Paris, Oct 31 (AP/UNB) — Roger Federer turned down an invitation to play in a planned exhibition match in Saudi Arabia in December which his rivals Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have committed to play in.
Saudi Arabia is under growing pressure from the international community following the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi after he entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. He was a Washington Post columnist who had written critically of Saudi Arabia's crown prince.
Tennis stars Djokovic and Nadal have expressed doubt as to whether they will play an exhibition match at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah on Dec. 22, but they have not withdrawn. Both players have said the invitations were made at least one year ago.
Asked in Paris on Tuesday if he was also previously invited, Federer said "they contacted me too, yeah."
The Swiss star was then asked why he turned it down.
"I didn't want to play there at that time," the 20-time Grand Slam champion said. "So, for me, it was a very quick decision."
Amnesty International has urged Nadal and Djokovic not to play.
"Of course I'm aware of the situation. But I had a commitment since one year ago to play there. And my team is talking to them, to analyze the things. That's it," Nadal said when asked his position on Sunday. "It's terrible that one journalist lost (his) life. I know something happened very bad inside there. So we are looking about how evolves the situation and I hope the things will clarify as soon as possible."
Djokovic also made it clear that the decision to play was made a long time ago.
"We have the commitment with them for over a year, actually last year when we were discussing this potential matchup," he said. "It was my professional tennis decision to do that. Of course I know, I'm aware of what's happening, and it's sad, of course."
The top-ranked Serb also stopped short of confirming his presence.
"My team right now is in touch with the people in Saudi Arabia as well as Rafa's and of course we are all talking to understand the situation better," the 14-time Grand Slam champion said Sunday. "Because right now we just don't have obviously enough information, and we have to look into that a bit more and then we'll make our decision soon."
He added: "We have to get more information on what's happening so we can make a rational decision whether it's good to go or not."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the investigation needs to be completed swiftly and wants an extradition request for 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia to be put on trial in Istanbul. The country is also asking Saudi Arabia to help locate Khashoggi's body, which still has not been found.
Turkey alleges a hit squad from Saudi Arabia traveled to Istanbul to kill the journalist and then tried to cover it up.
London, Oct 31 (AP/UNB) — FIFA President Gianni Infantino is braced for a release of private information gained by hackers after world soccer's governing body said its computer network was subject to another cyberattack.
The disclosure comes in the same month the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI said Russia's military intelligence body was responsible for a hack on FIFA in 2016, which led to evidence from anti-doping investigations and lab results being published.
FIFA did not provide details about the data gained in the latest attack this year on e-mail systems, but it has been contacted by media outlets about internal information contained in private exchanges.
"The questions we received, we answered," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said when asked about what could be released. "My job entails having discussions, having conversations, exchanging documents, drafts, ideas, whatever, on many, many, many, many, topics. Otherwise you don't go anywhere.
"I mean, if I just have to stay in my room and not speak to anyone and cannot do anything, how can I do my job properly? So if then this is being portrayed as something bad, I think there's not much I can do more than my job in an honest way, in a professional way and trying to defend the interests of football."
Before being elected FIFA president in 2016, Infantino was general secretary at UEFA, overseeing the administration of European soccer at a time when new Financial Fair Play rules were being enforced on European clubs.
UEFA has also been subject to phishing attempts to gain access to its email accounts, but said it could find no evidence of a hack. Still, UEFA has received dozens of questions about cases going back several years and the contents of private exchanges.
"We are not stealing," Infantino said, discussing the contents of any leaks. "What counts is do things in an appropriate way."
In a separate statement, FIFA said it "condemns any attempts to compromise the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data in any organization using unlawful practices."
"Of course, we are concerned by the fact that some information has been obtained illegally," it said.
Soccer has been hit by the release of confidential information in recent years, including a group called "Football Leaks." Through the European Investigative Collaborations, it has released details on the financial arrangements of top footballers, which have led to tax evasion convictions. The leaks group also obtained a 2010 non-disclosure agreement that saw five-time world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo accused of a rape allegation he denies. The EIC did not respond to emails in the last week about the potential release of information from FIFA and UEFA.
Cybersecurity is under constant review at FIFA, which organizes the World Cup.
"FIFA takes all necessary measures to adequately respond to security incidents as well as to continuously improve the security of its IT environment," the Zurich-based organization said.
Dhaka, Oct 30 (UNB) – Bangladesh took a full-day rest on Tuesday ahead of the first semifinal of the six-nation SAFF U-15 Championship against neighbouring India on Friday (November 1) at ANFA Complex in Lalitpur, Nepal.
The match will kick off at 10:45 am (Bangladesh Time).
Group A champions Pakistan will play group B runners-up and hosts Nepal in the 2nd semifinal at 2:45 pm, also on Thursday at the same venue. The final match will be held on Saturday (November 3) at 2:45 pm at the same venue.
Bangladesh team had a stretching session after breakfast and visited the National Botanical Garden of Nepal as part of recreation before lunch on Tuesday.
However, the team will go back to a full-fledged training on Wednesday before taking strong India in the semifinal.
Considering the ability of opponent India, the coaching staff and the players are preparing to give their best to make a final berth.
