Lionel Messi will stay put at FC Barcelona, at least for one more year. While confirming the development, the Argentine superstar explained why he had expressed the wish to leave Barcelona, and why he has decided to stay with the club till his contract runs out at the end of next season.
Also Read | Gold Medal, Cold Reality: The Famed, Forsaken & Forlorn Heroes of Indian Football
The 33-year-old, who spent 20 years with the club, said he wanted to leave Barcelona in late August, via a free transfer. Barca refused to break the contract, which is set to run out in 2021, claiming that the time for making use of the free transfer clause -- included in Messi’s contract -- had expired in June, and that the Argentina international was just trying to find a way around it.
Messi, however, has come to terms with the fact that he has to stay at Camp Nou to avoid court drama, though what has transpired in the last few weeks have left him disheartened.
“When I communicated my wish to leave to my wife and children, it was a brutal drama,” Messi told Goal.com.
“The whole family began crying, my children did not want to leave Barcelona, nor did they want to change schools.”
Messi will now join the team in training under new coach Ronald Koeman as the club begins its quest to win the La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey in the upcoming season.
Racism in UK Football
Reports of racism and homophic slurs at football matches in Britain have witnessed an all time high since last year. The trend continued even after the season was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Kick It Out, an advocacy group that gathers data, the 2019/20 season recorded discrimation rising up to 42%, to 446 at professional games while the homophobic abuses doubled and with reports of racism rising by 53%.
The surge occurred after the Black Live Matter protests that caused public outrage. It has encouraged more people to willingly report abuses.
"There's a lot less stigma about reporting - in some ways that's very encouraging," a spokesman for Kick It Out, Rodney Kumar told the Thomson Reuters Foundation."But obviously it's quite alarming that we have seen pretty big increases when it comes to all manners of discrimination around football, which we do want to tackle."
Rodney highlighted that around half of the incidents of homophobia at matches were around groups singing derogatory and racially charged songs, while the other half were incidents of people hurling homophobic slurs.
"When you hear those chants it can be quite depressing," said Mike Homfray, the joint head of Everton LGBT+ supporters group Rainbow Toffees. "It's too easy to be drawn into this sort of behaviour."
Football Leaks Trial
The Football Leaks trial kicked off on September 4 with the Protuguese man, Rui Pinto, who was behind the website, expressing that he was proud to be a whistleblower in multi-million dollar dealings of European clubs.
The case is being heard at Central Criminal Court in Lisbon. The 31-year old pinto, a former history student, is facing 90 charges against him that include unauthorised access to data and attempted extortion.
Also Read | PUBGM Ban Set to Dent Growth Rate of eSports in India
“I don’t consider myself a hacker. I am a whistleblower… My work contributed to freedom of expression,” said Pinto, wearing an anti-coronavirus mask. “The revelations are serious and I’m proud, there’s no shame. I haven’t done anything for money,” added Pinto, who has previously called himself an anti-corruption campaigner.
The data from the Football Leaks indicated the involvement of a section of the richest and most eminent individuals in football, who have avoided tax by moving money offshore. The data also highlighted some rich individuals and organisations from West Asia and their influence in the sport.
La Liga’s TV Revenue Rises
The director for the international development of La Liga confirmed a 20% rise in the Spanish football league’s TV advertising revenue since the previous season after fans were not allowed into stadiums.
Oscar Mayo, International Development Director of La Liga disclosed that the Spanish football league earned revenue of around 110 million euros ($130 million) from short ads and sponsorships for the 2020-21 season.
“With strong viewership, companies keep us in their communication and marketing plans, even though they cut spending overall,” Mayo said.
The revenues from ads, short video snippets, logos aired and billboard modification by computer to display different brands in different regions along with broadcasting rights, have reached around 2.1 billion euros this year.
Bhutia Academy Launches App
Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools’ app, ‘enJogo’, was launched by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. The app is meant to ensure the academy kids are able to train and learn football even during the pandemic. Rijiju said the app would change how football training is done virtually because of the pandemic.
“Technology can revolutionize grassroots sports in India. The football training app enJogo’ from BBFS will enable young footballers across India to get access to proper online coaching to train remotely, which can also help in identifying talent from the remotest parts of country,” he said. “It has the potential to revolutionise football training in India.”
The ‘enJogo app’ has a library of in-built videos of drills with audio instructions for the user to workout with. The workouts are made for different age groups, and Bhutia said he would love to see the senior players to use the app too.
The app’s name is the shortened form of ‘enjoy football’. ‘Jogo’ comes from ‘Jogo Bonito’ which in Portuguese means ‘beautiful game’.
Read more sports stories from Newsclick