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Delhi’s Sudeva FC Enter I-League, Bayern Munich Youth Coach Investigated Over Racial Abuse Charges and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): Sudeva FC becomes first club from Delhi in I-League | Bayern Munich academy employee investigated over racism allegations | FC Barcelona defender Todibo confirms he has tested positive for Covid-19 | Portugal PM encourages fans to visit Lisbon for Champions League finals | Atletico women suspend training ahead of Champions League clash.
Sudeva FC given entry into I-League

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) approved the entry of Sudeva FC into I-League on August 12.

Sudeva FC will become the first club from Delhi to play in the I-league after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) approved the club’s entry into the second-tier domestic competition for the upcoming season. 

“We started as a small outfit where just my partner Vijay Hakari drove to Kailash Satyarthi’s Bal Ashram in Rajasthan to train the children there,” Sudeva’s co-founder Anuj Gupta said over a call with Newsclick. “We didn’t do it for personal gain, but because we just wanted to give the talent in this country an opportunity. And now we are in the I-League. It has been a great journey, and now the real test begins.”

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Sreenidhi FC, based out of Visakhapatnam was also one of the clubs whose  participation was approved by the AIFF, albeit from the 2021-2022 season. 

Ryntih FC from Shillong -- the third club in the fray -- failed in its bid.  The Aiff’s bid committee discussed issues regarding the bid process with representatives of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) over a video conference. A few clarifications were sought after the previous meeting that took place on July 31. 

“After scrutinising the clarifications sought for from the submitted documents, and also presentations from the respective bidders in the previous meeting (July 31, 2020), the Committee, after consultation with PwC decided to grant playing rights to Sudeva in the forthcoming Hero I-League 2020-21,” said the AIFF release said.

“The Committee also granted playing rights to Sreenidhi in the Hero I-League from 2021-22 onwards.”

Racism at Bayern Youth Campus  

Police spokespersons confirmed that allegations of racism by WDR magazine Sport Inside, against a staff member at Bayern Munich’s youth academy, is being investigated. The allegations accuse an unnamed long-serving coach of using racial slurs on numerous occasions in a WhatsApp group comprising various staff at the club's youth campus.

Also Read | Over a Third of Elite Sportswomen In UK Face Online Abuse

It is also claimed that, in discussions about signing players, the employee would often employ racist language. While the club has confirmed the allegations, no further comments have been provided. 

The report also said that since September 2018 four anonymous letters were received by Bayern underlining incidents of racial abuse in their youth section. The letters were allegedly sent by ‘increasingly worried but fearful parents’.

Todibo Covid-19 Positive

FC Barcelona’s Jean-Clair Todibo confirmed that he tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday after the club announced a positive test result for their team. 

In a statement posted by the player on Twitter, he confirmed that he is “at home following the proper health protocol. I really want to get back to training, but now it's time to stay home until the virus has passed.” 

"Thank you all for the support and I offer my encouragement to all the people who are also experiencing the virus," he added. 

While Barcelona did not disclose the name of the member who tested positive earlier in the day, it did make clear that the player was not a part of the team’s squad for the quarter-final of the Champions League on Friday against Bayern Munich. The club also stated that he had not been in contact with any of the 22 players set to travel to Portugal on Thursday. 

Fans Urged to Visit Portugal for CL Final

The Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, urged fans and tourists to visit the country during the Champions League’s final despite the tournament being held behind closed doors due to coronavirus restrictions. 

Lisbon is hosting the ‘Final Eight’ mini-tournament that will be played by the top teams of Europe. 

Costa in statement said that he understands the frustrations of people who cannot attend the match but encouraged them to come anyway. “But whoever wants to come, be it for the tournament, to spend their holidays, or for any other reason, you are very welcome to Portugal and you can be yourself in Portugal safely”, he said in a statement.

Unlike the usual two legged, home away, quarter-final and semi-final games, the ties will be concluded in a single game with extra time and penalties if required. The final will kick off on August 23. 

“It is a great honour for us to be able to host this event. It is, on the one hand, the demonstration of the extraordinary organisational capacity of Portugal and the FPF (Portuguese Football Federation),” added Costa.

On the pitch, Paris Saint-Germain produced a late turnaround to beat Atalanta 2-1 on August 12 and reach the semifinals for the first time since 1995. Mario Pasalic's first-half strike looked set to settle the match in favour of Atalanta after Neymar missed a series of first-half chances. However, Marquinhos tapped home a lucky equaliser in the 90th minute before Neymar and Kylian Mbappe combined to set up Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to score the winner for PSG.

Atletico’s Training Suspended 

The Atletico Madrid women’s team suspended their training after four more Covid-19 positive cases were found among members of the squad and staff. 

Atletico women will compete against Barcelona in the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals scheduled for 21 August. A friendly was cancelled last week after a positive case was detected on Friday. 

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The four members are in isolation at home and the remaining squad will continue to follow strict Covid-19 protocols. 

Two players of the men’s team -- forward Angel Correa and injured defender Sime Vrsaljko  -- also tested positive for the virus and will miss out the Champions League ‘Final Eight’ tournament in Lisbon. 

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