A conquista da Liga dos Campeões da Ásia não sai da cabeça dos jogadores do Western Sydney Wanderers, da Austrália (mesmo na Oceania, a federação do país disputa os torneios asiáticos). Um exemplo é a foto publicada pelo brasileiro Vitor Saba, ex-Flamengo, nas redes sociais: o camisa 10 até dormiu com a taça antes da viagem de volta para casa.
O troféu da Champions asiática foi bastante disputado pelos jogadores depois do empate por 0 a 0 com o Al Hilal, no estádio King Fahd, na Arábia Saudita (na ida, vitória australiana por 1 a 0). Os atletas publicaram fotos até com a taça na piscina.
A conquista inédita classificou o Western Sydney Wanderers para o Mundial de Clubes da Fifa, que será disputado em dezembro no Marrocos. Os outros seis times do torneio já estão definidos: Entente Sétif (Argélia/África), San Lorenzo (Argentina/América do Sul), Real Madrid (Espanha/Europa), Cruz Azul (México/Concacaf), Auckland City (Nova Zelândia/Oceania) e Moghreb Athletic (Marrocos/país-sede).
November 3, 2014 – 11:30PM
Premature: celebration as the ACT passes the same sex marriage bill in October, last year. Photo: Rohan Thomson
The Abbott Government’s successful High Court challenge against the ACT’s historic same-sex marriage law has cost territory taxpayers more than $800,000 in legal bills.
Solicitor-General Peter Garrisson told a Legislative Assembly hearing on Monday that the ACT had paid $500,000 in legal costs to the Commonwealth Government after the nation’s first law allowing couples of the same sex to marry was overturned in December 2013.
Bills for two external lawyers engaged for the case totalled $112,000 and Mr Garrisson said the cost of work completed by government lawyers was about $200,000.
In December last year the High Court found the law, passed by the ACT Assembly in October 2013, could not operate alongside the Commonwealth Marriage Act as only the federal Parliament had the power under the Constitution to legislate on marriage.
The court held the ACT’s law provided for marriage equality for same-sex couples, not, as the territory argued, for a form of legally recognised relationship that was different from marriage.
The finding meant the ACT law could not operate concurrently with the federal act. The territory was ordered to pay the Commonwealth’s legal costs.
Just 31 same-sex couples had married before the law was overturned.
Giving evidence to a hearing on ACT Government annual reports, Mr Garrisson said he would not discuss the legal advice he provided to the government.
There were “unknown unknowns” in the case, he told Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson, an opponent of same-sex equality.
“I believe, presented with the government’s initiative and the advice that I provided with other Senior Counsel to government, that we would do very little different,” Mr Garrisson said.
“The issues, whilst dealt with in short compass by the High Court, addressed some pretty fundamental issues that to that point had not been resolved. The nature and scope, for example, of the marriage power, the nature and scope of the Commonwealth Marriage Act, had not been canvassed in this environment.”
Mr Garrisson said all litigation brought risk.
“My own view is I don’t think I would have changed any of the advice we gave. No matter is entirely risk free and we now have a greater body of knowledge about the operation of the Commonwealth Marriage Act.”
Attorney-General Simon Corbell told the hearing costs associated with case, including the engagement of external lawyers, had been met within the ACT Government Solicitor’s existing budget.
“To put the costs in some context, in relation to external counsel, the territory expends approximately $2.5 million every year on average for a variety of legal cases ranging from the Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Magistrates Court, Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the High Court from time to time,” Mr Corbell said.
In a statement after the hearing, Mr Corbell said he “makes no apology for defending the principle of marriage equality in the High Court. The ACT Government legislated for marriage equality and then defended it in the High Court because it believes same-sex couples should have the same rights as other couples.”
The legislation was an election commitment from ACT Labor in 2012 and was passed with the support of Greens minister Shane Rattenbury.
A recent poll commissioned by Australian Marriage Equality found 72 per cent of Australians want same-sex marriage legalised and 77 per cent think federal Coalition MPs should be granted a conscience vote.
The poll found opposition to same-sex marriage has all but collapsed as a political issue, with just 21 per cent opposed to the reform.
Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek and Liberal Democratic Senator David Leyonhjelm have both proposed new bills on same-sex marriage. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said any changes to marriage laws will be a matter for the Coalition party room.
Source : The Canberra Times
November 3, 2014 – 8:17PM
2015 ACT Local Hero, Damian De Marco, ACT Australian of the Year Glenn Keys and ACT Senior Australian of the Year Sandra Mahlberg. Photo: Melissa Adams
Canberra business leader and philanthropist Glenn Keys has been named the 2015 ACT Australian of the Year while champion basketballer Patrick Mills has been crowned ACT Young Australian of the Year.
