Jordan advances to 2021 FIFA Arab Cup after qualifier against COVID-19-hit South Sudan abandoned

Jordan advances to 2021 FIFA Arab Cup after qualifier against COVID-19-hit South Sudan abandoned
The FIFA Bureau for Men’s Senior Tournaments declared the match a forfeit with a 3-0 win to Jordan. (File/AFP)
Short Url
Updated 22 June 2021

Jordan advances to 2021 FIFA Arab Cup after qualifier against COVID-19-hit South Sudan abandoned

Jordan advances to 2021 FIFA Arab Cup after qualifier against COVID-19-hit South Sudan abandoned
  • African nation forfeits match 3-0 after 7 players test positive for virus before match in Doha

DUBAI: Monday night’s FIFA Arab Cup qualifier between Jordan and South Sudan was abandoned after the confirmation of COVID-19 cases among the latter’s delegation.

As reported by the Asian Football Confederation’s official website, the FIFA Bureau for Men’s Senior Tournaments declared the match a forfeit with a 3-0 win to Jordan, which now advances to the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup taking place in Qatar between Nov. 27 and Dec. 18.

Upon their arrival in Qatar for the match, and as per the protocols established by its Ministry of Health, the delegations of both teams were tested for COVID-19.

After two rounds of polymerase chain reaction tests, it was confirmed that seven players and one team member of South Sudan were positive, with another five players receiving a reactive test result, meaning they were likely incubating the virus.

Given that another seven players had close contact with those who tested positive, a total of 19 players are currently in isolation.

There are no cases presenting severe symptoms, and everyone who tested positive is being monitored and receiving medical care for free through Qatar’s national healthcare system. 


UEFA targets FA for discipline over fan chaos at Euro final

UEFA targets FA for discipline over fan chaos at Euro final
Updated 03 August 2021

UEFA targets FA for discipline over fan chaos at Euro final

UEFA targets FA for discipline over fan chaos at Euro final
  • Fans without tickets forced their way into the stadium and there were ugly scenes in the stands
  • European soccer's governing body added that more information "will be made available in due course”

NYON, Switzerland: UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings against the English Football Association on Tuesday over the behavior of some England fans at the European Championship final at Wembley Stadium.
Fans without tickets forced their way into the stadium and there were ugly scenes in the stands during the July 11 game, which Italy won 3-2 on penalties.
“Following an investigation conducted by a UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspector into the events involving supporters which occurred inside and around the stadium during the UEFA Euro 2020 final match between the national teams of Italy and England played on 11 July at Wembley Stadium, London, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against the English Football Association for a potential violation of Article 16(2)(h) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations for a lack of order or discipline by its supporters,” UEFA said.
European soccer’s governing body added that more information “will be made available in due course.”
Fans without tickets broke through security barriers and turnstiles to get in to see England’s first major tournament final in 55 years. England defender Harry Maguire said last month that his father sustained rib injuries during “a stampede” of fans.
The official attendance was around 67,000 of the stadium’s 90,000 capacity, with many seats intended to be left empty to distance fans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The FA itself had described the scenes as ” disgraceful ” and earlier commissioned an independent review.
“We are determined to fully understand what happened outside and then inside Wembley Stadium at the UEFA Euro 2020 final on Sunday 11 July,” the FA said last month.
The FA had vowed to work with law enforcement “to identify those responsible and hold them to account.”


Right decision to hold Tokyo 2020, says head of Jordan Olympic Committee

Taekwondo silver Medallist Saleh Elsharabaty of Jordan wearing a kaffiyeh celebrates after his bout. (Reuters)
Taekwondo silver Medallist Saleh Elsharabaty of Jordan wearing a kaffiyeh celebrates after his bout. (Reuters)
Updated 03 August 2021

Right decision to hold Tokyo 2020, says head of Jordan Olympic Committee

Taekwondo silver Medallist Saleh Elsharabaty of Jordan wearing a kaffiyeh celebrates after his bout. (Reuters)
  • Country participating with delegation of 14 athletes

TOKYO: Holding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was the right decision, according to the secretary-general of the Jordan Olympic Committee.

Nasser Al-Majali told Arab News Japan that it was the “correct decision” to go ahead with the event despite calls to cancel it due to the pandemic.

“The dreams of our players would not have been realized without holding the Olympics,” he said. “Many Arab and non-Arab players had the opportunity to realize their dreams.”

