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Novak Djokovic: One week to forget the world number 1 after the failure of the tennis exhibition

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Novak Djokovic: One week to forget the world number 1 after the failure of the tennis exhibition

In contrast, the Serbian top player was involved in damage limitation exercises after his exhibition tour in the Balkans, which was intended as an uplifting moment during a sports hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, was canceled when Djokovic, his wife Jelena, three other players. , three coaches and one pregnant wife of the player tested positive for the virus.

Unlike other exhibitions during the pandemic, there is limited social distance on the Adria Tour, which is played in a crowded stadium, with players hugging and respecting each other, playing basketball and dancing together.

“He doesn’t have a good lockup,” British sports marketing expert Tim Crow said it bluntly in a telephone interview with CNN Sport.

When Djokovic announced in May that he would host the Adria Tour, it seemed like tennis was slowly emerging from the close, which had led to Wimbledon’s first cancellation since World War II.

The Adria tour, which is scheduled to be played in four cities from June 13 to July 5, has attracted three times grand slam finalist Dominic Thiem from Austria, world number 7 Alexander Zverev from Germany and main semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov from three times. Bulgaria, among others. Djokovic’s 24-year-old brother, Djordje, was appointed as director of the tournament.

Speaking at a launch press conference on May 27, Djokovic said he was “very happy” to announce the series, which was organized by him and his family. He stressed “absolutely all income” from that would go to humanitarian organizations, before proudly announcing that all players would play for free.

He also said the tour would “follow and abide by” local rules and regulations.

READ: Djokovic tested positive for coronavirus

Belgrade party

When Djokovic played his first match against fellow Serbian Viktor Troicki on Saturday afternoon June 13 in Belgrade, around 4,000 spectators had filled the stadium near the Danube river to capacity, with some fans wearing masks. Players, good friends, embrace after Djokovic wins in straight sets.

They also shook hands with the referee, while the ball children handed over their towels. They took selfies with fans afterwards, and signed autographs.

Serbia and Croatia, which did not experience major virus outbreaks, recently raised many lockouts. But the Serbian government still asks people to remain one meter apart. Lack of social distance makes many people stunned.

“As if Coronavirus has passed?” wrote former UK number 1 Greg Rusedski on Twitter two days later. “How is this managed and why is there no concern for public social distance and facing masks. I know the numbers in Serbia but why can they do this?”

The seemingly carefree nature of the event, which took place several days after a crowd of 20,000 attended a soccer match in Belgrade, also surprised Crow, the former chief executive of the London-based sports marketing agency, Synergy.

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“It’s chaotic,” he said. “As soon as you turn on the TV, you think, ‘Wait a minute, what is happening here?’ And unfortunately, we all know what happened. “

Also during the weekend, players including Djokovic, Thiem, Zverev and Dimitrov were dancing was filmed in a crowded Belgrade nightclub.

Behind the closed door

The limited social distance on the Adria Tour contrasts sharply with other exhibitions during pandemics in the US, Germany, Britain and France, all of which are held in private.

When Patrick Mouratoglou, former coach of Williams Williams, wanted to host an event at his academy in the south of France during lockdown, he reached out to the government. That sent him a long list of protocols, which he had applied in his Ultimate Tennis Showdown series.

“I want to be sure to do it in a way where there is no risk,” Mouratoglou told CNN Sport in a telephone interview on Friday.

This includes all players tested the day before the match every weekend, no fans, no handshakes or sharing the ball between players, ball children wearing gloves and masks and sufficient distance between each seat in the player box.

Speaking at the ceremonial opening of the Adria Tour the day before the match against Troicki, Djokovic defended the limited social distance from the crowd.

He stressed Serbia had “better numbers” compared to other countries. According to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, Serbia has had 13,372 confirmed cases, including 264 deaths. The neighboring country, Croatia, has registered 2,483 cases, including 107 deaths.

“You can also criticize us and say this might be dangerous, but it’s not up to me to make calls about what is right and wrong for health,” added Djokovic. “We did what the Serbian government told us.”

Spectators watched the match on the Adria Tour in Zahar, Croatia on Sunday June 21, 2020. Later that day, tennis player Grigor Dimitrov said he had tested positive using Covid-19, which led to the cancellation of the entire Adria Tour.

Dimitrov’s bomb

The next leg of the Adria Tour on June 20-21 once again attracted thousands of spectators, including Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who briefly met with Djokovic. Because Croatia has reduced its locking steps before the event, players and fans don’t have to stick to the rules of social distance.

Then came the announcement of a bomb by Dimitrov on Sunday June 21 that he had tested positive for the corona virus.

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The committee quickly canceled the whole series, while most of the other players were tested on the same night. Then, on Monday, Borna Coric from Croatia confirmed that he had also tested positive, while Zverev, former US Open winner Marin Cilic from Croatia and Andrey Rublev from Russia were all declared negative but promised to isolate themselves for 14 days as a precautionary measure.

Spectators watch a tennis match during an exhibition tournament in Zadar, Croatia, Sunday, June 21, 2020.

