Daily Archives: January 24, 2015

Socceroos hit the water in Newcastle


THE Socceroos have caused a splash on their first day in Newcastle, with the squad hitting the water at Nobby’s Beach. 

An early morning training session at Wanderers Oval was cancelled and instead the Socceroos enjoyed a swim at the beach, as they relaxed ahead of Tuesday’s crunch Asian Cup semi-final against the United Arab Emirates.

Ange Postecoglou’s men timed their visit to perfection, with Newcastle’s beaches closed in recent weeks due to shark sightings and dangerous surf.

But the players were met with picturesque conditions, with the sun streaming down and thankfully not a shark in sight.

Striker Matthew Leckie said the squad was enjoying their time in Newcastle, a city the national team hasn’t visited since 1995.

‘It’s great for the city of Newcastle and we know the atmosphere will be fantastic at the match’.

Those thoughts were echoed by teammate Robbie Kruse, who said the squad would not be taking the UAE lightly, despite the Socceroos being heavily favoured.

‘People are saying we are already in the final but that’s definitely not the attitude we have. There are no easy games in international football and we will show UAE the respect they deserve, said Kruse.

‘It’s great to be in Newcastle. We’re looking forward to a bumper crowd of green and gold’.


Burns confirms Chinese interest but Asian Cup his focus


Socceroo Nathan Burns brings the ball under control against China.

Socceroo Nathan Burns has confirmed there is interest from Chinese clubs for his services, but the Wellington Phoenix striker won’t be rushing into making any decisions on his club future.

The 26-year-old, a second half substitute for the Socceroos in Thursday night’s 2-0 Asian Cup quarter final win over China in Brisbane, is catching the attention of cashed up Chinese Super League clubs after his standout season in the Hyundai A-League.

Shanghai Shenhua in particular have reportedly been interested in making Phoenix a large financial offer for the Socceroo.

After his ten-goal haul and his elevation to the national team, Burns says in-form players will always catch the eye of big clubs, but he’s in no hurry to talk turkey with other clubs.

“Yeah, there’s a bit of interest. But it’s a long way off and this tournament is my main focus,” he told reporters in Brisbane after the game on Thursday night.

“If you’re playing well, there’s always going to be interest.

“What happens after the tournament is obviously a while away yet, but it’s good to have interest but my main focus is football.”

For a player who’s plied his trade in the Greek and K-Leagues as well as Australia’s Hyundai A-League at Adelaide United, challenging himself is a key driver in his decision-making.

“I’m always open for new challenges. But what’s meant to be is meant to be. I don’t look too far into it because football can change overnight.

“I’ll sit back and see what happens.”

Burns and the Socceroos arrived in Newcastle late on Friday to prepare for their Asian Cup semi final with either Japan or UAE next Tuesday night.

After a starting XI appearance against Korea Republic and a scintillating sub role against Kuwait in the opening group game, Burns dreams he’s can help take Australia to the Holy Grail of an Asian Cup title.

“Hopefully I can play my part. There’s a big stage set up for some heroes and with the next generation of Socceroos coming through hopefully some stars can rise and make it their tournament.”


Τα X-Files φαίνεται πως επιστρέφουν στη μικρή οθόνη


Ντέιβιντ Ντουκόβνι και Γκίλιαν Άντερσον έχουν δηλώσει την επιθυμία τους να επαναλάβουν τους ρόλους τους

Οι πιθανότητες να επιστρέψει στην αμερικανική τηλεόραση η διάσημη σειρά επιστημονικής φαντασίας που καθόρισε τα ’90s είναι κάτι παραπάνω από μεγάλη. «Η αλήθεια είναι εκεί έξω» και οι βασικοί συντελεστές δηλώνουν ενθουσιασμένοι ότι επιθυμούν να επιστρέψουν στις θέσεις τους.

Πριν από λίγες ημέρες, το τηλεοπτικό δίκτυο Fox ανακοίνωσε ότι εξετάζει την επιστροφή της σειράς στη μικρή οθόνη.

