Thursday, April 25, 2024

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Al-Nassr sans Ronaldo rout Messi’s Inter Miami 6-0
Riyadh, Feb 2: What was billed as a potential final meeting between longtime rivals Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t materialize, but there was no doubt which of the superstars enjoyed Al-Nassr’s 6-0 rout of Inter Miami more. Messi spent all but the final seven minutes on the Miami bench looking increasingly glum as Al-Nassr, cheered on by an appreciative Ronaldo sitting high in the Kingdom Arena stands recovering from a calf injury, ran riot in this friendly and scored three goals in the first 12 minutes. Inside three minutes, Otavio fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner of Miami’s goal which had his Portuguese compatriot Ronaldo on his feet cheering and clapping. It happened again three minutes later as Brazil’s Anderson Talisca scored from close range. Aymeric Laporte then did the opposite, sending a free-kick from inside the Al-Nassr half over the head of Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender, who sprinted back toward his goal in a vain attempt to block the unexpected shot. The MLS team, 4-3 losers to Nassr’s Riyadh rival Al-Hilal three days previously in the first game of its Saudi Arabian tour, offered little in attack in the first half apart from a Luis Suarez volley. After the break, the goals continued for Al-Nassr, which was also missing Sadio Mané to international duty with Senegal and five senior domestic players at the Asian Cup with the Saudi Arabian national team. After 51 minutes, Talisca scored his second from the spot and midway through the half, Mohammed Maran headed a fifth. There was still time for Talisca to complete his hat trick and Miami’s humiliation. (AP)

FIFA ‘Football For Schools’ programme spreads across India
New Delhi, Feb 2: The Football for Schools (F4S) programme has reached various districts, including Angul, Dhenkanal, and Deogarh in Odisha, North Goa and South Goa in Goa, and also the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and the union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. The programme kicked off at the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Cuttack on December 3 last year. The F4S initiative, launched under the larger project FIFA Football for Schools, is designed to significantly enhance the accessibility of football for students within the school setting, fostering a love for the game and promoting a healthier lifestyle. It is a “transformative journey” embarked upon by the Department of School Education & Literacy, in collaboration with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and the sport’s world governing body, FIFA. Under the leadership of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, serving as the nodal organisation for the F4S programme, this initiative aims to contribute to the education, development, and empowerment of approximately 700 million children globally. The programme seeks to make football more accessible to both boys and girls by integrating football activities into the education system in collaboration with relevant authorities and stakeholders. (PTI)

AIFF plans nation-wide talent scout structure for FIFA Academy
New Delhi, Feb 2: The All India Football Federation on Friday said it plans to create a robust three-stage country-wide structure for talent scouting and recruitment for its ambitious FIFA-AIFF Talent Academy. In a joint effort with the Ministry of Education and FIFA, the AIFF desires to use the ‘Football 4 School’ programme as a pathway in identifying talent, scouting and recruitment for its FIFA-AIFF Academy in Bhubaneswar. In this regard, AIFF President Kalyan Chaubey and FIFA High Performance Expert Ged Roddy and Philippe Senderos called on Education and Skill Development Minister Dharmendra Pradhan here on Thursday to present a blueprint and seek the government’s support. The Bhubaneshwar-based first FIFA-AIFF Talent Academy plans to have an intake of 40-50 best scouted talents per year, over the next three years to enable a continuous scouting inflow in U-13, U-14 and U-15 age categories. (PTI)

India to participate in Turkish Women’s Cup football tourney
New Delhi, Feb 2: The Indian senior women’s team will participate in the Turkish Women’s Cup in Alanya from February 21 to 27. Estonia, Kosovo and Hong Kong are the other participating nations in the four-team tournament, which will be held in a round-robin format at the Turkish city. India will have a week-long camp in Bhubaneswar from February 10 under the charge of new head coach Langam Chaoba Devi. Each team will face each other once, and the table toppers at the end of the round-robin stage will be crowned champions. India will face Estonia on February 21, followed by matches against Hong Kong (February 24) and Kosovo (February 27). India will be participating for the third time in the Turkish Women’s Cup (after 2019 and 2021), which is being held during the FIFA women’s international match window. (PTI)

Pugilists Amit, Ishneet, Sachin in semifinals of Boxam International
New Delhi, Feb 2: Indian boxers Amit Kumar (63.5kg) and Ishmeet Singh (75kg) entered the semifinals of the Boxam International Tournament in La Nucia, Spain with contrasting victories. Sachin Kumar (80kg) too moved to the last four stage after receiving a walkover from Spain’s Pablo Coy Bernal on Thursday. Amit put up a brilliant performance as he eked out a stunning 3-2 split decision win to defeat Mexico’s Miguel Angel Martinez, who has already qualified for the Paris Olympics in the light welterweight category. He will face Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Abdullaev of Uzbekistan in semifinal. Ishmeet too registered a split decision win in the quarterfinal. He knocked out local pugilist Didac Lopez Gomez 4-1 to set up a last four clash with Poland’s Michal Jarlinski. (PTI)

MoU signed to start Khelo India Centre of Excellence in Ladakh
Leh, Feb 2: The Union Territory of Ladakh will soon have a Khelo India Centre of Excellence as a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Sports Authority of India and Union Territory of Ladakh’s sports department here on Friday. It was the perfect gift for the UT on a day the Khelo India Winter Games 2024 opening ceremony was held at the Nawang Dorjay Stobdan Stadium. (PTI)


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