…Indonesia submits bid to host 2032 Olympics***
Arsene Wenger received the Laureus Lifetime Achievement award on Monday but it was the glowing tribute from the unlikeliest of sources Jose Mourinho that caught the eye.
The 69-year-old Wenger won the award on the back of his revolutionising English football especially in the first part of his over two decades in charge of Arsenal.
The veteran former Gunners boss and Mourinho clashed often on and off the touchline.
However, Mourinho — sacked by Manchester United in December, paid handsome tribute to Wenger via a video.
The volatile Portuguese, who had two spells at Chelsea and then the turbulent one at United, acknowledged there had been moments when they had been at odds with each other.
It boiled over when Wenger pushed Mourinho on the touchline during the latter’s second period in charge of Chelsea and Mourinho made some barbed remarks about the studious Frenchman, commenting he was a “voyeur” and a “specialist in failure”.
“There were some episodes along the road,” said Mourinho.
“I can only speak by myself. I really enjoyed the competition. But the real respect is always there.
“He (Wenger) made lots of history in that football club.
“One of the best football managers in the history of football.”
Wenger, who was virtually unknown but proved an inspirational choice by then Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein when he was hired in 1996, accrued among other trophies three Premier League titles and lifted the FA Cup seven times.
However, perhaps his greatest achievement was the title winning side of the 2003/04 campaign who went through the league season unbeaten.
“The nickname is there -– the Invincibles,” said Mourinho.
“Amazing. A coaching philosophy, the almost perfect team.”
– ‘We want our Mars bars’ –
Wenger, who has been linked with several jobs since leaving Arsenal at the end of last season including the director of football post at Paris Saint-Germain, admitted he had been taken aback when he watched the video at the awards ceremony.
“That is a very good question,” he replied as to what was the biggest surprise the award or Mourinho praising him.
“It was a surprise yes. We had some good fights at times.”
Wenger said what was even more unexpected was that the man on the touchline won an award.
“An even bigger surprise is usually the lifetime achievement award goes to a Pele, a Maradona or a Beckenbauer.
“Tonight it is a player from a little village but it is good that coaches are rewarded in our game.”
One of Wenger’s recipes of success involved tearing up the book on the players diet when he arrived at Arsenal and introduced healthy eating habits.
He concedes that was not universally accepted.
“I forbid them eating Mars bars,” said the man who still has the “virus” of football in his blood and wakes up every morning wondering what match is on that night.
“So at first I was greeted on the team coach with chants of “we want our Mars bars”. They did not get them.
“Today it shows how much football has changed you would never hear footballers demanding Mars bars.”
Laureus is a global movement that aims to use the power of sport to tackle social challenges in the world.
In the meantime, indonesia has submitted a bid to host the 2032 Olympics, the state news agency said on Tuesday.
The bid was put forward, after the country was praised for hosting last year’s Asian Games, though it could face competitions from India and a joint bid by North and South Korea.
Indonesia’s ambassador to Switzerland submitted a letter from President Joko Widodo to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) last week.
“The IOC has acknowledged Indonesia’s capabilities during the Asian Games and Asian Paragames of 2018,” the Antara News Agency quoted Amb. Muliaman D. Hadad as saying.
“We feel that is a strong foundation.”
A senior official in the coordinating ministry for human development and culture, Gunawan, who goes by one name, confirmed the bid.
If Southeast Asia’s most populous nation wins the opportunity to host the summer Olympics, it would become the fourth Asian country to do so, after Japan, China and South Korea.
The IOC will pick the 2032 host by the year 2025.
Tokyo is to host the next Summer Olympics in 2020, with Paris holding the 2024 Games and Los Angeles confirmed to host the event four years later.
Additional report from AFP