Foreign imports continue to dominate transfer market in Cyprus

first_imgBy Andreas VouDESPITE having the highest number of foreign players in Europe last season, Cypriot football clubs are showing no signs of changing their ways with the great majority of new signings this summer having come from abroad.CIES Football Observatory’s annual demographic study for 2013 revealed that 64% of players in the Cypriot first division were foreign, the most of any other European league. This approach from the local football clubs has, over time, led to a devastating effect on nearly all aspects of Cypriot football, at both club and international level yet the island’s teams continue to add fuel to the fire.The transfer window for Cypriot football clubs only re-opened on July 1 but most have already completed a number of signings ahead of the new season.Five out of the 12 first division clubs have made over 10 transfers this summer. Doxa have made the most with 19, of which 17 are overseas players. Omonia have recruited 17, Salamina 15, while Ermis and Ethnikos Achna have made 10 apiece, of which over 75% are foreign.League champions APOEL are the ones setting the best example for the time being, with the signings of three Cypriot players including Giorgos Efrem from Omonia, and just one foreign import.It is deeply concerning that not even two weeks have passed since the opening of the transfer window yet a whopping 108 transfers have been completed by the 12 first division clubs. Just 25 of those signings have been Cypriot players meaning that 76.85% of all new recruits this summer are from abroad, far exceeding the league’s already sky-high average of 64%.But this is not down to simple mismanagement, it is a deliberate ploy. The Cypriot first division has been infiltrated and is now controlled by third-party companies and corrupt agents with the cooperation of leading figures within the football clubs. Their profit depends on a high turnover of players. It’s therefore little surprise that the Cypriot league also comes first for highest transfer frequency in Europe with an average of 14 transfers per club each season, and players switching teams every 1.8 years on average.The financial crisis cannot be used as an excuse either. Sure, it damaged the financial stability of most clubs but, if anything, the crisis was an opportunity for the teams to start from scratch, to invest in academies which would produce local players and create a sustainable system.Until not long ago, the Cypriot national football team, while never threatening to qualify for a major tournament, would prove a decent challenge for plenty of visiting nations in competitive matches. However, due to local players not being given the opportunities and experience at club level, the pool of Cypriots to choose from has decreased as has the quality. This has been reflected in the results which have seen the national team amass just four victories in the last five years.Unfortunately, however, as long as the system allows the clubs and transfer brokers to remain unregulated, the problem will continue. Clubs will continue to sweep deeper problems under the carpet while the select few reap the short-term benefits.The only measure brought in to try to change things has been the reduction on the limit of permitted foreign players per 25-man squad, to 15 from last year’s 17. However, it doesn’t seem to be making much of a difference.last_img read more

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Mercedes cause stir by reinventing the steering wheel

first_imgMercedes brought intrigue to Formula One testing on Thursday with television images showing Lewis Hamilton moving his car’s steering wheel forwards and backwards as he drove.The mechanism appeared to alter the alignment of the front wheels, with the six-times world champion pulling the wheel towards him on the straights and pushing it back as he approached corners.Technical director James Allison was coy about the details of a system he said was known within the team as DAS (Dual-Axis Steering).“It’s novel idea,” he told reporters at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. “It just introduces an extra dimension to the steering for the driver that we hope will be useful during the year.“Precisely how we use it, and why we use it, that’s something we prefer to keep to ourselves.”Mercedes are chasing their seventh successive title double this season, with Hamilton aiming to equal Michael Schumacher’s record seven drivers’ titles.The team started last year with eight wins in a row, despite Ferrari having an impressively quick car in testing.TESTING REGULATIONSTesting is not bound by the same regulations as grand prix weekends, with teams sometimes trying out developments they may never race.Asked whether Mercedes were worried the governing FIA might rule the device illegal, Allison said they had been talking about it for some time, safety was not an issue and it was within the rules.“This isn’t news to the FIA,” he said. “The rules are pretty clear about what is permitted on steering systems and I’m pretty confident that it matches all of those requirements.”“I’m just pleased we’ve got it on the car, it seems to be useable and we’ll find out over the coming days how much benefit it brings us.”Hamilton said he did not find it distracting and was encouraged to see his team were continuing to innovate to stay ahead of the game.Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel said the development had taken his team by surprise and they had discussed it over the lunch break.“It’s called a steering wheel, not a push or pull wheel,” he said, while also questioning whether it was a ‘game changer’ and whether Mercedes would actually race it.“Maybe I’m underestimating, but I don’t think that this is the ticket to win,” the four-times champion added. “I think there are a lot more elements to building up a competitive car.“It’s an innovation and we will see whether it’s something that everyone has to pick up on or not.”Allison said the steering wheel represented “only the tip of the iceberg of similar stuff” hidden out of sight across the car.“Each of the new cars we bring to the track are festooned with innovation,” he said. “It’s just they are not always as obvious to you as a stand-alone system like this where you can see it with your own eyes.“One of the things that gives me massive pride from working at Mercedes is to be part of a team that doesn’t just turn the sausage (machine) handle each year.”last_img read more

