Beleaguered Word Cup gets dreary opener: Russia-Saudi Arabia

first_imgOSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson NU Pep Squad shoots for 5th straight crown The United States is missing from soccer’s top event for the first time since 1986 and four-time champion Italy will be watching from afar for the first time since 1958.Germany remains the favorite. Its depth was clear when an experimental squad won the Confederations Cup in Russia in July. Germany opens against Mexico in its quest to become the first country to win back-to-back World Cup titles since Brazil in 1962. The Germans then face Sweden and South Korea in Group F.“We got opponents that are not unknown to us,” Germany captain Manuel Neuer said. “That’s what I like best, when we know what to expect.”Germany is hoping to be based in Sochi along with Brazil. The only five-time world champion does not intend to move its training camp despite a schedule that has none of its games in the Black Sea resort. The Selecao, beaten 7-1 at home by Germany in the 2014 semifinals, were drawn in Group E with Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.“Despite the distances, there are quick ways to get there,” Brazil coach Tite said.ADVERTISEMENT Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, Brazilian soccer legend Pele, center, and Argentinian soccer legend Diego Armando Maradona pose for a photo prior to the 2018 soccer World Cup draw in the Kremlin in Moscow, Friday Dec. 1, 2017. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)MOSCOW — A World Cup shrouded in corruption controversies and struggling to attract sponsors could have the dreariest of starts on the field: a meeting of the lowest-ranked teams in the 32-team field.Host Russia and Saudi Arabia play June 14 at Moscow in an opener lacking global appeal, but things pick up the next day when 2010 champion Spain and defending European champion Portugal meet in Sochi.ADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene England, eliminated in the group stage three years ago, was drawn into Group G along with newcomer Panama, Tunisia and Belgium. Gareth Southgate’s first World Cup game as a coach will be a repeat of his first as a player — Southgate made his World Cup debut in England’s 2-0 win over Tunisia in 1998.“We’ve been good at writing off teams and then getting beaten by them,” Southgate said.Roberto Martinez also will be making his World Cup debut. But the Belgium coach knows England well after spending two decades there as a coach and player.“It is going to be one of those games with no secrets,” said Martinez, a former Everton manager. “We have 25 players in the British game. That brings that understanding. That brings that competitive level.”Peru, the last of the 32 teams to qualify for Russia, is in Group C with 1998 champion France, Australia and Denmark.“It could have been worse,” France coach Didier Deschamps said.The only group without a former World Cup champion is H — Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan.The Russians have been placed with the winners of the first World Cup — Uruguay — in Group A along with Egypt and Uruguay. At No. 65, Russia is the lowest-ranked team at the tournament, with Saudi Arabia only two places higher.“I’ve never seen them,” Russia coach Stanislav Cherchesov said.The ceremony was opened by Russian President Vladimir Putin, one day short of the seventh anniversary of the FIFA executive committee vote that awarded the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar — the subject of bribe allegations against soccer executives brought up nearly daily in New York during a corruption trial against top soccer officials. Putin urged fans to visit and enjoy his “big and multifaceted” country, a rallying cry that comes amid concerns about racism and hooliganism. Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set “We will do everything to make it a major sporting festival,” Putin said, anticipating a World Cup of “friendship and fair play, values that do not change with time.”The Olympic doping scandal surrounding Russia hung over the final countdown to the draw. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, head of the local World Cup organizing committee, defended himself against accusations he helped orchestrate state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.“Nowadays everyone is trying to make some kind of axis of evil out of us, just because we’re a great sporting power,” Mutko said.The International Olympic Committee executive board will decide on Tuesday whether to ban Russia from the upcoming Pyeongchang Olympics.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’center_img View comments Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson 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 Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? LATEST STORIES The Iberian neighbors were drawn into Group B at a Kremlin ceremony Friday. Morocco coach Herve Renard hoped to avoid the “two ogres” but will face them along with Iran.“It’s a complicated group,” Spain coach Julen Lopetegui said. “It will be tough. Portugal is a great team. It is the defending European champion and has a squad filled with top players.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkNone more so than Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently joined Argentina’s Lionel Messi as the only five-time winners of FIFA’s player of the year award. Messi’s quest for his first World Cup title begins the following day when Argentina takes on Iceland — at 334,000 the least-populous country to qualify for the World Cup.Iceland coach Heimir Hallgrimsson already knows what he must tell his team: “Watch out for No. 10.”last_img read more

‘Liberia Still Under Cyber Attack’

first_imgThe recent wave of cyber intrusion that hit Liberia in a bid to keep it disconnected from the global network is still continuing with hackers still sending massive volumes of artificial data to block internet links, a press statement from Lonestar Cell MTN said yesterday.As a result of these cyber activities internet connectivity is slow and in most cases intermittent. This has left many frustrated internet users in Liberia complaining about the services of telecommunications companies.Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) has denied that the country’s internet access was interrupted by malicious cyber activities. “Monitoring systems on the nation’s internet exchange point, where domestic traffic joins the global network, showed no evidence that the link had been overwhelmed,” Jarsea Burphy, LTA spokesperson said in a statement.According to its statement, Lonestar Cell MTN, one of the country’s leading providers, is reporting repeated cyber-attacks in the form of Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) from hackers. It may be recalled that the company in a statement recently called on the government to investigate the cause of the attacks. “We are calling on the Government through its security apparatus to institute immediate investigation into the matter as these DDOS attacks amount to economic sabotage. We also call on the LTA to ensure that Liberia urgently joins Africa CERT, an organization that protects countries around Africa against cyber threats,” the release said.These DDOS attacks, the statement added, are undermining government’s revenue intake and denying Lonestar Cell MTN subscribers adequate services. The Government of Liberia needs to take the call made by Lonestar Cell MTN seriously as these attackers have the ability to spread their activities to businesses, including banks, and other government entities. Cyber-attacks are fast becoming a global issue, and must not be taken lightly in Liberia. The attacks on Liberia captured the pages of many anti-cyber sites and multiple international wires. The BBC reported recently that “Liberia has been repeatedly cut off from the internet by hackers targeting its only link to the global network. The attacks were the first to send overwhelming amounts of data from weakly protected devices, such as webcams and digital video recorders that had been enrolled into what is known as a botnet. A botnet variant called Mirai was identified by security firms as being the tool used to find and compromise the insecure devices. The source code for Mirai has been widely shared and many malicious hacker groups have used it to seek out vulnerable devices they can take over and use to mount what are known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks,” according to the press statement.The government needs to go beyond denial and ensure that these activities are curtailed as service providers and Liberians are still complaining of intermittent denial of internet services, the statement noted.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more