Anamika’s creations will definitely be part of one of my red carpet outings”Whatever you decide to wear Sonam, we’re sure you’ll look as stunning as ever!India’s unofficial ambassador to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan will attend the event on May 16-17. Through the years we have seen Aishwarya progress in terms of dressing for the event.Her first few appearances at Cannes were mostly in Neeta Lulla outfits, it took her three consecutive years of being a fashion disaster at The Cannes film festival to bring it together in 2005 when she started wearing gowns from luxury brands like Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Elie Saab, Roberto Cavalli etc.advertisementEver since Ash has managed to look drop dead gorgeous at the festival until 2012 when she was criticised for gaining too much weight post pregnancy.However, the last memory we have of Ash at Cannes is of her wearing a teal Gucci Premiere gown with hot pink lips. While we loved her gown and makeup, the sculptural hairdo wasn’t much of match.We look forward to seeing what Ash decides to wear this year!