Van Gaal claims winning the FA Cup is more important than qualifying for the CL

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first_img1 Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal Louis van Gaal has highlighted the importance of winning the FA Cup for Manchester United, claiming it is a bigger success than qualifying for the Champions League.The Red Devils take on Crystal Palace in the Wembley showpiece on Saturday, looking to win their first FA Cup since 2004.Winning the trophy will not ease the pressure on Van Gaal, and United’s season will still be considered a poor one, especially as the club missed out on Champions League qualification.However, the Dutchman actually considers winning the FA Cup as a more important achievement than getting back into Europe’s premier competition – as it brings a trophy for the players to hold.“Qualification is not a title…a title is the FA Cup, the championship,” he said.“It is important for the players. They can look at and hold the cup, that’s an exciting moment and especially here in England because the FA Cup is a big title.“Also for Manchester United it is a big title. I have read that the club’s last FA Cup was 2004 so that’s a long time ago.“The fans are more concerned about the title than I because the title for the fans is fantastic. We want to give it (to them).”England defender Luke Shaw trained with the first team at Carrington on Thursday, having not played since suffering a double leg fracture in September.He has already been ruled out of the final, but was joined by the likes of fit-again pair Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian and Marouane Fellaini, available after his three-match suspension.They will all be hoping to break into the XI which defeated Bournemouth 3-1 on Tuesday night, while Ander Herrera’s presence in the 18-man matchday squad looks vulnerable.Fellaini, in particular, would add ballast to an otherwise lightweight team that could otherwise be outmatched by Palace in terms of physicality.The Belgian’s height would also be helpful in both boxes, an area that has already piqued Van Gaal’s attention.last_img read more


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first_imgSANTA CLARA — The 49ers’ defense won this game a couple times over. It gave this undefeated team chance after chance to beat the Seattle Seahawks for a second time in six years.DeForest Buckner’s first touchdown since high school off of Seattle’s mystifying double-fumble brought the Niners within three late in the fourth quarter. Dre Greenlaw’s ballet-like red-zone interception in overtime granted them sudden-death privilege.This 49ers defense went up against the elusive play-making wizardry …last_img


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first_img28 November 2013Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe emphasised positive developments and untapped potential in South Africa’s mining industry during a working visit to Canada this week during which he engaged intensively with mining executives, investors, bankers and asset managers.During his three-day trip, which ended on Wednesday, Motlanthe also met with members of the Canada-Southern Africa Chamber of Business, visited the Toronto Stock Exchange and paid a courtesy call on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.Canada is a major investor in South Africa’s mining industry, and Motlanthe used his trip to encourage further investment, saying in an interview with Mining Weekly Online in Toronto that mining remained central to South Africa’s economy.“Motlanthe affirmed that the industry was still the country’s most significant currency earner and, despite more than a century of intensive exploitation, the industry was but turning over a fresh leaf and poised for significant growth, boosted by newly overhauled mining legislation dealing with inefficiencies, and by lifting domestic beneficiation levels,” Mining Weekly reported on Wednesday.Motlanthe told Mining Weekly that South Africa’s mining industry should not be measured solely by the performance of its gold sector, as there were huge proven unexploited deposits in other sectors, including iron ore, diamonds, manganese, platinum and chrome.On legislation, Motlanthe told miningweekly.com that the upcoming amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act would streamline licence application processes, “shortening the turnaround time for juniors significantly”.At the same time, he said, a great deal of progress had been made in transforming South Africa’s mining labour landscape.“At the moment, we are involved with an all inclusive dialogue, a framework crafted and agreed to by all stakeholders, including organised labour, businesses, affiliated mining houses and government, through which we look at the whole range of archaic practices that serve as irritants today – methods that were previously used to serve the industry very well in terms of securing cheap labour,” he told Mining Weekly.He said there was now wide consensus on how such practices should be reformed.“We are encouraging mines to look into implementing a shorter six-month work cycle, to allow migrant miners to return home more frequently. That is still a work in progress, but we think it will remove many of the social deterrents and irritants of the mining industry.”Addressing members of the Canada-Southern Africa Chamber of Business on Tuesday, Motlanthe described South Africa as a country of contrasts.“On one hand we have sophisticated and advanced systems, such as those within the financial sector and mining sectors. At the same time, we have the part of South Africa that is underdeveloped, unskilled and poorly educated. These are accumulated disabilities that have confronted our country since 1994.”He said the government was directing resources at these social problems “which, once addressed, will help propel the country forward.“South Africa and Canada have a lot in common, and Canada has certain strengths that would be of great help for South African development, particularly in areas such as mining, engineering and education. We aim to strengthen and cement the bonds between our two countries.”Motlanthe was accompanied on his trip by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and Deputy Mineral Resources Minister Godfrey Oliphant.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more


