UAE hand out crushing defeat to Bangladesh in under-16 clash

Click here: Gulf News – UAE hand out crushing defeat to Bangladesh in under-16 clash

Bangladesh, the heroes of the first round of Group D qualifiers for the Asian under-16 Championship, emerged the villains as hosts UAE trounced them 9-1 yesterday.Yasir Salman was the hero for the UAE side, scoring four goals. Haddaf Abdulla and Mohammad Ahmad scored two goals each, while Fahad Salem added one more to complete the tally.Bangladesh’s goal was scored by Suhail to salvage some prestige for his team.

Bangladesh were the former group leaders, following their victory over Palestine…The UAE currently lead the standings….The UAE will face Palestine, the weakest team in the group, tomorrow. Palestine had lost 9-1 to Bangladesh in an earlier match.

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Racist European football fans get kicks from abusing Muslim players

Click here: Financial Times – Racist football fans get kicks from abusing Muslim players

Here are some sounds from the playing fields of Europe on an average Sunday: “Bin Laden! You know where he is!” “Have you got a first-aid kit or is that a suicide bomb?”No, it’s not what Italy’s Marco Materazzi told France’s Zinedine Zidane in the World Cup final. It’s what a Muslim football team in Luton, England hears all the time.

British football’s annual “action week” against discrimination starts on Thursday, and this year it should consider taking a new tack. All the conferences I have attended on racism in football have focused on abuse of black players or Jews, and quite right too. But racism has its fashions. Since September 11, Muslims have become “the new blacks”. In French polls, twice as many respondents now declare antipathy towards Muslims as towards blacks or Jews. In Britain in 2005, a survey for the Home Office asked people which groups they thought experienced more racism than five years previously. Even before the London bombings of July 7, nearly 12 times more respondents cited Muslims than named any other group.

Yet Islamophobia is generally ignored. Nobody ever gets punished for it. After Newcastle supporters repeatedly chanted “Mido’s got a bomb” at Middlesbrough’s Egyptian striker in August, only one person was disciplined: Mido himself. He got a yellow card for running to the jeering fans with his finger to his lips after scoring. No fans were arrested.Versions of the jeers aimed at Mido are heard across Europe. Dutch fans often accuse Moroccan players of fornicating with goats – a “joke” popularised by Theo van Gogh, the filmmaker murdered by a fundamentalist Muslim in 2004. Nobody is ever arrested for that either. Nor were the English fans who chanted during England-Turkey in 2003, “I’d rather be a Paki than a Turk.”…Powar says some scouts and youth coaches fear recruiting Muslims, who might want a prayer space or suddenly start fasting. He says: “It may add to the sense of ‘they don’t fit into the culture around football’.”Even Muslim spectators are so rare that when some north Africans and Iraqi Kurds bought tickets to watch Manchester United in 2004, it was assumed they wanted to blow up the stadium. Hundreds of police officers arrested the fans in dawn raids before the misunderstanding was cleared up.

…They do so chiefly because the taboo on Islamophobia is weaker than taboos on other kinds of racism. Butch Fazal, chair of Britain’s National Asians in Football Forum, suggests another reason. He says Muslim groups have been slow to mobilise against Islamophobia in sport.

Inzamam ‘declares’ on time

Click here: Gulfnews.com – Inzamam ‘declares’ on time

Inzamam-ul Haq bid adieu to international cricket, leaving behind only memories of his great knocks.For nearly 16 years, his stupendous knocks provided sheer entertainment to lovers of the game. It has been my good fortune that I witnessed some of the finest knocks of his career, with most of them being rescue acts for Pakistan, following a major batting collapse in the team.

..The first time I saw his ability to tear apart an attack was at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in 1993 during the Wills Trophy. It was his first match at the venue. Zimbabwe medium pacers Eddo Brandes and Ali Omar Shah had dismissed Pakistan’s top-order batsmen Saeed Anwar, Rameez Raja, Javed Miandad and Salim Malek to leave Pakistan struggling at 88 for 4.Inzy walked into the middle, a bit faster than what he used to do towards the later stages of his career. He then took charge and cracked a brilliant 90 to upset Zimbabwe’s plan completely. And when his wicket fell, the scoreboard read 199 for 6, including Inzy’s 90. Pakistan won the match and Inzamam was the Man of the Match.