After a successful season that resulted in a runner-up finish at the NCAA tournament and an individual national championship for junior Doris Chen, the USC women’s golf team picked up several postseason honors over the weekend. For the second time in each of their respective collegiate careers, Chen and sophomore Kyung Kim were named First Team All-Americans by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association.Making her mark · Now-alumna Sofia Popov finishes her career with the Women of Troy having earned four All-American honors. Popov was a force for USC golf in 2014, with four top-10 finishes on the season. – Photo Courtesy of USC Sports Information Chen was named a first teamer as a freshman before picking up second team honors after the Women of Troy’s national championship 2013 season. The Bradenton, Florida native started slowly this spring, but rebounded nicely with a second place tie at the Bruin Wave Invitational in early March. Chen also made a statement at the Pac-12 Championships, leading her team to a second-place tie with a third place finish of her own. After struggling to a 10-over finish at the NCAA West Regional, she bounced back in a big way with a two-stroke victory at the NCAA Championships in Tulsa. With the win, Chen became the Women of Troy’s fifth individual national champion.Kim is now the fourth USC player to be named a First Team All-American in each of her first two seasons at the school. She got off to a hot start this fall, winning and tying for second place in her first two events. During the spring, the Chandler, Arizona native took home a win at the Bruin Wave Invitational and finished in the top-10 three other times. Kim took fourth at the NCAA regionals and finished at 16th in the national tournament. Her 11 sub-70 rounds this season broke a USC record.Also recognized were freshman Karen Chung and sophomore Annie Park, who were named Second Team All-Americans. Chung was strong in her debut season with the Women of Troy, tying for third at the Stanford Intercollegiate and earning a victory at the San Diego State University Farms Invitational. The freshman was named to the All-Pac-12 second team as well based on her early-season performance. Park, who won her own NCAA individual title in 2013, did not miss a step in her sophomore campaign, winning the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in the Women of Troy’s first action of the spring. She was also instrumental in the team’s postseason success, tying for second place at the NCAA regionals. The Levittown, New York native led her team with a stroke average of 71.50, good for second in school history. The only better mark came from Park herself during her phenomenal freshman season.Now-alumna Sophia Popov was named an honorable mention, becoming the second USC women’s golfer to ever earn All-American honors four times. Popov was a first teamer in 2011 and 2013, and adds a second honorable mention to her tally this year. Though she did not win an event in 2014, the German native was remarkably consistent, placing in the top-10 four times. This consistency helped her pick up All-Pac-12 First Team honors as well. After a slow start, Popov was a key part of USC’s valiant comeback effort in this year’s NCAA championships. She leaves USC a national champion and two-time NCAA runner-up.Veteran head coach Andrea Gaston received postseason honors of her own, notably her second consecutive Pac-12 Coach of the Year honor. Gaston has won the award three times in her storied career, which includes three team national titles and four second-place finishes. She has also coached five NCAA individual national champions. Gaston’s 2014 season at USC included a nearly wire-to-wire No. 1 national ranking and nine victories, a school record.
Amongst other details, the audit, carried out by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), found that:Caf’s accounting was “unreliable and not trustworthy”Some 35 of 40 large payments, totaling $8.3m, were “unusual”Caf is “understaffed” with an “overworked” and “demotivated” workforceCaf’s presidential office was “directly involved” in the controversial decision to employ Tactical Steel, a little-known gym equipment manufacturer, to become a key supplier of sportswearThe audit highlighted transactions totaling more than $20m (£15.4m) which either have “little or no supporting documentation” or were considered “higher risk”.One area the PwC audit suggested further investigating was “the role played” by Caf President Ahmad and his attaché, Loic Gerand, among others, in the deal with French company Tactical Steel. The company’s financial dealings with Caf were described as “highly suspicious”.Mr Ahmad has already strenuously denied any wrongdoing with regard to this case.The forensic audit – which was complicated by Caf’s tendency to make most of its payments in cash – also suggested considerable reforms were needed throughout Caf.The organization’s structure was described as being over-reliant on decisions made by the executive committee (ExCo), despite the latter meeting “once a quarter, resulting in delays in key decision-making and preventing managers of Caf departments from making timely business-critical decisions”.In addition, a lack of clarity in Caf’s organizational structure has left departments “understaffed” and existing staff both “overworked” and “generally demotivated”.The confidential audit, a copy of which has been seen by the BBC, was carried out as part of the unprecedented decision to send the Secretary-General of football’s world governing body, Fifa, to improve the way that Caf was run.Concluding her six-month role in early February, Fatma Samoura presented her findings to leading figures in the Caf administration, who have said they will address the recommendations laid out by a joint Fifa/Caf taskforce.These include, among others, a major restructuring of Caf’s organizational hierarchy, introducing a term limit for both the president and ExCo members and the introduction of an ethics code.Whether ExCo members are prepared to approve fundamental changes when they meet on Friday is another matter. But a statement this week made the right noises.