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Abuse and assault – a referee’s life

You have got to be a sucker for punishment to be a football referee, haven’t you?

When a survey observed by BBC Radio 5 live Investigates indicates that a single in five in England has suffered physical abuse and nearly two-thirds experience verbal abuse on a regular basis, why would you want to put yourself in harm’s way?

A lot more importantly, who would want to do such a job?

Here, four referees beneath 30 – a schoolteacher, an anti-social behaviour officer, a organization improvement consultant and a paralegal – speak candidly about their careers and reveal what drives them.

Inform us your stories – either by commenting at the bottom of the piece, or by joining today’s Sportsday debate.

Farhan Kazi

  • 25, schoolteacher
  • Has refereed for just beneath 12 months
  • Referees seven games a week, all age groups
BBC graphic

“Reffing provides me my personal identity, it provides me handle. I like to develop a rapport with players, coaches and parents, but the game depends on my choices and how very good my decision-generating is. There is a buzz getting manage of a game in my hand.

“Adult games are the toughest ones. The players release so considerably tension and aggravation. Often it really is just passion, at times they want to prove a point. It’s funny due to the fact I utilized to be that player.

“Respect is a enormous factor for me. You can have an opinion, just do not be abusive. I’ve had abusive language directed at me, but by no means a racist comment. There are idiots on the sidelines, but you can not ignore them. If I ignore them, I’d have to ignore everyone.

“Refs are often receiving slaughtered for any blunders they make, but they never ever get sufficient praise when they get one thing right. There is a lot of pressure. All eyes are on them. But they are only human.

“There is more possibility to further your career as a ref than as a player. The ambition is to become a expert referee. I would enjoy to be the Amir Khan of football referees – a part model for other folks.”

Mike Barlow

  • 23, anti-social behaviour officer
  • Has refereed for nine years
  • Referees two games a week, adult and semi-expert
Mike Barlow

“I started refereeing to get a bit of further pocket money. It beats obtaining a paper round. It was like receiving dragged on a rollercoaster for the 1st time. You do not want to get on, but then you do it and you adore it.

“It requires 110% commitment and a lot of sacrifice. I needed to explain to my buddies and girlfriend that this is my profession and it comes initial. I’ve sacrificed my Friday nights. I’m usually in bed good and early.

“There is always going to be an element of abuse, but the Football Association is functioning tough to place this appropriate. The Premier League wants to set a better instance. What you see there filters down to grassroots football. If Wayne Rooney or whoever is behaving badly, that gets replicated around the country.

“Refereeing has changed me as a individual. I employed to be the quietest of individuals, but refereeing has given me a lot of self-assurance and helped me with my personal life and my really like life.

“There are so many more opportunities to progress as a ref than as a footballer. There is a lot of commitment involved, but if a ref desires it sufficient, they’ll get there. It’s so enjoyable. I’d advise it to any individual.”

Kat Davey

  • 29, business improvement consultant
  • Has refereed for 15 years
  • Referees two/three games a week, open-age group, men and girls
Kat Davey

“I was never ever going to make it as a player, but I just love football and a ref gets paid to be involved in the game. What could be far better? I enjoy the banter and I really like the game.

“A spectator recently shouted out that the football pitch was no location for a female referee and told me to get back to the kitchen and get out the ironing board. I’ve been a ref because I was 14 and haven’t heard an individual say that kind of issue to me for a very good 10 years.

“There will always be men and women who disrespect you. It is about possessing the strength of character to cope. I’ve grown as a particular person a lot more as a referee. I’m so a lot a lot more outgoing.

“You have to be massively committed. I am out all day Saturday and Sunday and train 3 nights a week if I never have a midweek game. I never see my close friends as frequently as I would like and I miss nights out, but they are quite supportive and inform me they are proud of me.

“Tv commentators annoy me simply because they usually do not know the laws of the game. These who have played the game usually do not know the laws of the game either.”

Matt Archibald

  • 23, paralegal
  • Has refereed for nine years
  • Referees two games a week, open-age group
Matt Archibald

“I was with a couple of mates, probably watching a truly, actually poor refereeing performance at Rochdale Football Club, and decided to give it a go. I was actually bad at football, so this was a way of staying in the game.

“I’ve been assaulted. I was about 19 or 20. I showed somebody a card, I cannot keep in mind if it was a yellow or a red, and they headbutted me. I just picked up the ball and walked off the pitch. I was told to grow up by some of the players. I was very tiny at the time and a bit infant-faced, someone they possibly believed they could manipulate.

“I went back to the changing rooms and started crying. I was in floods of tears and I believed about quitting. I took some time away from the game, about 3 months, came back for a game, did not take pleasure in it and took yet another four months out.

“Since I’ve come back, I’ve never ever felt in any danger. Any negative experiences I’ve had, I’ve turned into a constructive. You can nonetheless obtain what you set your thoughts to when you have the right support.

“Refs are regular people and do not deserve the abuse they get. It is easy to blame the ref – that will never ever change – but I’d urge individuals to take note of themselves just before they jump all more than us. What would I say to any person who wanted to be a ref? Do it. It is the ideal factor I’ve ever accomplished.”

Death threats and a lot more

Over two,000 referees, mostly from grassroots levels, took element in the survey carried out jointly by academics from Loughborough, Portsmouth and Edge Hill Universities.

BBC Radio five live investigates not too long ago spoke to some of them, who revealed tales of death threats, doors becoming kicked out and a lot more.

Fitch: Japanese Life Insurers Seek Overseas Growth Possibilities

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) Link to Fitch Ratings’ Report: 2016 Outlook: Japanese Life Insurance here TOKYO, December 07 (Fitch) Japanese life insurers are most likely to strengthen their insurance coverage company outside Japan in 2016 whilst accumulating foreign bond holdings to boost their investment yield, Fitch Ratings says in a new report. The Rating Outlook for Japanese life insurers has been revised to Steady from Negative, to be consistent with the Outlook for the Japan sovereign (Lengthy-Term Neighborhood-Currency Issuer Default Rating at A). This reflects the insurers’ higher concentration of Japanese government bonds (JGBs) in their investment portfolios. The Sector Outlook remains Steady due to the general improvement in earnings and sufficient capitalisation. Many Japanese significant life insurers have started to obtain sizable life insurance firms (for about JPY1.4trn in total) in created markets such as the United States and Australia, following the overseas expansion plans of The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Organization, Restricted (Insurance coverage Economic Strength (IFS) Rating A/Steady). Fitch believes this trend will continue, offered the ageing and contracting population in Japan, and will monitor any integration and governance risks from international M&A. Japan’s life insurers are likely to continue moderately accumulating foreign bonds to seek larger yield, if the very low bond yields in Japan (at about 1% for 20-year JGBs) persist. Fitch expects currency dangers (specially versus US dollar) could improve additional, if insurers raise unhedged portions. Even though the increasing allocation to foreign bonds will provide broader diversification from the concentration on JGB, currency risks want to be managed effectively given the majority of the life insurance coverage liabilities are nevertheless yen-denominated. Fitch expects the life insurers to sustain their sturdy earnings level and solid capital adequacy in 2016. The nine main traditional life insurers’ core profit was JPY1,194bn in the 1st half of the economic year ending March 2016, up from JPY1,117bn a year earlier. The nine insurers’ typical statutory solvency margin ratio was 923.5% at end-September 2015, compared with 897.7% a year earlier. The view is supported by an enhancing investment spread owing to accumulated foreign bond investments and the moderately expanding profitable “third sector” (health) insurance item businesses. The report titled “2016 Outlook: Japanese Life Insurance coverage” is obtainable at www.fitchratings.com or by clicking on the hyperlink in this media release. Make contact with: Teruki Morinaga Director +81 3 3288 2781 Fitch Ratings Japan Restricted Kojimachi Crystal City East Wing 3F 4-8 Kojimachi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 102-0083 Akane Nishizaki Associate Director +852 2263 9942 Jeffrey Liew Senior Director +852 2263 9939 Media Relations: Wai-Lun Wan, Hong Kong, Tel: +852 2263 9935, Email: wailun.wan@fitchratings.com. Additional data is accessible on www.fitchratings.com ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE Topic TO Certain LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE Study THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS Link: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE Obtainable ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC Internet site ‘WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM’. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE Available FROM THIS Website AT ALL Occasions. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO Accessible FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS Website. FITCH Could HAVE Offered Yet another PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS Related THIRD PARTIES. Details OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS Primarily based IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE Discovered ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY Web page FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH Web site.

