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Finnish Sport and hockey, a case of corruption?

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Recent years have Finnish hockey on the national level celebrating great achievements and producing many upcoming stars such as Laine, Aho, Puljujärvi, Teräväinen etc.

It would be easy to think considering those facts that the Finnish Sport is doing well.

But, obviously, it is far from being completely true as there are strong media voices who tell that there is a much darker side that obstructs the Finnish Sport including the hockey from further and yet stronger development.

I’ve been in contact with Geemedia and the CEO Risto Partanen who revealed completely another story about the Finnish hockey and sport, a story that was sad and miserable to take part in.

No matter how miserable it might appear, it has to be brought into the light as a lot of these corrupt matters and behaviors have been kept in silence for a long time.

Case number 1:

For three years Geemedia has been repeatedly banned and brought back into the mail list from which the Finnish hockey association sends invitations to games and tournaments.

Henna Malmberg, the communicator for the Finnish HA has according to Geemedia counted their articles and claimed that they have written too few. Meanwhile, another media site, Sport Maailma has only one big news article per month but is allowed to the media boxes anywhere.

I asked Henna Malmberg through email why Geemedia has been banned or are not receiving any invitations to the media boxes. She replied that they are on the mailing list but that she also said that if Geemedia has changed their email address, they’d better contact her.

But she said nothing about the numbers of articles that Geemedia produced in comparison to other media sites, which could be held as quite suspect and as indicating that there is something behind the silence about that matter.

But, here is the thing, the address has been the very same and works perfectly.

Geemedia and Partanen called during the last summer the board of communication of the Finnish HA and asked them about Henna’s authority. After that call, there was no problem at all until now.

They also asked Henna herself if her treatment was on a personal level, but according to her reply to them, it is not, and she is doing all only according the rules.

The last email from the Finnish HA Geemedia received was in October.

So, the story goes on again apparently as it has done for three years and there was no invitation whatsoever to the Karjala tournament from the Finnish HA.

Conclusions from the case number 1:

So, if there is nothing personal, how come we have the same thing going, on that Geemedia are excluded from time to time from the Finnish HA events during three years?

Several emails can’t just disappear in the air like that even if there might occur general technical issues as well, certainly not if the email to Geemedia works more than fine.

And, if there had been a mistake with the emails and invitations, it would have been a very easy thing for Henna Malmberg and the Finnish HA to correct that and they could have told Geemedia for example that they can take any seat that fits for their work as media.

But, they haven’t done such a simple thing and the following and natural question appears to mind: why?

Most likely there seems to be something they have against media, perhaps especially against Geemedia, which they are not telling or want to be known.

I can’t help myself throwing out another question:

Is there more that the Finnish HA tries to hide from being publically known?

Furthermore about the Finnish HA and yet more depriving things:

Geemedia told also that the Finnish HA is using the license fees from the juniors for many other things than to evolve the game and develop the players.

So, where are the fees going really?

That’s a question the football people, for example, have asked in an article about their case with the fees raised http://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2004/04/22/jalkapallon-harrastamisen-kalleus (Finnish. Use the rough google translation)

Case number 2:

Helsinki IFK, the well-renowned hockey club in the hockey world, has accused Geemedia of being a roll-in for foreign betting companies and banned them from attending the HIFK games.

Petteri Linnavalli, the head communicator for Helsinki IFK, has single-handedly in the name of HIFK made that decision to close out Geemedia.

Linnavalli, for personal use, also took away the parking spot from STT despite the fact that the columnist and the photographer needed the car parking.

Meanwhile, as regards the accusation of being a roll-in to the foreign betting companies, the international betting company Unibet is allowed to rent a lodge in HIFK’s home venue and arrange competitions for the fans.

Geemedia and Partanen were going to write about the case but Unibet asked them to be silent about the matter.

As we all can see and understand as well, the international betting companies don’t need any particular assistance to get into any country’s market as they do find a route into it by themselves.

