first_imgAS Mauricio Pochettino sat sobbing in the dressing room after last year’s Champions League final, he thought it was not meant to be like this.He had always expected to end the greatest night of his managerial career so far in floods of tears — just ones of joy.4 Mauricio Pochettino could not stop crying after losing the Champions League final with Spurs last seasonCredit: Getty Images – Getty4 Harry Kane, rushed back from injury, could do nothing to prevent a Liverpool win in Madrid – the beginning of the end for PochCredit: Getty Images – GettyInstead, those streaming out were of sadness and despair.As the anniversary of Tottenham’s debut in the final of Europe’s elite competition approaches, their former boss Poch admits he was so devastated after the 2-0 loss to Liverpool in Madrid he could not stop CRYING.Not only was the Argentinian upset about the Wanda Metropolitano defeat, which saw a controversial first-minute Kop penalty destroy his dream and the gameplan his squad had fine-tuned for three weeks.He also realised through the salty bitterness that it would ultimately and inevitably spell the end of his five years in charge.And so it came to pass as Poch — who, it should be pointed out, had not helped himself with his wacky comments and team’s poor Premier League form — was relieved of his duties by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and replaced by Jose Mourinho within hours of his November sacking.For the last six months Poch has been on “gardening leave” during which time the only thing he has grown is the interest on his bank account from the £8.5million-a-year salary he continued to rake in from the club as part of his severance.In his first newspaper interview since becoming a free agent, he explains that famous night in the Spanish capital was the beginning of the end of his time in N17.He said: “I think it was very difficult to accept the way the game went.“When you prepare for three weeks with the responsibility and in the way we did, and worked, with all the staff and players. We were very focused.“I think we were convinced and I was convinced that the final was going to go our way. That was completely in our minds. But no one is prepared after 30 seconds of the Champions League final to concede like that.When the decision came it was right and we needed to move on.Mauricio Pochettino on his Spurs sacking“The goal changed the whole game, all the emotions. It is difficult to prepare a team for that happening.“I was so disappointed afterwards. It was difficult to stop crying, to stop feeling bad.“It was a massive achievement. And you can use the example of Liverpool after they lost to Real Madrid the season before, that was a massive motivation and inspiration to be back in the future.“But I knew after five years and with the way we were working, all the things that happened, it was going to be difficult to change a little bit in our minds and to stay open to design another plan, or a strategy to build again, a different chapter.“A different project was going to be difficult to maintain — to keep improving.”Former Espanyol coach Pochettino switched to Tottenham from Southampton in May 2014 and turned the North Londoners into a top-four club.He also did this while overseeing the move from their old White Hart Lane home to a sparkling new £1billion stadium on the same site.Construction problems led to delays as Spurs played the best part of an extra season at Wembley.Pochettino’s ability to keep them up among England’s top clubs, despite almost two seasons without a home game, enhanced his reputation as one of the game’s best coaches.It saw him attracting interest from a number of rivals, including Real Madrid and Manchester United.4Many will say Pochettino, 48, should have walked away from Tottenham on June 2, the day after the Champions League final.But he insisted: “No. Because my commitment with the club, with Daniel and of course with the players, the fans, was massive.“I said to Daniel that we finished in the way that no one wanted but the end, because of our commitment, our emotion and our feeling — in football — it needed to happen.“If not, our relationship would have continued forever! And maybe that’s no good for the club or for us.“When the decision came it was right and we needed to move on.”Pochettino was given the boot by Tottenham after the Champions League hangover turned into a major headache for chairman Levy and the club’s board.Yet Poch remains grateful to the man who axed him — and even phoned him last week to say so.He said: “What I was talking about with Daniel was to say thank you for trusting in us.“I also joked with him, ‘Oh, you only signed me because the manager you liked at that time, Louis Van Gaal, chose Manchester United!’I am so happy that he is at Tottenham, replacing me. He is a top coach and we have a very good relationship.Mauricio Pochettino on Jose Mourinho“Daniel told me that at the time, he was very clear about that, it was very public. I was a very young coach, with my experience in Spain and my one-and-a-half years in Southampton.“The football vision at Tottenham was completely different then to what it is now. Today, they are one of the best clubs in the world and we feel very proud of that.”Pochettino, now sporting a grey beard, has remained in London during lockdown.Shortly before the crisis he went for a coffee with Unai Emery — axed by Arsenal days after Poch left bitter rivals Spurs.And he has even spoken with his Tottenham successor Mourinho.Poch said: “We’ve known each other for a long time. When I was the coach of Espanyol and he was at Real Madrid.“During that time we were going to play Real Madrid when some information appeared that maybe I was on their radar in case Jose goes.“In the press conference before the game the media asked me about that.“I said ‘Oh, I am not thinking about that and, by the way, my kids are sleeping in Espanyol pyjamas every night. So it’s very difficult for me to think about changing’.“So, when I arrived at the stadium, Jose was waiting with a bag with a very nice bottle of French red wine and two kits of Real Madrid, shirts and shorts. He said, ‘OK, these are for your kids to wear from now on!’Latest Tottenham newsHARRY ALL FOUR ITKane admits Spurs must win EIGHT games to rise into Champions League spotGossipALL GONE PETE TONGVertonghen wanted by host of Italian clubs as long Spurs spell nears endBELOW PARRSpurs suffer blow with Parrott to miss Prem restart after appendix operationPicturedSHIRT STORMNew Spurs 2020/21 home top leaked but angry fans slam silver design as ‘awful”STEP BY STEP’Jose fears for players’ welfare during restart as stars begin ‘pre-season’KAN’T HAVE THATVictor Osimhen keen on Spurs move but only if they sell Kane this summerYOU KAN DO ITKlinsmann quit Spurs to win trophies but says Kane’s better off stayingTURBULENT PAIRINGDrogba and Mido had mid-flight brawl after stewardess prank went wrong“I am so happy that he is at Tottenham, replacing me. He is a top coach and we have a very good relationship.“I always thought I’d replace him. When he was at Real Madrid and I was at Espanyol I used to joke, ‘Oh, maybe one day I can take your place at Real Madrid’ and look at how life works out!“He has taken my place at Tottenham. Unbelievable, eh?”4 Pochettino was tipped to replace Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid but it was the Portuguese who took over from the Argentinian in North LondonCredit: Getty – ContributorEx-Tottenham boss Pochettino scores incredible hole-in-one playing foot golf while in Qatar for Fifa Club World Cuplast_img read more


