East Bengal's hopes of being a part of the Indian Super League (ISL) this season have been all but dashed as the organisers decided against adding new teams for the upcoming edition of the event.
Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL), who organise the ISL made clear in a meeting with club representatives that they would stick to just 10 teams and would not be floating tenders for new outfits.
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"East Bengal didn't have a chance after April because it takes time with so much of legalities and other important things involved," a source close to FSDL told PTI.
"From April till November they had more than six months but once they crossed that, there was no chance for East Bengal."
The club have refused to admit defeat though and insist that they could yet play in what will be the top tier of the country. "There was no official meeting. You can say these are all rumours. The door is still open for us, and we are in talks with a potential investor," an official from East Bengal said.
FSDL also assured everyone that the event will take place in India after a club representative had raised the possibility of taking the event abroad considering the ongoing situation in the country.
Xavi Tests positive for Coronavirus
Former FC Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez confirmed he tested positive for coronavirus but didn’t show any symptoms.
The 40-year-old is the latest name in the world of football to test positive for the coronavirus. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi, Juventus’ Paulo Dybala, Blaise Matuidi, and Daniele Rugani tested positive for coronavirus in the months of March just as the countries entered lockdown.
Xavi, who was reinstated as the manager of Qatar’s Al-Sadd on July 5, said he will self-isolate while his team prepares for the restart of the Qatar Stars League (QSL).
“Today I won’t be able to join my team on their comeback to the official competition. A few days ago, following the QSL protocol, I tested positive in the last Covid-19 test. Fortunately, I’m feeling ok, but I will be isolated until I am given the all-clear.”
PSG's Mbappe Injured
Kylian Mbappe’s participation in the UEFA Champions League remains doubtful after the striker suffered a serious ankle injury in the French Cup, the team announced on Saturday.
Mbappe suffered the injury in the first half of Friday's game after being tackled by Saint-Etienne captain Loic Perrin.
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After a series of tests, PSG revealed that the player had "a sprained right ankle with significant ligament damage".
The news comes as a major setback for PSG with Mbappe likely to sit out of the Champions League quarter-final against Atalanta in Lisbon.
"Everyone is worried. Everyone who saw the foul is worried. Of course, I'm worried," said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.
CSL Kicks Off
The Chinese Super League (CSL) held a minute's silence on Saturday before the first game of the season to commemorate people who lost their lives to the virus and to honour medical staff. Fixtures have restarted in the country after months of uncertainty about the league due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fabio Cannavaro’s reigning champions Guangzhou Evergrande faced the Cup winners Shanghai Shenhua in the opener.
In the games played yesterday, Wuhan Zall, the club from the city that was the place of origin of the pandemic, beat the newly promoted Qingdao Huanghai 2-0.
The opening match was played in an empty stadium in the city of Dalian, which alongside Suzhou are the venues for the entire season. A few security personnel and doctors wearing white coats were allowed in the stands to watch the game in order to recognise their efforts against the virus.
'Liverpool Not arrogant'
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has reacted sharply to criticism from Chelsea manager Frank Lampard after the Blues boss labelled the Premier League champions ‘arrogant’ following their game on Thursday.
After Liverpool's 5-3 victory, Lampard had a tiff with Klopp's assistant Pepijn Lijnders over a foul that was eventually awarded to Liverpool. From the resulting free kick, Trent Alexander-Arnold scored to double Liverpool’s lead.
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"Fair play to Liverpool Football Club, they've won the league, but also don't get too arrogant with it," Lampard said in a post-match interview.
Klopp rejected that suggestion and said Lampard should let any confrontations happen just in the 90 minutes go at full time.
"You cannot hit me and my bench with something like that because we are not arrogant," Klopp said.
“Frank was in a really competitive mood and I respect that a lot. You can pretty much, from my point of view, say what you want in a situation like that. For me, it’s after the game. It’s completely over. I have said a lot in the past because it is pure emotion. He came here to win the game or get a point to make sure of Champions League qualification. I respect that a lot.
“But what he has to learn is to finish it with the final whistle and he didn’t do that. Speaking after it like this is not OK. Frank has to learn. He has a lot of time to learn, he is a young coach. But he has to learn.
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