Advertise

Minggu, 31 Juli 2011

German Cup: First Round full of surprises

The first round of the German Cup (DFB Pokal) has been played over the weekend with one match to be played tonight between 2.Bundesliga pacesetters Eintracht Branschweig and record champions FC Bayern München.

It has not been a good weekend for the top Bundesliga clubs. Already four clubs are out after losing against lower division rivals, while some had to struggle to move on. It started Friday night when ambitious fourth Division side RB Leipzig beat 2009 Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg 3-2. Then on Saturday third Division 1.FC Heidenheim won 2-1 against SV Werder Bremen, who have been a number of times to the cup final in recent years; while Bayer 04 Leverkusen lost 3-4 in extra-time against 2.Bundesliga side Dynamo Dresden after having been 3-0 up. On Sunday then third Division SpVgg Unterhaching won 3-2 against SC Freiburg.

Meanwhile on Sunday 1899 Hoffenheim needed extra-time to win 3-1 against sixth Division Germania Windeck, while FSV Mainz 05 just about beat fifth Division SVN Zweibrücken 2-1 in extra-time with a regular goal and penalty not given for the minnows. Earlier on Saturday FC Augsburg needed a late minute goal in extra-time to win 2-1 against third Division RW Oberhausen.

Defending champions FC Schalke 04 scored the biggest win of the opening round, a 11-1 win against seventh Division C Teningen; while Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund, who have had problems in the cup in recent years, won 3-0 against third Division SV Sandhausen.


DFB POKAL - Round 1 Results

RW Essen 4-3 Union Berlin (on penalties)
RB Leipzig 3-2 VfL Wolfsburg
1.FC Saarbrücken 1-3 Erzgebirge Aue (in extra-time)
Jahn Regensburg 1-3 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Wehen Wiesbaden 1-2 VfB Stuttgart
VfL Osnabrück 2-3 TSV 1860 München (in extra-time)
BFC Dynamo Berlin 0-3 1.FC Kaiserslautern
Hallescher FC 0-2 Eintracht Frankfurt
1.FC Heidenheim 2-1 SV Werder Bremen
Dynamo Dresden 4-3 Bayer 04 Leverkusen (in extra-time)
Eintracht Trier 2-1 FC St. Pauli
Arminia Bielefeld 1-5 1.FC Nürnberg
RW Ahlen 0-10 SC Paderborn 07
SV Babelsberg 03 0-2 MSV Duisburg
VfB Oldenburg 1-2 Hamburger SV
Holstein Kiel 3-0 FC Energie Cottbus
SV Sandhausen 0-3 Borussia Dortmund
Kickers Emden 1-5 FSV Frankfurt (in extra-time)
Hansa Rostock 3-5 VfL Bochum (on penalties)
RW Oberhausen 1-2 FC Augsburg (in extra-time)
FC Oberneuland 1-4 FC Ingolstadt
SpVgg Unterhaching 3-2 SC Freiburg
Karlsruher SC 3-1 Alemannia Aachen
Eimsbüttler TV 0-10 SpVgg Greuther Fürth
Anker Wismar 0-6 Hannover 96
ZFC Meuselwitz 0-4 Hertha BSC Berlin
Germania Windeck 1-3 1899 Hoffenheim (in extra-time)
FC Teningen 1-11 FC Schalke 04
Hessen Kassel 0-3 Fortuna Düsseldorf
SVN Zweibrücken 1-2 FSV Mainz 05 (in extra-time)
SC Wiedenbrück 2000 0-3 1.FC Köln
Eintracht Branschweig - FC Bayern München (on Monday evening)

U-16 SAFF Cup: Complete Fixtures out

The first-ever edition of the Under-16 boys South Asian Football Federation Championships (SAFF Cup) will be played from August 1 to 10, 2011 in Kathmandu Nepal. Earlier today the draw for the two groups of six teams each was carried out.

Our India Under-16 boys face Pakistan and the Maldives in Group A, while in Group B Sri Lanka take on hosts Nepal and Bangladesh. The matches will be played at Kathmandu's Dasrath Stadium for the next 10 days.

SAFF General Secretary Alberto Colaco is quite confident that this endeavour will mark a new beginning for SAFF in terms of conducting age group tournaments and said, "It's necessary to give a good exposure to the U-16 Boys before they participate in the AFC U-16 qualification."

"The condition in the SAFF regions are not ideal as compared to Europe. But, I know it's a good beginning and things will move ahead in right direction." Alberto added.

Meanwhile India Under-16 coach Thomas Joseph is quite confident of a good show from his boys and believes that his side will excel in the tournament.

"We have a balanced side and all the boys are good," Thomas said. "We have prepared very well for this tournament and will try to put our best forward right from the outset," Thomas further added.

Thomas also said, "The condition here are different but the boys are ready to deal with any situation." Some teams are a little weiry of the altitude which could be an issue for them.


FIXTURES

GROUP A
August 1: INDIA U16 - Pakistan U16
August 3: Maldives U16 - Pakistan U16
August 5: INDIA U16 - Maldives U16

GROUP B
August 2: Sri Lanka U16 - Bangladesh U16
August 4: Nepal U16 - Bangladesh U16
August 6: Sri Lanka U16 - Nepal U16

SEMIFINALS
August 8: Winner Group A - Runners-Up B
August 8: Winner Group B - Runners-Up A

FINAL PLACEMENT DAY
August 9: Third Placed Team Group A - Third Placed Team Group B
August 10: Loser of Semifinal 1 vs Loser of Semifinal 2
August 10: Winner of Semifinal 1 vs Winner of Semifinal 2

VIDEO: India - Football's Lost Frontier

This is a must watch for Indian football fans & those interested, but it is only the teaser of a documentary on Indian football through the eyes of the Indian owners of Queens Park Rangers FC, the Mittal family, and their association with the South Mumbai Junior Soccer Challenge.

The guys from Ad Hoc Films were lucky enough to uncover this story very late in the day. A fascinating account of a re-emerging interest in Indian football (considered by all the major clubs to be the last frontier of untapped talent) and the journey of two children plucked from the streets of Mumbai and flown to the UK to train with Premiership club QPR.


A must watch for all Indian football fans!


Sabtu, 30 Juli 2011

Sesa Football Academy felicitate former trainees

Goa's Sesa Football Academy last night felicitated three of their former Academy players - Micky Fernandes (Dempo SC), Rowilson Rodrigues (Dempo SC), Denzil Franco (Churchill Brothers SC) - who have now gone on to represent India at international level.

The three boys where part of the 2002 to 2006 batch and have gone on to play for some of the biggest clubs in India besides representing the nation at junior and senior level. The three were all awarded Rs 100,000 (1 lakh) as a friendly gesture from the company for the services to football.

All three footballers thanked Sesa Goa, the Academy administration and coaches for what they are today with former coach Vishwas Gaonkar coming in for special praise in having helped the players develop at a crucial time of their careers.

The Sesa Football Academy was started in 1999 following the closure of the senior team in 1998 after they did not reach the top tier of the National Football League. Since then the focus has been on development of young talent. In 2008 the Sesa Group added a senior team to the Academy still with a focus on youth talent, especially players who have gone through the Academy system to play in the Goa Professional League and the 2nd Division I-League.

The function was held at the Academy premises and was attended by the Sesa Goa MD P.K. Mukherjee, who himself has been a positive factor behind the Academy; Irishman Terry Phelan, SFA's chief mentor; Dr. Bhatikar, SFA's administrator-cum-physician; advisor Brahmanand Shankwalkar; former coach Vishwas Gaonkar; coaches Clifford Chukuwama, Anthony D'Sousa, Agostinho Antao and Ajay Acharya.

EPL side Queens Park Rangers set to be sold?

English Premier League newcomers Queens Park Ranger FC are in talks with a potential buyer. But not all stakeholders of the West London club are involved in the talks over the sale. The majority owner Bernie Ecclestone and minority stakeholder Flavio Briatore are said to be in talks with Air Asia chief Tony Fernandes, while another owner in Lakshmi N. Mittal's family is said not to be involved.

A press release from QPR yesterday said
On 4th March 2011 the Company (QPR Holdings Limited) announced that it was in preliminary discussions with a potential purchaser.
At the time the Takeover Panel confirmed that should those discussions result in an offer being made for the Company, the offer would be subject to the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the Code), even if such an offer was made after 2nd April 2011, being the date on which the Company ceased to be subject to the Code, due to it being de-listed 10 years previously.

The Company confirms that these discussions came to an end in March 2011.
Since the end of these discussions, the Company has entered into preliminary discussions with a different party and can confirm that these discussions and any subsequent transaction would not be subject to the Code.
Accordingly the Company confirms that it is no longer in an offer period for the purposes of the Code.


An offer of around 100 Million Pounds has come in from Tony Fernandes which the Ecclestone/Briatore are considering to accept. Earlier in the year the Mittal family had offered around 50 Million Pounds for a complete takeover of the club, but it had been turned down. Last year United Breweries Group chairman Vijay Mallya from India had made a lower bid for the then English Championships (Division 2), but only the Ecclestone/Briatore shares which the duo had turned it down.

Interesting to note about Tony Fernandes' interest is that over the last season he twice tried to buy east London side West Ham United, even saying he is a big Hammers fan; now he seems to have set his sight on their west London rivals after failing to land the Hammers.

With Queens Park Ranger not spending much in the transfer market after their return to the Premier League after 15 years a quick decision if the sale is done or not is needed, so if a new investor comes in he could splash some cash to strengthen Neil Warnock's team.

Under-16 SAFF Cup: India squad announced

The first-ever edition of the Under-16 boys South Asian Football Federation Championships (SAFF Cup) will be played from August 1 to 10, 2011 in Kathmandu Nepal. Six nations in Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and hosts Nepal are taking part. The two other SAFF members Afghanistan and Bhutan are not taking part.

The teams have now all arrived in Kathmandu ahead of the draw tomorrow. The six teams will be divided into two groups of three teams each with each team playing two matches in the group stage. The top two nations from each group move into the semifinals. On the final day there will be position matches, first the 5th/6th Place Playoff, then the 3rd Place Playoff and then the grand finale.

