Reflections on a ‘humbling defeat’

first_imgby Paul Rainford Blues’ Football Captain The humbling defeat against Team Bath in the National BUSA knockout competition has certainly given the team much to ponder, not just in terms of what we expect to achieve for the rest of this season but also what might lie in store later. Bath finished runners up in the BUSA Premier South Division this year and they boast a team containing players on scholarships who perform a very high level, both physically and technically. They are one of the flagship football projects that Sport England has spent much time and money cultivating in order to improve the quality of football provision at British universities. If we win our playoff match next week, they will also be a team that we will have to compete with on a regular basis. On Wednesday’s showing that would present a formidable task for the Blues. Granted, we were missing four regular players from our starting line up, but the nature of our first half capitulation will certainly force Martin Keown to seriously assess our squad personnel and tamper with certain aspects of our style. We simply failed to compete in the defensive third and conceded four goals that were almost carbon copies of one another, with lofted crosses to the back post being headed home by one of either the Bath strikers or the wide players making a run inside from the wing. Going forward, we put together a few nice passages of play, and Toogood and De Walden were a constant threat to their somewhat cumbersome centre-halves. But our inability to stem the flow at the other end of the field ensured that the endeavour of our strikers counted for very little, as we went in at half time demoralised and facing up to the prospect of playing only for pride in the second half. To the team’s credit, a much more spirited performance was displayed after half time, but by that time the game was lost. We were fundamentally undone by a lack of structured team shape, a lack of a competitive spirit and a lack of concentration. This performance was totally out of character with the way we have played up until this point in the season and one must not make too many hasty decisions or changes on the basis of one result. However we will certainly be looking for a positive response from our players in training. We will not recover from this and get back to winning ways by wallowing in self pity or crumbling under self-doubt. I know that we are better than we showed today and we have to prove that in our playoff against Exeter next week.last_img read more

Dutch prosecutor preparing criminal charges against Shell over Nigerian license deal

first_imgDutch Public Prosecutor’s Office is preparing to bring criminal charges against Anglo-Dutch oil major Shell over the company’s involvement in oil block OPL 245 located offshore Nigeria.The case is related to Shell and Eni’s acquisition of an offshore block in Nigeria in 2011.Shell said on Friday it had been informed by the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office that they were nearing the conclusion of their investigation and were preparing to prosecute Royal Dutch Shell plc for criminal charges directly or indirectly related to the 2011 settlement of disputes over Oil Prospecting License 245 (OPL 245) in Nigeria.“As appropriate, we will provide updates as this matter progresses,” Shell added in the brief statement on Friday.Shell is already facing charges for bribery at a Milan court related to the same deal together with Italian oil major Eni.Eni and Shell jointly bought the block in question in 2011 for more than one billion U.S. dollars. In 2014, the Milan Prosecutor’s office launched an investigation to see where the payment went and whether Eni and Shell knew, as it has been alleged, that the money didn’t end up in the state coffers but was passed on further to the former oil minister Dan Etete.The OPL 245 license had been owned by Malabu oil company, allegedly secretly owned by Etete. The allegations are that the Nigerian government gave the license to Shell and Eni for more than a billion dollars, and then passed the cash further to Malabu, that is, Etete.Both Eni and Shell have been denying any wrongdoing since the start of the investigation.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more

Marriner apologises to Gunners

first_img “Incidents of mistaken identity are very rare and are often the result of a number of different technical factors. “Whilst this was a difficult decision Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player. “He expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue.” Marriner was aware of his error at half-time, but by then the decision could not be undone and marred Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th match in charge of Arsenal. With the Gunners already trailing 2-0, Gibbs was sent off for handling an Eden Hazard shot, despite replays clearly showing it was team-mate Oxlade-Chamberlain, who then approached Marriner to admit wrongdoing. The Football Association subsequently confirmed that Arsenal, or the governing body themselves, could appeal the sending off on the grounds of “mistaken identity”. It continued the debate for the use of television replays. The decision would not have happened under UEFA’s extra-officials policy, according to a spokesman for president Michel Platini. Pedro Pinto, the chief of press for Platini, said an extra referee on the by-line would have identified the correct culprit. Pinto wrote on Twitter: “What confusion at Chelsea-Arsenal with the pen decision. That’s why over 30 European countries have endorsed UEFA-backed 5 officials system. “With an additional assistant referee on the end line, referee would not have got that sending off wrong. Technology is not the answer…” Pinto claimed that “more eye balls” were the key to improving referee decision-making rather than technology alone. The Barclays Premier League has employed goal-line technology for the first time this season – which would not have aided Marriner’s decision at Chelsea because it determines whether a shot has crossed the line only. Pinto added on Twitter: “More eye balls are the answer. GLT helps with goal line decisions, but five officials system gives referee more angles of vision. It’s not one vs the other.” The only saving grace on this occasion was that the decision did not appear to impact on the result and it is likely that Oxlade-Chamberlain will serve the suspension if Arsenal appeal or the Football Association intervene. “Clubs can appeal mistaken identity to The @FA, although The @FA can pro-actively review also,” an FA tweet read. There is a precedent for the decision to be changed after League One side Preston had the wrong man sent off against Port Vale in November. Striker Joe Garner was suspended retrospectively for three games after midfielder Neil Kilkenny had mistakenly been sent off. Marriner has previous form at Stamford Bridge this season, awarding Chelsea a controversial last-gasp penalty against West Brom in November when it appeared Ramires dived. Hazard scored on that occasion to earn a draw in a result which preserved Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten Premier League record at home, which now stands at 76 matches. Former Premier League official Dermot Gallagher later gave Marriner his support. Speaking on talkSPORT he said of the decision: “It’s quite easy, it’s just a genuine error, the referee, for whatever reason when the penalty has been given, has lost sight of the Arsenal player, and when he has looked back he’s seen Gibbs and sent him off.” Gallagher claims it is an easy mess to clean up, though, adding: ” Arsenal will appeal, that’s their right. Kieran Gibbs, he will have to submit saying ‘it wasn’t me’, Oxlade-Chamberlain will say ‘it was (me)’ and the suspension will be transferred and justice will be done. “It’s a genuine mistaken identity and Oxlade-Chamberlain won’t be able to play (in Arsenal’s next game).” Press Association A Professional Game Match Officials Limited statement on Saturday evening revealed the apology after Marriner dismissed Gibbs for a foul committed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain which resulted in a penalty in the 17th minute of the match. “Andre is an experienced referee and is obviously disappointed that an error of mistaken identity was made in this case,” the statement read. Referee Andre Marriner has apologised to Arsenal for his error which saw Kieran Gibbs mistakenly sent off in the 6-0 loss to Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.last_img read more