first_img Press Association Advocaat has confirmed the 27-year-old midfielder, who was charged with three offences of sexual activity with a child under 16 and one of grooming on Thursday, remains available for selection with the club reviewing the situation. For the time being at least, the Black Cats’ position remains unchanged, and that means Johnson, who has been used as a substitute in the last three games, can play on as Sunderland battle relegation. Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat has insisted it was not a difficult decision to include Adam Johnson in his squad for Saturday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Stoke. Advocaat’s side currently sit 16th in the table, but just a point clear of the bottom three, and he has set them a target of at least six points to avoid the drop. In the circumstances, he needs all the players he can get, and especially a man who cost £10million when he arrived from Manchester City during the summer of 2012. Johnson’s continued presence could prove all the more important after the Dutchman revealed that striker Steven Fletcher travelled to London on Friday to consult a specialist over a troublesome ankle injury. Asked if it was a difficult situation for a coach, Advocaat replied: “No, because the club made a statement about it and I stay behind that, and we will wait and see what the future will bring. “He still has to come in, but in principle if he feels okay, then he will be a member of the squad. If he’s in the squad, then I will consider him for selection, otherwise he would not be in the squad.” Johnson has already been the target of unsavoury chants from fans of rival clubs, but Advocaat is confident that will not be an issue during the final weeks of the season. He said: “No, I don’t think so.” Advocaat’s comments came after Sunderland released a statement outlining their position on the matter. It said: “Following yesterday’s statement from Durham Constabulary, the club recognises that the formal legal process must take its course and whilst our position remains unchanged, we will keep the matter under review. “The club will not be making any further comment.” Johnson is due to appear at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on May 20 – the Black Cats face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium that evening – but in theory, should be available to play in the other five games Sunderland have in which to preserve their top-flight status. last_img read more


first_imgCYCLE coach Hassan Mohamed will tomorrow be conducting an 11-race cycle programme around the inner circuit of the National Park beginning at 09:00hrs.The activity is being sponsored by beverage giant Banks DIH Limited under its Malta Supreme brand and the company’s Outdoor manager Mortimer Stewart, along with Malta Supreme brand manager Clayton McKenzie and Errol Nelson, are expected to present the winners of the respective categories with their prizes.The feature event will see schoolboys, novices and invitational riders battle over 35 laps and the top six finishers will be rewarded for their efforts.The defending champion is Team Evolution’s Michael Anthony who won the event last year in a time of one hour 19 minutes 25.27 seconds.The winners of the other categories last year were: Romello Crawford who had won the juveniles 10-lap race, Junior Niles the veterans Under-45 years five-lap race who will be seeking to make a successful defence of that title, Sean Bourne the mountain bikers’ five-lap race and Whitney Poyer who is the defending champion of the boys-and-girls’ three-lap race.However, Crawford is currently in the United States and so a new champion will be crowned.Other races on the card will be open to veterans Over-45 years (five laps), BMX boys nine to 12 years over three laps and BMX boys six to nine years over two laps.Riders will be in action tomorrow (July 1) at the inner circuit of the National Park, the venue for the seventh annual Malta Supreme 11-race programme. Set to start at 09:00hrs, the day’s activities will cater for all categories of riders.Organised by national cycling coach Hassan Mohamed, the event will be witnessed by top officials of sponsor Banks DIH Limited, Mortimer Stewart, Clayton McKenzie and Errol Nelson.Michael Anthony is set to defend his title in the feature 35-lap Schoolboys and Invitational, while the other category winners from last year were Romello Crawford (10-lap juveniles), Junior Niles (5-lap veterans Under-50), Sean Bourne (5-lap mountain bikes) and Whitney Poyer (3-lap 12-14 boys and girls).Anthony’s winning time in 2016 was recorded as one hour 19 minutes 25.27 seconds. Mohamed is urging riders to come out and be part of the race, as he continues to provide an avenue for them to test their competitiveness.last_img read more


