“I think the expectation is to go to the end, to win the NCAA title,” he said. “We want to go all the way, we definitely have the potential to, but we just need to stay focused. We’ve realized it is going to be a long season and we’ve just got to take it one match at a time.” After dominating the first set, Cuckierman was able to tough out a tight second set to get a 6-0, 7-6 (2) victory. Sands closed out the day with a 6-4, 6-4 win and secured USC’s shutout of USF. The early matches saw the Trojans take on a UC Davis team that entered the day undefeated. Despite the Aggies’ previous success, the new pairing of freshman Mor Bulis and senior Jack Jaede dominated in doubles for a 6-1 victory. Junior Brandon Holt and senior Logan Smith, however, dropped their set 4-6. Freshman Jake Sands and redshirt junior Jake DeVine played the deciding set, leading the Aggies 5-2 before falling 6-7 (4) in the tiebreaker. Junior Riley Smith won both of his matches against San Francisco, contributing to the Trojans’ routine sweep of the Dons. (Emily Smith/Daily Trojan) After what could be considered a disappointing 2017-18 season where they lost in the finals of the Pac-12 tournament and the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, the Trojans are looking to improve their game. So far, the early returns on this season look promising, but the first real test comes this weekend when USC takes on rivals Stanford and Cal. “I’m very happy with the way this season has started, [it’s] off to a very good start,” Sands said. “But we have a long ways to go and I look forward to what is to come.” After dropping the early doubles point, USC was able to buckle down and roll right through the two teams, doing so with heavily rotated lineups due to the double header. Despite the hot start, the Trojans are not letting their 5-0 record get to their heads. Redshirt senior Tanner Smith made his season debut against USF, as he paired up with Cuckierman in doubles to win 6-3. Jaede and Sands won their set 6-4. Junior Riley Smith and Bulis had the same score of 6-4 and the Trojans took the doubles point. The USC men’s tennis team’s strong start to the season continued last Friday as it dropped just one point in a double header against UC Davis and the University of San Francisco. Singles action saw Riley Smith dominate his match with a 6-0, 6-3 victory to put USC up 2-0. DeVine soon followed with a 6-2, 6-2 win of his own. After shaking off some early rust in his match, Tanner Smith clinched the fourth point for the Trojans with a 6-4, 6-4 victory. After the coaches agreed that the matches in progress all be played out, freshman Bradley Frye was the next Trojan to win with a score of 6-3, 6-3. Bulis mentioned that the team has high expectations to meet this year. Down a point going into singles, the Trojans quickly turned things around. It started with DeVine, who served up a bagel in a 6-0, 6-4 victory. Holt quickly followed suit with a pair of breadsticks in his 6-1, 6-1 victory. Jaede and Smith both piled up wins at 6-4, 6-2 and 6-0, 7-5, respectively, to give the Trojans a comeback win. Sophomore Daniel Cuckierman provided the fifth point with a 6-3, 6-3 win and Bulis clinched the sixth point with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 win to close out the morning matchup.
Is there a potential for conflict of interest in the newly signed deal between the Ghana Football Association and GN Bank?Ghana’s Division One League (DOL) kicks off this weekend under a new sponsorship with a GHS2.1 million ($605,000) sponsorship deal from GN Bank.The duration of the deal is three years and it comes as a relief for the 48 clubs. But there have been murmurings of discomfort – one of those 48 clubs is Elmina Sharks, which is known to be affiliated to businessman Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom. Joy Sports cannot independently confirm that Sharks operate under Groupe Nduom, which is owned by the former presidential aspirant.As part of the agreement with the DOLB, there is a further GHS 4,500,000 investment that has gone into TV Production equipment to produce live coverage, rebroadcast of at least six matches weekly, highlights and preview shows, Division One League news and so on.GN Bank, is also owned by Groupe Nduom which is why the question of conflict of interest has arisen. To explore the issue, we first need to understand how conflict of interest really works. When does conflict of interest arise?In simple terms, a conflict of interest situation arises when one party’s responsibility to a second-party limits its ability to discharge its responsibility to a third-party.In this case, Division One fans fear that GN Bank’s relationship with both the DOL and Elmina Sharks will present a problem. But a closer look shows that may likely not be the case. “The fact that a citizen donates a vehicle to a police station doesn’t mean when he goes contrary to the law he will not be arrested it has no bearing,” said chairman of the Division One League Board (DOLB) Owoahene Acheampong in an interview with Joy Sports.Owoahene’s example may be a tad simplistic, but it rings true.Can GN Bank influence decision-making for Sharks?It is important to note that’s for a conflict of interest to occur here, GN Bank must be in a position to influence decision-making in the league. But are they? Actually, no. “GN Bank is just a sponsor so per their agreement with the Division One League Board, their obligations include paying a certain amount at a stipulated period to enjoy certain benefits. The contract does not allow them to make decisions,” a sports lawyer tells Joy Sports.That is to say, all decisions that have to do with the league will be handled by the Ghana Football Association, through the DOLB. Therefore, fans need not fear that GN Bank’s connection to Elmina Sharks – assuming they even exist – will inhibit the process of fairness.Owoahene was at pains to stress this point, saying: “GN Bank and Elmina Sharks have an association with Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom but that does not establish conflict of interest. I don’t think it will have a bearing on issues that will be discussed and the board will be fair to all 48 clubs.”Precedent?Worried fans have pointed to the existing situation in the Ghana Premier League where GFA Kwesi Nyantakyi is the owner of Wa All Stars, which takes part in the said league. That situation has been explored before, but the GFA boss always maintained that he has no hand in the