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Former Reggae Girl hails WCup qualification

first_imgFormer Reggae Girl, Alicia James, a former top local player, has hailed the Girlz’s historic qualification to the 2019 World Cup in France.She is now hoping that the qualification will have a positive influence on how the female game is perceived locally and has called for more support for the women’s game.”I am excited for them because they trained hard and put in the effort in every game. I’m extremely happy and excited for the nation too, female football is moving forward, not only the men can make it to a World Cup,” she said..She argued that for many years the Reggae Girlz teams have flirted with qualification but never got the support it deserved to go all the way. However, she believes with the Marleys on board the team was able to make significant progress and she is hoping more sponsors come on board so the benefits will start trickling down to the local players and clubs.”I hope they realise now that the girls have the potential and just need the sponsorship. If this does not open their eyes now I don’t know what is going to open their eyes.”However, she added that. “This is a big thing. I am happy for them. The platform had been laid as it is now easier because four teams are now able to come out of CONCACAF for the World Cup.”last_img read more

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IAAF World Relays | Poor exchanges cost Jamaica in women’s 4x200m final

first_imgThere was disaster for Jamaica in the women’s 4x200m relay final at the IAAF World Relays, as the pre-meet favourites struggled to get the baton around and in the end finished in third place inside the Yokohama International Stadium in Yokohama, Japan. The powerful quartet of Elaine Thompson, Stephenie-Ann McPherson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson were expected to easily defend their title and challenge their Championship record of 1:29.04, which was set at the 2017 IAAF World Relays, but they looked amateurish in Japan, bottling two of their three exchanges before crossing the line in an extremely disappointing fourth place, with a time of 1:33.21.  A disqualification by the USA team promoted the Jamaicans to third place, but it was still a far cry from what they expected on arrival in Japan.  The event was won by France in 1:32.16 with China taking second place in 1:32.76.last_img read more

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Fantasy Premier League tips: The transfers you should make in gameweek 27

first_img Out: Jermain Defoe (Sunderland) – £7.8m – Click the right arrow for more advice – Sunderland play Man City this week and then nobody next week. If you have still got Jermain Defoe, you might want to get rid of him, temporarily at least! 12 Out: Diego Costa (Chelsea) – £10.7m – Click the right arrow for more advice – West Ham (A) followed by a blank gameweek is a pretty bleak outlook for Diego Costa in the next fortnight. You should get rid of him to make way for someone else… 12 12 Out: Robert Snodgrass (West Ham) – £5.8m – Click the right arrow for more advice – With just one assist in his last four league games, Robert Snodgrass is not doing much to convince us to hold onto him at present. 12 In: Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – £9.4m – Click the right arrow for more advice – Their form may be fluctuating of late, but Liverpool are the highest-placed team in the table who actually have a game next week and so their best players, like Mane, are very appealing. Just when you think your well-laid plans from the last couple of weeks are going to serve you well, the Premier League fixtures throw a curveball and all of a sudden Man City have a double gameweek.It’s a good one too as City face Sunderland (A) and Stoke (H) within the space of four days. If you have Aguero, this week is definitely a decent opportunity to use that triple captain chip.As for dealing with the rest of your squad, you need to keep in mind that next week, as a result of FA Cup fixture changes, only Bournemouth, Burnley, Everton, Hull, Liverpool, Swansea, West Brom and West Ham are playing. So be sure to keep as many of those players in your line-up as possible.Check out the Fantasy Premier League transfers you might need to make this week by clicking the right arrow above… 12 12 12 12 Out: Dele Alli (Spurs) – £8.8m – Click the right arrow for more advice – Dele Alli scored last week, but before that had done nothing in three games. He’s not consistent enough to hold onto over the next couple of weeks. 12 12 12 In: Peter Crouch (Stoke) – £4.9m – Click the right arrow for more advice – It’s not just a double gameweek for Man City you know, Stoke play twice too. Their game against ‘Boro should be a decent chance for Crouch to pick up points and then anything else he picks up against City will be a bonus. In: John Stones (Manchester City) – £4.7m – Click the right arrow for more advice – John Stones has played 90 minutes in four of City’s last five league games. He seems a wise investment ahead of the double gameweek. In: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) – £7.8m – Click the right arrow for more advice – Raheem Sterling may still leave a lot to be desired, but he’s picked up four assists and a goal in his last four league matches. Definitely one to consider ahead of City’s double gameweek. 12 Out: Mason Holgate (Everton) – £4.1m – Click the right arrow for more advice – Mason Holgate has been in and out of the Everton team lately, but is not going to be reliable for the next couple of weeks. In: Seamus Coleman (Everton) – £5.9m – Click the right arrow for more advice – In his last seven games Seamus Coleman has notched up an incredible tally of one goal, four assists and five clean sheets. The man is a points machine! Out: Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) – £5.9m – Click the right arrow for more advice – Nacho Monreal hasn’t kept a clean sheet in three matches and didn’t even play for Arsenal in their last match against Hull. In: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City) – £12.7m – Click the right arrow for more advice – As explained below, Sergio Aguero + double gameweek = points. It’s not difficult maths!last_img read more

