Tag Archives: commander

Mario Balotelli Time Magazine interview says racists will never change

Stupid racists will never change, says Balotelli in Time Magazine interview

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UPDATED:

16:46 GMT, 2 November 2012

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli believes that nothing can be done to change the ways of racist people because they are inherently stupid.

In an interview with America's iconic Time Magazine the Italian international born to Ghanaian parents spoke frankly about the racist abuse he has suffered during his football career.

The 22-year-old was on the receiving end of racist chants while playing for Inter Milan in Italy and he believes the problem is far worse in his homeland than in England.

Cover star: Balotelli spoke to Time Magazine about racism among other things

Cover star: Balotelli spoke to Time Magazine about racism among other things

'Racist people are few and you can do nothing against [to change] them,' said Balotelli.

'You can talk, you can do what you want, but you can't do anything because they are just stupid people.

'When I wasn't famous, I had a lot of friends, almost all of them Italian,' he says. 'The racism only started when I started to play football.

Training day: City face West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday evening

Training day: City face West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday evening

'But me, personally, I hope I can help Italy to be a modern country like England or America.'

Balotelli also discussed his admiration of US President Barack Obama, revealing: 'I was really happy to see a black man be the chief [commander-in-chief]. I would like to meet him.'

Fang-tastic: Balotelli with Man City captain Vincent Kompany on Friday

Fang-tastic: Balotelli with Man City captain Vincent Kompany on Friday

Balotelli has endured a rocky relationship with City manager Roberto Mancini at times, but he told Time that he sees his countryman as a father figure.

'My relationship with Mancini is really important,' added Balotelli. 'He's known me since I was young and he's like a father to me. 'I used to play with the young children at Inter Milan, so I know him very well and I can tell him anything.'

Padraig Harrington inspired to be back at Portrush and leads the calls for Ryder Cup return

Harrington inspired to be back at Portrush and leads the calls for Ryder Cup return

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UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 26 June 2012

Padraig Harrington can remember travelling to play golf at Royal Portrush and being stopped at a roadblock because the police had discovered a 500lbs bomb.

Contrast that grim picture during the Troubles with the happy times leading up to the start of the Irish Open here. Less than an hour away the Queen will shake hands today with the former IRA commander, Martin McGuinness.

No wonder Harrington, an ambassador for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, thinks politics should no longer be an issue when it comes to the prospect of The Open returning to the Antrim coastline for the first time since 1951.

Looking forward: Harrington

Looking forward: Harrington

‘It shouldn’t be an issue for the R&A, we are much bigger than that now,’ said the twice Claret Jug winner.

‘It’s really only the infrastructure that should concern them because the course is plenty capable of hosting an Open.

‘This has long been my favourite course. I had a great time here as an amateur, I’ve probably played it over 60 times. But I remember one day when we were stopped on the road going into Newry. When we asked a policeman what was going on, he told us it was just a small problem. it turns out it was a 500lb bomb on the road – just a small problem then!

‘I remember going back I was getting a lift and thinking maybe we should have checked under the car before we left but people just got on with it. You just went and played.’

The Dubliner played a practice round with USPGA Champion Keegan Bradley yesterday. ‘Like me, he was taken aback by the size of the crowd for a Tuesday,’ said Harrington. 'It seems like it was an inspired decision.'

London 2012 Olympics: Ben Ainslie kicks off torch relay

Olympic legend Ainslie kicks off torch relay with flame set for 8,000 miles over 70 days

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UPDATED:

10:56 GMT, 19 May 2012

Three-time Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie has kicked off the London 2012 Olympic torch relay from Land's End this morning.

Ainslie, 35, is the first of 8,000 torchbearers who will carry the Olympic Flame 8,000 miles over 70 days to where it will light the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games.

Ainslie, who also has the honour of being the first athlete to formally be selected for Team GB, is aiming to win his fourth successive gold medal on home waters at the London 2012 competition at Weymouth and Portland.

They're off: Ben Ainslie and lieutenant commander Richie Full, who delivered the Olympic Flame from RNAS Culdrose

They're off: Ben Ainslie and lieutenant commander Richie Full, who delivered the Olympic Flame from RNAS Culdrose

His Olympic dream seems to be on course after he this week became the world Finn champion for the sixth time in Falmouth.

Devon and Cornwall Police said around 3,500 people were at Land's End to see the start of the relay.

Being the first person to run with the London 2012 Olympic torch was almost as special as winning a gold medal, Ainslie said.

Fresh from winning his sixth world title yesterday, Ainslie was up in the early hours to complete the first leg of the relay at Land's End in Cornwall.

Hear the cheers: Crowds gather as torchbearer Nicole Martin takes the flame between the villages of Rosudgeon and Helston

Hear the cheers: Crowds gather as torchbearer Nicole Martin takes the flame between the villages of Rosudgeon and Helston

He said: 'I would say that particular moment ranks right up there with winning a gold medal. It was incredibly special.'

Despite being in great physical form as he prepares to try win to win his fourth successive gold medal, Ainslie decided to walk his relay leg.

Ainslie happily paused and waved so the cheering crowd of all ages could take photographs. Many of whom had risen at 4am to make the trip and waved flags to support the first torchbearers.

Ainslie said: 'I did alright at least I did not trip over. I did not really want to rush it. I wanted to give everyone the chance to touch the torch, it gives everyone around the country to feel part of it.