Al-Majali singled out Jordan’s silver Taekwondo medal from Saleh Elsharabaty and Qatar’s high jump gold from Mutaz Barshim as highlights.

When asked about his impression of the general atmosphere in Tokyo, especially with concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Al-Majali thanked the Japanese for their hospitality.

“They try as much as possible to be hospitable, and they really are. The Japanese are apologizing to us because they can't do more due to the coronavirus situation. Even outside the Olympic Village they are very civil, and that's their nature.”

Al-Majali said it was a shame that the games had to be held with so many restrictions, and that the Jordanian Olympic delegation in Japan had been exercising caution throughout.

“We spend most of the time in the village and between the tournament hotels, in compliance with the laws in force, to reduce the possibility of anyone being infected inside or outside the Olympic Village. But we hoped that we would have the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture.”

He extended his gratitude to the city of Noshiro, in Akita Prefecture, which hosted the Jordanian Olympic delegation in a pre-game camp.

“I would like to extend special thanks to the city of Noshiro. We receive messages from the people of Noshiro all the time asking us to send them Jordanian flags signed by the athletes. We thank them and hope that we will have the opportunity to visit them with our athletes in the future.”

Jordan is participating with an Olympic delegation of 14 athletes and Al-Majali said the standard had been good in general.

The most important performance was that of Elsharabaty, whose silver was the second Olympic medal in Jordan’s history, after the gold won by Ahmad Abu Ghosh, also in Taekwondo, at the 2016 Rio Olympics.


Egyptian Equestrian star Nayel Nassar qualifies for Tokyo 2020 Jumping Individual Final after near-faultless ride

Egypt's Nayel Nassar rides Igor van de Wittemoere in the equestrian's jumping individual qualifying during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Equestrian Park in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (AFP)
Egypt's Nayel Nassar rides Igor van de Wittemoere in the equestrian's jumping individual qualifying during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Equestrian Park in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (AFP)
Updated 03 August 2021

Egyptian Equestrian star Nayel Nassar qualifies for Tokyo 2020 Jumping Individual Final after near-faultless ride

Egypt's Nayel Nassar rides Igor van de Wittemoere in the equestrian's jumping individual qualifying during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Equestrian Park in Tokyo on August 3, 2021. (AFP)
  • He will be joined in the 30-athlete field by compatriot Mood Zeyada

DUBAI: After a near-faultless ride at Tokyo’s Equestrian Park, Egypt’s Nayel Nassar qualified for the Olympic Jumping Individual Final taking place on Wednesday where he will be joined by compatriot Mouda Zeyada in the quest for gold.

The 30-year-old Nassar, riding the horse Igor van de Wittemoere, and 26-year-old Zeyada, on Galanthos Shk, will be among 30 top performers from the 73 that took part in the Qualifier on Tuesday afternoon.

Their success came on a day that also saw Egypt’s handball team reach the Tokyo 2020 semifinals after beating Germany 31-26.

Nassar in particular has been center of attention since the weekend after Bill Gates, father of his wife Jennifer Katharine Gates, sent him a message of good luck on social media that went viral.

“I support many athletes in the Tokyo Olympics at the moment, but there is no athlete I support more than my son-in-law Nayel Nassar. Good luck Nayel,” Gates, the founder of Microsoft, posted on his official Instagram account.

Nassar proposed to the daughter of the billionaire founder of Microsoft at the start of last year, the two Stanford graduates having been in a relationship for four years.

As well as taking part in equestrian competitions that have helped him amass a reported net worth of $75 million, the Chicago-born Egyptian also owns Nassar Stables, established in 2014 and based in the city of Encinitas in California.


Egypt stun Germany to reach men’s handball semifinals at Tokyo 2020

After the final whistle, there were joyous celebrations from the Egyptian team on the court along with the millions of fans who watched from home or followed on social media. (AFP)
After the final whistle, there were joyous celebrations from the Egyptian team on the court along with the millions of fans who watched from home or followed on social media. (AFP)
Updated 03 August 2021

Egypt stun Germany to reach men’s handball semifinals at Tokyo 2020

After the final whistle, there were joyous celebrations from the Egyptian team on the court along with the millions of fans who watched from home or followed on social media. (AFP)
  • The North African nation will meet France in the semi-finals on Thursday as its improbable run for an Olympic medal continues
  • Ahmed El-Ahmar starred for Egypt during its 31-26 win over Germany

DUBAI: Egypt are just one win away from securing their first-ever Olympic medal in the men’s handball event while a possible rematch against Denmark looms.