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Confirmed: Harry Kane suffered ligament damage in Tottenham’s win over Millwall

first_imgTottenham have announced striker Harry Kane suffered ankle ligament damage during the FA Cup quarter-final win against Millwall on Sunday, but have not put a timescale on his recovery.If Kane can get match fit again within six weeks, the England forward could feature in the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea on the weekend of April 22, which marks the start of a potentially decisive period in Tottenham’s campaign.A post on the Premier League club’s official Twitter feed read: “We can confirm that @HKane sustained ligament damage to his right ankle during Sunday’s FA Cup win against Millwall.“The injury is similar to the one suffered by the forward against Sunderland in Sept last year, however it is not considered to be as severe.“Harry will continue to be assessed by our medical staff while he undergoes his rehabilitation at our Training Centre.” Harry Kane has injured the ligaments in his ankle 1last_img read more

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Inter set to beat Manchester United and Chelsea to signing of Stefan de Vrij

first_img1 Inter Milan are closing in on a deal to beat Manchester United and Chelsea to the signing of Stefan de Vrij.The Dutch central defender is out of contract at Lazio in 2018 and he has so far refused to pen a contract extension – despite a late attempt by the Italian club.The reason he has not signed a renewal, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport, is because he has his heart set on joining Inter Milan.Scouts from the San Siro club will be in attendance at the two Holland games this week, in which de Vrij is expected to play.However, their presence has been described as merely a formality with Inter already lining up a summer offer.Lazio do not want to lose him on a free, when his contract expires next year, so are expected to cash in on him when the window opens in order to fund a move for a new defender.United and Chelsea are both aware of the situation but they look set to miss out on him with Inter willing to meet the fee and hand de Vrij a four-year deal. Stefan de Vrij fends off Roma’s Antonio Rudiger last_img read more

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Dermot Desmond hopes to name new Celtic boss in four or five days

first_img“We’re excited about the candidates that we have and hopefully in the next four or five days we’ll be able to make an announcement.“We’d like to think Celtic is a very big club and it needs a great manager to manage such a great club so we’re looking for that type of person.”Former Manchester United boss David Moyes and current Republic of Ireland international Roy Keane have been linked with the role in addition to Malky Mackay and Paul Lambert. Celtic’s major shareholder Dermot Desmond says he hopes to announce Ronny Deila’s successor in the next four or five days.Norwegian Deila departed Glasgow after lifting the Scottish Premiership title, his third trophy in two seasons in Glasgow.Former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers held further talks with the Scottish champions on Tuesday and Desmond, who was playing in Irish Open Pro-Am, remained coy on discussions with the Northern Irishman.He told Sky Sports: “I can say we’ve talked to a lot of managers, all very good. last_img read more

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Roscommon name team to face Armagh

first_img2 David Murray(Padraig Pearses) Roscommon senior football manager Kevin McStay tonight named his team to face Armagh in the fourth round All Ireland Senior Football Qualifier game to be played on Saturday in Portlaoise.The team features a number of changes to the one that started against Galway in the Connacht Final including starts for Ultan Harney, Cathal Cregg and Seán Mc Dermott. Making way for these are an injured Brian Stack while Fintan Cregg and Niall Kilroy are named elsewhere in the match day 26.Seán McDermott makes a return to championship football after not featuring in this year’s Connacht championship. Seán is the most “capped” member of the panel with a total of 46 championship appearances since he made his debut against London in 2005. In fact, after coming on as a sub in that game he started every single championship game Roscommon played from 2005 up to and including the All Ireland Quarter Final Replay against Mayo in 2017.Next on that list is his Western Gaels club mate Cathal Cregg who will be making his 40th championship appearance on Saturday and has racked up 3 -43 in championship scores to date.Supporters will be delighted to see the return of Cathal Compton to mid field after coming off injured against Galway in the Connacht football final.The following players could not be considered due to injury, Brian Stack, Ciaran Lennon, Darra Pettit, Fergal Lennon, and Ronan Stack.The Conor Devaney led Roscommon Team is listed below 23 Niall Kilroy(Fuerty) 12 Enda Smith(Boyle) 17 Conor Daly(Padraig Pearses) 9 Tadgh O’Rourke(Tulsk Lord Edwards) 6 Peter Domican(St Brigid’s) 8 Cathal Compton(Strokestown) 24 Padraig Kelly(St Brigid’s) 7 Conor Devaney (Captain)(Kilbride) 25 Shane Killoran(Elphin) Substitutes 19 Fintan Cregg(Elphin) 18 Finbar Cregg(Western Gaels) 14 Ultan Harney(Clann na nGael)center_img 26 Tadgh McKenna(Boyle) 1 Colm Lavin(Éire Óg) 4 Seán McDermott(Western Gaels) 11 Cathal Cregg(Western Gaels) 13 Donie Smith(Boyle) 15 Diarmuid Murtagh(St. Faithleach’s) 22 Niall Daly(Padraig Pearses) 20 Gary Patterson(Michael Glavey’s) 16 James Featherstone(Roscommon Gaels) 21 Ian Kilbride(St Brigid’s) 3 Niall McInerney(St Brigid’s) 10 Ciaráin Murtagh(St. Faithleach’s) 5 John McManus(Roscommon Gaels)last_img read more

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