Archive for June, 2016

A SAD ENDING

Posted on June 30, 2016. Filed under: FOOTBALL, EURO 2016 | Tags: , , , , , , |

The defeat of Spain by Holland in the opening match of the FIFA World Cup, 2014 showed to the world the end of the golden era of Spanish football when Vicente Del Bosque and his players toyed with all kinds of opposition. The margin of win for the Dutch was 5-1 and it was not just a trashing but mauling. That day there was no Tiki Taka and most of the fans of La Roja were desperate to hear the final whistle for the carnage to stop. The Spanish could not recover from that defeat and had to make an early exit from the tournament and relinquish their hold on the World Cup.

A couple of days ago the Spanish took on the might of Italy in the last sixteen round of the ongoing EURO 2016. The Spanish suffered a surprise defeat in the previous match at the hands of Croatia. But very few expected to see the painful end of the Spanish progress in the next match at the hands of Italy.

The finals of EURO 2012 played in Kiev features Spain and Italy. The two teams are as different as chalk is from cheese when it comes to the playing style and the strategy. The Spaniards rarely appear to physically overpower their opponents which is something that the Italians are known for. Even when defending Spain did not look ugly. The ball was an object that was completely under the spell of the Spanish team as if a magic spell was cast. The Italians looked laboured with pass after pass eluding them and in the end, they lost by a margin of 0-4 something that is extremely rare in the finals of a major tournament.

Coming back to 2016, there was a different story with the Italians having the last laugh. Initially, the rain was thought to affect the ball skills of the Spanish, but as the rains stopped, there was not much improvement. The Italians came well prepared and there were very few opportunities for the Spanish. Andres Iniesta for long has been regarded as the conductor of the Spanish orchestra and in this encounter there was very little he could do. All his passes were intercepted and the Italians somehow seemed to anticipate all his moves.

When one considers the statistics relating to ball possession, there was very little to separate the two teams but there was purpose behind the Italian possession while the Spaniards appeared to look confused and lost. The Italians won by a margin of 2-0 and without the sterling show of the Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea, the margin would have been a lot higher and more embarrassing for his team.

It was sad the witness the end of an era in world football. It was painful to see Andres Iniesta, the architect of so many wins-including the finals of FIFA World Cup, 2010 look jaded and past his prime. The faces of the Spanish revealed a lot. Many from the current squad may have donned the national colours for the last time.

A wise man once said, ‘what goes up must come down’ and so have things gone the full circle for the La Roja. It will take a lot of time and some incredible talent to put Spain once again on the top.

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UNCALLED FOR

Posted on June 30, 2016. Filed under: CRICKET, SACHIN TENDULKAR | Tags: , , , , |

This is too much.

Kumar Sangakkara played cricket for Sri Lanka with a lot of distinction. Even after retiring from international and first class cricket, Sangakkara has been playing T20 cricket in different parts of the cricketing world.

During his playing days, Sangakkara was known as someone who was not afraid to speak out in public. He was also not averse in giving back to his opponents verbals when required.

Sangakkara has suddenly become the person to hate for a large section of the followers of Sachin Tendulkar. Why? Sangakkara picked a team of eleven players that did not include Sachin.The list includes only one player from India-Rahul Dravid. I think this made the followers very angry, to say the least. How dare Sangakkara ‘drop’ the legend when Indian selectors never even dared to think about leaving Sachin out of the team. Sachin did not want to continue, otherwise he would still be playing even now.

Tennis player Maria Sharapova was taken to the cleaners on the social networks when she pleaded ignorance of Sachin and achievements. The attacks were extremely vitriolic and uncalled for since not many of the so-called fans of Sachin know much about the tennis player.

It will not  surprise me if somewhere in India people start rioting in the streets and burn up the effigies of Sangakkara for his unpardonable ‘crime’ !

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A DIFFERENT KIND OF OSCAR

Posted on June 29, 2016. Filed under: SCAM | Tags: , , , , |

Ollywood is the name given to the film industry of Odisha inspired by Hollywood.In recent times, the Odisha film industry is going through tough times, with many films and their stars being financed by the promoters of ‘chit funds’. As if that were not enough, now there are serious and serial allegations of ‘sexual harassment’ and ‘casting couch’ levelled against many bigwigs.

It is a matter of prestige and honour for any film or any personality of the film industry from anywhere in the world to associated with the six letter word ‘OSCARS’. Every year, in the month of January to be exact, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in the United States awards the OSCARS  to recognise excellence in cinematic achievements. The correct name of the awards is Academy Awards.

Few Indians have had the honour of being honoured by the Academy. What does then the Academy Awards have to do with the Odia film industry ? There are really some talented filmmakers from Odisha who surely can give any filmmaker a serious challenge.But that is not what I am interested in.