Οι επικεφαλής του δικτύου δήλωσαν ότι βρίσκονται ήδη σε συζητήσεις με τον δημιουργό της σειράς, Κρις Κάρτερ, ο οποίος -όπως είπαν- εμφανίζεται θετικός στην προοπτική και ότι βρίσκονταν σε επαφή και με τους πρωταγωνιστές της σειράς Ντέιβιντ Ντουκόβνι και Γκίλιαν Άντερσον, προκειμένου να τους πείσουν να επαναλάβουν τους ρόλους του Μόλντερ και της Σκάλι.

Λίγες ημέρες αργότερα, ο Ντουκόβνι, σε συνέντευξή του στην USA Today, δήλωσε ότι θα επιθυμούσε να επαναλάβει τον ρόλο του πράκτορα του FBI που ερευνά υποθέσεις που έχουν σχέση με μεταφυσικά φαινόμενα. Εξέφρασε, μάλιστα, την πεποίθησή του ότι η νέα σειρά X-Files δεν θα αργήσει να γίνει πραγματικότητα.

Πάντως, έσπευσε να δηλώσει ότι δεν θα τον ενδιέφερε να γυριστεί ολόκληρος κύκλος X-Files, αλλά μόνο κάποια επεισόδια. «Θα είναι σε κάποιου είδους περιορισμένης μορφής» είπε. «Είμαστε πολύ γέροι και δεν έχουμε την ενέργεια για μία ολόκληρη σεζόν».

Αυτή που φαίνεται ότι κίνησε όλη τη διαδικασία για την επιστροφή του X-Files, ήταν η πρωταγωνίστριά του, Γκίλιαν Άντερσον. Μιλώντας νωρίτερα τον Ιανουάριο στο The Nerdist, η Άντερσον είπε ότι θα ήταν «ενθουσιασμένη» εάν μπορούσε να γυρίσει περισσότερα επεισόδια από τη σειρά στην οποία οφείλει την καριέρα της.

Η αντίδραση των θαυμαστών της σειράς που διήρκεσε από το 1993 έως το 2002 ήταν κάτι παραπάνω από ενθουσιώδης και φαίνεται ότι ενθάρρυνε τα στελέχη του Fox να σκεφτούν σοβαρά την αναβίωσή της.

Το πρόβλημα είναι το φορτωμένο πρόγραμμα των συντελεστών. Τόσο η Άντερσον, όσο και ο Ντουκόβνι πρωταγωνιστούν σε άλλες σειρές, ενώ ο Κρις Κάρτερ δεν έχει λάβει ακόμα επισήμως θέση.

Πολλοί εκτιμούν, πάντως, ότι μετά την αποτυχημένη απόπειρα να προβληθεί η σειρά που ετοίμαζε (με τίτλο The After) και με την ενθουσιώδη αντίδραση των θαυμαστών των X-Files, ο Κάρτερ δεν θα αργήσει να πει το ναι.

Εάν η απόφαση αυτή θα είναι και η σωστή, μένει να φανεί.


Περισσότερα από 2.600 αρχαία νομίσματα επέστρεψαν στην Ελλάδα


Περισσότερα από 2.600 αρχαία νομίσματα επέστρεψαν στην ΕλλάδαΤα νομίσματα είχαν κατασχεθεί στις 9 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011 στις αποσκευές Έλληνα πολίτη που ταξίδευε οδικώς προς το Μόναχο

Επαναπατρίστηκαν από τη Γερμανία 2.607 αρχαία νομίσματα, που είχαν κατασχεθεί στις 9 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011 στις αποσκευές Έλληνα πολίτη που ταξίδευε οδικώς προς το Μόναχο.

Σύμφωνα με ανακοίνωση του υπουργείου Πολιτισμού, στην υπόθεση εμπλέκονται άτομα τα οποία συμμετείχαν στην εγκληματική οργάνωση αρχαιοκάπηλων που εξαρθρώθηκε τον Μάρτιο του 2012 από την Αστυνομική Διεύθυνση Χαλκιδικής.

Όπως αναφέρει η ανακοίνωση, στην πλειονότητά τους πρόκειται για χάλκινα νομίσματα κλασικών, ελληνιστικών, ρωμαϊκών και υστερορωμαϊκών χρόνων.

