Morocco to replace Kenya as CHAN hosts

first_img0Shares0000CAFCAIRO, Egypt, Oct 15 – Morocco will replace Kenya as hosts of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), organisers announced Sunday.The emergency committee of the African Football Confederation (CAF) met Saturday in Lagos and unanimously decided to give Morocco the green light ahead of Equatorial Guinea. A third candidate, Ethiopia, was not considered because it did not provide a letter of guarantee from its government. Original hosts Kenya fell behind with five-venue preparations for the biennial 16-team tournament, which runs from January 12-February 4, leading them to be stripped of the hosting rights last month.Morocco have not hosted a senior CAF competition since the 1988 Africa Cup of Nations.They were scheduled to stage the same event in 2015, but withdrew fearing visiting supporters could bring the deadly Ebola virus into the north African kingdom.Equatorial Guinea successfully replaced Morocco at short notice, having co-hosted the Cup of Nations with Gabon three years earlier.CHAN is restricted to home-based footballers, giving them international exposure otherwise largely denied because most African national squads are packed with professionals playing in Europe.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img

Redwood Sports Car Club racing season kicks off

first_imgLocal autocross racers saw the first green flag of the season drop Saturday morning at the Samoa Drag Strip after weather delayed the season’s start for two months.Drivers in autocross events race for the best time with each car navigating a challenging course one car at a time. According to the Redwood Sports Car Club, which hosts the events, “courses are designed and are setup differently for every autocross using chalk and cone markers … speeds are low and wear on the cars is minimal.” It …last_img

American film industry on tour

first_imgSouth Africa’s maturing film industry is drawing an increasing number of foreign film producers to our shores. The government incentives and diverse landscapes makes the country one of the world’s most attractive film locations. (Image: Media Club South Africa)• Zama MkosiChief executiveNational Film and Video Foundation+27 11 483 [email protected] PhilipThe Americans are coming – looking to spend their film and TV production budgets in South Africa. With that as their mission, four Hollywood executives met South African production professionals at National Film and Video Foundation headquarters in Houghton before travelling down to Cape Town for a second meeting.Producers Mary Ann Hughes, from Disney; Sara Spring, from Paramount; Kate Beyda, from Warner Bros; and Vince van Petten, the executive director of the Producers Guild, are guests of Brand South Africa, the NFVF, the Gauteng Film Commission, destination marketing firm Wesgro, SAA and SA Tourism. The trip is the result of a study conducted by the NFVF which found that of the 70 movies produced with the help of government incentives in South Africa in 2012, just seven were foreign productions. Those seven were responsible for 40.5% of all money spent by film crews.At the spirited but genial Houghton meeting Zama Mkosi, the NFVF chief executive, pointed out that the South African industry was a mature one which offered international crews professional, experienced technicians and a diversity of environments that had stood in for multiple locations in the past. “Locations in South Africa have been used to portray 57 different parts of the world, from Sierra Leone to the Middle East and Afghanistan.”Mkosi went further to tout the local industry as a source for productions, noting that as South Africa’s democracy had matured the ideas making it on to film had also changed. For local film makers, movies like Tsotsi won rave reviews but did not earn money in the local market, where comedies were always the biggest earners. “We are moving away from politically themed films to portraying the everyday ordinariness of life.”South Africa has signed co-production treaties with eight countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand – which allow approved productions access to government incentives.Government incentivesGuy Macleod, an entertainment lawyer at South African firm Irish Inc, added that the government had made it easier and beneficial for foreign film crews to tap into local incentives such as no fee permits, and cheaper costs through agreements local film commissions had with local suppliers.The biggest challenge for foreign productions lay not with the quality of technicians, or a lack of talented actors or even locations, Macleod said. “There is an over-abundance of creative talent in South Africa. What we are sorely lacking is experienced and knowledgeable professional services, especially lawyers capable of marrying international entertainment law with South Africa’s legal system.”However, Macleod continued, government commitment to building the industry meant that strong South African legislation around the arts was muscularly enforced, especially when it came to areas covering copyright and ownership of productions. “Yes there are challenges, but the positives make South Africa the best option for producers looking for the biggest bang for their dollar.”Carol Coetzee, the chief executive of the KZN Film Commission, highlighted the opportunities available to anyone who wanted to shoot in the Zulu Kingdom. From mountains to sea, the province provided different types of locations for different kinds of films. Coetzee highlighted this by pointing to the rich film history of the region; everything from the family film Racing Stripes to the war drama Zulu had been filmed in the province.Crucial for film productions was access to reliable high speed connectivity that would allow directors to send daily rushes to overseas bases. “Durban is within 150 kilometres of three sea cables connecting Africa to the world, plus the province is spending millions building a technology hub at the Dube Trade Port.”On locationHughes is the only one of the producers present who has experience filming on location in South Africa. Marvel, a subsidiary of Disney, has been shooting the latest Avengers movie in Johannesburg. She laughed along good naturedly as a roomful of Gautengers complained about the traffic chaos caused by the weeklong shoot in downtown Johannesburg. “We will be back. The shoot came in on time and under budget, which never happens on these kinds of projects.”Paramount’s Spring highlighted the importance of the good reputation South Africa had earned with American crews and film companies. The television series Black Sails, an imagined prequel to the pirate novel Treasure Island, was filmed in Cape Town. One of the producers was Michael Bay, director of the Transformers read more

