first_imgDeloitte has released its real estate outlook for Australia in 2018.AUSTRALIA’S property market upswing is expected to “peter out” in 2018 given the outlook for interest rates, cooling house prices and tighter lending restrictions, according to consulting firm Deloitte.The Deloitte Real Estate Outlook 2018 launched today paints a generally positive picture for the real estate sector this year, but one not without risk. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE The report noted the current residential property upswing had seen strong price inflation of around 47 per cent across the capital cities since December 2012, driven largely by Sydney and Melbourne. Deloitte expects housing construction to remain flat in Queensland in the near term.Deloitte real estate national lead partner Alex Collinson said the road ahead for the property industry looked more certain, although some markets would not be as buoyant as they had been.The report’s macro-economic outlook for 2018 has Australia remaining at the upper end of developed economies for projected growth, supported by population growth and links to Asia.But household debt has escalated, with house prices and our household debt to income ratio now the second highest in the world — behind only Switzerland.“The good news though is that global economic growth picked up during 2017, driven greatly by Asian economies,” Deloitte Access Economics economist Kristian Kolding said. New housing in Wadalba, New South Wales. Image: AAP/Troy Snook.It found slower price growth in the Brisbane market in 2017 likely reflected low employment growth and the risks of oversupply in the apartment segment, but that may have bottomed out.Looking ahead, Deloitte expects underlying demand for residential property in Australia to remain solid, with strong population and jobs growth expected to continue into 2020. GONE IN 30 MINUTES: $2M IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE FIRE SAFETY WARNING FOR BRISBANE More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus20 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market20 hours ago MUST READ IF YOU’VE EVER LOST YOUR KEYS The outlook for construction activity in the near term varies across the states, according to Deloitte’s report.Housing construction fell in Queensland last year after reaching its peak in mid 2016.“Despite population growth edging higher, housing construction is likely to remain relatively flat in the near term,” the report said.center_img Deloitte Access Economics economist Kristian Kolding.The Deloitte Real Estate Outlook 2018 also considers the impact of the banking royal commission, which starts hearings in March.The report noted the inquiry may raise the effective cost of borrowing, as banks were likely to respond by continuing to limit lending to risky initiatives, including some property development and foreign borrowers.last_img read more

first_imgMr Kulasekara said it had served as a great home for his family.“The kitchen, living areas and the high ceilings with the pool and alfresco area – you always feel like you’re very much at home,” he said.“It’s got everything that you need.”He said its location was also a plus given its proximity to the beach, shops and The Star casino. LJ Hooker Burleigh Heads agent Anthony Yu is marketing the property. The four-bedroom home at 91 Monaco St, Broadbeach Waters, is vibrant and eye catching.Walls of wide windows, high ceilings and luxury fixtures and fittings are featured throughout while a pool with a waterfall is a highlight of the back yard.Owner and Monaco Royals Pty Ltd developer Buddika Kulasekara said the property’s neutral palette with hints of “ginger” set it apart from its neighbours.“People used to stop their cars and take photographs,” he said.“It’s a very modern, luxury architectural masterpiece.” Inside there are plenty of luxurious elements, including soaring ceilings. It has a modern design and plenty of wow factor.The two-storey residence is on a 559sq m corner block with a double garage.A kitchen with 3m granite island bench, a dining room and living area are at the heart of the home and open on to an arbour terrace and covered alfresco area.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa9 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoAll four bedrooms are upstairs, the main of which is separated from the remaining bedrooms by a study nook. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:01Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:01 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenAustralian homes fit for a celebrity01:01 You can’t miss this house which is on the illustrious Monaco St.THE vibrant and eye-catching facade of a Broadbeach Waters house makes it stand out among its prestige neighbours – so much so that passers-by have stopped to snap photos.But it is the cutting-edge design and contemporary style inside that will leave house hunters in awe.The four-bedroom house, which will go to auction on November 30, is right at home on the esteemed Monaco Street. MORE NEWS: What it takes to own a waterfall MORE NEWS: Construction giant’s home sells for millions at auction last_img read more

