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UEFA proposal: Elite clubs to play every three days to finish Champions League

first_img The knock-on effect would mean the group stages of next season’s competitions would not start until 20 October, a month after they usually begin. Holders Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have been knocked out of the Champions League, but Manchester City await their second leg match with Real Madrid and Chelsea are yet to face the trip to Bayern Munich at the last 16 stage. City stunned Real Madrid to win 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu in their first leg match, while Chelsea have only a slither of hope of reaching the quarter-finals after losing 3-0 at home to Bayern Munich. Meanwhile, no Europa League second legs have been played so Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers await news of how the tournament will progress. read also:Valencia drag Spanish FA to UEFA over European spots proposal The Red Devils already have one foot in the last eight after thrashing LASK Linz 5-0 in the first leg of their last 16 tie, while Wolves ’ hopes hang in the balance after the spoils were shared in a 1-1 draw at Olympiacos. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 European football’s governing body insists that finishing domestic leagues is the priority – but they are drawing up plans to complete this season’s Champions League and Europa League competitions Europe’s elite clubs may need to play matches every three days to ensure the Champions League and Europa League finish in August. Governing body UEFA will meet in the next few days to agree to a plan so that both competitions – currently at the last 16 stage – can be completed after domestic leagues have finished. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin will chair the meetings via video link after telling all 55 associate members that domestic leagues are the priority in terms of completing the season. One idea to be discussed would see the semi-finals and finals of the two competitions played over five days in Istanbul and Gdansk – the venues for the Champions League final and Europa League final respectively. This plan would see the Champions League final played on 29 August and the Europa League final played three days later.Advertisement Loading… Promoted Content7 Truly Incredible Facts About Black HolesThe Best Cars Of All TimeYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?The Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More10 Actors And Actresses Whose Careers Were Boosted By Soap OperasA Guy Turns Gray Walls And Simple Bricks Into Works Of ArtWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?6 Interesting Ways To Make Money With A DroneBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Way7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The Universelast_img read more

City ‘just another game’ to Lambert

first_imgPaul Lambert will not risk falling “flat on his face” by attaching extra meaning to Aston Villa’s clash with his former club Norwich. “It’s just another game,” he said ahead of Sunday’s Barclays Premier League match at Villa Park. “If you go down that road of prioritising what game is more important than another I think you end up flat on your face. It’s just another game for me. “I’ve been involved in too many of them now. The first one (is different), maybe, going back to Carrow Road when you don’t know what people are thinking. But I’ve had a few now and it’s just a game that we’ll go and try to win.” Lambert added: “I think circumstances dictate certain things. I had a great three years there. I had a group of lads who were so close to each other and so good together and performed incredibly. “You inherit a group of lads, start to change one or two and it became stronger and stronger. The crowd and the lads bought into it and we got promotion twice, which was great. “I had a great group of guys there who were 100% right on it and became so close. The dressing room was so tight with each other. Nothing ever got leaked out or broke the bond, really. “If you ask me who achieved the success at Norwich, it was the players. My staff and I were a little component in it. “But the players are the ones who deserve the credit for doing what they did.” The Scot left Carrow Road acrimoniously in 2012 to take over at Villa Park and has repeatedly insisted he wants to put that period firmly in the past. Lambert, who is unbeaten against his former club with three wins and a draw in all competitions, insists he bears “no grudge” against the Canaries hierarchy. Lambert insists the bitter nature of his departure is no longer an issue. “I never look back on it,” he said. “It’s gone. What happened happened and I don’t hold any grudge with Norwich City. It’s not something I think about anymore. It’s gone.” Russell Martin feels Norwich have shown they “mean business” in the battle to stay up and will be out to produce another big result. The Canaries put some daylight between themselves and the relegation zone with a much-needed 1-0 win over Tottenham at Carrow Road, which eased the pressure on manager Chris Hughton following an alarming run of form. And defender Martin is confident finally getting the rewards for hard work can act as a catalyst for the end-of-season run-in. “In the past few weeks we have not got what we deserved, so to finally get a result against a team like Spurs is a big result for us,” Martin said on Canaries Player. “Hopefully that can give people the belief that we mean business, especially at this time of the season.” With Villa being managed by former Norwich boss Lambert, there is always an extra edge to the fixture. Martin, who is now the club captain, feels it is about time the Canaries finally got one over the man who guided them up from League One back into the Premier League. “We should have won at Villa Park last season and the Capital One Cup game at our place for 60 minutes there was only one team in it and it all fell to pieces somehow,” Martin said. “This season was the one when I felt we had chances and played well, like Cardiff City at home, and the only difference was Villa nicked a goal. “We know they have that threat on the counter so that is one to be wary of. “It is about us. We will try and dictate and play at the tempo and with the style we want.” Norwich are waiting on diagnosis from Leroy Fer’s hamstring injury, so fit-again midfielder Jonny Howson could come into contention, along with Wes Hoolahan, who was the subject of a January bid from Villa. Former Norwich captain Grant Holt, meanwhile, could face his old club, whom he left Norfolk for Wigan last summer, before heading to Villa on loan in January. Scotland international Martin, though, would relish the opportunity of facing his former team-mate, who has been used mostly as a substitute by Lambert. “It will be good to have a catch up and to see him, but he plays for Aston Villa and I play for Norwich so during the game that friendship means nothing,” Martin said at a press conference. “I am sure he will try the verbals beforehand and I would expect nothing less, but I would like to think I have better banter than him.” Martin added: “It will certainly be different playing against him, but we need to stop him doing what he does best and what he produced on numerous occasions for us. “I wouldn’t have any problem if I had to mark him at a set piece. “If there is a chance for him to smash me and vice versa we’d both enjoy that, but I don’t want him to score, or anyone for that matter, whether it’s (Christian) Benteke or (Gabriel) Agbonlahor. I want us to keep a clean sheet and win the game.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Officials Search for Man Caught in Rip Current Near Fort Pierce

