Selasa, 23 April 2013

UEFA Champions League: Bayern Munich demolish FC Barcelona 4-0

Tonight at the Allianz Arena it was maybe the end of an era and the start of another in European club football, then FC Bayern Munich demolished FC Barcelona 4-0 at home in their UEFA Champions League first-leg match.

Infront of a capacity 68,000 spectators Bayern Munich were in-charge of the game from the start to finish though FC Barcelona had more then two-thirds of ball possession, but they somehow where not in the game tonight as Bayern cleverly played their own game.

FC Bayern should have gone ahead in the first couple of minutes, but Arjen Robben couldn't score past Victor Valdés and on the quarter hour mark Bayern were denied a penalty as Gerard Pique handled the ball in the penalty area. Bayern made amends in the 25th minute following a corner, Thomas Müller headed in of Dante and Robben. Bayern Munich went into the break with a 1-0 lead and all still to play for.

If you expected Barcelona to be more decisive in the final third and threaten the Bayern goal, then you will be disappointed as Bayern's domination and finishing was better after the break. In the 49th minute Mario Gomez made it 2-0 following a Robben corner, a head on by Müller, but in this situation Gomez was just about offside. Thereafter Bayern could, maybe even should have added a third but Müller, Ribery and Robben all don't score.

If you expected Barcelona now to wake-up and get something out of this match, it wasn't supposed to happen as Messi, Iniesta and Xavi were a shadow of their capabilities; then now Bayern Munich ran away with the tie. First Arjen Robben scored Bayern's third in the 73rd minute to make-up for all his misses though again it could have been called-off as Müller body-checked Jordi Alba; and then in the 82nd minute Müller in middle scored off a David Alaba pass to make it a perfect night for the Bavarians.

In the end Bayern Munich won 4-0 against FC Barcelona, an appropriate result on the night with Barca in the end lucky not to concede more. The Bayern Munich express continues to roll through Europe with the club having one foot in the final in Wembley.


MATCH STATS

FC Bayern München 4-0 FC Barcelona - Goals: 1-0,4-0 Thomas Müller (25',82'), 2-0 Mario Gomez (49'), 3-0 Arjen Robben (73')

FC Bayern München
Manuel Neuer - Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Dante, David Alaba - Javi Martínez, Bastian Schweinsteiger - Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller (83' Claudio Pizarro), Franck Ribéry (89' Xherdan Shaqiri) - Mario Gomez (71' Luis Gustavo)

FC Barcelona
Victor Valdés - Dani Alves, Marc Bartra, Gerard Piqué, Jordi Alba - Xavi Hernandez, Sergi Busquets, Andrés Iniesta - Pedro (83' David Villa), Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez

AFC Cup: East Bengal held by Selangor, but go through to knockout stage

Kolkata giants East Bengal Club were held to a late two-all draw by Selangor FA in their fifth AFC Cup Group H match at the Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor. The red-and-gold dropped two points, but the one point gained was enough to seal their passage to the AFC Cup pre-quarterfinals as they stay top of their group on 11 points.

The hosts made a lively start amid wet conditions and they could have taken the lead when Michal Kubala fired in a low shot from 25 metres that forced goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu into a diving save. But it was the visitors who took the lead in the 23rd minute after Chidi Edeh attempted to burst through the middle of the Selangor defence but his progress was halted and the ball ricocheted off a Selangor defender to Orji, who took the ball into space on the left of the box before firing it between the legs of keeper Sharbinee Allawee Ramli. Selangor went close to levelling the score in the 35th minute when Raimi Mohammed Nor fired a shot across the face of the East Bengal goal that was just too far in front of a lurking Ramzul Adenan and the home side suffered a blow when Kubala had to be taken off injured just before half-time.

Things got worse early in the second half when Lalrindika Ralte fired home at the third attempt in the 54th minute after Chidi's shot had been saved by Sharbinee and Orji had his effort cleared by a defender. East Bengal looked to head for an easy victory before substitute striker Manandeep Singh saw red for a late sliding tackle on Kunanlan just minutes after he had come on.

Selangor had offered little in attack until then but they came out of their shell as in the 79th minute Shukor Jusoh fired a fierce rising shot from 25 metres that found the top corner of the net despite Gurpreet getting a touch to the ball. Now the home team moved forward in search of an equaliser in the closing stages and Kunanlan forced a good save out of Gurpreet before the Red Giants got the equaliser deep into injury-time. With almost all of the East Bengal players dropping back into their box to defend an Amri Yahyah free-kick, the ball was played instead to an unmarked Aizuddin, whose low drive from 30 metres went through a crowd of players and flashed past Gurpreet to secure a point for the home side.

With the win East Bengal moved into a continental knockout stage for the first time since 2004 and if they avoid a defeat against Vietnam's Sai Gon Xuan Thanh next week at home, then they will finish top of Group H.


East Bengal Club
30-Gurpreet Singh Sandhu - 7-Harmanjot Singh Khabra (79' 8-Thokchom Naoba Singh), 4-Uga Okpara, 16-Gurwinder Singh, 25-Robert Lalthalmuana - 35-Ishfaq Ahmed, 14-Mehtab Hossain [C], 18-Penn Ikechukwu Orji, 21-Lalrindika Ralte - 27-Andrew Barisic (74' 26-Manandeep Singh), 10-Chidi Edeh (89' 6-Baljit Singh Sahni)

Sensational Bundesliga Transfer: Mario Götze to join Bayern Munich from Dortmund!

In a sensational transfer in the Bundesliga 20 year old German international Mario Götze will be leaving Borussia Dortmund in the summer to join rivals FC Bayern Munich for a fixed transfer fee of 37 Million Euros.

German tabloid Bild reported in the early hours of today the sensational Mario Götze transfer. The timing couldn't have been worse with both clubs playing Spanish sides in the Champions League semifinals, but especially in Dortmund everyone is in a state of shock and disbelieve.

German international Mario Götze is regarded as the new Lionel Messi and the next big superstar of world football. Götze is the most gifted current German footballer; he is an instinct footballer and rather short at 5foot9inch, but technically incredibly gifted, with exceptional positional sense and an eye for situations.

The future Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola wanted Götze to join the Bavarian giants and made Götze his first real signing at FC Bayern and regards him to be the next Messi. Added pressure for Götze, but tomorrow night he can show if he still is a star in the making or already is one to challenge Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mario Götze has been a Borussia Dortmund player since the age of nine though he is born in Memmingen, which is only about 120 kilometres away from Munich. The Götze family moved to western Germany when Mario was only six after his father became a professor at the Dortmund University.

In Dortmund Götze is considered as one of their own like other players in Marcel Schmelzer or the trio of Marco Reus, Nuri Sahin and Kevin Grosskreutz, who played in-between for other sides, but came back to BVB.

Many Dortmund fans thought that Götze, who is still only 20, would never leave the club and play for them until the end of his career. Many in and around Dortmund thought the Mario Götze to Bayern Munich transfer was a delayed April’s fool prank, but it is true and many Dortmund fans cannot believe that their beloved Mario is leaving for the hated Bavarians.

AFC Cup: Churchill Brothers face Kitchee in do or die match

Churchill Brothers SC are on the verge of regaining the I-League title, but at the continental level they face Kitchee SC from Hongkong tomorrow in their Group E Round 5 match of the AFC Cup at the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune. The Red Machines have four points from as many matches and trail Kitchee by two points, who are second behind Semen Padang on 10 points.

At the pre-match press conference Churchill Brothers head coach Willy Moraes said, "We do have alot of injuries i.e. Beto, Tomba Singh, Bikramjit Singh and Felix D'Souza. But this team is raring to go and we are confident of gaining three points from tomorrows match."

"Yes, we did lose our previous game to Kitchee however this is a different ball game since the kick off is at 3pm and our team has got better since the last match," Willy Moraes added.

An in-form India captain Sunil Chhetri said, "We have four points and have a serious chance of qualifying for the next stage if we win the match vs Kitchee SC. We are still struggling with injuries, but the AFC Cup is very important to us, players getting injured is part of the game."

Speaking about the pitch Sunil stated, "The pitch is great and we are extremely happy with the support that we have got here in Pune."

"I'm very happy to be in this team, we have an outstanding unit out here, this team stands united and life has been pretty good at Churchill Brothers," Sunil added.

Meanwhile Kitchee SC after two wins at the start suffered two losses against group leaders Semen Padang of Indonesia, which has given the chance to Churchill Brothers and even Warrior FC of Singapore to move past them into second spot and qualify for the pre-quarterfinals.

Kitchee's Spanish head coach Josep Gombau Balague said, "Tomorrow is a very important match, the difference between Churchill Brothers and Kitchee is only two points. We will try to play are normal passing game."

