Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ukraine a little 'shocked' by Blokhin resignation

Ukraine's football supremo expressed shock over the resignation of Oleg Blokhin as national manager but said agreement had been reached for him to take charge of the squad for the next two World Cup qualifiers.
Dynamo Kiev last week appointed the former Soviet striker as their coach, ending his tenure at the national team which he oversaw during their campaign at Euro 2012 that Ukraine co-hosted this summer.
"The news that Oleg Blokhin was taking over at Dynamo Kiev and leaving the national team was unexpected and shocked us," Ukraine's football federation president Anatoliy Konkov told reporters.
"All our efforts were aimed at creating the best conditions for the national side. And this development surprised and upset us."
Konkov said he had agreed with the manager that Blokhin would take charge of Ukraine in their next World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Montenegro in October and it was premature to talk about a successor.
The departure of Blokhin is a major headache for Ukraine as it contends with a tricky World Cup group that also includes England and Poland.
The squad also no longer has talismanic striker Andriy Shevchenko who has hung up his boots to work in politics.
The circumstances around Blokhin's resignation appear chaotic, with Konkov insisting he had still not officially resigned.
"He wrote down his resignation statement. But it was written down in the wrong format.
"This means de-facto that there is no resignation statement today and Oleg Blokhin is still the national team coach," he said.
Blokhin himself confirmed that he would take charge of the Moldova and Montenegro matches and had already announced his 22-man squad for the games.
The 59-year-old --the 1975 European footballer of the year -- has agreed a four year contract with Dynamo to replace Yury Semin who was dismissed on Monday.
Blokhin -- who played in two World Cups -- was in his second spell as Ukraine coach having guided them to the 2006 World Cup finals before returning for this year's Euro finals.
Although they went out in the first round of Euro 2012, Ukraine had made a solid start to their World Cup qualifying campaign, drawing 1-1 away with England at Wembley.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Training Camp of FEMEN In Paris

Topless parade of activists on the Muslim Quarter of Paris began opening of the central headquarters of the international women's movement FEMEN. Naked female body in combination with antipatriarhal and feminist calls caused some resentment among the male population of the famous district number 18 in Paris.
Members of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen have paraded topless through Paris to celebrate the opening of what they describe as their new "training camp" in the French capital. 

The group says on its website [] that the camp will serve as its new European headquarters, where activists will be trained "to work in high-risk environments."

The organization says it plans to open offices in New York, Montreal, and Sao Paulo.

The Femen group, established in 2008, is known for its topless demonstrations in different parts of Europe, including at the London Olympics and the Euro 2012 soccer tournament in Poland.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Villas-Boas impressed by Harmash

Tottenham Hotspur are planning a swoop for Dynamo Kiev's Ukrainian international midfielder Denys Harmash, according to reports in Russia.
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas watched Harmash play a key role in Ukraine's 1-1 draw against England at Wembley earlier this month, and is said to see the 22-year-old as a cheaper alternative to previous midfield target Joao Moutinho.
"I watched England's match against Ukraine at Wembley with Villas-Boas," football agent Sandor Varga told Russian newspaper Izvestiya this week. "He was very impressed with Denys Harmash.
"Tottenham are looking for a central midfielder, but couldn't reach agreement with Villas-Boas' favoured candidate, his compatriate Joao Moutinho.
"Harmash represents a brilliant alternative to the Porto midfielder," Varga added.
The Dynamo Kiev player has eight caps for his country, and impressed at Wembley alongside his more experienced counterpart Anatoly Tymoshchuk at the heart of Ukraine's midfield.
And with the player valued at around £4.5million, Harmash would represent a considerable cost saving on Moutinho, who Spurs failed to land in the summer despite bidding £20million plus add-ons for the Portuguese.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Taller and Thinner iPhone 5

What the iPhone 5 needs to compete against:

Samsung Galaxy S3

Screen size:
4.8 inch
Processor:1.4 Ghz quad-core
Memory size:Up to 62gb (+64gb with card)
Operating system:Android Ice Cream Sandwich
Camera:Eight megapixel
Dimensions:Height - 136mm
Width - 70mm
Depth - 8.5mm

