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Newcastle Fans Sign Petition Seeking Reasons for Failed Takeover; Bundesliga Ready for Return of Fans if Government Gives Go Ahead and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): More than 70,000 Newcastle fans signed petition demanding answers about the failed takeover attempt | Bundesliga ready for allow fans back in stadiums if authorities approve | Former Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas retires | Hosting U-17 World Cup can transform women's game in the country: FIFA official | Classes could wait but Mistu da's training sessions couldn't: Indian Defender Pritam Kotal.
New Castle United fans

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) hopes the petition will open up conversations and force the Premier League divulge reasons for the failed takeover bid by a Saudi consortium.

More than 70,000 Newcastle fans have signed a petition asking the Premier League to explain why the Saudi Arabian-led takeover of the club was stopped.

Former players including former England midfielder Rob Lee, have lended their support to the initiative asking people to sign the petition.

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Sources have said the £300m deal is not dead yet, intensifying the pressure on Premier League CEO Richard Masters to reveal more details.

The Newcastle United Supporters Trust (NUST) hopes the petition will open up conversations and force Masters to answer questions on why the buyout did not go through last week. A group led by the Saudi’s Public Investment Fund, Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley withdrew their offer to buy out Mike Ashley last week. Premier League stubbornness was among the reasons cited.

Martin Cruddace, CEO of the Reuben Brothers’ Arena Racing Company, which owns Newcastle’s Gosforth Park racecourse, said his employers were in the process of helping  Saudis establish a “hub of sporting excellence” in the North-East [of England]. “We would welcome any resurrection of talks and progress with the Premier League,” Cruddace said. “The Reuben brothers remain totally supportive of the deal should there be a way forward.”

Entry of Fans in Bundesliga

Germany’s first and second division football clubs have said they are prepared to allow spectators in stadiums next season provided the government gives the green light.

German Football League (DFL) CEO Christian Seifert said spectators and their admission in the stadiums will solely depend on political leaders who are to make a decision on this amid the Covid-19 crisis.

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“If and when fans will return to stadiums is not a decision for the DFL but for the political leaders,” Seifert told a news conference.

“The DFL does not expect or demand anything but we are preparing to take this small step (with fans in stadiums) when the time comes. Priority is not full stadiums but the health situation. We should not take unnecessary risks but we should also not capitulate and just expect it to go away.”

The health ministers of all the German states will meet next week to discuss the matter before the Bundesliga season starts on September 18.

Casillas Retires

Spain's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Iker Casillas has announced his retirement from professional football following a long spell on the sidelines while he recovered from heart disease.

Casillas, 39, won the European Championship twice for Spain and played more than 700 games for Real Madrid. He was the captain of the Spain side to win the World Cup in South Afric

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"Today is both one of the most important and most difficult days of my sporting life, the time to say goodbye has arrived," Casillas said on Twitter.

Casillas became a part of the Portuguese side Porto in 2015 after an emotional departure from Madrid but suffered a heart attack in May last year. 

His departure from Madrid was acrimonious at the time after a falling out with then coach Jose Mourinho, but the club paid tribute to the stalwart via a statement. "The best goalkeeper in the history of Real Madrid and Spanish football joined us at the age of 9. He was formed here and defended our shirt for 25 years, becoming one of our most emblematic captains of all time."

Significance of U-17 World Cup for India

Sara Booth, head of FIFA women’s competitions, has stated that hosting the U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2021 will play a major role in the transformation of the sport among girls in the country. 

Addressing an e-summit organised by Football Delhi Booth said that Delhi will experience a positive influence after staging the World Cup. She also commended the collaborative efforts by the state association and national federation for the improvement of infrastructure for women’s development. 

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India’s Dalima Chhibber explained that for the upliftment of women’s football in the country, football needs a better culture and further added things are looking way better than before. 

“We need to develop the culture of girl’s football at the club level as well as school and college level. Participation of girls in football has significantly grown in Delhi in the last few years and with new competitions, more girls will be encouraged to play football which was not the case when I started to play football in Delhi,” Chhibber said.

Kotal on Subrata Paul

India’s defender Pritam Kotal disclosed that he would bunk school to watch the glovework of  Subrata Paul from close quarters when the goalkeeper would train nearby.

In an Instagram live session with AIFF TV, Kotal said, “We used to come to know one or two days prior when Mistu da (Subrata Paul) would come to Uttarpara for practice. He was a rockstar then, everyone's hero. For me, my classes could wait but his training sessions couldn't.” 

“We used to nag and tease him a lot that we would score past him. Mistu da was kind enough to allow us a few shots after his training and those shooting practices were pure gold,” he said.

Pritam made his international debut while Paul was a captain in the qualifiers for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifier against Nepal. “Mistu-da has seen me since my childhood. He knows me more than anyone else and making my International debut under his captaincy is probably the perfect blessing that I could have ever expected.”

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