first_imgNo one is happier than Major Desmon Brown that the National Stadium is set to undergo a major repair next year. Brown, who is the general manager of Independence Park Limited, which manages the venue, said the facility has been operating below international standards for the past five years and that it was on the brink of not being able to host international events such as World Cup Qualifiers and athletics meets. “For international events, a dedicated drug-testing area is required and right now what we have to do is use one of the changing rooms, which is not the best thing,” Brown said. “We also need proper changing rooms with ice-baths, physiotherapy rooms and we don’t have that. One of the recent requirements from FIFA is that you have to have separate access to the field by players and officials, right now (it’s just the) McDonald Tunnel with officials, VIPs and everybody walk through it.” He continued: “Our medical facilities for patrons are inadequate, especially in the bleachers. We don’t even have enough restrooms in the bleachers. We are supposed to have a venue operating centre where we would have the Police, the fire brigade, the ministry of health and private security. All of those people are supposed to be in one room and that is where you make major decisions in terms of anything happening and we don’t have one of those now.” Brown said the stadium has been allowed to host FIFA matches and IAAF athletics meets out of discretion. “When we patch up a few things, they allow us to host these events because we don’t have anywhere else,” Brown said. He alluded to an incident when the stadium almost received an international bad when Jamaica hosted Panama in a World Cup Qualifier in 2013 after crowd control issues. “We never had a field invasion and that is why we never got punishment, but we can’t continue like that,” Brown said. The renovated stadium capacity will increase to 38,000 as the velodrome (cycle track) will be removed. “The fact that we are taking out the obsolete velodrome means that we are going to have space for more seats and this will bring people closer to the action,” Brown explained. Brown said the renovation of the stadium will be done over a three year period to facilitate the hosting of events. Minister of Sports, Olivia Grange is expecting the renovation to begin next year as the Government is in the final stage of signing off on the project. “We have gone through the PIU (Public Investment Unit) and we are in the process of hiring a consultant who will assist with the technical aspects of the project as well as developing a business plan,” Grange said. “We are speaking to the Ministry of Finance in terms of the funding and it will be done in stages.” Facilities inadequatelast_img read more

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first_img0Shares0000Marta in tears as Sweden inflict penalty pain on Brazil.PHOTO/AFPRIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, Aug 17 – Sweden ended a disconsolate Marta’s dreams of guiding Brazil’s women to a first Olympic football gold medal Tuesday with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win to set up a final with Germany on Friday.Brazil had thrashed the Swedes 5-1 in the group stages just 10 days ago, but were held to a third consecutive 0-0 draw and, as in their quarter-final win over Australia, forced to go through the agony of penalties. Unlike against the Aussies, five-time World Player of the Year Marta did convert from the spot, but was reduced to tears as her ambition of capping a glorious career by finally winning a major international title fell short of the final.“There is no way to describe the feeling of frustration,” said Brazil coach Vadao. Sweden’s Emma Berglund consoles Brazil’s Marta after Brazil lost 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out in their Olympic semi-final football match.PHOTO/AFPMarta, who has played her club football in Sweden for the past four years, was consoled by the Swedish players, whilst a huge crowd in excess of 70,000 at the iconic Maracana stadium gave their defeated team a huge ovation.Cristiane, the Olympics’ all-time top scorer, and Andressa saw spot-kicks saved by Hedvig Lindahl after neither side could score a goal in 120 minutes.Lisa Dahlkvist converted the winning penalty to secure a place in the final and Sweden’s first women’s football Olympic medal.Germany also avenged a group stage defeat in the other semi-final as goals from tournament top scorer Melanie Behringer and Sara Daebritz confined Canada to a 2-0 defeat and another battle for the bronze they won in London four years ago against Brazil in Sao Paolo on Friday.Brazil’s women were playing for just the second time at the iconic Maracana and Vadao hopes the momentum built-up for the women’s version of the game in football-mad Brazil is not halted by the disappointment.“This is a glorious moment for women’s football. It is everybody’s dream to play here,” added Vadao.“It is full of tradition. It is a cultural thing in Brazil, it is a symbol. Maracana means Brazil and Brazil means football. It is quite a moment and I am just sorry we didn’t make it to the final.” By contrast, there was delight for Sweden coach Pia Sundhage, who now has the chance to win a third straight gold medal after leading the USA to victory in 2008 and 2012.“It is very emotional. I have been in China and London in Olympic finals, but with a team everyone expected to do well. Brazilian Andressa misses her penalty kick during the penalty shoot-out with Sweden.PHOTP/AFP“The road we have taken has been different, a wonderful trip with one or two upsets.”Sweden’s hero Lindahl described the baking sun in Salvador during the Scandinavians’ shock quarter-final win over three-time defending gold medallists the United States on penalties as “her enemy”.Lindahl suffers from vitiligo, a condition that causes patches of skin to lose their pigment, making the skin particularly sensitive in the sun.And she was under fire in the Rio heat as a flurry of early Brazilian attacks peppered the Sweden goal.Lindahl even had to endure chants of “Zika” from the home fans, which had been previously reserved for outspoken USA ‘keeper Hope Solo.Marta inspired the 5-1 thrashing of Sweden with two goals in the group stage, but despite their dominance the ball wouldn’t go in for the hosts as Marta, Beatriz and Debinha all came close.Solo had castigated Sweden as “cowards” for their defensive display in the last eight, but that seemed to only strengthen the resolve of Sundhage’s women as they barely threatened the Brazilian goal.“It is not for me to criticise the opponent, especially because their strategy worked and they had good results in both matches,” said Vadao graciously.Vadao introduced Cristiane for extra-time despite doubts over her fitness after missing the quarter-final through injury.That gamble backfired, though, as she couldn’t add to the 14 goals she has scored across four Games from the spot and, when Lindahl parried Andressa’s effort, Dahlkvist coolly slotted home to silence the Maracana.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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