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New Era Newspaper Thursday December 21, 2017

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22 SPORT Thursday, December 21 2017 | NEW ERA Ahmad unwavering on 24-team Afcon African football supremo, Ahmad Ahmad, insisted on Tuesday he is not backing down over plans to increase the Afcon from 16 to 24 teams despite Cameroon’s organisational struggles. Back in August, world-governing body Fifa appointed a committee to run crisis-hit Cameroonian football amid growing fears the country would not be able to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (Afcon). Despite the country’s difficulties in completing necessary infrastructure, Confederation of African Football president (CAF) Ahmad said no compromise would be made regarding the number of participating countries. “If the host country cannot another country that can,” Ahmad said on Tuesday during a visit to Abidjan. The 2019 edition is due to be a 50 percent increase on previous editions. “With regards Cameroon 2019, I cannot predict anything but all the authorities within the country right up to the head of state have always assured us they will be ready,” added Ahmad. – Nampa/ AFP Persistent... CAF President Ahmad Ahmad Giroud to miss Liverpool clash Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has been ruled out of tomorrow’s Premier League match against with a hamstring injury, manager Arsene Wenger has said. Giroud, who has scored seven goals this season, was substituted in the second half of Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over West Ham United - will undergo scans today to assess the damage. “It doesn’t look very good for him,” Wenger told reporters after the victory. “I think he’s out of Friday night... “We have to wait. Nowadays you do the scan 48 hours after the injury. That will happen on Thursday, then we’ll have a precise kind of grade on what his hamstring is. “When you listen to big, but the grade is not always linked with the intensity of the pain.” Midfielder Francis - es of Tuesday’s match with a knock but Wenger expects the 26-year-old low top four contenders. league, a point and a place behind Liverpool, and host the Merseyside club at the Emirates. - Big blow... Arsenal’s French striker Olivier Giroud suffered a hamstring injury during the 1-0 win over West Ham in the League Cup on Tuesday and will not be available for tomorrow’s clash against Liverpool. S. Korea seeks US military drill delay for Olympics SEOUL South Korean President Moon Jae-In has proposed delaying annual joint military exercises with the US in an attempt to ease tensions with the nuclear-armed North during next years Winter Olympics. to postpone the annual Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills, which usually start in late February or early March and run until the end of April. South Korea will host the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang from 9 to 25 February next year, with the Paralympics scheduled to begin on 9 March. But the venue is just 80 kilometres south of the tense border with North Korea, and tensions tend to rise during the drills, which Pyongyang condemns as rehearsals for invasion. Moon told US television channel NBC the two allies were considering postponing the exercises. “I have made such a proposal to the US and the US is now reviewing it,” he said on his way to Pyeongchang to promote the Games. But it would depend on the North’s actions, he added. “If North Korea stops its provocations leading up to the Pyeongchang Olympics, it will greatly help in holding a safe Olympics,” he said. “Also, it will help in creating conducive atmosphere towards inter-Korean as well as US-North Korean dialogue.” Key Resolve and Foal Eagle are two of the allies’ biggest joint drills, involving tens of thousands of troops. Pyongyang often responds to them with new provocations, such as missile launches, as it accelerates the weapons programmes that have seen it subjected to multiple sets of UN sanctions. China and Russia have both touted a “freeze for freeze” proposal, under which the North would suspend missile and nuclear tests while the US and South suspend joint exercises. But Washington and Seoul have explicitly rejected the concept and Pyongyang always says it will not stop pursuing its weapons ambitions. Analysts differed on Moons suggestion. Moon Seong-Mook, senior researcher at the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy, said Pyongyang had long demanded the drills “total suspension” rather than a delay. The president’s proposal would only raise concern in Washington about Seouls resolve rather than persuading the North to respond positively. “If we delay the drills for the Pyeongchang Olympics, I’m afraid it would help justify the North’s claim that they were indeed the source of tension,” he added. But Kim Yeol-Su, senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Military Affairs, said the offer could act as “a small step to create new momentum for opening dialogue”. “There’s a certain level of selfcontradiction in holding an event largely promoted as a peaceful global event while tens of thousands of soldiers are staging war games on the sidelines,” he said. Games organisers and Seoul are both keen for the North to take part in what they have proclaimed as a “peace Olympics”. Pyongyang has so far given no indication whether it will send its tion Minister Cho Myoung-Gyon warned the North could deliver a “fatal blow” to the Olympics if it launches a missile or stages another provocation before the event. But President Moon said: “Foreign tourists coming for the Pyeongchang Winter Games wont need to worry about security. I don’t think North Korea will do anything that may undermine the Olympics. “Everything is now in place and I hope these Olympics will serve as an opportunity to help ease tension with the North,” he added. House said Moons suggestion for the drills was “limited to holding the Olympic Games peacefully”, telling the Yonhap news agency: “The delay would be limited to the duration of the Olympic Games, including the Paralympic Games.” But conservative opposition parties reacted angrily, saying delaying the drills would weaken the country’s defence. “This amateurish government is risking national security and rattling the South Korea-US alliance,” said a spokeswoman for the main opposition Liberty Korea party. Yoo Seung-Min, the leader of the Bareun Party, a splinter opposition group, said security should take precedence over the Olympics. – Nampa/AFP

