Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

Jurgen Klopp Happy About Discussions To Improve English Football After Project Big Picture Proposal; Doha To Host Final of Single Leg Asian Champions League and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): Jurgen Klopp happy 'Project Big Picture' kickstarted debate on how to improve English football | Doha to host single leg Asian Champions League final | Eight Montpellier players test positive for COVID-19 | Serie A teams need to co-operate and accept COVID-19 absences: Conte | Czech police detain 19 people over match-fixing.
Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool FC

Liverpool FC head coach Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp stated it is extremely important that clubs and stakeholders pursue discussions over improving English Football after the controversial ‘Project Big Picture’ proposal. 

The proposal would have made massive changes in English football and would financially help the 72 clubs in the EFL but the Premier League would be converted into an 18-team division instead of 20. It would also include special voting rights for the big six clubs in the Premier League. However, the proposal was rejected after criticism from several quarters.

Also Read | Silent, Inert or Watchful? What is the AIFF’s Game Plan to Address the Elephant in the I-League Room?

“It’s important we speak about it, there’s space for improvement within football,” Klopp told reporters. “A lot of times in life there must be a crisis to start people talking. I’m really happy that now we’re talking about it… All the people I know who are involved are concerned about football in general.

“It’s not a problem. There are things we can improve and I really think if you improve them now before the real problems arrive in the future, then that’s what I think people are trying to do,” he said. 

Doha to Host Single Leg ACL Final

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced that Doha, Qatar, will host the single leg final of Asian Champions League, set to take place on December 19. 

The Asian Champions League, originally scheduled to be held in March was suspended in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Last month, the west zone games were shifted to Qatar and then all the remaining games for East Zone, which were initially scheduled to take place in Malaysia, were also moved to Qatar by the AFC. The East Zone games will be held between November 18-13 after which the final will be held in Doha in the same city. 

Also Read | Mohammedan Sporting Beat Bhawanipore FC, Qualify for I-League 2020-21

“The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly made the decision on the venue for this year's final more complex particularly in these uncertain times of travel and health restrictions,” AFC general secretary Windsor John said in a statement.“In addition to the numerous restrictions, the AFC also wanted to protect the important principle of sporting fair play. This will be, unlike previous years, a one-off final and we therefore needed to ensure that there was no unfair advantage to one team or the other.”

Montpellier’s COVID-19 Crisis

The French Ligue 1 confirmed in statement that eight players along with four staff members at Montpellier have tested positive for Covid-19. 

The club has not disclosed the names of the players and have stated that 12 people have been kept under isolation and further tests have been conducted. 

Montpellier, who are ranked fifth in the table with 10 points from six games, have their next game against AS Monaco on Sunday. As per the regulations set by the French Football League, If the clubs do not have more positive cases, then the game will not be affected as the rules suggest that as long as 20 players and a goalkeeper out of a team of 30 tests negative the games can go ahead.  

Meanwhile, German club Hoffenheim on Friday also reported that two players tested positive for coronavirus after returning from international duty and the third player was also quarantined ahead of the match against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Saturday. 

Two players whose names were not disclosed had returned from International duty and did not have any contact with any teammates or staff of Hoffenheim. “A further Hoffenheim player is also in quarantine due to a COVID-19 case in his immediate family,” the club said in a statement.

Serie A Teams’ Cooperation 

Serie A teams need to be cooperative and not be afraid of having weaker sides because of the number of Covid-19 cases, Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte said.

Inter will be playing without six players who are in quarantine currently after testing positive for Covid-19, but Conte said this is fate that has to be accepted by the team.

Also Read | Bikash Yumnam and India’s Fading Memory of Long Throw-In Maestros

Several other Serie A clubs, including Milan, have players who tested positive for the virus.

“We shall all have to be co-operative and proactive, accepting the situation as it stands,” Conte told reporters.

“Sport in general, and the country as a whole, is accepting it. It takes patience and goodwill.

“It seems a new complicated phase is returning, so we need unity to face this situation in the best possible way and move forward: stopping (the championship) would be disastrous,” he added. “There is no point in complaining about those who are absent or discussing who is losing out the most.”

Czech Police Charge 20 

The Czech police raided the country’s football association headquarters and has charged 20 people for fixing matches, the prosecutors and association officials said.

“The police have launched criminal proceedings against 20 people today... regarding an organised crime group active in corruption to fix results of football matches,” High State Prosecutor Lenka Bradacova.

Czech Football Association spokesman Michael Jurman said that a raid did take place.

“We can confirm that since the morning, the police have acted, including a search at the association headquarters,” Jurman said. “We are providing the police with maximum cooperation,” he added.

News website Denik N had reported that the deputy chief of the Czech Football Association-- Roman Berbr’s name was in the list of people who were charged, however, Bradacova did not make comment on that.

Read more sports stories from Newsclick

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram