FIFA is set to make the World Cup bigger and richer, even if the price to pay is lower quality football.FIFA President Gianni Infantino hopes his ruling Council will agree tomorrow to expand the 2026 World Cup to 48 nations, playing in 16 groups of three teams.A decision could be delayed if some Council members demand to know exactly how many qualifying places each continent will get before agreeing to scrap the 32-team format. It has been successful, popular and profitable since 1998 and is locked in for the next two World Cups in Russia and Qatar.The prize of 16 extra places, and the biggest increases to Africa and Asia, has “overwhelming” support from FIFA’s 211 member federations, Infantino has said.Their promise of extra funding from Zurich could also be secured by FIFA’s forecast 20 per cent rise in rights fees paid by broadcasters and sponsors.World Cup champions Germany are not in favour. It argued that diluting the number of European and South American teams which won all 20 titles since 1930 could “strengthen the imbalance” seen at some tournaments.”The (German football federation) fundamentally believe that the current 32-team format is the best option,” its president Reinhard Grindel said last week. Germany has no delegate at tomorrow’s meeting though Grindel is set to join the FIFA Council in May.FIFA acknowledged the risk of lower standards in a research document sent to members last month, as first reported by The Associated Press.The “absolute quality” of football, defined by high-ranked teams playing each other most often, is achieved by 32 teams, FIFA said, citing 10,000 tournamentsimulations made to reach that conclusion.Still, Infantino promised voters more World Cup places and funding raises before his election last February.FIFA expects $5.5 billion income tied to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, though 25 of 34 sponsorship slots are unsold. The research document predicted the equivalent of $6.5 billion revenue from a 48-team tournament in the “16×3” format, which would send two teams from each group to a new Round of 32 knockout bracket.EXCLUSIVE TIME SLOTAll 80 matches would play in an exclusive time slot. Currently, 64 World Cup matches have 56 broadcast slots because the eight four-team groups play their last matches simultaneously.FIFA predicts organising costs for “16×3” rising from $2 billion to $2.3 billion, giving a potential profit rise of $640 million.Though a “16×3” World Cup would still need a maximum of 12 stadiums, the demand for 16 more top-quality training camps and hotels suggests FIFA would look for 2026 hosts with existing capacity.A North American bid from two or three of the United States, Canada and Mexico is currently favoured in a contest that could start within weeks.Five options are open today, including staying with 32 teams.Infantino campaigned last year on a 40-team promise, in either eight groups of five teams or 10 groups of four teams. Neither impressed voters in recent regional meetings of FIFA member federations.
There will also be tasty treats available through the tournament’s concession and refreshment stands. The tournament’s entry fee is $500 per team, and today, Wednesday, July 25, is the final day to submit a team.For more information or to register for this weekend’s baseball tournament, email email@example.com, or call Carla at 250-262-5860. Askoty was heavily involved in Peace Region baseball, participating in as many baseball tournaments as possible, traveling all across the Peace Region to play the game he loved.The tournament, being held at the Taylor Baseball Diamonds, guarantees competing teams at least four games, while also featuring a home run derby for those looking for flex their baseball muscles. The co-ed tournament will run on a 7 and 3 format, meaning a team’s roster must include 7 males and 3 females. – Advertisement -Gameplay will abide by ASA rules, and players are only allowed to play for one team. The tournament will also be providing carded umpires to call the games.There will also be a variety of prize giveaways throughout the weekend, including cash prizes based on competition, prizes designated for the Most Valuable Player, equipment prizes as well as a 50/50 draw. Advertisement
This week’s Masters always had the makings for being something extra special and it lived up to expectations on Thursday as reigning champion Jordan Spieth seized a two-shot lead after the opening round.The American’s love affair with the challenging Augusta National layout continued in flawless style as he fired a six-under-par 66 to storm to the top of a high-quality leaderboard in the first of the year’s four major championships.Bidding to become only the fourth player to claim back-to-back Masters victories, world number two Spieth took advantage of relatively calm morning conditions before coping superbly with tricky gusting winds as he kept his card bogey-free.”I would have signed for two-under today and not even played the round, knowing the conditions that were coming up,” said the 22-year-old Spieth, who is aiming to emulate Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods with consecutive Green Jackets.”Got a lot out of the round with what I felt like was kind of average-ish ball striking. Just scored the ball extremely well, which is something I’ve been struggling with this season.”I put it up there with one of