Cabin fever hits Chinese football’s coronavirus ‘bubble’

first_imgApart from their hotels, stars such as Oscar, Marko Arnautovic and Marouane Fellaini see only stadiums — where no fans are allowed — and training pitches. They cannot meet their families.Coaches, support staff, referees and even the hotel workers must also stay in the “Blue” zone, away from the outside world. Everyone is tested for coronavirus once a week.The restrictive environment, coupled with the physical exertion of playing two matches a week in temperatures that have surpassed 35 degrees Celsius (95F), is proving difficult for some.”When I think about being walled in for the next one-and-a-half months, my head is spinning, so I don’t dare think too much,” one player told Soccer News, which warned last week that players had reached “a psychologically critical period”. Topics : Billiards and karaoke Qingdao Huanghai’s Erica Hernandez, the only woman physiotherapist in the CSL, has found the experience “enriching” despite being vastly outnumbered by men.In Suzhou the eight teams have their own building each in the Taimei Xiangguli Hotel.”We have open space to walk, a swimming pool, gym,” said the 40-year-old Spaniard.”Moreover, there are great benefits of having all teams here, such as meeting new people and new professionals and having the chance to share time and experiences.”On the eve of the season, the Chinese Football Association admitted it was concerned about the players’ mental well-being, especially being away from their families for so long.To while away the hours they can play on games consoles and arcade machines, and there is a library and karaoke.Some are shopping online, with all purchases thoroughly disinfected before players get their hands on them.But conscious that cabin fever could be setting in, officials in Suzhou have arranged a “Billiard Masters” competition between rival players, the Beijing Youth Daily said.There will also be an eSports tournament and reading club.”Hard training, fierce competition and long-term separation from relatives and friends requires players to relieve their mental fatigue in certain ways,” the state-run newspaper said. Strict coronavirus measures appear to be taking their toll on Chinese Super League footballers, with one saying his head was “spinning” in the claustrophobic “bubble” — and they still have six weeks to go.Chinese football introduced harsh rules when it launched the CSL season in two bio-secure bubbles after a five-month delay because of COVID-19, which emerged in Wuhan last year.The 16 teams disappeared into two sealed-off hotels, one in Suzhou and the other in Dalian, a month ago and will not leave until the end of September.center_img  ‘Unthinkable’ in Europe’ Other sports have created their own cocoons, but Chinese football’s is particularly demanding. The NBA basketball is playing out in a six-week bubble in Disney World, Florida, before the playoffs, while the CSL’s regular season will last about 10 weeks.The suspended English Premier League season was completed in about five weeks, while Australia’s National Rugby League and Aussie Rules also have more relaxed bubbles that allow travel and have games in front of fans.Rafael Benitez, the former Real Madrid manager who is now at Dalian Pro, is trying to make the best of being lumped together with seven other teams under one roof.The Spaniard has praised China’s response to the pandemic, but wrote on his blog Wednesday: “This kind of plan would be impossible in Europe, everyone stuck in a hotel -– staff, technical staff and players -– for two months, only being allowed out to train and play matches.”It’d be unthinkable,” added the 60-year-old, whose Dalian side is yet to win in five matches.Benitez, a Champions League winner with Liverpool in 2005, has spent some of his free time chatting with fellow coaches Fabio Cannavaro and Giovanni van Bronckhorst, and also played a bit of table tennis. They are all in Dalian, where teams have two floors each of a hotel for what will be nearly two-and-a-half months by the time they can finally leave. An unnamed boss of one club added: “I feel like the players can’t stand it anymore.”Soccer News also quoted Shanghai SIPG’s Brazilian forward Ricardo Lopes as saying: “The only problem is that my kids are all in Brazil and sometimes I miss them very, very much.”last_img read more

