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Gareth Bale confirms move to MLS leaders Los Angeles FC

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The 32-year-old Bale will join LAFC as a free agent with his contract due to end this summer as the signing is expected to be announced “within a few days.”

Wales forward Gareth Bale has confirmed his move to Major League Soccer (MLS) side Los Angeles FC (LAFC) following his departure from LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

The 32-year-old, who signed for Spanish giants Real from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 for a then-record transfer fee of $105.54 million (100 million euros), made the announcement on Sunday.

He is set to join as a free agent with his contract due to end this summer.

Bale confirmed the move with a tweet Saturday, writing, “See you soon, Los Angeles,” alongside a video of himself in an LAFC jersey and hat.

Bale enjoyed a trophy-laden spell with Real, winning three LaLiga titles, five Champions League crowns, three Club World Cups and the Spanish Cup, although his time at the club was marred by injuries.

The Welshman will likely be best remembered for scoring twice, including a stunning overhead kick, in the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool.

He also netted a superb winner against Barcelona in the 2014 Copa del Rey final.

Debut against local rivals

Bale was often targeted by the Spanish media, who labelled him a “parasite” after he missed Real’s 4-0 home loss to Barcelona in March immediately before appearing for Wales, and he was jeered by some fans during a league game in April.

He led Wales to a first World Cup finals since 1958 as they beat Ukraine 1-0 in their playoff in Cardiff earlier this month.

The Welshman will join Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini who signed for LAFC this month after his departure from Juventus.

The secondary transfer window in the US opens on July 7, with a report on the official MLS website saying Bale and Chiellini could make their debuts against local rivals LA Galaxy the following day.

Source: TRT

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Purple pictograms unveiled for Asian Games

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The Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee on Monday launched the first set of kinetic sports pictograms to highlight the concept of a smart Hangzhou Asian Games.

Following the Games’ purple theme, the pictograms make use of motion capture technology to bring out the dynamic essence of each sport.

The background music of the pictograms is rendered by drums and sizhu — traditional stringed and woodwind instruments popular in Hangzhou — integrating the charm of water towns in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River with the power of sports competition.

The pictograms were designed by professors from the Chinese Academy of Art and will be widely used in stadium signs, media broadcasts, urban landscape decorations and promotional media activities, extending the aesthetic culture of the Asian Games to audiences from different cultural backgrounds.

 

Source: China Daily 

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Women cricketers eye Olympics after successful Commonwealths debut

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Women’s cricket was on the Commonwealth Games programme for the first time in Birmingham and had the spotlight to itself, with no matching men’s tournament.

Women cricketers have said they would “love to go to LA” to chase Olympic glory after a strikingly successful debut at the Commonwealth Games.

Australia beat India by nine runs in Sunday’s final in front of a big, noisy crowd at Edgbaston Stadium in BIrmingham to underline their status as the world’s best team.

New Zealand earlier hammered host nation England by eight wickets to take the bronze medal.

Women’s cricket was on the Commonwealth Games programme for the first time in Birmingham and had the spotlight to itself, with no matching men’s tournament.

READ MORE: Unvaccinated Djokovic out of Montreal ATP event

Olympic goals

It is no secret that cricket chiefs want to get the Twenty20 game — the version played in Birmingham — on the list of Olympic sports, even as early as the Los Angeles Games in 2028, although that is a long shot.

International Cricket Council chief executive Geoff Allardice said the Commonwealths had been a “fantastic 10 days of competition” in front of packed-out crowds, describing it as a “superb advert for the women’s game”.

England captain Nat Sciver agreed that the tournament in Birmingham had been a huge shot in the arm for the women’s game.

“Having that new audience from the Commonwealth Games where everyone’s happy to go and watch any sport is something really special and something that can only help women’s cricket,” she said.

“I’d love for cricket to be in an Olympics.”

Big crowds

Australia’s Ash Gardner, who took three wickets in Sunday’s final, was struck by the impact the tournament made in Birmingham.

“You just have to look at how many people came out and watched it, every single game, even when England wasn’t playing,” she said.

“It’s amazing to see that people are just supporting women’s cricket and the best thing about this whole event is that it’s growing the game globally and that’s what us as cricketers want to do.”

New Zealand captain Sophie Devine said the women’s cricketers had put on a “hell of a show”.