Conclusions from the case number 2:

Concerning Petteri Linnavalli, he obviously makes his own decisions and runs over the rest of the board about who is allowed to the games or not.

So, what is next? A coup for taking over the whole entire Helsinki club and running it as if it were his own personal toy?

Case number 3:

The same Unibet who has been allowed by HIFK to rent a lodge in Helsinki arena was prepared to pay for the safety features in rinks but the betting company Veikkaus who decide as the monopoly said no to Unibet’s offer.

Veikkaus said also no to Unibet when they were prepared to pay for a leaking roof for an indoor hall where juniors play, which meant of course that the juniors had to keep playing inside during wet conditions.

Conclusion from case number 3:

I can’t find any other conclusion that Veikkaus only want to earn money but won’t take any responsibility for the sport’s evolution in Finland.

And, of course, obstruct as much as possible other companies from taking part of the sports market and arranging betting and games for the fans.

Moreover…

Geemedia pointed out the fact as well that Finland has, by constitutional law, freedom of speech but the players can’t be interviewed without accreditation.

“We are a trademarked sports magazine and not a nonsense site, however, ” said Geemedia to me.

Conclusion from all these cases above:

Something or perhaps many things are far from right in Finnish sport including the hockey.

One cannot help wondering what is going on there.

What are they trying to hide? Are there other kinds of scandals among the Finnish HA, HIFK, Veikkaus and Petteri Linnavalli that have not been revealed yet?

Is it all about to showing power as they so desire and acting as if the Finnish sports market were their own personal backyard?

If that is the case, these are then a bunch of corrupt people with such heinous minds that I would choose to stay away from them as far as possible under every circumstance.

Perhaps after all the genius Martin Scorsese is right about one thing, if we let his words close this matter for this time:

It’s interesting that these themes of crime and political corruption are always relevant

20% Off at Steiner Sports with code GETGIFTS

 

 

 

Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.

Boxing

25th Annual Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night, A Charity Knockout Event

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Photo Credit: Monica Alvarez

The stars came out last night to give, show support, perform, and to continue to raise money and awareness in hopes of one day find a cure to knockout Parkinson’s disease.

Going back to year number 1, The first ever event was held at the Ritz-Carlton operated on a much smaller scale than today, which is now held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa.

At the very first Celebrity Fight Night With the help of Phoenix Suns Charles Barkley, Dan Majerle, and the valley of the sun’s very own Louie Espinoza, Tony Baltazar, and boxing champion Michael Carbajal who by the way fought in the ring with over sized boxing gloves.

The ”Puttin on the Fists at The Ritz” first Celebrity Fight Night scored a knockout win and is STILL punching on through today for the Greatest Of All Time, The late great Muhammad Ali.

Last night I was honored to attend and speak to a few of the stars, one was NFL legendary kicker Nick Lowery, Mr. Lowery now spends most of his time at charitable endeavors and advocating for alternative medicine research and is also a spokesman for Kannalife, Inc to raise awareness for CTE and players safety in hopes of one day having intercellular “helmets,” like Kannalife’s CBD and KLS-13019, is so important to potentially treat the brain.

I asked Lowery what is his favorite Ali memory, and Lowery’s response: ” Taking Ali to the NBA All-Star game one year as we sat behind Jay-Z and Beyonce and watching Beyonce wave to Ali, Beyonce spoke to us, she is the sweetest person. Also taking Ali to the locker rooms and watching Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, and all the other all stars turn into children at the sight of seeing their hero the greatest of all time Muhammad Ali walk through the doors, what an experience that was.”

In asking the very same question to R&B Singer Brian McKnight, ”I have so many Ali memories but my favorite was watching Ali knockout George Foreman at home with my dad. The odds were against Ali and Ali being the great fighter that he was he beat the odds and stopped a much younger powerful puncher in Foreman. You know, I am still a big boxing fan today, I enjoy watching Tyson Fury out of the current heavyweights.”

