But on a club level Italy have had a good season, with Roma reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League and Juventus the quarter-finals, with Lazio going as far as the Europa League last eight.In Serie A, there was a gripping battle until the end for the title with Juventus securing a seventh Scudetto in succession on Sunday.But as the season draws to a close, Italy will be braced for a sad run up to a World Cup from June 14 to July 15 in which they will have no role.Over the next four weeks, while the world of football will be buzzing with news of pre-tournament friendlies, team selections and training camps, Italy will be just a sparring partner, playing pre-tournament warm-ups against France and Saudi Arabia.“I’m going to regret it all my life,” said heartbroken goalkeeping star Gianluigi Buffon.“We’ve deprived children of having a heart which beats for the World Cup.”On football pitches in Rome and throughout the peninsula, Italian children now say they want to support Argentina, “because (Juventus’s Paulo) Dybala is so strong,” or Belgium, “where Roma’s (Radja) Nainggolan plays.”– ‘Tough to watch’ –Goalkeeping legend Dino Zoff, however, believes enthusiasm for the World Cup will be undiminished among his compatriots.“It doesn’t feel like a World Cup but the fans will be there. Where there will be less will be in Russia. But Italians will watch it on television,” said the 1982 World Cup winner.“People in Italy are very attached to football and they will still follow it. But it might be tough to watch a little-known side play while our team, which has carved its name into footballing history with four World Cup titles, stays at home.”For Roberto Gandolfi, vice-president of Italian sportswear group Errea, who will be present in Russia as the kit supplier of Iceland, Italy’s absence will have above all a financial cost.“We have Iceland and it’s very positive but when you think of TV, that sort of thing obviously there will be harm. It probably won’t be fully realised until after the tournament,” Gandolfi told AFP.More than six months after their elimination Italy still do not have a permanent national coach, nor a federation president, and have slipped to an historic low of 20th in the world rankings.“We have to wait for the young players. They are there. I think we have a group of 20-25 players who can succeed with a bit of experience,” said Zoff.But under which coach? Carlo Ancelotti has said “no”, and the choice should finally be Roberto Mancini who left Zenit Saint-Petersburg on Sunday.“Not seeing the Azzurri won’t be nice for us, it won’t be the same World Cup,” said former Manchester City boss Mancini. “We need to believe the national side can return to among the best in the world.”Roberto Mancini might be leaving Russia because Italy aren’t going, and want the Zenit Saint Petersburg manager to take over the Azzurri © AFP/File / OLGA MALTSEVAFor Mancini, Italy “does not have the great champions that they always had, but they have good players because good players are always being born in Italy”.While awaiting this future generation, the country will follow the World Cup as outsiders, where they will be best represented among the referees, with four including three in charge of video assistant replay (VAR) among the 13 selected by Pierluigi Collina, another Italian.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000As Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon ends his international career with dull friendlies instead of at a World Cup, many fans say they will support Argentina, who Buffon faced in March. © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFROME, Italy, May 14 – For the first time since 1958, football-mad Italy will follow a World Cup finals from the sidelines without their national team.Four-time winners Italy have been in chaos since their shock elimination in the play-offs last November to Sweden.
There is no better advice than the admonition to make an inordinate investment in yourself. You are the only real asset you will ever have, and the value you create is generated by your growth.
Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said students studying in universities who wished to complete Afzal Guru’s “incomplete job” of blasting Parliament should be ashamed of themselves. He was addressing students at the convocation ceremony of Shri Vaishnav Vidyapeeth Vishwavidyalaya here.“Out of the 920 universities in the country, few are in the news for the wrong reasons. People there say — Afzal Guru aapne jo kaam adhura choda hai, hum usse poora karenge(Afzal Guru, we’ll complete the job you left incomplete). They should be ashamed of themselves. Guru tried to blast Parliament. Even I was there, but nothing happened to us,” he said.Although several private institutions had contributed to the sector, he said, higher education in the country still faced the challenges of access, equity, affordability and equality.“There was a time we gave knowledge to the world and now we do not figure even in the top 100 universities of the world,” he said. “Educational institutions should focus only on academic excellence. Then physical fitness, mental alertness and social consciousness. Students should not get into other things and controversies.”Stating that although everyone had the freedom to eat whatever they wanted, some people made an issue out of it, and added, “But then there are those who celebrate beef festival and anti-beef festival.”‘Why create tension?’“In some areas, they even celebrate kissing festival. It’s a different matter if it’s consensual between two people. But by celebrating it as a festival, why create tension in society? Therefore, I advise students to focus on education and raise its standards,” he said. Exhorting students to be physically fit, he said he played badminton, went for a walk and practised yoga every day. Yoga benefits “The Prime Minister was kind enough to promote yoga across 172 countries, where they have even opened institutes for it. But in our country, we doubt it. One child asked me once about the benefits of yoga. I told him — if you do yoga, you’ll be yogya (able).”“One child had an issue with doing Surya Namaskar, so I told him, do Chandra Namaskar instead,” he said. “Yoga is not political. It is not because of Modi, it is for your body.”As for welfare measures of the government, he said, “Programmes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhaoshouldn’t just be reduced to government schemes. They should be made into people’s movements.” Mr. Naidu called upon students to follow the diet prescribed by their forefathers.
While expanding your e-media operation should be a no-brainer, for many traditional publishers the process is more complicated than it might seem.That’s why Amy Webb, a former Newsweek and Wall Street Journal reporter, launched KnowledgeWebb.net, a Web site that aims to educate novices and help technophobes embrace the digital evolution and create their own online services. Knowledgewebb targets individuals and businesses—including newspaper and magazine publishers—with varying degrees of intention; from launching and online business to tuning up and existing system. Users can participate in self-directed courses and ongoing Webinars on topics including blogging, content management systems, databases, Flash and mobile. “Even if a magazine has an established business, chances are good that they’re looking to change their content management system, or add a mobile application, or launch a new sub-site in the next few months,” Webb said. “We offer tools to help even C-level folks learn about the Web, mobile and digital content so that they can make smarter decisions.”Knowledgewebb also features Smart Rooms, discussion forums Webb said encourage collective learning. “Our lessons differ from others offering self-directed learning because they are skill-specific, don’t require Flash or lots of bandwidth, and always include a hands-on activity,” Webb said.‘Don’t Sweat the Tech’With the tagline “Don’t sweat the tech,” Webb soft-launched Knowledgewebb in April after a number of weeks developing the site, with assistance from San Diego-based development firm Achieve Internet, using Drupal. So far, the site has more than 1,200 members. A year-long membership to Knowledgewebb costs $129.Webb said she was inspired to launch Knowledgewebb, initially, to help the mounting number of journalists laid off as a result of so many newspapers and magazines that have gone out of business. After producing a number of free Webinars and speaking at industry conferences, Webb realized the need to expand one’s digital skills transcend to established publishers, too.“So, I started building a site that would enable hands-on learning, live chats with experts in their fields, discussion forums where people could post examples of their work or ideas for Web sites and get instant feedback,” said Webb. “It wouldn’t matter what the newsroom budget was or if you couldn’t afford an air ticket and conference registration fee.”Knowledgewebb also attempts to help members stay abreast of various changes happening in mobile and online. “To that end, we interview the creators of applications, sites, gear, etc. and feature a short Q+A with them a few times a month. We then give our members direct contact information, should they want to learn more,” Webb said.