Από την αρχαιολογική τεκμηρίωση που έγινε στο Νομισματικό Μουσείο αναγνωρίστηκαν εκδόσεις νομισματοκοπείων πόλεων της Μακεδονίας (Πέλλα, Φίλιπποι, Αμφίπολη, Θεσσαλονίκη, Τράγιλος κ.α.), λιγοστές εκδόσεις πόλεων Αιγαιακής Θράκης (Μαρώνεια, Άβδηρα, ένα νόμισμα Αίνου), όπως και εκδόσεις βασιλέων Μακεδονίας (Αμύντας Γ΄, Φίλιππος Β΄, Αλέξανδρος Γ΄, Δημήτριος Πολιορκητής, Φίλιππος Ε΄, Περσεύς).

Επιπλέον, ανάμεσά τους εντοπίστηκαν τέσσερα αργυρά δηνάρια 2ου αι. μ.Χ. και δεκαπέντε ρωμαϊκοί αντωνινιανοί από κράμα 3ου αι. μ.Χ.

Αναγνωρίστηκαν, τέλος, ιδιαίτερες κοπές νομισματοκοπείου Θεσσαλονίκης πρώιμης βυζαντινής περιόδου (16νούμμια, 8νούμμια και ένα δυνούμμιον) και χάλκινο παλαιολόγειο torneze του Ιωάννη Ε΄ Παλαιολόγου, 2ου μισού 14ου αι.

Όπως επισημαίνεται, η επιτυχής εξέλιξη υπήρξε αποτέλεσμα της συντονισμένης προσπάθειας της Εισαγγελίας Θεσσαλονίκης με την αρμόδια Διεύθυνση Διαχείρισης Εθνικού Αρχείου Μνημείων, Τεκμηρίωσης και Προστασίας Πολιτιστικών Αγαθών της Γενικής Διεύθυνσης Αρχαιοτήτων και Πολιτιστικής Κληρονομιάς του υπουργείου Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού, οι οποίες κατόπιν χρονοβόρων διαδικασιών εντόπισαν τα νομίσματα στο Κεντρικό Τελωνείο Μονάχου και επετεύχθη ο επαναπατρισμός τους, ως προϊόντα παράνομης διακίνησης.

Στην ολοκλήρωση του επαναπατρισμού ήταν επίσης καθοριστική η συμβολή της γενικής προξένου Μονάχου κας Σοφίας Γραμματά.
Τα νομίσματα αποτελούν πλέον πρόσκτημα του Τμήματος νομισμάτων του Επιγραφικού και Νομισματικού Μουσείου, στο οποίο και φυλάσσονται.

Πηγή: in.gr

The last stand of Greece’s ruling elite

As the campaigning for Greece’s parliamentary elections enters its final hours ahead of the vote tomorrow, the last shots are being fired across the bows.
Last night, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras of the ruling New Democracy party – behind the upstart radical-left Syriza party in the polls – made his last stand at the party’s final campaign rally with a plea to resist the advances of the would-be victors.

In the Athens seaside suburb of Palaio Faliro, party officials were welcomed by cheering crowds in a former Olympic stadium, youth groups building up the atmosphere by waving Greek flags, beating drums, singing slogans and setting orange flares off in anticipation of the arrival of the embattled Mr Samaras.

He declared that he would not allow Syriza and its leader, Alexis Tsipras – more than 20 years his junior – to take Greece “back to the past” with its anti-austerity platform and threats to renegotiate a European bailout on Greece’s debts, after his party had worked to keep the country “standing”.

In trying to rectify the Greek financial mess, New Democracy has seen the country take massive sums in international bailouts and put into practice the stringent austerity measures that came with them. It is these measures that appear to have ensured that many voters will look for a new direction with Syriza, who are leading by between 4 and 6 percentage points in most polls.

Party officials are now banking on the undecided vote to overturn New Democracy’s poor prognostics. At current estimates between 8 and 10 per cent of voters are still unsure.

“I do believe we’ll be able to convince the undecided and win the election: things can change in an instant and when Greeks wake up on Sunday and go to the ballot they will think hard of their future,” New Democracy candidate Vasileios Foivos Axiotis told The Independent.

After a seven-year recession and widespread unemployment, Greece’s economy is finally starting to show feeble signs of recovery. Pointing to conservative New Democracy’s electoral pledges, Mr Axiotis, a civil engineer who owns two large companies in construction and renewable energy says: “Syriza has nothing to offer Greece or the business world.”

Yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for unity – saying that Greece should remain part of the “story” of the eurozone, with a potential Syriza win raising fears for Greece’s future in the bloc. “I want Greece, despite the difficulties, to remain part of our story,” she said.

Europe’s fears were not eased by Mr Tsipras yesterday, who insisted that his party, if it won, would have until the summer to conduct a review of the bailout, despite the agreement with the EU set to end on 28 February. Eurozone officials have said that Greece would likely need to seek an extension beyond then.

Workers put up polling station signs at a school in Athens Workers put up signs that indicate the polling stations in a school (EPA)
Lawyer Pavlos Marinakis, 26, sees New Democracy as a party of stability which would protect the country’s place in the eurozone. Syriza’s anti-bailout agreement has spooked markets and European officials. In spite of its unwavering austerity policies, its supporters say New Democracy has adopted a “reasonable” position by aiming to repay the country’s debts.

“I’ll support New Democracy because all my efforts and sacrifices need to lead to results… I need stability and to know what will come next but there will be no security for our future with Mr Tsipras – he just makes empty promises about everything to everyone.”

Mr Marinakis echoes the voices of those voters who fear the repercussions of the anti-austerity rhetoric of the left wing Syriza party. In a speech on Thursday night, Mr Tsipras warned thousands of supporters of looming “major clashes” as his party would seek easing of the country’s huge and “unsustainable” debts. Despite their support, Syriza’s anti-austerity measures have some Greeks worrying about the country’s fate, especially when it comes to negotiating with its international lenders.

Greece is scheduled to repay billions of euros this year. New Democracy’s campaign has also focused on dissuading voters from backing its left wing opponent. “Greeks think that bankruptcy is what they are living now, but bankruptcy is when fuel, raw materials and medical imports cease immediately, like what we’ve seen in Cyprus, Venezuela and Argentina,” New Democracy candidate Sophie Voultepsi said yesterday.

Withdrawals from banks have significantly escalated in recent days though nowhere near the capital flight ahead of the 2012 election. “Right now it’s the doom and gloom scenario,” says finance professional Michail Kougioulis. He said his vote is split between New Democracy and a newly created pro-European party, To Potami, or River, who are third in the polls and could act as kingmaker if neither of the other the two can claim a majority.

“We’re six months ahead of a likely and gradual rebounding of the economy but we’re stepping back six months, with the risk of going back entire generations

Meteoric rise of Tsipras and Syriza defies numerous detractors


Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras: described as a warm, talkative and witty personality, who likes being around people. Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki

Should Alexis Tsipras lead his leftist Syriza party – as is widely expected – to victory in Sunday’s general election in Greece, it could herald the end of 40-year history in which power in the financially troubled Mediterranean country has alternated between the conservative New Democracy and socialist Pasok parties.

Very much a child of the post-dictatorship era – he was born four days after the collapse of the seven-year junta in July 1974 – Tsipras will also stand a chance to become the country’s youngest prime minister in living memory and its first leftist leader.

His and his party’s meteoric rise to prominence is no small feat considering he was a relatively unknown entity to most Greeks a decade ago, when he was a member of the leadership of Syriza’s forerunner, Synaspismos, a party that generally found itself struggling to cross the parliamentary threshold.

Tsipras’s first flirtation with politics was at secondary school, where he played a prominent role in a wave of student sit-ins of school buildings. Interviewed on state television as one of the leaders of the occupations, Tsipras, almost Elvis-like with his large crop of gelled-up black hair, explained how he thought political goals were best achieved.

“Without protest there can be no achievements,” the 16-year-old said, adding that it was the right of students to skip class and demonstrate whether their parents agreed or not.

Around the same time, he became involved in the youth wing of the communist KKE party, then the country’s third political force and more dependent on the Soviet Union than the country’s Eurocommunist party that would develop into Syriza.

When those two communist parties forged an alliance in 1990, and briefly formed a historic coalition with the conservatives to oust the socialist prime minister Andreas Papandreou from power, Tsipras ended up remaining with the reformist left after hardline KKE members went back to their own party.