I am more interested in looking at the connection between OSCAR and the Odia film industry. As far as the Odia film industry is concerned, OSCAR is an (in)famous chit fund company whose promoter also happened to produce and finance certain films. The actors went all over the town to promote the films and the promoter of  the said company took this association to collect crores from the public. It took a while for the public to realise the folly of investing in a Ponzi scheme. Of course, it  took a long while for the law enforcement agencies of the state to catch the promoter.

Even as the work of the actors and the directors of the movies financed by OSCAR is no where near the Academy quality, there are no Awards, but OSCAR rewards! Who cares for a small statuette when there are a lot bigger and valuable worldly possessions like apartments and four wheelers ?

So if the near future there is call from the Academy to a film personality from Odisha about the OSCAR, the phone is bound to be switched off ! If only the chit fund company had a different name!

Mr. Shakespeare, there is a lot in a name.

For more about Ponzi schemes and how they are work, I have come across the following links

  1. http://money.howstuffworks.com/ponzi-scheme.htm

     2.  http://www.investopedia.com/video/play/what-is-a-ponzi-scheme/

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EU(RO) EXIT AND FALL OUT

Posted on June 28, 2016. Filed under: FOOTBALL, EURO 2016, SPORTS, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

First it was the exit from the EU (European Union) called ‘BREXIT’ and then it was the exit from EURO 2016 that brought England into focus, albeit, one on the front page and the other on the last page.But in both the cases, the failures resulted in some casualties.

As a student of Economics, it always is interesting for me to read about how things like free trade areas, economic unions etc. work in practice.That for me, was the reason why I felt connected with the referendum that resulted in the people of Britain deciding to leave the European Union. The Prime Minister of England, David Cameron, predictably announced his intention of leaving office after the ‘leave’ vote. It always has been a contentious issue in England.

The second exit of England relates to the ouster of football team from the EURO 2016 held in France. The opening minutes saw Wayne Rooney giving his team the lead from a penalty. But as is the case, the English players only flattered to deceive and at the end, Iceland were the winning team. As the match went on, the English players simply looked like going through the motions and waited for the final whistle. The manager of the English team, Hodgson made public his decision to quit his post almost immediately.

England has never won any major international football competition since the win at home in 1966 edition of the World Cup. The Germans still are not happy with one particular incident from that finals even after all these years. The best performance in the EURO is a last four finish in the 1996 edition of the tournament when it was hosted by England.The loss to Iceland is surprising to say the least.It is a surprise since the English Premier League produces quality football, of course, with a great deal of help from ‘foreigners’.

I am now interested in finding out the impact of BREXIT on English football in the years to come. The Bosman ruling allowed many players ‘free transfers’ and many players from other European countries could ply trade in England and also in other EU football leagues. With the leave vote, it remains to be seen as to how the English FA decides to tackle the new problem. The earlier restrictions relating to the number of foreigners at any time on the ground may create difficulties for the football bosses of England. At the same time, the English league may be left behind in terms of quality.

Experts are still wondering over the economic impact of BREXIT. The exit of Britain from the EU was not entirely unexpected as also the progress of England in EURO 2016.I am thinking about the effect on English football.

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DISAPPOINTMENTS OR MISAPPOINTMENTS?

Posted on June 26, 2016. Filed under: INDIA, POLITICS, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

The appointment of Gajendra Chauhan to the post of Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India(FTII), Pune was controversial to say the least. The students went on a strike for over a 100 days demanding a different chairperson. The protesting students wanted someone with a greater ability and talent in line with some of the ‘illustrious’ predecessors of Chauhan. Those opposed to this appointment wasted no time in showing to the world the ‘body of work’ that displayed the immense talents of Gajendra Chauhan. Politicians, predictably, jumped into the picture making it ugly and most of the time, comical. Even Rahul Gandhi could not contain himself and made for another hilarious attempt at grandstanding.

Now comes another appointment. The Central Government has appointed Chetan Chauhan to be the Chairman of the National Institute of Fashion Technology(NIFT). Chetan Chauhan played test cricket for India and opened alongside the great Sunil Gavaskar. There is no denying the cricketing abilities of this Chauhan. But heading the NIFT requires talent and ability which is simply not available with Chetan Chauhan. Again, there were debates and discussions from both sides.

No political party can claim to be ‘holier’ than the others when it comes to appointments being doled out as favours to a party worker as a reward. All are equally guilty. There is simply no colour or ideology that can be attached any significance when it comes to such appointments.

There is still one appointment that the Central Government has to make and that is concerning the Reserve Bank of India. Given the import, the ruling party would not dare put some party worker to preside over the money supply of the country.

One appointment was made in the last week and it would have made perfect timing if some party worker from the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) were asked to become the Coach of the Indian cricket team. It would not have been controversial since the head of the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) is a Member of Parliament belonging to the BJP. Interestingly many politicians have in the past or in the present associated with the running of cricket in India.

At least Gajendra Chauhan was an actor while the other Chauhan does not have any experience, leave expertise in matters relating to the fashion industry.

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