March 13, 2020

IAAF says it spends more than UCI in anti-doping fight

first_imgMONACO (AP):The International Association of Athletics Federations says it spends more money than cycling’s governing body, Union Cycliste International (UCI) in the fight against doping.A day after two-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome recommended that athletics invest more to fight doping, the IAAF said it spent more than $2 million on its 2014 anti-doping programme while cycling’s governing body “spent approximately 1.1 million” Swiss francs (US$1.1 million) in 2013.Citing World Anti-Doping Agency figures, the IAAF said it performed more than 25,000 tests in 2014, compared to cycling’s 23,000.Earlier this month, two anti-doping scientists who reviewed data obtained by media outlets suggested blood doping was widespread in track and field. They compared the IAAF’s current doping problems with those faced by professional cycling 20 years ago when the use of the blood-booster EPO was common practise.last_img read more

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Seaga resigns as PFAJ chairman

first_imgAfter six years at the helm of the Professional Football Association of Jamaica (PFAJ), Edward Seaga will be resigning as chairman of the organisation effective today. Seaga, who remains as head of the Premier League Clubs Association (PLCA), announced his resignation from the post at the launch of the Red Stripe Premier League, at the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) office yesterday. He will be replaced by respected pollster and former Jamaica Olympic Association vice-president Don Anderson. Seaga explained that when he was asked to assume the role six years ago, he only committed to doing it for three years, but that extended to six years, and he believes he has done enough, and that it is time to step aside. “Six years ago, I was asked by the Captain (Horace Burrell) to take the chairmanship of the PFAJ because, at that time, we were settling into the new order. Now, I have brought it to the end of the sixth year, and I’d promised that I would only do it for three years,” Seaga explained. “I told him (Burrell) that it was my intention to resign as of tomorrow from the PFAJ chairmanship. But I am sure they (PFAJ) will continue to operate at the high level as we have done over the last year. They will continue to play the role we have played to make football what it should be,” he added. Burrell could not find praise enough for Seaga, for the work he has done with both the PLCA and PFAJ. “I want to thank Mr Seaga for a tremendous job. It would have been extremely difficult to achieve all that we have. We now have an organisation that is well structured and well run, and Mr Seaga, with his leadership, has been able to keep everyone together and the ship afloat, despite the many challenges,” Burrell stated. The new chairman insisted that Seaga’s boots would be hard to fill. “The vote of this level of confidence in me to take over is an awesome responsibility; it’s a huge set of shoes to fill,” said Anderson. “But I will approach it in a way that I have approached all my involvement in sports all my life, and that is in a very professional way. “I will take to the table the high degree of professionalism that has kept me in good stead for 32 years as vice-president of the Jamaica Olympic Association,” said Anderson. – Livingston Scottlast_img read more

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It’s now Sir Tony McCoy

first_imgLONDON (AP): Jockey Tony McCoy, former Manchester United striker Denis Law, two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, and five-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan are among United Kingdom sporting figures honoured by Queen Elizabeth in her New Year list. McCoy, who retired this year after winning 20 straight British champion jockey titles and a record 4,358 races in a 23-year career, was knighted in recognition of his services to horse racing. He is only the second jockey to be made a Sir, after Gordon Richards in 1953. The 75-year-old Law, who played for United from 1962-73 and was part of the club’s so-called ‘Holy Trinity’ with George Best and Bobby Charlton, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to football and charity. Froome was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) after becoming the first Briton to win a second Tour de France in July. O’Sullivan also was awarded an OBE in recognition for his services to snooker, having won the world championship five times most recently in 2013 and become the sport’s box-office name. The success of the England women’s football team in finishing third at the World Cup in Canada this year was recognised as captain Steph Houghton and teammate Fara Williams were both made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). John Surtees, the only man to win world championships on two and four wheels, was made a CBE. The 81-year-old Surtees won seven world motorcycling championships before switching to four wheels and winning the 1964 Formula One title. Heather Rabbatts, a director at England’s Football Association who became the organisation’s first female board member in 2012, was awarded a damehood for services to football and equality. As a campaigner on behalf of women in sport, she recently spoke out in support of former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro in her dispute with the club. Former Manchester City striker and chairman Francis Lee received a CBE, while ex-England rugby winger Mark Cueto and IBF super-bantamweight boxing champion Carl Frampton were awarded MBEs.last_img read more

