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It’s one thing for a Ukrainian soccer club to lose a top defender, quite another to see him go to a top team in Russia.
So when Shakhtar Donetsk’s Yaroslav Rakitskyy signed with Zenit St. Petersburg, a rival team in a rival country, fans in Ukraine went ballistic.
His Instagram account was bombarded with abusive comments, most not fit to print, with many questioning his patriotism. Others said the 29-year-old, who has 54 caps with the national team, should never don Ukraine’s jersey again.
Rakitskyy, who has attracted criticism at home for his perceived lack of Ukrainian patriotism before, has stayed out of the fray. Zenit’s press service declined an interview request from Current Time, and a reporter for the Russian-language network led by RFE/RL in cooperation with VOA was barred from a Zenit press conference on January 30 on the grounds that he didn’t represent professional sports media.
It would not be the first time the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv over Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine has spilled over into sport.
Ukrainian politicians made a futile attempt in 2018 to get countries to boycott the World Cup, which was hosted by Russia. A Sports Ministry order the same year barred government financing for athletes while they take part in competitions in Russia.
The conflict in parts of Ukraine’s eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk — which has pitted Russia-backed separatists against Ukrainian government forces and resulted in at least 10,300 deaths since 2014 — has hit Ukrainian soccer hard. Shakhtar has not played in its home region since the fighting started, and the country’s top league has shrunk from 16 to just 12 teams amid tough economic times.
Shakhtar’s owner, Rinat Akhmetov, had some of his assets in the two regions “nationalized” by the separatists and some of the country’s top soccer talent has left for greener pitches.
In transferring to Zenit, Rakitskyy will be playing for not only one of Russia’s wealthiest and most successful teams, but one of Europe’s. Backed by Gazprom, Zenit paid 10 million euros for the 29-year-old defender, who had spent his entire career with Shakhtar and won seven Ukrainian titles there.
Rakitskyy took flak in 2014 for his supposed reluctance to sing the national anthem while playing for Ukraine.
“I just do not sing the anthem and that’s it. Of course I remember the words. Just taking that time to get tuned for the game, listening to other people singing,” Rakitskyy said on national television that year.
For those who questioned his patriotism, the move to Zenit appeared to confirm their suspicions. An Internet poll by the news portal Tribuna.com showed 56 percent opposed Rakitskyy ever donning the national jersey again. Nearly 10,000 took part in the informal survey.
Oleksandr Horshkov, who played for Ukraine and several seasons for Zenit, predicted Rakitskyy could become a “pariah” if he continues to be called on to play for the national team.
“I think it is a very possible scenario that he would become a pariah on the team, although I would not like it. Sports should be out of politics, but nowadays everything is possible,” Horshkov told Sports24.
Horshkov added that Zenit’s reasons for pursuing Rakitskyy appear to be purely for sporting reasons.
“There were problems in the Zenit defense, especially on the left. Management decided to buy a quality center back,” he said.
Russian sports daily Sports Express compiled a list of well-wishes addressed to Rakitskyy under a headline: “Fans — Rakitskyy: ‘Don’t Listen To Eight-Year-Olds. You’re A Legend!'”
Twitter user Milanista struggled to contain his enthusiasm, saying Rakitskyy “going to Zenit is amazing. Will bring some much needed stability to the backline.”
And he won’t be the only big-name Ukrainian at the club. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, who captained Ukraine in the past and even played a few seasons for German giants Bayern Munich, is an assistant coach at Zenit.
For fans of Shakhtar, it’s just the latest in a long drip of bad news. They must cheer from afar, as their team’s “home” matches are played mostly in Kharkiv, but also in Kyiv and even for a time in Lviv, as well.
Their home stadium, Donbas Arena, a state-of-the-art facility built at a cost of $425 million that also hosted games during the 2012 European soccer championships, now sits empty, damaged from shelling.
Shakhtar sits atop the Ukrainian Premier League with a seven-point lead over Dynamo Kyiv. But the league is not what it used to be, with once-top squads Dnipro and Metalist Kharkiv having been relegated to amateur status.