India have named a 23 player squad for the tournament after two months of preparations at the Assolna, Cuncolim and Chowgule College grounds in Goa. Coach Thomas Joseph has high expectations of his boys to deliver.


INDIA Under-16

Goalkeepers
Avinash Kumar Rao, Agiapal Singh, Supratim Bhattacharya

Defenders
Myron Sezie Mendes, Maibham Jimmy Singh, Aula Kanyeha, Suman Saha, Mohammed Sajid Dhoot, Sarthak Golui, Randhwa Sukhjit Singh, Nabin Rabha

Midfielders
Kamalpreet Singh, Harmanjot Singh, Nitin Jyal, Germanpreet Singh, Khiangte Lalramzauva, Lalrammuana, Raja Rawat, Daniel Lalhlimpuia

Strikers
Vanlalthlamuana, Vanlalduatsanga, Prokash Majumdar, Jagannath Oraon

Officials
Thomas Joseph (Coach), C.M. Ranjith (Manager-cum-Coach), Mario Aguair (Goalkeeper coach), Babu Sampath (Physio)

Jumat, 29 Juli 2011

PIO Netan Sansara signs contract in Cyprus

21 year old Player of Indian origin Netan Nico Sansara has joined Cypriot second division side PAEEK FC as the first-ever British Asian footballer to play on the island of Cyprus.

The former England Under-19 international is a strong and pacy left-back who can also play as a central defender. Born in Walsall, in the West Midlands, Sansara's grandfather was born in India, making Sansara eligible to represent India at international level, but due to the fact of still holding a British passport Netan is not eligible for India.

Netan had his first break in professional football with his home town club Walsall FC, for whom he made 40 appearances in League One. During this time, his performances culminated in him representing England at U-18 and U-19 level, making his debut against Holland at Yeovil Town's Huish Park.

After leaving Walsall FC, Netan played for Dundee FC (Scotland) and non-league club Corby Town, before making his move to Cyprus, marking an exciting new chapter in his still young career.

Upon signing for PAEEK, Netan stated his delight at the prospect of playing in Cyprus saying, "I had other offers this summer, but PAEEK is a great opportunity for me. After discussing my options with my father and my agent James Garley, I decided this is a great move for my career."

"It can be the catalyst to progress my career further. I feel fit, strong and ready to hit the ground running. We have a great opportunity to be promoted this season and I want to play a major role in making that happen," Netan added.

James Garley, Director and FA-licensed agent of Achieve, said, "This is an exciting move for Netan. He has great potential and we feel he can continue to develop whilst with PAEEK. We are proud of helping Netan to become the first British Asian player to ply his trade in Cyprus."

Netan still has a dream to one day play for India. If he can establish himself at PAEEK FC, maybe taking an Indian passport becomes an option if called for a trial with Team India.

AFC takes decision of the future

For the Asian Football Confederation life continues after their former president Mohammed bin Hammam has been banned for life by world football governing body FIFA.

AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong was present this week for the first meeting of the AFC Competitions Committee for the 2011-2015 term, which was held under the chairmanship of UAE's Yousef Al Serkal.

In his opening remarks, AFC Acting President Zhang Jilong told the members that organisation of competitions is the most important business of AFC. "Organising competitions is an integral part of AFC and we trust all of you to make it better," he said.

"I hope that all of us will work together with unity and solidarity for the development of Asian football," Jilong added.

A number of decisions were taken by the committee, which need to be ratified by the AFC Executive Committee to take effect.


The following are of interest to India

2012 AFC Challenge Cup - Nepal has been chosen to host the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup finals next year ahead of other bidders the Maldives and Palestine.

AFC Under-22 Championship - The AFC is creating a new tournament for Under-22 players on top of the continental Under-16 and Under-19 AFC Championships. The first edition of the biennial AFC U-22 Championship will be held in June 2013. The next edition of this competition in 2015 will serve as qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics. The format for the competition was also approved.

Other decisions taken:

AFC Asian Cup - A Task Force will be established to recommend a more competitive format for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

2014 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers - It was decided to use FIFA World Rankings to seed the teams for Round 4.

2012 London Olympics - The Round 4 playoff between three second-placed teams from Round 3 will be played in the neutral venue of Malaysia from March 25 to 29. The winning team of this playoff will play an African CAF representative for a place in the 2012 London Olympics.

VIDEO: Blackburn Rovers ad for Venky's

English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers are owned by the Indian company Venky's, who are a major producer of chicken products. Now this has been brought together by the Venky's in an ad which I find really funny. Watch & enjoy!

Here the link to the advert


Anwar feeling great to visit Coventry City FC

Mohun Bagan AC centre back Anwar, who is currently not part of Team India, is getting a feel of life as a player of English Championship side Coventry City FC due to the links of CCFC Asia with his former Academy Youth FC, Rurka Kalan in Punjab.

The defender is curtently visiting the Sky Blues for a fortnight as part of a special Asian partnership forged by the club's Associate Directors Jas Sandhu and Alan Malik, has been invited to take part in the interactive training session at the Ricoh Arena on Thursday afternoon. There Anwar could feel how life is like as a Coventry City star at the club's Family Fun Day.

After taking part in the fun day, Anwar will be in Coventry University Square at 4pm on later today to sign autographs and have photos taken with fans of Indian football. And there are said to be some in the Midlands.

So far Anwar has been seeing how the club's Academy and community projects are organised and also watched the friendly at Kettering.

And he is looking forward to getting a piece of the action on the Ricoh Arena turf.

"I am very excited," he said. "The team I play for in India is similar to Kettering. Coventry play at a different level."

"I have been made to feel very welcome here and I am enjoying seeing the differences between the game in India and in England."

"In India, a foul is given if you use your hand only slightly on your opponent. Here in England it is much more physical. Everyone is pushing and pulling."

He added: "I can't thank Coventry City enough for this amazing experience!"

"It is fantastic to have such an iconic figure over from India and this along with our engagement with the grass roots football and Coventry University are the first steps of what will be a truly inspiring and long term engagement with Asia," said Alan Malik.

"CCFC Asia is an initiative to bring together both the grass roots of Asian football with the Asian business community. India is our first target before looking at other countries within Asia," Alan Malik added.

Jas Sandhu added, "Alan and I are true Sky Blue fans and the opportunity to work with the club on the CCFC Asia initiative as both Associate directors and Coventry ambassadors is fantastic."

Kamis, 28 Juli 2011

VIDEO: India vs UAE match highlights

In tough conditions India came from being two goals down to draw the United Arab Emirates 2-2 in the second-leg of their 2014 FIFA World Cup - Asian Round 2 home-and-away qualifier at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi tonight.

Here the match highlights from Dubai Sports/Abu Dhabi Sports


India show spirit, hold UAE to 2-2 draw but out

Team India showed spirit to hold the United Arab Emirates to a 2-2 draw after having been down two goals in the second-leg of their 2014 FIFA World Cup - Asian Round 2 home-and-away qualifier at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi tonight. But the draw in unplayable conditions after heavy rains didn't help India as they went out 2-5 on aggregate. The dream of the next round of Asian qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil is over. The name of India will not be drawn on Saturday in the preliminary qualification draw in Brazil.

It rained heavily before, even during the game and conditions were difficult for both teams. One has to question why the match commissioner and referee allowed the game to start at all. To the left of the main stand close to the corner flag there wasn't just water on the ground, there was a mini pond of water.

India coped better with the underfoot conditions as UAE initially stumbled into the game as India did really to play the high and long ball was the only option on this field. Steven Dias on the right and Sunil Chhetri seemed to cope best with the conditions, but early chances where wasted. The UAE realised that they had to change their game and coped better as the half went on, but against the run of play took the lead in the 40th minute when striker Mohammed Al Shehhi headed in a cross past Karanjit Singh in goal.

India came back onto to the ground knowing they needed five goals to make the next round. Both teams slowed down due to the heavy underfoot conditions which didn't allow any combinations or usual ball play, often players would skid past the ball or the ball would abruptly stop. India continued to have more of the game, but again their few chances were wasted and the UAE made it two when their captain Mohamed Al Wehaibi scored in the 72nd minute of a beautiful long-ranger from the right.

But India did not give up and only a couple of minutes later youngsters Lalrindika Ralte and Jeje Lalpekhlua combined to reduce the deficit. Dika's left footed cross from the right was headed in by Jeje under the thunderous applause of the crowds. India made a late push for the equaliser and they were rewarded in the second minute of injury time when Gouramangi Singh scored with a shot inside the box after the UAE defence was unable to clear the ball. It ended 2-2 and this brought real joy to the fans who had braved the rains.

After the match coach Armando Colaco said, "This is the beginning of a new era in Indian football. When I backed the juniors, many had raised eyebrows. But the boys played a spirited game."

"Jeje is a strong boy. He just needs to make some minor adjustments to his game. And he is learning fast," Colaco added. "11 vs 11 could have been different," he lamented, referring to India's 3-0 loss in the first-leg.

"We always had a Plan B in place. The boys adopted fast to the conditions. We needed to run all over. The boys did that and that entertained the crowd," Colaco maintained.

UAE's Slovenian coach Srecko Katanec paid tribute to the Full House at the Ambedkar. "In UAE, we hardly get any crowd in a match. But here, the crowd inspired Team India to play to their potential. It's a positive sign no doubt."

India can surely take courage from the fact that the team came back from two goals down to draw against the Emirates plus once more the incredible crowd support at the Ambedkar Stadium, where people can out in numbers despite the heavy rains which lashed the capital. Especially towards the end when India did get twice onto the scoresheet it was vintage Ambedkar like in the Nehru Cups and AFC Challenge Cup.


MATCH STATS

INDIA 2-2 (0-1) United Arab Emirates - Goals: 0-1 Mohammed Al Shehhi (40'), 0-2 Mohamed Al Wehaibi (72'), 1-2 Jeje Lalpekhlua (74'), 2-2 Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh (90+2').