first_imgSeveral agencies are searching for a man who was reportedly swept out to sea late on Saturday afternoon after being caught in a rip current at Fort Pierce Inlet State Park.According to 27-year-old Anthony Gram’s family, he saved his 11-year-old and 13-year-old stepchildren from the rip current just before disappearing.The Coast Guard adds that Gram was last seen wearing dark navy blue or black shorts..@USCG, @MyFWC, @PSLPolice are searching for a man in the water near Fort Pierce State Park, Florida. Anthony Graham, age 27, is an African-American man last seen wearing dark, navy blue or black shorts. If you have any information, please call 786-367-7649. pic.twitter.com/ZxkvczT0nR— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) February 16, 2020 Rescue crews from the Coast Guard, Port St. Lucie Police Department and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission are searching the water.Anyone with information about Gram’s whereabouts is being urged to call the Coast Guard at (786) 367-7649.last_img read more

T&T 4×400 gold medal team awarded country’s second highest honour

first_imgTRINIDAD and Tobago’s history-making 4x400m relay team were, on Sunday, awarded the Chaconia Gold Medal, that country’s second highest national honour at the annual awards ceremony at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port of Spain.The team of Lalonde Gordon, Machel Cedenio, Jereem Richards and Jarrin Solomon as well as substitute Renny Quow set a world-leading and new national record of 2:58.12 to defeat the United States and win gold at the IAAF World Championships in London in August.It was the first time that T&T were winning a mile relay gold medal at a major championship. The athletes who were not present at Sunday’s ceremony will be presented with their medals at a date to be announced.President of the National Administration of Athletic Associations (NAAA) Ephraim Serrette said while being proud of the achievement, it was a bittersweet day for the association.Just recently, Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle Lee Ahye, who was a sprint finalist at the IAAF World Championships, lamented the fact that the women’s team that won a bronze medal at the 2015 championships in Beijing, but plans were being made to honour the gold medal winning men’s team in London this past summer.This has left the NAAA president conflicted.“It is always good that they recognised our national athletes’ performances, but sometimes it’s bittersweet because at this time we are still trying to sort out this national sports policy and dealing with the issues of support and reward,” he said.“So you have athletes with issues, lack of support and financial reward and then you’re being honoured at this level, so for the federation I am very happy that at this time they are trying to sort out the issues dealing with funding and reward. Once that is done there will be nobody up in arms about what you get, who gets what.”T&T Sports Minister Darryl Smith assured SportsMax.tv that the national sports policyaddressing those issues would be ready by later this year.“We are now doing a new sports policy that includes athletes funding, the rewarding of athletes, grassroots programmes, sports tourism,” Smith had said last month.“The draft policy has been completed and we are in the final stages of which that policy will be taken to Cabinet to be approved. Once it is approved we will have a new policy that can deal with all these things.”last_img read more

