Four footballers killed in Somalia blast

Four footballers killed in Somalia blast
Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed condemned the "barbaric terror attack” that killed 4 footballers and injured five from the Jubaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry club. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 30 July 2021

Four footballers killed in Somalia blast

Four footballers killed in Somalia blast
  • 10 players from Jubaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry club were heading to Kismayo city stadium when the blast hit
  • Four football players were killed and five others wounded in the explosion

MOGADISHU: Four local footballers in Somalia were killed when a powerful explosion ripped through their bus on Friday in what the country’s president branded a “barbaric terror attack.”
Ten players from the Jubaland Chamber of Commerce and Industry club were heading off for a game at the Kismayo city stadium in southern Somalia when the blast hit.
“The players were riding in a bus when the explosion went off, presumably inside the vehicle. There are investigations going on but we presume the device was planted onto the bus,” said police officer Mohamed Sadiq.
He said four football players were killed and five others wounded in the explosion, believed to have been caused by a bomb.
In a statement on Twitter, Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed condemned the “barbaric terror attack that claimed the lives of innocent Somali sports people.”
Witness Ibrahim Ahmed said the blast was “huge” and set off a fire which gutted the bus.
“People rushed to remove the dead bodies and wounded players,” he said.
“I saw the burning bus and three dead bodies of the players — this was horrible because football players are not politicians,” added another witness, Said Adan.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast in Kismayo, capital of the southern state of Jubaland which borders Kenya.
Jubaland was the first state to start voting this week in long-delayed national elections in Somalia that the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab jihadist group has threatened to disrupt.
The extremists have been fighting to overthrow the federal government since 2007 and frequently attack government, security and civilian targets.


Hyderabad beats Rajasthan by 7 wickets for 2nd win in IPL

Hyderabad beats Rajasthan by 7 wickets for 2nd win in IPL
Updated 9 min 16 sec ago

Hyderabad beats Rajasthan by 7 wickets for 2nd win in IPL

Hyderabad beats Rajasthan by 7 wickets for 2nd win in IPL

DUBAI: Sunrisers Hyderabad notched only its second win in 10 Indian Premier League games after beating Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets on Monday.
Hyderabad, already out of playoff reckoning, cruised to 167-3 in 18.3 overs on the back of Jason Roy’s impressive 60 and skipper Kane Williamson’s unbeaten 51.
Rajasthan skipper Sanju Samson, who won the toss and opted to bat, was the cornerstone of his team’s total of 164-5 by scoring a splendid 82 off 57 balls.
“Good to be on the right side,” Williamson said after finishing the match with a boundary off Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman. “We want to build on this, want to see the younger players take their opportunity and enjoy the cricket.”
Roy, playing his first match this season, replaced the struggling David Warner and gave Hyderabad a whirlwind start. The Englishman dominated the two half-century stands with Wriddhiman Saha (18) and Williamson as he smashed eight fours and a six.
Roy dominated the bowlers and hit left-arm spinner Rahul Tewatia for three fours and a six in one over which also saw him getting dropped at extra cover soon after completing his half-century.
Roy was finally dismissed in the 12th over when he attempted a ramp shot down the leg side off Chetan Sakariya and was well caught by Samson behind the wickets.
Earlier, Samson anchored his team’s batting after Liam Livingstone (4) failed to impress for the third consecutive game and West Indian opener Evin Lewis (6) was dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar off his first delivery.
Samson wasn’t dismissed until the last over when he lobbed seamer Siddarth Kaul to long on.
“We could have got 10 or 20 more actually,” Samson said. “The last overs was the difference … I wanted to keep going, but we kept losing one or two wickets.”
Rajasthan was still in contention for the four-team playoffs at sixth place.


UEFA drops case against European Super League rebels

UEFA drops case against European Super League rebels
Updated 8 sec ago

UEFA drops case against European Super League rebels

UEFA drops case against European Super League rebels

LAUSANNE: UEFA says that it is dropping its disciplinary case against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus over their involvement in the controversial European Super League, to comply with a ruling from a Madrid court.
European football’s governing body said late Monday that “the proceedings (are) null and void, as if the proceedings had never been opened.”
It is the latest chapter in an affair that sent shockwaves through football.
The three heavyweight clubs were among 12 “founders” who caused uproar in April with their proposal for the elite breakaway league.
The nine others quickly backed down when fans and other clubs reacted with fury to the initiative, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus have refused to buckle.
UEFA, which had been pursuing the three clubs over what it called a potential violation of UEFA’s legal framework, also said that it “will not request payment” from the other nine clubs including English sides Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Premier League clubs had agreed to pay a combined £22 million as a gesture of “goodwill” over the affair. The other three clubs among the 12 were Atletico Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Experts say that the notion of a Super League is by no means dead in the water and Barcelona president Joan Laporta recently warned that the Super League was “still alive.”
He said that the Super League would mean “financial sustainability for the clubs and make for a more attractive competition.”
UEFA on Monday signalled its intention to continue fighting its corner.
“UEFA will continue to take all necessary steps, in strict accordance with national and EU law, in order to defend the interests of UEFA and of all football stakeholders,” it said.


