‘Majority’ back 48-team Qatar World Cup, says Infantino

first_img0Shares0000Infantino said that a majority of countries support expanding the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams © AFP / KARIM JAAFARDOHA, Qatar, Dec 13 – A “majority” of football federations support increasing the number of teams playing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar from 32 to 48, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in Doha on Thursday.Speaking at a press conference after a three-day FIFA summit in the Qatari capital, Infantino said the idea had widespread backing from associations across the globe. “We will see,” he said. “So far, of course the majority is in favour because 16 more teams to participate, not only means 16 more countries with World Cup fever but also 50 or 60 more countries being able to dream.“Is it feasible or not, that’s the question?”FIFA has said it will make its final decision in March, at its next council meeting, after the completion of a feasibility study.It has backed a 48-team tournament to become the norm from 2026, when the World Cup will take place in the USA, Mexico and Canada.And he said that Qatar would consider the idea of a 48-team World Cup in four years’ time.“There is an openness on the part of Qatar and that is something that I really appreciate,” said Infantino.About any final decision, he added: “Of course, the first partner with whom we are speaking about is the Qataris, the Qatar federation, the Qatari authorities.”Any decision to extend the tournament would be faced by logistical and political problems.The 2022 World Cup, the first in the Middle East, will take place over 28 days not the usual 32, as in Russia earlier this year.Infantino confirmed that changing the number of days is not a possibility in Qatar, so one option would be to host tournament games across the region.But that is complicated by Qatar being at the centre of the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the Gulf in years.Since June 2017, it has been politically and economically isolated by neighbouring former allies, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.They accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and being too close to Iran.Doha denies the charges and says its rivals are seeking regime change in Qatar.“Is it feasible to have a few games in neighbouring countries, well maybe this an option,” he added.“Of course, I am not that naive, not to know, not to read the news about what is going on.“But we are in football, we are not in politics.”Asked if he had held specific conversations with Qatari organisers or political leaders about holding some games in Saudi Arabia, Infantino said: “We discuss about everything but we didn’t decide on anything concrete yet.”More than 70 federations took part in the summit, said Infantino.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

A Masterclass in Making a Pixar Animated Short

first_imgIf you’ve ever wondered what it takes to create one of Pixar’s animated short films then you’ll love this masterclass in animated storytelling, told in 24 bite-size pieces.For the twenty-four days of Advent last year Saschka Unseld, director of Pixar’s latest short film The Blue Umbrella, posted what amounts to a masterclass creating an animated short film. It’s a perfect opportunity to follow the production process from start to finish in bite size pieces including Saschka’s original inspirations, storyboards, color scripts, animation tests and much more. Each day has some personal insights from Saschka along with some great imagery or short snippet of video. Head over to theblueumbrellamakingofholidaycalendar.com to walk through it yourself.As a taster of what’s on the site, here are some of the early pre-vis and look tests for the film, which demonstrate just how much the film advances to the final product.First “World of Umbrellas” Cinematography TestFirst Umbrella Animation Style & Look TestSuper Rough Night, Depth of Field, Look & Feel TestFrom Saschka:Here are a few super early test for getting a grip on how our film might look in the end. These are all done super quick and dirty, just with a few days of work for each. The goal is not to have a perfect end result but rather to make everyone on the team understand and get on board with the overall artistic direction that we will be heading in.To view the entire 24 part behind the scenes masterclass visit theblueumbrellamakingofholidaycalendar.com. For more from Sascha, check out his personal site at saschkaunseld.com.last_img read more