“More than 30 years of outdated and patriarchal management at Caf have resulted in important shortcomings at all levels of operations,” Caf said.“Caf will persevere… to ensure that we achieve the highest international standards.”The damning audit highlights a raft of financial deals that require further investigation, with Caf President Ahmad, a 60-year-old from Madagascar, one of those under scrutiny.The president Mr. Ahmad has been President of Caf since March 2017“From the email communication, it appears that Tactical Steel established the initial contact with Caf through Caf’s President office”PwC recommended an investigation into Ahmad’s role in the controversial decision to employ Tactical Steel, a little-known gym equipment manufacturer, to become a key supplier of sportswear to Caf.Mr. Ahmad has previously told the BBC – in response to being asked if he had canceled a deal with sportswear company Puma, worth $250,000, to take up a larger order with Tactical Steel, worth $1m, in December 2017 – that the accusations were “false, malicious, defamatory (and) part of a vendetta”.The Caf president blamed his general secretary, Amr Fahmy, who had formally complained to Fifa, for spreading the story. Caf’s finance director at the time, Mohamed El Sherei, also took the case to Fifa.Both men have since been dismissed.“From the communications reviewed, it appears that Caf’s president office was directly involved in agreeing to the initial offer of Tactical Steel and then the additional handling and logistics costs without involving relevant departments in Caf such as Procurement, Marketing, and Finance,” the PwC audit said.Tactical Steel is run by Romauld Seillier, a long-standing friend – and former army colleague – of Loic Gerand, Mr. Ahmad’s attaché. Ivory Coast FA elections: Asamoah Gyan backs Didier Drogba Tactical Steel’s website highlights its role in both making and supplying gym equipmentDuring the course of this deal, several payments made by Caf to Tactical Steel and the latter’s affiliate, ES Pro Consulting Ltd, based in the United Arab Emirates, were returned to Caf for reasons that are unclear.“The refunds from Tactical Steel and ES Pro Consulting… are highly suspicious which could potentially indicate a kickback arrangement between parties involved or a case of tax evasion through off-shore payments,” the audit said.In June 2019, Mr. Ahmad, who took charge of Caf in March 2017, was questioned in the French capital, Paris, by anti-corruption authorities before being released without charge.PwC’s audit has also suggested closing down Caf’s Emergency Committee, a group involving the Caf President and any three ExCo members, which can bypass ExCo and fast track decision making.“Based on the documentation at hand, it appears that the decisions of the Emergency Committee has (sic) been taken in a less than transparent matter,” the report stated.The auditors observed “multiple payments for the same period/dates” when it came to claiming travel expenses. Although the report failed to mention Mr Ahmad by name in relation to expenses, the BBC revealed last year how the Caf president received two different sets of expenses when for being in two different countries at the same time.Given that the audit was conducted “in relation to Fifa Ethics guidance”, it remains to be seen what action, if any, will be taken against the Malagasy.‘Unusual payments’ The Confederation of African Football’s headquarters in Egypt“A large number of payments were made in cash. The use of cash for business expenses in this manner results in little or no audit trail to verify if the cash has been spent legitimately or not.”As part of its audit, PwC reviewed just under $10m of payments made with money that Fifa gave to Caf to distribute as part of its Fifa Forward programme, which aims to enhance football development in countries across the world.However, only five of the 40 payments “appeared to be aligned to purpose”, said the report.The rest – totaling some $8.3m – either had “little or no supporting documentation” or were considered “unusual/higher risk” with no patterns “identified in terms of the nature of the value of the payments”.Details were thin on the ground in some cases – with the governing body of the central and east African region, Cecafa, receiving a payment of $0.5m when the only information was given was that this was to organize an Under-17 match in Burundi.Meanwhile, the governing body of the southern African region, Cosafa, was allocated $400,000 to stage an Under-20 game.The story was largely the same for the annual subvention funds that Caf pays to its 54 member associations, which is currently $200,000 per year – has risen from $50,000 and then $100,000 per year under Mr. Ahmad.Of the 66 high-risk payments reviewed, 48 – worth some $11m – had insufficient documentation.Particularly troubling were three payments of $100,125 each supposedly made for the benefit of the Liberian FA – one of which ended up in Estonia, two of which were sent to a mystery company in Poland. ‘We want to play in big competitions’ – Jordan Ayew targets European spot with Crystal Palace Football’s governing body in Africa has been shown to be in a state of disarray, an audit has revealed.The investigation into the Confederation of African Football (Caf) questioned the body’s accounting, its governance, and its payments. An annual grant supposedly destined for the Liberian FA ended up in a company in PolandThis was called Rosenbaum Contemporary and when its website was operating – prior to disappearing in 2019 – it identified itself as an industrial company.Why the money went there is unclear, with PwC recommending legal action to recover the funds as well as a desire to “rule out ‘insider’ involvement’ within Caf”.Complicating matters for those trying to understand the true nature of Caf’s finances is the fact that many of the organization’s payments are made in cash, particularly to staff.It cites a withdrawal of $350,000 in cash in December 2017, which was simply marked as “payroll expenses”, by way of example.Of the 25 information requests that PwC made to Caf, all were granted save for three – with both “bonuses” and “travel expenses” among the latter.Executive committee With an unclear hierarchy and delays in decisions, Caf’s working environment appears far from perfect – with the result that staff are said to be “demotivated”.