first_imgThe bond between sisters is one of the strongest that can be found in human nature. For the Wisconsin women’s basketball team, the bond between redshirt junior forward Michala Johnson and her younger sister, freshman forward Malayna Johnson, has helped on and off the court. It played a large role two years ago when one of them got the other to come to Wisconsin, and it has improved both of their games on the court and their relationship off the court.Hailing from Bellwood, Ill., a town about 13 miles outside of downtown Chicago, the Johnson sisters took very different paths to get to Madison. Coming out of high school, Michala was a blue-chip prospect who committed to play her collegiate career at powerhouse Connecticut. However, following two seasons in which she averaged just 5.1 minutes per game and wanting to play closer to home, Michala decided to transfer.While Michala was deciding between schools to transfer to, Malayna had already committed to play for the Badgers and head coach Bobbie Kelsey. ESPN gave her a score of 91 out of 100 coming out of high school, making Malayna yet another blue-chip in the Johnson family.And in a bit of a role reversal, the younger Malayna played the role of recruiter, trying to bring Michala’s talents to Madison two years ago.“I committed [to Wisconsin] first, before [Michala] even thought about coming here,” Malayna said. “I like the campus, I like the coaches. I didn’t mind if Michala came here at all. So when she decided to transfer I told her, ‘What about Wisconsin? That would be cool if we got to play together.’”Michala wasn’t originally going to come to Madison, and told Malayna that she would stay away if she didn’t want her on the same team.“I wasn’t going to come [to Wisconsin] because Malayna was here,” Michala said. “I told her if you want me to come, I’ll come, but if not I’ll go somewhere else. In high school and AAU we played on the same team and we had the same coaches and they would always compare us two. They would tell her that she needs to do what your older sister is doing. And I said if you don’t want that again, I’ll go somewhere else, but then she said she wanted me to come with her.”Luckily for Kelsey and the rest of the Badger team, Michala joined her sister and chose Wisconsin.Michala currently leads the Badgers in scoring, averaging 16.9 points per game (6th in the Big Ten) while ranking second on the team with 7.3 rebounds (10th in the Big Ten). Her 55.1 field-goal percentage is also a team-high and good for third best in the conference. Michala’s 6-foot-3 height has wreaked havoc in the post for opposing teams as they usually employ a double-team simply to contain her. She has been instrumental in helping Wisconsin match last year’s win total in Big Ten play.Malayna hasn’t had the impact that her older sister has, but it would be hard to match those numbers as just a freshman. Yet her playing time has increased in Big Ten play, as she now averages 6.1 minutes per game with even more playing time on the horizon.She stands an inch taller than Michala at 6-foot-4, which is what drew Kelsey’s attention to her while Malayna was in high school.“Well she’s 6-4, so it’s not hard to understand how she can affect the game,” Kelsey said. “She can change and alter shots. Other than that she’s smart, she picks up plays and schemes really well.”“Now that [Malayna’s] been here long enough she can understand the basketball language,” Kelsey added. “She’s just finding herself out there more. So we’ll get her more minutes.”What might be the most important thing, for the two sisters that is, is the ability to be with each other almost every day. Although they may not be attached at the hip, a bond between the two certainly exists that translates to the court.Whether it’s watching each other to improve their own games, teaching one another on and off the court, or simply lending a helping hand, the sisterly bond is evident in the Johnsons’ play.“We’re best friends,” Malayna said. “We hang out a lot, even at home. Our mom raised us to be best friends. Since we’re close off the court, we kind of have a vibe on the court too.”“I’ve always tried to help her as best as I could,” Michala said. “She listens to me sometimes, but I can tell that now she’s gotten into college and started playing basketball she now understands what I’ve been telling her for a long time. But she’s stepped a lot. I mean she’s the only freshman that’s playing right now so she’s improved a lot.”“On the court she knows my voice,” Michala added. “She knows I’ll be there to help her if she needs help with a double-team or anything like that.”Next season could feature an all-Johnson front line for the Badgers but until then, they’ll continue to learn from one another. And although Malayna has improved this season with Michala’s help, there is little doubt as to which of the two sisters would win in a game of one-on-one against each other.“Me,” Michala said. “Most definitely. Without a doubt. Every time.”last_img read more


first_imgRussian oligarch Alisher Usmanov will pay the wages owed to the national team’s head coach Fabio Capello, according to Russian media reports.The 61-year-old businessman was asked by Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko to provide the Russian Football Union (RFS) with a subsidised loan worth 400 million roubles ($6.01 million).Media reports say Italian coach Capello and the team’s general manager Oreste Cinquini are owed around 600 million roubles and were last paid in June 2014.Mutko said on Thursday that Capello’s salary issues would be settled within the next two days.”We spoke with Alisher Usmanov for around an hour and managed to get things sorted out. As a citizen of Russia he would also have been embarrassed that we as a country that plans to host the next World Cup cannot even pay the head coach of Russia,” Mutko told news agency RBC-Sport.Usmanov was named by Forbes as Russia’s richest person in 2014, with a fortune of $18.6 billion. He is also the second-largest shareholder at English Premier League side Arsenal. Sources close to Usmanov said that he had given the Russian Football Union a gift of 300 million roubles before the 2014 World Cup.–last_img read more