Press Association Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) chief executive Philip Browne admitted the four provinces are “all struggling” to keep pace with their French counterparts. The IRFU reported a surplus in excess of 8.7million Euro owing to ticket sales, new broadcasting deals and Ireland’s two-straight RBS 6 Nations titles. Outgoing management committee chairman Finbarr Crowley was lined up to be voted in as a new junior vice president – until Billy Glynn intervened. Former IRFU president Glynn proposed ex-British Lions star Phil Orr as an alternative. Glynn decried “flawed mismanagement of the changes in laws” from a recent EGM designed to streamline IRFU governance, before touting Orr’s standing in the game as a boon to Ireland’s bid to host World Cup 2023. After a hastily-convened vote Orr was duly elected, leaving Crowley empty-handed when he had expected a vice-presidency as a quid pro quo for his management committee service. A chastened Crowley addressed the meeting in relinquishing his role as management committee chairman. “Despite losing out on today’s vote I will continue to commit myself to the game of rugby, regardless of what level or where it is,” said Crowley. “From what I can see there are bridges to be mended, so hopefully that can be done to the satisfaction of council.” Browne admitted the IRFU have a duty to keep raising investment into Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster where possible. “At professional game level it allows to start putting a little bit more money into the academy system and the elite player pool,” said Browne. “What we’re trying to do with David Nucifora (performance director) is to try and drive the high-performance system through the age groups so that we have contact with kids at an earlier age. “It obviously allows us to put a bit more money into the provinces who are all struggling to some extent in terms of financial pressures that are coming to bear because of the money in France. “We’re trying to make them financially viable and sustainable but at the same time we’ve got to try to put competitive teams on the park. “So it’s about all those things, it’s really around the high-performance system and player contracts where that money goes.” In 2013/14 the IRFU posted a surplus of 7.3million Euro. A second-straight surplus leaves the organisation in rude health ahead of next month’s Rugby World Cup. Martin O’Sullivan was enrolled as the 128th Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) president at Friday’s annual council meeting at the Aviva Stadium. Irish rugby bosses will hand the four provinces an extra 3.2million a year to combat the threat of France’s big-spending superpowers.
Last Updated: 15th August, 2020 06:58 IST Freeman Lights Up Sydney Olympics To Kick Off New Millennium With the Tokyo Olympics postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press is looking back at the history of Summer Games. Here are some of the highlights of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney With the Tokyo Olympics postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press is looking back at the history of Summer Games. Here are some of the highlights of the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.After igniting the cauldron to open the first Games of the millennium, Cathy Freeman lit up Sydney Olympic Stadium again 10 nights later by winning an era-defining gold medal for Australia.Images of Freeman in the luminescent full-length costume she wore at the opening ceremony and in her hooded, full-length racing suit have become iconic of the 2000 Olympics. She was the first person to light the cauldron and win a gold medal at the same Olympics.Freeman surged past Lorraine Graham and Katharine Merry to win the women’s 400 meters in front of 112,524 spectators. After unzipping her racing suit and sitting down on the track to take off her running shoes, Freeman collected the red, yellow and black Indigenous flag and the Australian flag for a victory lap.It was Australia’s 100th Olympic gold medal, and one of significance. Freeman had been criticized in 1994 by a team official when she carried the two flags to celebrate a victory at the Commonwealth Games. But after becoming the first Aboriginal person from Australia to win an individual Olympic gold, she was universally celebrated.