Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 20th 2015 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Sepp Blatter said yesterday he is
on a "mission of peace" to resolve
tensions between the Israeli and
Palestinian football federations
in the hope of staving off a Pales-
tinian bid to oust Israel from the
world governing body.
As part of his vision of using
sports as a bridge between people,
Blatter proposed holding a peace
match in Zurich between the Israeli
and Palestinian national teams.
Seated alongside Blatter, the pres-
ident of the Israeli federation, Ofer
Eini, immediately accepted the
offer. But the main issue bringing
the Fifa president to the region
appeared to remain unresolved.
Blatter met with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yes-
terday following a Palestinian bid
to suspend Israel from Fifa.
Palestinians say Israeli security
restrictions are limiting movement
of Palestinian players, visiting
teams and soccer equipment and
have put forward a proposal to
suspend Israel from world soccer
at the 209-nation Fifa meeting on
May 29. Blatter opposes the sus-
pension vote, saying Israel has not
broken Fifa statutes in a political
issue outside of soccer's control.
Blatter is scheduled to meet
Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas in Ramallah on Wednesday
and has repeatedly said he would
not disclose details of his conver-
sations with Netanyahu before that
But Blatter, who fashions himself
as a peacemaker, said he hoped to
reach a quick solution to the crisis
and perhaps even spark further
cooperation between the sides.
"Football is more than a game.
Football has the power to connect
people. Football has the power to
construct bridges," he said. "Foot-
ball shall unite people and not
Israel has rejected the Palestinian
bid as an attempt to politicise
sports. Eini said his organization
has done its best to assist Pales-
tinian soccer and will continue to
do so, but that many issues were
beyond its control and needed to
be resolved at a political level.
Israel has cited security concerns
as the reason behind the occasional
restrictions placed of Palestinian
players, particularly in the Gaza
Strip, which is ruled by the Islamic
Rotem Kemer, the Israeli feder-
ation's chief executive, said Israel
has approved more than 95 per
cent of the Palestinian requests
this year for players to move
between Gaza and the West Bank
and to travel abroad.
In a conference call to foreign
journalists, he said the Palestinian
association was holding its Israeli
counterpart "hostage in a fight
against our government."
Netanyahu praised Blatter for
opposing the politicization of
"Sport is a vehicle of goodwill
among nations. The thing that
could destroy the Football Asso-
ciation is politicising it. You politi-
cize it once with Israel, then you
politicise it for everyone, and it
will cause the deterioration of a
great institution," Netanyahu said.
LAS VEGAS---Boxing fans across the country and
their lawyers are calling the hyped-up fight
between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather
Jr a fraud and want their money back, and then
At least 32 US lawsuits seeking class-action status
allege Pacquiao should have disclosed a shoulder
injury to fans before the fight, which Mayweather
won in a unanimous decision after 12 rounds that
most fans thought didn't live up to the hype.
Fight of the century? More like fraud of the cen-
tury, the lawsuits contend.
"The fight was not great, not entertaining, not
electrifying. It was boring, slow and lacklustre,"
according to a lawsuit filed in Texas alleging rack-
eteering, a claim usually reserved for organised
A lawsuit filed on behalf of Flights Beer Bar near
Los Angeles International Airport in California said
Pacquiao and his promoter's actions were "nothing
but a cash-grab." The bar paid $2,600 to broadcast
The fighters are expected to earn more than $100
million each---Mayweather more than Pacquiao.
HBO and Showtime broke records, raking in more
than $400 million from 4.4 million people who
paid to watch the pay-per-view broadcast.
Those viewers paid up to $100 each, and the law-
suits want that money back.
It isn't as easy as showing a receipt and demanding
a refund. A federal panel of judges will likely first
need to decide if the lawsuits from multiple states
and Puerto Rico should be consolidated into one
case. From there, a judge would have to decide
whether to certify them as class action or not.
What's sought in each is the same: a jury trial
and at least $5 million in damages, the threshold
for federal class-action lawsuits.
But the defendants differ. All include Pacquiao
and his promotions team but some add Mayweather
and his representatives, along with HBO, Showtime
and cable companies.
Representatives for Pacquiao and Top Rank Pro-
motions, HBO and Showtime had no comment on
the lawsuits. Mayweather Promotions did not return
multiple phone messages. (AP)
Fight of century is
now battle in court
...as fans sue Pacquiao
has completed his permanent
move to Aston Villa from
Manchester City on a four-
year deal after a successful
The 26-year-old winger his
revived his career at Villa since
joining in January, scoring three
goals and being a regular mem-
ber of the first team before get-
The transfer fee was not dis-
closed when the move was
announced yesterday, and Sin-
clair says "this is the happiest
I have been in a long time."
Sinclair, who played for
Britain in the Olympic football
tournament at the London
Games in 2012, signed for City
for 6.2 million pounds ($9.6
million) from Swansea that year
but struggled for game time.
move to Villa from
Blatter on 'mission of peace' to Israel
Fifa president Sepp Blatter attends
a press conference in Jerusalem,
yesterday. AP PHOTO
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