Neymar of Barcelona reacts during their International Champions Cup football match at Hard Rock Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Miami, Florida. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMALBARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona is worried, very worried, that Neymar might be headed to Paris-Saint Germain.The Brazil striker is expected to be at practice on Wednesday, but no one seems to know if he’ll accept a world record transfer or show up for training. Just in case, Barcelona is making moves to protect 26 million euros ($30.7 million) that would be paid to Neymar if he stays in Spain, according to a club official.ADVERTISEMENT Neymar also remained mum about his future while playing for Barcelona during its preseason tour in the United States before heading off to Shanghai to boost his brand as a fashion icon.Last year, Neymar signed a contract extension with Barcelona through 2021, with his buyout clause increasing to the current 222 million euros and 250 million ($288 million) by 2018. The bonus Barcelona is now trying to protect is from that deal.If PSG does sign Neymar, the cost of the transfer would more than double the 105 million euros (then $116 million) that Manchester United paid a year ago for France midfielder Paul Pogba.PSG starts its season on Saturday, while Barcelona has until Aug. 13.Two weeks ago, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu told The AP that Neymar “is not on the market.” He then told ESPN that if Neymar “wants to go then they will have to pay the clause, right down to the last euro.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Beyoncé considering purchase of Houston Rockets ownership stake—report McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return LATEST STORIES Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend The official, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity, said “given doubts concerning the future of the player and while the situation is resolved” the money is being held from Neymar.“What the club does with the money, it does not know yet, given the uncertainty of the future,” the official told The Associated Press.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The 25-year-old Neymar would be due the money now as per his contract renewal last year. But the amount is tiny compared to the 222 million euros ($262 million) that PSG would have to pay Barcelona to trigger the release clause included in Neymar’s contract.Neymar arrived to Barcelona on Tuesday night after some publicity events in China — both personal and for Barcelona. Catalan television channel TV3 showed images of Neymar walking quickly through Barcelona’s airport while wearing large headphones. MOST READ Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite View comments Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Neymar is scheduled to return to training at Barcelona’s training grounds just outside the city on Wednesday.There are growing rumors that Neymar, who has had four seasons of winning trophies and scoring spectacular goals at Barcelona, will bolt for PSG.Part of the gossip surrounding the possible transfer is that Neymar was to meet with doctors in Qatar for a medical. PSG is owned by a Qatari company.But the Barcelona official said the “club is not aware of any medical exam of the player with PSG.”Neymar’s father, who acts as his agent and is also named Neymar, arrived in Barcelona on Monday. He was swarmed by journalists at the airport but revealed nothing about his son’s intentions.ADVERTISEMENT
Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings Slaughter was sidelined by a sprained ankle and remains doubtful in Wednesday’s Game 2.Earlier, blue-chip rookie Kiefer Ravena pulled off two decisive plays in the dying seconds as NLEX moved a victory closer to the semifinals with a tight 105-99 win over Alaska.Ravena stealthily snatched the leather off a jump ball and went straight to the cup with 18.8 seconds left, giving the Road Warriors a safe four-point lead.Prior to that act of heroism, Ateneo’s two-time UAAP MVP found a cutting Michael Miranda underneath for the go-ahead basket that shifted the momentum to their side after the Aces took control late in the game.“It was a great team effort,” said Ravena after pouring 12 of his 25 points in the final quarter.ADVERTISEMENT Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano The higher the stakes, the better Barangay Ginebra has become.Even without the towering Greg Slaughter in the lanes, the Gin Kings showed they’re better than the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters with an imposing 88-80 triumph Monday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson The Gin Kings are beginning to recover their championship form after struggling big time in the elimination round to gain a decisive headstart in their best-of-three quarterfinal series.Japeth Aguilar, nursing the piercing pain on his back, more than filled the void left by Slaughter after forcing the Painters to flounder inside the paint.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkIt was the dynamic duo of Sol Mercado and Scottie Thompson, however, who provided the firepower for the Gin Kings.Mercado scored all of his 13 points in the second half and Thompson was three assists shy of a triple-double with 14 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists. Did Arum and Pacquiao tell the truth? Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES MOST READ UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano View comments
