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FA Cuts To Deeply Impact Grassroots Football And Futsal, Hungarian Health Expert Warns UEFA’s Decision To Allow Fans At Super Cup Final and More (Football Round-Up)

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Short Passes (Football News Round-up): FA cuts to hit grassroots football and futsal hard, leaked documents show | UEFA taking big risk having fans at Super Cup final says Hungarian health expert | West Brom manager Slaven Bilic charged with 'improper conduct' in Everton defeat | Marseille allege Neymar made racist remarks towards Japan's Sakai | Real Kashmir announce Women’s Football Development Programme.
Real Kashmir FC have launched a women’s football development programme that will target the grassroots to encourage more girls to take up the sport in the state. (Picture courtesy: Real Kashmir FC/Twitter)

Real Kashmir FC have launched a women’s football development programme that will target the grassroots to encourage more girls to take up the sport in the state. (Picture courtesy: Real Kashmir FC/Twitter)

Leaked documents accessed by the Guardian have revealed that a part of the Covid-19 cost cutting strategy adopted by the Football Association (FA) will dismantle parts of the country’s celebrated England DNA coach education programme. In addition the measures will also reduce the FA’s commitment to the small side format of futsal welcomed by Gareth Southgate to help create a young generation of players.

Grassroots football, already hurt by a dearth of funding and a lack of infrastructure will also see a reduction of funding by £22 million ($28 million) per season over 4 years. 

The coach mentor programme, set up in 2015 to support part time coaches understand and apply a standard ethos of ‘the England DNA’ to the grassroots youth game was cut in July. 300 part time mentors and eight full time staff lost their roles.

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In June the FA had said it wanted to save £300m over four seasons in response to the downturn caused by the pandemic. FA chief executive, Mark Bullingham, admitted  they had made “tough choices” to account for the collapse in income.

The England DNA programme was heralded as a revolutionary strategy aiming to create a uniformity in tactical and technical skill creation from the grassroots to the senior team. It was hailed as the reason for the recent success the country has had at various youth levels.

Huge Risk For Fans To Attend Super Cup

A Hungarian epidemiologist told Reuters that permitting 20,000 spectators to attend the UEFA Super Cup final set to kick off in Budapest on Thursday is a huge risk being taken by UEFA. 

The newly erected Puskas Arena — a personal project of the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orban — will open one third of the stadium for the match against Champions League title winners, Bayern Munich and Europa League title holders Sevilla. 

While UEFA has said all safety measures will be observed, Andras Csilek, who advises the Hungarian Medical Chamber, in an interview with the Reuters said that with 600 new cases in Hungary, the timing ‘could not be worse’ to allow fans to attend the match in the stadium. 

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"It would have had the same terrible effect in the first two to four weeks (of the pandemic), and the plausible effects one can now expect are equally terrible," Csilek said. "Just think of the football games we know sparked spring madness in Italy.” 

Separating fans, he said “is not really feasible, especially as fans gather before and after games... Public transit, entry crowds, finding your seats, toilets, beer stands, celebrations, or a fight: plausible infection points." 

Slaven Bilic Charged With Improper Conduct 

The FA has charged West Brom manager Slaven Bilic with improper conduct for his actions in West Brom’s defeat against Everton on Saturday. 

Bilic was handed a red card by referee Mike Dean after he came onto the pitch at half-time to protest West Brom defender Kieran Gibbs’ sending off for pushing Everton's James Rodriguez in the face.

"Slaven Bilic has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3," an FA statement said. "It is alleged that the West Bromwich Albion FC manager's language and/or behaviour on the field of play at half-time of the Premier League fixture against Everton FC on 19 September amounts to improper conduct."

Bilic has been given an ultimatum of Thursday to respond. The charge could result in him getting a two-match touchline ban if he is found guilty of using abusive or insulting language. 

In his defense Bilic told BBC Sport, "The analysis guys told me it was a foul for us before their first goal.”

"As a manager I should be in a situation to ask the referee what's going on,” he added. "It's not like the game was going on, it was half-time — nobody was around. I didn't swear. I asked him in a frustrated way but I didn't go over the line. But he just ignored me and gave me red.”

Marseille Allege Neymar Made Racist Remarks

Claims of racism, homophobia have been at the centre of the aftermath of a bad tempered Le Classique, played last week. The allegations have see-sawed into farce with PSG and Marseille exchanging incidents to counter each other. In the latest, Marseille claim to have video of Neymar racially abusing Japanese right-back Hiroki Sakai during their Ligue 1 win over PSG at the beginning of the month.

A source at the club has said that Andre Villas-Boas' club has evidence against the Brazilian forward making racially abusive comments on two occasions. Marseille have officially declined to comment.

"We have no comment. We entrust all our expertise and analysis to the examiners" from the league, the club said.

Neymar had earlier said he was racially abused by Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez in a match where five players including Neymar himself were handed red cards for clashing in an end of game scuffle.

Last week Brazil's Globo Esporte said PSG had presented the French league (LFP) a video of the incident "to attempt to prove that Neymar was the victim of racism".

Three Brazilian lip-reading experts interviewed by Globo TV confirmed that Gonzalez called Neymar "mono" — "monkey" in Spanish — after watching the footage. Spanish media reports claimed that Neymar had used a homophobic slur against Gonzalez. A PSG source said the allegation held "no value".

RKFC Announces Women’s Football Development Programme

Real Kashmir has launched a Women’s Development Programme in partnership with Delhi Public School (DPS) Srinagar with the tagline ‘She Power Programme’.

The ‘She Power Programme’ is a collaboration between the club and the school which hopes to increase women participation in football in the valley. In a tweet, the club made the announcement to confirm that they will create competitions where  women will take part in grassroot football matches along with the men in the state.

When the programme was inaugurated on September 20 more than 60 girls registered for the U 14 Trials at DPS Srinagar.

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