A very passionate and dependable stakeholder of scrabble in Ghana and Africa, Samuel Mbrayeh Quartey, has described the PANASA President’s Cup as a groundbreaking event as far as the sport is concerned in Africa and the world.
Quartey, who is nicknamed SM Quartey, while speaking at the ongoing PANASA Cup in Lagos, Nigeria noted the game of scrabble in Africa as it is now not just about getting corporate bodies to throw their weight behind the game, but corporate bodies that are connected and can relate with the sport is what is needed for it to be lifted all round.
“I’m happy to be in Lagos to witness this tournament which I will call groundbreaking. The kind of organization we are seeing here is taking the game of Scrabble to another level. Before the tournament and during the tournament, I have seen a kind of friendship and brotherliness among all the contestants. It’s really like coming together of one family and such environment is beautiful,” Quartey told Maxwell Kumoye’s Zeal Media Cast Blog.
Samuel Mbrayeh Quartey, a renowned architect and philanthropist is excited with the standard of organization of both the President’s Cup and the African Youth Scrabble Championship which Ghana is fully represented in.
“The organization, the set-up, the ambience, fresh customized boards for everybody, the officiating, the quality, everything associated with it, it’s the height of scrabble, it’s a spectacle and I’m happy to be here watching it.” he stated.
SM Quartey further stressed that Ghana and other African countries should build on the success story of the Pan African Scrabble Association (PANASA) President’s Cup. “Am happy to be here in Lagos with our director from the Ministry of Sports in Ghana, we have been taking lessons here, and we to go back home and replicate what we have seen here.”
On the issue of corporate backing and support, the Post Graduate Diploma holder in Architecture, from the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology of Ghana,
On the issue of corporate sponsorship, the graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology of Ghana said: “Scrabble as a game is best supported by people who have love for the game, not just corporate bodies who have no connection with the game, so some of our old enthusiasts who are concentrating on their corporate businesses, it’s about time we knock on their doors and say come and show some love and support to our common joy, which is scrabble.”
Benitez slams VAR: This is football, not pingpong
Celta Vigo’s Rafa Benitez has become the latest high-profile manager to hit out at VAR after his side had a goal ruled out in their 2-1 LaLiga defeat at Las Palmas on Monday.
The visiting side thought they opened the scoring in the first half through Jørgen Strand Larsen but it was disallowed after a VAR review adjudged Las Palmas defender Mika Mármol was fouled in the buildup.
The defeat sees Benitez’s team drop into the relegation zone after eight matches and he was furious with the VAR decision.
“How can we not lose in the end? If we score a legal goal and they take it away from you,” Benitez said in his postmatch interview.
“In that play, my player is ahead, he is in front, I’m watching it right now. I don’t understand where the foul is. We will have to play something else if that is a foul.
“Anyone can see it, it makes no sense to call those things. It can’t be, this is football. We’re not talking about pingpong. We’re continually rowing against the current.”
VAR has been under the spotlight especially in England after Luiz Diaz’s goal for Liverpool was incorrectly disallowed in their 2-1 defeat at Tottenham on Saturday.
The VAR officials failed to overturn the incorrect offside decision to disallow the goal leading the English referees’ body PGMOL to issue a statement blaming “significant human error” in the Premier League game.
Liverpool released a statement on Monday saying that the mistake “undermined sporting integrity.”
VAR official Darren England and his assistant Dan Cook were replaced for their next matches at Nottingham Forest-Brentford on Sunday and Monday’s Fulham-Chelsea game respectively.
Forest and Brentford managers Steve Cooper and Thomas Frank were also highly critical of VAR following the 1-1 draw between their teams on Sunday.
Christian Pulisic says VAR technology should be ‘completely eliminated’
USMNT superstar Christian Pulisic has claimed football would be ‘better off’ without VAR following a string of recent controversies surrounding the technology.
The 25-year-old AC Milan winger, who recently wowed on his debut for the Italian giants, said it should be ‘completely’ eliminated from the game.
‘I don’t mind the Goal Line Technology at all, I think it’s great in my opinion but other than that I know its one of those things where if it goes for you, you love it. If it’s against you, you hate it,’ he told Men In Blazers.
He added: ‘Eliminate it completely,’ before stating: ‘Overall as a fan, I just think we’re better off without it.’
The former Chelsea player’s comments come after a bungled VAR call cost Liverpool a goal against Tottenham on Saturday.
Luis Diaz had his strike disallowed for offside but VAR Darren England and assistant Dan Cook mistakenly thought the on-field decision was onside, so did not correct the blunder.