The West African Development Bank (BOAD), the common development finance institution for eight French-speaking member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), has reappointed veteran banker Mr. Chistian Adovelande as president.Mr. Adovelande was reappointed at the meeting of the West African Monetary Union (WAMU) Council of Ministers held on 28 June 2014 in Dakar, Senegal. He will serve the post for the next six years. The tenure of the vice president of the Bank, Mr. Bassary Touré, was also renewed for another term of 5 years by the Board of Directors at its meeting held on 24 June 2014 in Dakar.Born on 29 October 1950 at Porto-Novo (Republic of Benin), Mr. Chistian Adovelande joined BOAD in April 1978. After assuming office in various senior executive positions, he held from 1995 to 1999, the position of Deputy Secretary General of the Guarantee Fund for Private Investments in West Africa (“GARI SA”). From 2000 to 2002, he assumed office as Chairman and CEO of CAURIS Management SA, the first sub-regional private equity investment company in French-speaking West Africa, and Managing Director of CAURIS Investment SA, a venture capital company. In 2002, Mr. Christian Adovelande was appointed President of ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) for 9 years, prior to his appointment at the helm of BOAD on 14 February 2011.For his part, Mr. Bassary Touré, born on 1st February 1950 at Thiès (Senegal), assumed high-level positions in the Malian civil service, before being appointed Minister of Economy and Finance of Mali from 1991-1992 and then from 2002-2004. He also served from 1998 to 2002 as a World Bank Executive Director for many African countries, and thereafter, from 2007-2009, as Resident Representative of African Development Bank to Gabon. He became Vice-president of BOAD in June 2009.Established on 14 November 1973, the West African Development Bank (BOAD) is the common development finance institution of the eight member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). Member countries of BOAD include Benin, Burkina, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo. By Treaty of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) signed on 10 January 1994 and entered into force on 1st August 1994, BOAD is a specialized and autonomous institution. It contributes “in full independence to the attainment of the objectives of the WAEMU without prejudice to the objectives assigned to it under the WAMU Treaty”. BOAD is an international public institution whose purpose, as provided under Article 2 of its Articles of Association, is to promote the balanced development of its member countries and foster economic integration within West Africa by financing priority development projects. Its purpose is to promote the balanced development of its member countries and foster economic integration in West Africa by financing public and private projects in various sectors, including rural development, infrastructure, industry, telecommunications, energy, transport, hotel activity, etc.The shareholding of the institution comprises two categories of shareholders, the first of which is composed of the member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). The second category comprises Germany, Belgium, China, France, India, Morocco, African Development Bank, European Investment Bank standing for the European Union. The institution’s share capital currently stands at FCFA1, 155 billion.As at 30 June 2014, the aggregate commitments of BOAD to member countries and private companies in the WAEMU region stood at FCFA3, 124.9 billion for 715 operations.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The General Services Manager of China Union Iron Ore Mining Company, Cloud Gao has said that he is currently operating at a loss due to the drop in the price of iron ore on the world market.According to him, the current world market price of iron ore for a ton is US$55, thereby causing the company to lose up to US$30 for every ton produced.He said though the situation is “very troubling” it will not cause his company to shut down its operations in Liberia.Mr. Cloud said when his company started the production of iron ore in early July 2013, the price of iron ore per ton on the world market was US$150, which later dropped to US$135 at the end of 2013.He said the drop of about 200 percent per ton was causing his company to lose about US$2.7 million per month in production cost.He said currently, there are no indications that the price of iron on the world market will rise, but assured the Liberian government and people that China Union will stay in spite of the difficult times, adding: “In times of difficulties, you never abandon your friend.”He revealed that China Union on a monthly basis produces between 80 to 90 thousand tons of iron ore.He said the management of China Union has officially communicated with the Liberian government on the situation.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
