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Kashmir Hosts Mega Football Mela

The Kashmir Mega Football Tournament organised by Voice For Peace and Justice concluded in JKSC playground Sehpora with the FC Hyderia football club emerging as the winner. Several players from South Africa, Nigeria and other national, international football clubs participated in the tournament

Thirty-two teams across Kashmir participated in the Kashmir Mega Football Tournament organised by Voice For Peace and Justice. The final match was played between Sadam Tigers and Hyderia Football Club. Several players from South Africa, Nigeria and other National International Football clubs participated in the tournament.

Kashmir Hosts Mega Football Mela

The teams were introduced to the Divisional Officer Sports, NuzhatAra, International Footballer Mehrajud Din Wadoo, Socio-Political activist Sayim Mustafa and other renowned personalities.

Speaking at the event, international football player Mehrajud Din Wadoo thanked the winning squad and praised Voice for Peace and Justice for getting Kashmir’s youngsters involved in sports. “I’m pleased to see the youngsters here have such a passion for sports; if they receive the right instruction, these athletes will soon represent our country on national and international stages.

In his address to the players and spectators, Sheikh Minhaj, General Secretary of Voice for Peace and Justice, stated, “We are honoured to work for the engagement of youth in Jammu and Kashmir. We are determined to work for the eradication of the drug menace and protect our children from the alienated path.

Trophies along with mementoes, cash prizes and uniforms were distributed among the winners, runners ups and participants.

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Ronaldo Makes a Return Home

Manchester United have confirmed that they have re-signed Cristiano Ronaldo, 12 years after he left the club to join Real Madrid in 2009.

The 36-year-old has signed a two-year contract with the option of that being extended for a further year, the Manchester United website said on Tuesday evening, four days after informing they had agreed a fee with Juventus to bring the striker back to the club where he scored 118 goals in 292 appearances between 2003 and 2009.

“Manchester United is a club that has always had a special place in my heart, and I have been overwhelmed by all the messages I have received since the announcement on Friday.”

“I cannot wait to play at Old Trafford in front of a full stadium and see all the fans again. I’m looking forward to joining up with the team after the international games, and I hope we have a very successful season ahead,” said Ronaldo on the Manchester United website.

Meanwhile, Xinhua reported that coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was delighted at seeing Ronaldo return to Old Trafford.

“You run out of words to describe Cristiano. He is not only a marvellous player, but also a great human being. To have the desire and the ability to play at the top level for such a long period requires a very special person.”

“I have no doubt that he will continue to impress us all and his experience will be so vital for the younger players in the squad. Ronaldo’s return demonstrates the unique appeal of this club and I am absolutely delighted he is coming home to where it all started,” commented the coach.

Meanwhile, Welsh international winger Daniel James is on the verge of a move from Manchester United to Leeds United for around 20 million pounds.

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Liverpool Chelsea Ends in Draw; City Destroy Arsenal 5-0

Liverpool and Chelsea drew 1-1, although Chelsea defender Reece James was sent off on the stroke of halftime in a Saturday night Premier League match.

Chelsea took the lead in the 22nd minute through Kai Havartz’s looping header, but Liverpool hit back and Joel Matip hit the bar before James cleared Mohamed Salah’s shot off the line with his hand.

After James’ red card, Salah levelled from the penalty spot.

Both the Egyptian and Virgil van Dijk had shots well saved by Chelsea keeper Edouard Mendy after the break as Liverpool strived for a winner.

Former Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta suffered a miserable return to the Ethiad Stadium as his Arsenal team lost their third consecutive league game 5-0.

Arsenal were hoping to get a turning point after they made a 6-0 Carabao Cup win away to West Brom during the week, but it was soon dispelled with Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan heading past Bernd Leon in the seventh minute, Xinhua reports.

Ferran Torres doubled Man City’s lead in the 12th minute and things went from bad to worse for Arsenal when Granit Xhaka was sent off for a two-footed tackle 10 minutes before halftime.

Gabriel Jesus added a third after good word from Jack Grealish two minutes before the break and Rodri made it 4-0 early in the second half after a typical City passing move.

Torres then headed his second of the game to make it 5-0 in the closing minutes to complete Arsenal’s humiliation and after another display in which Arteta’s side was totally outclassed and had less than 20 per cent of possession. Arteta must now be worrying about his job.

Goals from Demarai Gray and a penalty from Dominic Calvert Lewin penalty saw Everton stop Brighton’s winning start to the season with a 2-0 away victory that gives Rafael Benitez seven points from nine on his return to Merseyside.

