Little more than a year has gone by since Tite took over as coach of a Brazil side still reeling from embarrassing exits in the World Cup and Copa America but in that short time he has transformed the team into favourites for Russia 2018.No one could have imagined just how influential the former Corinthians coach would be but nine wins in 10 World Cup qualifiers are just reward for a return to the form that won them a record five World Cup titles.”There is no questioning the enormous quality of Brazil’s players, Tite and backroom staff,” the normally cautious former World Cup winner Tostao wrote before the final two qualifiers against Bolivia and Chile. “The team is ready.”Tite retained several players who had misfired under Luiz Felipe Scolari during the 2014 World Cup and his successor Dunga but he transformed their front line with the introduction of attack-minded youngsters Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus.In midfield he recalled Paulinho and Renato Augusto, his former charges at Corinthians.With Real Madrid’s Casemiro an automatic choice to anchor the team and Neymar still the undisputed talisman, the side is settled and there are no major disagreements over the first 11 for the first time in years.Photo Credit: Reuters Tite’s task between now and next June is mostly deciding who will support those leading men.The problem, if there is one, comes with Brazil’s almost customary over-confidence. They are the only side to play in every World Cup and even after their 7-1 hammering by Germany in the 2014 semi-finals on home soil, they believe they are special.advertisementJust as in 2006, when Brazil sailed through the qualifiers with players like Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho and Adriano, they go to Russia as one of the clear favourites.But Brazil were knocked out at the quarter-final stage by France and over confidence was one of the reasons cited.Tite is a master of playing down expectations and — crucially in a nation that famously has 200 million coaches — he commands the respect of both players and press.That has given him an authority that few Brazil managers this century have enjoyed and he has used it to warn their outstanding form is no guarantee of success.”We are at a stage of strengthening, consolidating and growing,” he said when announcing his squad for this week’s games.”We’re not in the comfort zone stage but rather a confidence zone stage.”
Kabul: A powerful early morning suicide truck bomb devastated a hospital in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing as many as 20 people and wounding more than 90 others, an official said. The Taliban, who claimed responsibility for the bombing, have carried out nearly daily attacks since peace talks with the United States collapsed earlier this month. Thursday’s massive explosion destroyed part of the hospital in Qalat, the capital of southern Zabul province, and left a fleet of ambulances broken and battered. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Residents, many of whom had come to see their sick family members, used shawls and blankets to carry the wounded inside the destroyed building, while authorities scrambled to take the worst of the wounded to hospitals in nearby Kandahar. In the hours immediately after the explosion, there were contradictory figures of the dead and wounded. The provincial governor’s spokesman Gul Islam Seyal put the death toll at 12 but said authorities were on the scene sifting through the debris. Atta Jan Haqbayan, head of the provincial council, put the death toll at 20. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls Morning prayers had just finished when worshippers were stunned by the ear-splitting blast that destroyed parts of a mosque adjacent to the hospital and the hospital building, said Mahboob Hakimi, a resident of Qalat. Windows in his home nearly two kilometers (over one mile) away were shattered by the blast, he said. A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, said in a tweet said the target was a nearby intelligence office, which he claimed was destroyed and “tens of intelligence operatives killed/wounded.” Haqbayan said the wall of the National Security Department (NDS) building was damaged. He couldn’t say whether any personnel were among the casualties. The provincial governor, Rahmatullah Yarmal, said many of the dead and wounded were women and children. On Twitter, an Afghan National Security Forces personnel posted a picture of a six-month-old child saying they were searching through the rubble for the parents and sought the public’s help. President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, condemned the attack in Zabul, tweeting that the Taliban “continue to target civilians while their leaders travel to Iran and Russia,” a reference to the Taliban negotiators recent forays seeking support abroad. The violence has further rattled the country as it prepares for national elections later this month. Two separate bombings on Tuesday, including one that targeted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s election rally, killed 48 people, mostly civilians. The Taliban took responsibility for both attacks. Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s spokesman for their political office in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar, said in a tweet that a cease fire had been part of a U.S.-Taliban deal before President Trump declared it “dead.” He did not elaborate and earlier defended Taliban attacks prior to an agreement signing, saying both sides in the conflict had carried out attacks
New Delhi: A Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) has awarded over Rs 59 lakh as compensation to the husband of a 29-year-old doctor who was killed after being hit by a tractor in 2008 here. The offending tractor with an open trolley had hit the car in which south Delhi-resident Pooja Verma, a third-year PG student then, was travelling with her husband and his family on the Delhi-Mathura road near Haryana. Verma was pursuing MD in Biochemistry from Lady Hardinge Medical College. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesMACT presiding officer Sameer Bajpai awarded the compensation to the husband of Verma, who was a qualified MBBS doctor working with Lady Harding Medical College & Sucheta Kriplani Hospital, New Delhi. “The petitioner has successfully established on record that Pooja Verma succumbed to the injuries sustained in the road accident due to rash and negligent driving of vehicle… Therefore, this issue is decided in favour of the petitioners and against the respondents,” the court said. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: JavadekarOn December 14, 2008, Verma was travelling with her husband Manasvi Kumar and his father, mother and sister when the offending tractor turned towards them on the highway and dashed their vehicle, the complaint filed by Kumar said. In his complaint, Kumar also stated that he was not employed at the time of his wife’s death and therefore was completely dependent upon her. However, the court noted that since Kumar was remarried now, therefore he was not entitled to get any compensation towards loss of dependency.
Ahmedabad: Cyclone ‘Hikaa’ has turned into a “very severe storm” while moving westward in the Arabian Sea and is likely to cross the Oman coast on Tuesday night, the MeT department said. It advised fishermen from Gujarat not to venture into the sea as the weather there will remain “very rough” till Wednesday morning. “Severe cyclonic storm ‘Hikaa’ moved nearly westwards with a speed of 22 kmph during past six hours and intensified rapidly into a very severe cyclonic storm over north-west and adjoining west-central Arabian Sea,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a bulletin. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh As of Tuesday morning, it lay centred about 820 km west-southwest of Karachi in Pakistan, 220 km east-southeast of Masirah in Oman, and about 350 km east-northeast of Duqm in Oman, it said. “The cyclone is likely to maintain its intensity for next six hours and weaken gradually thereafter,” the IMD said. It is very likely to move west-southwestwards and cross the Oman coast close to Duqm on Tuesday night “as a severe cyclonic storm” with a wind speed of 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph, it said. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad “Winds with speed reaching 130-140 kmph gusting to 155 kmph are very likely to prevail over north-west and west- central Arabian sea during next six hours. The wind speed will gradually decrease thereafter, becoming 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph by Tuesday evening along and off the Oman coast,” the IMD said. Its intensity would further weaken before turning into a squally wind with speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph near the Oman coast on Wednesday morning. “The sea conditions will be phenomenal during next 12 hours, high to very rough during subsequent 12 hours, and will improve thereafter,” the IMD said.