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Phuket Gazette Sports: Boas bounce back; Benitez’s plea; Giggs signs – again

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Phuket Gazette Sports: Boas bounce back; Benitez’s plea; Giggs signs – again | The Thaiger
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Spurs driven by last season’s stumble, says Villas-Boas
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: One year after his axing by Chelsea left a dent in his ego, Andre Villas-Boas finds his reputation soaring again as high-flying Tottenham Hotspur prepare to host north London rivals Arsenal in a match of huge significance.

Win it and Tottenham would move seven points clear of their arch-rivals and within two points of second-placed Manchester City with 10 games of the Premier League season left.

Defeat, however, would re-open old wounds and cast doubt on Tottenham’s ability to finally emerge from the shadow of Arsenal who they have failed to trump since the advent of the Premier League in 1992.

Portuguese Villas-Boas is well aware of the rivalry between the two sets of fans but refrained from over-hyping tomorrow’s clash at White Hart Lane – instead hinting at a steely determination among the squad born of last season’s pain.

Then, with Villas-Boas kicking his heels after his short reign at Chelsea was truncated, Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham blew a 10-point lead over the Gunners to finish fourth, a position that in normal seasons would have resulted in Champions League qualification but which was denied them by Chelsea’s extraordinary run to European glory.

Villas-Boas said a nagging sense of injustice would help Tottenham in their quest to stay above Arsenal and Chelsea.

“They suffered in the past and want to achieve Champions League qualification,” Villas-Boas, the Premier League’s February manager of the month after three consecutive wins, told reporters on Friday at the club’s impressive new training complex.

“Last season they thought they had qualified for the Champions League in fourth spot and saw it taken away from them because of the rules. It was difficult for them but everybody learns from experience.

“One thing I see in the players is the passion and desire to achieve things.”

Despite his Chelsea experience and the subsequent upheaval at Stamford Bridge, Villas-Boas steered clear of joining the debate over Rafael Benitez, although his demeanour is clearly that of man enjoying the calmer surrounds of Tottenham.

Judging by the way the players celebrated Gareth Bale’s late winner with Villas-Boas at West Ham on Monday, he clearly appears to have harnessed a togetherness he never achieved at Chelsea.

“I don’t see it like that,” the former Porto coach said when asked if finishing above Chelsea was a target. “It would be good because it would mean we would qualify (for the Champions League) achieving that means much more.”

At Chelsea there were suggestions that Villas-Boas had bitten off more than he could chew – struggling to impose his personality on the club’s senior players.

He said he has learned from that experience.

Benitez pleads for Chelsea support after outburst
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez sought to build bridges and ease tensions yesterday, two days after castigating hostile fans and aiming a swipe at club officials for his ‘interim’ job title.

The Spaniard, routinely jeered by a section of Chelsea’s support since replacing the sacked Roberto Di Matteo in November, unleashed passionate invective after Wednesday’s 2-0 FA Cup victory at Middlesbrough, saying he would leave when his short-term deal ran out at the end of the season.

At a news conference on the eve of Saturday’s home game with West Bromwich Albion, a smiling and relaxed Benitez said he was only trying to get fans to rally round the cause of helping Chelsea finish in the top four of the Premier League.

“If you analyse it carefully I was trying to explain we have 11 games to play, 33 points, if we stick together it will be easy for us to get points,” Benitez said on Friday.

“The fans are really important for the team. We need the atmosphere we had against Arsenal (in January) and Napoli.

“The message is clear – I have no problem with the board, (technical director) Michael Emenalo, (owner) Roman Abramovich, or the players. I will do the best for the club. I have 26 years as a manager of principles, respect and education to achieve what I have.”

Last season Chelsea produced a superb comeback, recovering from a 3-1 first-leg deficit against Napoli to win the return match 4-1 and reach the Champions League quarter-finals before going on to win the trophy for the first time.

Benitez repeated the phrase, “if we stick together it will be easier for us” on numerous occasions as he sought to dampen the almost inevitable hostility he is likely to face from the fans on Saturday.

