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Five things from the Bundesliga



Bayern Munich rumbled towards an eighth straight Bundesliga title on Saturday after their comfortable win at Bayer Leverkusen, while players throughout the league renewed support for the Black Lives Matters protests sparked by the death of George Floyd.

AFP Sport looks at five key things from Saturday’s action:

Bayern unstoppable?

You have to go back to before Christmas to find a match which Bayern lost, and their stroll at Leverkusen took Hansi Flick’s side to 11 straight wins in all competitions and kept them seven points clear with just four matches remaining.

A goal down after 10 minutes against a team that beat them at the Allianz Arena in November, Bayern responded with two quick goals just before half-time to establish a stranglehold on the match after Kingsley Coman’s equaliser.

From that point Bayern were calm and composed as they saw out a ninth league win in a row that allows to put one hand on the Bundesliga trophy.

However bookings for both Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski — who scored his 30th league goal of the season — mean that they will miss next week’s clash with Champions League-chasing Borussia Moenchengladbach, where a win will as good as seal the title.

Floyd tributes continue

Pierre Kunde Malong is one of many Bundesliga players to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter protests. PHOTO: POOL/AFP / Alexander HASSENSTEIN

Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin players were the latest to show their support for demonstrations across the USA and George Floyd, a black American who died in Minneapolis last month while being arrested by police officers, by taking a collective knee around the Signal Iduna Park centre circle before their match.

They had been preceded by Mainz’s Cameroonian midfielder Pierre Kunde Malong, who sunk to one knee after scoring in Mainz’s 2-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt, emulating similar gestures from last weekend.

Both Dortmund and Bayern Munich wore T-shirts showing solidarity with the protests, with Bayern players warming up in tops bearing both the Black Lives Matter hashtag and the slogan of the club’s official “Reds Against Racism” campaign.

Werner shows his worth

Timo Werner is reportedly set to move to Chelsea next season. PHOTO: POOL/AFP / HANNIBAL HANSCHKE

Timo Werner showed why Chelsea are reportedly set to spend 50 million euros (£44.5 million) on bringing him to the Premier League, setting up Patrik Schick to take the lead and playing with the verve that has attracted the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs.

The Germany forward has scored 31 times in all competitions for Leipzig this season and prestigious magazine Kicker reports that Chelsea will pay less than the Werner’s 55 million-euro release clause to bring the 24-year-old to the Premier League.

Leipzig sporting director Oliver Mintzlaff said that no deal had yet been done for Werner, although he made it clear that Werner would be leaving come the end of the season.

“We are sure that we will find a solution with his new club which allows us to end the Bundesliga season with Timo,” said Mintzlaff.

‘Huge talent’ Wirtz breaks through

Florian Wirtz is the latest young gun to appear at Bayer Leverkusen after Kai Havertz. PHOTO: POOL/AFP / Stuart FRANKLIN

A new young star made the headlines for Leverkusen in the absence of Kai Havertz, with Florian Wirtz becoming the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history.

Wirtz, who only made his top-flight debut last month, supplanted former Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin when he bagged Leverkusen’s consolation goal in the final seconds at 17 years and 34 days old.

“We already knew he was a huge talent, that’s why he has played before,” said Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz.

Emre cans Sancho after rallying Dortmund

Jadon Sancho has been heavily criticised for having a haircut without any protective equipment. PHOTO: POOL/AFP / Lars BARON

Emre Can kept Borussia Dortmund’s faint hopes of winning the title alive with the only goal in a 1-0 win over dogged Hertha Berlin, and quickly tore a strip off young gun Jadon Sancho following the England winger’s haircut controversy.

Can, who struck in the 58th minute to keep Dortmund seven points behind Bayern with four games to play, said Sancho needed to be “more grown up” after being pictured having a haircut with neither the 20-year-old nor the hairdresser wearing any personal protective equipment.

“We need to guide Jadon a bit. He can’t afford to make mistakes like that in the future, and we can always talk to him about that as a team,” said Can.

Reporting and photos: AFP


Catch the wind with Kitesurfing World Champion Youri Zoon at COMO Cocoa Island



Embark on an exhilarating kitesurfing odyssey from May 6th to 20th, 2024, at COMO Cocoa Island alongside Youri Zoon, celebrated for seizing the kitesurfing world championship twice. Under his seasoned guidance, amplify your kitesurfing prowess, whether you’re a neophyte craving the fundamentals or a seasoned aficionado striving for intricate manoeuvres and airborne thrills.

Kitesurfing merges windsurfing, surfing, and wakeboarding for a dynamic water sport. Using controllable kites, riders harness wind power to glide across the ocean’s surface while being set against the backdrop of endless horizons and azure waters.

Throughout his residency, Zoon will conduct guided kitesurfing sessions, offering novices a gentle introduction to the sport or empowering veterans to elevate their abilities. Additionally, Zoon will host enlightening COMO Conversations, delving into his personal journey to kitesurfing eminence and the obstacles he surmounted along the way.

Guests may arrange activities with Zoon at their leisure, with plenty of time to make the most of our private island comforts, from massage treatments at COMO Shambhala to sandbank dinners under the stars and more.