Nokia Lumia 920

Screen size:
4.5 inch
1.5Ghz dual-core
Memory size:
32GB (non-expandable)
Operating system:
Windows Phone 7.8
Eight megapixel
Height - 130mm
Width - 71mm
Depth - 11mm

iPhone 4S

Screen size:
3.5 inch
800 MHz dual-core
Memory size:
Up to 64gb (non-expandable)
Operating system:
Eight megapixel
Height - 115mm
Width - 58mm
Depth - 9mm
The iPhone 5 is expected to be the biggest selling in Apple’s history, with an estimated 8m set to be sold.
Sales of the new iPhone could add between a quarter and a half percentage point to fourth quarter annualised growth in the U.S., according to J.P. Morgan's chief economist, Michael Feroli.
The battle for domination of the mobile market has become increasingly heated recently with Apple's competitors taking it on with a series of new products.
Nokia and Microsoft recently joined forces to launch two new phones which will run on the Windows operating system.
The Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820 are the Finnish company's attempt to claw back lost ground since it lost its position as the world's biggest phonemaker to Samsung.
Online retailer Amazon recently unveiled new models of its Kindle Fire tablets, which were previously not for sale in the UK, and are seen as rivals to Apple's best-selling iPad.
It is around a year since Apple unveiled the iPhone 4S complete with voice recognition software and an A5 chip allowing it to use much faster graphics for gameplay and to download data twice as fast.

Euro 2012 payment for clubs

Bayern Munich has collected the biggest single share of 3.1 million ($4 million) from UEFA's 100 million ($128 million) fund to compensate clubs for releasing players to the 2012 European Championship.
UEFA pleased clubs this year by almost doubling their previously agreed cut of Euro 2012 income, with a 575 teams receiving payments from UEFA for sending players to the tournament in Poland and Ukraine or releasing them for qualifying matches for the tournament.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern's chief executive and European Club Association chairman, said Tuesday he hopes his recent improved relations with FIFA President Sepp Blatter can help clubs worldwide also get an increase on their promised $70 million slice of 2014 World Cup revenue.
"We have very good and fair relations to UEFA and I hope that it will be possible with FIFA as well,'' Rummenigge told The Associated Press in an interview.
Rummenigge said he and Blatter - who have traded public barbs - shared an "intensive and interesting discussion'' at FIFA headquarters in Zurich last week.
"After that meeting I am quite optimistic to find a solution,'' said the former West Germany great, who has led calls for FIFA to share more of its billion-dollar annual income and decision-making power with clubs who are obliged to send their players to international tournaments.
"Sepp Blatter told me that he recognizes the clubs as the roots of football,'' Rummenigge said. "You know the roots always need water, and the water has to come from FIFA.''
Bayern topped the table of Euro 2012 payments after it sent 12 players, including eight members of Germany's squad that reached the semifinals.
Real Madrid received almost ?3 million ($3.8 million) for 11 players, including five from eventual champion Spain and three from semifinalist Portugal.
Barcelona received ?2.21 million ($2.8 million), Manchester City earned ?2.07 million ($2.64 million) and Juventus collected ?2.02 million ($2.58 million).
Premier League clubs featured strongly with Liverpool getting ?1.97 million ($2.5 million) followed by Chelsea (?1.91 million; $2.44 million) and Arsenal (?1.69 million; $2.16 million).
Manchester United which sent seven players - though only one semifinalist, Portugal's Nani - trailed with a ?1.67 million ($2.13 million) payment.
In 2008, UEFA and the European Club Association agreed a total Euro 2012 compensation fund of ?55 million ($70 million).
That was increased in March as part of a new working accord which included distributing ?40 million ($51.5 million) among players called up for qualifiers, which paid a lower daily rate.
Compensation was first paid at Euro 2008, when UEFA gave ?4,000 (then $5,000) per day for players who went to Switzerland and Austria.
Negotiations with FIFA will likely be on the agenda when the 207-member ECA next meets in February in Doha, Qatar.
Rummenigge said clubs from other continents, which have no equivalent collective lobbying group, will be invited - and all would be "very curious'' to see how Qatar is preparing to host the 2022 World Cup.

