Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ecuador trio into last 16 - Fifa.com

Ecuadorian champions Deportivo Quito made it into the Copa Sudamericana round of 16 with a 3-1 away win over Aurora in Bolivia.

The 5-2 aggregate win means Ruben Insua's Deportivo Quito will play Argentinian side Tigre in the next round of the South American tournament.

Argentinian forward Julio-Maximiliano Bevacqua put the Ecuadorian side ahead in the 14th minute following good work by Alex Bolanos.

Luis Checa doubled the lead after 35 minutes when Isaac Mina headed down a Luis Saritama corner kick.

Aurora were unable to recover, especially after Bevacqua made it 3-0 on the hour, before Pablo Olmedo reduced the deficit four minutes later with a header.

Deportivo Quito's fellow Ecuadorian side Liga de Loja eliminated Uruguayan giants Nacional to mark their first Copa Sudamericana appearance.

Liga de Loja won 2-1 to go through on away goals after drawing the tie 2-2 on aggregate.

Liga de Loja took the lead after 20 minutes as Johnny Uchuari headed in from a Carlos Feraud free-kick.

Nacional equalised three minutes later as Adrian Luna converted a cross from Adrian Romero.

With twelve minutes remaining Walter Calderon headed Armando Gomez's long pass home to secure the win and Liga de Loja's progress.

Liga de Loja defender Arnaldo Vera told Fox Sports: "This is the prize for good football. We were sure we were able to make history because we have good players and proved we can reach higher positions."

Liga de Loja will now play Brazilian giants Sao Paulo.

Universidad Catolica advanced thanks to away goals as they lost 3-1 to hosts Tolima in Columbia.

The Chilean side, who won 2-0 in the first leg, conceded three times but had a goal from Tomas Costa which secured their progress to face Atletico Goianiense of Brazil.

Felix Noguera put Tolima ahead in the 32nd minute and Gerardo Vallejo doubled the advantage three minutes before half-time. Robin Ramirez added a third three minutes after the break. Costa's goal came only five minutes later.

Goalkeeper Cristopher Toselli told Fox Sports: "If we keep making the mistakes we made tonight, we'll quit the tournament soon. We suffered too much.

"The positive point is the qualification, but only that. We are not happy by our football form."

Ecuadorian side Emelec drew 0-0 with Paraguayan giants Olimpia and went through thanks to a 1-0 away win in the first leg.

Emelec meet reigning Copa Sudamericana champions Universidad de Chile in the next round.

Venezuela opposition concerned about armed groups - The Associated Press

Venezuela opposition concerned about armed groups

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) â€" The campaign of Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles says it has detected risks of trouble at dozens of polling centers in areas where Colombian rebels or other armed groups are known to operate.

Campaign manager Leopoldo Lopez says Carpiles' campaign leaders have identified a total of 77 voting centers where they believe armed pro-Chavez Venezuelan groups or Colombian guerrillas or paramilitary groups are present in the area. That's out of a total of more than 13,800 voting centers nationwide.

Lopez says the opposition turned over the list to electoral officials and asked to meet with election authorities as well as military officers who are in charge of security.

There has been no immediate reaction by officials in President Hugo Chavez's government.

Venezuela pop band says Chavez expropriates "Loser" song - My Moinfo

Members of the Venezuelan band Los Amigos Invisibles pose at the 10th annual Latin Grammy awards in Las Vegas, Nevada November 5, 2009. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Venezuela pop band says Chavez expropriates

Venezuela pop band says Chavez expropriates "Loser" song

Posted: Tuesday, 18 September 2012 01:23PM

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan pop group Los Amigos Invisibles says it is the latest victim of socialist President Hugo Chavez's wave of expropriations.

Local media say the group is demanding a state-owned radio station yank a publicity spot remixing its song "Majunche" as a re-election campaign plug for Chavez, who is known for his frequent and often uncompensated nationalizations of businesses.

The 2004 tune is mostly an instrumental jam in which the singers occasionally shout "majunche," which roughly translates as "loser." Chavez, up for re-election on October 7, uses the epithet to describe opposition candidate Henrique Capriles.

The band says the radio station did not seek rights to the song.

"They've expropriated Majunche, just what we needed," tweeted bass player Jose Rafael Torres.

