Indian women team striker Bala Devi has joined a charity initiative to raise funds for child labourers affected by Covid-19.
Bala has been enlisted for the initiative by the non-governmental organisation CRY (Child Right and You) and the revenue generated will go into providing for children’s education and amenities.
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“We have always been struggling with child labour. With the pandemic leading to loss of jobs, this will only make more children give up their dream of education or playing,” Devi told PTI from her base in Scotland.
“I truly believe every child should have the opportunity to fulfil their dreams and always get a chance at education. This is what has inspired me to take up this initiative. I do not have a real life incident but we know that child labour is prevalent around the country,” she said.
The 30-year old striker has played more than 50 international matches since 2005 and is also the first Indian women footballer to play for a top division team outside the country. She signed a professional contract with Scottish Women’s Premier League club called Rangers FC in January this year.
World Cup 2023 Vote
With Columbia jostling against Australia and New Zealand’s joint bid for hosting rights for the 2032 World Cup, this much guaranteed -- the Women’s World Cup will find a new home. A FIFA vote to announce the hosts will be held later today. FIFA President Gianni Infantino has also initiated a campaign to increase the competition to 32 teams from 24 for 2032.
A FIFA bid evaluation report gave the joint bid -- which is unprecedented for any senior World Cup in that Australia are in the Asian confederation while New Zealand remain in Oceania -- 4.1 points out of five. Colombia received a rating of 2.8. The Colombian football federation and CONMEBOL have furiously protested the evaluation and its findings, in particular the use of the world ‘terrorism’ when discussing security threats.
The greater weight on potential hosts to show they have the infrastructure necessary for the event has also helped make the Australia-New Zealand bid a strong favourite.
Ramon Jesurun, president of the Colombian Football Federation, also stated that government backing will ensure any apparent shortcomings in infrastructure and promised they will be easily resolved in the next three years.
Australia and New Zealand do, however, know how to put on major sporting events. Australia hosted the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the AFC Asian Cup in 2015. The two countries also co-hosted the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 and Australia also hosted this year's women's Twenty20 cricket World Cup, which culminated in a final played in front of 86,174 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Positive COVID-19 Tests in EFL
The English Football League (EFL) announced yesterday that three people from two different Championship clubs have tested positive for Covid-19.
Although there has been no information about which club, player or staff has been affected but reports suggest 2,858 people were tested over the past week.Those who tested positive are expected to self isolate themselves as per EFL guidelines.
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“Those players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate in line with the guidelines provided by the EFL and only those who have tested negative will be permitted to enter training ground facilities,” the EFL said in a statement.
The positive tests have come down since last week’s total of 12 cases with eight of them from the Championship.
The Championship, English second-tier, resumed games last week after a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic with strict protocols and games played in empty stadiums.
EA Extends Partnership with La Liga
Electronic Art Inc extended its licensing contract with La Liga until 2030 to maintain exclusive access to the Spanish top-tier league for its flagship football game franchise FIFA.
EA told Reuters that the 10-year agreement has been its longest renewal contract in the history of the company’s partnership with La Liga but did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.
Having resumed games on June 11, La Liga has been using virtual images of stands during the television broadcast with ‘fan audio’ produced by the EA to make the matches appealing to viewers.
The company stated that the daily active players for ‘FIFA 20’ have reached an all-time high due to fans and players forced to stay at home due to coronavirus restrictions. The viewership has surged up to 260% since last year.
Bulgarian PM Threatens to Shut Matches to Fans
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov threatened to ban spectators at domestic league matches unless fans improve upon and adhere to social distancing restrictions.
The Bulgarian league resumed games on June 5 after an almost three-month pause with supporters allowed at stadiums. A number of violations were seen during the matches.
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"We gave our players the opportunity to play in front of spectators," Borissov told a government meeting. "What did the fans do? They gathered together, not wearing protective face masks. What do they want to demonstrate?"
The violation in recent weeks instigated Health Minister Kiril Ananiev to issue an order on Monday permitting up to 1,000 spectators in a single stand and urged fans to maintain social distancing protocols.
On Tuesday however, spectators failed to follow protocols during the Bulgarian Cup semi-final second leg between Levski Sofia and Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
"There is a new restriction now at 1,000 people in a sector but I see that they do not observe it again," Borissov said. "If they continue like this, we will most likely close the stadiums [to fans] as [they did] in Germany, Spain and Italy."
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