Connect with us

Football

Aston Villa Return to Premier League with Triumph Over Derby County

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

aston villa

Last updated on May 30th, 2019

Aston Villa have confirmed a place in the Premier League next season, after defeating Derby County 2-1 in the Championship playoff at Wembley stadium on Monday.

Dutch international Anwar El Ghazi netted past goalkeeper Kelle Roos in the closing minutes of the first half, giving Villa a 1-0 lead at the half-time break.

The club carrying good form scored once again in the 59th minute, after Roos’s howler allowed John McGinn to head the ball for the second goal (2-0).

Though Derby showed signs of life by scoring in the 81st minute via Martyn Waghorn, but it was too-little-too-late for the club to draw anything from the game.

“The fans are amazing,” El Ghazi said on Sky Sports about the Wembley crowd shortly after the final whistle. “If you can score there it’s unbelievable, it’s a dream that comes true for me. It’s not me that scored, the whole team scored, the fans scored, Aston Villa scored, we did it all together throughout the whole season.”

The victory implies not only the promotion to England’s top-flight league, but also more than a handful of financial benefits. As per Deloitte’s Sports Business Group., Villa is set to garner $215 million only as a result of broadcasting and commercial revenue with promotion to the top-tier.

As per the Championship format, teams ranked third to sixth fight for a place in the top-division every year. Villa, who finished fifth in the league, won a nerve wrecking contest on penalties against West Bromwich Albion to register a place in the playoff-final, where they defeated County.

Victory over Derby also marks overcoming a disappointment of losing to Fulham last year at the same stage. Fulham, however, have been relegated this year after finishing 19th in the league.

“Promotion to the Premier League provides clubs with the financial resources to make strategic investments both on and off the pitch,” said Sam Boor, senior manager at Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.

Meanwhile, for Villa, the opportunity to be a part of the Premier League has come again after they were relegated in 2016.

Football

Racism in Football: Moussa Marega Walks Off the Pitch Without Support

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

Racism in Football, Moussa Marega

Racism in football is an epidemic, for which a proper vaccine has still not been found for complete eradication. Fans have been carrying the infection to stadiums, along with the sport spirit and support for their teams. At the Estádio D Afonso Henriques stadium on Sunday, a similar virus made its space, leaving the FC Porto striker Moussa Marega furious.

Subjected to racial abuse from opposition fans in home ground, Marega walked off the pitch midway a match of Primeira Liga against Vitoria de Guimaraes. The forward hit the net at the 60th minute, which turned out to be the match-winning goal. He was seen celebrating by pointing his skin color in front of a section of the stadium, following which the home supporters immediately started throwing objects from the stands, including chairs.

Reports also revealed that there were constant monkey chants, which began during the warm up and were clearly audible throughout the game. Visibly frustrated by the crowd’s behaviour, Moussa Marega called for substitution in the 69th minute. The play halted for three minutes, as the teammates tried to restrain the Mali international from walking off the field and attempted to calm him down.

Later on his Instagram account, Marega called the people coming to the stadium to make racist chants, “idiots”. Besides, he also thanked “the referees for not defending me and for giving me a yellow card for defending the colour of my skin”.

The Porto players were also widely criticized for failing to show solidarity with their teammate, who became a victim to racial abuse. Many stated that instead of convincing the player to stay and endure the pain of racism in football, the team players should rather walk off along with him.

A correspondent at Associated Press, Rob Harris wrote on Twitter that it was “shocking” to witness how the Marega’s fellow mates prevented him from walking off the pitch.

Besides, a columnist at Daily Mirror, Darren Lewis shared a video by CNN on his Twitter account, showing the Liverpool player Georginio Wijnaldum’s explanation on how “we wrongly prioritise the game over players’ dignity” and why “team-mates should not stop them walking off”.

Players of the FC Porto couldn’t stop the Mali international, who gestured with his thumbs down and put his middle fingers up at the crowd amid a chorus of boos, as he left the field. The issue escalated to a national uproar, where the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa and President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also put their thoughts forward.

PM Costa called the incident “unacceptable” and said that “no human being should be subjected to this humiliation”. He wrote on Twitter, “Any and all acts of racism are criminal and intolerable.”

President Sousa also said that he “vehemently condemns any display of racism”. He also specified, “Portugal’s Constitution very clearly condemns racism, as well as any other forms of xenophobia and discrimination.”

Portuguese police informed that the investigation against the racism in football match on Sunday were in place, and that it “is taking the necessary steps to identify the suspects who committed the criminal offenses and administrative offenses”.

At the post-match press conference, the Porto manager Sérgio Conceição chose to address the racism directed toward his player, instead of his team’s 2-1 win. “We are a family, regardless of nationality, regardless of skin color, height, hair color. We are a family, we are human and we deserve respect. For me, what happened here is shameful. Just shameful,” he said.

Racism in football has become a normal practice, where fans in stadiums, people on the social media, as well as fellow players have been indecent towards the minority of soccer players of colour. Although various measures have been taken in the past, the practice still maintains its place in corners of the football world.

Continue Reading

Football

Gulf Money Fails to Protect Man City from Facing Champions League Ban

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

Manchester City, Man City, City, Sportswashing, Newcastle United, Manchester United, Mohammed bin Salman, Premier League, Champions League, CAS, Mansour bin Zayed, Amnesty International, Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz, Sheffield United, PSG, UEFA, Yemen war, Libya war,

Manchester City, the reigning champions of Premier League have been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons. On Friday, the UEFA in its decision announced that the club committed “serious breaches” of European soccer’s financial regulation. Ironically, for Manchester City fans, it was not quite the Valentine’s gift they had wished for.

The decision by the governing body in Europe informed that Man City have been found guilty on multiple counts of club licensing and financial fair play rules. The team has also been fined 30 million Euros.

The punishment is the harshest directive that UEFA has taken since it enforced financial fair play regulations. And it could further lead to City losing as much as $100 million a year, the amount pocketed for participation in the Champions League.

Manchester City, who see their final hope in appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport, said that they are “disappointed but not surprised” by the “prejudicial” decision and will appeal. However, CAS in its papers published recently had already claimed that City demeaned the ban by stating that leaks to media were “unlawful” and instead sought damages. The assertions have since been rejected by the senior UEFA official Yves Leterme, who stated them as “groundless” and “unacceptable in tone”.

The Gulf Money

Overhaul of Manchester City began with takeover by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed of Abu Dhabi in 2008. The club has since made record signings and won 4 Premier League titles. However, the attempt has been billed as sports-washing – an idealist attempt undertaken to deviate the attention towards sports so other major issues do not ignite negative perspective about the nation.

Presently, with Manchester City, various human rights groups including, Amnesty International have exposed how the Gulf nation is trying to garner attention towards sports, to hide its contributions in Yemen and Libya war. Football has made the United Arab Emirates (UAE) a West of the Middle East, despite multiple reports of human rights abuse.

The ideology of sports-washing has spread like a wildfire. The doctrine has also drawn Crown Prince of Saudi, Mohammed bin Salman, who has been reported on multiple instances for showcasing interest in Premier League’s most successful club, Manchester United.

On the other hand, the reports have also emerged on Saudi PIF looking forward to strike a deal with another Premier League Club, Newcastle United. The talks were reportedly at “advanced” stage last month, and businesswoman and financer Amanda Staveley, was actively involved in the mix.

The Rising Conflicts

Even without government funds, Saudi Arabia’s presence in Premier League is maintained by Sheffield United, which is owned by Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz al Saud. However, the club has been mired in controversy over its relatively cheap acquisition. And the former owner Kevin McCabe has lost all his rights to appeal. The Saudi Prince owns club worth approximately 124 million euros for just 12 million euros.

The controversy with miss-management has also reached out to another Gulf-owned club, Paris Saint-Germain. The French club has lately been on a spree of victories, but a recent on-field argument between Kylian Mbappé and club coach Thomas Tuchel, has raised questions over PSG’s appetite to retain the talented winger.

Today, football has become a game played by wealthy giants of the Gulf who have gone an extra-mile, seeking to cap players they desire, and Manchester City for that matter, serves as a prime example of the suit.

Continue Reading

Football

Worries Around PSG Mount Up with Increasing Internal Conflicts

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

Worries Around PSG Mount Up with Increasing Internal Conflicts

Last updated on February 9th, 2020

Qatar’s PSG has been able to attract greatest players since 2011, after the Arab nation acquired the club. Although this season the French champions are moving up the ladder of Ligue 1, they are also stepping down on the team’s unity.

The French football club has been winning each season of Ligue 1 since 2012-13, except one in 2016-17. This time too, it is leading the charts, standing 15 points clear of the second placed Olympique de Marseille. The French champions are also 58 points ahead after playing 23 games.

Despite the absence of one of its strongest players, Neymar, PSG was able to beat Nantes 2-1 away on Tuesday. The fears of losing boiled down, when Mauro Icardi hit the first goal right ahead of the half time. It became a victory as Thilo Kehrer found the back of the net in second half.

However, where the wins are perfect, the team spirit is on a vacation of turbulence. The Paris Saint-Germain is intertwined with internal conflicts and resentments, and a shade of it was seen in Saturday’s match against Montpellier HSC.

In the 68th minute of the match, the PSG forward Kylian Mbappé was replaced with Mauro Icardi by their coach Thomas Tuchel. While the French champions won by 5-0, a heated argument between Tuchel and the World Cup winner became the highlight.

Mbappé publicly displayed his disagreements over his playing time, leaving PSG with a looming danger. In a packed stadium on Saturday, the two were seen hand-cupping their mouths during the heated argument.

Despite being world’s second most-expensive footballer under the club, there have been suggestions that Mbappé has started to outgrow PSG. The growing differences between Thomas Tuchel and Kylian Mbappé are expected to push the 21-year-old away from signing a new contract with the Ligue 1 champions.

Mbappé is rather expected to move to Real Madrid, which has long remained interested in him. However, Tuchel said that he does not expect Mbappé to “use this situation as a reason to leave the club”.

Tuesday’s match at La Beaujoire came with additional issues, where Thomas Tuchel was frustrated over Neymar’s decision to hold a birthday party on Sunday, despite the rib injury that prevented him from playing.

Qatar’s takeover, 9 years back, made the French champions one of the wealthiest across the globe. With investments of millions, the club did become one of the best teams in Europe. The Arab Peninsular country, however, envisioned more than that.

Where the Arab nation has been trying to see PSG at the stature of other continental forces like Real Madrid and Barcelona, the French champions failed in making any significant progress. In the past three seasons of the Champions League, PSG didn’t manage to reach the quarter-finals.

In the last season, the club failed to reach the round of 16 after losing to Manchester United. Following the meagre results, Qatar turned doubtful and began planning to scale back its investments in PSG.

Lately, the French club has been hitting the net for victory, but at the same time is grappling with internal differences. Where the Arab nation has been venturing into upscaling PSG, the conflicts are on their way to put the club’s future in brackets.

Continue Reading

Football

Saudi’s Bid to Trade Newcastle Fortunes Amidst Sportswashing Calls

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

Saudi’s Bid to Trade Newcastle Fortunes Amidst Sportswashing Calls

Standing on cross roads, Premier League club Newcastle United awaits the much craved glory days and are reportedly “advanced ” in their bid to initiate a transformational journey. The route is much like that of Manchester City, which rose from the rags to being amongst the riches in their squad strength today.

The Newcastle takeover that comes at a price of £340m has drawn Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), already in talks with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley for the past several months. Besides, as sources state, the chances of an accord are “high” at this time, yet “complicated” and therefore, no assurance can be given. “Ashley does not need to sell, and he is unpredictable,” a source was quoted as saying.

The interest in acquisition comes as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MbS) vision to end Arab nation’s reliance on oil and become self-reliant. The doctrine that has seen MbS spending vividly on the entertainment sector and the Gulf monarchy hosting a number of sporting events. The likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz and many more, have been staged to perform in front of the Saudi audience.

However, more than self-reliance, the Newcastle acquisition has been linked to an effort by Saudi Arabia to match steps in the West with Abu Dhabi’s Manchester City. Match with the team taken over by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2008, which has spent billions to pocket world’s best players, renovate the training facilities, and turn the face of English Premier League.

Businesswoman and financer, Amanda Staveley has once again been involved in dealing of the soccer club, and is understood to have reached MbS about the potential purchase scheme of the club. She is currently eyeing 10 per cent of the club’s ownership, which would be owned in majority by PIF.

Reports last year said, Bin Zayed Group, representing the UAE billionaire Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had reached the consensus at Newcastle last year, but the takeover was never officially announced.

Newcastle has historically been one of the best attended clubs in Premier League, with each game drawing in 50,000 plus numbers last season, despite passable run. But little have the fans enjoyed, especially since Ashley took over in 2007.

Meanwhile, for Saudi Arabia, the more than potent presence in Premier League is still maintained by Sheffield United, which is owned by Saudi Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who took the club from Kevin McCabe last year. However, government funds were not involved in that transaction.

Other than Premier League, Businessman Turki al-Sheikh, the chairman of Saudi’s General Entertainment Authority, has bought Almeria in Spain’s second division.

Yet for PIF, to own a Premier League club would mark a huge achievement, or maybe even a replacement bid for Manchester United, which has been named several times in link to interest from Saudi Crown Prince. However, any approval to the deal is subject to approval from Premier League, which has already drawn in controversies.

Global Sports associations have been called out for being money-minded, whilst ignoring the country’s attempts to sportswash its human rights record. Amnesty International said, Saudi Arabia has “an appalling record on LGBT rights, women’s rights, extra-judicial killings, beheadings, the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and their involvement in the ongoing conflict in Yemen.”

Saudi Arabia has been on a spree of gathering worldwide attention, with record breaking announcements such as hosting of the Italian Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup, WWE, Dakar Rally and Formula One, which is set to host races from 2023. And now, with the possible takeover of Newcastle United, MbS’ tactics are washing the ground level reality.

Saudi is embarking on a journey that is sugar coated and has failed to answer why women’s rights activists are still jailed, why is it still involved in the killing of hundreds of Yemeni civilians, and how after marking losses for Premier league via its pirate pay television broadcaster, BeoutQ, it still managed to reach out seeking to buy one of the league’s clubs.

Continue Reading

Football

Matlock Town FC Player Jordan Sinnott Dies in Suspicious Incident

Mirror News Desk

Published

on

Matlock Town FC Player Jordan Sinnott Dies in Suspicious Incident

A non-league player on loan at Matlock Town FC, Jordan Sinnott died on Saturday evening after being attacked during a night out. He was found unconscious in Retford, Nottinghamshire, at about 02:00 a.m.

Sinnott suffered a suspected fractured skull and was taken to hospital in Sheffield. After being treated in a critical condition on Saturday, the 25-year-old midfielder gave up to his injuries.

Shortly after the incident, police arrested and questioned a 27-year-old man on suspicion of severe bodily harm, who remains in custody. Later, the detectives launched a murder investigation into the case, following “two large-scale disturbances” in the town.

“Mr Sinnott’s death is a sad and significant development in this investigation,” Detective Inspector Justine Wilson said. “Our investigative team’s focus will remain on identifying those responsible and bringing them to justice.”

The incident took place hours before Jordan Sinnott’s away match against Mickleover Sports. His team players found out about Sinnott’s condition after arriving for the match and “agreed it should be postponed to a future date”, said Matlock Town FC on Saturday.

Sinnott’s club also said that he was put on a life support machine and died shortly before 7:00 p.m. “His family and friends were with him at his bedside and we send our sincere condolences to them all at this very sad time,” it said.

Alfreton Town FC also postponed the matches because of “tragic and unforeseen circumstances”. Describing him as a “model footballer and an exceptional talent”, the club said it was “saddened and heartbroken”.

Jordan Sinnott, son of former footballer Lee Sinnott, joined the Matlock Town FC from National League North side Alfreton, on loan. As a youth player, he started his career at Huddersfield Town, making five appearances between 2013 and 2014, then joining non-league Altrincham FC.

Later, after his time at FC Halifax Town, he joined League Two Chesterfield for the 2017-18 season, playing in the Football League again.

The Matlock Town FC wrote on Twitter, “You weren’t just a footballer, you were our friend and brother. You gave us incredible memories and scored your first career hat-trick in your final game for the club. Rest easy Jordan, we love, miss and will never forget you.”

Jordan Sinnott’s death came after a “large-scale fight” between eight men and women in Grove Street on Friday, and another “large-scale disturbance” hours later. Two other men — a 44-year old man left with a suspected broken jaw and a 27-year old man suffered a suspected broken nose — were reportedly injured.

Football clubs are “devastated” after Sinnott’s death, while the authorities are investigating to fetch the truth behind the case.

Continue Reading

Trending