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Rafael Nadal would ‘not travel to New York today’ to play US Open

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Rafael Nadal has said tennis should not resume until players are able to travel safely in order to compete around the world.

 

“If you asked me today if I want to travel to New York to play, I will say: ‘No, I will not.’ In a couple of months I don’t know how the situation will improve,” he said.
Rafael Nadal

The ATP and WTA will decide on 15 June the fate of the US Open and the rest of the US hard-court season. Should the tournament go ahead it will have made significant compromises, including ferrying players to New York on charter flights from a handful of cities.

The world No 2 said: “We need to be responsible, we need to be sending strong messages and we need to be a positive example for society. We need to understand we are suffering an unprecedented situation and my feeling is that we need to come back when all the players from all the countries of the world are able to travel under safe circumstances.

Rafael Nadal training hard

“If not? In my personal opinion we will come back and I probably will play but my feeling will be that we are not being 100% correct.”

Wednesday marked Nadal’s 34th birthday, one of the few in the past 15 years he has spent outside Paris rather than in the middle of one of his 12 Roland Garros title runs. How the suspension will affect him remains unclear.

He said: “I think the longer stop is tougher for older bodies because it is more difficult to come back to 100%. But at the same time we have the experience, too. I have experienced injuries in the past, so in some way we know how to come back.

Rafael Nadal

“I cannot tell you if we will not be able to play longer or not, let’s see. I’m passionate about coming back on the tour, playing for a couple of years hopefully and enjoying the things I like the most.”

Nadal has been watching the protests in the United States over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. “All the normal people and all the people who want a peaceful and good world, we are against racism, poverty, all the terrible stuff which is happening more often than we would like.

“When you see all these disasters on the streets, my feeling is: ‘That is not the way to protest.’ That’s not a good example. The situation is critical but I really believe strongly in people and I really believe we will be able to fix the problems.

“Everything takes time. All the improvements in our story, the human story, have taken time but we are getting there in all ways. To be for everybody the same, for everybody to have the same opportunities, the same rights in terms of being protected. We have to keep working hard to make this world a better place.”

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Wike signs Executive Order proscribing IPOB in Rivers

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Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers has signed an executive order to reinforce the ban on the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and its activities in the State.

He made this known in a statement by Mr Kelvin Ebiri, Special Assistant (Media) to the Governor.

Ebiri stated that the governor, in a broadcast on Wednesday night in Port Harcourt, maintained that Rivers remains the home to all tribes and ethnic nationalities.

He said that the government acknowledges and appreciates the enormous contributions from non-indigenes to the political, social and economic development of the State.

According to the statement, the State Government will neither accept nor allow any individual or group from within and outside to violate the peace, endanger lives and property under any guise.

It stated “the State government is opposed to the presence and activities of the legally-proscribed and anarchic IPOB and whatever it stands for in Rivers State.

“And so, let it be understood that we have nothing against all or any specific tribe and will continue to live in peace with people of all other tribal extractions residing or doing business in Rivers State.

“But we have everything against the presence and activities of the legally-proscribed IPOB and whatever that group stands for in Rivers State,” the governor warned.

This is clearly a terrorist group which existence, creed, mission and activities are strongly denounced even by the Government and peoples of South-Eastern States of the country.

“I have, therefore, signed the executive order to reinforce the total ban on IPOB and its activities in Rivers State or any part thereof and nothing will stop us from enforcing this ban in its entirety,’’ he said.

The statement also added that Wike also “directed security agencies and the Chairmen of Local Government Areas to fish out and resolutely deal with any member of IPOB found in any community following the executive order and other legal instruments’’.

The governor also announced the lifting of existing curfew on Mile 1; Mile 2; Iloabuchi; Emenike; and Ikokwu areas of Port Harcourt as well as Rumukurushi in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.

He, however, said that the curfew in Oyigbo Local Government Area will remain in force until further notice while the entire Ikokwu motor spare parts market will remain closed until further notice

In the quest to restore sanity and enhance free traffic flow in roads in the State, the governor said he will constitute a task force to enforce the ban on illegal street trading and the emergence of motor parks along public roads.

He also stated that, in the interim, he has approved the ban on the operations of tricycles, also known as `Keke NAPEP’, on all major roads in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.

The major roads are Aggrey road; Dame Patience Jonathan road; Eastern Bypass road; Ikwerre road; Aba road; Agip road; Ada George road; Olu Obasanjo road; Rumuokwuta – Rumuola road; and Rumuepirikom – Rumuolumeni (leading to Ignatius Ajuru University of Education) road.

Others are: Rumuokwuta – Choba road; Chief G.U. Eke road; Peter Odili road; Ken Saro-Wiwa road; Nkpogu road; Trans-Amadi road; Elekahia – Rumuomasi road; Yakubu Gowon road; and Woji – Elelenwo road.

Wike also directed the State Civil Service Commission to take immediate steps to employ 5,000 youths into teaching and other career positions in the State’s Civil Service.

He said such steps should be taken as an immediate measure to reduce the level of youth unemployment.

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