Harbhajan Singh calls for India to boycott cricket World Cup match against Pakistan

Harbhajan Singh wants to see cricket respond to last week's terror attack in Kashmir. (AFP)
Updated 19 February 2019

Harbhajan Singh calls for India to boycott cricket World Cup match against Pakistan

  • Indian spin king has pleaded for the national team to pull out of its World Cup clash against Pakistan in the summer.
  • The call follows a Kashmir attack which left more than 40 paramilitaries dead.

DELHI: Spin star Harbhajan Singh has called for India to boycott their World Cup game against Pakistan in June in protest at a Kashmir attack which left more than 40 paramilitaries dead.
India has accused its neighbor of supporting the attack, and amid nationwide calls for reprisals, Singh said: “There is no need for any relations with Pakistan, let alone cricket.
“Don’t play the World Cup match with Pakistan on June 16 — country comes first for all of us and we are all standing with our forces,” added BHajji, who played his last Test in 2015 but is still an Indian Premier League regular.
“Pakistan has been promoting cross-border terrorism and this attack was unbelievably shocking,” said Singh, whose 417 Test wickets are the second highest for an off-spinner. Pakistan has denied any role in the attack.
India, one of the World Cup favorites, would at the very least forfeit the match points if they boycott the group game to be played in Manchester. But Singh said this would not matter.
“I don’t care about losing points as the Indian team is powerful enough to win the World Cup without playing Pakistan,” Singh told the Aaj Tak Hindi news channel.
The boycott call has also been taken up by the secretary of the prestigious Cricket Club of India.
“CCI is a sporting association but nation comes first,” said Suresh Bafna as he condemned the attack in which a suicide bomber hit a military convoy in Kashmir last Thursday.


Italy arrests leaders of Juventus hard-line ultra fans

Updated 16 September 2019

Italy arrests leaders of Juventus hard-line ultra fans

  • Arrests were the culmination of a year-long probe centered on the alleged blackmail of ticketing officials

ROME: Italian police on Monday arrested 12 leading Juventus hard-line fans as part of a major investigation into violence and extortion linked to match ticket sales.
The suspects are accused of criminal association, aggravated extortion, money laundering and violence, police said.
The arrests were the culmination of a year-long probe centered on the alleged blackmail of ticketing officials by the “ultras,” who wanted cut-price blocks of tickets they could sell to fellow fans.
They reportedly began threatening to sing racist chants during matches — which would lead to the club being hit with fines and possibly having points deducted — after Juventus stopped distributing blocks of tickets for resale in 2017, Italian media said.
Police said the hardcore groups had set up a “widespread criminal strategy to ‘restore’ lost favors.”
Those arrested included the heads of the Drughi, Tradizione-Antichi Valori, Viking, Nucleo 1985 and Quelli ... di via Filadelfia groups, police said in a statement.
Officers were carrying out 39 search warrants targeting those arrested and other suspects, with the help of police from cities across northern and central Italy, from Alessandria to Bergamo, Florence, Genoa and Milan.