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Harry Hood: Former Celtic Striker Bids Adieu to World at 74

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Harry Hood

Harry Hood, the former Celtic forward died at the age of 74. Well-known for his goal scoring ability, the striker netted 123 goals in his 310 games for the club from 1969-1976.

Winning six league titles, four Scottish Cups and Two League Cup Winner’s medal, Hood was a live wire on the field. His best performance came in 1970-71 season when he scored 33 goals. The player, apart from Celtics, also played for Clyde, Sunderland, San Antonio Thunder, Motherwsell, and Queen of the South in his high-profile career.

Hood’s feat of scoring a hat-trick in an Old Firm derby, in the 1974 Scottish League semi-final is another major highlight of his playing days. The record was not repeated until Moussa Dembele achieved the same feat in September 2016.

Correspondingly, the striker also scored a winner in the 1971 Scottish Cup final in a 2-1 win over Rangers, and an opening goal in the final of the same cup in 1974, helping his team win 3-0 over Dundee United.

On the other hand, in his small managerial career, Hood managed Albion Rovers and Queen of the South. The striker returned to manage Queens in the summer of 1981, after they were promoted to the second division of then three divisions of the league.

“Celtic were blessed with exceptional, world-class strikers at that time, having won the European Cup two years previously, but Harry Hood offered something different to the rest. He had skill, poise and a touch of real class,” Celtic stated on the website. “He had the x-factor that helped the team win games, and in many ways he was the classic Celtic player,” the statement read.

Besides, his another club Clyde also recognized his efforts and inducted him twice into the club’s hall of fame.

During his football career, Hood also founded Lisni Pub company in 1969. The firm’s portfolio currently includes a wide range of hotels and pubs in Lanarkshire. The list also includes the likes of Daziel park Hotel in Motherwell and Angels Hotel in Uddingston.

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Matlock Town FC Player Jordan Sinnott Dies in Suspicious Incident

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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.

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New Report on FFP Exposes UAE’s Man City as a Sportswashing Tool

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New Report on FFP Exposes UAE’s Man City as a Sportswashing Tool

From rock bottom to epitome, Manchester City were once a team fighting to stay in the Premier League, but today they are pretty much the invincible juggernauts of the top-flight league. Their remarkable journey indeed took a lot, a lot of money to build the top-notch empire at the Etihad stadium.

As revealed by Guardian, Manchester City were found to have made unallowable submission to UEFA over financial fair play in 2014. And reportedly also did not make their bank statement available, the scenario that meant the payments from the sponsoring companies could not be seen.

In response, the club in fact issued their online back account that held the record from past 12 months to the spring of 2013. However, the missing information from 2012 or most part of 2013, which made up the financial account for FFP was reportedly missing.

As per the investigation reports, submission for the 2012 and 2013 financial year were questioned in relation to £118.75m in sponsorships from companies in Abu Dhabi. While club’s methodology of reaching the figure over transfer fees and the formation of two new companies was also rejected.

Following which, almost £60m was added to the losses made by the club, after UEFA found issues relating to accounting methods. The revelation against Man City FFP was brought forward by UEFA consultants, who also looked in to the further accounts and concluded that the club had made losses of €180m in 2012 and 2013, hugely overboard than the €45m FFP maximum deficit allowed, given the losses were covered by an owner.

It has been six years since it surfaced that Manchester City made alteration in their financial accounts and later agreed to a deal to restrict their spending limit. Yet the new report has revealed the exact sequence of events and figures, which was never been reported before.

Besides, after the UEFA carried out the investigation, scores of people in UEFA believed that the regulatory body needed to be stricter in 2014. While a staff member who worked on the FFP case is said to have left shortly after the case.

Fast forward to November 2018, Man City are once again called for over the board. The Etihad outfit this time came to light following the publication of accounts by Germany Daily Der Spiegel. The newspaper leaked internal Man City emails and documents, which conveyed that the club owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan has been largely pumping the money into club himself, a fact unknown to UEFA.

The “adjudicatory chamber” of UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) is currently looking into the possible allegations on Manchester City, and if the panel finds it true, it could lead to City being excluded from the next seasons Champions League.

According to the leaks, FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who was then-the head of UEFA was also personally involved in the City’s settlement in 2014.
The FFP regulations which made headway in 2010-11, were introduced to keep a check on the spending limit, so European clubs did not make huge losses. Under the norms, loss cannot be reduced by owners via putting in more millions using their commercial partnerships with companies associated to the club.

However, after the takeover in 2008 by Sheikh Mansour of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, the game has completely changed and taken a sharp turn towards Man City and their spending patterns.