Church leaders trying to attract new followers from racial ethnic minorities

first_imgWhen they moved to Owen Sound 10 years ago, John Johnson and his family were the only non-white people in his church.Over the years, a few other non-white members joined Rockcliffe Pentecostal Church, which Johnson describes as “one big family.”The father of two finds the church so welcoming that he’s introduced many reluctant Indian friends to Rockcliffe.“I tell them my story,” he says. “They all come to this church and they have positive experiences.”Many church leaders want to give minorities a similar welcome. The immigrant and minority population is expanding beyond big cities, and leaders believe their churches must do a better job of serving an increasingly diverse population, especially as attendance plummets.According to a 2017 Ipsos survey, only 40 per cent of Canadians attend church compared to 63 per cent in 2006.Meanwhile the nation’s immigrant population is growing. Foreign born individuals will make up 30 per cent of Canada’s population by 2036, according to Statistics Canada, and the bulk of them will be in Ontario.“Cultural diversity is definitely growing year on year,” said Cid Latty, a congregational development associate of the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec. “Some of the churches have 20, 30, 40 different nations worshipping in the same context.”Last year, 25 of the association’s churches sponsored 119 refugees, Latty said.Diversity is integral to the Christian community, church leaders say.“From a theological perspective, we’d say that reflects heaven. Heaven’s a place where every people is present — every tribe, every tongue, every nation,” said Merv Budd, senior minister at North Burlington Baptist Church in Burlington, Ont.The 170-member congregation is predominantly white, but there is a growing population of Indian, South Asian, Caribbean and African members.It’s the same story in Kitchener, Ont., at Highland Baptist Church. Pastor Das Sydney says that 10 years ago, the church was 95 per cent white, and now roughly 80 of the 200 attendees are non-white. They include people from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Sudan, Romania and Burma.“The diversity that we have is a microcosm of the kingdom of God,” said Sydney.Sydney says his church also seeks unity with the First Nations community and hosted a Baptist conference aimed at reconciliation two years ago.In Thunder Bay, Ont., Italian, Portuguese, Filipino, Chinese, Syrian and First Nations parishioners worship at St. Anthony’s Parish, said Rev. Luigi Filippini.“The church is like a mama in welcoming all the children. We serve the community as much as we can.”Faith unites the different cultures, Filippini says.“There’s also a strong flavour of identity because they are all Roman Catholics.”The church has masses in Italian, Portuguese and English to better serve its members.Churches that don’t have comparable diversity are striving to meet the needs of their cities’ various ethnicities. In Cambridge, Ont., for example, pastor Dan Fietje said the church should represent the larger community’s diversity.After noticing that the ethnic makeup of the 150-member Cambridge Community Church did not reflect the city’s ethnic makeup, Fietje raised the issue with the church board and the church is now re-evaluating aspects of its culture.“Every church has a culture, whether they know it or not. Is that culture welcoming?” Fietje said, “I’m sure we think we are, but maybe we do things that aren’t welcoming at all.”“I try to think about this when I do slide shows. Is every single person that I have in my photos white? Are they mostly male?” he said.Other church leaders have sought out formal training. Last fall, 35 students enrolled in an inaugural class for the Certificate in Ministry and Organizational Leadership, offered by the Tyndale Intercultural Ministries Centre in Toronto. The certificate trains Christian leaders to better serve multi-ethnic churches and improve the interactions between different cultures, said Tim Tang, the centre’s associate director.“Traditions are hard to change; a lot of church practices are built around norms and cultural biases that we are not aware of,” Tang said.For example, Tang said, many sacred hymns were written to drinking melodies.“If they were based on European drinking games from centuries of old, how relevant really are they today for us?”Involving other races in church leadership is critical to a truly integrated church body and a culture that represents all members of the church, said David Seljak, professor of religious studies at University of Waterloo.“When ethnic minorities are not involved in decision making, they risk not being represented,” he said, “You are relying on the good will of the dominant community. This model still creates inequality.”Budd said he’s seen this model silence minorities.“The problem with white people when they are a majority is because they are comfortable they assume everyone else must be comfortable, so they don’t go out of their way to make sure that’s the case.”He’s recruited qualified minorities for leadership and volunteer positions.“Often what I have found is that people of a different ethnicity who have those gifts and talents are sometimes overlooked because of that ethnicity.Churches should also make sure that songs and prayers don’t represent just one race, said Latty.“You can now download a song from Ethiopia,” he said, “There’s absolutely no reason that a monoculture culture cannot learn from and glean from another culture.”There are other challenges as churches embrace new cultures. Socioeconomic differences between new immigrants and established Canadians continue to divide and prevent full integration, said Sydney.“So even though there are good efforts to bridge the gap, it’s not happening that easily.”Tackling this and other obstacles to welcoming other ethnicities is critical to the survival of the church.As Budd puts it: “The western church is dying, but around the world it’s growing and expanding, so we are wise to listen. We are wise to make room and be putting ourselves in a position to learn and humble ourselves.”— Dr. Tola Afolabi is a plastic surgeon and reconstructive surgeon praticising in southwestern Ontario who is also a fellow in global journalism at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.last_img read more