Thursday, December 21 2017 | NEW ERA SPORT 23 Women and sport – the struggle continues The struggle for equality and involvement of women and girls in various facets of public life continues. It is as old as humanity itself. Sport has been viewed as a catalyst for driving and enhancing equality between men and women, boys and girls. However, sport in some instances has also contributed to more oppression and marginalisation of women and girls. In some countries, women are not even or stadia. It is a fact that men hide behind culture and religion to discriminate against women and perpetrate some of the most heinous crimes against humanity. There is now an established international labour movement drive for “equal pay for equal work”. One can only wonder why male CEOs are in most cases paid far much more than their female counterparts. When one looks at the achievements of women in sport, it is indeed quite scandalous that they should be paid less money in sport. Some event organisers like the All England Tennis Club that organizes the Wimbledon tournament, and who obviously claim to be very enlightened, are equally guilty of perpetuating ancient and obsolete gender stereotyping and inequality. Until recently, there have been huge differences in the prize monies for male and female champions, which makes the involvement of women and their efforts a complete joke. These people are being dragged kicking and screaming to have equal prize money for men and women, boys and girls in sport. International federations (IFs) must also help to transform sport as we know it by ensuring equal opportunities for both men and women. The IFs are responsible for setting the parameters within which national federations operate. Even national leagues must be brought to account. Gender issues need to be mainstreamed into sports leadership and management such that at every level of sport development planning and programme implementation, inclusion, equity and equality issues are taken into consideration. Simply because these things have been happening in the past and were accepted by society as the norm does not necessarily make them right. There are lots of aspects in every culture which have been eliminated because they are hindrances to human development. Inequality in prize money for sport does not help to develop women and girls. It is almost the same thing as saying girls should not go to school. Indeed, in some communities, faced with resource constraints, a family would rather send the boy child to school at the expense of the girl child, even if the latter could be far more intelligent than the former. Even the issue of child marriages is one vestige of primitive traditions that are a crime against humanity and need to be done away with. Probably, the young girl would rather be enjoying herself in school she is forced to bear children and become a woman much early in her life, with devastating consequences for her and society as a whole. When it comes to Southern Africa, women’s leagues in any sport are very few and far between. They struggle to get sponsorship. Most women football leagues do not have a sponsor. To add insult to injury, they are no recognised cup tournaments to motivate women and girls in most countries. Women’s sport is treated as a big joke. This is very wrong. By not fully devoting resources to the development of women’s sport, society is holding back the development of more than half of its people as women constitute the majority of most populations. Developing women sport and providing them with equal rewards is not doing them a favour, but rather it is good for sport and accelerates development of humankind. When it comes to elite sport, such as at the Olympic Games, it is always very sad to see, at the opening and closing ceremonies, some team delegations proudly marching and representing their countries, without any female members amongst them. In this connection, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and IFs should strictly apply universality rules. Universality means having everyone represented, including both males and females. Diversity means accepting everyone as they are but within the established rules and regulations of sport. It does not mean that each and every one comes up with their own rules and regulations, otherwise there would be no civilization, sport or even the international community as we know it. As Abraham Maslow, correctly remarked, “One can choose to go back to safety or forward to growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.” Sport leaders should lead by example. Developing sport for women and girls as well as paying them well means growth and transforming society for the better. It is not a favour to the women and girls. It is their inalienable right! -The Southern Times

New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167