The North African nation stormed into the semifinals at the 2020 Tokyo Games with a 31-26 victory over Germany on Tuesday afternoon at the Yoyogi National Stadium.

Egypt’s win sets up a final-four meeting against France on Thursday while Spain takes on the Danes in the other semi-final.

The Egyptian players got off to a fast start against Germany and opened a 6-1 lead inside the first 10 minutes. The Germans would eventually catch up but Egypt went into the intermission leading 16-12.

Egypt maintained their momentum after the break as Ahmed El-Ahmar carried on the strong form he has shown throughout the tournament.

After the final whistle, there were joyous celebrations from the Egyptian team on the court along with the millions of fans who watched from home or followed on social media.

The Pharaohs defeated Bahrain 30-20 in their final preliminary match on Sunday to take second in Group B and progress to the quarterfinals.

With a 4-1 record, Egypt finished behind group winners Denmark — the only team to beat Egypt in group play — to book their quarterfinal place against Germany. If both Egypt and Denmark win their next matches, they will meet again in the final as the Egyptians could take aim at their first-ever handball medal at the Olympics.

Egypt opened their Olympic handball campaign with a 37-31 win over Portugal on July 24, but two days later, they lost the second fixture to Denmark, 32-27. The Egyptian team rallied by beating hosts Japan (33-29), Sweden (27-22), and then fellow Arab competitors Bahrain ​​(30-20).


Italy, Spain to host football tournament in support of Saudi Quality of Life project

Italy, Spain to host football tournament in support of Saudi Quality of Life project
Updated 03 August 2021

Italy, Spain to host football tournament in support of Saudi Quality of Life project

Italy, Spain to host football tournament in support of Saudi Quality of Life project
  • Proceeds from tournament to be donated to center specialized in cardiology
  • Mahd Academy to sponsor event as part of efforts to support medical, sports research centers

ROME: Four of the best football teams in Italy and Spain will play a tournament in Florence and Seville to support medical and sports research centers as part of the Quality of Life project, one of the programs of the Saudi Vision 2030.

On Aug. 7, the football teams AS Roma, ACF Fiorentina, Espanyol de Barcelona and Real Betis will kick off the first edition of the Unbeatables Cup, organized by the Italian association Unbeatables with the sponsorship of the Mahd Academy, the Saudi government body for supporting the development of sports disciplines in Saudi Arabia.

The cup will be played in two matches: Fiorentina-Espanyol at 7:00 p.m. in Florence and Betis-Roma at 10:00 p.m. in Seville.

All the proceeds of the tournament will be donated to a research center specialized in cardiology at the service of the world’s athletes.

Unbeatables was established in 2016 by ex-athletes affected by inherited cardiac arrhythmias.

In the aftermath of what happened to footballer Christian Eriksen, who collapsed suddenly after suffering cardiac arrest during Denmark’s Euro 2020 opener against Finland, as well as to many other footballers around the world, it was clear that the matter deserved widespread attention.

“Congenital cardiomyopathies are a silent killer. They can remain asymptomatic for years and, when not diagnosed, appear suddenly, causing cardiac death. Young athletes often pay the highest price because intense physical activity may be an important trigger. Promptly identifying the people most at risk of sudden death through screening activities is essential to implement prevention strategies and appropriate therapies. Only in this way can we be able to save more lives, on and off the playing field,” said Unbeatables Chairman Simone Ambrosi.

The Mahd Academy’s sponsorship of the Unbeatables Cup is part of the academy’s efforts to support medical and sports research centers around the world.

Established in July 2020, the academy aims to provide research related to the sports community as well as to discover and develop talent to build the next generation of athletes in Saudi Arabia, as part of the Quality of Life project.

Abdullah bin Faisal bin Hammad, president of Mahd Academy, expressed his appreciation for the royal approval to sponsor this tournament.

He extended his sincere thanks to HRH Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Saud, minister of sports, for his keenness to participate in such initiatives that promote sports around the world.

“The Mahd Academy will continue to support such initiatives,” he said in a statement, reaffirming the academy’s primary goals of achieving positive social impact through sports and supporting athletic talent in Saudi Arabia.