New generation
But it was a run for mayor of Athens in 2006 that propelled the civil engineering graduate into the spotlight and attracted a new generation into Synaspismos. Compared to his main fellow contenders, well-known ministers from the conservative and socialist parties, Tsipras capitalised on his youthful appeal and good looks, which he’s managed to retain pretty intact as he’s progressed into middle age. Despite a strong showing in the opinion polls ahead of the vote, Tsipras came in third place on 10 per cent.

Now with nationwide recognition, he was subsequently groomed to take over at the helm of Synaspismos, which by then was morphing into Syriza, a wider coalition of diverse left-wing groups. In 2008 he eventually became leader, at the age of 33.

Elected to parliament in 2009, a year after he became Syriza leader, Tsipras saw his party’s popularity explode as the financial crisis hit the country, transforming Syriza in less than three years from a minor party that took less than 5 per cent in elections to one of 27 per cent.

Not short of confidence, he was viewed by his many detractors as an upstart, too smart for his own boots. Through hard work and experience, Tsipras and his close associates developed his image, in an effort to present him as a leader and prime minister material.

Examples include his efforts to improve his English as well as his overtures to church leaders, in a clear attempt to assuage voters in the relatively religious country that they have nothing to fear from his being an atheist.

But his detractors within Greece remain numerous. A common view, one shared by incumbent prime minister Antonis Samaras and other European leaders, is that he’s a dangerous populist who simply doesn’t understand how the real world works.

Warm and witty
People who know him describe him as a warm, talkative and witty personality, who likes being around people. Some wish that the Tsipras they know could be more publicly open about himself. “They’ve made him into a politician now, but it would be great if he could speak his mind and say what he really believes,” one said.

A father of two young boys, one of whom has the middle name Ernesto (after Latin American revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara), Tsipras lives with his partner, who was his childhood sweetheart, in central Athens.

Asked recently whether he would start wearing a tie if he became prime minister, Tsipras replied that if he could meet the pope in the Vatican without one – as he did last September – then he probably didn’t need one.



Η Μάντσεστερ Γιουνάιτεντ τα βρήκε… σκούρο με την Κέμπριτζ

Η Μάντσεστερ Γιουνάιτεντ τα βρήκε... σκούρο με την Κέμπριτζ

Η Μάντσεστερ Γιουνάιτεντ μπορεί να ήταν εξ αρχής το μεγάλο φαβορί εναντίον της Κέμπριτζ (4ης κατηγορίας), στην αναμέτρηση με την οποία άνοιξε η αυλαία του 3ου γύρου στο Κύπελλο Αγγλίας, ωστόσο, στο γήπεδο δεν κατάφερε να δικαιολογήσει τον χαρακτηρισμό της.

Οι «μπέμπηδες» έμειναν στο 0-0, μετά από μία τραγική εμφάνιση και θα χρειαστούν τη νίκη στη ρεβάνς του «Ολντ Τράφορντ» για να βρεθούν στην επόμενη φάση.

Κατά τα άλλα, η κληρωτίδα στάθηκε ιδιαίτερα… φειδωλή στις σπουδαίες αναμετρήσεις και χαρακτηριστικό είναι ότι μόνο σε δύο από τα 16 ζευγάρια θα τεθούν αντιμέτωπες ομάδες της Premier League.

Ωστόσο, αυτό σημαίνει ότι αυξάνονται οι πιθανότητες για μεγάλες εκπλήξεις, που άλλωστε αποτελούν σήμα κατατεθέν του θεσμού.

ΚΕΜΠΡΙΤΖ: Νταν, Τάιτ, Νέλσον, Κόουλσον, Τσάμπιον, Χιούζ (76’ Τσάντγουικ), Ντόναλντσον, ΜακΓκίχαν, Καϊκάι (53’ Ντανκ), Έλιοτ.

ΜΑΝΤΣΕΣΤΕΡ ΓΙΟΥΝΑΪΤΕΝΤ: Ντε Χέα, Βαλέντσια, Τζόουνς, Ρόχο, Μπλιντ (86’ Σο), Κάρικ, Φελαϊνί (67’ Ερέρα), Γιανουζάι, Ντι Μαρία, Φαλκάο, Γουίλσον (67’ Φαν Πέρσι).