first_img2 Zimbabweans Face Charges over Death of Cecil the Lion Zimbabwe accuses 2nd American of illegally hunting Lion Zimbabwean authorities say they have suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in an area favored by hunters after the killing of Cecil the lion. An international hunting organisation has suspended the membership of the US hunter accused of illegally killing a protected lion in ZimbabweSafari Club International, which promotes big-game hunting worldwide, issued a statement saying memberships for Walter Palmer and his guide in Zimbabwe, Theo Bronkhorst, will be on hiatus until investigations into the lion’s death are complete.Bronkhorst is facing criminal charges in Zimbabwe over the July 1 killing of the beloved lion named Cecil, who was drawn away from a wildlife preserve and shot by Palmer with a bow and arrow. Palmer has said he believed the hunt was legal.The Safari Club said “those who intentionally take wildlife illegally should be prosecuted and punished to the maximum extent allowed by law”.Palmer, who is a dentist in the US, advised his patients to seek care elsewhere as he remained in hiding amid protests at his clinic.The-55-year-old has faced protests at his clinic in Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he offers general and cosmetic dentistry, as well as intense condemnation online. He has not appeared in public since being identified on Tuesday as a party to the lion’s death.He is an active big-game hunter, with many kills to his name, some of them registered with hunting clubs.Meanwhile in Zimbabwe, a hunting guide and a farm owner appeared in court accused of helping Palmer kill Cecil.The head of Zimbabwe’s safari association said the big cat with the black mane was lured into the kill zone and denied “a chance of a fair chase”.The Zimbabwean men were accused of aiding Palmer, who reportedly paid £32,000 to track and kill a lion.During the night-time hunt, the Zimbabwean men tied a dead animal to their car to draw the lion out of a national park, said Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.The American is believed to have shot the lion with a crossbow. The wounded cat was then tracked for 40 hours before Palmer fatally shot him with a gun, Mr Rodrigues said.A professional hunter, Theo Bronkhorst, was accused of failing to “prevent an unlawful hunt”. Court documents said he was supervising while Palmer shot the animal.Bronkhorst was released on £640 bail after appearing in court in Hwange, about 435 miles west of the capital Harare. If convicted he faces up to 15 years in prison.A second man, farm owner Honest Trymore Ndlovu, also appeared in court but was not charged and released from custody, his lawyer said.The court documents made no mention of Palmer as a suspect.Using bait to lure the lion is deemed unethical by the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe, of which Bronkhorst is a member. The association has since revoked his licence.“Ethics are certainly against baiting. Animals are supposed to be given a chance of a fair chase,” Emmanuel Fundira, the association’s president, said. “In fact, it was not a hunt at all. The animal was baited, and that is not how we do it. It is not allowed.”It was not entirely clear whether baiting is allowed by Zimbabwe law. Mr Fundira said the practice was both unethical and illegal. The conservation group Lion Aid says it is unethical but not expressly forbidden.Relatedcenter_img Charges against Cecil the lion hunter dropped by a Zimbabwean courtlast_img read more