Anti-Islam movie sparks riots in Egypt; angry mob kills American ambassador in Libya

A movie attacking Islam’s prophet Muhammad sparked assaults on US diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt on Tuesday. A Libyan security official reported an American was shot to death as protesters burned the US Consulate in Benghazi, and in Cairo, protesters scaled the walls of the US Embassy walls and replaced an American flag with an Islamic banner.
These were the first such assaults on US diplomatic facilities in either country, at a time when both Libya and Egypt are struggling to overcome the turmoil following the ouster of their longtime leaders, Moammar Gadhafi and Hosni Mubarak in uprisings last year.
The protests in both countries were sparked by outrage over a video being promoted by an extreme anti-Muslim Egyptian Christian campaigner in the United States.
Sam Bacile, the writer, director and producer of the movie that he says showcases his view of Islam as a hateful religion, was funded by $5 million from about 100 Jewish donors who he declined to identify, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
In the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, a large mob stormed the US Consulate, with gunmen firing their weapons, said Wanis al-Sharef, an Interior Ministry official in Bengazi. A witness said attackers fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at the consulate as they clashed with Libyans hired to guard the facility.
Outnumbered by the crowd, Libyan security forces did little to stop them, al-Sharef said.
The crowd overwhelmed the facility and set fire to it, burning most of it and looting the contents, witnesses said.
One American was shot to death and a second was wounded in the hand, al-Sharef said. He did not give further details, and there was no immediate US confirmation of the death.
Hours before the Benghazi attack, hundreds of mainly ultraconservative Islamist protesters in Egypt marched to the US Embassy in downtown Cairo, gathering outside its walls and chanting against the movie and the US. Most of the embassy staff had left the compound earlier because of warnings of the upcoming demonstration.
“Say it, don’t fear: Their ambassador must leave,” the crowd chanted.
Dozens of protesters then scaled the embassy walls, and several went into the courtyard and took down the American flag from a pole. They brought it back to the crowd outside, which tried to burn it, but failing that, tore it apart.
The protesters on the wall then raised on the flagpole a black flag with a Muslim declaration of faith, “There is no god but God and Muhammad is his prophet.” The flag, similar to the banner used by al-Qaida, is commonly used by ultraconservatives around the region.
The crowd grew throughout the evening with thousands standing outside the embassy. Dozens of riot police lined up along the embassy walls but did not stop protesters as they continued to climb and stand on the wall — though it appeared no more went into the compound.
The crowd chanted, “Islamic, Islamic. The right of our prophet will not die.” Some shouted, “We are all Osama,” referring to al-Qaida’s late leader, bin Laden. Young men, some in masks, sprayed graffiti on the walls. Some grumbled that Islamist President Mohammed Morsi had not spoken out about the movie.
A group of women in black veils and robes that left only their eyes exposed chanted, “Worshippers of the Cross, leave the Prophet Muhammad alone.”
By midnight, the crowd had dwindled. The US Embassy said on its Twitter account that there will be no visa services on Wednesday because of the protests.
A senior Egyptian security official at the embassy area said authorities allowed the protest because it was “peaceful.” When they started climbing the walls, he said he called for more troops, denying that the protesters stormed the embassy. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
The Cairo embassy is in a diplomatic area in Garden City, where the British and Italian embassies are located, only a few blocks away from Tahrir Square, the center of last year’s uprising that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. The US Embassy is built like a fortress, with a wall several meters high. But security has been scaled back in recent months, with several roadblocks leading to the facility removed after legal court cases by residents.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry promised in a statement to provide the necessary security for diplomatic missions and embassies and warned that “such incidents will negatively impact the image of stability in Egypt, which will have consequences on the life of its citizens.”
One protester, Hossam Ahmed, said he was among those who entered the embassy compound and replaced the American flag with the black one. He said the group has now removed the black flag from the pole and laid it instead on a ladder on top of the wall.
“This is a very simple reaction to harming our prophet,” said another, bearded young protester, Abdel-Hamid Ibrahim.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Egyptian police had removed the demonstrators who entered the embassy grounds. Speaking before reports of the slain American emerged, she condemned the attack on the consulate in Libya “in the strongest terms.”
Muslims find it offensive to depict Muhammad in any fashion, much less in an insulting way. The 2005 publication of 12 caricatures of the prophet Muhammad in a Danish newspaper triggered riots in many Muslim countries.
A 14-minute trailer of the movie that sparked the protests, posted on the website YouTube in an original English version and another dubbed into Egyptian Arabic, depicts Muhammad as a fraud, a womanizer and a madman in an overtly ridiculing way, showing him having sex and calling for massacres.
A YouTube spokesman said the website would not take down the video at this point. The spokesman said the website’s policy is to remove videos that include a threat of violence, but not those only expressing opinions.
“We take great care when we enforce our policies and try to allow as much content as possible while ensuring that our Community Guidelines are followed,” the YouTube representative said. “Flagged content that does not violate our Guidelines will remain on the site.”
Bacile, an American citizen who said he produced, directed and wrote the two-hour film, said he had not anticipated such a furious reaction.
“I feel sorry for the embassy. I am mad,” Bacile said.
Speaking from a telephone with a California number, Bacile said he is Jewish and familiar with the region. Bacile said the film was produced in English and he doesn’t know who dubbed it in Arabic. The full film has not been shown yet, he said, and he said he has declined distribution offers for now.
“My plan is to make a series of 200 hours” about the same subject, he said.
Morris Sadek, an Egyptian-born Christian in the US known for his anti-Islam views, told The Associated Press from Washington that he was promoting the video on his website and on certain TV stations, which he did not identify.
Both depicted the film as showing how Coptic Christians are oppressed in Egypt, though it goes well beyond that to ridicule Muhammad — a reflection of their contention that Islam as a religion is inherently oppressive.
“The main problem is I am the first one to put on the screen someone who is (portraying) Muhammad. It makes them mad,” Bacile said. “But we have to open the door. After 9/11 everybody should be in front of the judge, even Jesus, even Muhammad.”
For several days, Egyptian media have been reporting on the video, playing some excerpts from it and blaming Sadek for it, with ultraconservative clerics going on air to denounce it.
Medhat Klada, a representative of Coptic Christian organizations in Europe, said Sadek’s views are not representative of expatriate Copts.
“He is an extremist… We don’t go down this road. He has incited the people (in Egypt) against Copts,” he said, speaking from Switzerland. “We refuse any attacks on religions because of a moral position.”
But he said he was concerned about the backlash from angry Islamists, saying their protest only promotes the movie. “They don’t know dialogue and they think that Islam will be offended from a movie.”