INDIA 23-Karanjit Singh; 16-Samir Naik, 19-Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, 3-Raju Eknath Gaekwad, 9-Syed Rahim Nabi; 12-Steven Benedic Dias (63' 20-Lalrindika Ralte), 8-Climax Lawrence [C], 21-Mehtab Hussain, 15-Clifford Miranda (84' 13-Jewel Raja Sheikh); 10-Jeje Lalpekhlua, 11-Sunil Chhetri
Substitutes: 1-Sandip Nandy, 22-Laxmikant Kattimani, 2-Harmanjot Singh Khabra, 4-Rowilson Rodrigues, 5-Valeriano Rebello, 6-Baljit Singh Sahni, 7-Lalkamal Bhowmick, 14-Mahesh Gawli, 17-Robert Lalthlamuana, 18-Sushil Kumar Singh

UAE 22-Humaid Khasaif; 2-Lashkari Ibrahim Ahmad (90' 6-Juma Al Saadi), 3-Murad Yousuf, 5-Abdulla Husain Alhammadi (88' 18-Faraj Abdalla), 7-Mohamed Al Wehaibi, 8-Hamdan Al Kamali, 9-Mohammed Al Shehhi, 11-Mubarak Alunaibi (76' 20-Salem Al Rejaibi), 15-Ismail Alhammadi, 16-Mubarak Ghanim, 17-Jaber Al Hammadi
Substitutes: 1-Majid Altawila Alsuwaidi, 12-Mohamed Alhosani, 4-Hamdan Al Hamdani, 10-Khamis Al Saadi, 13-Ahmed Husain Al Musabi, 14-Farhan Alfalasi, 19-Ahmad Ali Gharib, 23-Anbar Mubarak Alaraimi

Officials
Referee: Abdul Malik bin Abdul Bashir (Singapore)
Assistant Referees: Tang Yew Mun (Singapore), Lee Tzu Liang (Singapore)
4th Official: Loew Thiam Hoe (Singapore)

Bayern Munich to start scouting Indian talent

German Bundesliga giants FC Bayern Munich today announced plans for scouting talent in India through their FC Bayern Youth Cup which is for boys in the age group of 14 to 16 years of age. The FC Bayern Youth Cup, which will be hosted in numerous countries around the world, will be coming to New Delhi in October 2011.

Bayern Munich now have a nearly five year long relationship with India in which their teams have visited the country four times. In November/December 2005 the second team of FCB took part and won the IFA Shield, then in May 2008 German goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn played his final game for Bayern Munich infront of 125,000 at the Saltlake Stadium, in January 2009 the second team returned for a second visit to West Bengal playing in Kolkata and Siliguri and then in November 2010 the Bayern Munich Allstars played a charity match against the East Bengal Allstars which it won 10-3.

Asian players have played for the Bavarian giants. It all started in 1998 with Iranian striker Ali Daei, who was at the club for a season, before his fellow countryman Ali Karimi signed for them in 2005 to stay two season.

Now this summer Bayern Munich have joined the trend of German Bundesliga clubs having a Japanese player in their squad after the success of Shinji Kagawa at Borussia Dortmund. The Bavarians have signed teenage Japanese winger Takashi Usami from Gamba Osaka on a one year loan. Usami is seen as one of Japan's brightest young talents and they want to expand their ambit across Asia.

"Players from all over the world are in Europe nowadays, so why wouldn't we see Indians among their number in the next 5 or 6 years?" Paul Breitner commented on Monday at the launch of the FC Bayern Youth Cup, a series of international mini-pitch tournaments for 14 to 16-year-olds to be staged in a number of countries.

"India is growing incredibly fast, and that goes for its football too," FC Bayern acting board director commented Andreas Jung. “We're convinced India can become a very important market for this club. We can't guarantee uncovering a player capable of joining us as a professional, but it's well worth a try," Jung continued.

"However, the very first task is to lay down the foundations, and then we'll see how things develop," Jung advised. The FC Bayern Youth Cup represents the first step.

In October 2011, the club will organise a pilot tournament with club sponsors Audi and Adidas in New Delhi, with some 600 youths taking part. The very best will be invited to Munich in May 2012 for training and trial matches.

These kids could follow in the footsteps of six youngsters who were picked during the Bayern Allstars trip to Kolkata in November 2010, and who are currently spending two weeks at the clubs training facilities at the Säbener Strasse.

VIDEO: Nandkishore Patnaik, a pioneer in Women's Football

On English language TV news channel CNN-IBN I saw this interesting report about Nandkishore Patnaik from Orissa and his involved in the development of women's football in his state. Something really interesting and inspiring...

Here is the CNN-IBN report:


Argentina: New top division with 38 clubs

The organisation of South American club football often seems complex to people in other parts of the world, but now the Argentinian Football Association has announced plans to overhaul their domestic football leagues which will create one top division of 38 (!) clubs. The AFA plans are set to be implemented from the 2012/13 season onwards.

The AFA has decided to merge the two top divisions of the country into a 38 team league which will be split into two zones of 19 teams each in which bitter local rivals like River Plate and Boca Juniors from Buenos Aires will be kept apart. In a second stage 10 of these clubs will move into a Championship Round, while the rest of the teams will play to avoid relegation from the expanded top tier.

Currently the Argentinian club football year is divided into two halves - Apertura and Clausura in which two champions per season are crowned. Now the AFA wants to streamline the system, but also ensure TV rights income for the clubs.

The decision also means that River Plate Buenos Aires, who where relegated last month ( http://arunfoot.blogspot.com/2011/06/argentinas-river-plate-are-relegated.html Argentina's River Plate are relegated) for the first time from the top tier in their 110 year history, will be back amongst the best after a season in Nacional B.

Rabu, 27 Juli 2011

VIDEO: Brazilian Goalkeeper Kung Fu Kick

I saw something unbelievable on Internet just a while ago and wanted to share it with you. In a Brazilian youth match the Sport Recife goalkeeper Gustavo runs across to kick a Vasco da Gama player in the back, but a real Kung Fu kick which could have seriously injured or maybe even killed his opponent.

The match was stopped after the act and Gustavo has been suspended by his club. But criminal action might be taken against him for attempt to murder.


Here the video clip of the Kung Fu kick


India have a mountain to climb against the UAE

India go into the second-leg of their 2014 FIFA World Cup - Asian Round 2 home-and-away qualifier against the United Arab Emirates at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi tomorrow with a 0-3 deficit. The UAE were favoured to go through when we went into this tie, now it is even more likely with India having to score at least three goals to get into extra-time and if they concede it is nearly over.

India will have to forget what had happened on Saturday at the Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium in Al Ain City. In only four minutes left back Debabrata Roy and goalkeeper Subrata Pal were send off by the Qatari referee, but India only conceded one goal from open play in the 60 plus minutes with nine men. That is an achievement in itself, but India will tomorrow will have to push for an early goal and ensure that they don't concede early. One UAE goal and India have to score five and that looks unlikely.

It's surely Advantage UAE, then they go with a three-goal cushion into the tie, which by Team India Coach Armando Colaco's confession "is hard to overturn."

Nevertheless, as Armando Colaco pointed out, "India have little option but to go all out in the second-leg."

And added, "We need to attack but our defence needs to stay composed. At any stage, we can never afford to concede."

Armando will have to make forced changes. Karanjit Singh will replace Subrata Pal in goal, Syed Rahim Nabi moves into the left back position while Clifford Miranda takes his position on the left wing. Sandip Nandy and Harmanjot Singh Khabra will be the replacements for the two suspended players in the squad.

"It's a tough mountain to climb," Colaco maintained. "They are a quality side. But we are ready for the challenge," he said. Captain Climax Lawrence added, "Everything is possible in football." The fans will surely take inspiration from Climax's statement for sure and news out of Delhi is the Ambedkar Stadium could see a full house.

The UAE's Slovenian Coach Srecko Katanec said they stay aware of "India's style of play."

"I am aware they would hit us hard in the first 15 minutes. But sustaining the same momentum is tough in modern football."

In the meantime, the recent downpour in the Capital prompts everyone to look upto the skies. Forecasts suggest the heavens may open up again on Thursday, something which Arab teams don't like as they aren't used to Monsoon conditions in the desert.

The match will be live on TenAction+ with their coverage starting at 18.30 IST, while Bengali channel 24 Ghanta will also broadcast the match live which kicks-off at 19.00 IST.


Likely INDIA Starting XI

23-Karanjit Singh; 16-Samir Naik, 19-Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, 3-Raju Eknath Gaekwad, 22-Syed Rahim Nabi; 23-Steven Benedic Dias, 8-Climax Lawrence, 30-Mehtab Hussain, 15-Clifford Miranda; 10-Jeje Lalpekhlua, 11-Sunil Chhetri

INDIA drop to 153rd in FIFA World Rankings

The world football governing body released the latest FIFA World Rankings earlier today in which India dropped six places to be now 153rd amongst the 208 ranked nations and territories. Within Asia India also dropped a place to be now ranked 27th amongst 46 nations in the rankings.

In the latest rankings India lost another two points to now have 135 points, while they are sandwiched amongst minnows Bahamas (152) and Hongkong (154) in the rankings. Sadly India's historic 2-1 win in Doha against Qatar has not been counted in the rankings as it was only a practice match and not a full 'A' international. In the match coach Armando Colaco made 10 substitutions which is not allowed in an official 'A' international, in which a maximum of six substitutions are allowed. The friendly match against Maldives which ended one-all did make it into the rankings, but friendlies are given the least priority in terms of points in the rankings.

The 0-3 away loss against the United Arab Emirates in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier is already included in the rankings, but a positive result against the UAE in Delhi tomorrow could help our rankings next month.

There has been some change amongst the top five of the FIFA World Rankings. World champions Spain remain on top ahead of the Netherlands and Germany, but Brazil move into fourth place, up one spot, ahead of Uruguay who gained 13 spots due to their Copa America triumph on Sunday.

Shabbir Ali to receive Dhyan Chand Award

Former India captain and now coach Shabbir Ali was yesterday selected as the first-ever Indian footballer to be named for the prestigious Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement.

On a social media platform Shabbir Ali simply wrote, "Thank GOD, I got selected by the Ministry of Sports, Govt. of India for Dhyan Chand Award 2011."

Speaking to PTI Shabbir Ali later said, "It is a great honour for me. I always had faith in the government that my contributions to Indian football would be recognised one day. I thank Allah for the award."

"There are regrets but I don't want to think about them. This is a momentous occasion for me and I think this award will be an inspiration for the next generation of Indian footballers," Shabbir added.

