Sub-editor/Correspondent, Singapore
Patrick's Feed
Feb 27, 2015

Pet pooch pivotal in the rise of Ireland’s other O’Brien

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Niall O’Brien, the sturdy batting backbone during Irish cricket’s meteoric rise, owes much of his World Cup success to the timely arrival of a pet dog during his troublesome teenage years.

Growing up in Dublin, O’Brien, son of former Ireland captain Brendan and older brother to team mate Kevin, would frequently find himself in schoolyard scraps and have run-ins with the police because of his spiky temperament.

Feb 27, 2015

Cricket-Pet pooch pivotal in the rise of Ireland’s other O’Brien

Feb 27 (Reuters) – Niall O’Brien, the sturdy batting backbone during Irish cricket’s meteoric rise, owes much of his World Cup success to the timely arrival of a pet dog during his troublesome teenage years.

Growing up in Dublin, O’Brien, son of former Ireland captain Brendan and older brother to team mate Kevin, would frequently find himself in schoolyard scraps and have run-ins with the police because of his spiky temperament.

Jan 30, 2015

Third-party ownership ban illegal – Mendes

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The ban on third-party ownership (TPO) of players is illegal and will kill competition in European football, one of the sport’s most powerful agents, Jorge Mendes, told Reuters.

The Portuguese, who represents World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho amongst others, also blasted UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, saying they only helped strengthen the grip of the elite.

Jan 30, 2015

Soccer-Third-party ownership ban illegal – Mendes

SINGAPORE, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The ban on third-party ownership (TPO) of players is illegal and will kill competition in European football, one of the sport’s most powerful agents, Jorge Mendes, told Reuters.

The Portuguese, who represents World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho amongst others, also blasted UEFA’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, saying they only helped strengthen the grip of the elite.

Jan 28, 2015

Scaled back Singapore Open to return next year

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The Singapore Open, once Asia’s richest golf tournament, will return next year after a three-year absence but with a vast drop in prize money and without the European Tour on board.

The $1 million Jan. 28-31 event will be co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour (JGTO) after Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation agreed to a three-year sponsorship of the tournament, last held in 2012 with a $6 million purse.

Jan 21, 2015

Is expansion good or bad for Asian Cup?

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has lauded the record lack of draws at the ongoing Asian Cup in Australia, but the absence of tied matches raises questions about the competitiveness of future 24-team expanded editions.

Five of the quarter-finalists at the 16-team tournament in Australia qualified with a group game to spare, with six of the first 20 matches being won by at least a three-goal margin.

Jan 21, 2015

Soccer-Is expansion good or bad for Asian Cup?

SINGAPORE, Jan 21 (Reuters) – The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has lauded the record lack of draws at the ongoing Asian Cup in Australia, but the absence of tied matches raises questions about the competitiveness of future 24-team expanded editions.

Five of the quarter-finalists at the 16-team tournament in Australia qualified with a group game to spare, with six of the first 20 matches being won by at least a three-goal margin.

Jan 11, 2015

Struggling Wilkins supports Prince Ali’s FIFA bid

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Jordan coach Ray Wilkins is convinced Prince Ali bin Al Hussein is the right man to clean up FIFA’s tarnished image and the former England captain will be hoping the royal can reciprocate his support in a similarly tough battle.

The 58-year-old former Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan midfielder has struggled in his fourth months in charge of the West Asians, suffering six defeats and a draw in his opening friendly matches ahead of the Asian Cup.

Jan 11, 2015

Soccer-Struggling Wilkins supports Prince Ali’s FIFA bid

Jan 11 (Reuters) – Jordan coach Ray Wilkins is convinced Prince Ali bin Al Hussein is the right man to clean up FIFA’s tarnished image and the former England captain will be hoping the royal can reciprocate his support in a similarly tough battle.

The 58-year-old former Chelsea, Manchester United and AC Milan midfielder has struggled in his fourth months in charge of the West Asians, suffering six defeats and a draw in his opening friendly matches ahead of the Asian Cup.

Jan 2, 2015

Plucky Palestine ready to surprise Down Under

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Palestine’s first Asian Cup finals appearance is likely to end in three defeats and a group stage exit but the rank outsiders have long proved capable of punching above their weight.

They held China to a goalless draw in an Asian Cup warm up in December to give them hope of taking points from a tricky Group D featuring Jordan and the last two winners of the continental tournament — Iraq and Japan.