Το πρόγραμμα:

Παρασκευή 23/1
Κέμπριτζ – Μάντσεστερ Γ. 0-0

Σάββατο 24/1
Μπλάκμπερν – Σουόνσι
Μπέρμιγχαμ – Γουέστ Μπρομ
Κάρντιφ – Ρέντινγκ
Τσέλσι – Μπράντφορντ
Ντέρμπι – Τσέστερφιλντ
Μάντσεστερ Σίτι – Μίντλεσμπρο
Πρέστον – Σέφιλντ Γιουν.
Σαουθάμπτον – Κρίσταλ Πάλας
Σάντερλαντ – Φούλαμ
Τότεναμ – Λέστερ
Λίβερπουλ – Μπόλτον

Κυριακή 25/1
Μπρίστολ Σίτι – Γουέστ Χαμ
Αστον Βίλα – Μπόρνμουθ
Μπράιτον – Αρσεναλ

Δευτέρα 26/1
Ρότσντεϊλ – Στόουκ Σίτι


Asia Cup:Socceroos’ coach Ange Postecoglou has team on verge of history

Ange Postecoglou arrives at Newcastle Airport for the Asian Cup semi-final.

Top man: Ange Postecoglou arrives at Newcastle Airport for the Asian Cup semi-final. Photo: Max Mason-Hubers


As far as the Socceroos coaching job is concerned, Ange Postecoglou has always been the right man in the right place at the right time.

Now he gets the chance to leave a lasting legacy. Reaching the semi-finals of the Asian Cup renders any speculation about his future redundant. The Postecoglou era can begin in earnest, and there’s no limit to what he might achieve.

Postecoglou was never one of the Socceroos’ greats as a player, but he could well become our greatest coach. If he were a careerist, he would never have accepted Frank Lowy’s invitation 13 months ago given the parlous state of the team. But he’s not.

And so we come to the seminal moment, the quarter-final against China, and what do we see? A team in perfect harmony with their coach, a complete vindication of his vision and strategy. Now it can be said, without a shred of doubt, that Postecoglou has indeed worked a miracle in just 13 months.

A tired, creaking, team corrupted by a sense of entitlement has been transformed into a hungry, much younger, collection of players who understand it’s not the name on the back of the shirt that counts, but the shirt itself. Even two-goal hero Tim Cahill isn’t sure whether he’ll start in Newcastle on Tuesday night. Brilliant. It’s back to the future in terms of team culture, and the best is yet to come.

Fired up at the after-match press conference in Brisbane, Postecoglou slammed suggestions his job had been on the line. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t. Only Lowy knows the answer to that. Either way this result liberates the atmosphere around the team, and watch the reaction.

The Socceroos are on a roll, now just two games short of winning a major trophy for the first time. There hasn’t been a better team left behind them, nor is there a better team left in front of them. The goals are flowing, and the clean sheet against China hints that the defensive frailties are beginning to diminish.

That the two players who came into the side – Jason Davidson and Alex Wilkinson – slipped seamlessly into the breach underlines how well the squad has been motivated, and prepared. What the China match also proves is that the team is becoming much tougher mentally. The pressure may have been on before kick-off, but it was white-hot at half-time after a scoreless 45 minutes. Which way would it go?

Not for the first time, Cahill provided the release valve, but what the commanding second-half performance revealed was a team visibly growing in stature, and confidence. That’s what important wins do. Vindicate.

The Asian Cup is the biggest tournament we’ve ever hosted, and playing on home soil leaves many players with relatively limited international exposure with nowhere to hide. They might have wilted, but there’s been no sign of that. Credit the leadership of the senior players like Cahill, Mile Jedinak, Mark Milligan and Mark Bresciano for calming any nerves. And – as Postecoglou has constantly argued – the World Cup experience has ultimately proved to be invaluable. We’re now seeing the results.

With an extra day’s recovery time, the Socceroos are looking good for the semi-final. They’d look even better if the Asian Football Confederation had the common sense to ditch the rule book and open up both ends of Hunter Stadium. Robbing the stadium of 30 per cent of its capacity because of all-seater restrictions is typical AFC intransigence.