Shabbir Ali was born on January 26, 1956 in Hyderabad; a football hotbed in the 1950s/60s into the early 70s. He started his football with Abbas Union FC then played for Hyderabad Arsenal Club and Andhra Pradesh Special Police before moving to Mumbai to play for Tata Sports Club. Thereafter he left for Kolkata were he would become a household name as striker for East Bengal Club and Mohammedan Sporting Club. In-between he also played for Dhaka Victoria Sports in Bangladesh.

Shabbir Ali has played 110 times for India and scored 35 goals in an international career which was from 1974 to 84. One of his greatest achievements came as the captain of the Indian Youth Team, which was joint winner at the 1974 Asian Youth Cup in Iran.

After he ended his career Shabbir Ali took up coaching. He started off with Mohammedan Sporting Club before coaching a number of Kolkata clubs over the years. In 1995/96 he was Technical Director of the national team before he joined Goans Salgaocar SC in 1997. He had three successful years in Goa as in 1999 Salgaocar would go on to win the National Football League title as the first club from Goa. Thereafter he went on to coach numerous clubs across the country and in the last few years he has been mainly coaching clubs in Kolkata. In the new season he will be coaching Calcutta Port Trust.

Over the years he has coached West Bengal a number of times in the Santosh Trophy. In 2010 he won Bengal their 30th title, but what made it special was the fact that it came after a gap of 11 years. This year he was able to defend the title with a young and rather unknown squad.

My heartiest congratulations to Shabbirda on this achievement!

Selasa, 26 Juli 2011

New Delhi: Go & support Team India!

On Thursday, July 28 the Ambedkar Stadium will host the return-leg of the India vs United Arab Emirates encounter in the second Round of Asian qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. India go into the tie with a 3-0 deficit and the boys will need all possible support they can get to try and turn around things.

Some work has been carried out by the authorities to make the venue conform with basic FIFA regulations. As such the Ambedkar Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for Team India over the last few years. India won the 2007 and 2009 Nehru Cup as well as the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium with players always speaking about the great crowd support.

The tickets for the match have been priced at Rs 30 and Rs 100. The tickets went on sale yesterday at the Ambedkar Stadium and are available from 10 am to 5 pm.

The AIFF has decided to allow Free Entry from Gate No. 1 to all Delhi Soccer Association registered members and former players plus also Delhi/NCR school students (all need to bring prove of identity).

The match on Thursday will be played under floodlights and kick-off will be at 19.00 IST. The game will be telecast live on TenAction+ and 24Ghanta.

But those of you who live in Delhi/NCR and can make, do go across to the stadium and support Team India.

Brazil name squad for Germany friendly

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) yesterday named their 23-man squad for the high profile friendly against Germany on August 10 at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Stuttgart.

But the bigger question was if coach Mano Menezes would be allowed to continue or be sacked after the Copa America debacle. Brazil went out of the tournament at the quarterfinal stage after a penalty shootout defeat against Paraguay where the Brazilians couldn't score from four penalties.

The CBF have kept faith in Mano Menezes with his task continuing to be to prepare the Selecao for the 2014 FIFA World Cup at home in Brazil.

The Germany friendly will be a good test for the Brazilians, who haven't made too many changes in their overall squad though at home in Brazil the media and fans have demanded the inclusion of Real Madrid star Kaka, but Mano Menezes has not called on the experienced attacking midfielder.


BRAZIL

Goalkeepers
Julio Cesar (Internationale Milan, ITALY), Victor (Gremio Porto Alegre)

Defenders
Andre Santos (Fenerbahce Istanbul, TURKEY), Daniel Alves (FC Barcelona, SPAIN), David Luiz (FC Chelsea London, ENGLAND), Dede (Vasco de Gama), Lucio (Internationale Milan, ITALY), Maicon (Internationale Milan, ITALY), Thiago Silva (AC Milan, ITALY)

Midfielders
Elias (Atletico Madrid, SPAIN), Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk, UKRAINE), Ganso (FC Santos), Lucas Leiva (FC Liverpool, ENGLAND), Lucas (FC Sao Paulo), Luis Gustavo (FC Bayern Munich, GERMANY), Ralf (Corinthians), Ramires (FC Chelsea London, ENGLAND), Renato Augusto (Bayer 04 Leverkusen, GERMANY)

Forwards
Alexandre Pato (AC Milan, ITALY), Jonas (FC Valencia, SPAIN), Fred (Fluminense), Neymar (FC Santos), Robinho (AC Milan, ITALY)

Mesut Oezil: Real Madrid's new No. 10

I will be very honest. Last summer when German internationals Mesut Oezil and Sami Khedira left the Bundesliga to join Spanish giants Real Madrid I didn't believe that they would directly be able to make an impact with the Los Blancos under the new high profile manager Jose Mourinho. They have both positively surprised me.

Especially Oezil has grown unbelievably in stature over the last season. A year back I had my doubts if the move to Real Madrid is the right one at such a young age. I had written a blog entry under the title
Can Oezil make it at Real Madrid? at the time.

After year one I can say, he has not only made it, he's on the way to become one of the best players in the world. Now Oezil has the honour of wearing the legendary number 10 at Real Madrid.

Defensive midfielder Lassana Diarra was a misfit in such an iconic number which at Real Madrid has been worn by players like Ferenc Puskás (Hungary), Günter Netzer (West Germany), Michael Laudrup (Denmark), Clarence Seedorf (Netherlands), Figo (Portugal), Robinho (Brazil) and Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands).

Oezil moves from the No. 23 jersey which he wore in season one, a number which has been worn by David Beckham and too by Wesley Sneijder in his first season at the club, so good company.

Senin, 25 Juli 2011

Trouble at FC Cologne as Podolski no longer captain

New Norwegian coach Stale Solbakken has taken a bold decision at Bundesliga side FC Cologne (1.FC Köln) by taking the captaincy away from local hero Lukas Podolski and handing it to Brazilian defender Pedro Geromel. Solbakken only made the official announcement regarding his new captain on Monday, but this story has been making big headlines especially in the local tabloids since Friday.

"I can understand the reactions this decision will provoke and I can understand the disappointment of some fans," the coach told journalists.

"But I ask the fans to understand my decision is for the benefit of the whole team. Pedro Geromel will as captain exemplify the new culture of the team and embody our new overall sporting concept," Solbakken added.

"In my conversations with him, Lukas has expressed his disappointment but at the same time respected and understood the reasons for my decision."

German international Podolski only got the captaincy in January 2011 from former coach Frank Schaefer, but the local boy who has played now 13 seasons from youth over the second team to the first team with only a three year break at FC Bayern Munich in-between, is loyal to his home club. And Podolski has said what an honour it is to wear the Cologne captains armband.

Solbakken thought otherwise, now it will be interesting to see how the very emotional fans in Cologne react to the decision. Solbakken will need success to steem any discontent for this decision.

Mohun Bagan name Steve Darby as coach, announce 2011/12 squad

Asia's oldest football club Mohun Bagan AC today officially unveiled their new coach Englishman Steve Darby at their club tent on the Kolkata Maidan and also releasied with it their squad list for the 2011/12 season.

As such the club has retained most of their key players though releasing players like Deepak Kumar Mondal, Jayanta Sen and Subair Muritala Ali; who where a key part of their team last season.

The club has once more focused on their attack and have signed the best foreign striker Odafe Onyeka Okolie from Churchill Brothers SC and India's best forward in Sunil Chhetri from Kolkata rivals in United SC. They have also focused on their midfield by signing players like Syed Rahim Nabi, N.P. Pradeep and Bungo Singh besides getting back Jewel Raja from the Indian Arrows to strengthen their midfielder, adding some creativity to it as well.

But their defence in contrast doesn't look too strong with only an ageing Anupam Sarkar and youngster Sourav Chakraborty both joining from Kolkata rivals.

The club has Australian defender Simon Storey and Brazilian midfielder Hudson Lima da Silva on trial to see if they can fill in the third and fourth foreigners slot. The hope of the club officials will be that especially Storey can add some stability at the back, which will be much needed if the club is set to challenge for titles.


Mohun Bagan AC
Goalkeepers
Shilton Pal, Sangram Mukherjee, Souvik Mondal (Techno Aryan Club), Sudipta Banerjee

Defenders
Irungbam Surkumar Singh, Kingshuk Debnath, Anwar, Rakesh Masih, Anupam Sarkar (United SC), Sourav Chakraborty (Techno Aryan Club), R. Dhanarajan, Nalappan Mohanraj

Midfielders
Gouranga Datta, Satish Kumar Jr., Sakatar Singh (JCT), Syed Rahim Nabi (East Bengal Club), Naduparambil Pappachan Pradeep (Viva Kerala), J. Muralidharan (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited SC), Bungo Thokchom Singh (Mumbai FC), Sheikh Jewel Raja (Indian Arrows), Manish Mathani, Snehashis Chakroborty, Souvik Chakraborty, Dipendu Dowary

Forwards
Jose Ramirez Barreto (Captain), Odafe Onyeka Okolie (Churchill Brothers SC), Sunil Chhetri (United SC), Ashim Biswas, Jagtar Singh (Indian Arrows)

Official
Steve Darby (Chief Coach), Bernard Operanozie (Assistant Coach), Hemanta Dora (Goalkeeper Coach), Jonathan Corner (Physio, Rehab Specialist)


Players Released
Chidi Edeh, Ishfaq Ahmed, Biswajit Saha (all Salgaocar SC), Karan Atwal (United Sikkim FC), Pralay Datta, Amar Deb, Rahul Kumar, Sheikh Azim, Deepak Kumar Mondal, Sagram Mandi, Nagimuddin Mollick, Parminder Singh, Suman Datta, Jayanta Sen, Santosh Oraon, Surabuddin Mollick, David Lalbiakzara, Jacken Sebastian, Subair Muritala Ali, Owky Diamondstar

VIDEO: Balotelli backheels shot, coach takes him off

Manchester City's Italian striker Mario Balotelli is a special breed and he proved it again last night when playing against the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

You might remember seeing the backheel penalty from the UAE's Thiyab Awana last week. Now Mario Balotelli tried to backheel a shot in open play against the LA Galaxy into goal while having a great chance. He missed and coach Roberto Mancini immediately took him off for disciplinary reasons, one can even see the two arguing over the incidence.

