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Sunil Chhetri Urges Assistance for Flood-hit Assam; Punjab FC's Three-Window Transfer Ban Lifted by FIFA and More (Football Round-Up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): Flood-hit Assam needs our attention and assistance, says Indian football team striker Sunil Chhetri | FIFA lifts the transfer ban imposed on Punjab FC | Germany's FIFA World Cup winner Schuerrle announces retirement at 29 | FA Cup semis: Manchester City resume hostilities with Arsenal, Manchester United eye Chelsea sweep | Spectators could return to sporting events in England from October 1.
Assam floods 2020: Widespread destruction

More than 40 lakh in 26 districts of Assam have been displaced due to the floods and almost 90% of Kaziranga National park is reportedly submerged under water.

Sunil Chhetri, via his social media handle Friday, urged attention and assistance to the flood-hit state of Assam. Around 40 lakh people in 26 districts have been displaced due to the floods and almost 90% of Kaziranga National park is said to have been submerged under water. 

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Chettri took to twitter to seek the country’s attention and wrote, “Along with the prayers, Assam needs as much attention and help as possible to recover from the floods it is under.”

“There’s been considerable loss of life - both man and animal, and I can only sincerely hope that the numbers don’t rise,” he added. 

While Floods in Assam is a frequent occurrence during monsoon and has previously over the years has claimed lives of many, the government continues to struggle to seek new means to minimize the damage and the death toll caused by the natural disaster. 

FIFA Lifts Ban on Punjab FC

FIFA announced that the three-window transfer ban of Punjab FC for failing to pay dues of the North Macedonian player Hristijan Denkovski is lifted. 

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Formerly known as Minerva FC, the I-league club was given a three-window transfer ban by FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) for not paying the dues to Denkovski.  In a media release statement, the club said, "FIFA made the announcement via a letter to the club dated 13th July, stating that the restrictions on transfer of players had been lifted from Punjab FC." 

"RoundGlass Sports [new owners after buying stakes from Ranjit Bajaj] and Punjab FC are happy to have this matter cleared with FIFA. We have the highest regard for sportspersons and this case of delayed payment goes against our ethos of providing a springboard for promoting Sports and Football in the nation," said a spokesperson of the club

"We look forward to the upcoming season with renewed focus, as our players have continued to build on their skills with active training, following a meticulous home-training schedule designed by our international coaches and technical team," the spokesperson added.

Schurrle Retires at 29

Germany’s Former FIFA World Cup winner André Schürrle announced his retirement at the age of 29 after being unable to regain his form. 

On Wednesday, Schürrle's contract at Borussia Dortmund was conjointly terminated a year early. The 29-year old forward is known for scoring twice for Germany in the 7-1 win over Brazil in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup.

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After a successful term at Leverkusen, Schürrle joined Chelsea in 2013 before returning to Germany and joined Wolfsburg in 2015. 

Schurrle took to his Instagram and announced his retirement, "I want to let you know that I'm stepping away from playing professional football.On behalf of myself and my family I want to thank everybody who was a part of these phenomenal years! The support and love you shared with me was unbelievable and more than I could have ever asked for!”

"Now I'm ready and open for all the beautiful possibilities that are coming towards me," he added.

He also told Der Spiegel magazine,“I don’t need any more applause.” 

“you always have to play a certain role in the business, otherwise you will lose your job and you won’t get a new one,” he added. 

FA Cup Semis

The Wembley Stadium will host the two semifinals of the FA Cup -- Manchester City vs Arsenal and Manchester United vs Chelsea. 

Arsenal have been able to beat City just once in the last 10 years and Pep Guardiola's men have won the last seven meetings between the two with a cumulative score of 20-2.

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"I know that for elite clubs, respectful clubs like Liverpool, Man United and especially Arsenal, it is uncomfortable us being here," said Guardiola. "But they have to understand we deserve to be here."

On Sunday, the second match will take place between United and Chelsea. United recorded a one sided win against Chelsea this season and have won the last three times both the teams met before that.

Chelsea have already spruced up their attack signing Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech and are being considered as the biggest spenders at the Premier League spenders this season.

For both, winning a trophy is going to be the best way to set course for the next season.

Spectators Could Return in October

Spectators are likely to return to the stads in England from October 1, the government announced. Crowds were barred from entering stadiums since lockdown was imposed in March but that will ease in the autumn.

The world snooker championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre on July 31, the Glorious Goodwood horse racing festival on August 1, and two country cricket friendly matches, one of which is likely to be Surrey vs Middlesex at the Oval on July 26-27, are the ones which would be staged to test the social distancing norms by brining in spectators in limited numbers.

Other test events are also scheduled to follow the social distancing measures with the hope that a safe enough framework can be implemented before letting the spectators in .

“All of these measures should be done in a Covid secure way,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. 

“From October we intend to bring back audiences in stadia and allow conferences and other business events to recommence, again these changes must be done in a covid-secure way subject to the successful outcome of pilots.”

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