European Super League: Uefa furious at 11 major clubs signing up to breakaway plans

Juventus and AC Milan have signed up to the breakaway league plans

Senior Uefa figures are furious that 11 major European clubs, including five from England, have signed up to a breakaway European Super League.

BBC Sport was told last week of plans for some sort of confirmation about a European Super League.

Uefa hoped to head off plans with a new-look 36-team Champions League set to be confirmed on Monday.

Uefa said it will use “all measures available” to stop the “cynical project” of a breakaway Super League.

The European governing body released a joint statement together with the English Football Association, Premier League Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), La Liga, and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) as well as Serie A on Sunday.

They said they will “remain united” in trying to stop the breakaway, using both judicial and sporting measures if required.

They also reiterated Fifa’s stance that players taking part in the Super League would be banned from all other competitions at domestic, European or world level and could be prevented from representing their national teams.

In a separate statement, the Premier League said it condemned the proposal as it “attacks the principles of open competition and sporting merit which are at the heart” of domestic and European football.

Juventus owner Andrea Agnelli, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and AC Milan chief executive Ivan Gazidis would all have had a significant input into the Champions League discussions on Friday.

However, it appears those clubs are among those to have broken ranks, to the fury of Uefa, whose president Aleksander Ceferin wanted to stave off a Super League threat.

Spanish La Liga sides Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are also part of the 11-team group, as are Italian Serie A club Inter Milan.

None of the clubs concerned have responded to questions about the proposals.

The Premier League said a European Super League would “destroy” the dream of fans that “their team may climb to the top and play against the best”.

It added such a league would “undermine the appeal of the whole game” and that they would work with the FA, the English Football League, Professional Footballers’ Association, League Managers Association and fans to “defend the integrity and future prospects of English football”.

The FA said it will “not provide permission to any competition that would be damaging to English football” and will “take any legal and/or regulatory action necessary” to stop it.

Bundesliga sides are opposed to the plans because the German model means commercial investors cannot have more than a 49% stake in clubs, so fans hold a majority of their own voting rights.

It is understood French Ligue 1 side Paris St-Germain are not part of the 11-team group.

Uefa said it thanked “those clubs in other countries, especially the French and German clubs, who have refused to sign up” to the breakaway league.

“We call on all lovers of football, supporters and politicians, to join us in fighting against such a project if it were to be announced,” they added.

“This persistent self-interest of a few has been going on for too long. Enough is enough.”

Quite when the European Super League would start is unclear.

However, world governing body Fifa has already said it would not recognise such a competition and any players involved in it would be denied the chance to play at a World Cup.

Serie A have called an emergency board meeting to discuss the matter.

The Football Supporters’ Association said it is “totally opposed” to the plans, which it said were “motivated by nothing but cynical greed”.

They added: “This competition is being created behind our backs by billionaire club owners who have zero regard for the game’s traditions and continue to treat football as their personal fiefdom.”

It has been agreed the new-look Champions League will involve an initial phase where every club plays 10 matches each rather than the current group phase.

In addition there would be play-offs, followed by a knockout phase.

The most controversial aspect of the proposals surround the allocation of the four additional places, with two being reserved for the clubs ranked highest in Uefa’s co-efficient table who fail to qualify for the Champions League through their domestic competition, but do secure some kind of European football.

At the moment, Liverpool and Chelsea would be the clubs who benefited from that system if it was in place this season.

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Alleged road rage turns violent on major Sydney road

An altercation between two drivers turned violent during an alleged road rage incident on one of Sydney‘s busiest motorways.
The altercation erupted after the Honda and ute slowed in traffic.
The altercation erupted after the Honda and ute slowed in traffic. (Dash cam Australia/Facebook)
The drivers of the Honda and the ute clashed, with punches thrown.
The drivers of the Honda and the ute clashed, with punches thrown. (Dash cam Australia/Facebook)
The occupants of a third vehicle race across traffic to intervene.
The occupants of a third vehicle race across traffic to intervene. (Dash cam Australia/Facebook)

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Smaller retailers face a squeeze on rents as major chains secure cheaper deals

Big retailers are getting huge rent reductions, but many small shops are seeing rents rise.