Here the link to the video clip


Minggu, 24 Juli 2011

Goa Pro League: Expansion and format change

The Goa Professional League is set to be expanded from eight to 10 teams and played under a new format. While the expansion is through the new format is still to be discussed with the clubs and then decided.

The Goa Football Association is proposing to hold the 10 team in a single first-leg format and thereafter the top 5 teams move into a Super League while the bottom 5 will face each other to avoid relegation to the first division.

With this format the GFA hopes to keep spectators interest high in the Goa Pro League as the number of spectators have been going down for years. There are also plans to try and play across the state at smaller venues besides the Nehru Stadium, Duler Ground and Tilak Maidan to be closer to the fans.

The Goa Professional League had been launched in 1998 as a 5 team league, expanded to six teams in 2000 and since 2002 the league has been played as an eight team league with home-and-away fixtures making it 14 matches for each club.

Now with the expansion plans in place, but I-League players only allowed to play 40 matches a season the GFA had to think at a way to keep the league expansion on but also reducing the number of matches of top teams.

Indian Football: Transfer Season 2011 - Version 5

Here is the latest updated list of Transfers 2011 from across India of the I-League and top 2nd Division sides. Slowly the squads are getting more and more complete.

Here an updated list of known/confirmed Transfers 2011
(the list is far from complete, so any updates please let me know that I can incorporate them in the next update)



SALGAOCAR SC
RETAINED: Karanjit Singh, Macklas Moraes, Jaspal Singh Parmar, Rino Anto, Luciano Sabrosa, Irungbam Khelemba Singh, W. Tomba Singh, Cajetan Fernandes, Rocus Lamare, Francis Fernandes, Anthony Barbosa, Gilbert Oliveira, Beevan D'Mello, Ryuji Sueoka, Milagres Gonsalves,
NEW: Nicolau Colaco, Augostinho Fernandes, Gagandeep Singh, Vivek Singh Kaira (all Sesa Football Academy), Chidi Edeh, Ishfaq Ahmed, Biswajit Saha (all Mohun Bagan AC), Rahul Kumar, Randeep Singh, Balwant Singh (all JCT), Keenan, Cliften, Rosario (all Salgaocar Juniors), Vinay Singh, Thounaojam Dinesh Singh (both Churchill Brothers SC), Mehrajuddin Wadoo (East Bengal Club), Mohammad Dada Nabeel (Air India), Karthik Kisku (Mohammedan Sporting Club)
LEFT: Arnab Das Sharma, Govin Moirangthem Singh, Khangembam Thoi Singh (all United Sikkim FC), Baldeep Singh, Singam Subash Singh (both Pune FC), Jagdeep Singh (Viva Kerala), Yakubu Yusif, Eneke Ikenwa

EAST BENGAL CLUB
RETAINED: Sandip Nandy, Abhra Mondal, Jayanta Pal, Thokchom Naoba Singh, Uga Okpara, Gurwinder Singh, Ravinder Singh, Penn Ikechukwu Orji, Alvito D'Cunha, Beingaichho Beokhokhai, Budhiram Tudu, Tolgay Ozbey, Robin Singh
NEW: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Abhishek Das, Raju Eknath Gaekwad, Deepak Devrani, Subodh Kumar, Ongnam Milan Singh (all Indian Arrows, returns from a one year loan), Robert Lalthlamuana, Charan Rai, Khanthang Paite (all Churchill Brothers SC), Sunil Kumar (Pune FC), Branco Vincent Cardozo (United SC), Debjit Majumdar (United Sikkim FC)
LEFT: Mehrajuddin Wadoo (Salgaocar SC), Syed Rahim Nabi (Mohun Bagan AC), Sushil Kumar Singh (United Sikkim FC), Naseem Akhtar (Mohammedan Sporting Club), Aseem Koraliyadan Kutty (Central Excise, Chennai), Alexandro da Silva Santos

DEMPO SC
RETAINED: Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Laxmikant Kattimani, Luis Xavier Barreto, Tyson Caiado, Valeriano Rebello, Mahesh Gawli, John Charles Dias, Creson Antao, Covan Lawrence, Dominic Noronha, Samir Naik, Debabrata Roy, Shallum Pires, Anthony Pereira, Climax Lawrence, Godwin Diogo Franco, Micky Fernandes, Peter Carvalho, Marcus Peixito, Jessel Carneiro, Aaron Fernandes, Clifford Miranda, Nicolau Borges, Joe Rodrigues, Johnny D'Cruz, Bharat Thapa, Joaquim Abranches, Clifton Gonsalves, Myron Fernandes, Terence Fernandes, Mandar Rao Dessai
NEW: Sidroy Afonso, Brian Mascarenhas, Richard Fernandes, Romeo Fernandes, Aniston Fernandes, Reagan Juliao (all Dempo Juniors), Savio Fernandes, Koko Sakibo, Joy Ferrao (all Vasco SC), Rowilson Rodrigues (Churchill Brothers SC), P.K. Anil Kumar (Viva Kerala), Romeo Fernandes (Margao SC)
LEFT: Roberto Mendes Silva (Churchill Brothers SC), Cavin Peter Lobo, Aikan Dias, Roy Colaco, Flann D'Souza, Rouhollah Samieinia, Ogba Kalu Nnanna, Ranty Martins Soleye

CHURCHILL BROTHERS SC
RETAINED: Arindam Bhattacharya, Mundampara P. Sakeer
NEW: Jerry Zirsanga, Melwyn Rodrigues (both United SC), Y. Jaikumar, Xavier Vijayakumar (both HAL, Bangalore), Thangjam Saran Singh, Jagpreet Singh (both JCT), Roberto Mendes Silva (Dempo SC), N.D. Opara (ONGC), Basileo Rego (Vasco SC), S. Parthiban (Chennai Customs), Henry Antchouet (Moreirense FC, PORTUGAL), Antun Kovacic (Richmond SC, AUSTRALIA), Lalrindika Ralte (Indian Arrows, returns from a one year loan)
LEFT: Robert Lalthlamuana, Charan Rai, Khanthang Paite (all East Bengal Club), Vinay Singh, Thounaojam Dinesh Singh (both Salgaocar SC), Rowilson Rodrigues (Dempo SC), Odafe Onyeka Okolie (Mohun Bagan AC), Warundeep Singh (Sporting Clube de Goa), Kayne Vincent, Amaury Gentil Nunes, Boima Karpeh

PUNE FC
RETAINED: Subrata Pal, Othallo Tabia, Caitano Costa, Kamardeep Singh, Gurjinder Kumar Singh, Rollingson Hungyo, Shanmugam Venkatesh, J. Prasad, Asim Hassan, Lester Mark Fernandez, Paresh Shivalkar, Izumi Arata, Mandjou Keita,
NEW: Baldeep Singh, Singam Subash Singh (both Salgaocar SC), Shahinlal Meloly, Karma Tsewang (both Viva Kerala), Anes Edathodika (Mumbai FC), R. Srikanth (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited SC), Jeje Lalpekhlua (Indian Arrows, returns from a one year loan)
LEFT: Krishnan Nair Ajayan, Gunashekar Vignesh (both Viva Kerala), Sunil Kumar (East Bengal Club), S. Vinobagandhi (Indian Bank), A. Sherin (AGORC, Chennai), Edmar Figueira (CD Feirense, PORTUGAL), Narshiman Balaji, Soram Poirei Anganba, Lamine Tamba, Sandesh Gadhkari

MOHUN BAGAN AC
RETAINED: Sangram Mukherjee, Irungbam Surkumar Singh, Anwar, Nallappan Mohanraj, Rakesh Masih, Ashim Biswas, Jose Ramirez Barreto
NEW: Sheikh Jewel Raja, Jagtar Singh (both Indian Arrows, returns from a one year loan), Syed Rahim Nabi (East Bengal Club), Odafe Onyeka Okolie (Churchill Brothers SC), Sunil Chhetri (United SC), N.P. Pradeep (Viva Kerala), J. Muralidharan (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited SC)
LEFT: Chidi Edeh, Ishfaq Ahmed, Biswajit Saha (all Salgaocar SC), Karan Atwal (United Sikkim FC), Sagram Mandi, Parminder Singh, Suman Datta, David Lalbiakzara, Jacken Sebastian, Subair Muritala Ali, Owky Diamondstar

MUMBAI FC
RETAINED: -
NEW: -
LEFT: Anes Edathodika (Pune FC), Hiralal Chetri (United Sikkim FC)

UNITED SC
RETAINED: Lal Kamal Bhowmick, Josimar da Silva Martins
NEW: Bello Razaq (Viva Kerala)
LEFT: Jerry Zirsanga, Melwyn Rodrigues (both Churchill Brothers SC), Branco Vincent Cardozo (East Bengal Club), Sunil Chhetri (Mohun Bagan AC), Anupam Sarkar

VIVA KERALA
RETAINED: -
NEW: Krishnan Nair Ajayan, Gunashekar Vignesh (both Pune FC), Jagdeep Singh (Salgaocar SC), Shahbas Shaleel (ONGC)
LEFT: Shahinlal Meloly, Karma Tsewang (both Pune FC), P.K. Anil Kumar (Dempo SC), N.P. Pradeep (Mohun Bagan AC), Bello Razaq (United SC), Felix Chimaokwu

AIR INDIA
RETAINED: -
NEW: Sandeep Sangha (ONGC)
LEFT: Eduardo Chacon Coelho Lacerda, Babib Biswas (both Southern Samity), Mohammad Dada Nabeel (Salgaocar SC)

HAL
RETAINED: -
NEW: -
LEFT: Y. Jaikumar, Xavier Vijayakumar (both Churchill Brothers SC), R. Srikanth (Pune FC), J. Muralidharan (Mohun Bagan AC), Deepak K. (Southern Samity)