Fitch: Chinese Life Insurers Face Greater Asset Dangers

(The following statement was released by the rating agency) Hyperlink to Fitch Ratings’ Report: 2016 Outlook: China Life Insurers right here HONG KONG, December 02 (Fitch) Chinese life insurers are taking on larger asset dangers due to higher equity exposures and surging option investments such as debt investment plans, trust schemes and wealth management items, Fitch Ratings says in a new report. Elevated alternative investments make Chinese life insurers’ credit profiles a lot more vulnerable to an financial downturn as these varieties of investments are normally less liquid than straight bonds, and are focused on the infrastructure and genuine-estate sectors. Alternative investments accounted for about five%-17% of surveyed insurers’ assets as of finish-1H15. Greater equity exposures also indicate greater vulnerability of their capitalisation to unfavourable stock industry movements. However, the effect of China’s stock marketplace correction in 2H15 must be manageable provided their stronger solvency positions following the stock market’s rally since mid-2014. Flexibility to decrease policyholders’ dividends can also mitigate the influence of poor investment yields. The far more granular capital regime under the China Risk Oriented Solvency Program is spurring Chinese life insurers to problem a lot more equity-like hybrid securities. China Life Insurance Company Restricted issued the first Core Tier II instruments beneath the new regime in June 2015. Subordinated debts stay the primary supplementary capital the key life insurers’ economic leverage stayed at 19%-28% at finish-2014. Fitch expects Chinese life insurers to price tag their policies far more aggressively following the regulator’s removal of the two.five% cap on assured returns for policyholders. However, the cap (three% for participating, three.five% for universal life and 3.five%-four.025% for non-participating products) on the discount price utilized to decide statutory insurance coverage reserves will avert excessive competition. The two.5% cap on guaranteed returns on insurance coverage policies was fully removed in October 2015. Fitch is preserving its Rating and Sector Outlooks at Steady for the Chinese life insurance coverage sector as it believes that the rated insurers’ resilient market positions, and adequate capitalisation and external funding capabilities will keep supporting their credit strength. Continued earnings volatility and fierce competitors among homogenous goods are key rating constraints. The report, “2016 Outlook: China Life Insurers”, is available at www.fitchratings.com or by clicking on the hyperlink in this media release. Contacts: Joyce Huang Director +852 2263 9595 Fitch (Hong Kong) Restricted 19/F Man Yee Developing 68 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong Terrence Wong Director +852 2263 9920 Jeffrey Liew Senior Director +852 2263 9939 Media Relations: Wai-Lun Wan, Hong Kong, Tel: +852 2263 9935, E mail: wailun.wan@fitchratings.com. Additional data is available at www.fitchratings.com. ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE Subject TO Particular LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE Study THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS Link: here. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE Offered ON THE AGENCY’S PUBLIC Internet site ‘WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM’. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE Available FROM THIS Internet site AT ALL Times. FITCH’S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO Offered FROM THE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ SECTION OF THIS Internet site. FITCH May possibly HAVE Supplied An additional PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS Connected THIRD PARTIES. Details OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS Based IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE Located ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY Web page FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH Web site.

Spurred by Defiance and Necessity, Life Goes On in Mali Right after Attack

BAMAKO, Mali — On a sunny weekend morning, a single day right after gunmen went on a murderous rampage at the Radisson Blu hotel, a regional dignitary sped across town in his official government S.U.V.

There was no motorcade of bodyguards trailing the man, no dark tinted windows, not even a siren to clear the road. The man, Karim Keïta, son of Mali’s president and head of the commission of national defense, dangled out the open passenger window as he winked at passers-by.

“Look at how open Mali is,” Mr. Keïta mentioned on Saturday as he pointed out the quite a few locations that safety authorities would call “soft targets” for terrorists: a quick cement wall along the perimeter of the parliamentary creating over which a grenade easily could be tossed restaurants along the street exactly where crowds gather for carefree evenings well-liked hotels that have carried out absolutely nothing to improve their currently lax security.

The spectacular attack here in Mali’s capital on Friday killed 19 folks as nicely as the two gunmen who carried it out. A member of Al Qaeda in Africa confirmed that the attack was carried out by a jihadist group loyal to Mokhtar Belmokhtar, an Algerian operative for Al Qaeda.

The assault at the Radisson Blu shattered a short, precarious calm that had taken hold following years of war and civil strife. Mali’s lengthy stretch of violence, highlighted by a bloody coup in 2012 and the ensuing rebel takeover of big swaths of the country in the north, has been so notorious that it has prompted the deployment of a enormous United Nations peacekeeping force, has spawned internationally brokered peace talks among different factions and has often compelled world leaders to weigh in and denounce the mayhem.

In the days after gunmen staged deadly attacks in Paris, the city’s companies, schools, museums and parks closed temporarily. In Mali, nevertheless, life goes on.

“Mali will not shut down due to the fact of this attack.” President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta said in the course of a check out to the Radisson Blu on Saturday. “Terrorism will not win.”

