Underdogs Scotland face ‘mighty’ England

first_imgLONDON, England (AP):The latest instalment of international football’s oldest rivalry is a jarring reminder for Scotland of just how far the team has fallen and keeps on plummeting.The balance of power has firmly been in England’s favour for decades.And yet thousands of Scotland fans will still travel south to London for today’s World Cup qualifier while fatalistic about their team’s chances.”I feel sorry for the younger fans because the future looks bleak,” said Hamish Husband, a 58-year-old member of a group of Scottish supporters. “The reasons are self-inflicted. Not unlike England, we have this belief that because we invented football, then somehow we had a right to success.”We have just been left behind. Modern football has changed, and Scottish football has not changed with it.”The rivalry that began in 1872 is being renewed at Wembley Stadium for the 113th time. It was forged on fading memories of fiercely competitive tussles on the field and fiery exchanges that often turned violent around the stadium. There were times when both England and Scotland contested major tournament finals and both teams could deploy gifted players.England constantly agonise over their limited international success, with the 1966 World Cup being their only title and no final appearance since then. But England are reaching tournaments with rare slip-ups unlike Scotland, who last qualified for the World Cup in 1998.QUALIFICATION PLACEWhen the newly expanded 24-team European Championship took place in France this year, all the British teams participated apart from Scotland.”We look at countries like Iceland, who are showing what can be achieved with limited population and limited resources,” SFA chief executive Stewart Regan told the Associated Press.Thousands of members of the Tartan Army heading to Wembley will do so knowing there is little point booking trips to Russia for the 2018 World Cup. The Scots are only in fourth place in their qualifying group.After three matches in Group F, England are already out in front in the only automatic qualification place.In the FIFA rankings, Scotland are 57th, sandwiched between Macedonia and Mali, while England are 12th.”We are horrific in Scotland at the moment,” Scotland coach Gordon Strachan said. “We are in the worst state we’ve ever been. I am not talking about the Scotland national team, but the standard of kids coming through.”Only six members of the 25-man squad for the England game play in the cash-rich English Premier League. Another nine from are lower-league clubs in England. Just four are from Scottish champions Celtic. The standout name is winger Oliver Burke, who joined Bundesliga club Leipzig in August to develop his game.last_img read more


CENTAL Wants President Weah’s Assets, Others Published

first_imgCENTAL program manager, Gerald D. Yeakula. The Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) has called on the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC) to timely and independently verify and publish all declared assets, income and liabilities, including those of President George M. Weah.In a statement issued on Monday, CENTAL said it is glad to acknowledge receipt of reports of declaration of assets, income, and liabilities by President George Manneh Weah, which the General Auditing Commission (GAC) has confirmed.Although it is belated, CENTAL lauded President Weah for declaring his assets in compliance with chapter 10 of the 2014 Code of Conduct for Public officials that requires all public officials to declare their assets.“This is one of several steps that demonstrate concrete commitment and political will to set the necessary condition for a successful fight against corruption in Liberia,” the statement said.CENTAL has also called on the Vice President, members of the Senate and House of Representatives, Justices of the Supreme Court and other officials of government to do likewise.“We maintain that former officials accused of corrupt acts, especially those of the immediate past regime, must be investigated and if found guilty prosecuted in keeping with relevant Liberian Laws,” CENTAL said.CENTAL said former officials who refused to declare their assets while leaving power/government, should be compelled to do so or prosecuted, in keeping with relevant provisions of the Code of Conduct.Finally, “we would like to admonish President Weah against repeating mistakes of former President Sirleaf, when she, among other things, shielded her officials; ignored recommendations from independent committees established to probe corruption scandals as well as appointed persons with tainted records in key government positions.”Any anti-corruption effort that is not built on a strong prosecution and deterrent regime is bound to fail; this is the weak link in Liberia’s current anti-graft efforts, which must be addressed to decisively tackle corruption and bad governance in the country, the statement maintained.The statement further noted that continuous violation of the Code of Conduct does not augur well for the reputation of the government and its professed desire to address graft, arguably the biggest impediment to the success of the pro-poor agenda.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more