JCT
LEFT: Naveen Kumar, Gurtej Singh Sr, Gurtej Singh Jr, Ajay Singh (all Indian Arrows), Rahul Kumar, Randeep Singh, Balwant Singh (all Salgaocar SC), Thangjam Saran Singh, Jagpreet Singh (both Churchill Brothers SC), Baldeep Singh, Harish Sharma (both United Sikkim FC), Lalchuanmawia (Shillong Lajong FC), Prasanta Dora (Tollygunge Agragami), Pawan Kumar, Daljit Singh, Parveen Kumar, Rakinderjit Singh, Sehij Pal Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Amandeep Singh, R. Sriram, Abhishek Yadav, Mandeep Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Maninder Singh, Balraj Singh, Amarwant Singh, Badru Keke Ibrahim, Omolaja Nurain Kareem

ONGC
RETAINED: -
NEW: -
LEFT: N.D. Opara (Churchill Brothers SC), Shahbas Shaleel (Viva Kerala), Sandeep Sangha (Air India), Tapan Maity (Mohammedan Sporting Club), Gour Naskar (Southern Samity), K.V. Lalu (Josco FC), Sudipta Kar (Bhawanipore Club, Kolkata)

SHILLONG LAJONG FC
RETAINED: Lalthuammawia Ralte, Gumpe Rime, Marcus Basumatary, Aibor Khongjee, Wailadmi Passah, Zomingliana Ralte, Rodingson Sangma, M. Subhas Singh, Marlanki Suting, C. Lallawmzuala, Mashangva Genius Zenith, Samson Ramengmawia, Boithang Haokip, Lalramluaha, James Giblee, P.C. Lahlimthara Mahlima, Samuel Shadap, Racy Khiangte Lalrengmawia, Saikhohau Tuboi, Lalnunmawia
NEW: Henry Gangte, L. Romenjit Singh (both Bengal Mumbai FC), Lalchuanmawia (JCT), John D. Menyongar (United Sikkim FC), Christopher (Kalighat Milan Sangha/Mohammedan Sporting Club)
LEFT: Keleche Okoye, Anil Gurung, Million Mwenge Butshire

SPORTING CLUBE DE GOA
RETAINED: Felix D'Souza, Gerald D'Mello, Siddesh Morje, Fulganco Cardozo, Elvino Fernandes, Boubacar Keita, Mathew Gonsalves, N. Samananda Singh, Singam Rojen Singh, Rovan Pereira, Konthoujam Boboi Singh, Michael Faleiro, Joyner Lourenco, Adil Ahmed Khan, Mauricio Freeman Peixoto, Jovel Martins, P. Niroshan Mani, Lairenjam Bisheshwor Singh, Mackroy Peixote, Angelo D'Souza, Joseph Pereira, Rowlinn Borges, Avelino Fernandes, Ningthounjam Pritam Singh, Valzinho Fernandes, Agnelo Colaco
NEW: Milagrio Medeira, Prajot Naik (both Vasco SC), Warundeep Singh (Churchill Brothers SC), Charanjit Singh (Kenkre FC), Gabriel Fernandes (Sesa Football Academy), Mohammed Ali (Calangute Association), Victorino Fernandes (Cavelosim), James Moga (Mukti Joddha Sangsad, Bangladesh), Ashok Singh
LEFT: Ayeni Bidemi Daniel (United Sikkim FC), Ashokan Guru (Integral Coach Factory, Chennai), Thangjam Itomba Singh (Tiddim Road Athletic Union, Manipur), Emmanuel Akwuegbu, Joshua Maguire

VASCO SC
RETAINED: -
NEW: -
LEFT: Savio Fernandes, Koko Sakibo, Joy Ferrao (all Dempo SC), Milagrio Medeira, Prajot Naik (both Sporting Clube de Goa), Basileo Rego (Churchill Brothers SC)

UNITED SIKKIM FC
RETAINED: Potsangbam Renedy Singh, Martin Louis Joseph Daniel, Jiten Rai, Nim Tshering Lepcha, Quinton Jacobs, Baichung Bhutia, Tenzing Tsephel Bhutia
NEW: Arnab Das Sharma, Govin Moirangthem Singh, Khangembam Thoi Singh (all Salgaocar SC), Baldeep Singh, Harish Sharma (both JCT), Sushil Kumar Singh (East Bengal Club), Karan Atwal (Mohun Bagan AC), Hiralal Chetri (Mumbai FC), Ayeni Bidemi Daniel (Sporting Clube de Goa/Shillong Lajong FC), Mumtaz Akhtar (Mohammedan Sporting Club), Babatunde (Techno Aryan Club), Ong Teshering Lepcha (Bengal Mumbai FC)
LEFT: Debjit Majumdar (East Bengal Club), John D. Menyongar (Shillong Lajong FC), Nanjangud Shivananju Manju, Mituski Ichihara, APD Carvalho, Joseph Lapira

MOHAMMEDAN SPORTING CLUB
RETAINED: Gautam Kujur
NEW: Naseem Akhtar (East Bengal Club), Tapan Maity (ONGC)
LEFT: Habibur Rehman Mondal, Nilendra Dewan (both Southern Samity), Dipendu Biswas, Satyajit Bose (both Bhawanipore Club, Kolkata), Karthik Kisku (Salgaocar SC), Mumtaz Akhtar (United Sikkim FC)

SOUTHERN SAMITY
RETAINED: Rajib Ahmed, Gurpreet Singh, Chandan Das, Jamir Ali Mandal
NEW: Eduardo Chacon Coelho Lacerda, Babib Biswas (both Air India), Habibur Rehman Mondal, Nilendra Dewan (both Mohammedan Sporting Club), Gour Naskar (ONGC), Deepak K. (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited SC), Prateek Joshi (RCF, Mumbai), Moirangthem Basanta Singh (RCU, Manipur)
LEFT: P.T. Somy (Josco FC), Marcos Alexandro de Carvalho Pereira (Bhawanipore Club, Kolkata), Edmilson Marques Pardal

SESA FOOTBALL ACADEMY
RETAINED: -
NEW: -
LEFT: Nicolau Colaco, Augostinho Fernandes, Gagandeep Singh, Vivek Singh Kaira (all Salgaocar SC), Gabriel Fernandes (Sporting Clube de Goa), Haolengou Kipgen (United Sports Association, Manipur)

TATA FOOTBALL ACADEMY
RETAINED: Udanta Singh, Suraj Kumar, Kamaldeep Singh, Gurpreet Singh, S.K. Rohit, Jarmanjeet Singh, Rocky Singh, Sanjiv Kumar, Manas Sarkar, Harpreet Singh, Biswajit Sardar, Muniruzzaman Ansari, Chingkhei Meetei, Baidyanath Das, Amit Kumar, Vineet Rai, Deepak Tirkey, Mohammed Irfan Khan, Bilal Khan, Randhan Meetei
NEW: -
LEFT: -

German Super Cup: Schalke 04 win on penalties

The German Cup holders FC Schalke 04 beat bitter Ruhr valley rivals Borussia Dortmund, the Bundesliga champions, 4-3 in a penalty shootout to win the first official trophy of the 2011/12 season, the German Super Cup last night.

The match was played at the Arena auf Schalke infront of a sellout crowds of 61,673 with new Schalke number one Ralf Faehrmann the unlikely hero as he saved two penalties in the shootout from Dortmund's Kevin Grosskreutz and Ivan Perisic, while Schalke scored all their four needed penalties.

In the 90 minutes earlier Dortmund looked the more polished of the two sides, but they simply couldn't score of their numerous chances as Faehrmann made some great saves to keep Schalke in the match. While the first half mostly belonged to Dortmund, in the second session the royal blues did have some chances of their own. It remained goalless and as it is usual in the Super Cup after 90 minutes the match went straight into penalties.

In the shootout 22 year old Faehrmann, who only returned this summer from Eintracht Frankfurt to Schalke to be the new number one for Manuel Neuer who has left for Bayern Munich, showed composure and the coolness to deny Dortmund their first piece of silverware this season.


Here the video highlights from the 2011 German Super Cup


VIDEO: UAE goals against India

The United Arab Emirates beat India 3-0 in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Al Ain last night. Here you have a chance to see the two situations due to which Debabrata Roy and Subrata Pal were given marching orders by the Qatari referee Banjar Al-Dosari and also the three goals that the UAE scored against India.

Then you can make up your own mind about the referees decisions. Was he right or wrong...


Here you can see the clip of all the three goals plus the situations leading to the two penalties


Sabtu, 23 Juli 2011

UAE beat nine man India, referee kills match for India

The United Arab Emirates beat a nine man India 3-0 in the first-leg of their 2014 FIFA World Cup - Asian Round 2 home-and-away qualifier at the Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium in Al Ain City tonight. First left back Debabrata Roy and then goalkeeper were handed marching orders by the 23rd minute, but India fought on and denied the UAE a big win.

This 3-0 loss leaves India a mountain to climb if they are to stay in contention for a place in the next round of Asian qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The return-leg will be played on July 28 at the Ambedkar Stadium, Delhi.

India looked tense early on with the UAE putting constant pressure on the Indian backline, but they kept the sheet clean in the opening minutes, then came the four minutes of madness from the Qatari referee Banjar Al-Dosari who ended India's campaign in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

In the 19th minute Debabrata Roy clumsily grabbed hold of UAE striker Mohammed Al Shehhi, who fell inside the box while Subrata Pal collected the ball. Debu's action wasn't at all needed. The referee blew the whistle for a sure shot penalty but then red carded Debabrata which shocked the India players, then the Dempo defender had brought down the player but it wasn't a 100% chance. The UAE's Hamdan Al Kamali walked up to take the penalty and placed the ball to left of Subrata, who dived in the right direction but couldn't get to the ball.

Then came the 23rd minute. After a free-kick for the UAE Subrata collects the ball and puts his knee up to shield himself against a charging Ismail Alhammadi, it seems there was contact, but Alhammadi goes down as if he had been hit really badly. Replays show that Subrata might have had minimal side-way contact with Alhammadi if any at all. Referee Al-Dosari pulls out another red with even more shock on the faces of the Indian players. At this stage it seems India could walk out of the tie and the AFC match commissioner Jun-Young Kim from South Korea has to intervene to avoid more damage as the first shock turns into anger against the referee.