The star sportsman was missing from the awards ceremony on Monday night but Mr Keys accepted the honour alongside ACT Senior Australian of the Year Sandra Mahlberg and ACT Local Hero Damian De Marco.
The Aspen Medical managing director and former Australian Defence Force test flight engineer established the largest provider of on-base health to the Australian Defence Force in 2003. The organisation uses a percentage of its profits to tackle major Australian health issues, particularly in indigenous communities.
Mr Keys was visibly moved to receive the award in front of his proud son, Ehren, who inspired Project Independence, a housing initiative for people with a disability of which his father is founding director.
He has worked tirelessly as chairman of Special Olympics ACT and is an active member of the Canberra Business Chamber.
“I often say, I’ve won the lottery more times than I can count,” he said. “It would be a crime if we did not give back.”
Champion basketballer Patrick Mills, left, has been crowned 2015 ACT Young Australian of the Year.Photo: Rohan Thomson
Canberra’s Young Australian of the Year, 26-year-old Mills, became the first indigenous Australian to win an NBA title earlier this year when he helped lift the San Antonio Spurs to a series win against the Miami Heat in June.
He was presented with the keys to the city in Canberra a month later.
Mill’s basketball career begin at just two years old, shooting hoops on a homemade basketball ring his grandfather built on Thursday Island. Today he is the NBA’s fastest player.
Mills has also championed awareness of indigenous heritage and is working on a documentary about indigenous culture.
His father, Benny, accepted the award on his behalf: “He’ll be very proud and honoured and humbled to receive this award.”
ACT Senior Australian of the Year Sandra Mahlberg is the ACT co-ordinator of Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children, a volunteer organisation that helps children from developing countries who need corrective surgery for life-threatening but treatable medical conditions.
Since 2006 she has hosted 15 children – “children who would have died, children who would be suffering if we didn’t help them” – and their guardians, while maintaining a full-time nursing job at Calvary Hospital.
ACT Local Hero and child sexual assault campaigner Damian De Marco has been recognised for decades of work to publicly expose the systematic failure of organisations to protect children from abuse.
Mr De Marco bravely became the public face of the royal commission case investigating the institutional response of the Marist Brothers to allegations of child sex abuse against two of its brothers – the only person to testify without anonymity.
“This boy somehow survived, others have not,” he said.
ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher, who presented the awards on Monday night, said the four recipients had gone above and beyond to contribute to the Canberra community and Australia.
The ACT award winners are now finalists for the national awards to be announced as part of Australia Day celebrations in January.
Source : The Canberra Times
November 4, 2014 – 1:03AM
Champions: Nikolai Topor-Stanley gives the crowd what it wants. Photo: Getty Images
The newly-crowned champions of Asia, the Western Sydney Wanderers, were greeted by a thunderous reception from their most passionate fans when they touched down at Sydney Airport on Monday night.
More than 2000 supporters crammed into the arrivals hall of the international terminal, many of whom waited for several hours as their victorious team passed through immigration. The squad was accompanied by the 14 supporters who were granted visas to watch the final against Al-Hilal in Riyadh.
Grand welcome: Wanderers fans were in full voice on Monday night. Photo: Sebastian Hassett
It was in the Saudi Arabian capital that the Wanderers desperately hung on for a 0-0 draw on Sunday morning [AEST] – despite being completely dominated by their vastly wealthier opponents. However, it was a scoreline good enough to grab victory after a Tomi Juric strike clinched a 1-0 lead for the Wanderers in the first leg in Parramatta.
When the side eventually emerged, the crowd was plunged into the kind of deafening frenzy perhaps never seen for an Australian sporting team – all singing, dancing and clapping to the sound of the supporters’ band.
Wanderers goalkeeper Ante Covic, who gave the performance of his life in final and was named as the tournament MVP, described the airport scene as one of the most extraordinary things he’d witnessed in his 20-year career.
Proud bunch: Wanderers fans in the arrivals hall. Photo: Sebastian Hassett
“We could hear them pretty much when our bags were coming out [well inside the terminal]. We knew it was going to be big – we were getting pictures, messages, videos, so we knew what was going to be out here was unbelievable,” he said, clasping the trophy with both hands as he spoke to the waiting media. “You think back and wonder if this could ever happen in Australian football. It’s just a credit to the game, it’s the best feeling a football player in Australia could have right now. This moment, right now, is brilliant.”
The glovesman joked he’d “had some practice” holding the trophy over the past few days but the novelty clearly hadn’t worn off as he arrived home.
“I’ve held it quite a bit. This is fantastic. No one gave us a hope in hell of picking this up,” he said. “To have it in our hands now, it brings a bit more reality to it. It’s been shared around the team – it’s even been in the team pool, it’s gone for dives, it’s been everywhere and through everyone’s hands. It’s not going to leave our side.”