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Dr Paul Wright: Drug-free sport is attainable

first_img UKAD being investigated We now hear that this same group is being investigated by a former assistant police chief constable in Britain, Mr Andy Ward. This investigation became necessary as a British newspaper, the Sunday Times, published a report that alleges that a British doctor, Mark Bonar, had claimed that he provided numerous athletes, including Premier League footballers, England cricketers and Tour de France cyclists with banned substances such as EPO growth hormones and steroids. Amazingly, the report also indicates that UKAD was given information about the activities some two years ago by an athlete who was trying to reduce possible sanction after failing to submit to a drug test when called upon to do so. This whistle-blower even provided signed prescriptions for banned substances signed by the doctor, but alleges that UKAD refused to probe further, claiming that the accused physician was not associated with any organised sport. Yes, UKAD, the same organisation selected to lead the fight against doping in sports leading up to the Summer Olympics this year! Icons protected It appears that anti-doping organisations around the world have very little interest in finding and announcing positive drug test results for the so-called icons of sports. We now know that credentials and expertise in anti-doping could also mean very little when a nation’s credibility is at stake. Lord Coe lamented publicly his disappointment at the absence of Russia from the World Indoor Championships, as he simultaneously held out hope that Russia could still send athletes to the Rio Olympics. Kenya had dates for compliance with World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) directives repeatedly postponed seemingly in a desperate effort to have them compete in Rio. The announcement that Ethiopia, Morocco, Ukraine, and Belarus are all on a list of countries not fully compliant with WADA’s anti-doping code was quickly followed by assurances that these countries were not banned from competing in the Olympics. The obvious question is: ‘What on earth is going on?’ The call from British athlete, Paula Radcliffe, for drug testers to be allowed visa-free entry to countries where independent testing is scheduled (as the issuance of a visa will alert cheaters that the tester is coming) has not received any support from the authorities, including the new head of the medical and anti-doping commission of the IAAF, South African Harold Adams, who replaced Gabriel Dolle, who is now banned for bribing athletes to conceal positive results. The answer to clean sports will only be achieved when those previously present when corruption was rife are removed and the selection of their replacements be removed from government appointees. Drug-free sport is attainable. All that is needed is the will to make sports drug-free. Athletics remains the number one watched sport in the Olympics. This fact will be questioned as the fans of the sport watch the build-up to the Summer Olympics in Rio, Brazil this year. Doping scandal after doping scandal has left some of the fans wondering ‘just who is clean’. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has announced that the Swedish runner, Abeba Aregawi, has tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance meldonium and is provisionally banned from competition. Aregawi was the Ethiopia World indoor 1500-metre champion who switched allegiance to Sweden after the 2012 Olympics. Her ‘excuse’ for the positive test is that she was given tablets by a doctor in Ethiopia that she thought was vitamins! Thanks to whistle-blowers, we now know that doctors, coaches, drug testers and even those in charge of Anti-Doping Commissions have aided and abetted cheating in the sport of athletics. The present head of the IAAF, Lord Sebastian Coe, is facing mounting criticism as he tries to clean up a sport that now seems destined for life support as major sponsors withdraw their support. The United Kingdom Anti-Doping organisation (UKAD) was recently named as the body to oversee the anti-doping programme in Russia, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) appointed UKAD as the secretariat for the task force that will coordinate the fight against doping in the build-up to this summer’s Olympics.last_img read more