India are now down to nine men, to face a penalty as Karanjit Singh gets ready for his India debut as he replaces Steven Dias. The Punjabi from champions Salgaocar SC would have surely liked a more calm surroundings to come in and not directly face a penalty. After more then six minutes the match continues as Mohammed Al Shehhi scores in the 29th minute.

India has to change formation with two players less on the field. Syed Rahim Nabi takes Debabrata Roy's place as left back, while Sunil Chhetri falls back into midfield and Jeje Lalpekhlua stays upfront in a 4-3-1 formation. It now seems India could be in for a trashing, but the UAE themselves seem shocked at what had happened infront of their eyes as they are unable to really put Karanjit in real trouble in the remaining minutes of the first half.

After the break the aim of India remains the same to keep the scoreline as decent as possible and maybe get a crucial away goal to keep the two-legged tie competitive. India's first chance comes of a Sunil Chhetri shot in the 50th minute but no worries to UAE keeper Khasaif. Armando Colaco then took off an aggressive Mehtab Hussain in the 57th minute for young Jewel Raja to avoid another possible expulsion as keeper Karanjit Singh grew in stature as the match went on with the UAE putting pressure on India but rarely did they have quality chances.

In the end the UAE did add one more goal in the 81st minute to the tally when Ismail Alhammadi scored by beating the Indian defence and keeper Karanjit. It ended 3-0 for the UAE and the two sides meet again on Thursday in Delhi. The India players will most likely ask themselves what would have been possible without the two expulsions.


MATCH STATS

United Arab Emirates 3-0 (2-0) INDIA - Goals: 1-0 Hamdan Al Kamali (21'), 2-0 Mohammed Al Shehhi (29'), 3-0 Ismail Alhammadi (81').

Red Cards: Debabrata Roy (19'), Subrata Pal (23')

UAE 22-Humaid Khasaif; 3-Murad Yousuf, 5-Abdulla Husain Alhammadi, 7-Mohamed Al Wehaibi (55' 13-Ahmed Husain Al Musabi), 8-Hamdan Al Kamali, 9-Mohammed Al Shehhi (69' 23-Anbar Mubarak Alaraimi), 11-Mubarak Alunaibi (88' 10-Khamis Al Saadi), 15-Ismail Alhammadi, 16-Mubarak Ghanim, 17-Jaber Al Hammadi, 19-Ahmad Ali Gharib
Substitutes: 1-Majid Altawila Alsuwaidi, 12-Mohamed Alhosani, 4-Hamdan Al Hamdani, 6-Juma Al Saadi, 14-Farhan Alfalasi, 18-Faraj Abdalla, 20-Salem Al Rejaibi

INDIA 1-Subrata Pal; 16-Samir Naik, 19-Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, 3-Raju Eknath Gaekwad, 2-Debabrata Roy; 12-Steven Benedic Dias (28' 23-Karanjit Singh), 8-Climax Lawrence [C], 21-Mehtab Hussain (57' 13-Jewel Raja Sheikh), 9-Syed Rahim Nabi; 10-Jeje Lalpekhlua, 11-Sunil Chhetri (84' 20-Lalrindika Ralte)
Substitutes: 22-Laxmikant Kattimani, 4-Rowilson Rodrigues, 5-Valeriano Rebello, 6-Baljit Singh Sahni, 7-Lalkamal Bhowmick, 14-Mahesh Gawli, 15-Clifford Miranda, 17-Robert Lalthlamuana, 18-Sushil Kumar Singh

Officials
Referee: Banjar Mohammed B.J. Al-Dosari (Qatar)
Assistant Referees: Hassan Rashid H.R. Althawadi (Qatar), Ramzan Saeed M.F. Al-Ramazani (Qatar)
4th Official: Khamis Mohammed S.A. Al Marri (Qatar)

VIDEO: The scandalous Subrata Pal send-off

India were beaten 3-0 by the United Arab Emirates in their 2014 FIFA World Cup - Asian Round 2 qualifier first-leg at the Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium in Al Ain City tonight.

India didn't play well at the start and were under pressure, but the match refereeing has to be questioned. In only four minutes left back Debabrata Roy and goalkeeper Subrata Pal were send off, while the UAE got two penalties which they scored.

Especially the red card for Subrata Pal seems to be a non-starter then Subrata doesn't seem to have any contact with the UAE striker. See the reactions afterwards, follow the commentary even if you do not understand Arab and make up your own mind.


Here the link to the video


East Bengal to have Scottish striker on trial

Kolkata giants East Bengal Club are set to have 28 year old Alan Gow from Scotland on trial next week. Gow can play as a striker as well as an attacking midfielder.

The Clydebank born footballer is 1,83 meters (6'1'') tall, left footed and started his football with his local club Clydebank FC before playing for other Scottish sides Airdrie FC, Falkirk FC, Glasgow Rangers, Hibernian FC and Motherwell FC. In-between he played for English league sides FC Blackpool, Norwich City, Plymouth Argyle.

The last six months Gow spend at English League One (Division 3 from the top) side Notts Country in England after having started the season with Scottish side Motherwell FC.

Gow is currently a free agent and East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan wants to have a look at the player before deciding if to sign him or not as his fourth and final foreign player who could compliment Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey

Jumat, 22 Juli 2011

April 8, 2001: The Day India beat the UAE

Tonight India start their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign against the United Arab Emirates in the Asian Round 2 at the Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium in Al Ain City. It is a home-and-away tie so after the return-leg on July 28 in New Delhi we will know for which team the dream to play in Brazil in three years time will be over and for whom it continues. Hopefully it continues for our boys.

But before tonight's match I would like to look back at the 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier on April 8, 2001 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore. I was in Kolkata at the time of the match with my friend Anthony Jai from London on some work. Short notice we decided to fly across to Bangalore to watch the game live.

The night before the game we landed in Bangalore, went straight to the team hotel to meet coach Sukhvinder Singh and his boys to wish them luck, also meet some of the AIFF officials present. There was a certain excitement within the team. One could feel that the boys believed to be capable to cause an upset, a positive change which I saw come through the first of the three England tours in July 2000.

Match day started early for us with breakfast, a tour of Bangalore city and an early lunch in town with my friend the late Noel da Lima Leitao. We had met the year earlier in London at Craven Cottage where India had played Fulham FC, so besides the upcoming match that game was also a big topic of discussion on that day. We had a great laugh. We all were of the same opinion that the matches against FC Fulham and West Bromwich Albion had done a world of good to the psychology of our players, who didn't go into a game fearing with how many goals would we lose.

We made our way across to the Sree Kanteerava Stadium with our VIP tickets. We had gotten those from then AIFF honorary secretary Alberto Colaco the night earlier at the hotel. Actually I wasn't working that day officially, I only wanted to watch and enjoy the game. Which I did!

There was quite a crowd around and then inside the stadium. Figures of how many people where at the ground varied from 20,000 to 40,000. My personal guess would have been around 25,000 spectators. A solid crowd for Bangalore, where football in those days wasn't amongst the peoples favourites with Cricket stars like Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath playing for India.

It was great to see the crowd support Team India as they did. It was an even game, actually of the ball in favour of India and then came the 72nd minute when I.M. Vijayan took a throw-in, Baichung Bhutia didn't really get to the ball but Jules Alberto was there to place the ball into the net.

What joy! What a moment, India had taken the lead. Until the end it was about keeping the lead and the defence of Surkumar Singh, Deepak Mondal, Mahesh Gawli and K.V. Dhanesh put in a lot of effort along with all other players to keep the 1-0 intact.

After the Chinese referee blew the final whistle it was party time. India ranked 124th had beaten the 64th ranked UAE coached by the great French coach Henri Michel. What an afternoon in Bangalore.

After the match met coach Sukhvinder Singh, the players, officials and journalist friends. We all thought that a new era in Indian football would start that day, sadly India couldn't beat Yemen once in two matches though India should have won at least one of the two matches.

That evening we had great dinner, continued to talk football and I had a very pleasant sleep before going back to the team hotel the next morning. The hotel had made a special cake for the team congratulating them on the win and even Rahul Dravid dropped by to congratulate the footballers.

April 8, 2001 will surely be a day to remember in Indian football. Lets hope the boys tonight can get a good first-leg result for the home match on July 28 at Delhi's Ambedkar Stadium.


INDIA XI on April 8, 2001
Virender Singh, Irungbam Surkumar Singh, Deepak Mondal, Mahesh Gawli, KV Dhanesh, Jules Alberto (Noel Anthony Wilson), Joe Paul Ancheri (R.P. Singh), Khalid Jamil, Potsangbam Renedy Singh, RC Prakash (I.M. Vijayan), Baichung Bhutia

Mohun Bagan sign star striker Sunil Chhetri

Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan AC today finalised and signed a one year contract with Indian international striker Sunil Chhetri. The contract was signed by the clubs Finance Secretary Debashis Datta and Sunil Chhetri in presence of his agent Yogesh Joshee at the Hilton hotel in Al Ain City, where India will be playing the UAE tomorrow in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

"Sunil Chettri signed a one-year contract with Mohun Bagan at the team hotel in UAE. He is looking forward to a great season ahead with the team," the club stated through a release.

Sunil Chhetri will be presented to the public a day after India return-leg against the UAE on July 29, which happens to be Mohun Bagan's day of centenary celebations of the clubs historic win against the East Yorkshire Regiment in the 1911 IFA Shield.

Last season Sunil Chhetri had played for Chirag United SC, now signing for Mohun Bagan marks a return to the club where he started his journey on the big stage in 2002. Though he still has ambitions to play abroad the offer that Mohun Bagan made was too good to turn down for Chhetri.

With the signing of Sunil Chhetri Mohun Bagan have a formidable attack after bringing in Nigerian Odafe Onyeka Okolie from Churchill Brothers SC and having talismanic Brazilian Jose Ramirez Barreto. The pressure on the trio to perform and deliver will be huge.

July 22 was a big day for Chhetri then before signing for Mohun Bagan, he was recommended an for Arjuna Award .

Team India: Climax to captain, final 23 announced

Interim coach Armando Colaco has named Climax Lawrence as captain and finalised his 23 players squad for the first-leg of the 2014 FIFA World Cup - Asian Round 2 home-and-away qualifier against the United Arab Emirates at the Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium in Al Ain City tomorrow.