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Queensland’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is set for a major shake-up. What are the new rules and how will they impact you?

The federal government has secured a contract for an extra 20 million Pfizer doses but there have already been delays in getting vaccines from European suppliers.

So what’s the current state of play with Queensland’s vaccine delivery?

Here’s everything you need to know.

After a tiny number of people, mainly under 50 years of age, experienced deadly brain clots from the AstraZeneca jab, Australian authorities advised an abundance of caution.

It’s now not recommended that people under 50 get the AstraZeneca jab because they have the highest risk of clots.

That was the group that was lined up to get the AstraZeneca vaccine — younger people with lower risk factors for COVID-19.

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ANA Inspiration: Patty Tavatanakit holds off Lydia Ko to win first major of year

The ANA Inspiration winner traditionally celebrates by leaping into Poppie’s Pond
-18 P Tavatanakit (Tha); -16 L Ko (NZ); -11 N Koerstz Madsen (Den), S Feng (Chn), N Korda (US), K Sei-young (Kor); -10 A Ewing (US), J Ko (Kor), I Park (Kor)
Selected others: -7 C Hull (Eng), M Reid (Eng); -4 L Maguire (Ire); -3 G Hall (Eng); E B Law (Eng)

Rookie Patty Tavatanakit claimed her first major despite a stunning record-equalling round of 62 by Lydia Ko at the ANA Inspiration in California.

Thailand’s Tavatanakit, 21, shot a four-under 68 to complete a wire-to-wire victory at Rancho Mirage as she finished two clear of New Zealand’s Ko.

Ko set a tournament-record 29 on the front nine and matched Lorena Ochoa’s record low score for a round.

Tavatanakit is the first rookie to win the event since Juli Inkster in 1984.

“I just wanted to be done since this morning,” she said, after claiming her first LPGA title.

“I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, but I meditated twice this morning and just stayed patient. I knew I had to be really strong mentally.”

Ko, who won the tournament in 2016, made seven birdies and an eagle on the first 11 holes of the Dinah Shore course to threaten Tavatanakit’s lead.

However Ko – who became world number one aged 17 but who has been winless since April 2018 – made just one birdie in the final seven holes.

“It just shows it doesn’t matter how far back you are, you can always go for it,” added the two-time major winner, who had started the day eight shots adrift.

Ko’s bogey-free 62 was not enough to secure a ‘comeback’ title just hours after Jordan Spieth managed the feat in Texas, but it is the lowest final round in LPGA major history and suggests her rebuild with coach Sean Foley is close to bearing fruit.

England’s Charley Hall was tied for 14th on seven under alongside compatriot Mel Reid, who finished strongly with a 67.

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Men receive ‘oversized’ benefit from major tax concessions, report says | Tax

Men capture more than two-thirds of the benefit of four tax concessions that cost the federal budget a total of $60bn a year, according to new research by The Australia Institute.

A report by the progressive thinktank, released on Monday, found that the tax treatment of superannuation in particular is turbo-charging wealth inequality in favour of men.

Men receive 71.6% of the $41.2bn given each year through superannuation tax concessions compared with 28.4% for women, meaning for every dollar of super tax concession going to women, men get $2.52.

Similarly, men received more than 70% of the $4.3bn a year benefit of negative gearing tax deductions and of the $5.2bn in franking credit refunds.

The $9.4bn a year given in capital gains tax discounts was slightly more evenly distributed, with 60.6% flowing to men and 39.4% to women.

The analysis comes as the Morrison government attempts to reconsider the gendered impact of its policies, dumping a controversial bid to allow domestic violence victims early access to superannuation and appointing Jane Hume minister for women’s economic security.

The November budget copped criticism for its small investment in women’s economic security and the issue has become more critical to the government as it struggles to contain the fallout over its management of allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

The Australia Institute report, based on Centre for Social Research and Methods modelling, found that men pay about two-thirds of all income tax, compared with one-third by women.

“This is because men earn more income and have on average a higher income than women,” the report by senior economist Matt Grudnoff and researcher Eliza Littleton said.