the best rounds I’ve played, one of the best rounds I’ve scored.”Spieth ended the day two shots ahead of New Zealander Danny Lee and Irishman Shane Lowry, with Englishmen Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter, Dane Soren Kjeldsen and Spaniard Sergio Garcia a further stroke back after opening with 69s.Rory McIlroy bogeyed the final hole for a 70 while world number one Jason Day, the hottest player in the game after winning six times in his last 13 starts, got to five-under before dropping five shots in his last four holes for a 72.advertisementShaking off a run of inconsistent form in recent weeks on the PGA Tour, Spieth sank a six-footer at the third, a 13-footer at the sixth and a four-footer at the eighth to reach the turn in three-under 33.He picked up further shots at the 10th and 13th, sank a clutch 15-footer to save par at the 16th and finished in style by rolling in a six-foot putt at the last before pumping his fist in celebration.Casey, who played in Spieth’s company, was hugely impressed by the reigning champion’s 66.”That was a flawless round of golf,” said Casey, who shot a 69 on an increasingly blustery day. “One of the toughest days I’ve ever seen around Augusta National … it was great to have a front row seat to watch that.”Spieth won the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January, but struggled to string together four good rounds in his next five strokeplay starts before returning this week to the welcome surroundings of Augusta National.He tied for second on his Masters debut in 2014, then last year stunned the golf world as he completed a wire-to-wire victory by four shots, matching Woods’ tournament record low of 18-under 270 for 72 holes.”I enjoy this tournament more than anywhere else,” said Spieth. “We don’t have any, or many, distractions in our preparation.”While Spieth flourished in Thursday’s opening round, former world number one Ernie Els made a nightmare start as he six-putted from just two feet at the par-four first to run up a mind-boggling nine.It was the highest ever Masters score on that hole and left South African Els, who has struggled badly with his short putting for more than a year, shaking his head in disbelief. He went on to shoot 80, tying his worst round at Augusta.”It’s unexplainable,” said Els, a four-times major winner. “I couldn’t get the putter back. I’ve made thousands of three-footers and I just couldn’t take it back.”Australian Day, seeking a second consecutive major victory after winning his first at the PGA Championship in August, was just one stroke off the pace until he bogeyed the 15th.He then triple-bogeyed the par-three 16th after hitting his tee shot into water, reloading and three-putting before he dropped another shot at the 17th.
Case-Shiller CoreLogic Home Prices sales 2019-05-28 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination May 28, 2019 445 Views Housing Price Appreciation Continues to Slow Home price gains have continued to slow, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index (HPI). Nationally, home prices rose 3.7% year over year in March 2019, down from February’s 3.9% growth. The Index’s 20-City Composite posted a 2.7% year-over-year gain, down from 3.0% in the previous month.Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tampa reported the highest year-over-year gains among the 20 cities. In March, Las Vegas led the way with an 8.2% year-over-year price increase, followed by Phoenix with a 6.1% increase, and Tampa with a 5.3% increase. Four of the 20 cities reported greater price increases in the year ending March 2019 versus the year ending February 2019.“Home price gains continue to slow,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The patterns seen in the last year or more continue: year over year price gains in most cities are consistently shrinking. Double-digit annual gains have vanished.”Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, also noted the slowdown from double-digit to single-digit gains.”Case Shiller prices increased from a year ago, but at a slower pace than we saw earlier in the year,” Hale said. “Data for March showed that prices increased between 2.3% and 3.9% with the 10- and 20-city indices posting slower growth than the nationwide index, consistent with our observations of more inventory growth and diminishing buyer demand in many major housing markets. The data also shows the growing gap between asking prices, which have largely maintained momentum, and sales prices which are clearly slowing.”Hale notes that the two hottest markets are out west, and the third hottest is in the south: Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tampa.Dr. Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist and Executive of Research and Insights at CoreLogic, noted what the latest HPI’s data means for the housing market.“The U.S. housing market moderation has now lasted a year, driven by considerable slowing in the nation’s most expensive markets,” McLaughlin stated. “While the slowdown is most pronounced in these areas, all of the 20-city markets are slowing, suggesting the cooldown has broken from its confines in the West. However, with the 10-year treasury falling, we can expect mortgage rates to continue to decline this spring. This should help to take the cold edge off what has otherwise been a market slow to thaw from the winter months.” Share