Dnipro’s fall, in particular, most cruelly captures the struggles of soccer today in Ukraine. In 2015, the club was being toasted after falling just short to Spanish side Sevilla 3-2 in the Europa League final, the continent’s second-biggest competition behind the Champions League.
Off the field, all was not well at the club. Dnipro owner and oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskiy was struggling to pay the bills, including salaries to coaches and players.
Two years after that Europa League final, Dnipro was relegated in 2017 to Ukraine’s third tier, the Ukrainian Second Division, as Kolomoyskiy’s patience and financing dried up. In 2018, the club was relegated again, to the amateur league.
With Dnipro’s fortunes waning, one of its top players, Yevhen Seleznyov, left the club in 2016. His destination? Russia. The striker, a regular on the Ukrainian national team, signed with Russian Premier League side Kuban Krasnodar amid jeers from fans in Ukraine.
“I never mixed sport and politics. This is just the situation. I hope people will understand,” Seleznyov told the Tribuna.com website at the time. “Maybe someone called me a traitor, I don’t know. But I did not betray anyone.” (RFERL)
Divorce is a hard fact in someone's life because it can affect all aspects of life like social, economic, and living status. Conditions become tougher if you have children. Recovering from divorce is also a painful process but good thing is that it is possible to get through it and place better in terms of both finances and emotions. The impact of divorce on finances can be life-lasting but taking precautions and thorough investigations of options can help a lot not only to save unnecessary costs but also some other hidden areas where you weren't aware. Following are some tips to save money during a divorce.
1.Avoid advice from everyone
People like your friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors, etc. will start giving unsolicited advice during the divorce process when you discuss it with them. They will share their own experiences and horror stories and advice on how to handle financial issues during the divorce process. Get advice only from those you trust. In this regard, attorneys or financial experts are the best options to save money during the divorce process.
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2.Consider your spouse
It can be challenging for someone who has started the divorce process to think about the soon-to-be ex-spouse's best interests and financial wellbeing. While making decisions about assets and finances, considering not only your interests but also your spouse's interests can help you to reduce divorce process time. You can save your own and your spouse's money if you spend less time in such negotiations because times spend with the attorney will also be shortened.
3.Goodbye to the joint bank account
You should close all joint bank accounts which were in use of you and your spouse especially credit base account. Block major and supplementary credit and debit cards. Your spouse can use it and you can suffer heavy financial loss. Closing of all joint accounts should be the first step to cut down financial loss during divorce proceedings.
4.Open a new checking account
In continuation of the previous point, open your new checking account. This will help you in terms of not only building up of financial history but also your credit record. Credit history will be helpful if you apply for a loan or any other credit facility. This financial history will let you control your money during the divorce process. If your bank account is not a joint account but you own it, then make sure that your spouse was not using supplementary debit or credit cards. If the spouse was using then block it immediately.
Divorce can include many additional and sometimes hidden costs along with routine costs. This can bring more stress and worries to your life. Saving money can help you to fight such financial status. Force savings every month in this regard can help a lot. You can do this by opening a savings account and setting up a debit order from your checking account.
Recovering from divorce is also a painful process but good thing is that it is possible to get through it and place better in terms of both finances and emotions.Getty pictures
6.Keeping track record of the expense
You may not be interested in maintaining a record sheet of your expenses during your married life. If so, then you should start now. Analyze your bank statement critically because expenses can be out of control now. Review your daily cost of things and make critical decisions to cut down unnecessary costs.
7.Chalk out budget
Ideally, a proper budget should be chalked out to control expenses and save money during the divorce process. Select important segments/areas of your lifestyle and allocate a budget to each of them. After allocation of budget, stick to it strictly every month. This can be problematic in the beginning but become easy when you become used to it. By doing this, you will also be able to manage your savings account by allocating money.
8.Own health insurance
Medical emergencies and different health issues can be sudden or without any notice. So, it is necessary to have a health insurance plan in order to not only pay bills of medicines and lab tests but also an unexpected expensive hospital stay. If your health insurance has previously been covering your spouse then it is advisable to set up your own health insurance plan. This can help you to save money.