first_img Share Tweet LocalNews Put lionfish on domestic tables as food source, fisheries official urge by: – July 10, 2012 Sharing is caring! Sharecenter_img Andrew MagloireChief Fisheries Officer, Andrew Magloire, has appealed to citizens to assist the Fisheries Department in getting rid of the lionfish in Dominica’s waters by consuming it as a food source.The lionfish which he described as a “very veracious feeder” can potentially threaten the reef system as it consumes any living organism which is about half its size. He highlighted the importance of protecting the reef system where the lionfish predominately inhabits.“Without the reef the lionfish would not be present. By virtue of its nature, a reef species although it can inhabit other marine environments but predominantly the reefs systems provide the best home situation and setting for the lionfish. The reef system also provides the best attraction to many of our visitors to Dominica, not only those who can scuba dive but also those who can snorkel and also by virtue of the unique nature of some of our marine environments”.He noted that it is “critical” that citizens understand the invasiveness of the lionfish and the “challenges that the lionfish will pose” to marine life as well.According to Magloire, if urgent measures are not implemented to eliminate the lionfish, within the space of four years, our reef systems could be “completely transformed”. “If lionfish were to be left alone by our human interventions, in a very short space of time; two to three years, four years probably, our reef systems would be completely transformed into a reef with predominantly, say 99 % of the fish you will find there would probably be lionfish. That is significant in the sense that many of us who enjoy many of our reef species, would no longer, within five years, have those species on our tables to enjoy, simply because the lionfish as a major predator would have consumed all of that”.Lionfish In light of this, the Fisheries Department has teamed up with the Dominica Watersports Association to devise an action plan to rid Dominican waters of the lionfish. He explained that the lionfish has provided “a unique opportunity” whereby with proper education, citizens will be encouraged to eat the fish so as to prevent them from damaging the reef systems.“What we have embarked upon with the Watersports Association, is to ensure that the reefs that are utilized for dive in Dominica are kept clean and free from lionfish, so some of our programs embarked upon include diving to those reefs with a special intention of eradicating lionfish from those reef systems”.While he noted that “it is an impossible challenge” to free Dominican waters from the lionfish “by virtue of its reproductive process”, their current initiative is to put lionfish on the domestic tables as a food source.“The Fisheries Department will strive to ensure that every Dominican citizen acquires the taste for lionfish. If you love the species of fish we call Koni and Tash then you will like the lionfish, they are very similar in terms of texture and flavor”. The lionfish has toxins which can be released if one is stung by it, however, Magloire sought to assure citizens that this can also be “addressed very easily through education”.“We will teach Dominicans to overcome those fear of lionfish by teaching you and demonstrating to you how easy it can be with the necessary precautions, to address that scare of lionfish and to put lionfish on the tables of Dominicans as a normal, edible fish product that we have now currently with us”. Magloire, who addressed the official launch of Dive Fest 2012 on Friday, urged citizens to participate in the activities as they will be afforded an opportunity to sample the lionfish. Dominica Vibes News Share 38 Views   2 commentslast_img read more

first_img Loading… He shared a string of photos of his trip on Instagram showing him donning a custom-designed top. He integrated his Union Jack hoodie with a Richard Mille watch encrusted with diamond understood to be worth at least £200,000. read also:Floyd Mayweather is broke–says 50 Cent The expensive timepiece would perfect fit the retired boxer’s collection of luxurious watches including another stunning £13.75m diamond-encrusted watch he bought after 50th career win over Conor McGregor. Meanwhile, the lavish lifestyle evidenced during his time in the UK came just days after rapper 50 Cent alleged Mayweather has gone broke. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 SunSport reports Mayweather visited Newcastle, Glasgow and Blackpool on his week-long tour. During the excursion, the boxing legend partied with fans and engaged in fun activities including signing a tattoo of his face on a punter’s leg. And like the flashy celebrity he is, the 43-year-old has done a really nice job in keeping his followers up to date with his tour.Advertisement Promoted ContentDid You Notice How Natural Simba’s Movements Looked In The Movie?Which Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?10 Phones That Can Easily Fit In The Smallest Pocket7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better8 Fascinating Facts About Coffee8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemThe 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The WorldTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldInsane 3D Spraying Skills Turn In Incredible Street Art6 Stunning Bridges You’ll Want To See With Your Own EyesYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of Anime Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather has proved he has not gone broke as previously claimed after openly flaunting a luxurious diamond-encrusted watch during UK trip.last_img read more

