Health officials call celebrating Napoli fans ‘reckless’

Napoli fans celebrate their team’s win over Juventus in the Italian Cup soccer final against Juventus, in Naples, Italy, Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Napoli won the Italian Cup with a 4-2 penalty shootout victory over Juventus following a 0-0 draw in a match played at the Rome Olympic Stadium. (Alfredo Falcone/LaPresse via AP)

ROME — Thousands of Napoli football fans who poured into the streets to celebrate their team’s Italian Cup title without social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic were criticized by health officials as being “reckless.”

World Health Organization assistant director general Ranieri Guerra said the scenes reminded him of Atalanta’s Champions League game with Valencia in February. That match, which has been labeled “Game Zero” by local media, is believed to have been a key factor in why the virus has been so deadly in the northern city of Bergamo.

“Reckless,” Guerra said. “Right now we can’t permit these things.”

Deputy Health Minister Sandra Zampa added that it amounted to “dangerous behavior.”

Shortly after Napoli beat Juventus in an empty stadium in Rome on Wednesday night for the team’s first title in six years, supporters in Naples flooded into central piazzas and set off fireworks as they celebrated into the early hours of Thursday morning. Hardly any of them were seen wearing masks.

While nearly 35,000 people have died in Italy from the coronavirus, the Campania region that includes Naples has accounted for 431 deaths.

Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris called the criticism “hypocritical.”

“Either the games shouldn’t have been played until September or in some way what happened the other night was inevitable,” De Magistris said.

“Only people who don’t know Naples could think that after a victory over the Juventus of (Maurizio) Sarri and (Gonzalo) Higuain that Neapolitans would remain at home to celebrate,” the mayor

Read More

The Greatest ODI teams in history: Australia perform the perfect encore with 2007 World Cup title

It’s approaching 50 years since the maiden ODI was played between Australia and England at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). While T20s are the current darlings of cricket, it was the 50-over format which initially helped raise the popularity and exposure of the sport.

The format gave birth to the ICC World Cup in 1975, a quadrennial competition, which has become the benchmark for greatness in the game. Over the years, there have been several teams to have dazzled with their brilliant performances over both bilateral series and ICC competitions.

In this series, we take a look at eight of the best ODI squads in history. Australia’s World Cup winning side of 2007 is our focus below.


Openers: Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist (WK)

Middle-order: Ricky Ponting (C), Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds, Michael Hussey, Shane Watson, Brad Hodge

Spinners: Brad Hogg

Pacers: Glenn McGrath, Shaun Tait, Nathan Bracken, Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark


With a squad that retained the core of the 2003 World Cup winning side, Australia did what no other ODI team had done before them. Brimming with seasoned veterans, they managed to make it a hat-trick of World Cup titles after downing Sri Lanka in the 2007 final in Bridgetown.

The World Cup title in the West Indies was just one of the several conquests made by this Australian side. With a winning culture established by their World Cup titles in 1999 and 2003, they went on to win nearly every major ICC competition before them.

This included the ICC Champions Trophy in 2006 a year ahead of the World Cup, as well as the title of the 2009 edition of the same competition. While there were the rare slips in a few bilateral and trilateral series, the Aussies under Ricky Ponting were infallible for the

Read More

Gab Valenciano speaks up on rape culture, denounces victim-blaming

Gab Valenciano (Image: Instagram/@gabvalenciano)

As more and more victims share their experiences of sexual harassment through the “#HijaAko” movement online, Gab Valenciano voiced his stand against the rape and victim-blaming culture in the country.

Valenciano took to Instagram on Wednesday, June 17, to call out those who blame women for their attires instead of the actual rapists and sexual harassers themselves for their crimes.

“Hi. Please do not indulge yourselves by blaming rape on the self-expression of women,” he stressed. “The act of raping someone starts with a thought, regardless of what the person is wearing.”

“Ask yourself this simple and basic question. Does a woman in short shorts and a crop top, in any shape or form, make you think about sexually assaulting that woman?” Valenciano said.

“If so, then you are, without a doubt, the problem. A menace to society,” he further stated.

He added that victim-blamers are “playing with fire by subconsciously authorizing the wrong person by releasing reckless remarks and glorifying a dysfunctional mindset.”

Valenciano, who said he is “all about the protection and security of women,” likewise encouraged others to speak up on the issue and stand with women.

“Real men, we must speak out and defend our women. Be it our partners, our friends, our family or our loved ones,” he emphasized.

The hashtag “#HijaAko” came about after the daughter of Megastar Sharon Cuneta and Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Frankie, was criticized by radio host Ben Tulfo for denouncing victim-blaming.

Frankie on June 13 tweeted, “STOP TEACHING GIRLS HOW TO DRESS?? TEACH PEOPLE NOT TO RAPE” in response to a news report of a police station in Quezon province warning women to not wear short clothes and then report sexual harassment.

Tulfo replied to the 19-year-old’s tweet, “Hija @kakiep83, a rapist or a juvenile

Read More