“Staff expressed a lack of systematic communication, concerning key decisions, resulting in a great amount of unclarity… and feeling of exclusion,” said the audit.“Staff are unaware of the existing organization structure… Job roles and responsibilities assigned to individual staff members are not properly defined and known.”The list goes on – from a lack of leadership, committees meeting on an “ad-hoc basis without systematic planning” through to the lack of a dedicated IT department.In addition, staff attendance, overtime, vacations, and medical absences are said to be neither monitored nor captured.Meanwhile, large swathes of financial records are simply missing – with PwC estimating that it was unable to access around 20% of the data required for the period in review, which covered 2014-2019.“Several sweeping governance and operational measures have already been implemented before and during the six-month partnership with Fifa,” Caf’s statement said.“The ExCo has scheduled a meeting for 14 February to validate the 2020-21 Caf roadmap which will take into accounts (sic) all the recommendations.”Given the roadmap suggests relieving the ExCo of management and administrative responsibilities, it promises to be quite some journey. Source: BBC Sports Tags: Ahmad AhmadCAFCAF AuditFIFA “Caf being a football governing body to promote and develop the game in Africa, it is important that Caf effectively manages its stakeholders – external and internal – effectively. Currently, there is little or no understanding of who the stakeholders are for the individual department.” ‘I’m happy at Crystal Palace’ – Jordan Ayew says amid transfer speculation Executive Committee members are said to hinder, not help, Caf’s operations“During the review, it was observed that payments and reimbursements to ExCo members majorly contribute to Caf’s administrative expenses”Caf’s ExCo – which is effectively the organization’s board – also has issues to address in light of the audit, which questions the manner in which they are compensated.“Exco members – jointly or through a committee comprising a part of the Exco members (e.g. compensation committee) – propose and approve salaries, bonuses, end of term benefits, indemnities and allowances for the members of the ExCo, leading to a self-approval situation.”Thirty-five payments made to the ExCo were reviewed yet not one had all the “required documentation to clearly establish the legitimacy of the payments”.In 2016 – a period when Mr. Ahmad’s predecessor Issa Hayatou was in charge – $36,150 was paid to wives of ExCo members yet the latter could not provide documents regarding the “eligibility of spouses of ExCo members for such payments”.“Caf has also booked several ad-hoc payments to ExCo members – e.g. buying gifts, offering donations, organizing funeral etc. – for which no documents were provided for review,” the audit added.Despite receiving indemnities of $450 per day when on duty and an annual bonus of at least $60,000, ExCo members are considered by the audit to hinder Caf’s daily working activities.“The ExCo, which is held responsible to take all executive decisions, meets once a quarter, resulting in delays in key decision making and preventing managers of Caf departments from making timely business-critical decisions.”Governance Despite the issues, Caf hosted a glittering awards ceremony in Egypt earlier this year RelatedPosts
World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide “We’ve really prepared hard for this fight and you can expect that we’re going to give a great performance,” said the soft-spoken Ancajas in Filipino on Tuesday during the Philippine Sportswriters Association at Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.READ: Jerwin Ancajas keeps crownFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJoven Jimenez, Ancajas’ trainer and manager, said they have been training for the bout since mid February two weeks after Ancajas’ win over Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico last January 29 in Macau.Jimenez said Kinoshita may be taller, older and more experienced than his prized ward, but Ancajas believes he’s quicker and stronger. READ: Ancajas beats Puerto Rican champ, grabs IBF title Ancajas’ camp leaves for Brisbane on Saturday. Jimenez said it’s important for Ancajas to get himself acclimatized with the cold weather.Ancajas, who currently weighs at 121 six pounds shy from meeting the required 115-pound limit, refused to give any predictions but stressed he’s focused on winning and not about going for a knockout.“The knockout will come. We’re just thinking about the kind of strategy we’re going to use in the fight. But if there’s an opportunity to go for the knockout, we’re going to go for it.