SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP):Italy kept Spain from opening a significant advantage atop Group G by scoring two late goals and salvaging a 3-2 win at Macedonia yesterday in European qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.Spain got off to a slow start at Albania but eased to a 2-0 victory behind second-half goals by Diego Costa and Manuel ‘Nolito’ Agudo.Italy needed an injury-time goal by Ciro Immobile to secure the hard-fought win that allowed it to join Spain atop the group with seven points.Albania stayed with six points along with Israel, which beat Liechtenstein 2-1.Only the group winners automatically qualify for the World Cup in Russia.Macedonia and Liechtenstein remain without a point after three matches.Spain dominated from the start as expected, but it struggled to create many significant scoring chances against Albania in steady rain at the Loro Borici Stadium in Shkoder.The first goal came after a mistake by Albanian goalkeeper Etrit Berisha, who mishit the ball while trying to clear it from the back and gave it to Vitolo. The striker passed to David Silva and he set up Costa’s easy goal from inside the area in the 55th minute.The second goal was a well-placed shot by Nolito, who found the far corner from a tight angle after evading a defender inside the area in the 63rd.COMPLICATED GAME”It could seem like an easy game, but we knew it was going to be complicated,” Nolito said. “We really needed these three points.”Albania entered the match with a two-point advantage over Spain and Italy, which drew 1-1 when they met in Turin on Thursday.Spain coach Julen Lopetegui tried a different tactical scheme, playing with three defenders at the back and an extra man in midfield.Italy seemed in control against Macedonia after Andrea Belotti scored in the 24th minute, but goals by Ilija Nestorovski in the 57th and Ferhan Hasani in the 59th, both times after Italian giveaways, left the visitors in danger of a shock defeat.Immobile equalised in the 75th and netted the important winner with a close-range header two minutes into second-half injury time, keeping Italy in a strong position.”It was a great response by the team as far as character is concerned,” Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura said.
Financial analyst Ramon Gaskin is of the firm belief that Chairman of the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), Dr Maurice Odle should be taken to the courts to reveal what really happened with the US million GTT shares.Since he is “playing games,” Gaskin said, a member of the public or the Opposition should go to the court and get a court order against NICIL or Odle instructing that the report on the shares be released for public scrutiny.He stated that those responsible for disclosing the elements of the reports continue to shirk their responsibility without anyone holding them accountable while adding that the members of the board are using the bureaucracy of the system to shy away from what they really do not want to say.NICIL Chairman, Dr Maurice OdleFinancial analyst Ramon Gaskin“They don’t want to say that they don’t want to reveal the report. Let me tell you, Odle doesn’t need the board to reveal critical information. He is playing the game of who could reveal and who can’t reveal but the whole nation know that Odle could reveal it if he wants,” he charged.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has also questioned why the report has not yet been made public since “it is clear as day that NICIL can release the findings.”“I don’t understand why they don’t release the information,” he said, urging them to make the disclosure quickly.However, when this newspaper contacted NICIL for an update on a letter sent to the unit for clarification on the transaction, an official stated that the letter should be in the hands of Chairman Dr Maurice Odle, who would furnish a response.When asked whether Odle is the person to respond on the issue, the official said yes. But, Odle had told Guyana Times that he is not the person to answer the questions—instead it was the board’s duty. Notably, Odle is head of that board.Critics are stating that the transaction shows that there is little to no accountability or transparency in the APNU/AFC administration. There have also been calls for similar matters to be brought before the House for scrutiny.Gaskin stated that despite the Government’s promise to be transparent, the case of the missing GTT shares along with several contracts have not been laid in the public domain, shows otherwise.“There are a number of contracts that we want to see. Let us read it for ourselves. We have eyes and we can read English, we don’t need them to tell us what it says. Show us,” Gaskin asserted.Government spokesperson Raphael Trotman had disclosed that Minister of State Joseph Harmon was able to recover documents, which revealed that the monies were paid.However, NICIL quickly slapped it down, stating that Guyana’s former Ambassador to China David Dabydeen had facilitated the US$5 million debt waiver with Datang, the Chinese company, on the grounds that it was not granted the same minority protection rights enjoyed by NICIL (that is, two, instead of one, representatives on the GT&T Board of Directors).NICIL had sold the Government shares in GT&T for US$30 million of which US$25 million was received at the signing of the agreement. However, the outstanding money, which should have been paid by the end of December 2015, has not been discovered.