Saudi Arabia side Al-Nassr land Socceroos international Brad Jones

Brad Jones has signed for Al-Nassr on a two-year deal. (AFP)
Updated 02 August 2018

Saudi Arabia side Al-Nassr land Socceroos international Brad Jones

  • Jones will keep goal for the side who finished third last season
  • Former Liverpool stopper joins Amrabat and Ramos in Riyadh

LONDON: Al-Nassr continue to make waves in the transfer market after they followed up two headline-grabbing additions by landing Australian international goalkeeper Brad Jones.
Jones, 36, has spent the last two seasons at Dutch giants Feyenoord, winning the league the season before last, and it is thought they were keen to keep the goalkeeper at De Kuip. But Jones has decided to end his time in Holland and move to Saudi Arabia on a free transfer, signing a two-year contract. He is Al-Nassr’s third big summer signing, following on from Moroccan World Cup star Nordin Amrabat and Peru international Christian Ramos.
“I can announce that I’m leaving Feyenoord to move to Saudi Arabia,” said Jones in a video interview on Twitter. “It’s been a fantastic two years, I’vee enjoyed every minute of it. It’s been an honor to be part of the success we’ve had in bringing trophies to the club. I would like to thank the support given to me over this time. I wish club all the success for the future and hopefully there will be more trophies to come. I’ll be supporting from afar.”

Born in Perth, Jones is used to playing abroad having spent 16 years playing in England, including five at Liverpool. He has won five caps for Australia and was part of their squad at the World Cup in Russia.
Jones is the second Australian keeper to move to the Kingdom this week. Jack Duncan, 25, has swapped life at Newcastle Jets for a new career at Al-Qadsiah where he joins fellow countryman Rhys Williams. The Jets have accepted a “significant” transfer fee from Al-Qadsiah for 25-year-old Australia youth international Duncan after a transfer clause was triggered in his contract.
“I made my A-League debut with the Jets, the club has given me so much,” Duncan said in a farewell interview at the club’s training camp in Spain. “I’ve grown as a player during my time in Newcastle, I’ve had some great times and worked with some fantastic people. This is a great opportunity to develop my career and one that I couldn’t pass up.”
Jets boss Ernie Merrick said it was a blow to lose Duncan.
“I’m extremely disappointed to lose Jack, but he’s been offered an opportunity that he wants to pursue,” Merrick said. “He’s a great team man and well-respected member of this club. His engagement with our fans and his contribution to the Newcastle community shouldn’t be overlooked. At his age and with his ability, I think Jack has the potential to go onto big things and I wish him the very best with the next step in his career.”

Iran assures FIFA that women can attend football qualifier

Updated 22 September 2019

Iran assures FIFA that women can attend football qualifier

  • FIFA traveled to Iran ahead of the weekend for talks on the matter of women and football
  • The Islamic republic has barred female spectators from football and other stadiums since 1981

MILAN: FIFA has been “assured” that Iran will lift its 40-year ban and allow women to attend a World Cup qualifying game next month.

Football’s governing body wants Iran to end its ban on women entering stadiums that breaches international football statutes prohibiting discrimination.

Global attention on the ban followed the death this month of a 29-year-old activist, Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire outside a courthouse. She had been detained for dressing as a man to enter a football stadium in Tehran and faced six months in prison.

“There is women’s football in Iran but we need Iranian women as well to be able to attend the men’s game,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a speech at a conference on women’s football on Sunday. “And we need to push for that with respect but in a strong and forceful way. We cannot wait anymore.

“We have been assured, that as of the next international game of Iran, women will be allowed to enter football stadiums. This is something very important, it is 40 years that this has not happened, with a couple of exceptions, but it is important to move to the next level and to the next stage.”

FIFA sent an inspection team to Iran this week to meet government and football officials ahead of Iran’s match against Cambodia at the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium on Oct. 10 — its first home match of the 2022 qualifying competition.

Infantino’s comments drew praise from United States outgoing coach Jill Ellis, who was at the same FIFA conference in Milan, two months after leading the American women’s team to a second successive World Cup title.

“I think it’s huge,” Ellis said. “FIFA has enough of a pull and ability to influence change and I think it’s absolutely the right thing. I mean I don’t think there should be any discrimination period and to not allow women to go see football I think is, I just can’t even wrap my brain around it in terms of it being something. I think if FIFA can influence that, I think it’s great.”