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first_imgYoung leaders at the Youth Caucus debated how to build South Africa’s nation brand as well as ways in which ordinary people could play their part in meeting the goals of the government’s National Development PlanThe future of the country depends on the youth of today, which means their attitudes and thoughts are crucial to building a strong and prosperous nation. To get a deeper understanding of youth and prompt debate and discussion on a range of pertinent issues, as part of Youth Month activities, Brand South Africa hosted a Youth Caucus.Representatives of a number of youth organisations met at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton on 21 June to discuss active citizenry and to heed the government’s call to play a role in the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP), or Vision 2030. They included One Young World, Spring Age, Global Dignity Club, Junior Chamber International SA, Green Economy Youth, and Young Minds. Delegates spoke about youth matters and voiced their opinions on the way policies could shape the future of the country.LET’S PLAY OUR PARTSithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa’s Brand Manager, outlined the organisation’s Play Your Part strategy to the young leaders. “Play Your Part is a nationwide campaign created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of the nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change.”An aim behind Play Your Part was to foster social cohesion through dialogue. “We already have sport as a factor to build social cohesion but we should always be like that and not just get along because of our patriotism to our sports teams.”She said that Brand South Africa’s strategies were always guided by research, and that in a recent poll 77% of respondents said they were proud to be South African. “With bad news outnumbering good news in the media, the Play Your Part TV series is trying to balance the equation by showing ordinary people doing what they can to make the country a better place to live in.”This was why Brand South Africa had partnered with the Sowetan newspaper, Ntombela explained. The partnership would bring to the public the Sowetan/Play Your Part Dialogues, as well as South Africa The Good News.About the National Development Plan, Ntombela said: “By 2030, the country seeks to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality. We seek a country wherein all its citizens have the capabilities to grasp the ever-broadening opportunities available.”ARTS AND CULTUREAnother point she made was that for investors, arts and culture played an important role in a country’s profile. “The state of our arts and culture speak on a country’s heritage and investors love a country with a strong heritage, according to research we have done.”Brand South Africa would now be using sport and religion to try to foster active citizenry, she added.Ntombela’s presentation prompted a range of questions from delegates, such as: How do you inspire brand buy-in? How do you get big business to buy into Brand South Africa’s vision? How will Brand South change the fact that there were certain alcoholic beverages, like Castle, that are synonymous with a united South Africa?Despite challenges and setbacks, South Africa has managed to double its economy (GDP) over the past 20 years says Leigh-Gail Petersen, a Brand South Africa researcherCOMPETITIVENESSSouth Africa ranked at 53 on the World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index, the second highest spot out of a Brics (The country grouping that features Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) country. With this in mind, Leigh-Gail Petersen, a Brand South Africa researcher, spoke about nation branding.“Nation branding aims to measure, build and manage the reputation of countries. Some approaches applied, such as an increasing importance on the symbolic value of products, have led countries to emphasise their distinctive characteristics,” she said. “The branding and image of a nation-state and the successful transference of this image to its exports is just as important as what they actually produce and sell.”A national perceptions audit had found that 91% of the population was proud to be South African, while 95% had a sense of belonging to the country. “According to this audit, 82% of South African youth want to be involved in the improving of South Africa’s population but do not know how to be.”Petersen pointed out that South Africa ranked 41 out of 189 worldwide when it came to ease of doing business, but only 61% of people where familiar with doing business in the country. “Out of the 61% who are familiar with doing business in South Africa, only 32% are current investors in the country.”She added that the top sectors associated with South Africa were mining, hospitality and tourism. “The media, especially TV and radio, are sources of negative information regarding the country and that affects the country’s competitiveness.”Despite all these setbacks, Petersen added, South Africa had managed to double its gross domestic product in the last 20 years.last_img read more