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Sports Briefs

first_imgPeru to send ex-football boss to US LIMA, Peru (AP): Peru’s president is signing off on the extradition of the country’s former football boss for his alleged involvement in a multibillion-dollar FIFA bribery scandal involving marketing and broadcasting rights. Manuel Burga has been in jail since December as part of the investigation. Peru’s Supreme Court in June had cleared the way for his extradition to the United States (US). President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski’s decree authorising the move came yesterday. It is not clear when Burga will be sent to the US. Burga oversaw Peru’s football federation for more than a decade until 2014. He has denied any wrongdoing. FIFA youth transfer rules challenged ZURICH, Switzerland (AP): FIFA rules that restrict youth players from being transferred worldwide are being challenged in a Swiss court. Zurich law firm Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwaelte says it filed the case for a 17-year-old player from Africa. It declined to identify him or any European club supporting the case. The case was filed Wednesday in Zurich’s cantonal (state) commercial court. FIFA says it had not been notified. The case argues FIFA rules discriminate against youths from outside the 28-member European Union. FIFA rules limit under-18s being transferred internationally to specific circumstances, such as a player’s family moving for non-football reasons. There are some exemptions for 16- and 17-year-olds to comply with European labour laws. Since 2014, FIFA imposed transfer bans on Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid over youth signings. Bale to have ankle surgery MADRID, Spain (AP): Gareth Bale will need surgery on his right ankle and is expected to be sidelined for at least two months. Real Madrid says Bale will undergo the procedure on Tuesday in London. Bale limped off the field after getting hurt in the second half of Madrid’s 2-1 win over Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League next Tuesday. Madrid did not give a timetable for Bale’s recovery, but players who undergo similar procedures are usually out between two and three months. Bale is certain to miss the match against Barcelona on December 3 at the Camp Nou, as well as FIFA’s Club World Cup later in the month.last_img read more

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Tony Becca | Where is Brandon King?

