Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on Sunday hit out at the English Premier League fixture schedulers, who he claims have handed Chelsea an advantage ahead of their derby tomorrow.
Wenger launched a tirade against the fixture list and the standard of refereeing after his side were held to a 1-1 draw by West Bromwich Albion, with even Gunners legend Thierry Henry coming under fire.
Wenger broke Alex Ferguson’s record of 810 Premier League games as a manager, but he was in no mood to celebrate as he looked ahead to his side’s next game.
“You cannot give West Brom five days to prepare for a game like that when we have three,” Wenger said. “I am ready to play every day as long as our opponent has played the same time recovery over Christmas. It is not normal. We have the same problem against Chelsea. They played yesterday, we played today, they have one day more again.”
A late penalty from Jay Rodriguez rescued a draw for West Brom after Calum Chambers was penalized for handball in a decision that even West Brom boss Alan Pardew admitted was “tough.”
“It wasn’t a penalty,” Wenger said. “It was not a deliberate handball. He [Chambers] didn’t lift his hand. It was down. Where do you put your hands? You have no pockets in your shorts. The referee has not seen it. That’s my opinion, he will tell you that he has seen it. Ask him. I don’t want to waste my time with them, we have to live with the decision, to deal with it and to swallow it, and go to the next game.”
Alexis Sanchez had fired Arsenal ahead on 83 minutes with a deflected free-kick and celebrated with his teammates just days after the lack of a group celebration for a Sanchez goal against Crystal Palace had prompted TV pundit Henry to claim there were splits in the camp.
“I don’t listen to what he [Henry] says,” Wenger said. “I focus on our own problems. That is the important thing. All these people are paid to talk, and it is difficult always to talk and talk and talk, and only say things that are true and intelligent.”
West Brom have still not won in seven games under Pardew, who sympathized with Wenger over the late penalty.
“I’d be very upset if it was given against me,” Pardew said. “It was a tough penalty... I can understand Arsene being very angry about that, but we deserved it.”
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
MONEY MATTERS: While COVID-19 played a major role in the decision, the CTBA also found it hard to secure sponsorship, and ticket sales would have been affected The Yonex Taipei Open badminton tournament has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a funding shortfall, the CTBA said yesterday. This was the first time that the tournament, a Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 300-level competition, has been canceled since it began in 1980. The Taipei Open has been held annually since 1980. The tournament was to be played at the Taipei Arena from Sept. 1 to Sept. 6, with total prize money of US$500,000. The CTBA said that it was deeply concerned about whether the Taipei Open would proceed as scheduled after the BWF announced changes