Windies coming to grips with Test cricket – Holder

first_imgWINDIES captain Jason Holder believes the team has shown at least some progression as regards to responding to the expectations and demands of playing Test cricket within the past year.The team have claimed a total of three matches in their last five Test series and have not won a series since defeating Bangladesh in the Caribbean three years ago.The Windies, however, showed plenty potential in registering a stunning win against England at Headingley last month, largely after being written off following a 209-run thrashing by England at Edgbaston in August. The source of improvement, the captain believes, is due to the young team coming to grips with the demands of the game.Integral to the improved showing and belief has been the performance of Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope emerging as two batsmen of promise. While quick to point out that the team is far from fulfilling its true potential, Holder has been encouraged by the signs.“I think we’ve had a pretty reasonable year in terms of improvement. The guys have been getting attuned to Test cricket,” Holder said.“We’re still not the finished product but we’re headed in the right direction.”The team will hope to continue in that direction when they visit Bulawayo to play a Zimbabwe team that have also shown plenty of promise in recent months.last_img read more

FB : Start of spring practice provides opportunities for young defensive players

first_img Comments For Ri’Shard Anderson, Tuesday was a long time coming. After sitting on the sidelines all of last season, he just wanted to get out on the field.‘It felt good,’ said Anderson, a Syracuse rising junior cornerback. ‘Felt like I hadn’t been out there in two years. It was weird. I had to get back to my comfortable spot.’Anderson is listed as a starting cornerback on the pre-spring depth chart as Syracuse opened up spring practice Tuesday. It was the first of 15 spring practices that will culminate in SU’s annual spring game April 16. After missing all of last season with a right shoulder injury, the junior enters 2011 with a chance to step in and play immediately on a defense that ranked No. 7 in the nation a season ago.The opportunity is there for Anderson because of the turnover on defense for the Orange entering a new season. Syracuse returns just five starters on defense and none at the cornerback spot.That gives players like Anderson, and younger players such as sophomore defensive tackle Jay Bromley and sophomore linebacker Brice Hawkes, chances to step up.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘People write that it’s a challenge, but for us, for coaches, it’s exciting to bring the younger players along and develop them,’ Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone said. ‘It’s not a secret we’re going to have to develop players on the interior of the defensive line. We’re going to have to develop players at the linebacker level. … And we’ve got to develop our young players at the corner position.’The main competitors at cornerback, along with Anderson, are senior Kevyn Scott and sophomore Keon Lyn. Both also struggled with injuries last year, as Scott battled a recurring hamstring problem in the early portion of the season and Lyn was diagnosed with mononucleosis.There’s even a learning curve for some of the returning starters on defense. Marquis Spruill, who started last season as a freshman at outside linebacker, alongside seniors Derrell Smith and Doug Hogue, will move to ‘mike’ (middle) linebacker this year.With two inexperienced outside linebackers alongside him, Spruill plans on playing with the air of a veteran despite being a sophomore. But he still has to learn his new position.‘It is (rewarding), but it’s just like being a freshman all over again because being a mike in this defense is different than other defenses I’ve played on,’ Spruill said.Marrone said he hopes to see some separation among all of the young players by the end of the spring so the team can go into the preseason in August with a solid depth chart.He said that means people stepping up. People like Anderson. The cornerback suffered another injury late in Tuesday’s practice — he twisted his ankle — but he said he is fine and good to go.‘I’m amped up,’ Anderson said. ‘Ready to go get a bigger bowl game, help the team compete and have fun with the team.’Sales looks to build off Pinstripe Bowl, offseason workThree months removed from his three-touchdown performance in the Pinstripe Bowl, Marcus Sales took to the turf of Manley Field House on Tuesday to build on that afternoon.And after an offseason during which the Syracuse wide receiver said he improved his game dramatically, he was rewarded with a starting position entering 2011. The senior is ahead of junior wideout Alec Lemon, who started for much of last season. Van Chew is the other listed starting receiver.Though Sales’ rise on the depth chart is partly due to his standout performance in Syracuse’s bowl win, it’s also a credit to his work off the field in the last three months.‘Everything about me increased,’ Sales said. ‘My vertical. I got faster. I got stronger.’In 2010, Syracuse’s offense was anemic at times, especially in the passing game. But this season, the offense is the stable side of the ball for SU. Including Lemon, the Orange return eight starters on the offensive side of the ball. With just five returnees on the defensive side, Syracuse’s offense has the veterans.One of those veterans is Sales. From catching the game-winning touchdown at South Florida to nearly taking Pinstripe Bowl MVP honors, he managed to have a successful junior campaign after beginning the year off of the two-deep depth chart.This year, he’s focused on helping take the offense to the next level.‘As a senior I know I got to come up and be more of a leader and be more vocal, lead by my actions,’ Sales said. ‘It feels good to know that I got younger players that look up to me. They’re just depending on me to do the right thing, and I just got to help them to get where I’m at right now.’This and thatA handful of players did not practice Tuesday, including Chandler Jones, who was afflicted with a stomach bug, and Brice Hawkes, who was suspended for the first three practices for a team violation, Marrone said. … Syracuse’s three practices this week on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday will be in Manley Field House due to the snowstorm, Marrone said. After Spring Break, practices will take place at Schwartzwalder-Katz Fields. … The Orange will hold one practice in Rochester at Sahlen’s Field on March 26.mcooperj@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on March 8, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: mcooperj@syr.edu | @mark_cooperjrlast_img read more