first_img Two seasons ago, on a Sunday at Sabina Park, he took on a Jamaica Defence Force team with their three fast bowlers, including Sheldon Cottrell and Reynard Leveridge, and he gave them a proper caning. He was hit on the head by Cottrell early in the innings before he stood tall and played a real masterpiece of an innings. Kingston needed quick runs to try and win the Senior Cup after trailing on first innings, and he went at the bowling. He went to bat at 15 for one, he scored 92 with six sixes and five fours, he was dismissed at 167 for two, and the fans, on either side, were thrilled by his composure at the wickets, and by his stroke play. It was a classy innings. He demonstrated the stuff of which great batsmen are made. He destroyed the bowlers, including the spin bowler, with lovely, fluent drives, some of them ending in the stands behind the boundary at long-off and long-on. King, on that day, and many days after, in the Senior Cup season and in this year’s Trial matches, during which he made the most runs, including a brilliant century, showed his class. His technique is good, and pleasing to the eye. His style is good, he has the stamp of a future West Indies batsman, and he should be treated as such. He has not really demanded a place on the national team because he has not dominated the scene, but he has performed and he is not the first not to have dominated the scene and then move on to dominate the level above, and he will not be the last. For those who do not know, or who may have forgotten, King scored 438 runs with one century and an average of 43.06 in the 2014 Senior Cup season, he scored 247 runs and one century and an average of 24.76 in the 2015 Senior Cup season, and he scored 647 runs, three centuries with a top score of 179 and an average of 71.89 in the past season. In the past three Senior Cup seasons, he has scored 1,335 runs, he has scored five centuries with a top score of 179, and he has averaged 51.14. On top of that, his runs, his number of centuries, his top score, and his average for the recent season were far above every other player. In the three Trial matches a few weeks ago, King scored 223 runs, he had a top score of 155, and finished with an average of 74.33, all above his contemporaries. He has class and that should be obvious to the selectors. He deserves a run, no question about that. The fans know it, and so should the selectors. Each day I go to Sabina Park, I hear the fans asking one question: Where is young King? Where is Brandon King? King’s figures, overall, may not be the greatest, or not very great. Every time, however, I see Jamaica buckle and fall like ninepins, I remember how men like Sonny Ramadhin and Alfred Valentine, although it was a different era, were selected for the West Indies, how Wes Hall was selected, how Michael Holding was selected, how Malcolm Marshall was selected, and how Fidel Edwards was selected for the West Indies. I also remember, as great as he became, that it took Garry Sobers, the greatest all-rounder cricketer of all time, 16 Test matches before he scored a century, a memorable 365 not out, and that it took Rohan Kanhai, the magician, 12 matches before he scored a century, a scintillating 256 runs. The selectors deserve credit for calling up all-rounder Fabian Allen, no doubt about that, and although they dropped him after a few good games and after a few poor ones, also for the selection of fast bowler Marquino Mindley, who is also a good and promising one. PROPER CANNING I have been watching Jamaica at cricket for a very long time. In fact, I have been watching it for around 60 years or so, and I have been doing so almost non-stop, from the days of batsmen like Frank Worrell, Allan Rae, J. K. Holt Jr, Ken Rickards, Neville Bonitto, and Collie Smith. And from those days until now, I have never seen a Jamaica team bat so poorly, or a Jamaica team of such poor batsmen, like those of the past two or three years. I have also travelled the world of cricket and I have seldom witnessed such poor batting, be it at the first-class or the Test-match level. I have seen wickets fall in bunches, at the beginning of an innings, in the middle of an innings, and at the end of an innings, and in quick time for a few runs. I have seen it happen on sunny days and on rainy days, sometimes because of good bowling, and sometimes because of bad pitches. Mostly, however, I have seen it happen because of poor batting, the kind of batting where good technique is missing, and where playing back and playing forward, playing with a straight bat, knowing when to attack and when to defend, knowing when to cut, and when to sweep are normally foreign things. A batsman like John Campbell is the exception, and each time I see Jamaica collapse recently, and to bowling of average standard and on relatively good pitches, I wonder what has happened to Jamaica’s batting. Most times, however, I wonder what has happened to young promising batsmen, and especially to Brandon King. King is a batsman of pedigree who can develop into a batsman of class. He is a former Jamaica Under-19 and West Indies Under-19 player, he is the captain of Kingston Cricket Club, and he will be, in another week or two, only 22 years old. He is at the age when most good cricketers start their international careers, and although he did likewise last year, it was only a false start, or so it appears. After getting into the national team last year against Trinidad and Tobago, and making an impressive 71 in his second match, he was unceremoniously dropped, and after a couple of matches, and only brought back for the odd match here and there. He has played seven times for Jamaica, he has had no resting place in the batting order, he has scored 285 runs, and he has averaged only 21.92. King, however, is better than those figures suggest he is. He should bat near the top of the order and not up and down the order. He deserves to be treated better by the selectors and the captain. King, however, appears ready to become more than a good one, and he deserves a real chance. Is it that the Senior Cup is not good enough, or the Trials are not good enough, or is it that selectors are waiting on one like Ian Bishop to come in and select King for them? It is neither right nor justified to omit King, not according to the structure, not according to the process, not according to his performance and certainly not according to his talent. King may not reach the heights that others have done, and he may not be really as good as some of us may think, but he deserves the chance to really parade his skills, and because he promises so much, he deserves more than just a chance. Remember Lawrence Rowe, or one like Jeffrey Dujon, and another like Jimmy Adams? King also does not need to score an abundance of runs to prove that he is good, or that he can go further than being a good Senior Cup batsman. Unlike Cleveland Davidson, or Colin Fletcher, he does not need a bagful of runs to prove that he can bat, and that he possesses the pedigree to bat well. On top of parading the class, King made the runs, he has been through the process, and he deserves a good run in the Jamaica team, especially in a weak Jamaica batting team, so that the fans can stop shouting his name and asking the question: Where is young King? Where is Brandon King? DESERVES A REAL CHANCElast_img read more