Competing plans battling for right to build Mission Valley stadium

first_img Updated: 9:35 PM Sasha Foo, November 1, 2018 Competing plans battling for right to build Mission Valley stadium Sasha Foo center_img Posted: November 1, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) —The battle to redevelop the SDCCU stadium site in Mission Valley is escalating, as supporters of two competing initiatives push for voter approval.Nick Stone, the project manager for SoccerCity is feeling optimistic, and spoke about his campaign’s momentum. Stone said the SoccerCity plan would involve no taxpayer dollars and would create huge economic benefits though property tax revenues.In the plan known as Measure E, Stone’s investor group would build a soccer stadium for a new major league soccer team in San Diego.The rival initiative, Measure G, which is called the SDSU West plan would also build a new stadium for Aztec football. Backers of Measure G said the stadium could also be used for soccer. But supporters of SoccerCity said they have doubts about how the university will be able to foot the costs of a new stadium.The Measure E campaign said that attendance for Aztec games is down this year, with this year’s homecoming game against San Jose State declining by 34% from SDSU’s 2017 homecoming game. Stone said if SDWU West is relying on ticket sales to help pay for a new stadium, those plans could be in jeopardy.The SoccerCity project manager said fewer ticket sales may push the cost of the new stadium onto the students.”Who has to make up the gap? The students,” Stone said. Backers of Measure G patently rejected that idea.Fred Pierce, a member of the Friends of SDSU West Steering Committee said the university has other ways to raise the money. “Under no circumstances would the students ever be looked to, to pay for the new stadium,” Pierce said.Jack McGrory, another member of the same SDSU West group said he’s confident about the plan for the stadium financing. “Naming rights, concession sales, ticket sales, parking, corporate sponsorships, premium seat sales; there’s a whole combination of revenues that will total almost $20 million that will then be used to finance and provide debt service for the bonds,” McGrory said.Whose stadium would be built most quickly? Each side is making the same claim that their rivals are big on talk but little else. Juan Carlos Rodriguez, the director of sports for the television network, Univision and a Measure E booster said the developers behind SoccerCity are ready to make good on their plans. “We have to deliver a stadium and a sports team before the next 3 years,” Rodriguez said.McGrory, speaking for SDSU West said his group would be ready to start construction on a new Aztec stadium in 2020. As for SoccerCity, MdGrory said, “We don’t know when a soccer stadium will be built because they don’t have a team.”McGrory said Measure G is about supporting the growth of SDSU. “The university needs to expand,” he said. Categories: Local San Diego News Tags: SDSU West, SoccerCity FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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first_imgIn an effort to ensure On Base is best serving the needs of its readers, we are asking you to fill out a five-question, online survey. Your feedback is important to us so that we can consider possible changes to improve the newsletter’s format and content. Everyone who fills out the survey will be entered into a drawing to win $100 off of registration to Installation Innovation Forum 2019 in Miami from March 4-6.Thanks in advance for helping us ensure On Base continues to meet your needs. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Teen suicide in Kurseong Police probe possible links to Momo game

first_imgDarjeeling: Debate over whether the class 12 student was coerced by the “Momo” game to commit suicide raged in the Hills.On August 20, an 18-year-old student Manish Sarki went missing in his hometown —Kurseong. Sarki was a Class 12 commerce student. When Manish did not return home until 9 pm, his anxious parents and neighbours launched a search operation for him. Later, he was found hanging inside a pig sty located at St. Mary’s Hill in Kurseong.On the walls of the pig sty, there were symbols and words spray painted such as — ‘Illuminati’ ‘Doped’, ‘Hanged Man’ and the name of a girl. “My son is a victim of the ‘Momo game.’ He was an obedient boy and good in studies. He would stay indoors most of the time and used to spend a lot of time playing games on his cell phone. I have lost my son,” stated Chandramaya Sarki, mother of the deceased. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeArvin Ghatani, a friend of the deceased also feels the same. “Manish used to play a lot of internet games specially on social media sites. The symbols and the images found on the walls of the pig sty also appear on the Momo game app,” stated Ghatani.”We did not recover any suicide note. The cell phone belonging to the deceased will be examined by cyber experts. Following this, it can be ascertained whether the death was prompted by the suicide game,” stated Harikrishna Pai, Additional Superintendent of Police, Kurseong.last_img read more