"Churchill is a team that is doing well and are very strong. Even if we get a point here, if we win the next match we can qualify for the next stage," Josep Gombau added.

Kick-off tomorrow at the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune is at 3pm.

UEFA Champions League: Bayern Munich ready for FC Barcelona clashes

Tonight FC Bayern Munich take on FC Barcelona at the Allianz Arena in their UEFA Champions League first-leg match. The stadium will be full to capacity with 68,000 fans inside the stadium and an electric atmosphere expected then Europe’s best two club sides meet for a place in the final.

The German Bundesliga giants know that they need a positive result, ideally a win with two/three goals with no goals conceded to go into the away tie at the Nou Camp next Wednesday, May 1 to reach the Champions League final at the iconic Wembley Stadium, but one should not forget that Bayern Munich have been the best team across all competitions, domestic and continental, this season in Europe while FC Barcelona have shown unusual problems and weaknesses with Champions League examples being the away ties against Celtic Glasgow and AC Milan plus both the matches against Paris Saint Germain. Barcelona continue to dominate and control matches as they have over the last few years, but sometimes they are unable to find the net at crucial junctures. Injuries to key players have also done their bit.

At the domestic front both the clubs are in a similar situation. Bayern Munich have already sealed their Bundesliga league title, while FC Barcelona need a few more points to regain the La Liga crown. This gives them both the necessary concentration for the Champions League with both sides resting some of their star players over the weekend in their domestic competitions.

At the pre-match press conference Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes summed-up FC Barcelona of being more than just Lionel Messi. “Barça aren't just Messi. Barça are much more than Messi. Barça are a fine collective. They play football of the highest quality."

And the seasoned former Real Madrid coach, who even lifted the Champions League title with Barca’s archrivals, is not worried at the prospect of playing next week’s return-leg in Barcelona, “Bayern are capable of scoring at Camp Nou – one goal, or more.”

Attacking midfielder Thomas Müller, who has been having an exceptional season, meanwhile said ahead of the match, "We have to keep it tight at the back and keep a clean sheet at home if possible. That's the be-all and end-all if we want to make the final. And I really don't care whether we play pretty football or not. The only thing that matters is the result. I'm optimistic, but everyone knows it'll hardly be a stroll."

The important team news for Bayern is that central midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger following an ankle injury is fit to face Barcelona though the club will miss long time absentees Toni Kroos and Holger Badstuber besides an in-form Mario Mandzukic upfront due to a yellow card suspension, but coach Jupp Heynckes has the luxury of having Mario Gomez and Claudio Pizarro as alternatives with both strikers having been amongst the goals in recent matches. Especially German international striker Gomez, who is of Spanish origin, wants to play against Barcelona and show his class after Mandzukic has taken his place as Bayern’s number one striker and speculation in Germany is that Gomez could leave the Bavarians for a new opportunity in the summer.

At the FC Barcelona end it is all about Argentinian Lionel Messi and if he will be fit to play tonight. Messi made the trip to Munich after training on Sunday, but the Barca medical team have still not given the all clear for him to play against Bayern Munich. But Barcelona are sure to miss injured duo Carlos Puyol and Javier Mascherano, while Adriano is suspended.

Barcelona Director of Sports Andoni Zubizarreta said about the clubs superstar, "Messi is with the team and is fit enough to play, but the coaches will have to decide whether he does or not. We want to be sure that we have the best possible team on the field."

This seasons Champions League semifinals against FC Barcelona is also about getting rid of old ghosts, be it the 0-4 defeat at the Nou Camp under then coach Jürgen Klinsmann in April 2009 or last season’s unlucky Champions League final defeat against Chelsea in the final at home (Finale Dahoam) in Munich.

The 0-4 defeat at the Nou Camp under Klinsmann was the start of the end of the former Germany strikers coaching stint with the Bavarians, who realised that Klinsmann wasn’t the coach the club needed. But while Barcelona are mainly the same team with some changes here and there, Bayern Munich are a different side altogether if you compare the team then (Butt - Oddo, Demichelis, Breno, Lell - Altintop (46. Ottl), van Bommel, Zé Roberto (77. Sosa) - Schweinsteiger, Ribéry – Toni) only Schweinsteiger and Ribery are left from the side.

Bayern Munich have since then build a new team under Louis van Gaal and Jupp Heynckes with own players like Thomas Müller and David Alaba integrated into the squad or star signing like Mario Gomez , Arjen Robben or Javi Martinez made; while own talent who simply weren’t good enough for the top level in Europe - Christian Lell and Andreas Ottl, released.

Bayern Munich have learned their lessons over the last few years. Made the necessary changes, now is the time to take on the best, which is FC Barcelona and prove that they are the new top team of European club football.

Though in Munich, FC Bayern are totally focused on hosting FC Barcelona, the pending tax evasion case against club president Uli Hoeness is dominating the German media since it was made public on Saturday. The semifinals against Barcelona have been titled by Bayern Munich officials and players as the tie of the season, but it has lost some of its sheen, then Mr. FC Bayern – Uli Hoeness has lost his innocence and integrity for which he stood over the last 35 years since he was general manager, director of sports and president of the club of Germany’s most successful football club.

As Bayern fans say, “Mia san Mia” meaning “we are who we are” and tonight the players will have to prove it against Barcelona.

VIDEO: FC Bayern Munich vs FC Barcelona Promo

Here is a lovely promo a YouTube user has made ahead of tonight's FC Bayern Munich vs FC Barcelona semifinal first-leg UEFA Champions League at the Allianz Arena.


Senin, 22 April 2013

Ashoknagar Vidyasagar Bani Bhaban crowned 2013 Mahindra Youth Football Challenge champions!

Kolkata's Ashoknagar Vidyasagar Bani Bhaban was crowned Champion of the 2013 Mahindra Youth Football Challenge at the Bangalore Football Stadium today. This is the third consecutive MYFC title won by a Kolkata-based school. While Sukantanagar Vidhya Niketan won the inaugural edition in 2011, Pandua SBS High School triumphed last year.

The tournament gave India's finest under-14 football players from schools across six Indian cities and states a wonderful opportunity to display their skills and battle it out in a series of highly competitive matches.

The Mahindra Youth Football Challenge is the Mahindra Group's commitment to promote football at the grassroots level. The company has partnered with Scottish football giants, Celtic Football Club, who will take on the responsibility of training and developing young talent identified through the initiative.

Mohammad Habib, Umesh Das and Sumit Das stole the limelight with their superlative performances to help fashion a 4-1 victory over Don Bosco High School Panjim to emerge champions. The Kolkata team had impressed coaches from Celtic FC and onlookers with their excellent performances that proved too strong for their counterparts from Goa.

In a first half that was marked by a high-speed attacking game by Kolkata, the prolific Umesh Das scored the first goal with a sharp hit that caught the Panjim goalkeeper unaware in the 3rd minute of the game. In the 13th minute, this was followed by a second by striker Habib. The boys continued to show case their unbeatable skill as a third goal was scored off a rebound by striker Sumit Das and a fourth off a header by Mohammad Habib shortly before half-time.

The second half was characterized by better-quality defence by the team from Panjim. Trailing four goals to none, the boys from Don Bosco took the field with rejuvenated vigour which resulted in a confidence-building goal by Glevito S. Miranda in the 49th minute of the final match. However, the efforts were not enough to turn the game in their favour. Umesh Das from Kolkata was adjudged the Star Performer of the match for his outstanding performance in the high-pressure match.

Ashoknagar Vidyasagar Bani Bhaban Kolkata took home Rs 50,000 and a glittering trophy for their efforts while runners-up Don Bosco High School Panjim won a prize of Rs 30,000.

St. Joseph’s Higher Secondary School Calicut's Leon Augustine was adjudged the best striker, while the best goalkeeper award went to Aaron Koli of Don Bosco High School, Mumbai; Mohammad Habib of Ashoknagar Vidyasagar Bani Bhaban was named best Midfielder, while his team mate Suman Dutta was adjudged as best defender.

The winners received the trophies and certificates from chief guests A. R. Khaleel (AIFF Vice-President and Karnataka State Football Association president); ex-India captain Carlton Chapman; Vivek B. Singh (Jt. Managing Director – Procam International Ltd); Jose Ramirez Baretto, former I-League player; and Satish Pillai, Dhyanchand awardee for athletics and Bronze medalist Asian Games.

The list of 22 players short-listed for the 4 day training camp was also announced. To be conducted under the watchful eyes of coaches from Celtic FC, 2 – 4 boys will be chosen to travel to Glasgow to train at the home of Celtic FC.