… seeks clarification on Petroleum ActIn the name of accountability and transparency, Transparency Institute Guyana Inc (TIGI) is calling on the Government to publish the contract drafts and make the negotiations accountable to Parliament that it has with all oil companies, including US-oil giant ExxonMobil.TIGI said in a statement on Wednesday that if the Government decides to move in this direction, then Guyanese of the Diaspora, whose knowledge is vast in this area, will be able to make contributions to the process and thus protect the country’s interest.The body highlighted that there has been growing calls for disclosure of the contract with ExxonMobil and its partners, but each time this comes up, there is a refrain from the Government.One reason used is that full disclosure would not be to the national benefit or the national interest. But TIGI said there are multiple reasons why these contracts should be made public.The organisation cited a few examples including an article by the Natural Resource Charter, which states that the authorities should make available data and reports on licences, geological surveys, cadastres and reserves, as well as economic, environmental and social impact assessments. Critically, authorities should also publish contracts and make them readily available online.TIGI also made reference to a statement made by the founder of Transparency International, Peter Eigen, who was quoted in the UK Guardian as saying that although companies have the right to secrecy when contracting with each other, different rules have to apply when a Government is party to a contract and that confidentiality clauses are often overprotective and must be subject to scrutiny.The organisation said that it is not convinced with the argument that national security serves as another reason for the non-disclosure of the contract. “First of all, it is near impossible to undervalue the amount of the oil potential that has already been disclosed to the public, by the international press and in investment circles,” the statement said.The Government’s willingness to ignore the mountain of evidence against contract secrecy and the potential ills associated with a developing oil industry is baffling, TIGI said.Meanwhile, the organisation said corruption is not the only problem Guyana has to worry about when dealing with oil companies, but it must bear in mind that the country is relatively small and is negotiating with a titan like Exxon.In looking at the Petroleum Exploration and Production Act, TIGI said that there might be a serious obstacle to disclosure embedded in governing law, because Chapter 65:10 seems to provide a built-in secrecy clause.It states that no information furnished, or information in a report submitted, pursuant to this Act by a licensee shall be disclosed to any person who is not a Minister, a public officer or an employee of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission except with the consent of the licensee. Any person, who discloses information in contravention of that requirement, could be liable to a fine of $75,000 and imprisonment for three years.“This clause was inserted in 1997 and its application would mean that (a) all the information released to the public is what the oil companies now talking to GoG want released. We are not clear on whether this applies to the contract and hereby specifically ask this of the GOG.”The organisation pointed out that it is concerned about the very existence of this confidentiality clause and would want to know whether the nation can expect to see it removed in the revised act which is due shortly.
DTWO Bar, Garden and Club situated on Harcourt Street are teaming up with Donegal Daily to give one lucky reader the chance to win free entry for TEN to the All-Ireland Semi-Final after party at the hugely popular venue.Thousands of Donegal supporters are expected to make the trip to the capital ahead of one of the most highly anticipated clashes in the GAA for years.While Dublin are hot favourites with GAA commentators, bookmakers and pundits, Donegal fans travelling to Dublin this weekend are very confident that Jim McGuinness and his troops can book a place in the All-Ireland Final next month. You can celebrate Donegal’s victory or drown your sorrows if we’re beaten at the INCREDIBLE after party where management at DTWO will have great drinks promotions, free entry for those still in your county colours and 2 DJ’s over three floors!!They will be re-showing the match on our 20 screens including the Monster 20ft screen in our garden.Their BBQ pit will be open and lots of prizes to be won on the night!!To be in with a chance of winning just like and share this post and answer the following simple question. What is the name of the current Donegal Captain?Send your answers to email@example.comWinner will be announced tomorrow.If you don’t win the competition and still want to reserve seating for your friends then just e-mail Christian.Nanni@harcourthotel.ie or call us on 01 – 4764603 to reserve an area today.Go Hard on Harcourt Street! WIN FREE ENTRY FOR TEN AT ‘DTWO’ ALL-IRELAND SEMI-FINAL AFTER PARTY was last modified: August 28th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:competitiondonegalDtwodublinEntertainmentFeaturesFree entryHarcourt Streetnews
