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#WhereIsPengShuai – sport stars join chorus of concern

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Concerns are growing for the safety and wellbeing of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, as the world wonders where she is

There are fresh fears over Peng’s wellbeing after an email supposedly written by her retracted allegations of sexual assault against a senior politician.

In the email, the 35-year-old star ­allegedly claims she is absolutely fine and is simply “resting at home” despite not being heard of or seen since November 2 when she used social media to accuse former Chinese vice-premier of sexual assault.

The head of the Women’s Tennis Association has issued a warning to China amid concerns for the welfare of Peng.

Serena Williams has joined a chorus of concern…. saying she is devastated and shocked and calls for an investigation because “we must not stay silent”

Other sports stars and fans are joining the search by tweeting under the hashtag #WhereIsPengShuai

https://twitter.com/juliagoerges/status/1461419180461277190

When did Peng disappear?

The head of the world body for women’s tennis says he’s even more worried about the welfare of Chinese player Peng Shuai after China’s state media published an email it says is from her.

The 35-year-old tennis star has not been seen in public since she alleged on social media that former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli coerced her into sex, and that they later had an on-off consensual relationship.

On Wednesday, Chinese state-affiliated media outlet CGTN released on Twitter what it said was an email Peng had sent to the chairman of the Women’s Tennis Association, Steve Simon.

In the email, Peng says the allegation of assault was untrue.

But Simon has been quick to cast doubt on its validity.

In a written statement, he said: “The statement released today by Chinese state media concerning Peng Shuai only raises my concerns as to her safety and whereabouts… I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is being attributed to her.”

The email which CGTN attributes to Peng says: “I’m not missing, nor am I unsafe. I’ve just been resting at home and everything is fine.”

China’s State Council Information Office and the Chinese Tennis Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Neither did a representative for Peng.

On Thursday (November 18), China’s Foreign Ministry was dismissive when asked about the email

“This is not a foreign affairs matter. And I am not aware of the relevant situation you mentioned.”

Peng was the first Chinese player to top the world rankings when she was doubles number one in 2014.

Zhang, who is 40 years her senior, was a vice premier between 2013 and 2018.

https://twitter.com/sweetbackhand/status/1461054358729199624

Business

Crypto.com scraps $495m deal with UEFA Champions League

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Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has cancelled a five-year sponsorship deal worth $495million with the UEFA Champions League

Major cryptocurrency exchange platform Crypto.com has officially scrapped its deal with the UEFA Champions League.

The in-principle deal would have seen the crypto company take over as the sponsor from Russian state-owned energy company, Gazprom.

Gazprom’s contract was cancelled in March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Crypto.com scrapped the deal because of regulatory concerns in the U.K, France and Italy.

The crypto exchange has previously been involved in sports advertising over the past year, with sponsorship into Formula One and the naming rights deal for the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

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Sport

Has FIFA failed its LGBTQ+ supporters?

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With the Men’s World Cup due to kick off in Qatar this November, has FIFA failed its LGBTQ+ supporters?

It was 12 years ago when Qatar was awarded the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is due to kick off in November.

The men’s football championship dominates headlines and excites fans right around the world. Thousands will descend on the country to view the spectacle and millions more will watch from afar.

Sport is wonderful thing – often bringing communities together and challenging societal barriers. But there’s a dark cloud hanging over this year’s football event. This will be the first time the FIFA World Cup has been hosted by an Arab country.

There are concerns about the safety and wellbeing of fans travelling to a region that fails to protect a number of fundamental human rights.

In Qatar, homosexuality is illegal and punishable with up to 7 years in prison, or even death in some circumstances. At a sporting event where everyone is supposed to be welcome, many fans won’t necessarily feel safe – if they do decide to attend at all.

TICKER NEWS spoke with former football player Thomas Beattie. On 23 June 2020, Beattie came out as gay during an interview with ESPN. He was one of the first male professional footballers to do so.

Following a career-ending injury, the now 35-year-old said this incident was the trigger he needed to reveal his true self.

“It was big to learn to embrace every part of myself and be ok with it,” he said. “I used to go home and lay on my bed, praying it would all go away. I still think if I was playing now, I’d still not be out.”

Should the World Cup be held in Qatar?

When it comes to the World Cup in Qatar, Beattie is frustrated the pinnacle of men’s football was given to an Arab nation in the first place.

“I don’t think any global sporting event should be hosted in any country that doesn’t have equal rights across the board,” he said.

But FIFA is determined it will be just as spectacular as ever, promising inclusion will be at the forefront of every decision.

“We’ve received the necessary guarantees, we are training all the officials,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.

“We are working hand in hand with the government, with the police authorities, everyone will be welcome.”

There is also hope that having the World Cup in Qatar will be a catalyst of change. Could this moment lead to policy reform and greater protections for the nation’s Queer community?

Regardless, all eyes will be on FIFA and Qatar as fans and players touch down in Doha in November. Will the tournament be remembered for all the right reasons or will it be shrouded in shame?

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Media

Will Elon Musk buy Manchester United?

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Musk, one of the richest people in the world tweeted that he was buying the English Premier League team and this helped increase the share price of the club

But it only took a short time for him to say, this was all part of “a long running joke”.

Manchester United, one of the most recognised and popular football clubs in the world is currently languishing at the bottom of the ladder.

They’ve seen more than eight coaches over the last decade.

And this has prompted fans to call on the current owners; the American Glazer family, to sell the club.

Within a few hours Musks tweet garnered half a million likes but some didn’t take it seriously considering Musk recently changed his mind about buying the social media giant twitter.

But what Musk later revealed as a joke, has angered some fans around the world.

Elon Musk is known to have a sense of humour but it is difficult at times to understand if he’s serious or not.

And to this day, he has announced ambitious goals that include colonising Mars and building a sustainable energy economy.

All while making Tesla one of the most successful car companies in the world and leading the rocket company SpaceX which some argue is revolutionising space technology.

Coming back to the joke. Some may have found it funny.

But I didn’t hear any Manchester United fans laughing.

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