List of 22 Players shortlisted for Celtic FC camp

Bijoy Banik (Kolkata), Aaron Koli (Mumbai), Lazim Ali (Kerala), Suman Dutta (Kolkata), Dhiraj Chauhan (Goa), Pavan Chitta (Bangalore), Umesh Das (Kolkata), Rudraksh Bajaj (Delhi), Rahul Swami (Mumbai), Sunil Rajbangshi (Kolkata), Leon Augustine (Kerala), Glevito S. Miranda (Goa), Keshab Das Munshi (Kolkata), Kapil Tyagi (Bangalore), Nuchiketta Dutt (Bangalore), Shantanu Debnath (Kolkata), Nathan Fernandes (Mumbai), Kiera James Kenneth Adams (Bangalore), Mohammad Habib (Kolkata), Javed Hasan (Kerala), Aryaman Singh Kanwar (Bangalore), Sandeep Roy (Kolkata)

VIDEO: Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa pledges Indian football development support!

The AFC presidential candidate Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain wants to support the development of Indian football and wants the beautful game in India to rival cricket's popularity.


Shillong Lajong's Edinho Junior called-up by Portugal Under-19 side

On loan player Edinho Junior of I-League side Shillong Lajong FC has been selected by the Portuguese Football Federation (Federação Portuguesa de Futebol) to play for the Portugal Under-19 side in an U-19 International Tournament in Porto which started yesterday and runs until April 27.

Edinho Junior joined Shillong Lajong FC on loan from English Championship side Blackburn Rovers in March 2013.

Edinho is the son of former Brazilian international footballer Edon do Amaral Neto and he only moved to Blackburn Rovers last year from Portuguese side Olhanense SC. He has been part of the Rovers Reserve side, but hopes to get more playing time with Lajong FC.

The signing of Edinho is the first ever loan move of a footballer from a big international club of Blackburn Rovers' stature to an Indian I-League side.

The 18 year old scored two goals for Shillong Lajong in his debut match against Pune FC last month.

rs1.tv VIDEO: FC Remscheid lose late at SuS Haarzopf

My German home town club FC Remscheid travelled to Essen yesterday to face SuS Haarzopf in the German Landesliga (sixth division) and they suffeed a late 1-2 defeat as they conceded twice in the last five minutes. FCR stay in 15th position with only 17 points from 18 matches.

Here my report for rs1.tv in German

VIDEO: Mohun Bagan 0-2 Churchill Brothers - Goals!

Churchill Brothers SC yesterday took a giant step towards regaining the I-League title by winning 2-0 away to Mohun Bagan AC in Kalyani. Here the two goals by Henry Antchouet.


Minggu, 21 April 2013

VIDEO: Luis Suarez Bites Branco Ivanovic

FC Liverpool's Luis Suarez in yesterday's EPL game against Chelsea FC bit his opponent Branislav Ivanovic after losing the ball. The referee did see the incidence, but judged it wrongly and didn't card Suarez, who had done the same thing while playing for Ajax Amsterdam. There is no logic to this except Suarez is a vampire or something similar, but jokes apart he's a good footballer but always capable of doing stupid things. If it is a judgement on video footage, then Suarez is surely looking at a lengthy ban.


Churchill Brothers beat Mohun Bagan 2-0, take big step towards I-League title

I-League leaders Churchill Brothers SC scored a vital 2-0 away win against Mohun Bagan AC at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium this afternoon to take a giant step towards regaining the I-League title. The Red Machines are now on 51 points from 24 matches, eight ahead of East Bengal and Pune FC but the duo have played a match less.

Churchill Brothers match winner was their Gabonese striker Henry Antchouet, who scored both the goals in the first session - 19th and 34th minutes to win the match for them.

Meanwhile Mohun Bagan's five match unbeaten run - four wins and a draw, came to a premature end against a better opponent and their fight for survival in the relegation battle continues as they stay in 12th spot with 22 points from 22 games.

Churchill Brothers took a 19th minute lead when Sunil Chhetri lay the ball perfectly for Henry Antchouet and the striker placed the ball to the right of keeper Shilton Pal. And in the 34th minute Henry was at it again this time latching on to a Sandip Nandy goal-kick, which he easily collected, beat Nirmal Chettri and placed past Shilton Pal.

At the other end Mohun Bagan did have their chances, but former Churchill Brothers striker Odafe Onyeka Okolie could not score against his former side as his few good efforts were either wide or saved by a very strong Sandip Nandy in goal.

In the end Churchill Brothers won 2-0 and moved closer to the title.

VIDEO: Pailan Arrows 1-2 Salgaocar FC - Goals!

Here the goals from yesterday's match between Pailan Arrows and Salgaocar FC at the Saltlake Stadium, which the Goans in the end won 2-1.


VIDEO: Prayag United 2-0 Shillong Lajong - Goals!

Here is the video footage of the Prayag United goals from their 2-0 victory against Shillong Lajong FC on Friday afternoon at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium.


India-born Sunil Gulati elected into FIFA Executive Committee

53 year old Allahabad-born Sunil Gulati, who is the United States Soccer Federation president, has been elected to the FIFA Executive Committee on a four year term as a CONCACAF representative.

Indian origin Sunil Gulati won a close contest 18-17 against Mexican Football President Justino Compean in a balloting at the Congress of North and Central American and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF) in Panama City on Friday.

"The game is growing tremendously in our region both on and off the field, and I hope to do my part to continue to expand the development of the game for both CONCACAF and FIFA," Sunil Gulati said in a USSF statement.

Gulati was elected to a four-year term and will join football's 25-member ruling body at the FIFA Congress on May 30/31 in Mauritius. Gulati takes the seat of fellow American Chuck Blazer, who had held the post since 1997.

Because of his new post, Gulati had to step down from the CONCACAF Executive Committee and was replaced by Canada’s Victor Montagliani.

Sunil Gulati has been president of United States Soccer Federation since 2006.

Sabtu, 20 April 2013

VIDEO: Delhi Girl Power - School Championship (Highlights)

Anglian Football recently organized the Delhi Girl Power School Championship for girls' football in Jasola Sports Complex. Each match was of a 20 minute duration with six players on each side. It was covered by FIFA Futbol Mundial producer Oliver Greenleaves and his crew. The championship was finally won by the Modern School Barakhamba girls' team!


VIDEO: Mohun Bagan vs Churchill Brothers Preview

Here the lengthy News Time Bangla video preview of the Mohun Bagan vs Churchill Brothers match tomorrow at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium.


I-League: Churchill Brothers face Mohun Bagan on way to title

Relegation fighting Mohun Bagan AC host I-League leaders Churchill Brothers SC tomorrow afternoon at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in a match which is crucial for both sides with their different ambitions, the green-and-maroon want to stay in the league while the Red Machines look to regain the title.

And with three matches remaining for Churchill Brothers, they twice will face Mohun Bagan - tomorrow and then the postponed tie at home on May 7 - before they know their fate; while Mohun Bagan have five matches to play before the end of the season.

"This match is very crucial for us. We have to keep the winning momentum to ensure more points and our survival in the tournament," Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa said ahead of his team's meeting with the Goa giants. Mohun Bagan have won four and drawn one in their last five appearances in a good run of form without which relegation would have been certain.

"A win tomorrow will be a big step towards ensuring our ejection from the relegation zone," Karim said looking at Mohun Bagan's position in the league standings. Mohun Bagan are currently placed 12th with 22 points from 21 matches.

"We will be missing defender Celestine Anyichie because of suspension. We play as a team and will find the right replacement. We hope to put up a good performance as there are no major injury worries," Karim said. "Churchill Brothers have a good lead and enjoy a good chance of winning the title. We have to stick to our objective and play our own game to keep our successful form intact," Karim added.

But Churchill Brothers have arrived in Kolkata without the injured midfielders Bikramjit Singh and Tomba Singh while their goalkeeper Felix D'Souza has a thigh injury and Brazilian playmaker Roberto Mendes Silva (Beto) is also recovering from an injury but he practiced with the team.

"We will take a call on Beto tomorrow before the match. The rest of the team is fine and we will play for full points to better the chances of winning the title," Churchill Brothers technical director Subhas Bhowmick said. Churchill Brothers are top of the I-League with 48 points from 23 matches.

But Bhowmick knows what to expect from Mohun Bagan. "Their strikers Tolgay (Ozbey) and Odafe (Onyeka Okolie) are in good form and that has helped the team do well in the last few rounds. So the pressure will be on us as we have to maintain the top position in the league table and get closer to title."

A lot is at stake for both sides, so a great Sunday afternoon match can be expected.

I-League: Mumbai FC score injury-time equaliser against ONGC

ONGC were denied all three points through an injury-time Yusif Yakubu goal which helped Mumbai FC to earn a point at the Ambedkar Stadium this afternoon. Earlier, Yusa Katsumi had converted from the spot to put ONGC in the lead in the 18th minute.