scrap 1 tense The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 latest Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Icardi celebrates his late winner revealed Nah fam. This is predatory ability worthy of jaguars and other big cats. You can’t teach this kind of lethal talent. Brilliant! 👏👏👏— Babatunde Koiki (@BabatundeKoiki) October 22, 2018 All budding centre forwards need to study this movement from Icardi. Simple but destructive 👇🏻 https://t.co/qTnXtiIXoS— Adrian Clarke (@adrianjclarke) October 22, 2018 Disgrace he wasn’t on the nominees list for the Ballon d’Or— Iain Sisson (@i_am_iain) October 22, 2018 On Sunday, the Inter skipper had virtually nothing to do throughout the entire game with the game goalless.However, he came alive in the box and showed his true predatory instincts by losing his marker to head home the winner, two minutes into stoppage time, to send Nerazzurri fans crazy.But it is not until you look closely you realise just how special the goal is. That is, until you follow Icardi’s incredible movement. Most Popular Football Stories Manchester United and Chelsea target Mauro Icardi proved he is one of the best strikers in the world by scoring a vital winner during the Milan derby.After bagging an incredible 29 goals in Serie A last season, both Premier League giants have been linked with a move for the Argentina international, who was incredibly left out of the World Cup squad. LATEST Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ He’s a predator in the box. He’s been world class for a few seasons now. Always in the right place at the right time. You just can’t teach this sort of goal scoring instinct.— Adam. (@Adam_Meredithx) October 22, 2018 Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Having already scored against Tottenham Hotpsur in the Champions League, it may not be too long until we see the striker scoring against Premier League teams more often.Somehow, the striker was left out of Argentina’s World Cup squad, but fans have been quick to heap praise on the centre forward, with many calling him world-class. Check out the best reaction below. Icardi really is a Predator in the box pic.twitter.com/kwWFQ3yJrx— Chinocchia (@IcardisSidePart) October 21, 2018Like an apex predator stalking his prey, the 25-year-old never uses unnecessary energy and stalks the movement of the ball until the time to strike is just right.By the time Mateo Musacchio realises where his man is, the ball is in the back of the net and the game is won. Icardi’s incredible movement leaves the defender flat on his backside and completely clueless. Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions BEST OF gameday cracker Great movement there usually you would see strikers making a run back and then forward but the was pure class 👌👌👌— Llyr (@llyriodav) October 22, 2018 Gerrard launches furious touchline outburst as horror tackle on Barisic sparks chaos
But the Los Angeles grocery worker regulation is on the legal “cutting edge” because of its foundation in municipal police powers, said David Michaelson, chief assistant city attorney. Still, he said, “We believe the ordinance will survive judicial scrutiny.” The grocery chains and the United Food and Commercial Workers union reached a settlement after the contentious and protracted 2003 strike, but tensions remain. Earlier this year the union criticized Albertsons for transferring a store in Westchester to the control of a subsidiary, Bristol Farms, and moving workers. The ordinance approved Wednesday includes requirements for employee notification and the evaluation of workers beyond the transition period. While the ordinance does not carry criminal penalties, violations could result in workers being rehired or receiving back pay. Councilman Bernard Parks, who voted against the ordinance along with colleague Greig Smith, said he feared it would keep grocery stores out of his South Los Angeles district, which already lacks markets. While the ordinance is aimed at large chains, Parks contended that the regulation’s size standards are too lax and smaller businesses could be affected. “I think there are some land mines in the ordinance,” he said. The majority of the council backed the proposal, though, with some suggesting the city extend it to other industries. “Workers today are probably more insecure of their livelihood, their benefits, than at any other time in our history,” said Councilwoman Janice Hahn. Dan Laidman, (213) firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Los Angeles is set to become the first city in the nation to require supermarkets to temporarily retain workers when a store changes ownership, under a controversial plan tentatively approved Wednesday by the City Council. The plan, which faces a second and final vote next week, would require large supermarkets acquiring other stores to keep workers who have been employed for at least six months for a transition period of 90 days unless there is sufficient legal cause for them to be fired. Growing out of concerns after the state’s contentious 2003 grocery workers’ strike, as well as union concerns over recent industry trends, officials said the private-sector regulation is permitted as part of the city’s police powers in matters of public safety, health and welfare. “What this ordinance is really about is the health and safety of the residents of Los Angeles,” said Councilman Alex Padilla, who introduced the ordinance, which was approved 12-2. “These workers ensure that our food is safe and sanitary.