2018 Wimbledon:Federer, Nadal Set to Re-enact 2008 Final

first_imgWith Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal seeded to meet in the 2018 Wimbledon men’s final, the prospect of two of the sports all-time greats replaying one of its greatest matches looms large.It has been 10 years since the legendary 2008 men’s singles final and remarkably, the two men have re-emerged as the dominant forces in the game and could be on course to meet again on the second Sunday at the All England Club.We will take a look back at that famous game and how they have dominated, faltered and climbed back to the very top of the men’s game, while others around them have wilted.The build-upFederer had won his fifth Wimbledon title in a row the year before, equalling Bjorn Borg’s record, but it hadn’t been easy. Nadal had taken a set off the Swiss in the 2006 final, but then pushed him to five in 2007. It was the first time Federer had been taken all the way in six years at Wimbledon, and the last man to do so was Pete Sampras in 2001.Federer had also won the last two Australian Opens and the last four US Opens, but had been thwarted three times in a row at Roland Garros by Nadal, and there was a sense that the Spaniard was starting to get into Federer’s head. The 2008 French Open final had seen Federer, still chasing a first title in Paris to complete a Career Grand Slam, mauled 6-1 6-3 6-0.Nadal had an 11-6 winning record against Federer and the King of Clay had worked out how to adapt his game from red to green. Both men cruised through the previous rounds to set up the inevitable final. Federer hadn’t dropped a set and Nadal had lost just one in the second round.The matchThe 122nd edition of the Wimbledon Championships would be the final time that Centre Court would be held to the mercy of the weather, and Mother Nature decided to have one last big splash to go out in style. Looking back at the 2008 final almost makes you miss the havoc that rain used to wreak at Wimbledon.Initially scheduled to start at 2p.m., the match finally got under way 35 minutes late. It didn’t take long for Nadal to make his mark as he broke in the third game and saw out the first set 6-4. For the first time in three attempts at Wimbledon, the Spaniard had claimed the opener in the final.Federer had chances to break back in the final game of the first set that he couldn’t take, but wouldn’t make that mistake again, racing into a 3-0 lead. Nadal battled hard and found the break back in the seventh and from there Federer wobbled. From a 4-2 lead, he then handed Nadal the second set 6-4.Nadal turned the heat up again, but Federer would not go down. The first nine games went with serve but, shortly before 5p.m., with Federer leading 5-4, the heavens opened and the rain came.Nadal, showing no signs of strain, came straight back out as they continued to take chunks out of each other. The fourth set would go with serve to reach another tie break, which was arguably the greatest played since the 18-16 epic between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe 28 years earlier.Nadal raced into a 5-2 lead and had two serves to win it. He double faulted the first before sending a backhand into the net under extreme pressure from Federer. Federer then won the net two points to make it 6-5, but a ball into the tramlines on set point made it 6-6. A long forehand then handed Nadal a first Championship point, but Federer saved it.Nadal brought up a second match point on his own serve but an incredible Federer backhand pass down the line saved it. Federer then set up another set point with a forehand before a long Nadal return handed the Swiss the tiebreak 10-8.The first four games of the fifth set went with serve but then, just before 8p.m., the rain came down again. With darkness approaching, the players returned around half an hour later to try and get the game done. It continued to go back and forth with serve until it reached 7-7 in the fifth, where Nadal broke for an 8-7 lead and had the chance to serve for the title.Another Championship point went