The biggest game in Newcastle’s long and proud footballing history loses some of its lustre as a consequence, but either way you can’t take any shine off the Socceroos right now. Are they on the verge of making history?

You can feel it.


Asia Cup:”Great to be playing in Newcastle”: Ange Postecoglou


THE Socceroos declared they have no issue playing their historic Asian Cup semi-final on Tuesday night at a reduced Hunter Stadium.

The Australian team flew into Williamtown Airport on Friday afternoon to begin preparations for their first match in Newcastle since 1995.

Since the Socceroos lost 1-0 to South Korea last Saturday night, which dictated they would play their semi-final at Hunter Stadium, the merits of hosting the game at the Broadmeadow venue have been hotly debated.

Due to Asian Confederation Football rules, tickets cannot be sold for non-seated sections of host venues.

This subsequently reduced Hunter Stadium’s capacity from 33,000 to 23,000 for the game.

Some critics have called for the semi-final to be moved to Sydney’s Stadium Australia, which has a capacity of 83,000, but Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou said his side were happy to be playing in Newcastle.

“We’re excited to have qualified for the semi-final and looking forward to feeling the support of the people of Newcastle on Tuesday night and in the lead-up to the game,’’ Postecoglou said.

“The Newcastle region has a long and rich football history and it’s great that the Socceroos will play such an important match in front of what is a football-mad public.

“A lot has been made of the location of the match but as far as I’m concerned the Socceroos represent all Australians, so to have a game in Newcastle is great for football in the area and allows more people to see this team play in their own yard”.

They were sentiments echoed by in-form midfielder Massimo Luongo, whose star has risen during the Asian Cup.

‘‘I don’t think anyone is too bothered about it [not being in Sydney or Melbourne],’’ Luongo said.

‘‘If we get a full stadium, 23,000 or whatever, it will be nice. It’s a nice compact stadium and the fans are right behind us.

‘‘We’re from all over the place in Australia.

‘‘As long as the fans are behind us it doesn’t matter where we play”.

Meanwhile, soccer fans who miss out on the hottest tickets in town will likely get the next best thing when a free public broadcast arrangement is finalised.

Under Asian Cup broadcast rules, the big screen ‘Livesite’ at Honeysuckle has been unable to broadcast any of the games played in Newcastle because match tickets haven’t sold out.

If Tuesday’s Socceroos match sells out as expected, Newcastle council and the local organising committee will be free to broadcast the match live at the Honeysuckle ‘fan zone’.

The council’s manager of tourism and economic development services Jan Ross said on Friday that about 1000 final seats will go on sale early on Saturday. The last-minute tickets for the historic match are expected to sell quickly.

‘‘We’ve spoke to the tournament organisers today and there will be no problem with the live broadcast once the stadium is a sell-out,’’ she said. ‘‘I think we’ll able to make that call around lunchtime on Saturday.’’

source: theherald.com.au



Ασταμάτητος ο Ολυμπιακός, 76-64 τη Λαμποράλ Κούτσα

Ασταμάτητος ο Ολυμπιακός, 76-64 τη Λαμποράλ Κούτσα

O Ολυμπιακός συνεχίζει αήττητος στο TOP 16 της Euroleague, καθώς ούτε η Λαμποράλ Κούτσα κατάφερε να σταματήσει τη ξέφρενη πορεία των Πειραιωτών.

Πιο συγκεκριμένα η ομάδα του Σφαιρόπουλου επιβλήθηκε με 76-64 των Ισπανών στο ΣΕΦ και έκανε το «4 στα 4» στον 3ο όμιλο, πραγματοποιώντας ακόμα ένα βήμα για την κατάληψη μία εκ των δύο πρώτων θέσεων του 6ου ομίλου, που δίνουν το πλεονέκτημα της έδρας στα πλέι οφ.

Ο Ολυμπιακός (4-0) βρέθηκε στο -11 στην αρχή της τρίτης περιόδου, ωστόσο ο Βασίλης Σπανούλης στα επόμενα 9′ πέτυχε 15 πόντους, συμβάλλοντας τα μέγιστα στην επικράτηση της ομάδας του.

Τα δεκάλεπτα:
17-18, 28-37, 54-53, 76-64