The move has been linked to sportswashing – an idealist attempt undertaken to deviate the attention towards sports so other major issues do not ignite negative perspective about the nation.

In the present scenario with Manchester City, rights group including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have underlined how the United Arab Emirates (UAE) wants to hide its human rights violations and contributions to the menacing wars in Yemen and Libya, to lure the western investors. And City Football Group (CFG) – a holding company that administers association football clubs under the ownership of Abu Dhabi United Group (ADUG) – which owns/co-owns 8 different clubs across continents is using football as a reputation management tool across the world.

Does FFP make any difference to Manchester City’s approach? The answer is clearly no, because even after huge losses and breach of financial fair play, the club has kept signing star players like Riyad Mahrez. But it also clearly means that the pious game of football is in danger of being swept away by financial bosses like Sheikh Mansour, who look sinfully indulged to build UAE’s name whilst demeaning century-old clubs that are still running in lieu of the norms regulated by UEFA.

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Scottish FA Reports Footballers Heading Ball Prone to Dementia Illness

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Scottish FA Reports Footballers Heading Ball Prone to Dementia Illness

Last updated on January 18th, 2020

A serious revelation in the field of football can possibly change the way game is played, after reports by Scottish FA linked heading the football to dementia – a syndrome in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities.

As per the report, the Scottish FA’s ban to head football is to be applied in a matter of weeks on Under-12s in Scotland. The governing body which will become the first European nation to impose a restriction on head contact with football. However, such a ban is already in place in the United States since 2015.

Discussions first kicked off after the study was released in October, which concluded the first connections between former players and retrogressive symptoms of the disease. The Scottish FA’s doctor, John MacLean, who was part of the squad that learned about dementia, highlighted how ex-players are three-and-a-half times more likely to die of the disease.

Ironically, the case has been linked with the game that is often named for building tough mental and physical personalities. However, not all are convinced with how the two link up, because no solid proof still connects the heading ball to disease, to which the association doctors have said that restricting is only, but a common sense in the scenario.

“We can’t wait on the evidence one way or the other on heading. We need to take some sensible, pragmatic steps at the moment and that’s largely going to be about trying to reduce that overall burden, the overall times that young players head – and heading in training is much more common than in matches,” the doctors argued. Further explaining that their study was not designated to, and couldn’t even find out how the two are linkable.

Meanwhile, Gordon Smith, former chief executive of SFA, plaudit the Scottish FA ban while speaking on the BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme. He also said, young ones could still be taught, if lighter balls are used instead of traditional heavy weight balls.

Glasgow’s largest youth club also showed approval and welcomed the reports. While Giffnock Soccer Centre said that it has already banned heading of football across its smaller-sided squads. Hard to say how fast will the Scottish FA ban be accepted and eventually applied all across the world, but the first good step to make the game free from all possible injuries is already underway.

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Saudi Spanish Super Cup: Amnesty Calls for Release of Rights Activists

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Saudi Spanish Super Cup: Amnesty Calls for Release of Rights Activists

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has hailed the Saudi Super Cup as the revamped version of football tournament that has boosted the Spanish Super Cup. Besides, being billed as the tournament that brings in a lot money by Barcelona’s Manager Ernesto Valverde, the Spanish Cup in Saudi Arabia has made ground breaking headlines since its inception on Wednesday.

The completion that is now into its final stage will see Real Madrid face on Atletico Madrid in Sunday’s final, after Barcelona and Valencia came short in their respective semi-finals. However, on the sidelines of the tournament, Amnesty International activists protested outside the Saudi Embassy in Madrid, Wednesday.

The group of people lined up like a football team while holding scarves of each of the four clubs. They wore yellow t-shirts that called for the release of Saudi women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul, who has been detained for more than 600 days now. The protestants also urged people to “join our (their) team.”

On the route to become self-reliant, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has stated ideas to host major sporting events as part of Saudi Vision 2030, but they have often been labeled as attempts of ‘sportswashing’ – an activity that uses sports to refurbish a nation’s image.

As it turns out, some have stepped back from their decision to contest in the kingdom, while others have turned a blind eye to the issue.

“For decades in Saudi Arabia, women have been subjected to repressive laws that have imposed restrictions on their rights to travel independently, work or study, which limits various aspects of their lives,” Amnesty International said in a statement.

“Faced with this situation, many activists have raised their voices. One of them is Loujain al-Hathloul … one of 11 activists who are currently at risk of being sentenced to up to 20 all of them to be released immediately and their charges removed.”

The Spanish Super Cup’s move to Saudi Arabia also infuriated people in Spain, both because of the human rights abuse in the nation, and for overlooking the convenience of local fans to attend the matches.