astray at 40-30, as Federer fought back but finally, at 9.16p.m., Federer fired a forehand into the net and Nadal, having won 6-4 6-4 6-7 6-7 9-7, collapsed to the turf in triumph. The aftermathAt four hours and 48 minutes the match was, at the time, the longest singles final at Wimbledon in history and the second longest of any Grand Slam. It also meant that Nadal became the first man since Borg to win the French-Wimbledon double in the same year. A couple of months later, Nadal took the world No 1 ranking from Federer, ending a record of 237 consecutive weeks at the top.Nadal had broken through in a Grand Slam away from Paris and it looked like a new reign of dominance would begin. The pair met in the 2009 Australian Open final, which Nadal took in another five-set epic but injuries began to take their toll and Federer claimed four of the six majors that followed the famous final.Crucially for Federer, Nadal’s shock defeat to Robin Soderling at the French Open in 2009 allowed the Swiss to win in Paris for the first time. Nadal was then forced to withdraw from Wimbledon a few weeks later handed Federer a smooth path through to regain his crown.At the 2011 French Open final, Nadal won in four, and as the years rolled by it looked as though it would be their last final meeting. Novak Djokovic emerged as the dominant force in the game, winning 11 majors between 2011 and 2016, while Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka made themselves Grand Slam champions.The re-emergenceWhen Federer and Nadal met in the final of the 2017 Australian Open, for the first time since the French Open in 2011, it seemed like more of a nostalgic throwback for fans than anything, but it turns out it was a sign of things to come.With the decline of Djokovic and Murray’s injury problems, the two have re-emerged as the men to beat and to the delight of their fans have split the all six majors since Wawrinka’s US Open win in 2016.For Federer, the victory in Melbourne was the first time he beat Nadal in a major final since Wimbledon in 2007 and the first time he’d beaten him in a major final away from the grass at all.For the first time, the Swiss appears to have the upper hand in their battles, winning their last five meetings.It is worth noting that Federer skips the clay court season now where Nadal would surely be on top and it is the Spaniard who still leads the head-to-head (23-15).Nadal’s adventures at Wimbledon now resemble a struggle. He won his second title there in 2010 and made the final in 2011, but since then he has not gone beyond the fourth round and it remains to be seen whether he can again cope with the full fortnight on grass.At 36, Federer is the hot favourite this year as he targets a ninth Wimbledon crown. It’s the first time since 2010 where the pair are the top two seeds at Wimbledon, meaning they could only meet in the final for what would be a fourth Centre Court showpiece.There’s a decade more in each of the legs and there won’t be any rain breaks to add to the drama with the arrival of a roof. But if Federer and Nadal could defy the passing of time and meet again in the final, there’s no doubt that they would serve up another thriller to bring the world to a halt.• Culled from BBC SportsShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Gabriel red card overturned after Arsenal win appeal

first_imgArsenal’s claim of wrongful dismissal over Gabriel’s red card against Chelsea on Saturday has been upheld following an FA hearing.As a result, the player’s three-match suspension has been withdrawn with immediate effect.Gabriel was dismissed for violent conduct during Saturday’s game against Chelsea after clashing with Blues striker Diego Costa, who had also been involved in a confrontation with Laurent Koscielny.The defender is currently subject to a separate FA charge of improper conduct in relation to that game and has until 6pm on Thursday to reply.Arsenal and Chelsea have also been charged with failing to control their players during the game.– Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