Boost for injury-hit Al-Hilal as Salman Al-Faraj returns to training ahead of Al-Hazem clash

Boost for injury-hit Al-Hilal as Salman Al-Faraj returns to training ahead of Al-Hazem clash
Updated 28 September 2021

Boost for injury-hit Al-Hilal as Salman Al-Faraj returns to training ahead of Al-Hazem clash

Boost for injury-hit Al-Hilal as Salman Al-Faraj returns to training ahead of Al-Hazem clash
  • Club captain had been sidelined since suffering knock against Esteghlal in AFC Champions League

RIYADH: Midfield maestro Salman Al-Faraj has given Al-Hilal a major boost ahead of Thursday’s Saudi Pro League match against Al-Hazem with a return to training.

The reigning champions’ captain had been sidelined due to a recent injury picked up in the club’s last AFC Champions League match against Iran’s Esteghlal, but after a period of rehabilitation he was on Monday given the all-clear to resume full training with the rest of the squad.

He will now undergo another fitness test ahead of the seventh-round fixture at Al-Hazem Stadium.

Al-Faraj’s injury on Sept. 13 forced him to miss SPL matches against Al-Ettifaq and Al-Shabab in the fifth and sixth rounds of the domestic league.

Meanwhile, Al-Hilal defender Ali Al-Bulaihi was continuing his recovery program after taking a knock against Al-Shabab last week.

Injury-hit Al-Hilal are still without the services of the sidelined Mohammed Al-Breik, Abdullah Otayf, Andre Carrillo, and Salem Al-Dossari.


Tickets for FIFA Arab Cup 2021 in Qatar go on sale

Tickets for FIFA Arab Cup 2021 in Qatar go on sale
Updated 28 September 2021

Tickets for FIFA Arab Cup 2021 in Qatar go on sale

Tickets for FIFA Arab Cup 2021 in Qatar go on sale
  • Fan card system will require ticket holders to register for smart ID that will also allow free transport on match days

Tickets for the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 taking place in Qatar from Nov. 30 will go on sale on Tuesday (12 p.m. KSA) and will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis.

The tournament will see the unveiling of two new stadiums to be used at the 2022 World Cup. Al Bayt Stadium, which has a capacity of 60,000, will host the opening and final matches, while the 40,000-seat Ras Abu Aboud Stadium will be dismantled at the end of Qatar 2022.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in Qatar also announced the implementation of a fan card system during the Arab Cup, which ticket holders will need to gain access to stadiums.

The smart ID card will allow fans to use public transport for free on match days.

“The activation of the fan card is an important step in our efforts to provide an unique and memorable experience for all fans and visitors expected to come to Qatar,” said Mariam Al-Muftah, director of information technology at the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

“The FIFA Arab Cup will represent a golden opportunity to improve preparations to host the 2022 World Cup, including the fan card services, which we will evaluate at the end of the Arab Cup.”

Fans wishing to attend the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 must apply for a fan card once they have paid for their tickets and received the purchase order number via email.

Match tickets are available exclusively on FIFA’s official website, while fans will be able to submit their requests for a fan card via FAC21.qa  from Tuesday.

The Arab Cup 2021 will be the 10th edition of the tournament traditionally organized by the Union of Arab Football Associations, and will run from Nov. 30 to Dec. 18.

The 16 teams taking part are hosts Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Bahrain, Tunisia, UAE, Syria, Mauritania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and Sudan.


Al-Nassr to name new coach by end of the week

Al-Nassr to name new coach by end of the week
Updated 28 September 2021

Al-Nassr to name new coach by end of the week

Al-Nassr to name new coach by end of the week
  • Director of media dismisses rumors the club has already agreed on replacement for Mano Menezes

Al-Nassr have issued a statement saying that the Riyadh club will name a new coach by the end of the week and that no agreement has been reached with a single candidate yet, Arabic sports daily Arriyadiyah has reported.

Al-Waleed Al-Muhaidib, director of the media center at Al-Nassr, on Tuesday posted a message on his Twitter account denying that that club has finalized its search.

“Regarding the large number of false reports about the first team coach from media professionals and official channels, Al-Nassr is keen to sign a contract with the most appropriate choice,” Al-Muhaidib wrote.

He added that the club is still in negations with some coaches, while other candidates have show a strong desire to take over the role.

Last week, Al-Nassr dismissed Menezes after a 3-1 loss to Al-Ittihad in the fifth round of the Saudi Professional League left the club in sixth place in the table with nine points.