Courtesy the one-all draw, both the teams moved to 31 points from 25 matches with a match remaining.

ONGC's first chance came as early as the fifth minute. Kailash Patil's deft turn caught rival defender Kamaljeet Kumar on the wrong foot and the former was brought down. But off the resultant free-kick, Yusa Katsumi's try sailed inches over. A couple of minutes later, Yusa was brought down by rival defender Peter Costa and this time David Lalrinmuana's free-kick was way off the mark. Mumbai FC came back strongly and forced a goalline clearance by Sachin Gawas in the 12th minute off Justine Stephen's header from a Nicolas Rodrigues corner.

ONGC surged ahead in the 18th minute. A David Lalrinmuana cross from the right was handled inside the box by Kamaljeet and Yusa gleefully converted from the spot to make it 1-0. Mumbai FC's best chance in the first-half came in the 31st minute, when Peter Costa set-up Evans Quao inside the box but his prompt shot was palmed away by ONGC goalkeeper Rehenesh. Yusa, who till then, was creating problems for the Mumbai FC defenders, limped off in the 35th minute and was substituted by Naresh Aula. ONGC, thereafter, looked a bit wayward.

Changing over, Mumbai FC stayed the more dominant force. They did break into the rival box a number of times but the ONGC defenders managed to keep them in bay. Their easiest chance came in the 58th minute when John Coutinho, all in control, failed to tap it over an onrushing Rehenesh from the top of the box. Much to the frustration of the Mumbai FC bench, the ball sailed over. Three minutes later, Yasif Yakubu failed to direct his free-header into the net off a Nicolas centre down the left.

ONGC after the break depended on counter-attacks. In the 65th minute, former Indian international Jatin Singh Bisht's header off a David corner bounced off the post. ONGC who had been pressing hard just couldn't convert the chances which came their way. Substitute Sampath Kumar Kuttymani's miss in the 88th minute summed up the day for them. With all the time in the world, Kuttymani's header off a Peter Costa cross went over.

But the match had more drama in store. The lanky Abhishek Yadav set-up Yakubu Yusif in the clear and the veteran striker banged it in to the right of Rehenesh in the 94th minute to deny ONGC all three points as the match ended in a one-all draw.


(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)

Coerver Coaching India's Dragon Summer Soccer Camp in Bhutan

Coerver Coaching India in association with the Bhutan Football Federation will be organising the Dragon Summer Soccer camp, which is an advanced football skills program, in Bhutan in May 2013.

The course participants leave Delhi by train on May 11 and reach the Bhutanese capital Thimphu the next day by car.

From May 13 to 16, the boys will have daily matches against local schools (Mogthang Higher Secondary School, Khatsarabchu Middle Secondary School, Kelki High School, Druk School) besides training sessions.

After a day off football training on May 17 to do some sightseeing, the camp participants leave Thimphu for Delhi on May 18 and arrive in the capital a day later.

For more information contact: +91 92500 00813 (Bikram).

The registration form can be downloaded under: http://www.coervercoachingindia.com .

VIDEO: Air India vs Pune FC Preview

Later today Air India take on Pune FC in a crucial Maharashtra derby in the I-League- Here the PFC TV preview of the match with statements from both sides.


VIDEO: Scott O'Donell Speaks @ Budweiser 6v6 Cup Delhi Regional

At the Delhi regionals of the Budweiser 6v6 they spoke to the AIFF Director of the Regional Academies Scott O'Donell about India, its football and development.


Jumat, 19 April 2013

AFC Cup: East Bengal want to seal knockout spot in Malaysia

Kolkata giants East Bengal Club head to Malaysia today for their fifth AFC Cup Group H match to face Selangor FA on Tuesday, April 23. The match would be played at the Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor with kick-off at 8.45pm Malaysia local, which is 6.15pm in India.

East Bengal are top of their group with 10 points and a draw would be enough to ensure their passage to the pre-quarterfinals, but the red-and-gold are travelling to Selangor to win the match. The first-leg had been won by East Bengal through a Lalrindika Ralte long-range effort.

In another first East Bengal in their last match against Tampines Rovers became the first Indian side to score 100 goals in Asian club competitions and are two short of scoring 50 goals in the AFC Cup.

So enough things for the red-and-gold and their fans to look forward to...


EAST BENGAL CLUB

Goalkeepers
Abhijit Mondal, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Jayanta Pal

Defenders
Thokchom Naoba Singh, Uga Okpara, Gurwinder Singh, Raju Eknath Gaikwad, Saumik Dey, Robert Lalthalmuana

Midfielders
Sanju Pradhan (Captain), Mehtab Hossein, Penn Orji, Lalrindika Ralte,
Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Cavin Lobo, Ishfaq Ahmed

Strikers
Chidi Edeh, Andrew Barisic, Baljit Singh Sahni, Manandeep Singh

Officials
Trevor James Morgan (Head Coach), Atanu Bhattacharya (Goalkeeper Coach), Rajesh Basak (Physiotherapist), Manish Banerjee (Manager)

Maharashtra organises Grassroot football coaching course with AIFF & FIFA support

The Western India Football Association, the Maharashtra state body of football, is since Wednesday, April 17 organising a five-day grassroots football course to boost development of the game in the 6 to 12 age category.

29 coaches from nine districts across Maharashtra are participating in the course which is being held at the Cooperage Ground with WIFA organising it under the aegis of the All India Football Federation and world football governing body FIFA.

The participanting coaches are from the districts of Satara, Kolhapur, Pune, Osmanabad, Nagpur, Thane, Jalgaon, Solapur and Mumbai. They are being trained under the watchful eyes of FIFA Instructor Vincent Subramaniam and AIFF Grassroots Program Manager Suvrat Thatte.

The five day intensive course for grassroot coaches included theory and practical sessions.

"The primary objective of the programme is to attract more people towards football and popularise the game at grassroots level by providing opportunity to every child who is interested in playing football. This is an initiative that will go a long way in developing the game of football in the long run in Maharashtra," said WIFA Secretary Souter Vaz.

"The AIFF and Western India Football Association have taken utmost care to choose the candidates for this course. They would drive further the philosophy of grassroots football in every nook and corner of Maharashtra with many such courses all over the state," said WIFA CEO Henry Menezes.

The course will conclude on Sunday, April 21 with a football festival involving around 200 young footballers.

Indian squad for AFC U-14 Championship announced

A 21-member Indian team will be participating in the AFC Under-14 Championship to be held in Mashhad, Iran. Besides hosts Iran, India will face Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan in Group D.

India play their first match against Iran on April 23 followed by a match against Kyrgyzstan the following day. India's third match has been slated against Pakistan on April 28 while the last match is against Turkmenistan on April 29.

The India Under-14 squad leaves for Iran early tomorrow morning.


INDIA Under-14

Goalkeepers
Dheeraj Singh, Mohammad Nawaz, Antonio Da Silva

Defenders
Amarjeet Mishra, Amartya Basu, Anwar Ali, Jaskaranpreet Singh, Jitendra Singh, Smiel Diyali, Flan Ansil Gomes, Ritik Rai

Midfielders
Abhijit Sarkar, Hrishi Dhat, Mohammad Shahjahan, Sudipto Malakar, Ribhav Jatin Sardesai, Ajay Alex Anthony

Forwards
Abuthaheer, Gaston D’Silva, Khumanthem Ninthoinganba, Shubham Sarangi

Officials
Narayana Menon (Coach), Jude Barreto (Assistant Coach), Mario Aguiar (Goalkeeping Coach), Vishnu Nair (Physiotherapist), Anshuman Arya (Manager)

VIDEO: Ten Sports Promo of Celebrity Charity Football Match - ASFC vs AHFC

Here is the Ten Sports promo ahead of showing tomorrow at 9pm IST the highlights of the Celebrity Charity Football Match played between Bollywood Stars (All Stars FC) and Cricketers (All Hearts FC) on March 30 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.


I-League: ONGC aim to finish on a high at home in Delhi

For ONGC Delhi's Ambedkar Stadium stays their fortress and Coach Santosh Kashyap, the bandmaster. From whipping boys to giants at home, Kashyap has waved his magic wand since taking up the reins last December.

Under Kashyap, ONGC have lost only twice, against Mohun Bagan (away) and Pune FC at home. They have won seven and drew five matches. And tomorrow they will play their last home match of the 2012/13 I-League season against Mumbai FC at the Ambedkar Stadium.

"The game against Mumbai FC is of huge importance for us. Our aim was to finish in the top seven. The loss to Pune FC meant we had to go down in the table. So a win will once again bring our campaign back on track," Kashyap says at one breath. "This being our last home match, I am hoping for a good display," he added.