Troicki revealed that he had tested positive soon afterwards and, on Tuesday, Djokovic confirmed that he too, and his wife, Jelena, had done the same thing. Troicki’s pregnant wife, fitness coach Djokovic and coach Dimitrov were also positive. Then on Friday, Djokovic’s co-coach, Wimbledon winner Goran Ivanisevic, revealed he also tested positive.

Mrs. Djokovic, Dijana to the Serbian newspaper Blic that despite world No. 1 positive, that “does not mean he is sick.”

“He is a young man and can bear it more easily,” he said. ‘I also think the virus is nearing its end so this is like the second wave of Corona, which is not as strong as it was at the beginning. “

“It’s terrible, too terrible, what they write (international media), but we’re used to it. It seems like they can’t wait (bad news) to happen. Obviously they have something against Novak.”

READ: The tennis event organized by Djokovic was attacked

Punishment

The criticism was swift, with Australian Nick Kyrgios calling it a “stupid decision” to continue the event. Briton Andy Murray said that after seeing some photos of the post-event party in Belgrade and children’s day, “it is not surprising how many people tested positive.”

Djokovic, who went from Zadar to Belgrade before being tested, said he was “very sorry our tournament had caused damage.” Stressing that everything had been done in good faith, he said he believed the tournament met all the protocols but that “we were wrong and that was too fast.”

The blame game quickly flowed, with Djokovic Srdjan’s father pointing a finger at Dimitrov.

“Why did this happen? That’s because the man (Dimitrov) might have gotten sick from who knows where and then it all happened. Apparently he wasn’t testing here but somewhere else and I didn’t think that was true,” Father’s world No. 1 tells Croatian RTL.

“He caused great damage to you in Croatia, to us as a family and to us as Serbs,” Djokovic’s father added, continuing to point his finger at Dimitrov.

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Dimitrov’s agent did not immediately respond to CNN Sport’s request to comment, but he was widely quoted as saying to other media that “Grigor landed directly in Belgrade after three months of complete isolation. Both in Belgrade (first stop) and later in Zadar was he offered or asked to testing the corona virus. “

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic (left) talks with his wife Jelena during a match at the Adria Tour, the Balkan charity tournament Novak Djokovic in Belgrade on June 14, 2020.

Impact of a reputation collapse?

This is not the only Djokovic dispute with controversy during the pandemic.

Shortly before the start of Adria Tour, Djokovic, who is also the president of the men’s ATP Tour player board, angered some players by suggesting he might not take part in the US Open in New York at the end of August because organizers said they wanted to limit the group of players to one additional person. .

In April, he raised his eyebrows because he said he opposed the idea of ​​being vaccinated for Covid-19 as a possible precondition for playing on the Tour again. And in May, he suggested during Instagram Live Contaminated water can be cleaned positively.

“He has always been an unconventional thinker,” Crow said. “It’s part of her makeup.”

But Crow, who has worked with some of the biggest companies in the world, did not consider the collapse of Adria Tour to have damaged Djokovic’s private brand.

“It’s not ideal but I think it’s just a blip,” Crow said. “He did it with the best of intentions and he realized that he had messed it up. And everyone messed up, once in a while.”

Djokovic’s representative did not respond to CNN’s request to comment at the time of publication.

Djokovic made $ 33 million last year from a company deal with seven sponsors, including racquet maker Head and French carmaker Peugeot, according Forbes.

If it wasn’t for the virus, he might have been on his way to tie or even surpass Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as the most successful male players of all time.

When the sport closed in March, Djokovic had won five of the last seven majors, making his total count to 17. That’s just two shy of Nadal and three of Federer, who was absent all season with a knee injury.

But instead of pursuing his sixth Wimbledon title in the next two weeks, Djokovic will spend most of that by isolating himself with his family.

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Eternal Portuguese deja vu – Renaissance

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Eternal Portuguese deja vu - Renaissance

At the end of the summer of 1972, exactly half a century ago, SEDES – Associação para o Desenvolvimento Económico e Social (the most famous reformist think tank during Marseilles) issued a document for the country entitled “Portugal: The country we are, the country we want to be “. The Marseille spring had already turned into autumn: Américo Thomas had just been re-elected, the colonial war had dragged on, repression had intensified, and an economic crisis was already brewing. Seeing the general frustration, and at the same time willing to go against it, the signatories of CEDES began by asking “Where will we be and how will we be in 1980?” to criticize the obstacles that overshadowed Portugal in the early 1970s.

Among the “problems that are getting worse without a solution”, emigration stood out, indicating the country’s inability to offer better living and working conditions to those who left; the growing inflationary process, reflected in the cost of living; the inevitability of economic integration in Europe when the country is not ready for international commercial competition; “disaggregation of regional economies” with “continuous depopulation of municipalities and regions” within the country; or “deterioration of public administration” when the government fails to promote a “prestigious, moralized, revitalized and efficient public sector”. “No one will have any difficulty,” continued the text, “to add to a new list of urgent questions that seriously endanger national life, about which much has been said and which, year after year, continue to wait for a sufficient solution.” Therefore, “the prevailing feeling in the country” in contemplation of the recent past and present could not but be “annoyance at urgent battles, the need for which was endlessly discussed, at decisions that were changed or postponed, and at rejected goals” or which were not clearly formulated ” .