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Cignal shuts down Racal in D-League Finals rematch WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH “He (Kinoshita) is a typical Korean fighter who has a solid chin,” Jimenez said.READ: Ancajas risks title vs Mexican today“He’s a stylist and is a good counter puncher. We focused our training to develop my speed and power and I think those are my advantages over him,” Ancajas, who started training when he was 9-years-old, told INQUIRER.net.The 25-year-old Ancajas, who hails from Panabo, Davao del Norte, has the numbers to prove he has power in his fists with 17 of his 26 wins coming off knockouts against only one loss and one draw.Kinoshita owns almost like a similar record as Ancajas with 25-1-1, he only has eight KOs.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIES Jerwin Ancajas. Photo by Mark GiongcoFilipino boxing champion Jerwin Ancajas vowed to put on his best performance yet against a sturdy opponent in Japanese-Korean Teiru Kinoshita on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia.Ancajas will defend his IBF junior bantamweight title against mandatory challenger Kinoshita in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn main event.ADVERTISEMENT What ‘missteps’? MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments
The four members of Russia’s anti-Kremlin ‘Pussy Riot’ punk band, who invaded the pitch during the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup between France and Croatia, have been freed from policy custody after spending 16 days in detention, their lawyer said on Wednesday.The pitch invaders spent 15 days in policy custody for wearing the police uniforms and running on the pitch during the World Cup final on July 15 — something they did to promote free speech in the country.Moscow court has sentenced a 15-day jail term to all the four of the pitch invaders. The judge also banned the four from attending sports events for three years.The four were Veronika Nikulshina, Olga Pakhtusova, Olga Kurachyova and Pyotr Verzilov, the only male.Their lawyer Nikolai Vasilyev said on Wednesday that they were due to be released on Monday but were immediately detained after being freed and then they were held for a further day before being let up late on Tuesday.Also read – World Cup 2018 final pitch invaders get 15-day jail sentenceIt was unclear whether they will face further charges of disobeying the police and of holding a public event without prior permission, which the police had unsuccessfully tried to pin on them, Vasilyev said.Those offences carry maximum jail terms of 10 and 15 days.The group’s brief pitch invasion at Moscow’s main stadium in front of President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking officials marked a rare security breach in the Russia-hosted World Cup. Four members Russia’s ‘Pussy Riot’ punk band invaded the pitch during FIFA World Cup final. (Reuters Photo)One of the invaders, Kurachyova said their stunt, which held up the game only briefly, was meant to promote freedom of speech and condemn policies of FIFA, soccer’s global governing body.advertisement”It is a pity that we disrupted the sportsmen,” Kurachyova told reporters on Monday.WATCH: Russian punk band invades pitch”FIFA is involved in unfair games unfortunately. FIFA is a friend of heads of states who carry out repression, who violate human rights.”Another invader Verzilov said the performance was also meant to show how “the state, in the form of the police, intrudes into people’s lives”.Three of Pussy Riot’s original members were jailed in 2012 for staging a protest against Putin in a church and the group has since become a symbol of anti-Kremlin direct action.Security personnel reacted slowly initially as the quartet, all identically dressed in white shirts, black trousers and black hats, ran on to the field from behind the French goal, trying to high-five players.Croatia defender Dejan Lovren shoved one person to the ground before security personnel carried them off.On the other hand, Kylian Mbappe shared a high-five with one of the intruders as she ran towards him for a high-five. (With Reuters inputs)
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The chairman and ranking member of the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee both expressed their support for the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) during a hearing Thursday on the administration’s fiscal 2019 budget request for military construction. Their remarks followed in the wake of a proposal by House Armed Services Chair Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) to eliminate OEA and six other defense support agencies as part of a broader initiative to trim spending on Pentagon overhead by 25 percent.At the outset of questioning the witnesses, Chairman John Boozman (R-Ark.) told Lucian Niemeyer, assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, he was pleased to see that his prepared testimony included language highlighting the role played by OEA. “OEA’s work is important in the state of Arkansas. And we are currently engaged with OEA on several joint land use studies for installations. I believe maintaining support for this office is crucial and I’m glad you view their work in collaboration with local communities as important and essential as I do,” Boozman said.Niemeyer’s written testimony touched on the agency’s role in preserving DOD’s testing and training ranges, strengthening defense supply chains and promoting alliances between installations and their surrounding communities. “Maintaining support for this office is crucial to the continued ability of our installations to safely and securely operate while responding to fluctuations in military activities, and keeping faith with our service members and families by addressing quality of life issues in local defense communities,” he stated.At the conclusion of the hearing, ranking member Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said he wanted “to echo the chairman’s enthusiasm” for OEA. “From the policymakers’ perspective, I think it’s at least pretty nearly unanimous,” Schatz said. A webcast of the hearing can be found on the committee’s website.DOD photo by Army Sgt. James McCann