Football should revamp itself and go through a phase of "reset" after the pandemic "shone light on the culture of unfair pay", suggested a British parliamentary report.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee's report said "the current football business model is not sustainable", and asked for the Premier League to "step up" and help English Football League (EFL).
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While during the pandemic, many organisations furloughed their non-playing staff, they continued paying the players, some of which were reversed - the committee marked it as "deplorable".
The DCMS committee report also touched upon the need for better representation of the Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) managers and officials in the sport. It stated that the absence of black club owners and chief executives demonstrates a "fundamental inequality at the heart of the game".
Currently, there are only five BAME managers from all the top-flight clubs and EFL combined.
The report also said that women's game has been "disproportionately affected". It further highlighted the underfunding of the sport, further worsened by the pandemic.
The DCMS committee has also called upon the sports governing bodies of the government to extend financial assistance until fans can fill up stadiums to watch live sport.
Bellingham Racial Abuse Nightmare
Teenager Jude Bellingham endured a lot of racial abuse on social media after an emotional game for Birmingham City. The police are currently investigating a Twitter post, which Bellingham described as "disgusting".
"Times have to change. More has to be done," he said.
"To not rate me as a player or even dislike me as a person is fine with me. But how someone can use my race and disgraceful stereotypes to criticise a decision I've made for my career is beyond me."
Many players, including some of the biggest names, such as Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha, Sheffield United's David McGoldrick and Bristol City’s striker Famara Diedhiou, have highlighted the abusive messages they were sent on social media in recent weeks.
Ansari on Vijayan
Legendary striker IM Vijayan had a language barrier while communicating in Hindi with his teammates on the field. But it never came in the way because of his brilliant understanding of “football language”, said former India player Aqueel Ansari.
Ansari, who played for India in the 1990s, said Vijayan was not sure about his Hindi speaking skills but he could read the game better than anyone else.
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“Vijayan-Bhai was our senior and whatever you say about him is less. But his Hindi was not at par and sometimes he used to struggle while communicating,” Ansari said.
Guangzhou to Open vs Shanghai
The 2020 Chinese Super League (CSL) is all set to kick-off on Saturday after five months of lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, with defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande facing Cup winners Shanghai Shenhua.
Guangzhou Evergrande are aiming to claim a ninth title in 10 seasons but may have to go through a few hurdles caused by the new format introduced after taking into account the time constraints.
Rather than the traditional home-and-away system, the 16 CSL teams will be divided into two groups. The top four teams will each qualify for an eight-team championship stage, while the remaining eight will enter into a relegation phase.
“I studied the schedule for the new season and I knew we’ll encounter many difficulties,” Italian World Cup-winner Fabio Cannavaro, who manages Guangzhou, was quoted by state news agency Xinhua. “(But) we’ll fight as one and achieve our goal in the next two months.”
There will be a single centre for each group, one in Suzhou near Shanghai and the other in Dalian in the northeast. Players and officials will be bound in their hotels and in certain parts of the stadium. The competition will consist of 112 matches over 14 rounds at the first stage and there will be coronavirus tests conducted once every week.
“Our anti-epidemic [pandemic] measures are very strict, and those who violate them could be kicked out of the league for this season,” Qi Jun, CSL official incharge of virus control measures, told Xinhua.“The teams and players shouldn’t expect to be only fined or suspended for their violation.”
Liverpool Fans Arrested
Merseyside Police arrested nine people on Wednesday as Liverpool fans, despite being warned by both police and the club, assembled outside the stadium on the Premier League Trophy lifting night.
The police issued a dispersal order after about 3,000 fans gathered at the Anfield Stadium. Nine were arrested for alleged drinking and drug driving, drunk and disorderly behaviour, altercations and assaults.
"We put a comprehensive and appropriate policing operation in place ahead of the game, with the safety of the public paramount in our decision making. I want to thank all those fans who heeded advice to stay home and watch the celebrations on TV.” said assistance chief constable Natalie Perischine, from Merseyside Police. "Officers made a total of nine arrests outside Anfield last night for affray, assault, people who were drunk and disorderly and drug driving.”
Liverpool players clinched the Premier League trophy after 30 long years at a muted presentation ceremony in front of an empty Kop after a 5-3 win against Chelsea. While the clubs title was sealed almost a month ago with remaining seven games that were followed by a three months hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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