THE DEBATE: Has Qatari cash at PSG ruined French football?

Arab News debates whether Qatar's cash injection into Paris Saint-Germain - and the purchase of players like Neymar - has ruined French football. (AFP)
Updated 25 November 2018
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THE DEBATE: Has Qatari cash at PSG ruined French football?

  • PSG beat Toulouse 1-0 on Saturday to make it 14 wins from 14 matches
  • Arab News debates whether Qatari cash has ruined French football

LONDON: Paris Saint-German beat Toulouse 1-0 on Saturday to make it 14 wins from 14 matches. It is still November and we can already say it will take a miracle for them not to win their eighth Ligue 1 title. Has the Qatar-owned club ruined French club football?

YES, says Greg Wilcox
Many fans have a problem with the way money has changed football. Clubs such as Nottingham Forest, who won two European Cups, no longer have a chance of glory. But never before has the corrupting influence of cash been seen so stark as with PSG and Ligue 1.
The French top flight used to be one of the most competitive in the world — from 2008 to 2012 there were five different champions. Now it is a case of everyone else playing for second. Sport is about competition and any vestige of that has been kicked into Row Z by Qatar’s cash. Why would anyone bother to watch the league now?

NO, says Daniel Fountain
Sure, Ligue Un is a procession at the moment. But, like it or loathe it, sport has become an entertainment industry. Fans want to see the best players and watch entertaining football, which PSG provide week in, week out.
The huge wealth PSG now have has never been seen before in French football. But if others are encouraged to invest in Ligue 1 clubs, it will have the same transformative effect that big-bucks, foreign-ownership has had in the Premier League and La Liga, which are often considered the best leagues in the world.
Other clubs in French football will catch up, but there always has to be a first time. You cannot blame PSG for that.


Virat Kohli savors first India win over Australia Down Under for a decade

Updated 10 December 2018
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Virat Kohli savors first India win over Australia Down Under for a decade

  • India's last triumph on Australian soil at the WACA in Perth in 2008
  • Kohli confident win sets tourists up for a series win.

ADELAIDE: Virat Kohli said it was “very special” to captain India to their first Test win in Australia for a decade and gave his side crucial momentum in their bid for a maiden series victory.
The visitors won a tightly-contested opening Test in Adelaide by 31 runs on the fifth day after setting Australia a target of 323, which would have been a record run chase at the ground.
It was a big breakthrough for Kohli’s men, with their last triumph on Australian soil at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008. In Adelaide, their sole previous win was in 2003.
“Obviously it’s a great feeling. We’ve never taken a lead in a series in Australia, something that for us is a huge boost,” he said.
“And it’s given us the right momentum that we needed to play a big series like this and it’s something that we’ve had to work hard for.
“Any Test victory is special because you work hard over five days, and then the physical and the mental toil and the emotion of it all comes together in a result is a very special feeling.”
Kohli, who has long led India’s batting charge with admirable consistency across all three formats but failed to fire in Adelaide, said he believed his team collectively were better than Australia and deserved to win.
The victory was built on Cheteshwar Pujara’s first innings 123 and his second innings 71, while wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant took a world record-equalling 11 catches.
“It was priceless from Pujara, we were down and out at lunch on day one. His grit and determination brought us back in it,” said Kohli.
“We always knew that runs on the board would make the home side tentative. Any lead was gold and we got 15. In the second innings again, he and Rahane batted well.”
Asked if thought 323 would be enough to win, Kohli said his middle and lower order could have done better after a five for 25 collapse at the end of the second innings.
“We could have added another 30-35 runs more which could have taken the game totally beyond Australia,” he said.
“So these are things that we have to think about going to Perth, but if someone had told me before the series that I would be 1-0 up as soon we started the series, I would have taken it with both hands.”
The second Test starts on Friday in Perth, with Melbourne and Sydney to follow.