State-owned radio station YVKE Mundial used the Amigos Invisibles tune as a backdrop to one of Chavez's blustering speeches in which he says: "The loser won't win elections in Venezuela ... this year, or even in 2000 years!"

Chavez has nationalized large parts of the OPEC nation's economy, ranging from multibillion-dollar oil facilities to parking lots and even a toilet maker.

He has won a devoted following among much of the country's poor by channeling oil revenue into health, education and social welfare programs.

A representative for Los Amigos Invisibles did not immediately respond to a request for comment. YVKE Mundial did not answer phone calls seeking a request for comment.

(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth; Editing by Hugh Bronstein and Eric Beech)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012. Check for restrictions at: http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp

Brazil loses its captain of '62 - Fifa.com

Brazilians love to hand out nicknames. The country’s 1962 FIFA World Cup™ squad was a case in point. It included ‘The Boss’, ‘‘The Joy of the People’, ‘The Cannon of the Vila’, ‘The Possessed One’, ‘The King’ and ‘Steel Chest’.

Sound like formidable players? Zito, Garrincha, Pepe, Amarildo, Pele and Vava most certainly were.

But had strikers such as Ferenc Puskas of Spain, Englishman Jimmy Greaves and Czechoslovakia’s Adolf Scherer had known the Brazilian who was going to mark them on Chilean soil was nicknamed after Miss Brasil, they would have assumed they would be able to bully him about.

They would have been very much mistaken. Not one of them, indeed, was on the score-sheet when Mauro Ramos was acting as their guard.

The defender was known as Martha Rocha, the maiden Miss Brasil in 1954 and an extremely close runner-up to American Miriam Stevenson in that year’s Miss World, because of his seldom capacity to make tackles and win headers with elegance rather than brute force.

Born in Pocos de Caldas, Minas Gerais in 1930, the defender made his professional debut for Sao Paulo in 1948, helped them to Campeonsato Paulista glory that same year and another three state championships before joining Santos in 1960. At the Vila Belmiro, Mauro formed part of one of the greatest sides in football history. Alongside the likes of Gilmar, Zito, Pepe, Coutinho and Pele, the gentleman helped O Peixe win both the continental and world titles in 1962 and ’63.

Mauro also made history with his country. The teenager impressed as Brazil won what is now known as the Copa America in 1949, yet he was surprisingly left out of Flavio Costa’s squad for the following year’s FIFA World Cup. Mauro suffered personal frustration again four years later, when he was left on the bench during A Seleção’s fruitless campaign in Switzerland, and when he wasn’t afforded any minutes as the Brazilians finally got their hands on the Trophy at Sweden 1958, many felt he would never showcase his talent on world football’s grandest platform.

But that’s something Mauro achieved â€" and in style. For not only did the man just shy of his 33rd birthday play every minute as Brazil retained their title in Chile, but he did so in the captain’s armband having relegated the great Bellini to the bench.

On 18 September 2002, ten years ago to this Tuesday, Mauro passed away in Pocos de Caldas. Brazil had lost a true gentleman and one of its greatest-ever defenders.

Moody's puts Argentina rating on negative outlook - AFP

Moody's puts Argentina rating on negative outlook

PARIS â€" Moody's switched the outlook on its B3 rating for Argentina from stable to negative, warning of haphazard economic policy and a lack of progress in debt talks.

A drop below B3 into the C rating range would indicate that Moody's believes Argentina is vulnerable to default.

"A lack of resolution to Argentina's debt arrears with Paris Club creditors, which has been pending for several years and shows no signs of an eventual resolution, raising fundamental questions about the sovereign's willingness to pay," noted Moody's.

Argentina has almost $9 billion in overdue debt to the Paris Club of government creditors.

Moody's said it also believed there would be a continued "haphazard policy environment, evidenced most recently in the nationalisation without compensation of YPF, Argentina's largest oil company, and import controls that have stalled economic growth."

Rival ratings agency Standard & Poor's lowered the outlook on its B rating for Argentina in April after it stripped Spain's Repsol of its controlling stake in YPF.

Moody's also warned of growing concerns about the reliability of Argentina's official economic data, noting that underreporting of inflation is of concern as a fifth of the country's debt is indexed to inflation.

