One-legged Egyptian soccer players aim for a league of their own

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Members of “Miracle Team,” made up of one-legged, crutch-bearing soccer players, attend a training session at El Salam club on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt Dec. 29, 2017. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
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Members of “Miracle Team,” a soccer team made up of one-legged, crutch-bearing soccer players, attend a training session at El Salam club on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt Dec. 29, 2017. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
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Members of “Miracle Team,” a soccer team made up of one-legged, crutch-bearing soccer players, attend a training session at El Salam club on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt Dec. 29, 2017. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
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Khaled Hassan, coach of “Miracle Team,” made up of one-legged, crutch-bearing soccer players, speaks to his team before a training session at El Salam club on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt Dec. 29, 2017. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
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Members of “Miracle Team,” a soccer team made up of one-legged, crutch-bearing soccer players, attend a training session at El Salam club on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt Dec. 29, 2017. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
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Team coach Yousry Ibrahim, helps Mahmoud Tawfik, 28, captain of “Miracle Team,” a soccer team made up of one-legged, crutch-bearing soccer players, at El Salam club on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt Dec. 29, 2017. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)
Updated 02 January 2018
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One-legged Egyptian soccer players aim for a league of their own

CAIRO: A group of Egyptian soccer players have formed a team for one-legged players, hoping to start league for disabled players in the country.
“The Miracle Team,” consists of twenty-five players from across Egypt who meet twice a week to train on a pitch in Cairo. While the team began training in freestyle soccer — a non-competitive art where players perform tricks with a ball — they soon decided to aim higher.
“I started bringing the people in and coach Yousry, the team coach, called me to start training me on freestyle football,” team captain Mahmoud Ibrahim Tawfik, who lost a leg in a road accident more than 20 years ago, told Reuters.
“I told him I have another dream of becoming a real life soccer player not just a freestyle footballer who has skills.”
The team hope to inspire other disabled Egyptians to take up the sport and eventually establish a federation which could regulate a domestic league for the disabled.
“In each governorate we are asking the players to form a team to spread the game,” said team coach Yousry Mohamed Ibrahim.
Despite their enthusiasm, the team faces a raft of challenges: a lack of funding, a paucity of special playing crutches and difficulties finding a regular pitch for training.
Amputee Football has special rules: seven leg-amputee players play on each opposing team, and the goalkeepers must have one arm. Crutches are not allowed to touch the ball and there is no offside rule or limits to substitutions.
There are 42 nations who now have national amputee football federations, according to the World Amputee Football Federation. The next amputee football World Cup is being held in Mexico later this year


Vidal fined 800,000 euros for Munich nightclub fight

Updated 18 October 2018
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Vidal fined 800,000 euros for Munich nightclub fight

  • Vidal and his half-brother were both found guilty after attacking another man at Munich’s Crowns Club in September 2017, which was reportedly caught on security camera
  • The 31-year-old was not in court in Munich to hear the judge’s verdict as he played in Chile’s 1-0 win over Mexico on Wednesday, which “professionally prevented” his appearance in Bavaria, his lawyer said

BERLIN: Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal has been hit with an 800,000 euros ($921,812) fine by a Munich court after being found guilty of assault during a nightclub fight last year.
Munich district court fined the Chile international based on 80 days worth of wages, calculated to be 10,000 euros per day for the Barcelona player, who left Bayern Munich in August after three years with the German giants.
The 31-year-old was not in court in Munich to hear the judge’s verdict as he played in Chile’s 1-0 win over Mexico on Wednesday, which “professionally prevented” his appearance in Bavaria, his lawyer said.
Vidal and his half-brother were both found guilty after attacking another man at Munich’s Crowns Club in September 2017, which was reportedly caught on security camera.
Vidal’s half sibling Sandrino, 25, was fined 18,000 euros, based on 120 days salary at 150 euros per day — a higher penalty because he also threw a glass during the incident.
Since joining Barcelona Vidal has struggled for game time in the star-studded midfield, only twice being included in the starting line-up in eight Spanish league matches.