The deal struck last year by Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) chief Luis Rubiales, reportedly gives them €120 million ($133M), to host the tournament for three years. While Barcelona and Real Madrid earn $7.8m each.

“We are not the ones organizing the competition, it’s organized by the Spanish Football Federation,” a Barcelona official told CNN when questioned on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. “We are the Copa del Rey finalist and winner of the Spanish League, so we have to participate along with the other three. We are aware there have been previous (human rights) incidents,” the official added.

Consequently, even if the presumed intentions of Saudi Arabia behind hosting global events is to become self-reliant, why does it still keep ignoring and abusing human rights?

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Diplomatic Gulf Crisis Denied Entry to the Football Stadiums

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Diplomatic Gulf Crisis Denied Entry to the Football Stadiums

The vast world of soccer has been influential enough to hit the political dynamics of certain countries, with some perfect strikes and other unexpected misses. The big game has recently been both a point of conflict and association between the tussling Gulf countries engulfed in regional crisis.

In 2017, the strong base of Gulf Cooperation Council’s six member countries was left with a grave crack, where Qatar was left on one side while Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the rest remained on the other. Since then, the diplomatic relations have been frequently teased with football kicks on several occasions, as the two are closely intertwined in the region.

For the first time since the embargo, which blocked Qatar’s airplanes from the skies of Gulf neighbours and sealed its only land border with Saudi, the GCC member countries put a step closer towards their lost friend during the Arabian Gulf Cup in October 2019.

Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Bahrain dispatched shock waves, as they allowed their teams to visit Qatar and play for the Gulf Cup. While the result based on diplomatic grounds is uncertain, Qatar was seen losing to Saudi Arabia on the soccer field in semi-finals.

Surprisingly, no shoes were thrown at the players, forcing us to recall when the United Arab Emirates lost the Asian Cup to Qatar in January 2019 and the Emirati fans tossed their footwear at the celebrating Qatari players. Besides, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also presented the team of Bahrain with the Gulf Cup on their win.

However, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the other hand, was identified using soccer as a tool to instigate regional rivalries, a few months before that. The international football governing body, FIFA asserted in September 2019 that a Saudi firm had been pirating the television stream of Qatari state-owned company beIN Sports.

Saudi Arabia’s pirate service beoutQ initially raised concerns and rage in 2018, when it stole and broadcasted the World Cup across the Middle East, costing the Qatari firm a fortune in lost revenues. Besides, no Saudi lawyer was willing to represent the case, where FIFA tried to sue beoutQ in Saudi courts.

In a matter of few months, the political passions appeared to be parting their ways with the Middle Eastern zeal for football. The unanticipated change became a clearer sky in December 2019, when a number of Saudi Arabian fans purchased tickets for a forbidden journey to Qatar only to support their team, Al Hilal in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup semi final.

However, the dark clouds continue to maintain their presence from more than two years over the diplomatic ties of the Gulf nations. Qatar was accused by the regional rivals of financing terrorism and interfering in their domestic affairs, but the little Arabian nation denied the allegations.

After the crisis erupted, the Emirati ministers were reported to be urging FIFA to snatch away Qatar’s hosting rights for the World Cup in 2022. A 50-page report by “Spinwatch: Public Interest Investigations” in 2018 revealed that the UAE was indulged in a well-financed lobby effort from 2011-2015 in London, initiating a campaign that intensified concerns over worker’s rights in Qatar and accused Qatari officials of paying extravagant bribes to attain the World Cup hosting rights.

Last month, Reuters reported that the United Arab Emirates had hired former US counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke as a consultant in 2008. The monarchy created a secret unit DREAD (Development Research Exploitation and Analysis Department) with his assistance, which came to be known as Project Raven in 2012.

In 2014, the Emirates also hired a former National Security Agency (NSA) analyst Lori Stroud, who joined the Project Raven, helping UAE in surveillance of other governments, militants and human rights activists critical of the monarchy. The unit reportedly hacked the computer systems of Qatari and FIFA officials to find damaging information about Qatar and its World Cup bid.

However, after years of conflict and cyber crime standoff with Qatar, the diplomatic tensions between the two sides lately appeared easing off too. In December, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia invited the Emir of Qatar to the annual GCC summit, signalling an end to the impasse. However, Sheikh Tamim decided to rather send his Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, indicating a stern and sovereign stance of the nation.

Although the Gulf countries are still besieged in a blockade conflict, the world’s most popular sport has somehow brought their people under the roof of a single stadium. While the Middle Eastern football fans continue to kick the regional conflict away, could we hope for the diplomatic relations to be reconcilable?

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