It also warned a large and sustained drop in commodity prices would also affect its view of the major commodity exporter's economic and debt repayment perspectives.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Elmayan still going strong at age 95 - Yahoo! Sports

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Artin Elmayan is hard to keep pace with as he heads for the locker rooms at River Plate.

"I've got to get my rackets," he says under the shadow of the Monumental, the giant stadium which is home to one of the world's great soccer clubs where members enjoy a variety of sports.

Armenian-born Elmayan's choice is tennis, a sport he took up at the age of 39. Now, aged 95, he is the world's oldest-ranked player.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) ranks Elmayan 26th among men over 85, a list headed by Italian Angelo Sala who will be 86 in December.

There are only 39 men in the ITF's over-85 ranking, three of them Argentines, and Elmayan is the only one born before 1920.

The next oldest are Eugeniusz Czerepaniak of Poland who is 91 and ranked one place above Elmayan, and 90-year-old Australian Neville Halligan, the number eight.

Elmayan does not compete internationally so he is likely to meet only fellow-Argentines Guillermo Garcia or Jose Otero, both in their 80s, in competitions.

"Eighty-five plus, because there isn't anyone who's 90, much less 95. So I have to play against 85-year-olds," Elmayan told Reuters in an interview.

"I do all right, sometimes I take second place. Last year I won second place twice. It depends on the state of my opponent, and my own. There are no enigmas here," he said after a 20-minute knockup with one of the club's coaches.

The sprightly Elmayan enjoys a routine that keeps him slim and happy, travelling by train into the capital to River Plate from the suburbs three times a week.

"If my body and feet allow it, I'm not going to sit still. As far as stretching, I take the train and walk from the station to here. When I get here I've already loosened up," he said.

Elmayan said that if he had to play three sets, he was able to cope and recalled having recently played and lost against Garcia, seven years younger than him, and then suggesting they go for a run.

"Are you crazy, now you want to run?" Elmayan, laughing, recalled Garcia as saying.

ARMENIAN IMMIGRANT

Elmayan, who emigrated to Argentina from Europe when it was on the verge of war in 1938 at the age of 21, said he took up tennis as a hobby and has never looked back.

He is part of a large Armenian community in Argentina that includes leading professional and former world number three David Nalbandian.

Elmayan said he had never had a tennis lesson, taking his cue from playing "paleta", a sport with a wooden paddle-like racket and rubber ball that he played when he was younger.

"No one told me how to hold a racket, I copied it from paleta and went on from there," he said.

Elmayan's whole family plays or played tennis, his wife now 88, daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren.

He lost a grandson, who represented the club at tennis, at the age of 21 from cancer, a shock that may have added to his fierce grip on life.

"First there is eating and then comes tennis. It is part of my life to stay in shape in every way," said Elmayan from behind his goggle-like sunglasses on a bright late winter's day in Buenos Aires.

"Tennis makes you breathe oxygen, keeps your body in shape, keeps you from getting a belly, or getting fat, helps fight cholesterol problems and everything," he said.

"Now, if you stop coming, if I go two months without playing, I'll get a belly."

(Editing by John Mehaffey)

Brazil to begin rebuilding its burned Antarctic base - AFP

Brazil to begin rebuilding its burned Antarctic base

RIO DE JANEIRO â€" Three navy supply ships will head for Antarctica next month to begin rebuilding a Brazilian naval base destroyed by a deadly fire in February, Defense Minister Celso Amorim said Monday.

"Next month, with the end of the winter on the continent, our ships will set off to begin dismantling parts of the base affected by the fire," he said during a meeting of Latin American officials managing Antarctic programs.

The fire destroyed 70 percent of the Comandante Ferraz base, which was established in 1984 in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The navy vessels will ferry temporary installations, which will be dropped on the heliport of King George Island, to be used by some Brazilian researchers, a defense ministry statement said.

Other Brazilian researchers will be stationed at Antarctic bases run by Argentina and Chile.

Amorim said the aim was to begin work on the new Brazilian base in November 2013.

He said President Dilma Rousseff was firmly committed to the reconstruction of the base and thanked South American countries for their assistance during the February emergency.

Malfunctioning electrical generators were believed to have caused the blaze.

Scientists working under the Brazilian Antarctic Program use the navy base to study global warming, as well as coastal and marine ecosystems.

About 30 countries operate Antarctic stations.