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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 July 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 13 JULY 2019 25 SPORT Greek Freak dominates the ESPY Awards Giannis walks away with two awards from the glamorous ceremony World recognition for Giannis Antetokounmpo knows no bounds. The most recent accomplishment of the Milwaukee Bucks player came from the ESPY Awards, where he was named the winner in both categories that he was nominated in. More specifically, Antetokounmpo scooped the prize for Best Male Athlete, beating Mookie Betts of the Boston Red Sox, Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs and golfer Brooks Koepka. He also took home the Best NBA Player award, where he was up against James Harden, Kevin Durant and Paul George. The ESPY Awards are considered of equal value to the Oscars or the Grammy Awards for those within the sports in- dustry and to even be nominated for one is a huge success for any professional athlete. This can only be considered as the cherry on the icing of a fantastic season that saw Giannis score 27.7 points, secure 12.5 rebounds and give out 5.9 assists in a 33-minute average, leading the Bucks to the Division play-off finals. KERR ALSO WINS BIG Giannis was not the only one to find huge success at the award ceremony though, as Matilda's Sam Kerr was also given two awards from the committee. The Perth Glory star made the upset in the Best International Women's Soccer Player, as odds were in favour of Ballon d'Or winner Ada Hegerberg from Norway. Yet it seems her decision to not play at the recent World Cup in France played an important role in the final outcome. Other nominees were the Denmark's Pernille Harder and Lucy Bronze from England. Kerr also won the "Best WNSL Player" award, ahead of Lindsey Horan, Adrianna Franch and Abby Erceg. It's worth noting that Stefanos Tsitsipas was also nominated for the Best Male Tennis Player award, but had slim chances of winning as he was up against the likes of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and eventual winner, Roger Federer. Giannis Antetokounmpo accepts his award. Hellas support decision to remove NCIP but will remain as is Club president Nick Maikousis points out that this was a significant step forward for the football community, yet they will remain mostly unaffected by it ALEX ANYFANTIS Football in Australia is currently going through a period of transition. Stakeholders are working towards making the product more attractive for fans in the hope that the clubs would enjoy newfound prosperity and a necessary financial sigh of relief. An important step in this direction was made on Tuesday with the announcement of the retraction of the National Club Identity Policy that forced many teams to go as far as to change their own names and made the stands look like ghost towns. South Melbourne President Nick Maikousis told Neos Kosmos that the club considers this a necessary move. "We support the views of the broader football community and think that most people were on the same page with this particular issue. Although, it doesn't really make that much of a difference from our perspective, in terms of how we run our business, but you can see the merits in the arguments." In regards to the guidelines given to the teams along with the removal of the NCIP, as to how they should operate from here on, Μr Maikousis stressed that is all done in an attempt to “For a club like our own, with its facilities, its heritage and its history, all these factors that we know, that’s why a national league is imperative for us.” “ Fans back in the day were permitted the use of national flags to show their support for their favourite club. Now, with the withdrawal of the NCIP, such a thing will be allowed once again. ensure there are no issues of violence or social discrimination. "The key is that the guidelines are trying to ensure there's no offence and no insult to other communities," he said. "As I said to you, from a club perspective, it's not a really important issue for us as everyone understands our heritage, they certainly understand the relationship between South Melbourne and the Greek Community, but the reality is also that this hasn't been a pressing issue for us over the past few years in terms of names and flags and all the other issues that appear to be relevant right now." Maikousis goes on to confirm that there will be no changes to the identity of the club. "I don't envisage any change whatsoever. We've been South Melbourne FC now for almost three decades. I can promise you that we're not going to be anything else." DRIFTING AWAY FROM THE A-LEAGUE, FOCUSING ON 'THE CHAMPIONSHIP' Apart from the withdrawal of the NCIP, there have been many other significant changes within the field of football in Australia, such as the creation of a new Second Division or the announcement of an A-League tournament that will be held independently from the FFA. How does South Melbourne view all this? "There's still a lot of work to be done. It was only recently that the old NSL was recognised, that the old national competition existed before the A-League. But we are making progress and bringing the game together is very important," Maikousis said. Commenting on the way the A-League clubs have been operating recently, the head of the club provides The original South Melbourne logo. us with a surprise response in regards to the (so-called) Second Division. "We certainly know that's what the A-League owners were chasing for some time now (independence from FFA)," he said. "That probably gives us more opportunities in terms of the creation of a new national league and our focus is on the creation of a new National Championship, since it was clubs like South Melbourne that built this game over the years, clubs that are owned by their membership. "For a club like our own, with its facilities, its heritage and its history, all these factors that we know, that's why a national league is imperative for us. And I'll be honest with you, I'm not even calling it the Second Division, it can be called 'The Championship' and that's all there is to it." A number of costs come attached to the national league, such as travelling expenses, professional contacts and player equipment amongst others. Maikousis appears confident that the club will be in a position to cover these. "Yes, we are. And even if we're not, we have to lift our game to make sure that we fulfil our responsibilities in that area," he said "You need to remember what everyone keeps talking about and the basis for the establishment of The Championship is aspirational clubs and aspirational football. We're very much ready for and making sure that we get up to facilitate our anticipation in that area, no question about that at all. Although everyone needs to be a bit careful about the terms on which the new national league is created, in terms of expenses and all that." We still may not know what Australian football will look like once all is said and done, but at least fans have now earned the right to celebrate and cheer for their team however they see fit.
06 July 2019