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake While workers and union officials turned out to support the measure Wednesday, Chamber of Commerce and industry representatives said it could hurt the city’s economy. “I do believe that if this ordinance were to go in effect much of the capital that would be available for investment in supermarkets in the city might indeed flow elsewhere due to the lack of this type of ordinance in other municipalities,” said Peter Larkin, president of the California Grocers Association. And despite the city’s legal finding that it can enact the ordinance, lawyers for the association questioned the city’s authority, Larkin added. Los Angeles already has similar rules for businesses with which it has contracts, and a number of other cities have enacted worker protection ordinances related to other industries. Such laws have withstood legal challenges in New York and Washington, D.C., according to a city attorney’s report.
Zebras grazing in Madikwe Game Reserve,on which Manyeleti is being modelled.(Image: Bongani Nkosi) Mpumalanga’s tourism industry role-playersin Sandton after a media briefing.(Image: Fly the Flag Fridays)MEDIA CONTACTS• Kholofelo NkambuleSenior Manager: Corporate RelationsMpumalanga Tourism & Parks Agency+27 13 759 5309RELATED ARTICLES• Kruger Park booked out for 2010• World Cup driving SA tourism• Kruger’s animal populations growing• Tourism in South AfricaBongani NkosiThe Manyeleti Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga is set to become one of South Africa’s premier ecotourism destinations, following an investment of R400-million (US$54.9-million) to upgrade the facility.This was announced by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) at a press briefing in Johannesburg on 6 September 2010.MTPA will officially introduce the project on 26 September at a ceremony expected to attract big names in the tourism industry, government officials and journalists.The development of Manyeleti, which means “place of the stars” in the local Xitsonga language, is being funded by both the public and private sectors.The 23000ha park is already home to the big five – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo – as well as a variety of other wildlife. It shares fenceless borders with the famed Kruger National Park and the private Sabi Sands and the Timbavati reserves, which enables game to move freely over a vast area.The Manyeleti project is being modelled on the successful Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West province, whose development empowered surrounding communities.MTPA said Manyeleti will “improve the province’s long-term revenue stream from tourism” and create about 600 permanent jobs over the next two years.Top-class lodgesThe new plans have been endorsed by the Manyeleti Conservation Trust, which owns the land. The trust represents land claim beneficiaries, mostly of the Mnisi clan, who stand to benefit from increased businesses at the reserve.Manyeleti is one of four reserves in Mpumalanga where the MTPA has settled claims and co-management agreements with land owners in 2010. The others are Mdala Nature Reserve, the SS Skosana Nature Reserve and the Mabusa Game Reserve, according to the agency’s chief executive Charles Ndabeni.About R350-million ($48-million) will be channelled into developing four new lodges to complement the existing three at Manyeleti. Each of the seven facilities will offer 48 or more beds, which will help MTPA to reach its target of accommodating 350 people at the reserve.The three existing accommodation establishments – the five-star Tintswalo Safari Lodge and the three-star Honeyguide Camp and Khoka Moya Camp – are all specialists in safari tours.MTPA will spend R21-million ($2.9-million) upgrading Manyeleti’s infrastructure, while the remaining funds will be used to establish an empowerment company that will offer game drives at the lodges.The marketing of Manyeleti and the other reserves in Mpumalanga is still a financial challenge, though, according to Ndabeni. “Our biggest challenge, unfortunately, is lack of budget for marketing,” he said.World Cup drives tourism An additional R9-million ($1.2-million) was used to partially upgrade Manyeleti before the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The revamp was among other projects which MTPA undertook to beef up the province’s tourism offerings ahead of the tournament. One of the other facilities set up was a visitor information centre worth R8.5-million ($1.1-million).Mpumalanga is aware that the World Cup success could have a lasting effect on its tourism sector. “We’re hoping that having delivered one of the best World Cups, there will be a boom of tourism in the province,” said Economic Development, Environment and Tourism MEC Jabu Mahlangu.The province hosted some of the World Cup matches at the 46 000-capacity Mbombela Stadium, which “we’ll be using for our mega-tourism initiatives”, Mahlangu said.Tri-national relationsDuring and after the tournament Mpumalanga saw a growing number of tourists from Swaziland and Mozambique, its neighbouring countries. “We’ve already seen an increase of tourists in our province,” according to the MEC.“We have an advantage of being neighbours to two countries,” Mahlangu said, adding that the healthy relationship with Swaziland and Mozambique will soon enable all three regions to be launched as a single tourism destination.
