Sub-editor/Correspondent, Singapore
Patrick's Feed
May 15, 2014

Soccer-Ferdinand finds distraction from United disappointment

SINGAPORE, May 15 (Reuters) – Scoffing carrot cake, enjoying a morning tai-chi session and beating Argentina striker Sergio Aguero in a selfie competition proved a welcome distraction for Rio Ferdinand as he tried to move on from the disappointment of his Manchester United axing.

The former England defender’s 12-year stay at Old Trafford ended after their 1-1 draw with Southampton in their final game of the English Premier League campaign on Sunday, with Ferdinand told by the club his contract would not be renewed.

Apr 29, 2014

Singapore drops karate from SEA Games, picks floorball

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Hosts Singapore added floorball and petanque to the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on Tuesday but karate missed out despite offering to pay its way in, with weightlifting and wrestling also dumped due to budget constraints.

The 28th edition of the biennial multi-sport competition for the 11 nations in the region will feature 36 sports and 402 events, with the organisers wary of delivering an on budget Games after Vietnam recently pulled out of hosting the much-bigger 2019 Asian Games because of costs.

Apr 29, 2014

Nekounam has abundance of responsibility for Iran

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Playmaker, captain, penalty taker and free-kick specialist, Iran midfielder Javad Nekounam has an abundance of responsibility as Team Melli prepare for their fourth World Cup appearance.

The 33-year-old, though, has a wealth of experience to draw on having made more than 130 appearances for the three-times Asian champions since making his debut 14 years ago.

Apr 29, 2014

Queiroz hoping for last laugh in Iran adventure

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Carlos Queiroz’s tempestuous three-year spell in charge of Iran is expected to end after mission impossible at the World Cup, where he attempts to steer the team to the knockout stages for the first time and silence his critics.

Despite leading the Iranians to a fourth World Cup finals appearance by winning their Asian qualifying group last year, the Mozambique-born Queiroz has seen his tactics and team selections placed under continual scrutiny.

Apr 29, 2014

Undercooked Iran face challenge to score goals and points

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Iran head to Brazil as Asia’s top-ranked nation but their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of a World Cup for the first time have been hampered by a lack of top class friendly opposition and a wave of negativity surrounding the team.

Since booking their spot in the finals by winning their Asian qualifying group last June, Iran, ranked No.1 in Asia and 37th in the world by FIFA, have only played one international friendly match against Guinea in Tehran, which they lost 2-1.

Apr 29, 2014

Soccer-World-Nekounam has abundance of responsibility for Iran

April 29 (Reuters) – Playmaker, captain, penalty taker and free-kick specialist, Iran midfielder Javad Nekounam has an abundance of responsibility as Team Melli prepare for their fourth World Cup appearance.

The 33-year-old, though, has a wealth of experience to draw on having made more than 130 appearances for the three-times Asian champions since making his debut 14 years ago.

Apr 29, 2014

Soccer-World-Queiroz hoping for last laugh in Iran adventure

April 29 (Reuters) – Carlos Queiroz’s tempestuous three-year spell in charge of Iran is expected to end after mission impossible at the World Cup, where he attempts to steer the team to the knockout stages for the first time and silence his critics.

Despite leading the Iranians to a fourth World Cup finals appearance by winning their Asian qualifying group last year, the Mozambique-born Queiroz has seen his tactics and team selections placed under continual scrutiny.

Apr 29, 2014

Soccer-World-Undercooked Iran face challenge to score goals and points

April 29 (Reuters) – Iran head to Brazil as Asia’s top-ranked nation but their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of a World Cup for the first time have been hampered by a lack of top class friendly opposition and a wave of negativity surrounding the team.

Since booking their spot in the finals by winning their Asian qualifying group last June, Iran, ranked No.1 in Asia and 37th in the world by FIFA, have only played one international friendly match against Guinea in Tehran, which they lost 2-1.

Apr 28, 2014

World-Defensive frailties hinder Japan’s Brazil ambitions

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Japan’s attacking flair and favorable draw have boosted belief they can reach a first World Cup quarter-final, but those ambitions rely on coach Alberto Zaccheroni being able to fix their leaky defense.

The Asian champions have been paired with Colombia, Ivory Coast and Greece in an even-looking Group C in Brazil, their fifth consecutive appearance at the finals.

Apr 28, 2014

Defensive frailties hinder Japan’s Brazil ambitions

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Japan’s attacking flair and favorable draw have boosted belief they can reach a first World Cup quarter-final, but those ambitions rely on coach Alberto Zaccheroni being able to fix their leaky defense.

The Asian champions have been paired with Colombia, Ivory Coast and Greece in an even-looking Group C in Brazil, their fifth consecutive appearance at the finals.