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Premier League Clubs to Boycott Firms That Incite Hatred; Olympian Syed Shahid Hakim Tests Positive For COVID-19 and More (Football Round-up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): Premier League Clubs move to boycott advertising with firms that 'fuel hatred' | Former India footballer Syed Shahid Hakim, who played in the 1960 Olympics, struggles after testing positive for coronavirus | Marcus Rashford receives honorary doctorate for work against child poverty | FIFA World Cup 2022: Four games a day to be played in group stage in Qatar | Calls to arrest former Afghan football boss after sex-abuse life ban.
Premier League clubs stand united against online racism via social media

The Premier League, with an aim to fight against online abuse, is mulling advertising boycotts of companies that do not promote inclusion and diversity. 

EFL and the English top flight clubs are in talks with the pressure group Stop Funding Hate with the prospect to sign with the Conscious Advertising Network (CAN) that aims at stopping advertisers funding companies that ‘fuel hatred’.

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This move was followed by the arrest of a 12-year-old boy this week over racist messages sent to Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace on Instagram. 

The Stop Hate for Profit Campaign in the United States has come forward to promote an ethical approach towards advertising. In the past month, over 100 US companies have halted their advertisement on Facebook due to failure to handle hate speech on the platform. Facebook has notified that it is working on the removal of hate speech. 

Meanwhile, the English football establishment is engaged in its own war against the tech companies regarding abuse. The negotiations with social media companies have not managed any change in policy so far.  

Premier League CEO, Richard Master stated, “Tackling this issue must be a priority.” The Professional Footballers’ Association demanded a stronger power to control the media regulator, Ofcom to regulate social media.

SS Hakim Contracts Covid-19 

Former Indian football team player Syed Shahid Hakim tested positive for coronavirus and is undergoing treatment at a quarantine centre in Hyderabad. 

Hakim, a Dhyan Chand award recipient who was a part of India’s team at the 1960 Rome Olympics, confirmed of his condition on July 15. 

"Yes, I have tested positive for COVID-19 six days back and I am currently at a hotel in Hyderabad which has been converted into a quarantine centre by the state government,” he said.

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"I can sense improvement in my health in the last two days and hope that I will test negative soon and go back home in the coming few days," he added.

The 81-year-old former footballer stated that he fell sick after his visit to Gulbarga in Karnataka.

"I was having fever after visiting Gulbarga and I was taking medicine for fever. Later, I had an x-ray of my chest done and I was told that I had pneumonia,” he said. "Later, I was advised to undergo a test for COVID-19 and the result returned positive. It was six days back."

Hakim, after his playing career got over, became a referee and officiated in international matches till 1989. He later became a coach like his eminent father Syed Abdul Rahim, who is considered one of the greatest Indian football coaches. He also worked for the Sports Authority of India (SAI) as a Chief Project Director. 

Rashford to Receive Honorary Doctorate

Manchester United Striker Marcus Rashford will be the youngest beneficiary of an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester for his work against Child poverty. 

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Last month, Rashford received a lot of praise after he compelled the government in an open letter to the legislators, urging them to turn around the decision to not award free school meal vouchers to underprivileged children over the summer holidays in Britain. He further added that as a boy he relied on free school meals himself. 

“We still have a long way to go in the fight to combat child poverty in this country,” Rashford said, “but receiving recognition from your city means we are heading in the right direction and that means a lot. Thank you to the University of Manchester.”

The 22-year old striker has also helped raise $25 million (20 million pounds) with a poverty and food waste charity FareShare to provide meals to vulnerable families during the coronavirus pandemic. 

FIFA World Cup Match Schedule 

FIFA announced that four games will be held in a day at the group stage of  2022 World Cup in Qatar. The group matches will be played in a period of 12 days. The venues are yet to be decided and will be fixed after the final draw in March 2022. 

The match schedule for the first World Cup to be held in November-December will commence at 1 p.m. (10:00 GMT), 4 p.m. (13:00 GMT), 7 p.m. (16:00 GMT) and 10 p.m. (19:00 GMT).

The opening game on November 21 will take place at Al Bayt Stadium (60,000 capacity) with a unique tent style covering and the final match scheduled at Lusail Stadium with a capacity of 80,000. Lusail will also host one of the semifinals. 

Colin Smith, the Chief Tournaments and Event Officer of FIFA said, “The World Cup is always a festival of football, a real celebration for the fans who come on-site and watch. In Qatar, with the compact nature, this is going to be amplified even more with 32 teams and 32 sets of supporters all in and around Doha.”

Tournament is set to use eight venues in the vicinity of Doha and will be concluded in 28 days instead of 32 unlike the last World Cup in Russia. With the stadiums being within a 30 mile radius, teams and fans will not need to worry about transportation in Qatar. 

Demand To Arrest Former Afghan Football Boss 

Afghan women footballers demanded the arrest of the absconding former football chief Keramuddin Karim after he was banned for life for sexual abuse. 

After being found guilty of assaulting a number of Afgani female footballers last year, Karim was handed a life ban and a fine of $1 million by FIFA. 

On July 14, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld FIFA’s judgement holding Karim guilty of violating basic human rights and “damaging the mental and physical dignity and integrity of young female players."

CAS, the highest court in sport, said in a statement, "With his appalling acts, he had destroyed not only their careers, but severely damaged their lives."

Previously Karim had denied the allegations levelled against him and called it a ‘conspiracy’. He has been on the loose since last year when the Afghan authorities issued a warrant for his arrest. 

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