She said women’s sport was riding the crest of a wave — a week after England’s women footballers won the European Championship in front of a huge crowd at Wembley.

READ MORE: How Pakistan’s women footballers are making every opportunity count

Source: TRTWorld

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England’s game-changers party

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Lionesses’ Euro 2022 victory and tournament’s wider success hailed as pivotal moment for women’s soccer

In soccer-mad England, which sees itself as the home of the world’s game, women and girls finally have a team full of heroes who look like them.

Some 7,000 singing, dancing, flag-waving fans-many of them mothers and daughters-jammed into central London’s Trafalgar Square on Monday to celebrate England’s victory in the 2022 UEFA Women’s European Championship, the first major tournament victory by any English soccer team in 56 years.

The tournament, hosted by England and watched by record audiences on television and in stadiums across the country, was the culmination of years of investment in women’s soccer that organizers hope will spur more girls to play the game.

Madison Fullerd-Jones is already on board. The 9-year-old from Maidstone, Kent, got up early and traveled to London with her mother, aunt, two sisters and a cousin to celebrate with the Lionesses, as England’s women’s soccer team is known.

Wearing an England shirt and waving a flag bearing the national Cross of St. George, Madison said she hoped to play for England some day, just like her favorite player, Georgia Stanway.

“I just want to show how good I am and show that girls can do what boys can do,” she said. “I’m passionate about football.”

England captain Leah Williamson would be proud.

The legacy of the tournament will be “change of the best kind,” Williamson told the crowd.

“The legacy of the tournament was …what we’ve done for young girls and women who can look up and aspire to be us,” she said, still wearing the winner’s medal that was draped around her neck Sunday night by Prince William.

“I think England has hosted an incredible tournament, and we’ve changed the game in this country, and hopefully across Europe, across the world.”

England beat Germany 2-1 after extra time on Sunday night in a game watched by 87,192 fans at Wembley Stadium, a record for any European championship final, men’s or women’s.

The tournament as a whole attracted 574,875 spectators, more than double the previous record of 240,055 set in 2017 in the Netherlands.

Many more watched on TV, with the final achieving a peak audience of 17.5 million viewers and an average audience share of 66 percent, according to Ratings UK.

The figures underscore the resurrection of women’s soccer in England, where the men who ran the game once banned women from using their facilities for 50 years until the early 1970s.

After previous generations of women soccer players were forced to support themselves by working outside the sport, today’s players are able to focus on the game full-time following the creation of a fully professional league in 2018-19.

Now supporters of the game are targeting increased participation at grassroots level to spur continued success.

The Football Association, the sport’s governing body in England, is campaigning for schools in England to provide equal opportunities for boys and girls to play soccer as part of the curriculum. A recent study found that 72 percent of elementary schools provided equal instruction to boys and girls, but that figure fell to 44 percent in high schools.

“This generation of ladies have had to fight and scrap and do everything,” former England and Arsenal player Ian Wright said on the BBC. “Everybody’s in tears because this is the culmination of a lot of hard work, a lot of suffering, a lot of parents, a lot of people doing a lot of work to get them here.… It’s up to the FA to take over grassroots and get rid of all those barriers.”

The match also prompted immense interest in Germany, where many feel that not enough is being done to support female athletes.

“It’s a concern of the government as a whole to do more for sport, including women’s football,” government spokesman Wolfgang Buchner said Monday in Berlin.

He praised the German team for being such positive role models for young people.

“Perhaps you could say, especially during a summer with so much depressing news, that the wonderful performance of the German women’s team at this European championship has done many people in Germany good,” Buchner said.

Supporters of women’s soccer hope this victory will energize the sport the way the US victory in the 1999 World Cup boosted the sport in North America. That game ended with Brandi Chastain’s knee-sliding, sports bra-revealing celebration after the penalty shootout that sealed the US win over Team China at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

England’s Chloe Kelly reprised that scene in the closing minutes of Sunday’s final, when she ripped off her jersey to celebrate her winner in the closing minutes of the win over Germany.

Manchester City forward Kelly joked about her ecstatic celebrations when she spoke to the crowd Monday, saying: “The shirt’s staying on!”

“I’m proud to wear this badge,” Kelly told the crowd, referring to the England shield on her team shirt. “But I’m even more proud to share the pitch with such an unbelievable group of players.”

Source: China Daily 

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