Earlier, Bangladesh emerged Group A champions with all-win record to reach the semifinals beating hosts Nepal by 2-1 goals in the last group match after crushing the Maldives by 9-0 goals in the first match, featuring a hat-trick by Nihad Jaman while Nepal outplayed the Maldives 4-0 in their first appearance last Thursday
After the group stages, Bangladesh (Group A) and Pakistan (Group B) clinched the group crown with all-win run to qualify for the semifinals securing full six points from straight two encounters while Nepal (Group A) and India (Group B) finished group runners-up to reach the semis, collecting three points from two matches.
On the other hand, Pakistan clinched Group B title beating India by 2-1 goals and Bhutan by 4-0 goals while India finished Group B runners-up beating Bhutan by 4-0 goals.
On completion of the group matches, Nihad Jaman of Bangladesh dominated the scorer list making four goals
Dhaka, Oct 30 (UNB) – Arambagh KS reached the quarter-final of the season’s curtain raiser soccer meet, Walton Federation Cup Football Tournament with one match to sparer eliminating all-losers Rahmatganj MFS by 3-1 goals in a Group A match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Tuesday.
Arambagh KS will play Chattogram Abahani Limited in the last group match on Friday (November 2) to decide the group champions.
In the day’s match, Ideni Chinedu Mathew put Arambagh KS ahead in the stoppage of the first half (1-0) while he sounded the Arambagh margin scoring his 2nd goal in the 66th minute (2-0).
Arifur Rahman further widen the Arambagh margin scoring the 3rd goal in the 80th minute (3-0) while Siyo Zunapio scored the consolation goal for Rahmatganj MFS in the stoppage time of the 2nd half.
Wednesday’s matches: Muktijoddha SKC vs Sheikh Russel KC (3:15 pm), and Team BJMC vs Brothers Union (5:15 pm).
Dhaka, Oct 30 (UNB) – Rajshahi Division were trailing by 272 runs with eight wickets in hand in the first innings against Rangpur Division after the 2nd day of the four-day 5th round Tier-1 match of the 20th National Cricket League (NCL) at Rangpur Cricket Garden on Tuesday.
Rangpur Division resumed the first innings in the morning with overnight score of 230 for 5 in 89 overs, featuring Rakin Ahmed’s 79 runs off 183 balls with nine fours, and were all out for 336 runs in 133.3 overs despite 109 runs in the 6th wicket stand by Naeem Islam and Dhiman Ghosh.
Two down Naeem Islam, who was in batting with 63 runs, finally scored 89 runs off 268 balls with the help of 10 boundaries while number seven Dhiman Ghosh (13) contributed a half century scoring 57 runs off 156 deliveries, featuring six boundaries while lower order Sajedul Islam made 24-ball 23 runs hitting three fours and a six.
Slow left arm orthodox national coloured bowler Sunzamul Islam of Rajshahi made the major damage to the Rangpur innings grabbing seven wickets for 69 runs in 41.3 overs. He took four wickets on Tuesday in addition to Monday’s three wickets. But this was not his career best bowling in the first class cricket as he earlier claimed nine wickers for 80 runs last year.
National pacer Shafiul Islam took two for 82 runs.
In reply, Rajshahi Division scored 64 runs for 2 in 41 overs when the bails were drawn on the 2nd day.
After the departure of two openers –- Mysukur Rahman (3) and Sabbir Hossain (1) –- for just 22 runs in 16 overs, one down national coloured batsman Junaid Siddique and Farhad Hossain were in batting with 35 and 19 runs respectively.
Robiul Haque took both the Rajshahi wickets conceding 18 runs.
In a Tier-2 match at Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogura, Dhaka Metropolis team were trailing by 268 runs against Dhaka Division on the 2nd day of 5th round match of the league on Tuesday.
Replying to Dhaka Metropolis first innings total of 59 for 8 declared in 29.3 overs on first day (Monday), Rajshahi Division resumed the first innings with overnight score of 167 for 3 in 53 overs and were all out for 386 runs in 113.2 overs, featuring a century by one down Shuvagata Hom.
Shuvagata Hom, who was in batting with 9 runs, hammered a polished innings of 106 runs off 146 balls hitting seven fours and five sixes while another overnight batsman Taibur Rahman (4) furnished his 131-ball 56 innings with seven boundaries.
Earlier, opener Rony Talukdar [86 off 154b; 9x4; 3x6] and Saif Hassan [49 off 90b; 6x4; 1x6] were the other big hitters for Dhaka Division, featuring a second wicket partnership of 120 off 30.1 overs.
Shykat Ali captured four wickets for 21 runs while Shahidul Islam, Qazi Onik and Arafat Sunny took two wickets each conceding 47, 67 and 146 runs respectively.
In reply, Dhaka Metropolis team opened the 2nd innings and scored 59 runs for 2 in 23.4 overs at the end of the 2nd day with opener Shadman Islam in batting with 26 runs after the dismissal of Mohammad Naim (11) and Shamsur Rahman (16).
Taibur Rahman and Salahuddin Sakil took one wicket each.
The play of the Tier -1 match of the league between Khulna Division and Barisal Divisionin Barisal and Tier-2 match between Chattogram Division and Sylhet Division in Cox’s Bazar was not held on the 2nd successive day (Tuesday) due to unplayable grounds.