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.


Historymaker: Saudi teen secures Kingdom’s first ever Olympic gold medal

Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al-Assiri wins historic first gold for the country.
Updated 18 October 2018
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Historymaker: Saudi teen secures Kingdom’s first ever Olympic gold medal

  • The victory marked Saudi’s third time on the podium at the two-week Youth Olympics
  • I have been working towards this moment for 10 years, said the gold medalist

BUENOS AIRES: It is said that the karate-ka who has given the necessary years of commitment and meditation to the sport is both fearless and tranquil. They can, it is said, be calm even in a burning building.

Last night, inside a furnace-like Europe Pavilion at the Youth Olympic Park, and in front of Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Al-Assiri won the Kingdom its first ever Olympic gold medal. And welcomed it, initially at least, with utmost calm. 

Defeating Masaki Yamaoka of Japan 8-0 in the Men’s Kumite -61kg final, the 17-year-old Saudi immediately thanked his opponent and bowed to the various officials, before turning to his coach, removing his red gloves slowly, and greeting him with a starch salute. Only afterwards, once these rituals of respect were over and his opponent had slipped away, did Al-Assiri explode with joy, his face contorting into beautiful agony as he screamed in guttural Arabic and jumped around the mat.

“I am so happy, so proud,” he said, his prize glinting in the spotlight of the world’s media. “This is the first gold medal for Saudi Arabia and our first medal ever in karate. I have been working towards this moment for 10 years, especially in the past two when my training intensified. I came for gold and this is the result of years of serious work. It was very difficult, but I am just so proud. Thank you to Allah.”

The victory marked Saudi’s third time on the podium at the two-week Youth Olympics, after bronze medals in weightlifting and 400m Hurdles. It is a stellar return for a country that brought only nine athletes to Argentina and has won just one medal at this level before, a bronze in equestrian four years ago. Yousef Jalaiden, the chef de mission for the Saudi delegation, had confidently predicted medals earlier this week, but even he admits expectations have been exceeded.

“We are very happy right now,” Jalaiden said, watching as Al-Assiri, wrapped in the Saudi flag, posed for photos with Prince Fahd bin Juluwe bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed, the head of the delegation. “It’s our best achievement ever at an Olympics — be it Youth or the full Olympics. We are so happy — we hoped for three medals, like I said before, and we got them,”

Karate is making its Olympic debut this week ahead of Tokyo 2020 and Assiri had secured his place after winning at the first qualifying event in Croatia this summer. In front of vocal support from Saudis and Egyptians, he was handed the historic victory after his offensive front-footed display culminated with Yamaoka fouling four times during their bout.

“During training, people from other countries were all telling us Mohammed would take gold, but for us it was never a certainty,” Jalaiden added. “We expected him to reach the final, but when you get to a final, anything can happen. He has been training exceptionally hard though and it has all paid off.”

Earlier in the afternoon, Egypt’s Yasmin Nasr El-Gewily won the Women’s Kumite 53kg final, defeating Japan’s Rinka Tahata 2-1. “Egypt are our neighbours and we have an excellent relationship with them, so today it is like our nation is one,” said Jalaiden. “We have both enjoyed great success here.”