He further pointed out that the mid-table battle is very close with virtually nothing among four clubs. "Salgaocar, Sporting Clube de Goa, Mumbai FC and ONGC have nothing between them. Anyone of them can finish sixth. So we will go all out," he quips.

At their own backyard, ONGC have kept table-toppers Churchill Brothers at bay apart from getting the better of second-placed East Bengal, defending champions Dempo SC and Salgaocar amongst others.

"The irony stays that we face several injury problems," Kashyap informs. "Against Pune FC, we had several key players missing. The likes of Robin (Gurung), Kenistan, Bimal (Minz) will miss the tie. Sandeep Sangha is also out after picking up a knock in the last game."

Looking back Kashyap added, "When I joined in December, the team looked in tatters, especially in the attacking third. I focussed on improving the aspect. The boys responded in style. In such a short span, the way they adapted was incredible. They deserve all the credit."

Mumbai FC on the other hand, will be looking to enjoy the game and 'go with the flow'.

"With two matches to go we have nothing to aim. We have saved relegation and have played decent enough. At present, we are preparing for the next season. We will field some youngsters in our remaining two matches," Mumbai FC Coach Khalid Jamil said.

Both the teams have 30 points from 24 matches.


(Report & Photo courtesy AIFF Media)

Mumbai Tiger FC owners Dodsal Group to bid for I-League Franchise

According to a report in the UAE-based Gulf News the Dodsal Group owned Mumbai Tigers FC, who are currently playing in the final round of the 2nd Division I-League, are set to bid for one of the I-League franchises that the AIFF has put out into the market.

Rajen Kilachand, the chairman of Dubai-based conglomerate Dodsal Group, told Gulf News when asked if he is bidding, "Of course, we are bidding. We have two choices, to ignore this route and play out the remainder of the second division, or, if accepted, we don't have to go through this process. Because if we don't make top two in the second division this season, we would have to wait a whole year again to go up."

As per the requirements of a successful bid for a new I-League franchise the newcomers will have to commit to build a stadium and run a club academy, which the Dodsal Group is willing to do with Navi Mumbai their likely destination for a stadium and training complex.

Mumbai Tiger FC a few months back were linked to former French international Mikael Silvestre, but Rajen Kilachand has his own philosophy on players for his club. "My philosophy is to combine players from Africa, the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and India because at the end of the day the next 1,000 years of the planet belong to everything in this part of the world – the party in the West is over. The future Beckham's are all going to be here and the future is not 20 years from now it's two years down the road."

A confident approach by Rajen Kilachand and one thing looks to be certain. Mumbai Tigers FC will play I-League next season, be it through promotion or being awarded a Franchise.

PIFA Summer Football Camps in Mumbai

Mumbai's Premier India Football Academy (PIFA) will organise two separate Summer Camps at Juhu and Opera House in Mumbai in the coming weeks for boys and girls.

The first camp will be held from April 29 to May 3, while the second will be held from May 6 to 10 with boys and girls in the age group of 6 to 18 years allowed to take part with interested children allowed to participate in both training camps of five days duration each.

The camps will be held at Juhu and Opera House in Mumbai with the 5 day course costing INR 2,500 and the 10 day course costing INR 4,800. Participants will receive a certificate for having taken part.

For more information contact: +91 80803 78006 .

The registration form can be downloaded under: http://pifa.co.in/camp%20form%2013.pdf .

Kamis, 18 April 2013

VIDEO: Heineken - The Final, 2013 UEFA Champions League Commercial

Here is the commercial of UEFA Champions League partner, the international beer brand - Heineken ahead of the tournaments final to be played in Wembley on May 25, 2013.


2013 Forbes' Football Clubs list: Real Madrid overtake Manchester United

Spanish giants Real Madrid have moved to the top of the Forbes magazines rich list of the Most Valuable Football Clubs in the world ahead of Manchester United, who have been top of this ranking since it was first released in 2004.

Real Madrid is now valued at US$ 3.3 Billion ahead of Manchester United second in valuation at US$ 3.165 Billion and Barcelona at US$ 2.6 Billion. The top five is completed by FC Arsenal and FC Bayern Munich, who both are the two other clubs valued at over a Billion US$.

Forbes determined its valuations by combining its own review of financial documents and interviews with sports bankers along with Deloitte LLP's annual 'Football Money League' report, which in February 2013 ranked Real Madrid as the richest club by sales/turnover ahead of FC Barcelona and Manchester United.


2013 Forbes' list of the Most Valuable Football Clubs

1. Real Madrid - 3,300 Million USD
1. Manchester United - 3,165 Million USD
3. FC Barcelona - 2,600 Million USD
4. FC Arsenal London - 1,326 Million USD
5. FC Bayern Munich - 1,309 Million USD
6. AC Milan - 945 Million USD
7. Chelsea FC - 901 Million USD
8. Juventus Torino - 694 Million USD
9. Manchester City - 689 Million USD
10. Liverpool FC - 651 Million USD
11. Tottenham Hotspurs - 520 Million USD
12. FC Schalke 04 - 498 Million USD
13. Borussia Dortmund - 456 Million USD
12. Internazionale Milan - 401 Million USD
15. Olympique Lyonnais - 368 Million USD
16. Corinthians Paulista - 358 Million USD
17. SSC Napoli - 330 Million USD
18. Hamburger SV - 300 Million USD
19. Olympique Marseille - 285 Million USD
20. Newcastle United - 263 Million USD

Soccerex European Forum confirms itself as continent's premier football business event

Last week saw the fourth and final edition of the Soccerex European Forum held in Manchester. As with every edition so far, the Forum was hugely successful, with this year's addition attracting 1,600 delegates made up of senior federation and government representatives, clubs, rights holders, brands and true footballing legends, a mix that can’t be found at any other football business event in Europe.

The event helped set the industry's agenda with UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino announcing a number of exclusive initiatives including proposing a minimum 10-match ban for any player found guilty of racism and potential stadium closures for the clubs involved. 2018 FIFA World Cup LOC Deputy CEO Alexander Djordjadze confirmed that the tournament will feature visa-free entry for ticket-holders travelling to Russia, but also free travel on trains and buses for supporters moving in and between host cities.

The Football Association, led by Chairman David Bernstein, played an extremely important role in this year's Forum, not only hosting a special "FA150 Lounge" for VIPs but also providing a number of speakers including England Manager Roy Hodgson, Club England Managing Director Adrian Bevington and a closing address by the FA Chairman.

In a stand-out conference programme a session moderated by Guillem Balague, Edwin van der Sar, Gaizka Mendieta, Edu Gaspar and Ledley King insightfully and openly discussed the separate journeys they have gone on throughout their careers and the challenges that some of them have had in adapting to life after football.

The workshops at this year's Forum were extremely successful with packed sessions by Repucom, 20.20, the Royal Belgian Football Association and Huggity, as well key development sessions by high profile delegations including Brazil, India, Manchester and Swansea. The significant rise of social media in football was highlighted by an industry setting presentation from Head of Sport for Twitter UK, Lewis Wiltshire and a tremendously popular workshop on 'Monetising social media' by AS Roma, AC Milan and Eurosport, which had delegates queuing through the door to watch. This enthusiasm was reflected during the Forum itself when #Soccerex was trending number 1 to over 10million active users in the UK.

As usual, Soccerex is still the only football business brand in the world that attracts true legends of the game with Sir Bobby Charlton, Steven Gerrard, Eusebio, Joe Hart, Michael Owen, Roy Hodgson, Gordon Strachan, Ossie Ardiles, Bryan Robson, Phil Thompson, Kevin Keegan, Gary Neville, Edwin van der Sar, Ledley King, Edu Gaspar, Gaizka Mendieta, Denis Law, Mike Summerbee, Ali Al-Habsi, Joe Jordan and Gordon McQueen all in attendance at the Forum.

Commenting on the Forum, Soccerex CEO Duncan Revie said, "The last four years in Manchester have proven enormously successful for everyone involved, with this year's edition surpassing all expectations. We have consistently brought the biggest names in European football together, creating a fantastic learning and networking experience that cannot be matched anywhere else in the industry. We're now looking forward to Rio and our final Global Convention in the city this November, before returning to Soccerex’s birthplace, Manchester where the Global Convention will be hosted from 2014-2017."

Marketing Manchester Chief Executive Andrew Stokes said, "The Soccerex European Forum has been an integral part of our strategy to position Manchester as a major destination for football business. This year's event was an incredible achievement for everyone involved and laid the perfect foundation for Manchester to host the Global Convention starting in September 2014."

For further information about this event please call +44 (0)208 987 5522 or visit www.soccerex.com .

VIDEO: Churchill Brothers SC 2-2 Dempo SC - Goals!