day to day operations of the team.To spread the discussion further, football watchers in Ghana have long complained about the ease with which officials can corrupt the system because of the laxity of the rules governing the game. For example, in Nyantakyi’s case, the statutes of the FA actually require him to be affiliated to a club before being in the position he occupies.”This kind of system engenders corruption so as it is we simply have to be each other’s keeper to make sure no funny business occurs,” says Moses Asamani, a sports administrator in an interview with Joy Sports.Other examples include Moses “Mospacka” Armah, who owns Medeama Sporting Club and Emmanuel Kyeremeh, owner of Berekum Chelsea. Both were in top FA positions while their teams were in the Premier League. More fearsAnother area where Division One watchers have feared a potential conflict has been in the incoming television coverage that accompanies this deal. The company to do the TV production and distribution, First Digital, is also associated with Groupe Nduom. But again, analysts say there is no need to fear.”There will only be a problem if First Digital were in charge of fixtures and allocation of the broadcast. But that isn’t so,” the sports lawyer explains.Per the terms of the deal, the DOLB will draw fixtures independently and will consult with the 48 teams on feasilibilty of shooting games.Therefore, all First Digitial TV will do is follow the orders of decisions made by the DOLB. In the part, potential sources of interest have included coercion of refs to officiate games in favour of powerful interests as well as fixing of match schedules to their benefit.ConclusionAssuming, without admitting, that GN Bank is in a position of confict of interest at any point in time when decisions involving Elmina Sharks are involved, the bank (or the TV station for that matter) will be obliged to do two things. First, disclose this interest to all parties involved. Secondly, they have to recuse themselves from any such decision-making process to ensure fairness.In short, there’s no need to fear.This year’s DOL will have three Zones made up of 16 clubs each with the three winners of each zone qualifying automatically into the Ghana Premier League.–
“The more difficult part is ahead of us. The AFCON is a year and abit ahead of us. We must qualify and we must win. We must make history and I am confident this is the team to make history. Let me commit, if you qualify as a team the government of Kenya will give the team Sh50mn to share. Sasa mtajipanga kutoka hapo. The ball is in your court. Ama namna gani?” The Deputy President posed.Deputy President William Ruto poses for a photo with Harambee Stars players during a breakfast meeting at the DP’s Karen Residence on December 19, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluKenya started off their campaign on a poor footing losing to Sierra Leone in June but will have a chance to redeem themselves in the second round of group matches in September next year against Ghana.Head coach Paul Put who was hired primarily to help the team qualify for the Cup of Nations says he is confident they will achieve the target.“It is possible. Nothing cannot be achieved. We have started well and now we have the support that we need. The door is open that we can bring our plans. I now hope that we can do the job and make Kenyans happy,” Put told Capital Sport.Meanwhile, the team continued to receive windfalls from their CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup triumph and each member of the technical bench might now walk home with Sh700,000 after the President directed a further Sh10mn to be awarded to the team from the Sports Ministry.Deputy President William Ruto fist-bumps Harambee Stars captain Musa Mohammed during a breakfast meeting at the DP’s Karen Residence on December 19, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluThe team is also scheduled to have a bus after skipper Musa Mohammed made the request in his short speech at the breakfast.“Hiyo mambo Captain umeongea nimeskia (I have heard the words the captain has said). In the next two weeks you should have a new bus for movement and everything,” the Deputy president said.Ruto congratulated the team for their performance and added that it helped unite the nation.Meanwhile, Ruto has promised that the Government will fast track the completion of eight new stadia by April next year. The county stadia which will be complete by then will be in Kamarin, Makueni, Marsabit, Meru, Chuka, Nyeri, Eldoret and the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.It will remain to be seen whether this promise will be fulfilled especially with Kenyan football fans still reeling from the stripping of hosting rights for next year’s African Nations Championship.Deputy President William Ruto signs a ceremonial ball during a breakfast meeting with Harambee Stars at his Karen residence. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“We made a commitment that we are going to add stadia to find it easier for more of our players to practice and improve on their prowess and to have facilities they can use to promote their sporting talents,” Ruto said.He added; “Although it took time because of issues to do with agreements with county governments, by April next year, eight new stadia will be ready.”He has also hinted that the government will work with the federation to see that more sponsors come on board to aid in achieving the dream to play in the 2019 AFCON as well as the 2022 World Cup.Also top on the agenda is the establishment of youth centers and talent tapping hubs to nurture the talent.“We have an elaborate plan to promote football from grassroots, we want our young ones to have an opportunity to develop talent at an early age to enable us qualify for the World Cup in future,” Ruto added.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Harambee Stars head coach Paul Put presents a signed jersey to Deputy President William Ruto during a breakfast meeting at the DP’s Karen Residence on December 19, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19- Deputy President William Ruto has promised that the government will reward the national football team Harambee Stars with Sh50mn if they qualify for the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.Ruto made this promise on Tuesday morning as he hosted the team for breakfast at his Karen residence following their CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup triumph.