a month agoMan Utd to scout Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali tonight

first_imgMan Utd to scout Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali tonightby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United will have scouts posted for Brescia’s Seria A clash with Juventus on Tuesday night.United will have Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali watched, says Gazzetta dello Sport.The 19-year-old, who has been compared to Andrea Pirlo due to his playing style and long sweeping hair, is enjoying his first season in Serie A after earning promotion with Lombardy outfit last season. United have sent scouts to this evening’s clash at the Stadio Mario Rigamonti to take a closer look at the Italy Under-21 international.Opponents Juventus are also believed to be keen on Tonali. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

The Dome Effect Isnt Real The NRG Effect Is Complicated

Teams playing late-round NCAA Tournament games in open domes score fewer points4We used end of regulation scores for overtime games. and shoot worse on 2-point field goals and free throws than do teams playing in arenas or traditional domes. But 3-pointers — often at the heart of the dome effect critique — are converted at a lower rate in traditional domes. In fact, teams shoot threes better in open domes than they do anywhere else, including standard arenas. Overall, teams playing in open domes have an effective field goal percentage of 47.4 percent, 0.5 percentage points worse than teams in standard arenas and traditional domes.These themes hold up when we compare teams’ performances to their season averages — an important consideration given that certain venue types host later rounds and better teams. Free throws aside, teams don’t shoot as well or score as much in the regionals and Final Four as they do over the course of the entire season — which makes sense, considering that they’re playing against top competition. Here, we’re interested in how much worse they shoot and how that varies by venue and shot type. OFF. PERFORMANCE (SWEET 16 AND BEYOND, 2006-15)OPPONENTS’ FULL-SEASON DEF. PERFORMANCE Sources: SPORTS Reference, Ken Pomeroy How have open-dome teams fared and what have they faced? VENUENO. OF GAMESAVG. POINTSEFF. FG%2P%3P%FT%ALLOWED FG%ADJ. EFFICIENCY Georgia Dome369.250.6%48.8%35.9%68.9%40.0%90.3 AT&T Stadium664.950.449.834.768.340.192.7 Lucas Oil Stadium965.449.646.937.073.440.891.4 Ford Field670. In line with our previous observations, points, 2-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage suffer most in open domes, while 3-point field goal percentage suffers most in traditional domes. Relative to their full-season performance, teams playing in open domes see their effective field goal percentage decline by an average of 4.8 percentage points, 0.5 percentage points worse than teams playing in arenas or traditional domes. For a typical late-round NCAA Tournament team, that differential equates to about two-thirds of a point per game.5Teams in open domes also attempt slightly fewer shots and free throws per game.Team offense and opponent defense matter — venue type does notSo we’ve determined that teams shoot a little worse and score a little less in open domes — but they also play against better defenses. This makes sense — open domes host later-round games.The defenses that play in these open dome games allow opponents to shoot 40.2 percent from the field during the season; they give up 62.7 points per game, and have an adjusted defensive efficiency of 91.7 — all weighted by number of appearances. This compares to season-long averages of 40.4 percent, 63.2 and 92.1 for teams that play in traditional domes and 40.7 percent, 63.5 and 92.0 for teams that play in standard arenas. So defenses do get better as venues progress from regular arenas to traditional domes to open domes.In fact, how well a team shoots in a late-round NCAA Tournament game is most related to its full-season effective field goal percentage and the other team’s full-season field goal percentage allowed.6Certain data required to calculate advanced opposition shooting metrics does not extend back to 2006, so we had to lean on the “simpler” opposition field goal percentage. Likewise, how much a team scores in a late-round NCAA Tournament game is most related to its full-season points per game average and the other team’s full-season points per game allowed.7Good old points per game allowed boasts a slightly stronger relationship than full-season defensive efficiency or pace-adjusted metrics. These relationships are noisy but meaningful. (That is, there is a statistically significant relationship between the full-season offensive and defensive stats and offense in all venue types, even though the individual data points are a little all over the place.)On the contrary, there is no statistical relationship linking open domes as a venue type to poor shooting or to decreases in shooting performance — including, importantly, when you control for the quality and efficiency of the offenses and defenses playing in each. NRG Stadium on its own is another story. NRG Stadium is unique — open domes are notIn line with its reputation, NRG Stadium has produced lower-than-average scoring and worse-than-average shooting, both overall and among open domes. Defenses there have been a mixed bag — tough against the shot, middle of the pack in points allowed, and toward the bottom in defensive efficiency.8Full-season stats; relative to other Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four, and championship game defenses. (Other open domes — Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and the Georgia Dome in Atlanta — have been the site of good or very good shooting performances, on average.) Superdome363.744.441.536.871.438.388.2 NRG Stadium1265.444.543.830.772.740.293.1 read more