They call him ‘Ace’ as in No. 1

first_img‘ACE’ PIPPENS “Ace” is the name that he most answers to but his full name is Averill Pippens.However, he is recognized by numerous other titles. Son, dad, brother, coach…Now that includes football coach Ace, basketball coach Ace, baseball coach Ace, and AAU Coach Ace…well, you get my point. But let’s start at the beginning. An Oliver High School grad and star triple-threat athlete in football, basketball and baseball he was a star in track too, but it sounds so much cooler when you say triple-threat. Pippens was named to the All-City Baseball Team, Kenny Durrett High School All-Star Basketball Classic and received the Distinguished Athlete of the Year award from the U.S. Marine Corps., among many other awards.Since that time, nothing has slowed down for Coach Ace. Among his other achievements: J.V. football head coach at Oliver, defensive coordinator for Oliver, 17 and under boys “Rise High” A.A.U. basketball coach, assistant men’s basketball coach at Penn State McKeesport and head basketball coach—Penn State McKeesport.Yeah, I know. But we ain’t done yet. Get this, a Robert Morris grad with a degree in sports management and an MBA from U. of Phoenix. Couple that with being the ultimate family man, raising his son Dante (who by the way thinks he and the boys can beat me and my boys in a hoop game. “Man, you better ask somebody.” My Boys are B.B. Flenory, Armon “The Hammer” Gilliam and Myron Brown. Yup, the same Myron Brown that used to share air space with Michael Jordan …“If you don’t know…now you know!”Anyway, back to Coach Ace, “my bad.” Aside from running his own business and partnership with Art Cammack, A&A Electronics in Monroeville Mall, Ace is assistant coach with coach Andre King and the “Rise High” basketball team, Connie Hawkins Summer Basketball League Champions and three-time winners.After all Coach Ace has achieved, he may now be heading up his biggest challenge. He was recently promoted to vice president of Five Starr Corp., a newly established business, social and athletic company, and taken on the additional position as director of the Champions Association/Kenny Durrett Memorial High School All-Star Basketball Classic for 2010. The Classic is the longest running high school all-star game in western Pennsylvania and provides advanced basketball opportunities for more than 300 grade school, middle school and high school boys and girls.As the new mastermind and director, Pippens is in a position to help move as many as 10 to 15 student-athletes to the next level to go to college and continue their careers.To know Coach Ace is to know a man of strong convictions. A man that does what he says he’s going to do. A commitment to excellence matched by an old school mind, body and soul. A do-whatever-it-takes attitude that speaks to his years of hard work and achievement. There is no doubt as to how he has become the success that he is.For those of you who know Averill Pippens, you already know the man and what he’s capable of. For those of you just getting introduced to Coach Ace, get ready for the next generation of leadership that will help lead our youth in the right direction and prepare them for all they need to know to be the best they can be. Oh…did I mention Coach Ace was shot by an intruder in 1994 and that he’s been in a wheelchair since then? No need!(Editor’s Note: Don’t miss the 35th Annual Kenny Durrett Memorial High School All-Star Basketball Classic May 1 at Valley High School in New Kensington. For more information call 412-607-3697.)last_img read more