Covic, who turns 40 in June, stunned those watching the game with some of his saves – including one world-class block on Saudi legend Yasser Al-Qahtani, described by Australian goalkeeping icon Mark Bosnich as the “greatest save by an Australian goalkeeper”.
Now the goalkeeper of the moment reckons age is no barrier, reckoning he can keep playing on into his forties.
“I don’t see why not. I’m feeling good and moments like this don’t come around too often. I’ve learned not to take things for granted. You always go out to achieve certain goals each year but this one takes the cake,” he said. “It’s amazing, and I’d like to think there’s more titles in me. For the moment I’ll savour this and take it for what it is.”
After beginning his career with NSW State League club APIA Leichhardt and then joining then-NSL club Marconi, before crossing to a successful career in Europe, Covic thought he’d seen it all in Australian football – until now.
“Go back 10 years before the A-League and never would you have expected something to happen like this,” he said. “We had it with Guangzhou when we came back [from defeating the Chinese champions on away goals], we had a good contingency [of fans at the airport] but today was extra special and we knew they were coming for us. You get overwhelmed by this and you can see there’s no room in this airport. For football in Australia, it’s come a long way. It can only grow and get better.”
While the club’s new majority owner and chairman, Paul Lederer, was unable to gain a visa to get into Saudi Arabia, he looked as delighted as any of the fans upon the squad’s return.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be standing here among these fans and to welcome this team home after their incredible performance,” he told Fairfax Media. “It really is a phenomenal, once-in-a-lifetime achievement. It’s fantastic and I’m euphoric. The people of western Sydney have waited a long time for a team and this is what they deserve.
“I’m just so proud of the club and the supporters – and for absolutely everyone who is involved in this club. The players put in an incredible effort, they’ve gone to China, Japan, Korea and the Middle East to come away with this. It was a difficult task and they did an exceptional job.”
Speculation is already mounting that the Wanderers will have a hard time keeping a hold of coach Tony Popovic, who masterminded the victory and will surely soon be sought by some elite Asian and European clubs.
“For me, he’s the best manager there is. He’s an incredible human being and great guy and a great character,” he said. “We’re good friends, so hopefully friendship will be enough to keep him here.”
When asked how his $10 million ownership investment in the club stacked up to other business deals the Primo Smallgoods owner had struck, Lederer replied: “This is definitely one of the best”.
Source : The Canberra Times
November 3, 2014 – 7:05PM
Leader of champions: Tony Popovic receives the hero treatment from his players after winning the ACL. Photo: AP
Fresh from guiding Western Sydney Wanderers to glory in the Asian Champions League, Tony Popovic may be about to cap the most dramatic rise by a coach in Australian sport should he be named as the Asian Football Confederation’s coach of the year.
The Wanderers are also a chance to claim a unique double – goalkeeper Ante Covic’s extraordinary tournament has catapulted the 39-year old into contention for the Asian player of the year award.
Popovic is the raging hot favourite to take out the title, which will be announced at a special edition of the AFC Awards night in Manila, the original home of Asian football’s governing body, on November 30, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the confederation’s commencement.
If he takes out the gong, he will become the first Australian football coach to be honoured with an international award of this magnitude.
South Korean and Japanese coaches have dominated the award since it was first handed out in 1994. Overall, the Koreans have produced six winners, two more than Japan. Globally known victors include Philippe Troussier (who coached Japan in 2000) and then-South Korean boss Guus Hiddink for his deeds with the South Korean national team in 2002.
However, winning the Asian Champions League is hardly a magic ticket to claiming the award. Last year, Guangzhou Evergrande’s World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi was overlooked in favour of FC Seoul boss Choi Yong-Soo.
Ulsan Hyundai coach Kim Ho-Gon claimed the top prize in the previous year as his team emerged victors, but one must go back to 2008 to find a similar instance, when Gamba Osaka boss Akira Nishino took the honours. Before then, most awards were given out on the strength of national rather than club-based performances.
However, with Asian teams flopping at the World Cup, with none (including Australia) managing to make it out of the group stages, the winner appears more likely to come from one of the clubs.
The governing body is also keen to reinforce the value of the Champions League, and may look favourably upon the fairytale run of the Wanderers as reason enough to give Popovic the nod. In becoming champions, they had to see off the reigning victors of Japan (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) and China (Guangzhou Evergrande), and the 2012 Korean champions (FC Seoul) just to make the final against Saudi Arabian giants and two-time Asian champions Al-Hilal.
Al-Hilal boss Laurențiu Reghecampf might have seen his side dominate the Wanderers both home and away in the continental decider but the failure to come away with the trophy, and the fact that he joined the side only in late May, are likely to count against him.
If Popovic is to be usurped, however, it may well be by Norio Sasaki, who could become the award’s first two-time winner for his exploits with Japan’s women’s national team.
