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World Sports: Champions League preview

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World Sports: Champions League preview | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World sporting news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Barca, United, Porto, Malaga are almost there
Reuters

PHUKET: Barcelona, Manchester United, Porto and unlikely contenders Malaga can book their tickets to the Champions League knockout stages by winning in midweek.

The quartet have all won the opening three group games and if they win a fourth will take their places in the last 16 with two matches to spare.

Schalke 04, Borussia Dortmund and Shakhtar Donetsk could also take a big stride towards qualification with victories while champions Chelsea, big-spending Manchester City and former winners Juventus are under severe pressure.

“The Champions League is reaching a critical phase and we cannot afford any more mistakes,” said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

“But this group of players is strong, we have belief and we go to Schalke on Tuesday believing we can get a good result there.”

After beating Montpellier and Olympiakos Piraeus in their opening two Group B games, Arsenal lost 2-0 at home to Schalke two weeks ago and another defeat in Germany would put their hopes in the balance.

The Londoners are second in the group, one point behind Schalke but three clear of Olympiakos and five ahead of Montpellier who also meet tomorrow.

Things look far rosier for Manchester United who, without playing particularly well, have won their three Group H matches and go to Portugal’s Braga on Wednesday in good spirits having gone top of the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Arsenal at the weekend.

Braga established a 2-0 lead at Old Trafford two weeks ago before losing 3-2 and coach Jose Peseiro believes they can grab all three points this time round.

Good players
“We know about the resources and the value of Manchester United but that doesn’t stop us thinking that we have our chances, that we have good players, that we have a good team, and that we are ready to do good things and win the match if we can,” he said.

Barcelona can guarantee a place in the last 16 by winning at Celtic on Wednesday, as can Porto with a victory at Dynamo Kiev tomorrow.

Malaga need to triumph at AC Milan to qualify. The Italians have only won six of their last 27 Champions League matches.

Chelsea, who have made an ordinary start to the defense of their crown with a win, a draw and a defeat, cannot afford another reverse at home to Shakhtar on Wednesday after losing in Ukraine two weeks ago.

That victory put Shakhtar top of Group E with seven points, three ahead of Chelsea who are a point clear of Juventus and three in front of Danish newcomers Nordsjaelland.

Since losing at home to Barcelona in the knockout round in 2006, Chelsea have lost just two of 34 Champions League matches at Stamford Bridge but a run of six successive wins there ended when Juventus secured a 2-2 draw in September.

Juve have drawn a record nine successive European games and lost their 49-match unbeaten Serie A run when they were beaten by Inter Milan on Saturday.

They should be too strong for Nordsjaelland on Wednesday but visiting coach Kasper Hjulmand believes his team can still reach the last 16 following their home draw with Juve two weeks ago.

“Every point we can get takes a major effort – and is a sensation. Our chances are not great but we believe in them,” he said.

Manchester City look to be heading out with just one point from nine in Group D behind leaders Dortmund (seven), Real Madrid (six) and Ajax Amsterdam (three).

Ajax outclassed City 3-1 in Amsterdam two weeks ago and the Dutch side travel to Manchester on Tuesday hoping that a repeat can put their domestic league woes behind them.

Despite losing 2-0 at home to Vitesse Arnhem on Saturday and still being without striker Kolbeinn Sightorsson, Ajax coach Frank de Boer is confident.

“We lacked aggression and didn’t play our normal game but I am convinced that will be different on Tuesday,” said De Boer.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket Airport is officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick and efficient manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

Phuket has one large airport at the north end of the island but is separated into two separate terminals – a domestic terminal (the original airport terminal), and a new international terminal opened in 2016.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X (the terminal opened for charter flights opened in 2014) and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive (later in the year, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours. What the airport would do withe tested passengers whilst waiting for 6 hours, has not been detailed at this stage.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers, and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment (Phuket is an island joined to the Thai mainland by a single 300 metre road bridge). Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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