9.Amendments in your will and beneficiaries
If you have already decided about your will beneficiaries then it is the right time to update it. Now your divorce is under process, so, the content of your will and beneficiaries should also be significantly changed. This is much needed because it is possible that now you have children and who you like to allocate your property and saving especially if the children were not present when you drew up the will.
10.Change power of attorney
Many people assign power of attorney to their spouses during the marriage. Now it is essential to update and end the power of attorney and signing authority given to the spouse. This will help you in terms of legal and financial matters.
11.Apply for online divorce
Advancement in technology has made it easy for everyone to save time and money. Now in the United States, it is easy to apply for a divorce online. You can save time and attorney fees by downloading all the required divorce documents online. You should not worry about which document and how downloaded because many local court websites can give detailed information about how to file divorce online and which documents are needed.
12.Make use of the mediator
It is extremely helpful to use the mediator to decide terms and conditions between you and your spouse. Although an attorney is needed in certain matters of divorce use of a mediator will help you in saving attorney fee
Many spouses are very conscious about expensive assets and luxuries that are going to be distributed among spouses after the divorce. So, they make decisions to splurge on these luxuries. It is advisable not to splurge as the cost of divorce proves may be past your expectation.
14.Do it yourself (DIY) divorce
Many people are unable to afford the cost of attorney and mediator, so, they now try to handle things by themselves as much as possible. The rate of divorce and its cost is increasing day by day. This factor making "do it yourself (DIY) divorce" popular. DIY spouses are using information given by some attorneys who are offering free consultation on their first meeting.
Disclaimer: ( The article is sponsored and hence promotes some commercial links)
Gone are those days when people, sports enthusiasts, and governments lined up to host the Olympics. Hosting the Olympics, once seemed to be an immensely prideful event, but it has now transformed into an economic burden. Host cities grapple with a plethora of problems which mainly include construction delays, cost overruns, security issues, and environmental concerns.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has more or less aggravated the problems. The Winter Olympic Games are scheduled for 2022 in Bejing, China. Furthermore, Paris and Los Angeles have been recently nominated as the hosts for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics Games respectively. Both cities have held the Games on two occasions previously, with Los Angeles hosting as recently as 1984. Simply submitting a bid to the International Olympics Committee (IOC) costs up to millions of dollars. Host cities typically have to spend $50 million to $100 million in fees to a slew of consultancy agencies, event management companies, etc.
Hosting the Olympics is more costly than the bidding process. For instance, London spent $14.6 billion for hosting the Games in 2012. On the other side, Beijing spent a lavish $42 billion for the Games in 2008. Meanwhile, the Russians spent $51 billion dollars on the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Making, it the costliest Olympic Games in the history of the Olympics.
Governments of host cities and bid teams love to brag about the legacy of hosting the Games. But the hidden costs of such a massive project is too evident to hide. Such megaprojects require additional employment, as well as subsequent improvement of the pre-existing facilities and public infrastructure. Most of these projects are fraught with costs overruns, shoddy work and a lack of long term vision.
According to a study conducted at the prestigious Oxford University In England, by Danish geographer Bent Flyvbjerg and American journalist Allison Stewart, which looked into the individual economic parameters of hosting the Summer Olympic Games between 1960 and 2012. The findings were astonishing, they found out that the Olympic Games overrun the initial cost estimate with 100 per cent consistency. No other megaproject is this consistent regarding cost overruns.
Athens, in particular, seems to have been the tipping point. The city pridefully hosted the Games in 2004, which ended up costing them €9 billion (a whopping $11 billion at today's exchange rate). The offset of the Games was in disguise the onset of Greece's tumultuous years. The country now is in total disarray, with sky-high unemployment rates, failing economic apparatus, record levels of homelessness, all among the grandiose venues built for the Games.
The conclusion is simple, hosting the Olympics is an extravagant affair. If not planned properly, it tends to result in a severe economic crisis for the host city. If the host city lacks facilities and public infrastructure to support the excess crowds pouring in, not hosting the Olympics may be the best option.
Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.
On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.
Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.
Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).
Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.
India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.
He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.
Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.
The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.
Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.