La Liga president: Messi is essential, Neymar and Ronaldo are not

first_imgLa Liga president Javier Tebas says both Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo are not as important to the league as Lionel Messi, though he added that would like to see the Paris Saint-Germain star return to Spain.Neymar has been linked with a move back to the Spanish top tier all summer, having now missed all of PSG’s first three games of the Ligue 1 campaign.A return to Barcelona was widely seen as a possibility, especially with the division champions offloading Philippe Coutinho, while Real Madrid have also been linked with their former rival. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream The Brazilian star’s future remains up in the air, with Thomas Tuchel stating on Sunday that he was unsure what will happen with Neymar before the window shuts next week.And Tebas admitted that he would like to have Neymar back in Spain, wherever he ends up, but the presence of the Brazilian would not be as vital as that of former team-mate Messi when it comes to growing the league’s popularity overseas.”Yes, of course [I’d like Neymar to return]. With his qualities he’s in the top three players in the world. It would be very important for La Liga if he came again, although it wouldn’t be defining for the Spanish league,” Tebas told Marca .”The defining thing is that we play 10 months a year, with 20 clubs each playing each other and generating passion and joy each weekend for fans in Spain and across the world.”A player like Neymar gives you a following in countries that look out for him, but he’s not an essential element, not even Cristiano Ronaldo was. Lionel Messi, on the other hand, is an essential element because he’s the heritage of La Liga.”One of the issues facing any team making a move for Neymar would be Financial Fair Play, as the midfielder signed for the French club for a record-breaking €222 million (£200m/$249m) fee just two summers ago.Barcelona have already brought in the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong, while Real Madrid’s summer spending spree has included acquisitions in the form of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Rodrygo.Still, Tebas says that he believes those two clubs could afford a move for Neymar and can find a way to make the signing work.”If they are interested in signing [Neymar] it’s because they can [afford] it,” he said.”I’m not going to go there because there are many factors that we don’t know about at the moment.”last_img read more

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FCA CPJ call on authorities to protect Sri Lankan journalists

Meanwhile, the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Sri Lanka (FCA) said it was deeply concerned about a campaign of intimidation directed against foreign journalists who contributed to a recent New York Times report on corruption in the island. The Committee to Protect Journalists called on opposition politicians in Sri Lanka to stop trying to intimidate local journalists by publicly leveling accusations against them. At a press conference this week, associates of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa accused two journalists for The New York Times of being tools of the current Government, the Times reported. The Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Sri Lanka (FCA) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) have urged the authorities to protect journalists in Sri Lanka.This was after the joint opposition, at a press conference, made statements against two leading Sri Lankan journalists, Dharisha Bastians and Arthur Wamanan. Rajapaksa on July 1 issued a statement disputing the findings of a June 25 Times investigative report alleging, among other points, that Chinese funds had flowed into Rajapaksa’s failed 2015 presidential campaign. The Times’ New Delhi-based South Asia correspondent, Maria Abi-Habib, penned the article with contributions from Sri Lanka journalists Dharisha Bastians and Arthur Wamanan.Members of parliament, including Kanchana Wijesekera and Dullas Alahapperuma, at the press conference accused Bastians and Wamanan of being tools of the current Government, according to transcripts of the press conference published by GroundViews, a news website in Sri Lanka. One of the politicians showed a photo of Bastians to the camera, the Times said. “Politicians have every right to dispute the findings of a news report, but publicly singling out Dharisha Bastians and Arthur Wamanan is a worrisome development in a country noted for attacks on journalists and unsolved journalist murders,” said Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator. “We call on all political parties in Sri Lanka to publicly affirm support for press freedom and journalists’ safety.”During Rajapaksa’s decade in office from 2005 to 2015, 11 journalists were killed, including five who were targeted for murder and whose cases remain unsolved, according to CPJ research. Rajapaksa’s Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna party won heavily in local elections in February, according to news reports.While Sri Lanka’s current Government has promised to take swift action to solve journalist murders, progress has been painstakingly slow, according to CPJ research. Police have complained that evidence in the murders was lost or destroyed under the previous government, creating obstacles to prosecution. “We are disturbed that several members of parliament have publicly vilified the authors of the report without utilising established channels to redress any grievances arising from the impugned report,” the FCA said.The FCA, a professional body representing Colombo-based foreign media, appealed to all parties to take up any issue resulting from the publication of the report with the editors concerned as is the norm.FCA also urged the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure the safety and security of all journalists in Sri Lanka, including colleagues visiting the island on reporting assignments. (Colombo Gazette) read more

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