In his third match in-charge Armando Colaco has named his third captain after Subrata Pal and Sunil Chhetri were captains in the friendlies against the Maldives and Qatar. This time it is his Dempo SC midfielder Climax Lawrence who will lead India onto the field.

The follow seven players had to be left out of the final 23 player squad Sandip Nandy, Denzil Franco, Rakesh Masih, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Shilton D'Silva, Peter Carvalho and C.S. Sabeeth.


INDIA
(clubs mentioned from the old season)

Goalkeepers
Subrata Pal (Pune FC), Karanjit Singh (Salgaocar SC), Laxmikant Kattimani (Dempo SC)

Defenders
Gouramangi Singh (Churchill Brothers SC), Robert Lalthlamuana (Churchill Brothers SC), Rowilson Rodrigues (Churchill Brothers SC), Raju Eknath Gaikwad (Indian Arrows), Valeriano Rebello (Dempo SC), Debabrata Roy (Dempo SC), Sameer Naik (Dempo SC), Mahesh Gawli (Dempo SC)

Midfielders
Mehtab Hossain (East Bengal Club), Syed Rahim Nabi (East Bengal Club), Steven Benedic Dias (Churchill Brothers SC), Jewel Raja Sheikh (Indian Arrows), Lalrindika Ralte (Indian Arrows), Climax Lawrence (Dempo SC), Clifford Miranda (Dempo SC), Lalkamal Bhowmick (United SC)

Forwards
Sunil Chhetri (United SC), Jeje Lalpekhlua (Indian Arrows), Sushil Kumar Singh (East Bengal Club), Baljit Singh Sahni (East Bengal Club)

Officials
Armando Colaco (Chief Coach), Savio Medeira (Assistant Coach), Marcus Pacheco (Goalkeeping Coach)

India ready to take on UAE in World Cup qualifiers

The United Arab Emirates are set to host India in the first-leg of their 2014 FIFA World Cup - Asian Round 2 home-and-away qualifier on Saturday at the Sheikh Khalifa International Stadium in Al Ain City. If one goes by the FIFA world rankings then the Middle Eastern side are favourites, 110th vs 147th; but the charm of football as the beautiful game is its unpredictability so it is a 50-50 chance for both sides to progress to the Asian group stage.

Both teams come into this game with a positive frame of mind, then both sides won their final international friendly last Sunday. The UAE trashed Lebanon 7-2 at Al Ain, while India scored a 2-1 upset win against Qatar in Doha.

Still the UAE go into the tie as the favourites and an Indian win would be seen as a major upset though a decade back on April 8, 2001 India had beaten the UAE in Bangalore on home soil 1-0 in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier, but India lost the away tie thereafter 1-0 and the UAE would move into the final Asian round from the group stage.

Talking about the chances of his team India coach Armando Colaco said, "UAE surely have the advantage but my boys are up for the challenge. They are really playing good football at the moment."

"Every game we played was a great learning experience. This is a new team and it's a good build up for the future. The boys are eager to play and give out their best," Armando added speaking about the 1-1 draw against the Maldives and the 2-1 win against Qatar.

"The boys are really putting up a lot of effort in this progress. I am sure they will rise to the occasion," Armando further said.

Armando takes a lot of promise from the surprise 2-1 win against Qatar, who are similar in style and strength to the UAE; which was a rare win for an Indian side against Middle Eastern opposition in recent times.

Meanwhile UAE coach Srecko Katanec in careful, "The Indian team plays aggressive football. I don't expect an easy match, their result against Qatar was a good one for them and it speaks itself."

One can only hope that India isn't carried away by their win against Qatar last Sunday and is brought crashing down to earth by the UAE. In their last friendly in November 2010 India had lost 0-5 against the UAE and that could be also on the mind of both sides though India is a changed formation compared to last year.

The match will be live on TenAction+ with their coverage starting at 21.25 IST, while Bengali channel 24 Ghanta will also broadcast the match live.


Likely INDIA Starting XI

1-Subrata Pal; 16-Samir Naik, 19-Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, 3-Raju Eknath Gaekwad, 2-Debabrata Roy; 23-Steven Benedic Dias, 8-Climax Lawrence, 30-Mehtab Hussain, 22-Syed Rahim Nabi; 10-Jeje Lalpekhlua, 11-Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri recommended for the Arjuna Award

The national awards selection committee today officially announced the list of recipients for the 2011 national sports awards and once more a footballer will be amongst the Arjuna awardees in the name of India striker Sunil Chhetri. The final list still has to be approved by the Ministry of Sports, but that is seen as a mere formality.

It would be a great achievement for the Delhi boy who started his career with local City Club before moving to Mohun Bagan AC. Thereafter he went to JCT where he started to show glimpses what he is capable off. In the last couple of seasons Sunil has played for Dempo SC, then spend the summer with North American MLS side Kansas City Wizards before playing for Chirag United SC in the second half of last season.

This year the AIFF had recommended the names of former captains Jo Paul Anchery and Shanmugam Venkatesh besides current players Subrata Pal, Mahesh Gawli, Climax Lawrence and Sunil Chhetri for the award. In the end Sunil Chhetri has been chosen by the committee to get the Arjuna Award.

Congrats Sunil! You deserve it.


Complete list for Arjuna Awardees

Archery - Rahul Bannerjee

Athletics - Preeja Sreedharan, Vijas Gowda

Badminton - Jwala Gutta

Boxing - Suronjoy

Cricket - Zaheer Khan

Disabled - Prashant Karmakar

Football - Sunil Chhetri

Gymnastics - Ashish Kumar

Hockey - Rajpal Singh

Kabaddi - Rakesh Kumar, Tejaswini Bai

Shooting - Tejaswini Sawant

Swimming - Virdhaval Khade

Tennis - Somdev Devvarman

Volleyball - Sanjay Kumar

Weightlifting - Ravi Kumar

Wrestling - Ravindra Singh

Wushu - Sandhya Rani Devi

Kamis, 21 Juli 2011

AIFF release Second Official Transfer List

The All India Football Federation has released the second list of Inter-State Transfers for the 2011/12 season. The list includes 92 transfers bringing the total of cleared transfers to now 111.

Viva Kerala were the big gainer with Krishnan Nair Ajayan, Gunashekar Vignesh (both Pune FC), Jagdeep Singh (Salgaocar SC) and Shahbas Shaleel (ONGC) confirmed for the Kerala side; but they lost the trio of striker P.K. Anil Kumar (Dempo SC), midfielder N.P Pradeep (Mohun Bagan AC) and Nigerian Bello Rasaq who has also moved to Kolkata to join United SC.

Aspiring Kolkata side Southern Samity have gained Babib Biswas (Air India), Gour Naskar (ONGC) and Prateek Joshi (RCF, Mumbai). Aseem Koraliyadan Kutty has left East Bengal Club to join Central Excise, Chennai; ONGC lost Sudipta Kar to Kolkata's Bhawanipore Club; while S. Parthiban has joined Churchill Brothers from Chennai Customs.

The other cleared transfers mainly include players from clubs in Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur and smaller sides in Kolkata.

Leverkusen's Arturo Vidal signs for Juventus

Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal is leaving Bundesliga side Bayer 04 Leverkusen after four seasons in Germany to join Italian Serie A giants Juventus Torino on a five year contract.

The 24 year old Vidal has been in the news across the summer with the player wanting to leave Leverkusen for a bigger club, ideally German rivals FC Bayern Munich but Bayer 04 Leverkusen made it clear that they would only sell Vidal to a club outside of Germany. This saw interest from Italy, Spain and England with Leverkusen saying that the fee would have to be above 10 Million Euros to tempt them to sell the player.

"I'm happy, it's a big and important step for my career at one of the biggest clubs in Europe," said Vidal in Santiago de Chile before leaving for Italy.

"I'm very content about this new opportunity that I'm being given. It's a new team which is being built with the aim of being champions and qualifying for international competitions."

Vidal added, "My experience in Germany will be useful to me in Italy because tactically it's a similar kind of football."

Bayer 04 Leverkusen Director of Sports Rudi Voeller has been in Italy over the last few days to work out the details of the transfer with Juventus. In the end a fee of 10,5 Million Euros was decided which could rise to 12 Million Euros in the case of success. 30% of Vidal's rights still lie with Chilean club Colo Colo, who earn 3,6 Million Euros from the deal.

In Munich the management of Bayern Munich aren't too happy about Vidal's move as they thought they would get Vidal from Leverkusen this summer even though it was proving to be difficult. Their coach Jupp Heynckes, last seasons coach at Leverkusen, was sure to sign Vidal; but now the player seems to have become restless and wanting a move so he signed for Juventus.

Delhi Senior Division to kick-off July 30

The Delhi Soccer Association organised local league will see 14 teams fighting it out to win the trophy of the 'DLF - Delhi Soccer Association Annual Preliminary League Football Championship' to kick-off on July 30 at the Netaji Subhash Sports Complex in Jasola, New Delhi. From August 3 onwards league matches would also be played at the Thayraj Sports Complex and the Ambedkar Stadium.

The DSA in its meeting on July 15 presided by president Subhash Chopra constituted a League Sub-Committee under chairman N.K. Bhatia (Convenor), Syed Shaheen, Liquat Ali, Benny Joseph (all Co-Convenors); Hafiz Shahid Bholanath Karmakar, Bachi Ram (all members) to ensure smooth and successful conduct of the league.

14 teams have been split into two groups of seven teams each. The top four qualify for a round robin league to be played in two groups of four teams each. The top two teams will qualify for the semifinals and the highlight of this years league is the fact that the semifinals and final will be played under floodlights at the Ambedkar Stadium, while the bottom placed team in each preliminary group is relegated.

The groups of the participating teams was carried out by a draw of lots in the meeting held yesterday at the DSA office which was attended by all club secretaries. In Group A Delhi United FC (formerly Gorkha Heroes), Tarun Sangha, New Delhi Heroes, Youngmen SC, Royal Rangers FC, Shastri Club and Indian Air Force (New Delhi) would face each other; while in Group B Hindustan FC, Ahbab FC, Indian National FC, Garhwal Heroes, Simla Youngs FC, Shahdara FC and Veterans FC have been clubbed together.