Monday, September 10, 2012

England Euro 2012 loss "still hurts us"

Ukraine manager Oleg Blokhin has called upon his younger players to step up and fill the gap left by retired striker Andriy Shevchenko, starting against England at Wembley on Tuesday night. 

The Zhovto-Blakytni have not played a competitive fixture since they were beaten 1-0 by the Three Lions in their final group game at Euro 2012. 

Marko Devic scored a legitimate goal during that match, when his shot was cleared by John Terry from behind the goal line, and Blokhin admits that the referee's decision not to award it still "hurts" his team. 

"The referee made a big mistake when our goal was ruled out and it still hurts us," said Blokhin. "If we could have beaten England I'm sure we would have become stronger and stronger with every game. 

"But that's history and we have to look forward. And we must do that without the help of Shevchenko. He was a born leader and we will need some time to re-adjust to playing without him. 

"I have said to my young players that against England one of them must be a leader of the team. They are all adults and it is time for them to take on the leader's virtues." 

England and Ukraine are both in Group H for World Cup qualifying, alongside Moldova, Montenegro, Poland and San Marino.


The years leading up to any major championship bolster the building sector and provide plenty of opportunity to related businesses. Poland was no exception as it prepared for the recently held European Football Championships. Anna Mitchell hears from one of Poland's leading integrators on opportunities after the event.

Ukraine and Poland recently became the focus of the sporting world’s attention when the countries co-hosted the 2012 UEFA European Football Championships. Matches were played in four stadiums in Poland, each one opened or overhauled and reopened in the last two years.
The stadiums - and supporting infrastructure including airports, train stations and hotels - have had a massive impact on the country’s building and technology industries. But what happens when the crowds depart? Can the country continue to support the inflated infrastructure.
Trias SA, a leading Polish integrator, equipped two of the four stadiums built for Euro 2012.