Here the goals from yesterday's Goan derby between Churchill Brothers SC and Dempo SC at the Tilak Maidan. The entertaining game had ended two-all.


AIFF’s Tender inviting New Clubs in I-League

The All India Football Federation today invited a tender notice inviting Bids for new Clubs to be a part of the I-League. The winning bidders will be granted the right to own and operate a new club which will compete in I-League in each year from 2013 onwards and have the opportunity (if applicable and subject to qualification) to compete in the AFC Club Competitions.

The invitation to tender will be available on Working Days between 10am and 5pm at AIFF Headquarters, Football House. All bidding parties need to fulfill the eligibility criteria (Club Licensing) and other requirements specified.

The last date for submission is May 2, 2013 (before 5pm IST). The bids would then be evaluated by a Technical Evaluation Committee following which the results would be announced within a week from the last date of submission.

"It is AIFF's endeavour to make the I-League strong and robust and for that it is imperative that clubs comply with the Licensing criteria specially with regard to infrastructure and Youth Development," AIFF General secretary Kushal Das stated. "It is with this objective in mind that we are allowing direct entry into the I-League so that good infrastructure and Youth Development Academies can be established," he added.

"This is in line with what was shared with prospective bidders in the two Open-House meetings which were held in Delhi and Dubai. We are confident of getting a very good response for the above," I-League CEO Sunando Dhar maintained.


Objective
AIFF wishes to induct new clubs in I-League. This RFP is being offered on open tender basis to those agencies/companies who meet the requirements of requisite skills and expertise.

Tender Fees
This RFP document should have been obtained by the bidder or lead bidder in the case of a Consortium, in their name, by paying INR 1,00,000.00 (Rupees one lakh only) to AIFF as non refundable tender document fees.

Contact Person
Shri Kushal Das, General Secretary
All India Football Federation, Football House, Sector-19, Phase-I, Dwarka, New Delhi-110075
Tel: +91-11-2804-1430/31/32/33/35 +91 95406 65290
Fax: +91-11-2804-1434
E-Mail: ileague@the-aiff.com

Scope of Work
The new clubs bidding for the direct entry into the I-League as part of this RFP shall undertake three essential activities:
a. creating/leasing stadia: Clubs get a timeframe of 5 years to build a new stadium. An annual review of the progress will be undertaken by AIFF against the timelines mentioned by the incumbent in their proposals. In case of non compliance the clubs may lose the non relegation immunity.

Other Requirements
The new clubs will be required to pay annual licence fees of INR 3 crores for the next five years.
The new clubs are to be registered as a separate company with Registrar of Companies of India within 45 days of award of contract.
The new clubs get immunity from relegation for a period of 3 years, subject to certain conditions. Thus they get to play I-League a minimum of 4 seasons.
Successful bidder having net worth more then 500 crores will be required to submit a corporate guarantee for ensuring all necessary support to the new entity in meeting its obligation as described in this RFP document.
Successful bidder having net worth less than 500 crores will be required to submit a bank guarantee of INR 100 crores. This will have to be provided within 45 days of a letter of Intent by AIFF.
Successful bigger will be required to submit Performance Bank Guarantee for INR 15 crores in the form of Bank Guarantee (BG). The validity of Bank guarantee will be five years from the date of incorporation of new entity. This will have to be provided within 45 days of a letter of Intent by AIFF.

Steve Darby to conduct coaching clinic in Manipur

Reputed English coach Steve Darby, who has experience in having coached top clubs in Singapore, Malaysia besides being the Assistant Coach of the Thailand and Bahrain National teams will conduct a two month coaching clinic for most promising footballers of Manipur in Imphal in May and June 2013.

Stephen David Darby, better known as Steve Darby, is best known as a television pundit for ESPN-Star Sports besides having coached Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan AC for a few months in 2011.

Steve Darby will look after the technical aspects of coaching as well as mentoring the players and preparing them for the highest level of professional football.

The All Manipur Football Association is bringing in Steve Darby to develop its young talented footballers into professional footballers.

Rabu, 17 April 2013

VIDEO: 50 years of Bundesliga in one move - Version 2

The German Bundesliga is currently celebrating its 50th season. And here a great video, the second version of a combined move including Neuer, Netzer, Götze, Okocha and Lehmann...


I-League: Churchill Brothers held by Dempo to entertaining draw

Current I-League leaders Churchill Brothers SC were held to a two-all draw by reigning champions Dempo SC in an I-League match at the floodlit Tilak Maidan in Vasco. Churchill Brothers moved to 48 points from 23 matches, five ahead of East Bengal with three matches remaining; while Dempo moved to 36 points from 24 matches.

Dempo looked purposeful at the start and seemed determined to spoil Churchill's early championship party. They were helped by some poor defending by the Red Machines that allowed Dempo's to go ahead as Debabrata Roy was allowed acres of space on the left and when he crossed into the goalmouth, Japanese striker Ryuji Sueoka was there to head it home for the opener in the 12th minute.

Initially Churchill Brothers looked shocked by the reversal, but soon regained ground and started to put pressure on the Dempo goal with Sunil Chhetri and Henri Antchouet a constant threat. First Chhetri forced a good save from Dempo goalkeeper Subhashish Roy Chowdhury before Henri and then substitute Belal Arezou had attempts that sailed just wide.

But Churchill Brothers equalized in the 44th minute through a perfectly curled Chhetri free-kick that beat Subhashish, but joy was shortlived as Dempo once more went ahead in the first minute of injury time, when another mistake allowed Climax Lawrence to put the ball into the net.

After the break Sunil Chhetri scored from his second free-kick from just outside the box to bring his team on level terms in the 53rd minute. Now Churchill Brothers were pushing for the winner, but Henri was the biggest culprit as he wasted two good chances.

In the end it ended two-all, surely a point won for Churchill Brothers in their quest to regain the I-League title.

FIFA opens bidding process for five competitions in 2016 & 2017, including 2017 Under-17 World Cup

World football governing body FIFA has been offering India to host the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, but due to numerous reasons the All India Football Federation and the Government of India have not been able to give necessary guarantees to FIFA which has led the world governing body to include the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup as part of the open bidding process for competitions in 2016 and 2017.

The AIFF is trying its best to be hosts of the 2017 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, but hasn't gotten the necessary government support which is needed to be a host of a FIFA event.

FIFA has opened the bidding process for five competitions in 2016 and 2017. The 209 member associations have been invited to submit their interest in hosting the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women's World Cups in 2016, the FIFA U-20 and U-17 World Cups in 2017 and the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2017.

The bidding timeline for these competitions requires the member associations who wish to host these events to submit a declaration of interest by 15 May 2013. The deadline to provide the hosting agreement with the complete Bid Book is 15 November 2013, with the final decision on the hosts currently scheduled to take place at the FIFA Executive Committee meeting in December 2013.


FIFA World Cups open for bidding

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2016
The development of football for girls and women has long been one of FIFA’s top priorities. This is the “youngest” of FIFA’s competitions. A major milestone was reached in 2008 when the inaugural FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup was held in New Zealand, marking the first time ever that men and women had the same youth tournament structure in football. The creation of this event (with 16 teams) has encouraged member associations to further develop women’s football at youth level and to set up teams in even younger age groups. In addition, this tournament has enjoyed support from different sectors of society in its host countries. For example, the last edition of the tournament in Azerbaijan in 2012 was also a commercial success as four national companies, representing the main industries in the country, came on board as National Supporters of the tournament.

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2016
The popularity of women’s football has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years, as evidenced by the growing numbers participating in the game worldwide as well as the steadily rising spectator levels for women’s competitions, with the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Germany 2010 holding the attendance record of 395,295 spectators and achieving an average global in-home audience per live match of 2.8 million. This is the second most important women’s FIFA tournament and serves as a final stage of preparation for young players prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup™.

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017
The strengthening of youth football is another of FIFA’s top priorities with the aim of enabling young players to work towards the FIFA World Cup™ at senior level. Today, this biennial teenage tournament featuring 24 teams is an established event on the global football calendar and continues to serve as the launch pad for many illustrious football careers. It is the third oldest of FIFA’s competitions.

FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017
Like its younger brother, this youth tournament features 24 teams, making it the joint second largest FIFA event. Diego Maradona, Dunga, Marco van Basten and Lionel Messi all earned their international spurs at this competition, which has blossomed in size and impact since its inception in 1977. This significance is reflected in its growing appeal to spectators, with the 2011 edition enjoying a worldwide cumulative TV audience of over 500 million.

FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2017
This World Cup is held every two years, and 2017 will be the ninth edition. Sixteen teams will participate in the final competition and one stadium will be required. The duration of the competition is approximately 10 to 12 days. The location of the venue should echo the sun, sea and sand of Copacabana beach, the birthplace of beach soccer.