Cook Islands MPA leader fired after supporting seabed mining freeze

first_imgLast month the Cook Islands government dismissed the director of the world’s biggest mixed-use marine protected area (MPA), which is called Marae Moana.Jacqueline Evans, a marine scientist, had played a key leadership role in the seven-year campaign to establish Marae Moana and served as its director since the MPA was enshrined into law in 2017.Her firing came after she expressed support for a 10-year moratorium on seabed mining across the Pacific Ocean. Seabed mining has been a sticking point throughout the history of Marae Moana, with some environmentalists hoping to prohibit it outright and other parties wanting to explore it as a potential source of revenue.Evans was a 2019 winner of the prestigious international Goldman Prize for grassroots environmentalists in recognition of her work to make Marae Moana a reality. This story is part of a series on Marae Moana, the massive, recently enacted multiple-use marine protected area covering the Cook Islands’ entire exclusive economic zone. Other stories in the series:Building the world’s biggest MPA: Q&A with Goldman winner Jacqueline EvansWill a massive marine protected area safeguard Cook Islands’ ocean?Paradise, polluted: Cook Islands tries to clean up its tourism sectorGive it back to the gods: Reviving Māori tradition to protect marine lifeFor somebody who’d just been fired from a prestigious government post, Jacqueline Evans sounded remarkably upbeat. “I knew it was going to come,” she laughed during a phone interview with Mongabay. “I was surprised about what I was being sacked over, though: it was essentially just giving my opinion.”On Sept. 20 Evans was dismissed from her position as director of the Cook Islands’ world-renowned Marae Moana marine protected area (MPA), a position she’d held since the MPA was enshrined into law in 2017. Evans, a marine scientist and 2019 winner of the prestigious international Goldman Prize for grassroots environmentalists, played a key leadership role in the seven-year campaign to establish Marae Moana, the biggest mixed-use MPA in the world at nearly 2 million square kilometers (772,200 square miles).Jacqueline Evans. Image courtesy of Goldman Environmental Prize.Ben Ponia, Prime Minister Henry Puna’s chief of staff, dismissed Evans. Evans said she’d seen it coming since Ponia, who had opposed Marae Moana since its inception, was appointed to the role a year ago. “I was kind of expecting it since he was appointed,” she said, “but I decided I was just going to stick it out and do as best as I could. And then the inevitable happened!”Ponia has declined to comment to the media on the matter, and did not respond directly to Mongabay’s request for comment.According to Evans, in the days prior to her firing, she advised the government via an internal email to support a 10-year moratorium on seabed mining across the entire Pacific Ocean. The Fijian prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, had called for the moratorium at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu on Aug. 13, after civil society representatives suggested it to the leaders during a dialogue. The idea was then included in a draft communiqué for an upcoming meeting of environment ministers from various Pacific island countries. That draft was circulated among Cook Islands government ministers several weeks before Evans was brought into the discussion, she said in a public statement issued on Oct. 1. The ministers expressed the view that the communiqué should omit any mention of the moratorium; Evans advised the opposite.“I was never consulted on the position that Cook Islands would take until the very last minute, and government officials were upset that my policy advice was contrary to what they had discussed amongst themselves and that it came at a late stage,” she said in the statement. “This is a strange arrangement, considering I’m meant to be the coordinator of Marae Moana and policy advisor to the Marae Moana Council. But this behavior was consistent with what had been happening over the previous 18 months or so.”Map shows the location of the Cook Islands, with the international date line running past on a ragged course through the Pacific Ocean. Image courtesy of Google Maps.Seabed mining has been a sticking point throughout the history of Marae Moana. While the legal act establishing the MPA was being created, some environmentalists hoped to take the possibility of allowing seabed mining off the table entirely on the grounds that it was difficult to marry with Marae Moana’s primary principle of protecting and conserving the ecological, biodiversity, and heritage values of the Cook Islands marine environment.But many government ministers and officials were keen to pursue mining because of the potential for lucrative economic gains. Parts of the country’s sea floor are rich in manganese nodules, and the mineral is increasingly in demand globally for batteries to power technologies such as electric cars. In the end, the act only made it into law because it allowed the possibility of mining to be explored. However, the act aimed to ensure that mining could only happen in sites where it would not unduly impact deep ocean ecosystems and biodiversity.To find out where these sites are — if indeed they exist at all — requires significant research: “10 years at least!” Evans told Mongabay. That’s why, in her view, the moratorium, “which is not a ban on exploration, but suspension of mining while data is collected by exploration and research,” would not interfere with the government’s plans.