Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina LATEST STORIES Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Judy Ann’s 1st project for 2020 is giving her a ‘stomachache’ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback He will be approaching the twilight of his career by the time the 2022 edition kicks off in Qatar.Messi will have also noted that key Argentina team-mates Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel Di Maria, Nicolas Otamendi and Javier Mascherano will all be 30 or over this year.“Obviously, we depend on results and therefore the thinking in this group is that having got to three finals and not being able to win and even then people say a lot of things about us, if we are not champions then we won’t have another one (opportunity),” Messi said.Having edged through to the finals thanks to Messi’s treble in a 3-1 win over Ecuador in October, Argentina are focused on peaking in Russia, where they will play Croatia, Iceland and Nigeria in the group stage.First up is an intriguing test against an Italy side that failed to qualify for the World Cup.Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli believes the match at Manchester City’s ground will help to sharpen his side before a second friendly in Spain next week.“Each match and training session is fundamental for us in preparation for the World Cup. Playing against Italy, in a venue as important as Etihad Stadium, is an invitation to a great event,” he said.“Every Argentine in the world wants to be there when the national team plays. We are certain they will accompany us for this one.” In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Howard explodes for 32 points, 30 rebounds in Hornets’ win over Nets “I cried many times because of games like these, for lost finals, for what they mean and for not being able to achieve the dream of a country. It was a hard blow to take,” Messi recently told Argentine television programme La Cornisa.The last World Cup was devastating to Messi as he missed a golden opportunity to put Argentina ahead in the final against Germany, who went on to win 1-0 in extra-time. As if that was not bad enough, for the first time in his career, he missed in a penalty shootout when Argentina were beaten by Chile in the Copa America final two years ago.Last chance?Although Messi is still in his prime, the 30-year-old realises the World Cup in Russia, which starts in June, could represent his last chance to hoist the famous gold trophy.ADVERTISEMENT Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Argentina’s Lionel Messi controls the ball during an international friendly football match between Russia and Argentina at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on November 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOVLionel Messi begins his road to World Cup redemption on Friday as Argentina take on Italy in a glamour friendly, desperate to win a major international prize to crown his glorious career.In Barcelona’s colours, Messi has experienced nothing but success, winning eight La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns, while earning FIFA’s Ballon d’Or award five times.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. But pulling on Argentina’s blue-and-white striped shirt has brought the forward some of the most painful moments of his career.Rarely able to hit the same heights with Argentina that he routinely scales with Barcelona, Messi has endured stinging criticism from albiceleste fans at times.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkNobody would dispute Messi’s status as one of the all-time greats, but many in Argentina believe he cannot be considered on the same level as Diego Maradona until he wins a major honour with his country, as his compatriot did at the 1986 World Cup.Rubbing salt into those wounds, Messi has lost in three successive major finals with Argentina as the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 and 2016 Copa America titles slipped from his grasp.
From right: Acting Swedish Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Elisabeth Harleman, Chairman of the National Steering Committee and EPA Executive Director Nathaniel Blama, and Conservational International Executive Director Jessica Donovan.Dr. Nathaniel Blama, executive director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has called on stakeholders to exercise their willpower in combating climate change and protecting the marine ecosystem.Blama who chaired the National Steering Committee of the Blue Ocean Conference stressed the need to monitor and address climate change and marine pollution.He made the remarks on March 22 at the end of a two-day Blue Oceans Conference organized through a joint effort of the Government of Liberia, the Embassy of Sweden in Monrovia and Conservation International (CI) with funding from the Swedish Government.“We are going to examine innovative means to mitigate the flow of pollution from land to ocean, and we will continue to outline further plans for the West African community to come together to preserve our fish stocks and prevent illegal fishing,” Blama said.To achieve these goals, Blama said, requires the collective effort, and the willpower by decision makers.“The bottom line is that none of what we are working towards is not beyond our capacity. This is not a question; what we do is a question of the willpower to do what we know we can do better. And if we make the right choices by setting the right priorities to respond timely to the same understanding that saving our ocean is not just an option, but an absolute necessity. Therefore, we will get there,” he said.Blama said the conference came at a time the country is combating a plethora of environmental phenomenon, including climate change that is resulting to rising ocean tides, and leading to rapid sea erosion; compounded with human induced environmental shenanigans such as marine pollution caused by disposal of toxic waste, ocean acidification and illegal fishing.“Beaches in Monrovia and other settlements are often used as latrines and dump sites where non-biodegradable substance such as plastic, fishing nets and other chemicals are disposed. The conference “offers an opportunity to raise awareness, increase care and concern, fund-raise for and develop partnerships around improving Liberia and West Africa’s ocean space,” he said.Acting Swedish Ambassador to Liberia Elisabeth Harleman, pledged her government’s support to Liberia and noted that Sweden has committed to support the country with more than US$130 million for the period 2016 to 2020 toward peace and nation building, including strengthening public institutions and natural resource management.She said further that Sweden’s effort in promoting a blue economy and the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals #14, includes supporting and organizing of the New York 2017 conference.CI-Liberia Country Director, Jessica Donovan-Allen, said that the organization is bringing its global expertise to work in ten coastal communities in Liberia to create sustainable livelihoods, fisheries, and mangrove conservation. “We are working to reverse harmful cycles and find sustainable alternatives,” she said.She said that as a daughter of a fisherman, she is aware of the value of Coastal Conservation, adding, “my family’s livelihood rose and fell with the tide, but it was—and it remains—the action or inaction of businesses, governments, and policymakers that most affect the relationship between oceans and the people connected to them through their livelihoods.”Mrs. Donavan-Allen noted that Liberia has one of the last remaining in-tact coastal ecosystems in the region and called for a concerted effort in conserving it.She lamented that “as Liberia’s beaches are used as dump-sites and bathrooms, as plastics wash ashore, as fish stocks are decimated by chemicals, dynamite, and mosquito nets, if we lose these natural resources, how do we not also lose ourselves?”She then pledged CI support to Liberia’s fight in conserving and ensuring a blue ocean and added that all stakeholders have an imperative to reverse mismanagement. “We need to find and scale alternatives that are currently unavailable to 70 percent of Liberia’s population living along this coastline. It must act on national policies for sustainable development.”At the end of the conference, the Government of Liberia and its Partners adopted a Call for Action, based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, the UN Ocean Decade, the 2015 Paris Agreement, and Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) to preserve the coastal and ocean environment.This, according to them, will strengthen partnerships for development, to help end poverty, and to enhance maritime viability for a prosperous Liberia and West Africa.“We recognize that water covers more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface and affects life everywhere. Our ocean supplies nearly half of the oxygen we need, absorbs one-fourth of the carbon dioxide we produce and plays a vital role in the climate system and water cycle,” one of the panelists who read the “Call for Action” statement on behalf of the BOC steering committee.The committee also called on the governments, regional bodies and other relevant stakeholders to commit Liberia and other West African countries to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, by acceding to and implementing the Port State Measures Agreement and implementing monitoring control surveillance (MCS) activities.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)