West Ham’s 100 per cent record also ended as Conor Gallagher scored Crystal Palace’s first two goals of the season in a 2-2 draw at the London Stadium.

Brentford remain unbeaten in their debut Premier League season after a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa after Ivan Toney put Brentford ahead in the seven minutes before Villa’s record signing Buendia Stati equalised six minutes later.

Norwich lost their third game in three as they went down 2-1 at home to Leicester, who have Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton to thank for their goals, while Teemu Pukki’s penalty on the stroke of halftime give his side hope.

There was late drama in Newcastle where Southampton equalised thanks to James Ward Prowe’s 96th minute penalty after the VAR spotted a trip on Adam Armstrong.

The game kicked into life after a goalless first half when Callum Wilson put Newcastle ahead only for Mohamed Elyounoussi to cancel it out. It looked as if Allan Saint-Maximin’s 90th minute goal would give Steve Bruce’s men three vital points, but the VAR had the final word.

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Kane to Stay at Tottenham for Summer

England forward Harry Kane announced on Wednesday that he will stay at Tottenham Hotspur for this summer. Kane’s announcement comes after a failed potential move to Manchester City for the 2021/22 season.

Kane has three years left on his deal with Tottenham. He had asked to leave the club this summer in search of a team with which he could win a trophy this season. But as things stand, Kane will remain with his boyhood club this season under a new coach in Portugal’s Nuno Espirito Santo.

“It was incredible to see the reception from the Spurs fans on Sunday and to read some of the messages of support I’ve had in the last few weeks [emoticon: clapping hands with football sign]. I will be staying at Tottenham this summer and will be 100% focused on helping the team achieve success. #COYS,” wrote Kane on Twitter.

The 28-year-old Kane played his first game of the season on Sunday, coming as substitute in Tottenham’s 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. Kane is second highest goal-scorer in Tottenham’s history with 221 goals, which is just 45 behind the record held by Jimmy Graves.

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Rashford Sidelined after Shoulder Injury

Manchester United and England striker Marcos Rashford has received an injury setback and it means he will miss the first two months of next season.

The 23-year-old, who was one of three England players subject to racist abuse after missing a penalty in Sunday’s European Championship final, will be out of action until the end of October as he needs an operation on a shoulder injury, reports Xinhua.

The injury hindered the forward in the second half of the last season and also in the European Championships and the decision has been taken to deal with it once and for all with an operation after he underwent a scan on Tuesday.

The news means he will be out of action for around 12 weeks, missing pre-season training and the first two months of the campaign.

Although Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho received online racist abuse after their misses in the penalty shootout in Sunday’s final against Italy, the three have also received the support of thousands of fans.

After a mural of Rashford was vandalised on Monday, the insults were covered up with many more messages in favour of the player and the mural was quickly repaired.

Rashford was already a popular figure in England due to his work in pressuring the UK government to ensure that underprivileged children continued to get free school meals during the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, Sancho on Tuesday completed a medical at Manchester United ahead of a move back to England from Borussia Dortmund.

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Spain Survive Switzerland in Penalties

Three-time European champions Spain needed to fight until the penalty shootout to see off 10-man Switzerland, reaching the Euro 2020 semifinals after a 4-2 verdict.

The teams were tied 1-1 after regulation time on Friday and the extra time too didn’t produce a result. But Spain finally wrapped it up by winning 3-1 on penalties, reports Xinhua.

Spain led after eight minutes when Jordi Alba’s low shot outside the box was deflected by Swiss midfielder Denis Zakaria’s leg, leaving goalkeeper Yann Sommer helpless.

Spain dominated all through in the second half but Switzerland, who stunned world champions France in penalty shootout to reach the quarterfinals for the first time, were desperate to find their way back through counterattacks.

In the 55th minute, Zakaria nearly cancelled his own goal but his shot was inches wide. Xherdan Shaqiri then nailed it as the Swiss captain calmly pushed Remo Freuler’s pass into net from close range in the 68th minute.

But Switzerland’s momentum was short-lived as Freuler was sent off in the 77th minute with a straight red card for a sliding challenge on Gerard Moreno.

Switzerland manager Vladimir Petkovic promptly made two changes and the 10-man team was tough enough to drag Spain into extra time.

Spain attacked with a vengeance, but Sommer, who blocked French strike Kylian Mbappe’s penalty shot last Monday, pushed himself forward by making amazing saves one after another.

In a dramatic penalty shootout, Spain captain Sergio Busquets stepped up first but hit the left post.

Although Rodri also missed the target as Sommer dived to the right to block the shot, Switzerland could not kill another giant as they missed three penalty shots and Mikel Oyarzabal scored the decider for Spain.