In a packed room at the club’s Cobham training ground, he said he had been involved in amicable discussions with Chelsea’s powerbrokers in the wake of his midweek comments.

“The title (of interim manager) came three months ago and it was just a point that was put across. I think it is not a problem because we have a lot of games,” he said.

Age-defying Giggs signs new one-year United deal
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Manchester United’s age-defying midfielder Ryan Giggs signed another one-year contract that will mean he is playing for the Premier League leaders when he turns 40.

The Welshman, who made his United debut in March 1991, has made a club-record 931 appearances, scoring 168 goals.

With his international appearances for Wales and Britain in the Olympics added, his tally is 999 and he could reach the 1,000-game milestone in United’s Premier League game against Norwich City on Saturday.

“I am feeling good, enjoying my football more than ever and, most importantly, I feel I am making a contribution to the team,” Giggs, who scored in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers, said on the club’s website (www.manutd.com).

“This is an exciting team to be part of, with great team spirit, and we are again pushing for trophies as we head towards the business end of the season.”

The former Wales international, who will turn 40 in November, has won 12 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and two Champions League titles.

He looks set to add to that tally this season as United are 12 points clear at the top of the Premier League, while also still in the FA Cup and Champions League.

He is the only player to score in every season since the Premier League replaced the old English first division in 1992, having also been on target in the two seasons beforehand.

“What can I say about Ryan that hasn’t already been said? He is a marvellous player and an exceptional human being,” manager Alex Ferguson said in a statement.

“Ryan is an example to us all, the way in which he has, and continues to, look after himself.”

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Phuket

Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

The drunk, off-duty police officer in Phuket who has caught on camera shooting and beating a noodle vendor on Bangla Road is now facing attempted murder charges as well as charges of carrying a firearm in public without a necessary reason and firing a weapon in a public area. The commander of the Phuket police station said he ordered investigators to prosecute the officer Pornthep Channarong with every criminal charge that can be applied.

The officer had gotten into an altercation just before dawn yesterday and shot a young vendor who was walking by. Surveillance camera footage show the 25 year old suddenly falling to the ground after being shot. The officer walks up and shoots the vendor at a close range, but it appears the second shot did not hit the vendor. The officer also slapped the vendor in the face, picked him up and shoved him over, and then kicked him as he lay on the ground.

The vendor has a 4 year old daughter and 3 month old son. His wife says normally he works as a motorbike driver, but he was helping his mother selling noodles. He was shot while he was walking back from collecting a noodle bowl, she says. The vendor is in critical condition and being cared for at Vachira Phuket Hospital’s intensive care unit. He’s in need of Type B blood.

“For his condition, the doctor told me that the bullet went through his lung. He lost a lot of blood. We need a lot of Type B blood for him.”

A disciplinary investigation into the incident was launched by police and Pornthep was officially dismissed from the Royal Thai Police force. Region 8 Police Commander Kitrat Panpetch says the incident does not reflect the police force in Phuket.

“The incident was caused by an officer who did something wrong that our organisation does not want. We are a big organisation with more than 200,000 officers under our control. Our officers are not all bad like this.”

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pornsak Nuannu says he has reminded the police chiefs across the island to discuss reasons for carrying firearms in public.

“Carrying firearms is to prevent any type of crime that may happen, not to commit a crime by themselves like this incident. If I see any police doing such a thing, I will decisively proceed in terms of both officer discipline and criminal charges.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Thai Vietjet resumes Phuket-Chiang Rai flights, launches promotion on air fare

The Thaiger

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Thai Vietjet resumes Phuket-Chiang Rai flights, launches promotion on air fare | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thai Vietjet

The following is a press release from Thai Vietjet on its new promotion “Welcome Back to the Sky” and the resumption of Phuket-Chiang Rai flights.