“If they are ready within 10 years, then we know that they haven’t collected adequate data,” she said, “because you just can’t get the data that’s needed in that period of time when you’re dealing with the deep ocean.”Evans said she believes there are also interpersonal reasons for her dismissal. “It was egos being bruised, because I was correcting them,” she said. “I wonder: is it because I’m a woman? They don’t like a woman to be questioning what they’re doing?”She said Ponia told her that her support for the moratorium was based on emotion rather than reason. “I asked: what was emotional about putting aside mining for adequate time to collect scientific data?” she said.Several sources also told Mongabay that Prime Minister Puna was disappointed about Evans’s receipt of the Goldman Prize in recognition of her work to make Marae Moana a reality, because he felt he deserved more credit for its creation. Despite the prestige of the $200,000 award, which is often referred to as the “Green Nobel Prize,” the Cook Islands government made no formal announcement about it at the time. Neither the prime minister’s office nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which led the discussion about the Cook Islands’ position on the proposed Pacific-wide moratorium, responded to Mongabay’s requests for comment on Evans’s firing.Jacqueline Evans; Prime Minister Henry Puna; Travel Tou Ariki, president of the House of Ariki, the Cook Islands’ parliamentary body of paramount traditional chiefs; and former rugby league star Kevin Iro just after the Cook Islands government passed the Marae Moana Act establishing the country’s entire exclusive economic zone as a mixed-use marine protected area in 2017. Image courtesy of the Marae Moana Coordination Office.Maria Tuoro, who until now has been coordinating the Cook Islands component of the Ridge2Reef (R2R) program, a multi-country initiative spearheaded by the Global Environment Facility that focuses on holistic resource management and conservation, is now set to take over the Marae Moana coordination role. Tuoro’s background is in business administration.Evans, for her part, is keen to continue to hold the government to account — from the outside this time. “I think the fact that I know what’s going on on the inside is what freaks me out the most,” she said, “but that just makes me really determined.” Alongside consultancy work, she’s also hoping to spend more time on ocean education and research.Map shows the Marae Moana mixed-use marine protected area, which covers the Cook Islands entire territorial waters, an area of almost 2 million square kilometers (772,200 square miles). Within Marae Moana are more strictly protected areas around each of the 15 islands, where commercial fishing and seabed mining are prohibited. Click here to enlarge. Image courtesy of Marae Moana Coordination Office.Many locals are concerned about what Evans’s dismissal means for Marae Moana. After its marine spatial plan designating areas for particular activities is completed next year, the MPA is set to be implemented in full. “The expertise Jacqui brought to the set up of Marae Moana can not be replicated or exceeded by another,” said Teina Mackenzie, president of the local environmental NGO Te Ipukarea Society and a member of the MPA’s advisory body, the Marae Moana Council, in an email. “Her role in this initiative goes back many years, well before the Government saw merit in it and recognized it would propel the country onto the global scene.”When the MPA was created, “it seemed too good to be true,” said Mackenzie. “Many wondered, ‘will this be another paper park?’, but the Marae Moana concept was promoted widely and with what seemed to be much genuine resolve.” However, she said, as Marae Moana moved toward implementation, transparency and genuine consultation were lacking, and some of its staunchest supporters began to lose faith.“There are few of us that have seen the inside workings of the setup of Marae Moana and as time moves on, there is less and less belief that a multi-use protected area is really being created with conservation as the main pillar,” Mackenzie said.For Mackenzie, Evans’s dismissal shows clearly that these concerns are justified. “These are the parameters we have been working against for years, and now the cards have been shown and no one wins in the end,” she said.For more on the story of Marae Moana:A giant clam in Rarotonga. Image by Ron Caswell via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).Banner image: An islet off Muri Beach on Rarotonga, the largest and most populous of the Cook Islands. Image by Monica Evans for Mongabay.Monica Evans is a freelance writer based in Aotearoa New Zealand who specializes in environmental and community development issues. She has a master’s degree in development studies from Victoria University of Wellington. Find her at monicaevans.org. (She and Jacqueline Evans are not related.)FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Rebecca Kessler Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deep Sea Mining, Environment, Environmental Activism, Environmental Heroes, Fish, Fisheries, Governance, Government, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Prizes, Wildlife center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more