Hailing from the Netherlands, Zoon’s affinity for kiteboarding burgeoned at the tender age of 13. A prodigious talent, he swiftly amassed accolades, securing victories at the Junior European Championships and Dutch Nationals in his inaugural year. Subsequently clinching the world title in 2011 and 2012, Zoon’s enduring passion for the sport fuels his ongoing commitment to mentorship and coaching, ensuring his legacy endures both on and off the water.

Nestled within South Male Atoll, COMO Cocoa Island beckons discerning travelers with its intimate enclave of 33 overwater villas. Renowned for its iconic Dhoni Water Villas, which pay homage to Maldivian maritime heritage, this idyllic retreat offers a sanctuary of tranquillity and indulgence. Accessible via a scenic 40-minute speedboat journey from Velana International Airport, COMO Cocoa Island promises an unrivalled blend of luxury and seclusion.

For details on COMO Hotels and Resorts or to plan your next escape, please visit

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Sheraton Maldives hosts successful second season of Full Moon Futsal Cup



Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa celebrated the culmination of the highly anticipated Full Moon Futsal Cup on March 31, 2024. The tournament, which commenced on March 17th, brought together 12 teams from neighboring resorts in Malé Atoll, fostering a spirit of friendly competition and camaraderie.

SO/ Maldives emerged victorious after a thrilling final match, securing the coveted title of Full Moon Futsal Cup Champions 2024. Mohamed El Aghoury, General Manager of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa, presented the winning team with the Championship trophy and gold medals during a closing ceremony. Additional prizes, medals, and certificates were awarded to recognize the exceptional talent displayed by all participants.

“We are honored to have hosted and participated in such a vibrant tournament,” Mohamed El Aghoury commented, reflecting on the event’s success. “The Full Moon Futsal Cup celebrates not only sportsmanship but also fosters strong bonds within the resort community.”

Throughout the tournament, all teams showcased exceptional skill, determination, and teamwork, captivating spectators and fellow competitors alike. Notably, Sheraton Maldives’ own associate teams, Team Sheraton and Team Furana FC, participated with commendable spirit.

This involvement aligns with Marriott International’s Associate Resource Groups (ARGs) initiative, which prioritizes fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel valued. The participation of the Young Professionals ARG team specifically exemplifies the group’s dedication to community building, skill development, and mentorship. The tournament provided a platform to spotlight the energy and potential of young professionals, promoting their growth and contributing to the organization’s future success.

Extending beyond a sporting event, the Full Moon Futsal Cup embodies the values of unity, friendship, and healthy competition. This aligns with Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa’s commitment to fostering community connections and Marriott International’s TakeCare philosophy, which emphasizes the importance of physical well-being among associates.

The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa extends its sincere gratitude to all participating teams, supporters, sponsors, and organizers who contributed to the resounding success of the Full Moon Futsal Cup 2024. The resort eagerly anticipates continuing this tradition of sporting excellence and camaraderie in the years to come.

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Dive into memorable underwater adventure with Baros Maldives’s Eco Explorer Experience



In today’s world, where the fragile balance of marine ecosystems teeters on the edge, to call for sustainable tourism practices resonates louder than ever. Baros Maldives, deeply rooted in its respect for nature, leads the way in conservation and preservation. Baros’s Eco Explorer Experience stands as a testament to the island’s commitment, inviting guests to not just observe but to actively contribute to the safeguarding of our underwater sanctuaries.

Nestled on a lush, natural island paradise, Baros is a sanctuary surrounded by a kaleidoscope of marine life, boasting a world-class house reef, celebrated for its unparalleled beauty and biodiversity, attracting adventurers and nature lovers alike.

The Eco Explorer Experience is a carefully curated immersive experience designed for those who seek to delve deeper into the mysteries of the ocean. This experience is more than an adventure; it’s a journey of discovery and contribution, offering intimate encounters with the marvels of the sea, all while promoting marine conservation.

With this experience, Baros guests enjoy a myriad of enriching activities, culminating in a bespoke photobook documenting the essence of their Eco Explorer journey beneath the waves.

Coral Restoration and Conservation: Participants will immerse themselves in coral ecology, by planting personal coral gardens under the guidance of Baros’s resident Marine Biologist. This hands -on experience not only fosters coral growth but also contributes to the restoration of these vital habitats. Through the Coral Cube initiative, guests will apply innovative techniques like using fast plug cement to build thriving underwater ecosystems. The Baros marine team will share bi-annual updates with the guests so that they can follow the growth of their corals.

Marine Life Identification: This educational session equips guests with the knowledge to identify different fish species and understand their vital roles within the marine ecosystem. Equipped with snorkelling gear and new insights, guests will explore Baros’s world- class house reef during a snorkelling tour, guided by the resident marine biologist, to witness the vibrant marine life.

Night Snorkelling and Bioluminescence: As night falls, the reef reveals a different kind of beauty. With UV lights, guests will explore this nocturnal wonderland, observing the reef’s inhabitants in a new light. This magical experience is not only enchanting but also educational, offering insights into coral health and the ecosystem’s delicate balance.

Baros recognises the fragility of the marine environment and is committed to fostering sustainable tourism practices. The Eco Explorer Experience is more than a holiday activity, it’s an invitation to become part of a larger movement, advocating for the protection and preservation of our marine environments.

Join the Baros marine team on this extraordinary journey. Together, dive deeper, explore further, and unveil the boundless wonders of the ocean, ensuring they remain vibrant for generations to come.

For bookings and more information, please visit or contact Baros directly at or call +960 664 26 72.

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