“The whole story has become larger than who I am,” Freeman said in a reflection for the International Olympic Committee. She played a powerful role for the reconciliation movement in Australia, where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have become the most disadvantaged minority group since British settlement in 1788.Influential Olympic figure Sebastian Coe later described that Sept. 25, 2000, session of track and field as the best he’d ever seen. That night also featured Michael Johnson defending his 400 title, Jonathan Edwards winning the triple jump, and a classic 10,000 final when Haile Gebrselassie edged Paul Tergat in a sprint finish.After two weeks of hearing “no worries, mate” from chirpy volunteers and ’Oi, oi, oi!” from Aussie crowds, long-time IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch gave the games his highest rating, declaring Sydney as the “best Olympic Games ever.”DUEL IN THE POOLA 17-year-old Ian Thorpe set the tone on his first day of competition with a world record in the 400-meter freestyle before anchoring the Australian team to a dramatic win in the 4×100 freestyle relay by overhauling American Gary Hall Jr. But it was the U.S. team that surged back to win the duel in the pool, taking 14 golds against five apiece for Australia and Netherlands. Sprinters Inge de Bruijn (3) and Pieter van den Hoogenband (2) collected all the Dutch gold medals between them.ERIC THE EELEric Moussambani of Equatorial Guinea won the hearts of the crowd and millions watching on TV when he swam in the 100-meter freestyle despite the fact he’d only trained for a few months.Some feared Moussambani would drown as he flailed, almost without putting his head in the water, but he managed to complete two laps solo.Moussambani received a raucous, standing ovation despite his slow time and became one of the unlikely heroes of the games.RULON RULESIn one of the biggest shockers, Russian wrestler Alexander Karelin, a three-time defending gold medalist, lost the super heavyweight title match to American outsider Rulon Gardner.Gardner, who’d never won a major medal, later said of his win: “It wasn’t until it was over that I knew I could.”Samaranch had attended the final expecting to present a fourth Olympic gold medal to Karelin, who had never lost in international competition and had not surrendered a point in a decade.LOST GOLDU.S. sprinter Marion Jones was among the biggest stars of the games, finishing with three gold medals — including the 100- and 200-meters — and two bronzes.She achieved this despite the backdrop of allegations her husband, shot putter C.J. Hunter, had used steroids and was caught in a pre-Games test.Jones repeatedly denied doping but, in 2007, she admitted lying to federal agents about her use of performance-enhancing drugs before the Sydney Games and pleaded guilty in court. She spent six months in jail and the IOC stripped Jones of all five of her Olympic medals.The gold medal for the women’s 100 in Sydney was not re-awarded.OARSOME ACHIEVEMENTSteve Redgrave became Britain’s most successful Olympian when his crew won the coxless fours, giving him rowing gold medals at five consecutive Olympics. Redgrave won his first Olympic gold in the coxed fours at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, and retired after winning in Sydney.GIVING IT A TRITriathlon made its Olympic debut with Brigitte McMahon winning the women’ gold for Switzerland, passing Aussie Michelie Jones in the shadows of the Sydney Opera House in one of the events of the Games.Image credits: AP COMMENT SUBSCRIBE TO US LIVE TV Written By Associated Press Television News WATCH US LIVE First Published: 15th August, 2020 06:58 IST FOLLOW US
“I’ve already been there in 1982 when we left the first time,” said Davis to Oakland news station KTVU. “So it is not that big of a deal now.”#Raiders fans deserve more than this from an owner. Sad. pic.twitter.com/KdECPMbIOr— Cameron Cleveland (@CamCleve2) December 16, 2019MORE: Why are the Raiders moving to Las Vegas:?Raiders fans were not happy with Davis’ comments.This has everything you’d expect from Mark Davis:1. Heartless2. Soulless3. Clueless about PR4. Clownish wardrobe straight outta “Dumb & Dumber”5. Deeply stupid6. Can barely put a single sentence together.7. A public embarrassment https://t.co/PQ8Gud4x4E— Chris De Benedetti (@CDeBenedetti) December 16, 2019Can’t even come up with literally anything to say…pathetic. What a joke.— Danna (@rockridgeAsfan) December 16, 2019Mark Davis is an asshole. This is precisely why cities need to stop giving welfare to @NFL teams. Look at Stan Kroenke. He left St. Louis high and dry. Spanos screwed San Diego. Both bolted for LA. These owners don’t give a damn about these cities. They care about $$$. https://t.co/MEoKciTl8b— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) December 17, 2019Mark Davis can kick rocks. Looking forward to when the NFL takes the team from him and Jerry gets to sell it to one of his buddies. pic.twitter.com/5guPMuqxfo— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dieter) December 16, 2019Despite being a very wealthy person, tact is something Mark Davis does not possess, nor can he purchase it pic.twitter.com/Kp3OPmSf9B— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) December 16, 2019I would not wish relocation on any fan base ever it’s devastating. Be thankful most of you are fans of teams whose owners appreciate loyalty. Mark Davis is the scum of the earth.— Roddy (@TheRoddyP) December 16, 2019Mark Davis sucks. #RaiderNation https://t.co/21sM2muFee— Andrew Shannon (@daSHANNIMAL) December 16, 2019 Raiders owner Mark Davis is being called heartless for his interview following the Raiders’ final game in Oakland.Davis was asked to share his feelings about the team moving to Las Vegas — and he had some interesting words about leaving.