Russian Grand Prix: Nico Rosberg Triumphs

Nico Rosberg has won a fourth time this season after winning the Russian Grand Prix, which he dominated since the start. At the same time, it wasn’t easy for Lewis Hamilton as he had an engine failure in the qualifying round and consequently had to start at 10th position. However, as expected Hamilton was the best in the race, fighting back hard to gain 8 positions and finishing second. Now, Rosberg is leading with 43 points after his victory.

Other happenings at the Grand Prix include Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel’s crashing out on the first lap after being hit twice by Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat. Hamilton was impressive, but had bad luck when he closed dramatically on Rosberg in the mid-part of the race, however had to back off to protect his engine.

After Hamilton overtook Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen on lap seven and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas on lap 19, he came to second position right behind Rosberg. Though the Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived late, he watched Rosberg and Hamilton finishing the race.

Jamie Vardy of Leicester City is the Footballer of the Year

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has been voted Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association (FWA). He is 29 years old and has scored 22 league goals so far. His achievement that propelled his selection was to help his team become an odds-on favourite as they won the Premier League title for the first time this season.

He has also become the first player to score in 11 consecutive Premier League matches earlier this season.
Consequently, his record-breaking feat has captured the imagination of several writers. Another fact loved by the writers is his remarkable journey from non-league to the international stage.

Vardy won 36 percent of the vote, and beat team mates Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante, who finished second and third. He is the first Leicester player to win the Award since it was started in 1948.

Founder member of Sports & Cultural Club dies young

Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 34, died recently due to a heart attack. He was the eldest son of Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, and UAE’s Vice President and Prime Minister. He was a graduate from the Sandhurst Military Academy, Berkshire. An enthusiastic sportsperson, he was a founding member of Dubai Sports and Cultural Club; and had earned two gold medals in horse endurance races at the Asian Games 2006, Doha, Qatar. Besides sports, he was also actively involved in charitable activities: he regularly contributed to Dubai Cares, which aims to take care of child poverty.

Martina and Sania Win Their Sixth Title

Martina-Sania pair – the world’s number one women’s doubles tennis team – recently won the Guangzhou Open, defeating Shilin Xu and Xiaodi You of China with a score of 6-3 and 6-1. They did not lose even a single set in the entire championship. This was Sania Mirza’s seventh title of the season. They have also won two Grand Slams (Wimbledon and the US Open) this year. Sania Mirza has been recently conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – the highest sporting honour of India.

Word’s First Billion Dollar Football Club Arrives

Manchester United has recently become the world’s first billion dollar football brand. A recent evaluation by Brand Finance, Manchester United (MU) shows that Manchester City and Chelsea are performing better than Arsenal. Brand Finance is a leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy. It calculates both the strength and the value of a brand. Brand strength reflects the notional potential of the brand, and its value is calculated based on its ability to generate income. For that, the team or the club must have star players and it must prove itself a tactically brilliant team on the ground. The German brand will now be able to produce their kits for the next decade seized in a deal worth $1.1 billion. This savvy business operation is the key reason why Barcelona, the club with the strongest brand in the world, is only rated sixth. Manchester United’s business power is why it is on top of the list.

The 12-second Lag in IPL

Who has benefitted the most from the Indian Premier League cricket games? The players, the organisers, or the viewers? Wrong! Bookies have benefitted the most. And the reason? Just a matter of 12 seconds! If you haven’t understood, please read further.

The Process

The bookies are taking advantage of a glitch in the technology and in the process are earning millions of dollars. They are exploiting the extra-long gap between real-time and telecast feed that is taking place. The bookies have their men (called pitch-siders) planted in the stadium itself who keep providing a real-time ball-by-ball commentary on phone to them. Now, bookies know what’s happening in real time in the stadium, while the bettors feel that they are watching the match “live”. When bettors place their bets, bookies already know what has happened in the stadium. The whole betting system is very fast because bets are being placed on every ball. In some cases, the gap between two balls may be 10 to 12 seconds. So, actually if several bettors are risking a few million dollars on a ball expecting that the batsman would be out on that ball, the bookies already know if in reality he was out or not, and they would play their betting game accordingly. The end result would be a big-time cheating, but betting anyway is illegal so no one goes to the law-enforcing agencies, and the bookies walk away with a stash of cash.

The Real Time Lag

In any case, what is seen as live on television is 3-to-5-seconds-old as it takes that much time to travel before it is broadcast as “live” on television. Whatever happens live on the ground is recorded by the cameras, and then electronic signals are transmitted through several intermediate stages via satellites and cables to viewers’ TVs. It takes 3 to 5 seconds. However, because there is huge money involved, bookies have resorted to another illegal way of being ahead of the viewers and manipulating the whole betting process. In addition to pitch-siders, they gain an extra edge of a few more seconds by literally stealing feed, which is very similar to stealing power. If you use a hook on a live wire, you can divert the electricity flow and use your own electrical device. In a similar way, the bookies get the live uplink of the feed of the IPL matches, before it is broadcast to viewers. This is being done by installing high-frequency antennas to receive the link before it’s even broadcast.

Viewers Lose

Thus, using the two methods, bookies are exploiting a total gap of 12 seconds. So, what you may actually see on TV as happening in real time may have actually happened 12 seconds ago. Moreover, if you are a diehard bettor and you assume that what you have just seen or heard actually happened at that moment, then you are going to lose big.

It is being investigated now if the UK-based betting site Betfair has any involvement in this high-technology fraud through illegal money transfers by avoiding banking channels in the IPL bettings.

Wowing the Djoker!

And so the French Open is bagged by Stanislas Wawrinka. He very skilfully flipped the winning script written by Novak Djokovic reminding everyone that the world’s greatest clay-court tournament does not follow the script. Wawrinka ended the match with one of his favourite shots marking his 60th victory of the 3 hours 20 minutes game. With the win, Wawrinka is now World number 4 while Djokovic remains number 1. The Champion then raised his racket in the air to celebrate his success. Wawrinka is considered to be the second Swiss player to win the French Open in the past seven years as Roger Federer won in the year 2009. Other than Wawrinka and Federer, Nadal has every other French Open championship since 2005.
Wawrinka won the first French Open on his 11th attempt, and he is the second oldest man in the history of French Open to win the title. Before him, Andreas Gomez at the age of 30 had defeated Andre Agassi in 1990. The defeat shattered world number one Djokovic’s hopes of a career grand slam as he was defeated for the third time in four finals at Roland Garros. Wawrinka stated in a recent interview “It’s great feeling, but in the same time you need to realize what I did. I’m proud of winning against Novak. He is such a tough player to play, especially in [the] final.”

FIFA: Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini get Eight-Year Bans

A recent verdict announces that the Fifa president Sepp Blatter and Uefa boss Michel Platini have been suspended for eight years from all football-related activities following an ethics investigation. They were found guilty of breaches surrounding a £1.3m ($2m) “disloyal payment” made to Platini in 2011. Both men denied any wrongdoing. The bans come into
force immediately.

Fifa boss since 1998, Blatter, 79, had already announced he was quitting ahead of February’s presidential election. Platini, 60, was tipped as a future leader of football’s world governing body and had hoped to succeed Blatter. A three-time European Footballer of the Year and former captain of France, he had been in charge of Uefa – European football’s governing body – since 2007.