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Russian court hits WNBA star hard, Nine Years and Huge Fine for Brittney Griner
By Dana Malcolm
#USA, August 5, 2022 – American Basketball star Brittney Griner has been sentenced to 9 ½ years in a Russian prison after being found guilty in her drug trial.
Live video of the trial allowed the world to see Griner as she sat alone separated from her team by bars. As an unseen Court worker reads in rapid fire Russian, the basketball star and her translator lean their heads against the bars in an effort to get her to understand as her fate is decided in a language she cannot understand. When the verdict was read, Griner simply lowered herself to her chair ignoring calls from reporters as they were ushered out.
After the verdict a representative of the US embassy told the press, “Ms. Griner was sentenced to 9 years in prison for nothing more than an unintentional oversight. This is a miscarriage of justice. The US Department of state has determined that Ms. Griner is wrongfully detained, nothing in today’s verdict changes that decision. The entire US government remains committed to bringing Ms. Griner home safely to her family and loved ones.”
The prosecution in her case had pushed for the heavy sentence even after months of detainment and public outcry from U.S. citizens.
It was almost a guarantee that she would be found guilty, as Griner plead guilty to the charges. What was up in the air was how long she would be sentenced for, her team had said if she was not acquitted, she should get the lightest sentence possible as her testimony showed an absolute lack of intent to break Russian laws.
Russia is yet to announce whether they will participate in a proposed prisoner swap between Griner and another US citizen Paul Whelan in exchange for the ‘Merchant of Death’ Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer.
Though Griner plead guilty, her lawyers had argued that exhausted from a long flight and only just recovering from COVID, she packed in a rush not realizing that the prescription marijuana cartridges which she only ever used in Arizona where they were legal had made their way into her luggage.
Additionally, they tried to present her to the court as the upstanding role model that she is.
“In sprinting there is Usain Bolt, in Formula 1 Michael Schumacher, and in women’s basketball there is Brittney Griner,” is what her lawyer told the court according to Reuters.
The court also heard testimony from members of her team in Russia and the doctor who prescribed the marijuana.
Griner will serve her time in a high security facility and pay a nearly US$17,000 fine. Though there is still hope of a prisoner exchange, unfortunately the US says Russia has been dragging its feet.
The basketballer’s fate rests now with the Kremlin.
TCIFA Breaks Ground on New Dormitory Project
#TurksandCaicos, August 5, 2022 – FIFA Forward is reaching new milestones in the Turks and Caicos Islands, whose existing headquarters maintain an operational stadium that hosts official international matches, and a functional training center. The Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association (TCIFA) facilities provide a grass and turf field to international FIFA standards, a beach soccer pitch and a futsal court.
On Wednesday August 3rd, 5:30pm, TCIFA announced the initiation of its newest construction project supported by the FIFA Forward programme. The programme aims to improve the way football is developed across the globe so that it can reach its potential in every single country and everyone who wants to take part can do so without barriers. FIFA Forward Development Programme is built to provide 360-degree, tailor-made support for football development in each member association and the six confederations based on three principles: more investment, more impact, more oversight.
The TCIFA dormitory project will construct a three-story establishment to house male and female, youth and senior, national teams in double occupancy dorms at the TCIFA National Academy headquarters. Standard modules will contain 27 rooms to be used as living spaces, personal bathrooms and closets, and office spaces for the TCIFA President, General Secretary and supporting administrative staff. The scope also features common areas in the facilities to include a lobby/reception area, conference/ activity space, gym, changing rooms, cafeteria/ dining, and a laundry room for all residents.
“I would like to thank FIFA and the FIFA Forward Regional Office for recognizing the massive need for this very critical infrastructure, and for providing the human and financial resources to allow us to begin this journey. Today’s ceremonial groundbreaking represents and reinforces partnership in its truest form. This is a testament to the combined efforts of both the TCIFA and FIFA coming together to improve the quality of football in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The dormitory project will provide significant opportunities to our players, local sports community, and our broader region. We are thrilled to see construction get underway. It is a deep honor to mark this moment in time,” said TCIFA President Sonia Fulford.