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JN pumps $4m into 2016-17 KSAFA Jackie Bell KO

first_imgJamaica National Building Society, through its Visa credit card brand has pumped $4 million into the staging of the 28th Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA) Jackie Bell Knockout competition. Plans for the 2016-17 KSAFA/JN Visa Jackie Bell KO were unveiled during a press launch at Jamaica National head office, located in Half-Way Tree, yesterday. Associate sponsor Avis Car Rental has provided a further $400,000 in the budget to run the competition that is tentatively set to kick off on Saturday, December 17. Soccer Express will provide 25 match balls to be used from the quarter-final stage, and Peak Bottling Company is the new hydration sponsor. Thirty-five clubs from the Corporate Area will participate in the competition, which began in 1987 in memory of the late football coach and administrator Winthorpe ‘Jackie’ Bell. In the first round, the 12 KSAFA-Magnum Super League teams and 16 Major League clubs will compete. The seven KSAFA clubs that are currently participating in the Red Stripe Premier League will step in during the third round. First-round draw: New Kingston vs Allman/Woodford; Rae Town vs Barbican; Rockfort vs Whitfield Town, Constant Spring vs Browns’ Town; Molynes United vs Bull Bay; Central Kingston vs Cooreville Gardens; Olympic Gardens vs Santos; Stony Hill vs Cavalier SC; Meadforest vs Swallowfield; Seaview Gardens vs Mountain View; Police National FC vs Pembroke Hall; Maxfield Park vs JDF FC and Greenwich Town vs Duhaney Park; Real Mona vs Shortwood United. President of KASAF A. B. Stewart Stephenson commended Jamaica national for its sponsorship of this season’s competition. “We welcome Jamaica National’s $4 million sponsorship of the Jackie Bell. They have been supporting KSAFA since 1996, and this year, JN will be using our competition to promote their Visa card brand,” Stephenson said. Carlene Edwards, JNBS promotion and sponsorship manager, said her company continues to enjoy a very rewarding partnership with KSAFA. “Our support of the 2016-17 knockout competition comes at a time when Jamaica National, as one of the leading financial organisations in our country, is undergoing tremendous changes as we embark on a transformation of the structure to the JN Group. However, within our new context, there are some fundamental elements of our JN ethos and culture, which will not be changed and that includes our commitment to sports and community development,” Edwards shared. REWARDING PARTNERSHIPlast_img read more

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Follow The Trace | The Fletcher Blueprint

first_img ELITE YOUNG PLAYERS The likes of Alex Marshall of St George’s College, Jahwani Hinds of Wolmer’s, Craigton Charlton of Clarendon College, are also elite young players, who, as a matter of routine, should all be playing premier league football, such is the quality they possess. All these players should at least be giving their football talent the best possible chance to reach its full potential. A successful career in professional football is indeed a long shot, but it all starts with the intent and the conviction to go for it. This intent starts with self-belief, ambition and desire – qualities which are clearly in the DNA of Fletcher, who backed up his confident pregame utterances by delivering the goods at this now elevated level. The Cornwall College striker was obviously not the least bit intimidated or daunted by the much-vaunted disparity in the quality, intensity and pace between schoolboy football and the premier league. His brash fearlessness and near naivety are qualities that are ideal for young players and should be fully exploited in the general gamble and investment in youth. I wish Jourdaine Fletcher more and more success in his premier league endeavours and beyond. His success at this level will be vital not only to his personal future, but, symbolically, to a generation of players who are beginning to lose faith in their talents and abilities, and what they could achieve from the sport of football. This stagnated generation of players desperately needs to be reminded that there is still a path to success. They need a new blueprint, with a star player such as Jourdaine Fletcher to follow. The calls have been loud and clear, but until they get overseas professional contracts, the best of Jamaica’s young schoolboy football talent should be playing at the highest level available – the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL). Perhaps the very best of an outstanding crop of schoolboy players in 2016, ace Cornwall College striker Jourdaine Fletcher has begun to prove that point. He immediately made the step up to the RSPL by not just turning out for champions Montego Bay United at the weekend, but scoring a brilliant winner for the defending champions. The willingness and confidence expressed by Fletcher to play ‘big man’ football, as expressed in a pregame interview, and as executed on debut, make an important statement for the way forward for Jamaica’s football. Montego Bay United, with arguably the deepest squad in the league, in terms of quality, must also be commended for showing the vision to open their doors and welcome the youngsters. The fact of the matter is that players at 18 and 19 years old are not young in real football terms. Therefore, it ought not to be a big spectacle for a player at 19 years old to be playing in our substandard semi-professional premier league. Eighteen- and 19-year-olds are active star players in many top football leagues around the world, but such as been the recent stagnation in thought and foresight that this has become the exception here in Jamaica. Our praise for Fletcher and the other standout schoolboy players who have made the transition to other premier league clubs goes hand in hand with the disappointment at some of the other outstanding schoolboy talent who have either not chosen to make the upward step, or have not been given the opportunity by their club of choice.last_img read more