India to organise 20 Grassroot Football Festivals

Twenty grassroots festivals will be organised by the All India Football Federation across the country in conjunction with the celebrations of the AFC Grassroots Year 2013 and Grassroots Day which falls on Wednesday, May 15.

The AIFF plans to hold the festivals in 20 districts to kick off simultaneously and to be conducted by Grassroots Leaders trained under the FIFA and AIFF grassroots programmes over the past year.

An AIFF Grassroots Course will also be held from May 20 to 24 in the state of Manipur to be managed by the All Manipur Football Association to celebrate AFC Grassroots Day.

The AIFF also aims to spread the grassroots programme to five states this year in collaboration with the respective state FAs. They will introduce the AIFF grassroots programme in each state through the grassroots centers and a comprehensive grassroots development plan to reach every district in the state. FIFA is also supporting the AIFF with a grassroots course in Mumbai this year.

The AFC has designated this year as the AFC Grassroots Year, aptly themed 'Let's Play!', and is encouraging Member Associations to organise activities to promote and emphasise that football is accessible and socially beneficial to everyone and that a strong foundation will allow players to progress to the elite level.

The AFC Grassroots Day on May 15 coincides with the International Family Day and will be celebrated throughout the week or other times suitable for the MAs.

rs1.tv VIDEO: FC Remscheid earn a point in Vogelheim

My German home town club FC Remscheid travelled to Essen yesterday to face Vogelheimer SV in a postponed match of the German Landesliga (sixth division) and they earned a 1-1 draw. With the point FCR stay in 15th position with 17 points from 17 matches.

Here my report for rs1.tv in German

2013 Asian Football Awards launched in grand style at Houses of Parliament, Westminster

The Houses of Parliament in London saw a number of high-profile guests attend the 2013 launch of the second annual Asian Football Awards in a grand ceremony last month. The event, hosted by Inventive Sports saw nominations officially open for the awards set to be hosted at Wembley Stadium on October 8, 2013.

The Asian Football Awards 2013 (AFA), in association with Goals Soccer Centres, will once again be at the heart of English football, the world renowned Wembley Stadium, in a year that The Football Association (FA) celebrates its 150th anniversary. The hosts for the awards evening will be BBC Asian Network presenter Noreen Khan and Sky Sports News presenter Dharmesh Sheth.

The awards promise to be a star-studded event once again - with dignitaries from the world of football as well as a number of high-profile celebrities and footballers. With an anticipated audience of over 500, this year's event will be a fantastic opportunity to witness inspirational Asians in football, first hand. Last year's event brought together representatives of clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, QPR, Wolves, Charlton, Liverpool and Blackburn, while this year the event is expecting many more organisations to get involved.

AFA Founder Baljit Rihal opened proceedings at the Houses of Parliament by saying, "This year's awards promise to be yet another meaningful statement of intent for the Asians in Football cause. We are proud to be able to bring to you a bigger and better awards ceremony, which aims to honour those that are paving the way for Asians in Football. The football organisations have given us greater support and we aim to leverage this by continuing our quest to showcase Asian role models within the UK football industry."

Other speakers at the launch event included Paul Uppal MP, Sir Rodney Walker (Non-Executive Chairman Goals Soccer Centres), Darren Bailey (Director of Football Governance & Regulation - The FA), Jas Jassal (Inventive Sports), Zesh Rehman Foundation and Khalsa Football Academy. Baljit added, "We are honoured to have guest speakers here today, representing the government, leading football organisations and those that are delivering effective projects in the community."

The Westminster launch included a large gathering of prominent Asians involved in the Football industry as well as many up and coming football players. Many guests commented on the great networking session with key football industry personnel.

Paul Uppal, MP for Wolverhampton South West, declared, "I am privileged to be able to support the Asian Football Awards and have sponsored the Parliamentary reception today. The Launch in Parliament has showcased the continued success in all aspects of UK football and I have enjoyed welcoming the role models of today as well as tomorrow. I hope that the Awards highlight the growing importance the Asian community play in the professional game, as well as at grassroots level, and serve as an inspiration for others to get involved."

The Awards see Goals Soccer Centres as their headline sponsor, along with a strong contingent of supporting football organisations including; The FA, Kick It Out, The PFA, Show Racism The Red Card and Sporting Equals.

General Secretary of The Football Association, Alex Horne said, "We are delighted that the Asian Football Awards are returning to Wembley Stadium in The FA's 150th anniversary year. Our chairman, David Bernstein, spoke highly of the inaugural event in 2012 and we look forward to welcoming the Asian football community back to one of the world's most iconic stadiums. The end of last year saw English football agree on an inclusion and anti-discrimination action plan, and events like the Asian Football Awards help inspire and unite all levels of the game."

Gordon Taylor OBE, Chief Executive of The Professional Footballers Association, said, "The PFA are supporters of the Asian Football Awards 2013 and proud to herald the developments of Asians in Football both in the UK and across the globe. The Awards are a celebration of the contribution and achievements of Asian people working across the football industry from grassroots to the highest echelons of the game. We congratulate the nominees in all of the award categories and welcome this opportunity to profile success and achievement."

The Asian Football Awards' primary objective is to create an awareness of the positive efforts made by Asians within the UK football industry. It also aims to engage with organisations and individuals to help increase Asian participation levels in the UK. AFA Founder, Baljit Rihal commented, "This is an industry awards – we are not just concerned about increasing Asian participation on the football field. Our aim is also to help make the hierarchies of organisations that govern football more reflective of the society within which we live."

Roisin Wood, Director for Kick It Out, football's equality and inclusion campaign, said, "This is a crucial initiative, which shines a light on some of the positive work undertaken by British Asians at all levels of the game. Kick It Out has long been championing this area and supporting these awards is a natural continuation of this."

Nominations for the 2013 Awards are now open online with the 15 categories aiming to reward and recognise individuals and organisations across the entire football industry.

You can nominate your candidate(s) under http://www.asianfootballawards.co.uk/afa-awards/nomination-form

The AFA 2013 judging panel includes representatives from The FA, The PFA, Kick It Out – as well as AFA 2012 award winner BBC Sport presenter Manish Bhasin and CEO of International Airlines Group Willie Walsh.

The AFA are also continuing their engagement with grassroots football. Their headline sponsors Goals Soccer Centres will host a nationwide 5 A-Side tournament throughout May and June 2013 – with the winners being presented with The AFA Trophy at the Wembley award ceremony in October. Teams can register on the Goals website under http://www.goalsfootball.co.uk/Football/PromotionAFA.aspx?event=AFA

AFA Founder Baljit Rihal finally on the importance of the awards, "Our vision has constantly been to support the growth of UK Asians in football. Since our inaugural event last year, the media attention and support from all across the industry has been astonishing. I can proudly say that the Asian Football Awards has and will continue to encourage more Asians to get involved in every aspect of the game."

Could Striker Mario Gomez be leaving Bayern Munich in the summer?

German giants FC Bayern Munich are currently playing one of their best-ever season with the Bundesliga title wrapped-up and still chances to win the UEFA Champions League and the German Cup, but there are players who lost out on the campaign with the biggest loser being striker Mario Gomez.

The 27 year old German international went into the season as the striker number one ahead of new signing Mario Mandzukic from VfL Wolfsburg and seasoned Claudio Pizarro, who returned from Werder Bremen. But injury and good performances from especially Mandzukic and the team player Pizarro have pushed Gomez back in the pecking order.

And that isn't to the liking of Mario Gomez, who scored a hattrick yesterday in just six minutes against VfL Wolfsburg in the German Cup semifinal, but only after coming on as a substitute for Mandzukic.

only a year ago Mario Gomez extended his contract at Bayern Munich until 2016 at a time where he was scoring regularly, but the criticism over the way he plays has never died down and now with Mandzukic there many say that Gomez's time in Munich could be over in the summer.

"There were always expressions of interest in the services of Mario," Gomez agent Uli Ferber told German tabloid Bild. "They were during his years at Stuttgart, right before his move to Bayern Munich, and right ahead of his most recent contract renewal. But also right now at this point in time."

So as expected there are clubs very much interested to sign Gomez with especially English Premier League clubs Manchester City and Chelsea FC potential destinations as they look at options upfront, but also other EPL sides besides clubs from Spain and Italy could be interested in the tall striker.

But Bayern Munich are not reacting at all, knowing that the situation for Gomez isn't the best but that is what competition does within a team...

Selasa, 16 April 2013

VIDEO: Budweiser 6v6 Cup Bangalore Regional Wrap

Here the Bangalore Regional Wrap of the Indian-leg of the Budweiser 6v6 with statements from ex-India captain Shanmugam Venkatesh and tournament participants.