“Special thanks to our project Manager – Mr. Dominique Durham of Future Build Consultancy, our Architects- Conservative Architects and SWA Architects who initially began the TCIFA projects. Thank you to our consultants- Engineering Systems Design and Engineering Design Services, and finally, our contractor- JACA TCI Ltd. This is indeed a historic occasion for the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association. This is not just a physical structure being erected, it is much more than that. This project is the TCIFA’s most extensive project of all the FIFA Forward projects; it is also the first of its kind here in the TCI.”
Hervé Blanchard, Regional Office Development Manager- FIFA Barbados said “I want to reiterate my congratulations to the TCIFA for this wonderful project that has been in the works for many years. Today is a day of congratulations and celebration.” He continued, “This dormitory is going to be a turning point for this federation. It’s a great example of how FIFA Forward funds are to be allocated strategically for the sustained development of the game. Thank you [TCIFA] for your partnership, close collaboration, trust, and dedication to continue elevating the game, and the level of football in Turks and Caicos, but as well as the region. We’re proud and excited to continue working hand in hand with the TCIFA on the future developments of this entire facility. Football in Turks and Caicos is in great hands. It has a beautiful home- one that we should be proud of, and that shows the way forward for the sustained development of the game across all of its islands.”
Marco Leal, Chief Officer Member Associations & Office of the President- Concacaf commented, “I want to congratulate TCIFA for the vision of this project. Thank you [TCIFA] for what you have done for football. This is only a testament of what is yet to come.”
Hon. Akierra Missick, Leader of Government Business and Minister of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development said, “This is legacy building. This is providing opportunity for young people, young at heart, football fans, and those who just want to kick a ball around on the weekend with their grandkids. Thank you to FIFA Forward for assisting with the funding. Thank you TCIFA for never pulling back on your vision for football in these islands. It will take it from strength to strength. Thank you to FIFA for continuously believing in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
Construction of the dormitory project is expected to begin during the course of August 2022 with a projected completion goal for the first phase in June 2023.
For more information, please contact TCIFA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Candia Ewing at 941-5532 or email@example.com
TCIFA National Academy
Turks and Caicos Islands
Caribbean at the World Athletics Championship in Oregon
By Shanieka Smith
#Oregon, USA, August 5, 2022 – The World Athletics Championship in Oregon, which started on Friday, July 15 and ended on Sunday, July 24, had almost 40 countries witnessing the greatness of the athletes, including those from the Caribbean, which brought home several medals.
Jamaica is the leading Caribbean country with 110 points and two gold medals, with Shelly-Ann FRASER-PRYCE in the 100 metres race and Shericka JACKSON in the 200 metres race. Some of the country’s seven silver medals are credited to Britany ANDERSON in the 100 Metres Hurdles race, Shericka JACKSON in the 100 metres race, Shanieka Ricketts for Triple Jump and again, Shelly-Ann FRASER-PRYCE in the 200 metres race. Elaine THOMPSON-HERAH took in one bronze medal after her 100 metres race. Jamaica is placed 2nd on the Placing table of all the participating countries.
The Dominican Republic and Grenada both gained one gold medal and one silver medal each and are ranked 21 and 24, respectively. The Dominican Republic copped its gold medal in the 4×400 Metres Relay. Marileidy PAULINO came second in the 400 metres relay, which brought in the country’s lone silver medal. Grenada’s gold medal is credited to Anderson PETERS with his exceptional performance in Javelin Throw. Kirani JAMES brought the country’s silver medal in from the 400 metres relay.
Another regional country with a Gold medal is The Bahamas placing 39th overall. Bahamian athlete Shaunae MILLER-UIBO was first in her 400 metres race.
Puerto Rico at 34 and Barbados at 47, respectively, also won a bronze medal from their athletes Jasmine CAMACHO-QUINN in the 100 metres hurdles race and Sada WILLIAMS in the 100 metres race.
Cuba placed in the 29th spot and Trinidad and Tobago, 47th.
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