Indian defender Pritam Kotal has, in collaboration with other current players, established a football academy to provide help to underprivileged footballers fearing that malnutrition could damage the future generation.
"I have seen boys not getting proper food pre and post-training. Even after training, they take meagre rations which are not enough for a budding footballer. It is going to be our loss, Indian football's loss," Kotal told the All Indian Football Federation.
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"Proper food besides training is the need of the hour for them. One day, when they mature enough, they'll handhold their juniors. This is a cyclic process to run the show seamlessly," he said.
The 26-year old footballer has played 36 internationals and recalls that he himself faced many challenges and worked very hard to reach where he is today.
“I faced hardship during my childhood. I wish no one faces the same. That's the reason behind my tiny efforts to lend a hand towards them who need an extra bit of push,” he said.
"We were fortunate enough to get support from our seniors. If we don't give it back to those who need it, then honestly, we don't deserve to be here where we are today."
Theatre Restores Crowd Noise for QPR
The largest theatrical sound company in the UK, Autograph has combined efforts with Queens Park Rangers to restore crowd noise by experimenting with simulation inside Loftus Road.
Autograph established their name over the last 40 years having worked with theatres like the Royal Opera House, the National Theatre and the Royal Court. As their regular venues are closed due to the lockdown, they decided to use this opportunity to try something new.
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“We had a lot of equipment come back to us that would otherwise have been out on shows,” the company’s hire manager, Will McGonagle said. “Our chairman, who is a huge Manchester United fan as well as a huge cricket fan, came up with the idea of giving it a go.”
“It started as a passion project but it quickly evolved into something that might offer some help to the teams as it was going to be so weird playing in a silent stadium,” he added.
Ih the first match of QRP against Barnsley post lockdown, the team adopted a very cautious approach. “The game itself was quite bitty,” McGonagle said. “We didn’t want to be too obtrusive in the first game, but we proved the concept. We were often doing the chants after the ball had gone out of play so as not to interfere with the momentum because there was a lot of coaching and you could tell the players really needed to hear those instructions.”
As McGonagle has been a QPR fan, it helped him envisage the threats and it worked out in his favour.
“It took a bit of getting used to for the players,” head of operations for QPR, Josh Scott said. “But the beauty of this system is the ability to tailor the noise and adjust it. Compared to Sunday’s game at Middlesbrough – when they played some generic noise at the same level through a crackly PA system – ours definitely provides a psychological benefit as the volume and intensity can be increased from different parts of the ground, for example at a corner.”
ECB to Mandate Boardroom Diversity
A footballer’s demands have been answered by cricket. If you feel a sense of unease at reading that sentence, brace up. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have to mandate black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) inclusion at boardroom level. Their announcement comes after former England striker Eni Aluko’s demand for a 30 percent leadership role in sports to the ethnic minorities.
ECB chief executive, Tom Harrison acknowledged that cricket indeed does have ‘very difficult truths to face’ and highlighted the lack of involvement with the African-Caribbean community. The ECB board said they will now ensure to increase the ethenic diversity as early as possible.
Merely 4 percent of people for black or Asian background acquire a governance role in cricket. Although the ECB has not given out a target number, Harrison has declared that they will go through the Sport England code of government, review and determine the targets.
“We have made strong strides in many areas to become a more inclusive and diverse sport but we realise there is a great deal more to do,” he said.
Football for once lags behind. Aluko provided more evidence to the digital, culture, media and sport select committee inquiry and clearly stated that more needs to be done for BAME representation at senior levels of football .
“I take heart in the fact we have progressed in terms of representation on the pitch … but there’s still some issues at boardroom level and in senior management,” she said. “When we are looking for the best talent are we fishing in a wide enough pool or doing what we’ve always done? People that we all know and all look like us?,” she said.
Another Romanian Referee COVID-19 Positive
The Romanian football federation (FRF) have confirmed another referee tested positive for coronavirus. This takes the total number of referees testing positive in the league to three.
The FRF stated that those who were in contact with the referee in the past few days have been put under isolation and will be tested again before they are allowed to conduct matches this season.
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Robert Avram, the referee incharge of the top flight match between Dinamo Bucharest and Sepsi OSK on June 21 and Lulian who officiated the game between Academica Clinceni and Sepsi OSK on July 1 were also Covid-19 positive.
However, despite these cases, The FRF decided to go ahead with the games and said to postpone any matches at this stage is not required.
David James Seeks Coaching Role
Former Liverpool and England goalkeeper David James has expressed an interest in seeking a coaching role in England.
The 49-year old James, who also coached the Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League (ISL) wants to now look for opportunities close to home.
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Impressed by Raheem Sterling’s comments about under-representation in coaching roles amongst the BAME community, James said, “Solely looking at Raheem’s comments, I think someone has to be looking into opportunities that are available.”
“It’s not just saying there are 92 clubs and 92 jobs available, so there should be X amount of positions available for Black or Asian coaches. The question is how many qualified coaches from that community are there?” he added.
“The British population, it’s something like 15 or 20 percent non-white. So, like in football, would you expect around 15 or 20 in coaching positions in football?”
“I’m not sure the data exists but how many qualified coaches are there to fill those roles? Out of those, how many actually go for those positions?” said James.“I’m a Pro Licence holder and I’m now considering looking for jobs with regards to management in English football, whereas I haven’t in the past. I might be one of those statistics that hadn’t applied for something.”
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