Otto takes remaining interest in Gulf of Mexico lease

first_imgAustralia-based oil and gas company Otto Energy has acquired the remaining 50% working interest in the VR 232 license located in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico from Byron Energy.Otto said on Thursday that the lease is subject to a 12.5% Federal Government royalty and the lease rental is $31,681 per annum. The lease expires in June 2023.VR 232 is adjacent to South Marsh Island Block 71 (SM 71) oil field and production platform. Byron is the operator of the SM 71 and Otto is a partner with a 50% interest. The platform has capacity to produce up to 5,000 bopd from up to six wells.Over 2 Bcf of gas and 30 Mbbls of oil have been produced from VR 232 between 1995 and 1997, according to Otto.Otto has recently acquired a modern 3D seismic data set over the SM 71 area (including VR 232) and part of the work being done will focus on the prospectivity of VR 232 given its proximity to SM 71.Otto Energy’s Managing Director, Matthew Allen, commented: “Otto is pleased to take its interest in VR 232 to 100% and assume operatorship of the license. Otto’s geoscience team have significant experience in the area with strong local prospect calibration.“There is the potential for any discoveries from VR232 to be within tie-back range of our SM 71 facility where there is with capacity for up to 5,000 bopd and six wells.”Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Offshore Energy Today, established in 2010, is read by over 10,000 industry professionals daily. We had nearly 9 million page views in 2018, with 2.4 million new users. This makes us one of the world’s most attractive online platforms in the space of offshore oil and gas and allows our partners to get maximum exposure for their online campaigns. If you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today contact our marketing manager Mirza Duran for advertising options.last_img read more

Pair of Washington teams visits Galen

first_imgWith a 19-3 record and accomplishments from veterans and rookies alike, the No. 7 USC women’s volleyball team has not had to deal with much adversity this season. Coach Mick Haley’s club has made quick work of its opponents, having recorded sweeps in 14 of their 19 wins.Growing up · Freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio (left) has been named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week four times this season. – Sean Roth | Daily TrojanRegardless, the Women of Troy will use this weekend as a measuring tool for their season as they face the No. 5 Huskies on Friday and Washington State on Saturday at the Galen Center.While the Cougars have struggled and remain winless in Pac-12 competition, the Huskies have fought neck-and-neck with the Women of Troy, having established a 19-2 overall record that includes a 3-0 sweep of USC  when the Women of Troy made their trip to Washington on Sept. 28.“Our confidence right now is exactly where it needs to be,” senior opposite Katie Fuller said. “After the loss to Stanford we came into practice and challenged ourselves. We not only focused on attacking what we think are our strong points, but also the strong points of our opponents, and that’s what we need to do this weekend against the Washington teams.”Following a disappointing 3-0 sweep at the hands of the Cardinal on Oct. 10, the Women of Troy responded immediately with a sweep of Cal  on Oct. 12 before dominant home victories over Utah and Colorado last weekend. The weekend featured more strong performances from freshman outside hitter Samantha Bricio, who notched an astounding 11 aces to power the Women of Troy service attack. She also added 18 kills between the matches and nabbed her fourth Freshman of the Week honors to add to her quickly expanding list of accolades.While Bricio has carried the team on her back, Haley is quick to point out the need to keep things in perspective, especially with teams gunning to take down USC.“We took both of these teams out with our serving this weekend,” Haley said. “That’s important. But you have to assess how the serving will be against a different team or in a foreign facility. Bricio’s been knocking down aces and we have a combination of different serves we can use, but on the road it’s difficult. Even Bricio is having trouble focusing on the road, just because she’s had to do so much as a freshman.”While the likes of Fuller, junior middle blocker Alexis Olgard and junior libero Natalie Hagglund have consistently performed well for the team, Haley used the Colorado match to experiment with his younger players, particularly freshman middle blocker Alicia Ogoms and freshman setter Cinnamon Sary, and stressed the need to give them more playing time.“Cinnamon is going to be really good, there’s no question,” Haley said. “If she can provide a little more spark, we have a chance to win the national championship. She wants to contribute, so there’s no sense in holding her back, and the team’s comfortable with her in the lineup.”As the team gears up to battle the Huskies and avenge last month’s loss, Haley stressed the need to focus on the specifics of Washington’s attack.“We run first tempo, while Washington runs 1.5 tempo in the middle,” Haley said. “They run quicker outside while we run quicker in the middle. The tempos are different but we need to keep improving and become comfortable with our system. Everyone’s feeling like they’re getting better and their focus is high, so we’re in good shape.”last_img read more