first_imgSuson –resident of Barangay San Isidro, Jaro district – told police his walletcontained P450 cash, Pag-IBIG and PhilHealth identification cards. The robber then sped away. Officers of theMandurriao police station have yet to identify the suspect as of this writing./PN The 25-year-oldMichael Joseph Suson of Barangay San Isidro, Jaro district said he wasriding on his motorcycle when an unidentified suspect, who was also onboard amotorcycle, grabbed his wallet. center_img ILOILO City – Aman complained of having been robbed in Barangay San Rafael, Mandurriaodistrict. last_img read more

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — High school students across Indiana gathered in Indianapolis today for the final round of the second Innovate WithIN™ pitch competition, pitching their ideas to a panel of judges from Indiana’s entrepreneurial community. After advancing through two rounds of the competition, LyfePack from Rivet High School in Vincennes, Indiana, was named the overall winner of the statewide initiative hosted by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Indiana Department of Education (DOE) and Ball State University.“Through competitions like Innovate WithIN, we’re not only growing Indiana’s culture of innovation and creativity, but we’re also empowering our students to develop and execute their entrepreneurial ideas at an early age,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “We’re proud of all the students who participated in today’s competition, and are confident they will be the ones to keep Indiana on the path to success for years to come.”LyfePack, along with all of the final 11 teams, will receive mentoring services through the StartEdUp Foundation, which focuses on engaging students and teachers through innovation and entrepreneurship in the classroom. In partnership with the IEDC, StartEdUp will create a student accelerator program for the Innovate WithIN state finalists, helping them develop and execute their ideas as well as providing access to the company’s network of mentors and advisers.“Ball State University is proud to partner with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Indiana Department of Education on Innovate WithIN,” said Ball State President Geoffrey S. Mearns. “This partnership encourages innovation, one of our university’s enduring values. Since our founding in 1918 by a family of entrepreneurs, our university has been at the forefront of educating business leaders who have helped the state sustain economic success. This initiative helps set the next generation of entrepreneurs on a trajectory toward fulfilling careers and meaningful lives.”In second place, Calm Balm, led by Kaleigh Newton and Allison Santa Rita at Noblesville High School, will each receive $2,500. In third place, RearVue, led by led by Andrew Romes, Alex Termini and Faith Spencer at Hobart High School, will each receive $1,500.The other finalists, who were honored with certificates of achievement, include:3D Printing Filament Waste, led by Steven Bass, Austin Robinson and Daniel Joven at Greenfield-Central High School;Empathy Easel, led by Kristina Rea at Adams High School in South Bend;Kolt Electronic Solutions, led by Koltan Hauersperger and Brooks Wathen at Jennings County High School in North Vernon;Millie & Mabel, led by Lillian Herrmann at Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School in North Manchester;Other Side, led by Kaikeyi Paxton and Karissa Nielsen-Baker at Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis;Puma Sips Coffee Shop, led by Zoey Lewis and Dawnyai Jones from Indianapolis Metropolitan High School;Student Services, led by Isabel France, James Booth and Kallen Kelsheimer from Wabash High School; andUrban Harvest, led by Jesse Kogge at the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship in Bloomington.LyfePack was also awarded the People’s Choice Award for receiving the most votes during the Innovation Showcase, which gave each team the opportunity to display their ideas for a business, product, service or venture while allowing the public to vote for their favorite idea at the state finals.