The coronavirus situation in both Goa and Kerala is considerably better than other states and therefore it is ‘favourable’ for the next season of the Indian Super League (ISL) to be hosted there.
The seventh season of the Indian Super League (ISL) is slated to be held behind closed doors from November to March. The competition will be restricted to two venues -- Goa and Kerala are the frontrunners for selection.
On Monday, club representatives and ISL organisers Football Sports Development Ltd (FSDL) discussed this in a meeting.
“The league will be held behind closed doors for sure and the dates are from November to March,” a source close to the ISL told PTI. “Kerala, Goa, West Bengal and Northeast were discussed as the likely states but Goa and Kerala can be said as the frontrunners at this point of time. The plan is to host in one or two states across multiple venues.”
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The coronavirus situation in both Goa and Kerala is considerably better than other states and therefore it is ‘favourable’ for the ISL to be hosted there.
“Everything has been and will be further discussed internally and ISL will work with the state governments and the central governments. Before going ahead with finalising the states and venues, they will look into the medical aspects, logistical aspects so as to create a conducive and healthy environment for everyone involved,” the source added. “Also what needs to be looked into are the Covid regulations in various states. It’s different in each state so they will look into the feasibility of conducting the ISL.”
The ISL has also approved four foreign player regulations (3+1), as recommended by the AIFF Executive committee from the 2021-22 season.
Kick4Life FC Announces Equal Pay
Football in Lesotho has taken the first steps towards gender parity in football, with Kick4Life FC becoming the world’s first top-flight club to fund men’s and women’s teams equally.
In a conversation with The Guardian’s Suzanne Wrack, the club women’s team coach Puky Ramokoatsi, said that this move hoped to serve as an example for a global shift. “The equal budget we’ve got is going to send a powerful message and give us a platform to expand our work in promoting our rights as women.” Ramokoatsi is the flagbearer of a club that has ever since its inception considered its message to be beyond football -- using the stage to challenge gender discrimination and empower women and girls.
With the pandemic leaving football across the world crippled, payuts, budget reductions and staff firings the norm, Kick4Life’s initiative is particularly significant. “These pressures are no reason to hold back,” their cofounder Steve Fleming said. “Quite the opposite; the same crisis has given rise to an epidemic of gender-based violence here and elsewhere. The responsibility of football is to inspire positive change.”
Fleming launched the club in 2005 after his brother Pete and he raised money for charity by dribbling a football 250 miles across Malawi.
Kick4Life’s women’s team, established in 2010 with just 4 girls, grew rapidly and helped found the Super League in 2015. Despite never harbouring ambition to have teams in the top flight, as the club grew that became a somewhat natural step. Their men’s and women’s teams compete at the top; the men in the Econet Premier League and the women in the Super League.
The club are self-sustaining but will look for a new £100,000 headline sponsor for the new season to compete competitively in both leagues.
‘Messi Will End His Career at Barca’
FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has bullishly stated that Lionel Messi wants to continue with the club till the end of his career dismissing reports that the Argentinian is no longer interested in renewing his contract.
"We are negotiating with many players but Messi has explained to us he wants to stay," Bartomeu told Spanish network Movistar. “And so we're going to enjoy him for much longer."
The conversation followed the Catalan club's 4-1 La Liga victory, but left them four points adrift in second place after Madrid matched their result with a gritty victory over Athletic Bilbao. Sergio Ramos’ penalty was the difference for the Madrid side.
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The game was not devoid of controversy though with VAR denying Athletic Bilbao a penalty barely after Ramos’ had scored the opener. The decision has sparked fury across the league, with many Barcelona players accusing referees of bias towards Real.
"I saw the game in Bilbao and although I don't like to say it, I'll repeat that VAR is not being used as it should be," Bartomeu chimed in. "Since the season returned after the Covid-19 crisis it has not been equal, that has been reflected in the results and it looks as if it always favours the same team."
Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said that he was ‘tired’ of the criticism leveled at his team while Ramos himself said “people shouldn’t be imagining things”.
COVID-19 Cases at Bulgarian Clubs
Over 20 players and officials from two Bulgarian top-flight clubs, FC Tsarsko Selo Sofia and PFC Cherno More Varna have tested positive for coronavirus and have been quarantined.
The development comes after Tsarsko Selo defender Martin Kavdanski played in their league game against Cherno More Varna on Thursday despite testing positive for the virus.
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The blunder was revealed to be a laboratory error which first conducted the players' tests and informed the clubs and Burgarian Football Union that all pre-match tests came negative. However, Tsarsko Selo said in a statement on Friday that Kavdanski had indeed tested positive for Covid-19 adding that the lab admitted it had made a mistake.
The club also said that three more players- Vaylo Ivanov, Iliya Dzhamov and Kiril Troharov tested positive for the virus after new tests. Reports by local media have stated that even the owner of Tsarsko Selo, Stoyne Manolov tested positive.
On Monday, Cherno More informed there have been 16 Covid-19 positive cases been hit at the club. “Unfortunately, the results found 16 positive samples,” the club said in a statement. “All players, who tested positive, are quarantined and we have taken the necessary precautions. We have notified the BFU's medical commission as well as the sports and technical department and we are waiting for their instructions.”
Former Bayern Doctor’s Dig at Pep
Former Bayern Munich team doctor Hans-Wilhelm Mueller-Wohlfahrt said he took the decision to leave the club in 2015 because of a spat he had with Pep Guardiola, the manager at the time.
"I couldn't put up with the fact that a young coach [Guardiola] -- who was very successful and who is probably one of the very, very big names -- interfered in medical matters and knew everything better than I did," Mueller-Wohlfahrt told broadcaster BR24.
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The 77-year-old German holds the reputation of being the world's top sports doctors, whose list of clients included retired sprinter Usain Bolt.
Mueller-Wohlfahrt started working with Bayern in 1977, but resigned without any prior notice five years ago. At the time, he said it was because then-Bayern coach Guardiola put the blame for the team’s defeat in a Champions League tie to Porto on the medical department.
Mueller-Wohlfahrt calls his time at Bayern under Guardiola as a "black spot” but also said the pair have buried the hatchet since. "We have met since and talked things over. It's over now," he added.
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