Jaguars owner donates 1,000 NFL Playoff tickets to refugees

Shahid Khan, the Pakistani-American billionaire and owner of Jacksonville Jaguars, has donated 1,000 tickets to refugees for the team's AFC Playoff match against Buffalo Bills on Sunday. (Reuters)
Updated 04 January 2018
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Jaguars owner donates 1,000 NFL Playoff tickets to refugees

FLORIDA: Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, through the Jaguars Foundation, is donating 1,000 tickets for refugees for his team’s AFC Wild Card Playoff game against Buffalo on Sunday.

500 tickets will to refugees from around the world, while the Pakistani-American franchise owner will also donate 500 tickets to displaced Hurricane Maria victims from Puerto Rico.
The game pits the Jaguars against the Bills this weekend at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.

The refugees come from across the globe and have settled in South Florida. The Jaguars Foundation worked with local charities to help identity the individuals. 

The foundation has aided the resettlement of refugees admitted to the United States due to dangerous political climates or natural disasters in their own countries and has been doing so for more than 35 years.
“The Jaguars’ first home playoff appearance in a very long time is an event that should be shared with as many people as possible, across all spectrums, who call Jacksonville their home,” Khan said in a press release.
“Whether it’s a home game in August or January, it’s important for the Jaguars to consistently be good citizens and do the right thing for our community. Hopefully the experience on Sunday will give our guests a well-deserved break from what can be severe challenges in their daily lives, and if we can give them a victory on the field, it will make for a perfect day.”
The franchise donated the other 500 tickets to displaced Puerto Ricans and their families in North and Central Florida. The Jaguars worked with First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Latino Leadership of Orlando to find individuals who were displaced due to Hurricane Maria.


FA Cup semifinal takes on increasing importance for both Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino

Updated 2 min 25 sec ago
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FA Cup semifinal takes on increasing importance for both Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino

  • Mauricio Pochettino is still without a trophy as coach.
  • An FA Cup win would suggest some level of progress for Jose Mourinho at United.

The FA Cup has come to take on a strange role in English football. It would be absurd now to claim it has the same status it did in the 1980s when it still had a glamor and an appeal that outstripped the league, but equally it is not quite the empty vessel many would have you believe.
Rather its value goes up and, annoyingly for Arsene Wenger, down according to circumstance — and this season it feels as though it matters once again.
The reason is that the FA Cup’s value is symbolic rather than actual. Fans, particularly of smaller clubs, will enjoy a day out at Wembley and may have something tangible to store in the trophy room of their memory, but for the big clubs the FA Cup these days can only ever be an adjunct to something else. Arsenal’s success last season, beating Manchester City in the semifinal and then Chelsea in the final, was dramatic and should have been meaningful in terms of the sides overcome, but it rapidly came to feel like just more of the same, a seventh FA Cup for Wenger but nothing like enough to counterbalance the sense of drift.
This season, though, all four of the semifinalists have a particular need to win. For Southampton, the FA Cup is about salvaging some pride from a season that looks increasingly likely to end in relegation (and their manager Mark Hughes, who had such a fine FA Cup record as a player, could suffer the indignity of leading two clubs to relegation from the Premier League this season if Stoke also go down). For Chelsea, who face Southampton in Sunday’s semi, it is about Antonio Conte’s farewell and, again, rescuing at least something from an otherwise miserable season.
But the real interest is Saturday’s last-four clash between Manchester United and Tottenham. After United had won the Europa League last season by beating Ajax in Stockholm, Jose Mourinho (and his players, acting under their manager’s instruction) held up three fingers to represent the three trophies they had won that season. Mourinho has noticeably downgraded his achievement since, deciding that the Community Shield is not, after all, worth including. To keep counting it, after all, would only emphasize what a disappointment this season has been. The FA Cup would not redeem it but along with second place in the league it would at least suggest progress is still being made, that there is a plateauing at Old Trafford rather than decline.
That the semi is against Spurs makes it all the more intriguing. After all, Tottenham’s steady rise under Mauricio Pochettino is one of the factors putting pressure on Mourinho. There is a growing sense, though, perhaps not entirely fair, that Pochettino needs a trophy.
Tottenham have won nothing since lifting the League Cup in 2008 and silverware, without question, would give validation to the general sense of progress, Pochettino, after all, has never won anything as a manager.
The suggestion that that somehow undermines what he has done at Spurs, though, is ludicrous. Nobody, surely, thinks that Juande Ramos, who was in charge when they last league Cup was won, has been a better manager for Spurs than Pochettino? Every time a doubt has been raised, the Argentinian has been hugely effective in quelling it. Spurs never finished above Arsenal: this is the second season in a row they will do so, and the margin is growing. Spurs were poor in the Champions League last season: this season they beat Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid and should have beaten Juventus. Spurs could not play well at Wembley: they’ve lost only twice there in the league all season. Spurs have lost each of their past seven semifinals: now is the time to put that right, to help dispel the lingering myth of “Spursiness”, that inability ever quite to finish a job.

Of course, what happens on Saturday and then in the final may be swiftly forgotten. What happens in the league in the opening weeks of next season will soon overwhelm events at Wembley. But what happens on Sunday and then in May will at least offer an indication of the direction of the tide and, besides, if football isn’t about trophies, what is it about?