“With amazing teachers at the helm, Indiana’s classrooms have become incubators for innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction. “The Innovate WithIN pitch competition allows students to showcase such skills. I am proud of the students and all those who have supported these talented kids.”Innovate WithIN is Indiana’s first statewide high school pitch competition, drawing 158 online applications from 422 Hoosier students at 88 high schools. Students were asked to work individually or in small groups to submit an innovative idea for a business, product, service or venture. After completing video pitches and regional competitions, the final 11 teams, representing Hamilton, Hancock, Jennings, Knox, Lake, Marion, Monroe, St. Joseph and Wabash counties, were invited to Indianapolis to pitch their idea to a panel of judges.The judges of today’s competition were Indiana Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo; Chris LaMothe, CEO of Elevate Ventures; Elaine Bedel, president of the IEDC; John Thompson, chairman and CEO of Thompson Distribution Company; Krystal Geyer, assistant director of the Entrepreneurship Center at Ball State University; and Matt Kriech, COO of Biosynthetic Technologies.As part of Governor Holcomb’s Next Level Agenda to make Indiana a hub for innovation and develop a 21st century skilled and ready workforce, the state is committed to helping cultivate innovative ideas in the classroom. The Innovate WithIN™ pitch competition fosters an entrepreneurial spirit among our leaders of tomorrow, empowering students to hone their innovative thinking.last_img read more

first_imgBatesville, IN—The Batesville board of Works met last evening and approved the winning bid for the town’s community crossing grants project list. Globe Asphalt’s bid of $1,042,065.60, which came in roughly $116,000 less than the bid from Dave O’Mara, Inc.The streets included in this year’s project list include:Lammers Pike from S.R. 46 to Merkel RoadVine Street from Hillcrest Avenue to West Catherine StreetElm Street from St. Louis Place to Hillcrest AvenuePearl Street from North Mulberry Street to County Line Road3rd Street from Washington Street to Pearl Street4th Street from Washington Street to Pearl Street5th Street from Pearl Street to Washington StreetWashington Street from 5th Street to Second StreetHuntersville Road from Columbus Avenue to S.R. 46County Line Road from Pearl Street to Huntersville RoadTekulve Avenue from 440 feet east of Eastern Avenue to 190 feet west of S.R. 46Tekulve Avenue from 110 feet east of S.R. 46 to Township Line RoadArlington Drive from Northside Drive to Pocket RoadCatherine Street from Vine Street to Main StreetHillenbrand from Park Avenue to 350 feet west of Park AvenuePheasant Run Drive from Wessel Road to Six Pine Ranch RoadPine Grove Drive from Township Line Road to dead endLittleleaf Lane from Winding Way to 300 feet south of Little Leaf LaneWhite Oak from Winding Way to dead endlast_img read more

first_imgThe Oldenburg Academy Boys Tennis Team traveled to the Waldron Invitational on Saturday, August 24 and came away with one victory and one loss.  Results as follows: Match # 1 vs Trinity Lutheran.  OA wins by a score of 5-0. #1 Singles:   Michael Wanstrath (OA) wins in 2 sets (6-0, 6-2) vs Jace Crockett (TL)#2 Singles:   Jon Grieshop (OA) wins in 2 sets (6-2, 6-0) vs Noah Voelker (TL)#3 Singles:  Drew Wagner (OA) wins in 2 sets (6-0, 6-1) vs Jerry Jiang (TL)#1 Doubles:  Jacob Sheets/Patrick Thompson (OA) win in 2 sets (6-1,6-1) vs Jack VonDielingen/Cameron Gruenwald (TL)#2 Doubles:  Riley Schebler/Ethan Back (OA) win in 2 sets (6-0, 6-1) vs Nathan Voelker/Henry Hall (TL)  Championship Match vs Knightstown.   Knightstown wins by a score of 3-2.#1 Singles: Michael Wanstrath (OA) loses in 2 sets (5-7, 5-7) vs Garrett Dalton (KT)#2 Singles: Jon Grieshop (OA) loses in 2 sets (4-6, 2-6) vs Cooper Davis (KT)#3 Singles: Drew Wagner (OA) wins in 2 sets (6-1, 6-2) vs Brady Howell (KT)#1 Doubles:  Jacob Sheets/Patrick Thompson lose in 2 sets (1-6, 4-6) vs Connor Pyle/Kyle Johnson (KT)#2 Doubles:  Riley Schebler/Ethan Back win in 2 sets (6-4, 6-2) vs Connor Keith/Dylan Chandler (KT) OA’s team record now stands at 4-1 on the season. The Oldenburg Academy Boys Tennis Team traveled to St. Leon Thursday Afternoon to take on East Central High School.  Varsity Results are as follows: OA wins by a team score of 3-2.  #1 Singles:  Michael Wanstrath (OA) defeats Brody Taylor (EC) in 2 sets (6-1, 6-0) #2 Singles:  Logan Huismann (EC) defeats Jon Grieshop (OA) in 2 sets (6-2, 6-4)#3 Singles:  Zachary Bovard (EC) defeats Drew Wagner (OA) in 3 sets (6-4, 3-6, 6-2)#1 Doubles:  Patrick Thompson/Jacob Sheets (OA) defeat Gavin Daniels/Josh Hudepohl (EC) in 2 sets (6-4, 6-4)#2 Doubles: Riley Schebler/Ethan Back (OA) defeat Kevin Huber/Clayton Ellis (EC) in 2 sets (6-2, 6-1)    OA Varsity record improves to 3-0.   In JV action single sets. Singles.Nate Geis (OA) defeats Colton Plymale (EC) by a score of 6-0Matthew Graf (OA) defeats Maxwell Daniels (EC) by a score of 6-1Ray Krider (EC) defeats Gavin Hammerle (OA) by a score of 6-0    Doubles.Henry Meyer/Will Yunger (OA) defeat Maxwell Koehler/Sean Gutfreund (EC) by a score of 6-0 Colton Schuckmann/Hunter Schuckmann (OA) defeat Nolan Fritz/Harrison Shattuck (EC) by a score of 6-1Devin McFarland/Trey Reynolds (EC) defeat Tim Puttmann/Luke Yunger (OA) by a score of 8-6 Alex Alderucci/Nathaniel Lockard (EC) defeat Will Hollingsworth/Evan Hilbert (OA) by a score of 6-2    Courtesy of Twisters Coach Dave Back.last_img read more

first_imgBy Brian HomewoodZURICH, Switzerland (Reuters) – Soccer’s governing body, FIFA, voted yesterday to expand the World Cup to 48 teams from its current 32, brushing aside concerns that the expansion would lower the overall standard of the tournament and make it too big and unwieldy.FIFA president Gianni Infantino, fulfilling a promise he made during last year’s election campaign, said the move meant that “more can participate and many more will have a chance to dream”.FIFA’s 211 member associations each hold one vote in the presidential election, and 135 of them have never played at a World Cup, so expansion of the tournament was always likely to appeal.The new format, to be introduced in 2026, will feature a first round of 16 groups of three teams, with the top two in each qualifying for a round of 32. From then on, it would be a straightforward knockout contest.The hosts of the 2026 tournament will be decided in May 2020. The CONCACAF Confederation, representing North and Central America and the Caribbean, is seen as a strong contender, possibly providing a joint bid from at least two of the United States, Canada and Mexico.The new-look tournament will increase the number of matches from 64 to 80, but Infantino said it would require the same number of match days and stadiums as now:“This format can be played in exactly the same number of days as today, 32, and the winning team will play the same number of games, seven, as today, and in the same number of stadiums, 12, as today,” he said.Critics have said that FIFA is tampering with a winning formula; the last World Cup in Brazil was widely regarded as one of the best in the competition’s 87-year-old history, featuring shock results, last-minute drama and outstanding individual performances.NEGATIVE FORMAT?One of the concerns is that the new format will make the group stage merely a matter of avoiding elimination, and so encourage negative play.Infantino said it had not yet been decided whether penalty shootouts could be used to decide drawn group-stage matches.The qualifying competition, meanwhile, is likely to become a mere formality for many of the strongest teams.The number of extra slots for each continental confederation, as well as formats for the qualifying competitions, will be decided at a later date, Infantino said.He had initially suggested a 40-team tournament, but then added another eight to that total in October.Those who have never qualified include 41 out of FIFA’s 54 of its African members and 10 out of 11 members in the Oceania region.The ECA, the association that represents more than 200 European clubs, most of which dislike releasing their players for international duty, said the decision had been taken for “political reasons rather than sporting ones” and “under considerable political pressure”.“We fail to see the merits to changing the current format of 32 that has proved to be the perfect formula from all perspectives,” it said in a statement.Reinhard Grindel, head of the German federation (DFB), said he saw a danger that “in the future we will see more defensive-minded teams”.“If the World Cup stops being as attractive, then fan and sponsor support suffers, as does its marketing.”The pressure group New FIFA Now, which has campaigned for reform of FIFA, said the move “will make a mockery of the qualification process for most confederations”.The inaugural World Cup, staged in 1930 in Uruguay, featured just 13 teams and 17 matches. Sixteen teams took part from 1934, eight more were added from 1982 onwards and, finally, another eight in 1998.last_img read more