And what did legendary former champion boxer, Micheal Carbajal have to say? ”It’s truly an honor to attend this great event, at the very first one proceeds went to my 9th street boxing gym and now 24 years later it’s still going strong, a great charity”. Mr. Carbajal went on to talk some boxing with me,

Carbajal- ” You see Spence/Garcia?”

Me- ” Yes, it was brutal, what did you think?”

Carbajal- ” Not good for Mikey Garcia at all, but he is still my favorite current boxer, and he beats everybody at 135 pounds if he can make the weight there. Mikey would knockout Lomachenko in 4 rounds at 135.”

Me- ”Wow, you really think that? Both are great technical boxers but I can’t see a 4 round fight between them, so you really think it would only take Mikey 4 rounds to stop Lomachenko?”

Carbajal- ” I KNOW so!”

Special honorees for the evening include fabled American music producer and 27-time Grammy Award-winner Quincy Jones, Arizona State University President Dr. Michael Crow and Dr. Abraham Lieberman, the medical director of the Movement Disorders Clinic at Barrow Neurological Institute and Renee Parsons of the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation.

“For 25 years, we’ve treated Celebrity Fight Night audiences to the world’s greatest entertainers and this year will be no different as we welcome Barry Manilow,” said Jimmy Walker, Founder of Celebrity Fight Night. “With the help of our celebrity friends and incredibly generous donors, we are once again excited to raise millions of dollars and make a difference in the lives of those who need our support.”

Individual tickets for Celebrity Fight Night start at $1,500 – $10,000.  To purchase tickets or to get more information on the event, please visit www.celebrityfightnight.org, or call (602) 956-1121.

About Celebrity Fight Night
Celebrity Fight Night has gifted more than $86 million over the past 24 years benefiting the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as several other worthy charities.

The black-tie event features a cocktail reception, silent auction, elegant dinner, and an exciting live auction including one-of-a-kind luxury items and experiences. Celebrity Fight Night Foundation is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994 by Jimmy Walker and supports the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, as well as numerous other charities. For more information, visitwww.celebrityfightnight.org.

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Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Dead at 23

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Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who competed in the 2016 Rio Janeiro Games, was found dead in her California home this past Friday due to an apparent suicide, according to an announcement from her father, according to Reuters.

“There isn’t a minute that goes by that we don’t think of her and think of the wonderful life she could have lived,” her father, Mark Catlin said, according to VeloNews. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”

Catlin, 23, took the silver medal in Rio and was part of the teams who took home the gold in 2016, 2017, and 2018 World Championships.

Catlin had reportedly struggled with mental health in the past and her sister, Christine Catlin, said that Catlin was “a really special person – kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did, per the Washington Post. She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.”

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Kansas City Chiefs

Tom Brady And Pats Play Record 8th AFC Championship Game, Seek 6th Superbowl

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It’s Championship Sunday and one of the NFL staples remain atop the league. The New England Patriots are appearing in their record 8th AFC title game in hopes of competing for a sixth title.

A season that most organizations would be happy with, was one of challenge for the Patriots. Usually a top tier team, they suffered bad losses to the Jaguars, Titans and Dolphins. However, in Patriot fashion along a weak AFC East, the Patriots finished 11-5, won a 10th straight conference title and secured a first round bye.

Kansas City will host New England in the AFC Championship game in what is a rematch from week six. That game featured an offensive clinic ,  As reported by CBS Boston, Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way.

The Chiefs will be a tough out, They won their first home playoff game in 25 years last week against the Colts and are riding one of the most prolific offenses in history behind quarterback whisperer Andy Reid and phenome Patrick Mahomes who is arguably the NFLs best young QB.

In what is a David and Goliath matchup, Brady seems to imply they are the underdog. As he told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson, “I know everyone thinks we suck and, you know, cant win games,”.  Will the dynasty continue? Or will Reid and Mahomes hoist the Lombardi?

I’m leaning towards the game plan of Bill Belichick and veteran experience of Tom Brady in this one. I think a Patriot/Saints matchup is in order. Either way, it will undoubtedly be one for the ages.

Game Time: Sunday January 20th at 6:40ET/5:40CT on CBS.

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