Liverpool heaped pressure on referees’ body PGMOL on Monday by demanding a copy of the tape and now they are expected to be granted their wish.
Both the officials at the heart of the controversy have been dropped for upcoming Premier League fixtures by the PGMOL.
Gary Neville slammed the original decision on Sky Sports, saying: ‘We have the lines on the pitch. These groundspeople never get a line wrong. They are so accurate. Look at the lines on the pitch.
‘I’ve defended VAR offsides as a matter of fact. There’s been a few I thought that’s not right. To me that one there… just no. It was all too quick. It was so quick. It wasn’t right. At the time I was like, “OK let’s move on”.
‘That is clearly Romero’s foot and Diaz’s shoulder. There’s only two players in shot. It’s almost now like what are they doing? They’re picking the wrong cameras to do the lines on… the wrong angles. It’s just weird! Something doesn’t feel right.’
Sportfive nets third-party rights to Brazil, Argentina’s home W/Cup qualifiers
A key piece of the puzzle in the South American media-rights market has been solved ahead of the Conmebol Fifa World Cup qualifiers that get underway this week, with the Sportfive agency landing rights for matches involving Brazil and Argentina.
Sportfive has secured exclusive third-party media rights (territories outside of the two countries playing) to all home 2026 World Cup qualifiers of the two South American giants, having reached an agreement with two agencies: Brax for Brazil’s rights and Torneos for Argentina’s.
Brazil’s first home game in the World Cup qualifiers is against Bolivia on September 8, while world champions Argentina kick off their campaign tomorrow (Thursday) at home to Ecuador.
In addition, Sportfive will sell third-party media rights for all home friendlies played by Brazil outside of the Americas. This was a long-term contract previously held by the UK-based Pitch International agency that expired after the 2022 World Cup.
It is a significant contract win for Sportfive and comes less than a year after Pedro Cubillos returned to the agency tasked with overseeing media rights acquisitions and sales across Latin America.
Cubillos was with Lagardère Sports – renamed Sportfive in 2020 following the takeover by H.I.G. Capital – for close to a decade. In 2019 he set up Tribe Sports Marketing agency with former colleague Marco Gonzalez.
Thomas Klingebiel, president of media at Sportfive, said: “We are thrilled to have secured these exclusive media rights for the South American World Cup Qualifiers. This agreement reinforces Sportfive’s commitment to delivering top-tier sports content to a global audience.”
South American football governing body Conmebol does not sell collective rights to World Cup qualifiers in the region. Rather, the football federations sell domestic and international rights to their respective home qualifiers and friendlies on an individual basis.
It means last-minute deals have often been required to ensure widespread exposure of the Conmebol World Cup qualifiers.
Just this week, SportBusiness reported clarity over Bolivia’s matches, after the Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) was granted domestic rights to its home World Cup qualifiers after a court ruled against a claim from Mediapro and Sports TV Rights, which bid for the rights in a tender earlier this year.
The FBF was granted a ‘constitutional protection’ by the Departmental Court of La Paz that will enable the federation to exploit the rights on its own FBF Play streaming platform, rather than selling the rights to a third party such as Sports TV Rights or Mediapro.
Days earlier, and before the FBF had the legal right to sell Bolivia’s matches, Brazilian broadcaster Globo secured exclusive rights to the home matches of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.
This secured the broadcaster’s near-universal coverage of the qualifiers in Brazil, as it had already retained domestic rights to the Brazilian national team’s home World Cup qualifying matches and friendlies until 2026.
Mediapro holds international rights to all of Peru’s home qualifiers and friendlies over the quadrennial period between World Cups. It also holds global media and marketing rights to the international matches of Chile in conjunction with the 1190 Sports agency over the 2023-26 period.
Aside from the individual sales, a quartet of South American football associations banded together in May to sell media rights to their home 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers on a collective basis, in what experts regarded as a step in the right direction for the region’s international football rights market.
The Uruguayan Football Association (AUF), Paraguayan Football Association (APF), Ecuadorian Football Federation (EFE) and Venezuelan Football Federation (FVF) issued a joint Request for Proposal (RFP) on May 18, initially giving interested parties until June 8 to submit bids. No deals have been confirmed following the tender, however, Mediapro is understood to be the favourite to acquire the rights.
Six South American nations will qualify automatically for the 2026 World Cup in USA-Mexico-Canada (up from five at Qatar 2022) and with one other entering an inter-confederation playoff, only three nations will be automatically ruled out of qualification.
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