Jamaica’s path to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is now clear after Concacaf’s revised structure was announced on Monday. However, there are mixed views as to whether the changes that were created out of necessity can become the norm for future cycles. The new format sees the traditional hexagonal (six team) Final Round structure abandoned and replaced by an eight-team tournament, which will begin next June. It will consist of the top five nations in the region according to FIFA rankings as of July 16 and three other nations that will emerge from preliminary rounds, which are slated to begin in October. Jamaica, having maintain their top five ranking, advanced to the final round alongside Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica and Honduras. Loaded Football Calendar Concacaf president Victor Montagliani, in an interview with Canada’s onesoccer.com, said the revised structure made sense due to the coronavirus’ disrupting effect on the calendar. Montagliani pointed to the confederation’s attempts to juggle a loaded football calendar next year that includes the rescheduled Concacaf Nations League Finals and the Gold Cup.“I think when we had the previous format, it was done for the right reasons because traditionally we had 29 watching six nations in the hex for two and a half years which is why we came up with the previous format, but this format I think is realistic to now,” Montagliani said. “We are going to have a condensed calendar leading up to Qatar. We didn’t want to burden our member associations both from a financial standpoint and even a sporting standpoint by going into the previous version.” However, Humble Lion head coach Andrew Price believes Concacaf could have inadvertently created a format suitable for the future.“I think as a result of COVID-19 and the compression of the time period to complete the qualification [it] has forced them [Concacaf] into a situation where they had to use this format,” Price told The Gleaner. “But what this format does and nobody can’t deny it, it gives a lot of transparency because it gives every team within Concacaf an opportunity to qualify. It’s just what those teams do with it when they get the opportunity.” Former national assistant coach Bradley Stewart is cautious of the chances that the format could be adopted beyond the 2022 cycle.“I’m thinking that this is not a formula that they would use under normal circumstances. I think it is just a way around the problems that we had faced based on the postponement of previous games,” Stewart said. The top three teams from the final round will advance automatically to the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar with the fourth-place team competing in a continental play-off. The final round is scheduled to be completed by March 2022 with the continental play-off to be contested in June. [email protected]
THE Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry Limited (GBTI) recently named West Indies cricketer Shimron Hetmyer and lawn tennis and hockey player Sarah Klautky as its first-ever Brand Ambassadors. By doing this the lending institution signals its strong support for the nurturing of young talent and cultural affiliation in Guyana, along with its renewed focus on retail and commercial banking.“Part of this renewed focus is humanising the GBTI brand and what better way to do this than to use our very own Guyanese superstars or people and personalities who have the potential to become stars, leaders and influencers, who we believe have the potential to help us reposition GBTI as a people’s bank that engages, represents, identifies and connects with the Guyanese people and its customers at large, who at the same time proudly carry the GBTI brand wherever they go,” the Bank said in a releaseAt age 14, Sarah is already carving a name for herself in the sporting arena both locally and regionally. The Marian Academy fourth form student, who first engaged in lawn tennis at age six, is the reigning GBTI Tennis Championship U-18 title-holder.Shimron HetmyerThe Roraima Tennis Club player has represented Guyana in the International Tennis Federation COTECC Championship in Jamaica where she emerged winner in the Under-14 category and subsequently participated in the Blue Mountain Tournament and walked away with the Under-14 Title.Klautky is also a member of the Junior National Hockey Team and despite only picking up the sport three years ago, she led the Guyana Junior team to victory with the most goals scored in the recently-concluded Paragon Hockey Tournament in Trinidad and recently also copped the MVP player award in a local tournament.In accepting the ambassadorial role for GBTI Sarah said that she’s “extremely elated to now be a part of the GBTI family. I’d like to thank you for choosing me to be your Brand Ambassador. I will do my best to represent the bank in everything I do.”Meanwhile, Hetmyer, 21, who is currently in India with the West Indies team, thanked GBTI for bringing him on board, while adding that he’s looking forward to his role as the bank’s Brand Ambassador.
Willian’s stunning free-kick seconds before the half-time whistle hauled Chelsea level in their Champions League Group G clash.Their defensive shortcomings were evident again when Andre Andre netted for Porto six minutes before the break.AdChoices广告Branislav Ivanovic, who has attracted criticism this season, was again at fault. Yacine Brahimi went past him, and Asmir Begovic produced a fine save to keep out the Algerian’s shot only for to Andre to follow up to score.Chelsea were the better side for much of the first half and Porto keeper Iker Casillas denied Pedro after the Spaniard had been found by Willian’s fine pass.Earlier, Casillas pushed away a shot from Cesc Fabregas after good work on the left by Diego Costa, who has caused the home defence major problems.At the other end, Vincent Aboubakar fired high and wide and then appealed in vain for a penalty following a challenge Ivanovic.Porto’s goal was somewhat against the run of play but their lead was cancelled out in emphatic fashion by Willian’s cracking strike.Eden Hazard and Nemanja Matic are on the Chelsea bench along with John Terry after being left out by boss Jose Mourinho, who gave starting places to John Mikel Obi and Ramires. Chelsea: Begovic; Ivanovic, Zouma, Cahill, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Fabregas; Willian, Ramires, Pedro; Costa.Subs: Blackman, Baba Rahman, Terry, Matic, Loftus-Cheek, Hazard, Kenedy. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
The American Soybean Association (ASA) is very pleased that the Senate Finance Committee will hold a “mock” markup of the draft implementing bills for the South Korea, Colombia, and Panama Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) later this week. The ASA has been working for a number of years toward passage of these trade agreements because increased exports of U.S. soy and soy-fed meat and poultry will benefit soybean farmers and rural economies. Passage of these three trade agreements combined represents nearly $3 billion of additional agriculture exports to these trading partners.”This is a critical step in the right direction,” said ASA President Alan Kemper, a soybean farmer from Lafayette, Ind. “Now that an agreement on Trade Adjustment Assistance has been reached, we call on Congress and the Administration to quickly advance these trade agreements in order to boost our economy.”The Finance Committee will consider the draft implementing bills during a “mock” markup because Congress cannot offer amendments to the final implementing bills submitted by the Administration under the Trade Promotion Authority Act – also known as “fast track” – procedures. Following Administration review of any amendments that the Finance and Ways and Means Committees approve on the draft implementing bills, final versions of the implementing bills will be submitted to Congress for an up-or-down vote.These three agreements contain significant export gains for U.S. agriculture that will only be realized by passage and implementation. Conversely, inaction has proven to result in loss of U.S. market share and forfeiture of economic growth. The U.S. government’s inability to move these agreements only benefits our foreign competitors and harms U.S. agriculture.”ASA urges that the Senate support and pass these agreements now and take full advantage of the opportunity they provide for America’s economic growth,” Kemper said.