Thai Vietjet today announced the flight resumption of its domestic cross-regional service between Phuket – Chiang Rai, in response to the increasing travel demand after the government began relaxing travel measures in each province. The airline will resume the service for four (04) round-trip flights a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, with the flight duration around 2 hours and 5 minutes, starting from 26 February 2021 onwards. The flight details are as follows:

Flight No.Departure from PhuketArrival at Chiang Rai Flight No. Departure from Chiang RaiArrival in Phuket
VZ4008:15am10:20amVZ40110:50am12:55pm

In addition, the airline also announced the resumption of other domestic cross-regional services including the flight between Hat Yai – Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai – Nakhon Si Thammarat from 19 March 2021 onwards.

Following the service resumption announcement, the airline launched special promotion “Welcome Back to the Sky”, offering special fares from just THB 99 (not inclusive of taxes, fees, surcharges, and add-ons) for Thai Vietjet’s flights between Phuket – Chiang Rai and the flights to/from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi). The special fares are available for booking from 24 – 28 February 2021, with travel period between 8 March – 30 June 2021 on SkyFUN.vietjetair.com

As the COVID-19 situation is under control, Thai Vietjet has been adding flight frequency in line with the increasing demand for travel. The airline has also recently introduced its new product on SkyFUN, the ‘TRIP EASY PLUS’ – travel insurance with coverage of COVID-19 starting from THB 180, which provides further convenience and travel confidence to passengers to travel with the highest level of safety during the pandemic. For more information, please visit https://skyfun.vietjetair.com/insurance.

The promotional fares are available on SkyFUN.vietjetair.com, applied to Thai Vietjet’s domestic flights in Thailand from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket, Krabi, Udon Thani, Hat Yai , Khon Kaen, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ubon Ratchathani and the domestic cross-regional flight Phuket – Chiang Rai. The tickets are also available on all other distribution channels including www.vietjetair.com, mobile app “Vietjet Air”, via Facebook at facebook.com/VietJetThailand by clicking “Booking” tab, as well as travel agencies and booking offices. Payment can be easily made with ‘True Money Wallet’ and international debit/credit cards.

Thai Vietjet is committed to providing on time scheduled flights with the highest safety complied with the standards and regulations of the relevant authorities. Thai Vietjet was named the fastest growing low-cost airline in Thailand 2020 by The Global Business Outlook Award. The airline also owns one of the worlds newest and most modern fleet with an average age of only 2.7 years and was awarded the highest ranking for safety with 7 stars by the world’s only safety and product rating website airlineratings.com. The carrier has been strictly performing aircraft disinfection dailythroughout its fleet in compliance with Thai Ministry of Public Health.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

4 top tourist destinations to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine distribution

Maya Taylor

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4 top tourist destinations to be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccine distribution | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration says 4 of Thailand’s major tourism destinations are to be prioritised in the distribution of vaccines. They are Phuket, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai and Surat Thani. In addition, a further 9 provinces with significant infection numbers are being prioritised in the rollout of the first vaccine doses arriving in the Kingdom today.

Taweesin Visanuyothin from the CCSA says 70,000 doses will go to the hard-hit “highest control” area of Samut Sakhon, where Thailand’s second outbreak began late last year. 8,000 doses are being set aside for medical officials in the central province, along with 6,000 for frontline healthcare workers, 46,000 doses for seriously ill patients, and 10,000 doses for migrant workers and local residents.

Another 105,000 doses will be distributed to similar groups in Bangkok, in the central provinces of Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Samut Songkram and Samut Prakan, and in the western province of Ratchaburi and the Mae Sot district of Tak.

The Pattaya News reports that 14,700 doses will be sent to 4 major tourist destinations, with 4,700 going to the eastern province of Chon Buri, 4,000 to the southern island of Phuket, 3,500 to the northern province of Chiang Mai, and 2,500 going to the island of Samui in the southern province of Surat Thani.

In the case of the vaccines going to tourism spots, it is not yet known which groups will be vaccinated first, with that decision being left to the Provincial Communicable Disease Committee and other related authorities.

Meanwhile, the CCSA says other plans for the 4 tourism destinations are being considered, including the possibility of “area quarantine”, which would allow vaccinated foreign arrivals to remain within certain boundaries during their quarantine period. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has been pushing for a vaccine passport policy for vaccinated visitors, while PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says the government may consider lifting quarantine restrictions for vaccinated tourists.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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