If there was any doubt, consumers have no appetite left for tasteless cricket, the latest viewership data for sports channels in India drives home the point.Broadcast Research Audience Council India (BARC)’s data for sports channels between August 12 and 18 features no cricket in the top five most watched sports program list. The 3rd Test of the recently concluded India-Sri Lanka series began on 12th of this month but Sony Ten1 and Sony Six airing the Test series only find a 3rd and 5th position in the top five most watched sports channels ratings list for the week. The Test only lasted three days but the ratings of the past two weeks for the India-Sri Lanka series are equally bad.So who is it that is taking the top slots? Where are the cricket viewers going? Not to another channel broadcasting a better cricket series or to EPL. It’s the new age pro Kabaddi league (PKL); spiced up avatar of India’s indigenous sport, kabaddi that’s got the viewers hooked.Each of the top five most watched sports programs in the week are pro kabaddi matches played in prime time with the weekend matches played on Saturday and Sunday night being the most watched. Star Sports’ newly launched free to air Star Sports first, currently dedicated for kabaddi became the most watched sports channel with 206695 impressions (in 000’s) while Sony Ten which aired the India Test match finished third best with 79429 impressions.The ratings are revealing but experts suggest not everyone who was a traditional cricket viewer may have moved over to kabaddi. PKL with its novelty value of entertaining and fast paced action may have attracted an all together new viewer base. But the cricket viewer has become selective.advertisementDo the viewership numbers suggest cricket could not cope with a high drama alternative sports league? Not necessarily. Sample the BARC data of a couple of weeks back of 22nd to 28th July. The women’s World Cup final featuring India became the most sports program with 5922 impressions beating the inaugural pro kabbadi matches played during the same period. The first India-Sri Lanka Test match played during this period again failed to feature in the top five.Which throws up another question if its Test cricket that’s losing the plot? Again history suggests that may not necessarily be true. Competitive Test cricket featuring India has made the rights holders, a one stop sports destination over the years. Star Sports which owns and airs PKL have ensured kabaddi action does not clash with a marquee Test series it holds the rights for.India’s long home Test season (2016-17) where India triumphed against equals Australia and England was well received. When India goes to South Africa, early next year for a Test series, the traditional Indian cricket viewer would know the context. He would be keen to see if the No.1 Test side has it in them to win overseas, if their record-breaking batsmen have it in them to counter pace and bounce.Yet an India Test series featuring the cream of Team India and led by the darling of world cricket Virat Kohli not inviting viewership does suggest, even the dedicated cricket fan no longer has time for non conTests like the one against Sri Lanka.The Board of Control for cricket in India (BCCI) does not appear too worried though. They have merrily added another full series (Tests, ODI and T20I) against Sri Lanka at home to the calendar and invited New Zealand for a ODI and T20I series.They may be happy munching on the IPL pie for now but with the viewers wanting only the best and international cricket in India broadcast rights up for renewal next year, they may have to deal with some revenue corrections if they continue to schedule cricket only for ICC votes.