Were Hiring An MLB Writer

FiveThirtyEight is seeking a reporter to lead our coverage of Major League Baseball. As the original data-friendly sport, baseball is core to our sports coverage — both during the season and throughout the offseason.We’re looking for a creative writer with a passion for baseball and a firm grasp of the sport’s statistics. This includes traditional sabermetrics, newer metrics like those generated by Statcast and historical data. The ideal candidate has experience covering the sport or an MLB team for a newspaper, magazine, website or major media outlet.This writer will anchor our MLB coverage with insightful analysis of the game. This will entail writing posts off the news or current trends and producing deeply reported, enterprise projects that contain original research. Most importantly, we want candidates who can pose interesting questions about the current state of baseball and answer them using data. An interest in, or experience covering, other major sports is a plus but not required.If interested, send inquiries to [email protected] with the phrase “MLB Writer” in the subject line.

Tressel sanctions based on past cases

One hundred twenty minutes of game time. Two weeks of actual time. Sept. 3, and Sept. 10. However you look at it, Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel is suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season. How the university determined that number, along with the $250,000 fine levied against the coach, is less clear. “We work with consultants, The Compliance Group, and we look at precedence in cases that have occurred over the years,” athletic director Gene Smith said during Tuesday’s press conference. TCG, which OSU contacted Jan. 21, provides “compliance services to intercollegiate athletics departments and conference offices,” according to its website. TCG counts 45 Division I schools on its client list, 12 of which are from BCS conferences and two of which — Wisconsin and Michigan — reside in the Big Ten. “We wanted to make sure we had, at our disposal, people who had been through this type of case before,” Smith said. That TCG and OSU based these sanctions on previous NCAA investigations, the case requires some context. When former Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez violated NCAA rules by having too many coaches on staff and by allowing his team to practice too many hours, the program was put on probation for more than a year and practice time was reduced. The coach received no direct punishments. In Division I basketball, Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun has been suspended for three Big East games — less than 10 percent of his team’s games — next season for over-contacting recruits with text messages and phone calls. Tennessee suspended basketball coach Bruce Pearl for eight SEC games this season and fined him $1.5 million for lying about having recruits at his home. The eight games are just more than 25 percent of the Volunteers’ schedule. It seems that OSU and TCG have determined Tressel’s violation to be less severe than those of Pearl, but more so than those of Rodriguez and Calhoun. The two-game suspension makes up almost 17 percent of the Buckeyes’ schedule. “We and come to kind of a sweet spot based upon this particular case. All cases aren’t exactly the same,” Smith said. “We just felt like the combination of a two-game suspension and the financial fine was kind of in line with cases that we were familiar with.” If the NCAA agrees, Tressel will have to find a sweet spot on his couch for the first two games of next season.