Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 13th 2014 Contents A51
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KINSHASA---A stampede at a
soccer stadium in Congo's capital killed
at least 15 people after angry fans
threw rocks from the stands, prompting
security officers to fire tear gas that
caused crowds to flee in panic,
government officials and witnesses
The stampede at the Tata Raphael
Stadium in Kinshasa happened toward
the end of a match Sunday between
two popular Congolese teams, AS Vita
Club and TP Mazembe.
At least 21 others were injured during
the melee, said Gov Andre Kimbuta,
who has set up a commission to
investigate the incident.
Congolese government spokesman
Lambert Mende yesterday defended
the actions of the security officers.
"It is false to say that the violence
was started by the tear gas, which was
used to protect people being
threatened by elements in the stands
who were acting like militiamen," he
said. Three of the injured remained in
the hospital, Mende said. (AP)
MANCHESTER---Manchester City has deposed
its neighbour as Premier League champions for
the second time in three years, but is not close
to usurping United s global supremacy---both as
a football club and as a brand. For many people,
the word "Manchester" still equates simply with
Even Premier League officials marked the end
of the season by assuring United s American owners
of the team s enduring power.
"They are the world s largest football club in my
view with huge resources, with huge determination
and a fantastic fan base," league chief executive
Richard Scudamore told Sky Sports television. "Of
course their time will come again."
However glum United fans felt as the blue half
of Manchester celebrated into yesterday morning,
it s too early to see the humiliating seventh-place
finish as the start of a downward spiral. Declarations
that the balance of power has shifted in Manchester
would be as premature as they were in 2012, when
City last wrestled the trophy off United only to
end the following season 11 points adrift.
United claims to have 659 million fans worldwide;
City hasn t even tried to provide an estimate. United
has been valued at US$2.8 billion by Forbes mag-
azine---behind Real Madrid and Barcelona---while
City is seventh in the rankings at US$863 million.
And while City s income last year was around
US$449 million, United s was US$602 million.
The big difference this time, however, is that
there is no Alex Ferguson to plot the reclamation
of the trophy. The immediate implication of United s
fall from grace is the failure to qualify for Europe
for the first time in 24 years. But falling short even
of the Europa League spots might have been United s
biggest achievement in a season when David Moyes
reign was curtailed with four matches remaining.
With nothing like the TV revenue or prestige of
the Champions League, which United won in 1999
and 2008, the Europa League would have been a
grueling slog across the continent to play less-
illustrious teams in what seems to be a never-
ending competition. While United earned around
US$50 million from the 2012-13 Champions League,
it would have generated less than US$14 million
from UEFA for even winning the Europa League.
Missing out on that competitions provides anoth-
er---possibly much more lucrative---way to cope
with the loss of TV and ticket revenue. Taking
advantage of its massive popularity abroad, United
has considered using the mid-week breaks to play
lucrative, trouble-free friendlies in the Middle East,
which would also provide a paid-for warm-weather
United, most likely under Louis van Gaal, can
focus its resources on the Premier League, and
seek to emulate Liverpool s ascent from seventh
to second in a year. (AP)
A world class aquatic centre
is currently under construction
at Balmain, Couva, and this is
expected to bring in tremen-
dous revenue for the country.
The idea, a brainchild of Min-
ister of Sport Anil Roberts, is
expected to lead the way in
terms of sports tourism and as
champion olympic swimmer
George Bovell III puts it: "There
are many big countries with big
budgets looking to come to this
part of the world to prepare for
big games. Here in T&T we have
all the natural assets to make
us attractive. We have lovely
beaches, we have lovely weather
and what was missing was a
world class swimming facility.
Now we have that on track and
we are going to put all the ele-
ments together to make it work.
"Swimmers the world over
can now come to T&T and
experience the great weather,
beaches and have this brilliant
facility to prepare for big games.
We have the 2016 Olympics in
Brazil coming up and it would
be great for athletes to come
into T&T and quietly prepare
for those games."
The facility, which is ear-
marked for completion in May
2015, would be FINA certified
and will include a full sized
warm-up pool, a main compe-
tition pool and a diving pool.
There will also be a dry-diving
facility for use by children. The
children will be able to perfect
the art of diving in foam before
they take to the water.
The Aquatic Centre is next
to the Cycling Velodrome and
the Ato Boldon Stadium. It is
also within close proximity to
the National Cricket Centre
(NCC) in Couva, making the
area the main hub of sports in
Bovell III, this country s most
decorated swimmer said he has
been making an input into the
development of the centre and
is very excited about it. "I have
a construction and engineering
background and given the fact
that I have swam in the best
pools in the world, I have been
able to make an input in the
development of the centre."
Bovell III said the pool was
promised to him since 2003 and
he is greatful that he is still
involved in the sport to use it
when it s completed. "Since
2003 I was promised an
Olympic size swimming pool
and nothing happened. I
remember I used to joke and
say that it will be called the
George Bovell III Memorial
Swimming Pool and I would
never be able to use it.
"I am happy now that we are
getting this world class facility
in Couva and that I am still
involved in the sport, so I can
train right here. I must say it
speaks to the credibility of the
minister of Sports Anil Roberts,
in that he can sway the govern-
ment of the day to build this
facility. The Government must
also be congratulated for the
fact that they are putting their
money where their mouth is."
Congo soccer stadium stampede kills at least 15
World Class aquatic
centre for Couva
title, United still
the bigger club
An artist impression of the Aquatic Centre earmarked to be completed in May 2015.
The Aquatic Centre is the brainchild of Minister of Sport Anil
Roberts (right). Here he is takes in a moment with his champion
swimmer George Bovell III.
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