Spain will face Italy in London’s Wembley Stadium on July 6.

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SHAH HUZAIB: Rising Star of Indian Football

A young Kashmiri is not just doing the Union Territory proud, but the country altogether by winning global praise for his jaw-dropping football trick shots, many of which are viral on social media.

Shah Huzaib, a Class 12 student from Charar-Shareef area of Budgam district, became the first participant from Jammu and Kashmir in an international football trick-shot competition.

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Euros: Mount and Chilwell in Isolation

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell will miss England’s last Euro 2020 group match against the Czech Republic later on Tuesday, as both players have gone into self-isolation.

Hours before their last Group D clash, England announced that the pair must isolate “up to and including June 28” as the two Chelsea players have been confirmed as close contacts of their club teammate Billy Gilmour of Scotland, who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier, reports Xinhua.

England were forced to a 0-0 draw with Scotland in their second-round group match in London last Friday. Mount and Chilwell were seen embracing and talking with Gilmour after the match.

“Mount and Chilwell will isolate and train individually in private areas at England’s training base St. George’s Park, with the rest of the squad returning there after tonight’s fixture against Czech Republic at Wembley,” said the England team in a statement.

England have guaranteed a place in the last 16 ahead of their Tuesday’s match, but they need a win over the Czech Republic to qualify as Group D leaders.

Scotland revealed Gilmour’s positive test result on Monday morning and confirmed that the 20-year-old midfielder has been in self-isolation. But the rest of the squad was not identified as close contacts and would be available for Tuesday’s match with Croatia in Glasgow.

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LITE VIEW: Don’t let racism rain off the match

Still today that racism in sport rears its ugly head, and on Wednesday the target of that hatred was Yan Dhanda, the highest profile South Asian heritage footballer in the UK today. Working for decades we still haven’t been able to eliminate racism from the football pitch, the internet or society… writes veteran Labour MP from Southall Virendra Sharma

Virendra Sharma

As a younger man with a football obsessed son I remember taking him to matches and being shocked by what I heard. The most obscene racist language would come from every quarter sometimes and yet no one seemed to take issue. I am sure some bristled, but it was accepted by most, it did nothing but remind me what I had to fight for.

As my father fought for independence as part of the political movement in the 30s and 40s, I had to fight against the racism we saw on our streets practically every day.

Priti Patel

Still today that racism in sport rears its ugly head, and on Wednesday the target of that hatred was Yan Dhanda, the highest profile South Asian heritage footballer in the UK today. Working for decades we still haven’t been able to eliminate racism from the football pitch, the internet or society. Today’s awful words from Priti Patel, that the Black Lives Matter protests were “dreadful”, shows the lengths we still have to go to eliminate systemic racism from our country, never mind sport. Social media sites are the main source of this hatred today, not the stands, and the companies that run them have to take real action to clamp down on it. Parliament is already looking at how the law can be changed to make social media giants responsible for the content they host, and make possible, but action from the companies before they are forced to do something would be welcome.

Yan Dhanda

New generations of British South Asian talent are at risk of being put off joining teams and becoming public figures for the invective they see dished out today. Hatred online seems to be the easy option for some, but as a politician I have always prioritised dialogue over polarisation. A few weeks ago I hosted a meeting in Parliament with academics and policy makers, ‘Decolonising the British Curriculum’, and the hate was quick to come.

Many opined I hated Britain, others exhorted me to ‘return home’, none engaged with the idea that studying British History more closely or relooking at our existing narratives might be all the better for understanding Britain and her place in the world today.

So I urge everyone here to not let online hate continue unchallenged, to be more civil in their online dealings and turn the page on the racism that has for too long stained our beautiful sport.

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EFL Expects Spectators For Rescheduled Carabao Cup Final

This season’s Carabao Cup final has been rescheduled and will now take place on April 25 next year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the English Football League (EFL) has announced.

“It is the objective of the league to stage the final with as many supporters in attendance as possible and the decision has therefore been taken to move the final from its original date of Sunday 28 February 2021 to later in the year,” EFL said in a statement.

“The number of fans permitted will be dependent on government guidance in place at the time and it is hoped that moving the date to later in the year will give clubs and their fans the best opportunity to attend in person,” it added.

Supporters have not been able to attend matches in full capacity since March following the coronavirus outbreak, and recently large parts of UK returned to tiers which ban all fans from attending sporting events.

The competition is set to continue this week, with the quarter-finals to be played across December 22 and 23.

Also Read: India Suspends all flights from UK