Greek World Cup Wound-Mending

first_imgATHENS – Two of the senior players for Greece’s World Cup soccer team heading to the games in Brazil next month said they have gotten past a confrontation they had while playing in a tense Greek league game.Vice-captain Kostas Katsouranis stressed there were no rifts in the squad  after publicly apologizing to team mate Giannis Maniatis, the news agency Reuters said.The pair, two of coach Fernando Santos’ most senior players among his 23-man squad, almost came to blows in controversial circumstances in a tense Greek Cup semi-final last month.PAOK midfielder Katsouranis, 34, was sent-off in the April 16 match against Maniatis’ Olympiakos, and both players had to be separated after the final whistle as scuffles broke out.“We have talked about it a lot and I think it was a mistake from all aspects,” Katsouranis told reporters.“As Vice Captain of the team and one of the most senior players who has been in the squad since Euro 2004, I think I have a large responsibility, I was in the wrong and I have explained this to Giannis many times.”It is the first time Katsouranis, who has made 109 appearances for his country, has spoken publicly about the incident and he said there were no hard feelings.“We need to stick together. Sometimes you lose control and I think that since making my national team debut in 2003 I’ve never had such an issue. In football these things can happen but we will continue as we were before,” he said.Enmity between players is an age-old problem in Greece where grudges run deep and bitterness often remains. But striker Fanis Gekas denied there was remaining tension as the team got ready to depart for Brazil, where it is a long-shot.“There are no worries. The climate is and will be good. We are like a family and everything depends on our attitude,” he said. “If we play as we can and are well organized, we have all the quality, experience and character to at least qualify from the group stage.”Greece faces Colombia, Ivory Coast and Japan in Group C in Brazil, their first match against the South Americans is on June 14 in Belo Horizonte. Before that the team will play friendly matches against Portugal (May 31), Nigeria (June 3) and Bolivia (June 6) in warm-ups.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Attack launched at behest of govts highups BNP

first_imgRuhul Kabir RizviBlaming the ruling party for the attack on its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir’s motorcade in Chittagong, BNP on Monday alleged that terrorists get inspired when “protection and incitement come from the country’s the most powerful person”.Speaking at a press conference at the party’s BNP’s Naya Paltan central office, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi Ahmed also accused the government’s high-ups of giving instruction to attack Fakhrul’s motorcade, reports.”Those who can travel abroad leaving helpless disaster-affected people can do anything bad. People have seen a new and desperate form of terrorism of the government, the way the ruling party men attacked BNP secretary general’s motorcade on his way to Rangamati with relief materials,” he said.The BNP leader further said, “We strongly believe that the heinous attack was made at the behest of Awami League government’s high-ups.”On Sunday, Mirza Fakhrul and some other party senior leaders were injured as local Awami League supporters allegedly attacked his motorcade at Isakhali in Rangunia upazila, Chittagong on their way to landslides-hit Rangamati.Rizvi Ahmed alleged that police arrested their party men at different parts of the country, including in the capital, on Sunday as they took out processions protesting the attack on their leaders. “We strongly condemn it.”He also alleged that the ruling party men attacked their party’s iftar programmes in Moulvibazar and Netrakona, and foiled those on Sunday. “They have resorted to hooliganism fearing their fall anytime. They’re making desperate efforts to establish a reign of terror after getting alienated from people.”The BNP leader said the way the terrorism is being reproduced it can easily be assumed that the next election will witness huge violence if it is held under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.He also warned that BNP will boycott the next election as well if it is held under the Awami League-led government.Read more:‘Attack an arrogant bid of govt to erase last sign of democracy’BNP to stage countrywide demo tomorrowMirza Fakhrul’s motorcade comes under attack in Ctglast_img read more

18 dead as torrential rains submerge Thai south

first_imgHeavy rains continued to hammer Thailand’s flood-ravaged south on Saturday, bringing the death toll up to 18 and leaving thousands of villages partially submerged, authorities said.The flooding, which was roof-high in some areas, has affected nearly one million people in ten southern provinces since it started a week ago, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.At least 18 people have died and one is missing, it added, with the rains turning roads into rivers, inundating farmland and damaging more than 1,500 schools in the region.The downpour is expected to persist for at least two more days, according to Thailand’s Meteorological Department, which warned of flash floods.“The situation is very bad today and tomorrow. It’s still raining heavily,” said Junjuda Pornsri, a meterological official.Military bases across the region have been mobilised to help evacuate flood victims, provide temporary shelters and distribute emergency aid, the government said Saturday.In hard-hit Nakhon Si Thammarat province, two army helicopters were deployed to airlift food to families trapped inside their homes in Cha-uat district.Bapha Suthiphanya, a 60-year-old who has spent the past three nights in a makeshift government shelter in the district, said she was forced to evacuate her home after the waters rose above her head.“I was so shocked and scared. I’ve never seen water like this and I also can not swim,” she told AFP.Peak tourist seasonThe monsoon rains are unusually heavy for this time of year in Thailand, which normally sees a three-month stretch of relatively dry and cool weather starting in November.It is high season for tourists who flock to the kingdom’s island resorts, powering a crucial sector of the economy.But the deluge has already disrupted beach holidays in several traveller hotspots, including the popular islands of Samui and Phangan.Hundreds of tourists have had their flights delayed, while train and bus services on the mainland have also been suspended.Yet some travellers are refusing to let the storm stop the fun, with photos doing the rounds on social media of tourists coasting through flooded streets on pool floats, sipping drinks.“Some tourists are enjoying the flooding, they’re taking pictures and going swimming,” said Nongyao Jirundorn, a tourism official on Samui island.Neighbouring Malaysia was also hit by severe flooding earlier this week, with thousands stranded in relief centres in two northeastern states.But by Saturday, the number of evacuees in Kelantan and Terengganu had dropped to about 13,500, from almost 23,000 Wednesday, as weather conditions improved and authorities forecast less rainfall over the weekend.Prime Minister Najib Razak visited Kelantan on Saturday and met with people seeking shelter at a relief centre.last_img read more