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Between “untapped resources” and/or “lack of organizational and decision-making capacity” there was “widespread anxiety” stemming from the inevitable observation that “we are very far from the results that we could achieve thanks to the progress of the Portuguese and Portugal”. This was the macro goal of the reformist, humanist and liberalizing technocrats that SEDES brought together. “Ultimately,” they reminded Marcelo Cayetano, “the real obstacle can only be associated with the low political priority of economic and social development in our country.” So, in short, there was an urgent need to “radically change our economic, social and political way of life”, since “a national balance based on general anemia, repression and weakening of various participants” is unsustainable and pernicious.

SEDES did not know that the Estado Novo would fall in April 1974, that democracy would come in 1976, and Europe from the EEC (after EFTA) in 1986 of repression, finally gained the freedom that was discussed between the lines of the 1972 manifesto ., there would be conditions for solving (almost) all economic and social problems of development and cohesion.

Fifty years have passed since this manifesto, and almost the same number has already been in democracy. However, if we compare the above quotes with the Portuguese present, the feeling of deja vu is indescribable. SEDES wondered what the country would be like in 1980 and is wondering today (in its recent study “Ambition: Doubling GDP in 20 Years”) where we will be in 2040. It may be a replay of a sad fate: knowing (some) where to go, but never getting there!

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Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy – Observer

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Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy - Observer

Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho met this Wednesday with his Algerian counterpart Ramtan Lamamra, who expressed interest in Portuguese companies investing in Algeria’s solar and wind energy.

Speaking with Lusa, João Cravinho also said that for 2023 it was decided to hold a “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the state visit of the President of Algeria. Algeria to Portugal.

The Portuguese foreign minister said today’s visit to Algeria, where he was with Ramtan Lamamra, whom he has known since 2005 when he was ambassador to Lisbon, is “based on old knowledge”, but also a visit to a country that “does not to be a neighbor”, shares “a lot of fears”. “Not being a neighboring country, it almost shares many concerns about the region, the Mediterranean, the European Union’s relationship with Africa and the Arab world. It was important for us to talk about what we can do together as part of the geopolitical and geo-economic transformation,” he explained.

João Cravinho stressed that the issue of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a factor “which could not but be the subject of dialogue”, and also added that “geo-economic issues related to energy, renewable energy sources and the opportunities that come with the digital transition” also were on the table.

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“While Algeria is a major exporter of fossil fuels, it is also a country with huge potential in terms of solar and wind energy. We have very qualified companies in these areas, and the Algerian side has expressed interest in [ter] Portuguese investors in these areas,” the minister said.

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The official said that it would be a matter of working with the Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade (AICEP), with the Secretary of State for Internationalization, as well as with a sectoral ministry, namely the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. A “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries is scheduled for 2023, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the Algerian President’s state visit to Portugal.

“We have a very busy calendar between the two countries. Now we will try to organize a mixed commission, where technical specialists from both countries will gather,” he said, stressing that there are “14 legal documents that are practically finalized and will be signed” in 2023.

João Gomes Cravinho was on a visit to Algiers today to assess bilateral relations in the economic sphere, as well as in terms of cooperation, language and culture, and to discuss international issues.

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PORTUGUESE PARACHET JUMP IN THE NETHERLANDS

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PORTUGUESE PARACHET JUMP IN THE NETHERLANDS

Members of the Airborne Operational Battalion of the Parachute Regiment of the Portuguese Army during the annual Falcon Jump exercise on September 17, 2022 over the Ede launch zone, 18 km west of Arnhem, in the province of Gelderland, the Netherlands. A Portuguese skydiver is equipped with a SPEKON RS 2000 parachute from the German manufacturer SPEKON Sächsische Spezialkonfekion GmbH. Above him are US paratroopers with T-11 parachutes.

Photo by M. Bienik | 6 barrels per day

The annual Falcon Leap 2022 exercise, based in Eindhoven, in the south of the Netherlands, took place from 5 to 16 September 2022 in the Netherlands and Belgium. During the first week, the exercise focused on cargo drop operations, and the second week focused on drop operations. It was attended by more than 1 thousand soldiers representing 13 countries, including Portugal, with the participation of the Operational Detachment of 22 soldiers from the Airborne Operational Battalion of the Parachute Regiment of the Ground Forces.

The exercise officially ended on September 17, 2022, commemorating the 78th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, which began on the same day in 1944, during World War II, as part of the largest airborne operation in which more than 40,000 troops serving in the 1st Airborne Division of Great Britain, the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade of Poland, the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions of the United States of America. These commemorations were marked by the launch of paratroopers over the original drop zones of the Operation.

The photo was taken by the Polish soldier M. Benek, seconded to the 6th Airborne Brigade (BPD) – Brigadier General Stanisław Sosabowski, a unit that is the result of the historical legacy of the 1st Separate Polish Airborne Brigade, which jumped during the operation ” Bazaar Garden “, in 1944 under the command of General. Stanislav Sosabovsky – whose name is a suffix (as patron) of the current unit.

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Article published in partnership with “Espada & Escudo”

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