“But even accounting for this, men get an oversized benefit from these tax concessions.”

“That is, they pay 65% of the tax but get 70% of the concessions. For women, it is the opposite: they pay 35% of the tax but only receive 30% of the concessions.”

The report argued it was “counterintuitive” to give greater super tax concessions to men because women on average have less super at retirement.

“A well-thought-through retirement incomes policy would give larger concession to those who were less likely to be able to fund their own retirement,” it argued.

The report also found that the four tax concessions help the rich get richer, with about 39% of the benefit flowing to the top 10% of income earners, or 41% to the top 10% of wealth owners.

It found the top 20% of households by income received 64% of the benefit of franking credit rebates but the top 20% of households by wealth received 83%.

That gap points to a high-wealth middle-income cohort of retirees who benefit from these rebates. At the 2019 election, Scott Morrison was re-elected in part due to backlash at Labor’s attempts to trim the franking credit concession.

The Australia Institute report concluded that the four tax concessions are contributing to economic and gender inequality.

Scrapping or curtailing the tax concessions would reduce inequality and raise billions to spend on further programs including childcare, crisis accommodation, and boosting retirement incomes for those in poverty, it said.

Anthony Albanese has confirmed Labor will not end cash rebates for excess franking credits but has remained tight-lipped about negative gearing and capital gains tax reform.

Superannuation is a hot political topic as Labor pressures the government to recommit to increase compulsory retirement savings from 9.5% to 12%, but neither party has proposed a fresh attempt to reduce tax concessional treatment of super.

The Coalition trimmed back superannuation tax concessions in 2016 when Scott Morrison was treasurer, but was forced to ditch its proposed lifetime non-concessional contributions cap of $500,000 to pass the reform after fierce internal backlash.

Instead, Australians are now allowed to make annual non-concessional contributions worth up to $100,000 a year until their super balance reaches $1.6m.

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Why temperatures in major cities could be as high as 65 degrees

Pockets of Western Sydney in particular have a grim outlook, with a lack of tree cover possibly adding as much as 15 degrees on the hottest days. Stephanie Zillman reports.

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ISIS goes on major offensive in Mozambique

ISIS* has gone on a massive offensive in Cabo Delgado, a gas-rich province of Mozambique. Portugal has sent a military contingent there, and the United States sent advisers.

ISIS attack on Mozambique

Portugal decided to send 60 troops to assist Mozambique in its confrontation with ISIS, which on Wednesday seized the settlement of Palma, a gas production center in the north of the country.

This was announced in an interview with Telejornal by Portugal’s Foreign Minister, Augusto Santos Silva.

Palma has a 42,000-strong population (mostly Muslims). According to other sources, the population is much larger – 75,000. The town of Palma is home to 200 employees of the gas exploration complex of the French company Total, who at the moment of the attack fled to their place of work (10 km from Palma).

At least seven local residents were killed in the ambush, a Portuguese citizen was wounded. In the provincial capital of Kabu Delgado, the city of Pemba, refugees began to arrive reporting the massacre in Palma.

According to Diario de Noticias, Al-Shabaab militants started attacking the region three years ago. At least 2,600 people have been killed since them, half of them were civilians, and almost 700,000 people have been displaced.

In the past year, terrorists increased the frequency and severity of their attacks. In August last year, they took control of the city of Mosimboa da Praia.

The US State Department listed Al-Shabaab as a terrorist group linked to ISIS and announced that the US military would spend two months training soldiers in Mozambique to counter terrorists.

Alexander Reimakers, senior Africa analyst at British risk assessment firm Verisk Maplecroft, suggested that the militants used a three-month break in attacks to prepare for a major operation in Palma.

“This is a clear demonstration that Al-Shabaab is constantly building up its military capabilities, improving and supporting the initiative,” Reimakers told Diario de Noticias.

ISIS struggles for control over gas fields of Mozambique

The situation is aggravated by the fact that the Tanzanian government does not control the south of the country where the group has settled, political analyst Nuno Rogueiro warned in a comment to Lusa agency.

He believes that “it was a purely local rebel movement” that came to the attention of world’s major Islamist groups, because “Mozambique has made headlines because of the gas deposits.”

