Championship club Wigan Athletic has become the first English club to fall into administration just four week after a Hong Kong-based organisation, headed by businessman Au Yeung Wai Kay, took over the club. Paul Stanley, Gerald Krasner and Dean Watson of insolvency firm Begbies Traynor were appointed as joint administrators of the club on July 1.
On Wednesday, the EFL confirmed that Wigan will be penalised with a 12-point deduction in the current season if they finish above the bottom three. If the Latics finish inside the relegation zone, they will be handed a 12-point deduction in their 2020-21 League One campaign.
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“Our immediate objectives are to ensure the club completes all its fixtures this season and to urgently find interested parties to save Wigan and the jobs of the people who work for the club,” Krasner said.
“Obviously the suspension of the Championship season due to COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the recent fortunes of the club,” he added. “Wigan Athletic has been a focal point and source of pride for the town since 1932 and anyone who is interested in buying this historic sporting institution should contact the joint administrators directly.”
With 50 points, Wigan are 14th in the Championship. There are eight points clear of the relegation zone with six matches to play.
India’s Bid to Host 2027 Asian Cup
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirmed India is among one of the five countries who have expressed interest in hosting the 2027 Asian Cup. The other countries are Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan.
“The AFC will now work with each Bidding Member Association on the delivery of the necessary bidding documentation in accordance with the bidding process and will announce the host for the 19th edition of the AFC Asian Cup in 2021,” it said in a statement.
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AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa expressed his gratitude towards the five member associations for demonstrating their support to the Asian Cup.
“On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to thank all our Member Associations for stepping forward to express their desire and for sharing our ambitions to host a world-class stage for our players, teams, officials and fans and I wish all of them the very best in the bidding process,” he said.
Among the five nations wanting to host, two nations have already hosted the tournament twice since it began in 1956. Qatar has staged the competition in 1988 and 2011 and Iran, the only nation in the history of Asian football to have won the crown twice, did it on home soil in 1968 and 1976.
India, who were recently handed the hosting rights for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, along with Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia are contending to stage the event for the very first time.
Griezmann in Tight Spot
FC Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann is struggling to retain his place in the playing XI, even as the club’s struggle to defend the title continued against Atletico on June 30. He was brought in as a substitute in the 90th minute against his former team. Barca eked out a 2-2 draw.
The World Cup-winning forward did not play in three of Barca’s six games after returning to action and also missed crucial trips to Sevilla and Celta Vigo, which also ended up in draws.
To make it worse, coach Quique Setien declared after the Atletico draw that bringing Griezmann on earlier in the game would not have helped the cause.
“It’s true that it’s not normal for a world champion to be brought on so late in the match. It can be hard for a player of his class, but the circumstances called for it,” Setien said. “You always hope that a player of his talent can win the game for you with an individual action. But I understand it is hard for him. Tomorrow I will speak to him about it. I won’t apologize, but I understand he may feel bad about it. I feel bad about it because he is a great player and person.”
Being the second most expensive player at Barca, Griezmann has scored only one league goal since Setien became the manager in January. He scored seven goals under Ernesto Valverde.
Orenburg Cancel Another Match
Russian top-flight team Orenburg cancelled the scheduled game against Ural after more cases of Covid-19 were confirmed at the club.
Last week, six players and two staff members tested positive for the deadly virus due to which the game against Krasnodar was called off. The league informed on July 1 that 10 players and staff members at Orenburg tested positive for coronavirus.
“Participation of the team in remaining matches will depend on the forthcoming tests.”
Six games are left in the ongoing season of the Russian league, which informed Orenburg, currently at the bottom of the table, to ensure the players and staff remain in quarantine. The Russian Top flight has had a rocky restart post coronavirus shutdown.
Rostov were badly defeated 10-1 by relegation-threatened Sochi after they were forced to field youth players because their entire team was held under quarantine.
Miedema Footballer of the Year
Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema was awarded the Football Writers’ Association Women’s Footballer of the Year. Miedema scored 16 goals in 14 appearances in the Women’s Super League season.
The 23-year old Holland forward missed out on the award with a single vote last year. She edged Chelsea forward Bethany England by just one vote this time to become the third FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year following Nikita Parris in 2019 and Fran Kirby in 2018.
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"This was a close-run decision because of the brilliant breakout season that Beth England had with the Lionesses and WSL champions Chelsea," said Jen O'Neill, chair of the FWA's women's subcommittee.
“However, Vivianne’s clinical efficiency in front of goal and her seemingly effortless poise, can mean her all-round ability and footballing intelligence are sometimes overlooked. She is a worthy winner and a world-class performer, said Jen O'Neill.
“With more assists than any other WSL player this season, she is also a valuable creator of openings for teammates; dropping to collect the ball and playing in others, or making space with her movement,” she added.“Although a humble and laid-back character, she is also determined that the women’s game carries on breaking barriers, and she continues to co-author a series of children’s books to entertain and inspire young players in the Netherlands.”
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