What a setting: Torchbearer Sarah Blight runs on the beach in front of St. Michael's Mount at Marazion

What a setting: Torchbearer Sarah Blight runs on the beach in front of St. Michael's Mount at Marazion

'It is one of those moments in your life where you are just in shock. It was an amazing moment. I was very proud obviously to help kick start this period in the run-up to the Olympics.

'It was probably one of the more nervous moments in my life but it is so special for everybody to see the Olympic torch.'

It's here: Richie Full delivers the flame

It's here: Richie Full delivers the flame

Nailed on: Sarah Blight shows her true colours

Nailed on: Sarah Blight shows her true colours

A slight wind caught the flame as his torch was lit, beneath the famous Land's End sign.

Ainslie said: 'Initially when the gas was full up there was a bit of breeze so we had to be pretty careful. The atmosphere was great. Everyone was really excited.'

Sir Keith Mills, the London 2012 deputy chairman and a friend of Ainslie's, described the start of a relay as “historic and emotional day” for him that has been nine years in the making.

Sir Keith was a key member of London's winning bid to stage the Games.

He said: 'This has been an amazing journey. For me this is the start of the Games and when the whole country starts to get excited.

Flaming good time: Ben Ainslie

Flaming good time: Ben Ainslie

'You have many milestones in this like winning the bid, the lighting of the flame and its arrival yesterday was a special moment. This is clearly another big moment.'

There are 139 torchbearers carrying the flame a total of 136 miles on the first day of the relay. It started at the Land's End Signpost in Cornwall and ends at the Hoe in Plymouth for the first evening celebration.

Sir Keith, who is a keen sailor and has worked with Ainslie on an America's Cup, said: 'Seeing Ben with the torch was one of the reasons that I wanted to be here.

'He is one of our greatest Olympians and he also happens to be a friend. I have spent a lot of time with him with the America's Cup and the way that he is sailing with such passion, he is in a great position for a fourth gold medal.

Crowd pleaser: Ben Ainslie shows the flame to the people who turned up to cheer the start of the relay

Crowd pleaser: Ben Ainslie shows the flame to the people who turned up to cheer the start of the relay

'I also know that for him, being able to carry the torch on his home soil, is very special for him and his family. I wanted to share in the moment with him.'

Ainslie said he did not know whether he was going to 'run, sprint, walk or crawl' his relay leg but that he made a point of wishing 18-year-old Swallow good luck as he passed the Olympic Flame on to her.

Swallow, who is from St Ives, said she wanted to take it slowly to take it all in but she got 'a bit excited and a little crazy and ran too fast'.

Travelling in style: The flame arrived at Land's End by helicopter

Travelling in style: The flame arrived at Land's End by helicopter

London 2012 wanted the bulk of people taking part in the relay to be unsung heroes who have done things to help their community, individuals involved sport and people from the younger generation.

Swallow, who is hoping that surfing will soon become an Olympic event, said: 'Ben Ainslie is definitely a role model. I would love to be in his position in the future and be a role model to younger people.

'Everyone knows that I have had to work hard to get where I am. I was really surprised by the atmosphere here today. Everyone was cheering and calling my name. It is something – will never forget.'

Gary Neville wins planning battle with Manchester United over supporters" club

Neville 1 United 0: Green light for legend's plans for fans' complex despite club protest

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UPDATED:

09:03 GMT, 10 May 2012

Gary Neville looks to have won his battle with Manchester United over his proposals for a hotel and supporters' club opposite Old Trafford.

United had objected to Neville's plans for a 10-storey leisure and retail complex. But town planners have recommended the project, which will include a bar, a shop and 139 bedrooms, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Neville, a club legend who made over 400 appearances for the Red Devils before retiring last year, must pay around 162,000 towards highway and transport schemes and a further 82,770 unless he plants 267 trees on the site next to the Bridgewater Canal on Sir Matt Busby Way.

Future vision: An artist's impression of the hotel on Sir Matt Busby Way

Future vision: An artist's impression of the hotel on Sir Matt Busby Way

In February the club lodged a five-page document with Trafford Council, saying: 'MUFC shall continue to oppose and object to the proposed scheme' due to its impact on 'the club's holistic vision for the continuing enhancement of the area surrounding the stadium'.

But the planners rejected United's claims that the building would spoil the landscape and believe that the development will 'support economic growth'.

There were also objections raised by United over the lack of parking at the new facility. Neville is obliged to provide evidence that the site can provide parking spaces for 210 cars three months prior to opening.

Gary's dream: How Neville's hotel would look once constructed next to the Bridgewater Canal

Gary's dream: How Neville's hotel would look once constructed next to the Bridgewater Canal

The planners' 18-page report also
revealed that Greater Manchester Police's United match commander, Chief
Supt Mark Roberts, has concerns over an increase in the risk of crime
and disorder due to having licenced premises so close to Old Trafford.
But no official objection was raised by GMP.

Player turned pundit: Gary Neville

Reds legend: Gary Neville

Player turned pundit: Gary Neville was a hero at Old Trafford but now lends his opinion to Sky Sports

Planning consultant for the project, Rob Turley, said on behalf of Neville: 'We are aware that Trafford Planning Committee will meet and we understand the scheme is recommended for approval by the officers. We await the outcome of planning committee.'

A club spokesman said: 'Manchester United are aware of the planning report and await the council's decision.'