first_imgRelated posts:Could tide finally be turning for shark fin demand in China? Judge orders Costa Rica gov’t to reimburse ship captain for seized shark fins Could judicial decisions unravel Chinchilla’s conservation legacy? Costa Rica’s airport popular thoroughfare for wildlife trafficking Facebook Comments Kathy Tseng, a Taiwanese-Costa Rican businesswoman, was absolved Monday in a Puntarenas court on charges of illegallylanding 652 shark fins on a Costa Rican dock in 2011. According to prosecutors and ocean conservation groups, the landmark ruling by a Puntarenas judge has opened multiple loopholes for finners looking to skirt the law.Since 2005, Costa Rica has had some form of ban on shark finning, a fishing method popularized due to the disproportionate rise in the value of shark fins – the key ingredient in the Asian delicacy shark-fin soup – when compared to shark meat.To maximize profits by saving room in their hulls, fishermen began slicing off sharks’ fins and dumping the still-breathing animals overboard to bleed-out or be eaten. Finning has had no small part in the huge declines in Pacific shark populations. Biologists say that more than 90 percent of the populations of some shark species have been wiped out in the last 15 years.Shark ‘spining’Tseng’s case involved the first-ever prosecuted use of a technique known as “spining,” where shark spines are kept intact with the fins attached by strips of skin and the remaining flesh cut away. The slice-and-dice finning method was devised to slip through a loophole in Costa Rican law, which requires fins to arrive “naturally attached” to the sharks’ bodies.In September 2011, Tseng’s boat, the Wang Jia Men 89, docked in the central Pacific port town of Puntarenas with 332 shark skeletons. Before the boat docked, Tseng sent an inquiry to the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (Incopesca) to ask what would happen if her ship landed with spined sharks. She claimed the shark meat had been used for bait and as food for the crew. Luis Dobles, Incopesca’s executive director, allowed the boat to dock and unload the rest of its product, but a local prosecutor ordered customs officials to destroy the shark spines with fins. Shark fins attached to the spinal column by strips of skin were seized from Taiwanese boats in Costa Rica in 2011. (Courtesy of Interpol)“This is not shark finning and the law does not say whether the shark body needs to have all of its meat,” Dobles said in 2011. “I applied the law and did not allow them to sell those sharks, which is already a great loss for those companies.”The prosecutor’s office opened investigations of both Dobles and Tseng, who in 2010 also was accused along with two others of human trafficking after authorities discovered 36 Asian slaves working at the group’s fishing company. Dobles’ case is still under investigation and may not go to trial.There have been no further reported incidents of shark spining since the Wang Jia Men 89, but in November, Interpol issued a purple alert warning other countries to be on the lookout for spining.In the weeks leading up to the ruling, ocean conservation groups published press releases warning that a not-guilty verdict could set a bad precedent for finning in the future.“This case needs to be strongly sanctioned in order to send an example,” the Comission for the Conservation of Sharks wrote in a press release. “That is the only way to avoid opening the door for similar cases in the future.”The verdictAccording to the case’s prosecutor, Tatiana Chaves, Judge Franklin Lara absolved Tseng of all charges, saying she had not broken the law. The judge ruled that because Tseng did not unload and sell the finned sharks, she had not committed a crime.However, during the trial, both defense expert witnesses backed out of testifying. Incopesca biologist José Miguel Carvajal chose not to testify after the prosecution warned him that taking the stand could endanger his job at Incopesca due to a conflict of interest. Environmental consultant Moíses Mug failed to show up in court.The Tico Times has reached out to the defense’s lawyers and is awaiting comment. The judge involved in the case cannot comment until after the sentencing date.Prosecutors and ocean conservation groups fear that Monday’s ruling will effectively allow shark finning to continue unsanctioned, and, according to Chaves, the implications extend beyond spining, affecting finning legislation in general.“With this reasoning the judge is permitting ships to arrive to shore with shark fins,” Chaves told The Tico Times. “As long as they do not unload them, it means they have not committed a crime.”Chaves told The Tico Times the judge’s reasoning also calls into question finning operations at sea, such as last week’s seizure of more than 150 fins from a Costa Rican boat in the country’s South Pacific. If the fins must be landed for a crime to have been committed, then fishermen caught in the act of finning may not be culpable.According to environmental groups, the verdict weakens the strong stance Costa Rica has recently taken on marine conservation, a position that won President Laura Chinchilla the Shark Guardian Award from international shark conservation group Sharkproject.“It’s another slap in the face of the conservation movement,” said Randall Arauz, president of Pretoma, an ocean conservation group in Costa Rica. “We are going out to the world showing ourselves as a world leader in shark-finning legislation, and then we show the world that when it comes to our domestic policies we are still ruled by the shark finning industry.”Though Tseng was absolved of finning, prosecutors can still appeal the decision within 15 days of the ruling.“Oh, we will be filing an appeal,” Chaves told The Tico Times. “Our war with this woman is not over yet.”last_img read more