VIDEO: Shillong Lajong FC 1-1 ONGC - Highlights!

Here are the match highlights of the Shillong Lajong FC vs ONGC match on April 7, which had ended one-all at the first floodlight match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong.


Heineken announces Indian winner for the 'Heineken Social Reporter'

International beer brand Heineken is giving one lucky football fan from India the chance to report LIVE from the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley in London with Mumbai's Akhil Shah the chosen one.

Heineken, one of the world's leading premium beer brands, was looking to offer an important assignment to one lucky football fan from India - a chance to be 'Heineken's Social Reporter', and report live from the upcoming UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL on May 25, 2013.

Akhil Shah was selected from over 400 applications received on the brand's Facebook app. Then the final 15 applicants went through a three-stage selection process both online and offline to assess their football knowledge and passion, apart from other softer attributes and personality traits. At an event held in New Delhi last week, the newly appointed social reporter Akhil was asked to interview the captain of the Indian football team, Sunil Chhetri as his first 'Heineken Social Reporter' assignment.

Heineken India was looking to recruit a 'Man of The World' from India, to live the Heineken Experience and report on it. The attempt is to recruit a lucky football fan, who is digitally and socially savvy, creative, witty, passionate and eager, to report on the UEFA Champions League Final weekend for Heineken's Social Media channels in India. The initiative is an extension of the brand's global campaign THE CANDIDATE, and one of the initiatives as part of Heineken's activation of the UEFA Champions League sponsorship in India.

To join the search, interested fans will go through an online and offline selection process, with the first step starting on Heineken's Facebook page under www.facebook.com/heineken .

The selected candidate will also meet and exchange notes with Guy Luchting (selected candidate featured in THE CANDIDATE) as part of the Heineken Experience at the UEFA Champions League Final in London.

Speaking on this exciting initiative, Samar Singh Sheikhawat, Senior Vice-President Marketing, United Breweries Limited, said, "Given the growing fan following that European football now enjoys in India, we decided to leverage our global partnership in India for the first time this year with a multi-pronged activation program. We expect the campaign to make the brand more salient and desirable among young Indian consumers by leveraging a sport that they are increasingly relating to favourably."

VIDEO: Bengali New Year celebrations at Mohun Bagan & East Bengal

Here an ABP Ananda feature on yesterday's Bengali New Year (Nababarsha) celebrations at the club tents and the Bar Puja (Goalpost Puja) at Mohun Bagan AC and East Bengal Club.


Dates confirmed for 2014 Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester

Soccerex is delighted to announce that the Soccerex Global Convention 2014, hosted by Marketing Manchester, will take place September 6 to 10, 2014 at the Manchester Central Convention Centre in England.

As one of the first business events of the 2014/15 football season, the Convention will be a crucial opportunity for national FA's, federations and cities to promote their 2020 EURO Championship bid to the key senior UEFA representatives in attendance before the bid process closes later that month.

This year's Soccerex European Forum in Manchester had opened the door to the championships and offer the first chance for all potential bids to understand the bidding process through an exclusive insight from UEFA's General Secretary, Gianni Infantino.

The Global Convention, which has previously been held in Paris, Los Angeles, Dubai, Johannesburg as well as being hosted in Rio de Janeiro for the last 3 years, with the final edition this winter, will be returning to the UK for the first time since 2000. It is expected to attract over 20,000 delegates to Manchester between 2014 and 2017, command significant international media attention and bring a host of football legends who will participate in the extremely popular 'Football Festival', which makes up two of the five-day event.

For further information about this event please call +44 (0)208 987 5522 or visit www.soccerex.com .

Senin, 15 April 2013

VIDEO: Budweiser 6v6 Cup Delhi Regional Wrap

Here the Delhi Regional Wrap of the Indian-leg of the Budweiser 6v6 with statements from Indian international Robin Singh, AIFF Regional Academies Director Scott O'Donell and tournament participants.


2013 Mahindra Youth Football Challenge finals from April 17 onwards

The inter-city leg of the third edition of the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge will kick-off on Wednesday, April 17 at the Bangalore Football Stadium and will finish with the final on April 22. Six schools qualified from over 250 schools, who will play for the title of the national Mahindra Youth Football Challenge under-14 champions.

The six participating schools - Greenwood International School, Bangalore; DPS Vasant Kunj, Delhi; Don Bosco High School, Goa; St. Joseph's High School, Kerala; Ashoknagar Vidyasagar Banibhavan, Kolkata and Don Bosco High School, Matunga, Mumbai - will play each other in a round robin league and the top two sides would meet again on Monday, April 22 in the finals.

The champion school would receive the Mahindra Youth Football Challenge trophy and a prize money of Rs. 50,000 while the runners-up will also receive a trophy and Rs.30,000. There would be individual awards for the 'Star Performer' of each match, who would also receive a trophy. There will be prizes for the 'Best Goalkeeper', 'Best Midfielder', 'Best Striker' and 'Best Defender' of the tournament.

The Mahindra Youth Football Challenge has tied-up with Scottish giants Celtic Glasgow FC and 22 children will be selected from the national schools finals for a four-day coaching clinic from April 23 onwards and then the two to four most talented kids will get a chance to visit Glasgow for 10 days to see Celtic in action, their facilities, train at the Celtic FC Academy and more.

232 Transfers for Odisha 1st Division League cleared

The Inter-Club Transfers for the 1st Division of the Orissa Football League ended earlier today at 21.00 IST after the transfer window had been open since April 1 with 232 transfers having been cleared by the Football Association of Orissa.

The 1st Division of the Orissa Football League has its own inter-club transfer window to allow players within the state of Odisha to change clubs ahead of the senior state league.

The Football Association of Orissa organised 1st Division of the Orissa Football League will be played from May 19 onwards.


Here my article on the start of the Odisha 1st Division League which will kick-off on May 19 .

4th Milind Deora Junior Soccer Championship: Five Boys to train at Queens Park Rangers!

Five talented footballers who had won India's largest community soccer championship, the 4th Milind Deora Soccer Championship will be getting the opportunity to go to English Premier League side Queens Park Rangers FC to London for a three week coaching clinic, courtesy the Milind Deora Initiative (MDI).

Today on the eve of their training trip to London, Rudolf D'Souza (13), Arfat Ansari (15), Tanaay Shah (15), Uzair Ansari (15) and Praful Kumar (16) were felicitated by South Mumbai MP Milind Deora, who is also the Minister of Sstate for Communications & IT and Shipping in Mumbai.

These selected winners were part of the annually conducted Milind Deora Soccer Championships for kids to exhibit their football skills. Since its inception in 2009, the championship has seen a steady increase in the number of participants, with over 4,000 kids participating in its last edition. Kids from various schools participate in this championship which include municipal, government aided and private schools. The aim of the championship is to bring together the community, while providing a uniform platform for kids across all strata of society to test their football skills. The event was sponsored by Coca Cola India, Nirmal Lifestyles and was partnered by the famed English Club, Queens Park Rangers.

Speaking at the event Milind Deora said, "This is the second set of winners that we are sending to the QPR specialized training facility in London. We had started this championship with the aim to bring the South Mumbai community together and a steady increase in the number of participants has only strengthened our resolve. Through this exercise we are able to inculcate global football skills in our local talent. Through the years I have witnessed a lot of passion for football in Mumbai's youngsters. And this initiative is able to give them a first step in the right direction. I am hopeful that we would soon witness a national player arise from this grassroots football championship."

He added, "Sports should not merely be limited to following scores or watching telecasts on TV. It is imperative for the youth to participate in sports from a young age, irrespective of what sport they choose. It is important for kids to step out and participate in activities of physical and mental development."

Rudolf D'Souza, 13 year old student from St. Mary's school in Mazgaon said, "It is a dream comes true for me. I watch players of English Premier League play for their teams and always wondered if I would get to play like this. Now through the Milind Deora Soccer Championship, I have a chance at not just meeting them but training like them. I am looking forward to the next three weeks and hope to learn a lot."

rs1.tv VIDEO: FC Remscheid lose 1-4 against Klosterhardt

My German home town club FC Remscheid travelled to Oberhausen yesterday to face DJK Arminia Klosterhardt in the German Landesliga (sixth division) and they suffered a deserving 1-4 defeat. With the loss FCR stay in 15th position with 16 points from 16 matches.

Here my video reporting for rs1.tv in German

Minggu, 14 April 2013

VIDEO: Budweiser 6v6 Womens Cup in Delhi

Here comes footage from the Budweiser 6v6 Womens Cup in Delhi, where you see some quality women's football while the AIFF's Indu Choudhary speaks about the situation of the women's game.