Five Reasons Neymar’s Move To PSG Makes Sense

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Broadcast August 5, 2017 on Sportsnation Live on Nationwide News Network
Published August 14, 2017

Speculation is rife as to why Neymar would leave Barcelona for PSG. Here are five reasons why I think he made the move.

Neymar signed with Paris Saint Germain for 200 million pounds
(Credit: Getty)

The expected discussion this week in the sports world should have been solely about Usain Bolt’s swansong in London at the 2017 IAAF World Championships. However, with world football undergoing an upheaval this week with Barcelona’s star Neymar making the switch to Paris Saint Germain for a record fee of 200 million pounds, let’s just say, we forgot about athletics for a second.

To put it into perspective, 200 million pounds is 33 billion Jamaican dollars. Bear in mind, this does not include his salary, which is little over 40 million pounds per year for the next five years. So, that amounts to another 200 million pounds. Therefore, the entire switch and wages will cost PSG roughly 400 million pounds, that’s in excess of 67 billion Jamaica dollars. Makes me want to ask Minister Shaw what’s Jamaica’s annual budget again? Continue reading

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Sports & Cancer: Never Give Up on Your Dreams

By Zaheer Clarke

Published July 3, 2017

Oftentimes, your love for sports can make the difficult moments in your life a little easier. For several individuals battling cancer, it’s this love and the love from their family that transform them into superheroes.

Hundreds Bid Farewell to Captain Horace Burrell
(Source: BOJTV)

Last week, the entire Jamaican football fraternity paid respects to a man, Captain Horace Burrell, whose dream united a people and made a nation proud. In 1994, Burrell marched into the presidency of the Jamaica Football Federation. His immediate dream at the time was for Jamaica to attain qualification for the 1998 World Cup in France by 1997. It was a daunting task to be achieved in three years, but it was a task that required an enchanting and stomping leader, and that he was.

The Captain, with Rene Simoes at his hip, transformed Jamaica’s outlook on its place in world football with steely performances in match after match ‘at the office’ and overseas. Surprisingly for many outside of Jamaica, Jamaica qualified for the 1998 World Cup and went on to finish 22nd out of the 32 teams that participated. Amazingly, Jamaica finished ahead of teams like the USA, Cameroon, South Africa, Scotland and others. Many will forget that in 1994, Jamaica was ranked as low as 75th in the world by FIFA. However, it was under Burrell’s tenure that Jamaica rose to its highest ranking of 27th in 1998. Continue reading

Manchester Tragedy Fuels Friendship & Triumph

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published May 29, 2017

Ariana Grande
© Getty Images

A week ago, 23-year-old American pop singer and actress, Ariana Grande had just ended her concert performance in the packed out Manchester Arena in England. The patrons, many of them children, were heading for the exits, still in costume, with bunny ears attached to their heads. Several of their parents were outside awaiting them to bring them home. High school boyfriends and girlfriends held hands as they headed to the doors. Friends, filled with excitement – chuckled and laughed – still amazed that they had witnessed their idol in concert. Numerous parents, who had accompanied their kids to the concert, held their children’s hands – in a protective fashion – as they guided them through the crowded maze, thinking only of getting home and getting home quickly.

In one quick expansive bang, the left side of the Arena erupted in chaos, as Salman Abedi, a Libyan expat, had detonated an improvised explosive device, more commonly known as an IED. The explosion killed 22 individuals, several of them children and parents who attended the concert. Also killed in the blast were parents who came to pick up their kids to take them safely home. Ironically, Abedi, the alleged bomber, was only 22 years old.

“Skin, blood and faeces were everywhere”

Kiera Dawber told CNN, “There were just bodies scattered about everywhere … it was just chaos.” Continue reading

China, a viable option for Brazilian footballers

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published March 27, 2017

With the generous salaries and financial rewards on offer in the Chinese Super League, a host of Brazilian footballers sees the CSL as a viable option compared to the European leagues.

Brazil’s defender Marquinhos (L) vies for the ball with Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani during their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match at the Centenario stadium in Montevideo, on March 23, 2017.
(Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images / DANTE FERNANDEZ)

Last week Thursday, Brazil and Uruguay battled one more time, this time in a 2018 World Qualifying football match. Brazil-Uruguay encounters have always resulted in a climax, with the zenith being the 1950 World Cup final, which saw Uruguay hoist their second World Cup title. That 1950 victory in the stadium of football, the Maracanã stadium, Brazil’s home turf, before the loyal Brazil fans, was against the odds and a significant blow to Brazil’s hope of World Cup glory. Thankfully – eight years later – that blow was quickly forgotten, after Brazil snatched the first of their five World Cup titles.

Last Thursday, at the Estadio Centenario, home of Uruguay’s first World Cup glory in 1930 and a venue which has been a nightmare location for Brazil, Brazil thumped a Luis Suarez-less Uruguay 4-1 to all but secure their spot in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The hero of the night for Brazil was not the usual suspect, Neymar, its captain, but Paulinho, once a forgotten man, who scored a superlative hat-trick. Continue reading

Sports, Technology & the Future: Will robots entertain us?

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published March 13, 2017

Sports is big business and technology has played an integral part in how we are entertained today through sports. Will robots entertain us in future and be our future sports stars?

Deandre Jordan is seen shooting while wearing a wristband that records his biometrics.
(Source: ESPN)

Recently, DeAndre Jordan, the NBA’s leader in defensive rebounds and field goal percentage, wore a little biometric computer called WHOOP on his wrist in an NBA game. The WHOOP tracks his heart rate, skin temperature and other metrics. The device according to Jordan has assisted him with recovery after travelling as well as with his sleeping and eating habits. In essence, Jordan told ESPN’s TrueHoop that the device has taught him what he needs to do and what he does not need to do.

A few weeks later, NBA commissioner Adam Silver, using former New Orleans Pelicans’ Langston Galloway showcased some of the real-time biometrics data that could be collected on an NBA athlete. With wires strapped to his stomach and chest, viewers were able to view biometric data on Galloway’s heart rate, skin temperature, oxygen levels, respiration levels, sleep quality, caffeine levels, and blood pressure. Technology like this is currently banned in the NBA and not allowed under the current collective bargaining agreement, but that may change in the new deal due this year. Continue reading