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Follow the trace | We must improve our playing surfaces

first_img It is difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the effect of the surface on the quality of football, but anecdotally, the difference in the degree of difficulty in the execution of the basic skills on an average Jamaican surface, compared to the average surface in England or Spain must be at least fifty percent. Meaning, all things being equal, players or teams would play and look twice as good when playing at Wembley stadium in England than they would look playing at The Compound in Harbour View. This is a major handicap with which every young and emerging Jamaican player has to cope in an already weak and inefficient structure, and has helped to set back the rate of comparative development of our young players for several years. It remains difficult to fathom that Jamaica, ‘The Land of Wood and Water’, is so inept at something as basic as building and maintaining some quality playing facilities for football. The cost of the significant amount of running water needed to maintain these surfaces, I have been told, is a major prohibitive factor. An excuse that is hard to accept if we are really serious about developing our football. In one of his most inspired pronouncements made by my co-host on the morning radio programme Sports Explosion on Hitz 92 FM, Earl ‘The Bald Eagle’ Bailey has repeatedly asked the question, how much better would local premier league clubs such as Montego Bay United, Arnett Gardens, Tivoli Gardens, or Humble Lion look if they played weekly games at Old Trafford, at Stamford Bridge, at The Emirates Stadium or at Anfield? Conversely, how would Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool, with all their millionaire star players, perform on the surfaces at the Tony Spalding Sports Complex, or at the Drewsland Mini Stadium, or at the Effortville Community Center? How much top-quality football would those big teams, with all their big players, play on our sub-par surfaces? I suggest all these teams and all these players would look very ordinary on our surfaces, highlighting how vital a dynamic the playing surface is to the overall football product, something we are obviously yet to grasp. In the continued quest for a prudent and sustainable strategy of development for Jamaica’s young football talent, one crucial component that keeps getting swept under the carpet is the atrocious condition of our playing surfaces. It is perhaps the most debilitating of the many factors which have stymied the development of our young players. The football surface is the basic facilitating component of the game itself, which renders Jamaica’s continued relevance in the world game nothing short of miraculous, based on the poor quality of our surfaces. The execution of basic football skills such as trapping, passing, and dribbling depend heavily on the quality of the surface. Therefore, bumpy and uneven pitches add exponentially to the difficulty in the grasping of these simple basics. There are a few relatively good football facilities scattered across Jamaica. The National Stadium, Stadium East, the Montego Bay Sports Complex, and the St Elizabeth Technical High School facility are all good surfaces in a Jamaican context, but woefully inadequate when compared to even the most basic of training grounds in the developed football nations such as Mexico and the United States; not to mention the lush green carpets across Europe. 50% DIFFERENCElast_img read more

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More Sports In Brief

first_imgWarriors hunt Trail Blazers sweep PORTLAND, Oregon (AP): Stephen Curry scored 34 points – including a 3-pointer with just about a minute left that all but sealed the victory – and the Golden State Warriors overcame a slow start to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-113 and take a 3-0 lead in their first-round play-off series. Playing without both Kevin Durant and coach Steve Kerr, the Warriors came back Saturday night from a first-half 17-point deficit. Golden State can clinch the series with a win tonight in Game 4 at the Moda Center. Napoli held at Sassuolo MILAN (AP): Arkadiusz Milik scored his first goal since his lengthy injury layoff, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Napoli from drawing 2-2 at Sassuolo yesterday and missing the chance to move second in Serie A. Milik scored three minutes after coming off the bench to rescue a point for Napoli and move them to within one-point of second-placed Roma, which visit bottom club Pescara today. Second spot in Serie A secures automatic entry into the Champions League group stage, while the team that finishes third has to go through a play-off.last_img read more

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