“The Islamic State* has chosen this region as its main battleground in 2021,” said Rogueiro.

This is a war, and sooner or later Mozambique will have to say that it needs “funds from the international community,” the analyst told Lusa.

Andrei Tokarev, the chief of the Center for South African Studies at the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, agrees with the Portuguese expert. He also believes that Maputo needs to seek help.

“In fact, there are full-fledged hostilities happening there, and the government of Mozambique will seek support and assistance from other countries – the Russian Federation, China and the United States, which have their own strategic interests in this region,” the expert noted.

He also believes that the population is being terrorised “in order to establish control over this territory that is rich in energy resources.”

Islamists in Mozambique?

After Mozambique declared independence, Moscow had been expanding cooperation with this country until the collapse of the Soviet Union, Andrei Tokarev said. 

Moscow relied on the FRELIMO party. The West made its stake – on RENAMO organization – the Mozambican National Resistance, which struggled for power in this country, staged terrorist attacks and organized armed resistance.

After the end of the civil war and the signing of agreements between the two movements to end hostilities, RENAMO split, and a radical armed wing came out from the movement. It subsequently resumed hostilities primarily in the north of the country.

According to the expert, at the time when RENAMO leader Afonso Dlakama died in 2018, and other leaders started hogging the covers, a large gas and oil field was discovered on the shelf of Mozambique.

“This happened at the time when Islamist groups were trying to penetrate the territory of Africa from the east in order to establish drug trafficking, and those groups, together with the fighters of the irreconcilable wing of RENAMO, started terrorizing the population in order to establish control over this energy-rich territory and drug trafficking,” Andrei Tokarev said.

Portugal and Europe will not cope with ISIS in Mozambique alone

According to the expert, Europe will not be able to cope with Islamist groups in Africa. Their influence and power originate from the fact that they force poor, unemployed population to join terrorist groups. 

To defeat extremism, one should destroy the social ethnic base under the feet of extremist groups, the extremist said. 

Portugal, according to the specialist, as a former metropolitanate, feels the need to be responsible for what happens in its former dominions. In addition, Portugal and Mozambique are part of the 25-year-old Community of Portuguese Language Countries – they cooperate in a wide variety of areas, including defense and security.

*Terrorist organization, banned in Russia

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Elective surgery canned, delayed at major hospitals

Elective surgery has been cancelled at the Princess Alexandra Hospital except for critical cases as the facility deals with two COVID-19 virus clusters.

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Biden’s dog Major bites another White House employee

President Biden’s dog Major on Monday afternoon bit another employee, who then required medical attention.

First Lady Jill Biden’s press secretary Michael de Rosa confirmed the “nip”  in a statement to Fox News. “Major is still adjusting to his new surroundings and he nipped someone while on a walk.  Out of an abundance of caution, the individual was seen by WHMU and then returned to work without injury.”

The encounter took place on the White House South Lawn Monday. CNN first reported the bite, adding that the employee worked for the National Park Service. 

Major was seen being walked by a White House employee on a leash Monday afternoon. 

Monday’s incident was the second time Major, a three-year-old German Shepherd, bit someone at the White House in less than a month. On March 8, Major sunk his teeth into a Secret Service employee, who also required attention from the White House medical unit. Psaki referred to that incident as “minor.” 


Biden told “Good Morning America” after Major first bit someone that he would be put in training. He said his dog just needed more time to adjust to life at the White House. 

“Every door you turn to, there’s a guy there in a black jacket,” he said of the serious security. “You turn a corner, and there’s two people you don’t know at all. And [Major] moves to protect.”

Biden also has a seemingly less rambunctious, older German Shepherd– Champ, 13. 


After the first bite occurred, both pets were sent to Wilmington, Delaware to be looked after by a family friend, but the White House denied it had banished them for bad behavior. 

White House press secretary said the dogs returned to Biden’s hometown as part of a “pre-planned trip” as First Lady Jill Biden was going to be away that week. “The dogs will come and go,” Psaki said last week, confirming that they had returned to the White House from Delaware. 

Fox News’ Kristina Biddle contributed to this report.

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