For some in Mali, carrying on had little to do with bravery in the face of terrorism it was a easy matter of economics in 1 of the world’s poorest nations.

“If we remain home, how are we going to feed our families?” mentioned Youssouf Traore, who was peddling traditional statues Sunday morning outdoors the headquarters of the United Nations operation here.

Mr. Traore was operating the day in 2012 when the military took over the national tv station subsequent to his shop. He closed the door and holed up inside his organization for hours as soldiers confiscated his statues to block the roads.

“You by no means know when lizards will start off fighting,” he said, quoting a neighborhood saying for the inability to predict the unknown. “Of course we are scared — it’s an uncertain scenario.”

But right here in Bamako, individuals look to take the security scenario, or insecurity situation, in stride. Most seem to agree the country demands tighter security, but a weekend tour of this sprawling city, bisected by the wide Niger River, shows that tiny has been done toward that finish.

A state of emergency has been called, but proof of just what that entailed was scant. Outside 1 hotel well-known with foreigners and regional imams gathering for peace talks, a sleepy guard pretended to peer in the bags he was needed to verify. No 1 had told him to do something differently in light of the attacks much less than a mile away.

The barrier gate was open at a neighborhood of embassies and houses of diplomats, permitting any person to pass through. People swarmed open-air markets and carried on with weddings and outings with buddies. Security outdoors the airport amounted to no a lot more than shooing away aggressive phone-card sellers.

“There is no security here,” said Ali Mahamedou, a member of the peace talks committee, as he stood at the airport, scoffing at what he saw.

Dr. Kassim Ouattara, an emergency area physician, was on get in touch with when victims of the attack began arriving at the hospital Friday.

“I was so frustrated and so sad,” he said. “I asked God to give me the energy to kill these poor men” who had carried out the attacks.

Security around town should be bolstered, he stated, but after talking to his neighbors he understood why most men and women are behaving normally. They operate close to the Radisson Blu, and the day right after the attacks they went back to their jobs.

“We have no choice,” Dr. Outtara said they told him.

Along the popular Rue Princess, a street lined with boutiques, nightclubs and restaurants, enterprise was a bit slower than usual on Saturday evening, workers there mentioned. In March, a masked gunman killed five people in a grenade and machine gun attack at the La Terrace bar nearby.

Sitting outside that bar, now referred to as Doo Doo, amongst the empty beer bottles collected more than the weekend, Allassane Doua mentioned he had been on the lookout for something suspicious. He performs at bar Bla Bla, next to the site of the March attack.

“We’ll keep going with life,” Mr. Doua stated. “You shouldn’t expect people’s way of life to adjust. We fight for the future, not the previous.”

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Bandar Sabung Ayam

Agen Sabung Ayam – Following Myanmar Election, Handful of Signs of a Much better Life for Muslims

Agen Sabung Ayam

YANGON, Myanmar — A handful of months ahead of the general election right here, the military-backed government struck hundreds of thousands of Muslims from the voter rolls. To be reinstated, they would have to prove their citizenship, but with out utilizing their government-issued ID cards, which the government had voided.

It was only the latest indignity heaped on the country’s numerous million Muslims, who face discrimination and have been subjected to murderous campaigns by radical Buddhists. Some Muslim members of Parliament have been barred from operating for re-election.

In the northwest, hundreds of thousands of ethnic Rohingya, a predominantly Muslim group, have been denied citizenship rights and are confined to bleak villages and camps.

As Myanmar’s democracy movement prepares to take power right after a landslide election victory last week, Muslims right here wonder whether their lives will increase beneath the new government, led by the National League for Democracy.

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Not likely, according to comments from N.L.D. officials.

“We have other priorities,” said U Win Htein, a senior celebration leader. “Peace, the peaceful transition of energy, economic development and constitutional reform.”

Referring to the Rohingya, he used language comparable to that employed by the present, military-backed government, saying that they were largely illegal immigrants who must be “returned” to Bangladesh.

“We’ll deal with the matter based on law and order and human rights,” Mr. Win Htein mentioned, “but we have to deal with the Bangladesh government simply because practically all of them came from there.”

The election on Nov. 8 has been extensively celebrated as a breakthrough for the nascent democracy here. But it was a bittersweet moment for Myanmar’s increasingly embattled Muslims, a lot of of whom had place their faith in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace laureate, national democracy icon and leader of the National League for Democracy.

Authorities mentioned they anticipated no drastic modifications in government policies toward Muslims, but they held out hope that at least factors would not grow to be worse. Although the N.L.D. leaders created no campaign promises to end discrimination against Muslims, analysts said, they did not go out of their way to attack them.