Sasaki was named Asian coach of the year in 2011 for taking Japan to the World Cup title and backed it up this year by leading Nadeshiko Japan to glory in the Asian Cup in May, where they went through the tournament unbeaten before defeating Australia 1-0 in the final.
The bolter for the trophy would be Spaniard Felix Sanchez, coach of Qatar’s all-conquering under-20 side – a generation being prepared for when Qatar hosts the World Cup in 2022 – who shocked the region by winning the AFC under-19 championships in Myanmar.
Covic may well a longer shot than Popovic to walk away with silverware, but the veteran goalkeeper’s incredible displays are likely to earn him a recall for the Socceroos’ tilt at January’s Asian Cup.
Covic still only has two international caps to his name, largely due to the presence of Mark Schwarzer in the past two decades.
Source : The Sydney Morning Herald
November 3, 2014 – 10:38PM
Kosta Barbarouses congratulates Conor Pain after his goal in the win against Wellington at AAMI Park on Monday night. Photo: Getty Images
Wellington Phoenix had never beaten Melbourne Victory in the Victorian capital, but with Kevin Muscat’s team missing four of this season’s regular starters through injury and suspension, Ernie Merrick’s Kiwi visitors would rarely get a better chance.
They departed AAMI Park in their usual manner after Victory’s makeshift side, with midfielders Mark Milligan and Leigh Broxham deputising as centre backs, continued its remarkable run against Phoenix and took all three points.
The 2-0 win, with a first-half goal to Brazilian midfielder Gui Finkler and a second-half strike to young forward Connor Pain, ensured Victory regained its position at the top of the A-League table with 10 points through three wins and a draw.
Adelaide United and Sydney are also on 10, but with an inferior goal differences.
Muscat had not hesitated to trust young players and squad members when he was juggling his selections during last season’s Asian Champions League campaign and that faith was repaid in this game.
It was, as he had said before, a match that would test the club’s playing depths as the likes of Matthieu Delpierre, Besart Berisha, Daniel Georgievski and Adrian Leijer were unavailable.
Victory’s Tunisian winger, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, was clearly out to prove a point in this, his first A-League start since his off-season move from French League Two side Troyes.
The wide man won a free kick inside 30 seconds after a tussle with Phoenix full back Louis Fenton, and that was a taste of things to come in a combative first half in which he went into referee Shaun Evans’ notebook but also featured in most of the host’s forward thrusts down the left flank.
Kosta Barbarouses has been in rare form in the early weeks of the season and he continued where he had left off in the opening exchanges of this game, running directly at the Phoenix defenders whenever he got the opportunity.
The Kiwi international, himself an ex-Phoenix player, created space nicely but could only fire over, while in the 10th minute he was involved in a move with Finkler which the visitors did not deal with, the ball sitting up invitingly for Carl Valeri. Alas for the Victory faithful, the Socceroo midfielder spurned a decent opportunity by shooting over the bar.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic, however. The Phoenix were well organised and kept their shape, snapping in for tackles and pressing Victory players whenever they got the ball. But they found it difficult, in the early stages, to manufacture any clearcut openings.
Ben Khalfallah picked up a booking in the 18th minute and shortly afterwards won the free kick that led to the goal that separated the sides at the interval.
It looked as though the best Finkler might hope for, from the position he was in, was for a teammate to get a head or a flick to his set piece in the 24th minute. But he whipped in a curving ball which somehow evaded Phoenix’s defenders as well as Victory’s strikers and, crucially, Nix goalkeeper Glen Moss as it skidded through into the net.
Phoenix launched its most dangerous attack on the half-hour mark when Nathan Burns got clear and flashed a shot across the face of the Victory goal which none of his teammates could get to.
Former Ajax and NAC Breda midfielder Roly Bonevacia then tried to spark the visitors with a surging run from deep.
Merrick shook things up at half-time, bringing on Jeremy Brockie in place of Alex Rodriguez. Phoenix had been well organised and had kept its shape well in the first half, but had lacked a genuine cutting edge, so bringing on the NZ international striker to play alongside Burns and another All White attacker, Michael McGlinchey, was designed to rectify that.
It looked as though the former Victory coach’s tactical switch might pay dividends as the visitors looked far more threatening.
But it was Victory who were to strike again – and it was substitute Conor Pain who was next to get on the scoresheet.
Muscat replaced Ben Khalfallah with Pain in the 67th minute and the youngster was on target within a minute of making his entrance following a simple but hugely effective move.
Barbarouses’ sweeping cross-field pass found Thompson, who brought the ball under control before sliding a through pass on to the running Pain. The 20-year-old struck the ball low, and it beat Glen Moss through his legs to double the hosts’ advantage.
It was the breathing space Victory needed to complete the job.
Source : The Canberra Times