Discrimination in English soccer soars 60 percent

Tottenham's Dele Alli, Tottenham's Erik Lamela, Manchester United's Alexis Sanchez, and Manchester United's Antonio Valencia, from left to right, argue during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley stadium, in London, Wednesday Jan. 31, 2018. (AP)
Updated 07 February 2018
0

Discrimination in English soccer soars 60 percent

LONDON: Discrimination in English soccer soared 60 percent in the first half of the season.
The Premier League accounted for 64 of the 282 incidents of abuse reported to anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, a 50 percent jump on the first half of the previous season. Racism accounted for just over half of the reports gathered by Kick It Out.
“Our latest statistics reveal a significant increase in incidents of discrimination in football, which should act as a wake-up call to everyone in the sport,” Kick It Out chairman Herman Ouseley said.
“The spike in these mid-season reporting statistics comes against the backdrop of rising hatred in our society.”
Reporting incidents of abuse has also become more accessible as Kick It Out’s phone app becomes more prevalent. In the 2012-13 season only 53 discriminatory incidents were reported by the halfway point.
“Ultimately, tackling discrimination must be a collective effort,” Ouseley said. “The leaders across all sections of society and football, as well as the broader public and football supporters themselves, need to take action, report discrimination and help us eradicate hatred.”
After racism, incidents of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia account for next largest source of reports of discrimination (22 percent), followed by anti-Semitism (9 percent).
Incidents in the Premier League accounted for half of the reports in the professional game. Social media is becoming a growing outlet for discrimination, with most incidents on Twitter.


Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir ‘100 percent ready’ to face England, says coach

Updated 23 May 2018
0

Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir ‘100 percent ready’ to face England, says coach

  • Left-armer is fit after a knee injury
  • “He’s fine, he’s ready to go,” says team coach Mickey Arthur

LONDON: Pakistan spearhead Mohammad Amir is “100 percent ready” for the first Test against England at Lord’s starting on Thursday despite a knee injury, according to team coach Mickey Arthur.
The left-arm fast bowler was seen stretching out his right knee as Pakistan beat Test debutants Ireland by five wickets during a one-off match in Malahide, Dublin concluded last week.
Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mahmood suggested Amir had suffered a recurrence of a “chronic” problem.
But head coach Arthur, speaking to reporters at Lord’s on Tuesday, had no qualms about the fitness of Amir.
“He’s perfect, 100 percent,” Arthur insisted. “He’s fine, he’s ready to go.”
As for Amir, missing Pakistan’s final warm-up match ahead of the two-Test England series, last weekend’s drawn match against Leicestershire, Arthur added: “It was his rotation. (Mohammad) Abbas sat out the first (tour) game, Hasan (Ali) sat out the second, so he sat out the third.”
Amir was the hottest property in world cricket after bursting on the scene as a teenager in 2009 and at 18 he was the youngest bowler to have taken 50 Test wickets.
But his world was turned upside down in 2010 when he became involved in a spot-fixing scandal after deliberately bowling no-balls during the Lord’s Test against England — an incident that would eventually see him sent to prison by an English court and given a five-year ban by the International Cricket Council.
Amir’s first 14 Tests saw him take 51 wickets at just a fraction over 23 apiece, figures that had him on course to be an all-time great.
But the 17 Tests since his comeback two years ago have seen him take 49 wickets at a more expensive average of 34.91
Amir, and Pakistan for that matter, have not been helped by the fact that those 17 Tests since 2016 have also seen 16 catches dropped off his bowling.
The stigma of his spot-fixing exile has started to fade, with Amir playing for Pakistan during their 2-2 draw in a four-Test series in England two years ago.
He also starred for Essex as they won English domestic cricket’s first-class County Championship title last season.
Now the 26-year-old Amir is set to be the leader of an inexperienced Pakistan attack.
England, who didn’t manage a single win during their recent seven combined Tests in Australia and New Zealand, collapsed to 58 all out in Auckland in March as Kiwi left-arm quick Trent Boult took six wickets.
And Arthur backed Amir to do similar damage
“I think Mohammad Amir is the finest exponent of pace and swing when he gets it 100 percent right,” Arthur said.
“We’ve used that spell that Trent Boult bowled in Auckland. We’ve had a look at his lengths.
“We believe he (Amir) bowls incredibly well at left-handers and there will be three left-handers (Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan) in the (England) top four.
“He’s ready, I just hope it goes really well for him because he’s been unlucky at times with the amount of dropped catches.
“He’s ready, he’s determined, he’s fit, he’s strong, he’s excited, he’s in a very good place at the moment.”
Arthur is unusual in having served as the head coach of three leading nations — his native South Africa, Australia and Pakistan.
But he was adamant he had no desire to replace Trevor Bayliss when the Australian steps down as England coach next year.
“No, I’m very happy,” Arthur said. “I’d like to keep going with Pakistan for as long as they will have me because it’s unfinished business for us at the moment. This is a very young cricket team and I worry if we move on what happens to these guys. Their fitness regime is outstanding, they are training hard and they are enjoying their cricket. I’m very, very happy with where I am at the moment,” he insisted.