“I feel a lot of Muslims believed confident, the N.L.D. and Suu Kyi haven’t vocally supported us, but they’re a lot far better than the other guys,” mentioned David Scott Mathieson, a Myanmar specialist at Human Rights Watch. “That’s an added governance burden on Suu Kyi that she has to address — we may not help full Muslim participation, but we will make sure that you will be treated as citizens, and there will be no further discrimination throughout her government’s term. She’s got an overwhelming mandate to do that.”

Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticized abroad for not speaking up for the Rohingya, whose life is grim enough that thousands fled on smugglers’ ships in the spring, setting off a regionwide crisis right after other countries initially turned the boats back, leaving the migrants to starve at sea. But her reticence is de rigueur in a country exactly where anti-Muslim hatred runs high and any hint of conciliation is noticed as political suicide.

Neither her party nor the military-aligned governing celebration fielded any Muslim candidates, viewing them as a liability. When the new Parliament is seated in late January, the body will have no Muslim members for the very first time because the country’s independence in 1948.

One Muslim candidate who, soon after appealing twice to the election commission, was permitted to run for Parliament, quit the N.L.D., which he had joined at its founding in 1988.

The candidate, U Yan Naing, mentioned party members had organized a religiously motivated protest against him in the town of Myaung Mya, where he oversaw the party’s election committee. He stated he raised his issues in many letters to Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi but received no response.

“It was discrimination,” he mentioned. “This so-referred to as democratic party. I was very disappointed.”

Instead, he ran on the ticket of a little, predominantly Muslim celebration, with a simple aim: providing Muslims a voice in Parliament.

He was trounced by the N.L.D. In a district that was 40 % Muslim, Mr. Yan Naing took just 1 % of the vote. The N.L.D. candidate received 80 %.

“Even the Muslims didn’t vote for us,” he said. “Daw Suu is quite influential more than the Muslims, too.”

Indeed, Muslims voted overwhelmingly for the N.L.D., according to analysts and interviews with Muslim voters.

“They didn’t say something to win our help,” stated Khin Mar Cho, 48, as she coated melon slices in batter to fry them at her roadside stall in a neighborhood with a massive Muslim population. “But most of us voted for the N.L.D. anyway. We hope for a modify.”

Mr. Win Htein, the N.L.D. leader, acknowledged that his celebration chose not to have any Muslim candidates run, due to the fact that would have offered ammunition to the radical Buddhists, considered a powerful political force here. The Patriotic Association of Myanmar, a radical anti-Muslim group run by Buddhist monks, had currently accused Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi of being too soft on Muslims.

“They mentioned that if Daw Aung San Suu Kyi wins, then she would allow our country to be overrun with the Muslims,” Mr. Win Htein said. But he insisted that his party treated all religions equally.

If there was a vibrant spot in this election for Myanmar’s Muslims, it might have been the failure of the radical Buddhist movement to sway the election in favor of the governing party, which its leaders had backed.

Authorities, even so, mentioned, the movement was unlikely to disappear as a political force. “Sadly I consider it might rear its head once again,” Mr. Mathieson of Human Rights Watch said.

One particular of its primary leaders, Ashin Wirathu, a Buddhist monk, vowed that the movement would continue and that it would closely watch the new government for efforts to roll back laws that his group had championed, including those passed this year to enforce monogamy and restrict religious conversion, interfaith marriage and the frequency of childbirth. These laws, which do not specifically mention Muslims, are understood to have been aimed at them.

“We will shield the race and religion laws as best we can,” Ashin Wirathu said. “We will by no means let anyone destroy them.”

Nevertheless, in the context of Myanmar’s long struggle toward democracy, many Muslims said they believed that a government led by a celebration that promised a return to the rule of law was at least a move in the right path.

“There has been so much racial and religious incitement,” stated U Aung Kyaw Tun, a Muslim who is a graphic designer in Yangon and who voted for the N.L.D. “If there is rule of law, it will decrease the tension.”

Like other Muslims who voted for the party, he utilized the word “hope” to explain why. No matter whether that expectation is justified remains to be noticed.

“The truth that members of the Muslim population are nevertheless holding out hope in the N.L.D., regardless of the N.L.D.’s silence and inaction to date — especially on the abuses against Rohingya — is in some way indicative of the desperation,” stated Matthew Smith, executive director of Fortify Rights, a human rights group that focuses on Myanmar. “But it is a contagious hope, and it is a hope that we share.”

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