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World Cup final stirs memories of 1998 victory in France

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, July 16th, 2018

Soccer Football – World Cup – Final – France v Croatia – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia – July 15, 2018 France coach Didier Deschamps celebrates winning the World Cup with Alphonse Areola and Blaise Matuidi REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

France’s place in the World Cup final on Sunday (July 15) has left many hoping that Les Bleus will be able to recreate the magic that saw them crowned world champions on home soil in 1998.

The 3-0 victory over Brazil on July 12, 1998, remains seared in the memories of a generation of French football fans and made legends of the team which included current France coach Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane, Laurent Blanc and Thierry Henry.

Crowds watched the match on giant screens in front of the Paris town hall then headed to the 2 kilometer-long Champs Elysees avenue where the party continued into the night.

Interviewed by France Inter radio on Friday morning, member of the winning team Lilian Thuram, who scored two goals against this year’s finalists Croatia in the 1998 semi-final, said he would love to be back on the pitch.

“When I found out that it was going to be France-Croatia in the final I said to myself, ‘Lilian, get ready’,” he joked, adding he would be watching the final in Moscow from the stands.

The ’98 heroes were treated to a victory parade down the Champs Elysees and a reception at the Elysee Presidential Palace with then-president Jacques Chirac and the same star treatment is expected for the 2018 team if they bring home the cup. -Reuters

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France’s ban on full-body Islamic veil violates human rights – U.N. rights panel

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018


FILE PHOTO: Niqab-clad woman | REUTERS

The U.N. Human Rights Committee said on Tuesday (October 23) that France’s ban on the niqab, the full-body Islamic veil, was a violation of human rights and ordered it to review the legislation.

The committee’s findings come after complaints by two French women convicted in 2012 under a 2010 law stipulating that “No one may, in a public space, wear any article of clothing intended to conceal the face.”

One of the members of the Human Rights Committee, Ilze Brands-Kehris told Reuters the law violated 2 articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: freedom of religion and non-discrimination.

The Committee found that the ban disproportionately harmed their right to manifest their religious beliefs and could lead to them being confined at home and marginalized, Brands-Kehris said.

France had failed to make the case for its ban, the committee said and gave it 180 days to report back to say what actions it had taken.

Decisions taken by the committee, a panel of independent experts who oversee compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), are not legally binding, but under an optional protocol of the treaty, France has an international legal obligation to comply. — Reuters

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Macron says keeping Assad in power would be a ‘disastrous mistake’

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 28th, 2018


French President Emmanuel Macron. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Macron said on Monday (August 27) keeping Bashar al-Assad in power in Syria would be a “disastrous mistake,” although it was not France’s duty to assign the country’s future leader.

“Who provoked the flow of these millions of refugees?” Macron said during a speech at a Paris conference of ambassadors. “Who massacred his own people? It is not for France to designate Syria’s future leader, no more than any other country. But it is our task and in our interest to make sure that the Syrian people are well in a position to do it.”

The Syrian conflict, which has killed 300,000 people and pushed 5.6 million Syrian refugees towards neighboring countries and Europe, has turned into a war of attrition as the regime tries to contain rebels and extremists.

Assad’s regime has taken back control of most of the territory except for the province of Idlib, the remaining refuge of rebels and the Islamic State.

On Libya, Macron said it was France’s role to move forward a Paris accord to secure reunification in the country, which he said was an “essential factor for the stability of the region.”

In May, the four principal actors in Libya’s political crisis convened in Paris to put in place a constitutional foundation for elections and to adopt electoral laws for the December 10 polls.  — Reuters

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FIBA suspends 13 players, 2 coaches, match officials over World Cup brawl

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, July 20th, 2018

The FIBA Disciplinary Panel on Thursday (July 19) sanctioned Australia and Philippine players over a World Cup qualifying brawl in Manila on July 2.

According to FIBA Basketball’s official website, the decision suspends 10 Philippine Gilas players – Japheth Aguilar, Matthew Wright, Terence Romeo, Jayson Castro William, Andray Blatche, Jeth Rosario, Roger Pogoy, Carl Cruz and Jim Gallon – and Assistant Coach Joseph Uichico for unsportsmanlike behaviour. Head coach Vincent ‘Chot’ Reyes was also suspended for inciting unsportsmanlike behaviour and was ordered to  pay a disciplinary fine of $13,500.

Likewise, the Philippines’ national federation Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas, Inc. (SPB) is sanctioned for the unsportsmanlike behaviour of its team and of its public, and for “insufficient organisation of the game.” The federation is ordered to pay a disciplinary fine of $337,000

The Philippines will play the next home game behind closed doors while a ban for two more home games has been placed under a probationary period of 3 years.

Meanwhile, FIBA suspended three Australian Boomers – Chris Goulding, Then Maker, and Daniel Kickert – also for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

No sanction was imposed, however, on Australians Nathan Sobey and Jason Cadee, who were also on the court during the brawl.

Basketball Australia also ordered to pay a disciplinary fine of $134,850 for the unsportsmanlike behaviour of its players for abusing and tampering of equipment.

The money from the fines will be used to support a social program called “Basketball for Good” launched by International Basketball Federation (IBF). – UNTV News and Rescue

Philippines Sanctions

Japheth Aguilar (1 game)

Matthew Wright (1 game)

Terence Romeo (3 games)

Jayson Castro William (3 games)

Andrey Blatche (3 games)

Seth Rosario (3 games)

Roger Pogoy (5 games)

Carl Cruz (5 games)

Jim Jalalon (5 games)

Calvin Abueva (6 games)

Assistant Coach Joseph Uichico (3 games)

Head Coach Vincent ‘Chot’ Reyes (1 game and $13,500 fine)

Philippines’ national federation (Fined $340,000 and 3 years probation)

Australia sanctions

Chris Goulding (1 game)

Then Maker (3 games)

Daniel Kickert (5 games)

Basketball Australia (Fined $135,000)


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