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first_imgVillagers stumbled upon a rare and beautiful idol of Mahavira, believed to be dating back to the 9th-10th century AD while levelling a field at the Parahata village in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district. Villagers installed the three-feet-high idol, discovered five days ago, in the village temple. A couple of years ago, a one-foot high statue of the Buddha made of red brass was also found while a farmer was tilling his field.“A contractor required soil to level a canal road passing through our village. Bhaguni, a villager, volunteered to even out his field. When the bucket teeth of the earthmover hit some hard substance, we advised the earthmover’s operator not to apply force. Then we carefully dug the area around the statue and brought it out,” said Parahata villager Bhawani Panda.Villagers say they have come across many earthen pots and other unrecognisable earthen items while levelling the field. They wonder if a proper excavation would reveal more.“The idol is in standing position on a lotus pedestal. We generally find single idols of Mahavira. Statues with images of deities as well as devotees carved on stone were widely in circulation in the 9th-10th century AD,” said Sunil Patnaik, archaeologist with the Odisha Institute of Maritime and South-East Asian Studies.last_img read more


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first_imgBrazil’s David Luiz, coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, and Oscar practice during a training session at the Estadio Nacional. (AP Photo)Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said it would be “stupid” to think his team would consider playing deliberately for a draw against Cameroon in order to choose its second-round opponent at the World Cup.Scolari dismissed any chance that Brazil would not try to win Monday’s decisive Group A match in Brasilia.”You have to win the match, you have to advance to the next round,” Scolari said. “Some people have been saying that we might consider playing to choose our opponent, but they are either stupid or ill-intentioned. We have to play to advance, not to choose anything. We have to play to win.”Brazil, Mexico and Croatia are still in contention to advance from Group A. Netherlands and Chile are playing to determine No. 1 and No. 2 in Group B – the winners of these groups next play the second-place team in the other.Brazil needs at least a draw against Cameroon to guarantee a berth in the round of 16. A win will likely secure first place in the group, but even a loss could be enough for the hosts to advance depending on the result of the match between Mexico and Croatia, which will be played at the same time in Recife.Netherlands and Chile play in Sao Paulo before Brazil’s match on Monday. Both teams have already qualified for the next round and a draw will secure the Dutch in first place. The Netherlands eliminated Brazil in the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.advertisementScolari dismissed any nation of the possibility of match fixing in Monday’s match because Cameroon is already eliminated.He said even the suggestion of “match manipulation” was “disrespectful to Cameroon, not only to us.”Brazil, the only team to play in all 20 World Cups, has advanced to the second round in every tournament since 1970. This is one of the few times that the five-time champions haven’t reached the last group match with a spot in the round of 16 virtually secured.”If we had beaten Mexico we would be a lot less anxious ahead of this match,” Scolari said. “But we know that we can advance with two of the three results.”Brazil opened with a 3-1 win over Croatia before being held to a 0-0 draw by Mexico. Cameroon began the tournament with a 1-0 loss to Mexico and then fell 4-0 to Croatia.Cameroon is already certain to start without its captain and most experienced player, Samuel Eto’o, who has a right knee injury.Scolari said Brazil will play with the same lineup he used in the opening win against Croatia, with Hulk in attack. The striker missed the match against Mexico after a left leg muscle injury.”We could change a few things if we had already advanced,” Scolari said. “But now we have to use what we think is our best team. We have to do everything possible to advance.”Brazil will be playing its 100th World Cup match on Monday, becoming the second team to reach the milestone, after Germany.last_img read more