Monthly Archives: July 2016

Aston Villa to open academy in India

Aston Villa, Football, Soccer, India, Government, artificial turf, academy, grass roots, indian super league, Vijay Goel, Prakesh JavedekarAston Villa’s new owner Tony Xia was in India, meeting government officials to discuss the possibility of setting up an academy and engage with Indian Super League clubs.

Yesterday, the club announced their plans to set up an academy and seek opportunities to tie-up with Indian Super league clubs. The club website said after meeting with Minister of Sports Vijay Goel and the Minister of Education Prakesh Javedekar, Aston Villa will be appointed as an advisor on football. The sport is a part of the national curriculum for Indian state schools.

Villa’s new academy will come up in New Delhi on a property provided by the Municipal Council. The new academy will have state-of-the-art facilities, including an artificial turf.

The report also mentions about a possible tie-up with an Indian Super League side.

Aston Villa Chairman Tony Xia was quoted as saying :

“Aston Villa Football Club, one of the most successful football clubs in the history of English football, plans to expand globally and India is one of the countries where Aston Villa not only wants to have an Indian Super League club but also open football academies all over India!”

Bengaluru FC announces plans for Residential Academy

bengaluru fc, academy, grassroots, bellary, john kila, vijayanagar,

(L-R) Bengaluru FC Chief Technical Officer Mandar Tamhane, Head of Youth Development John Kila and Chief Operating Officer Mustafa Ghouse at the press conference held at the Bangalore Football Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday.

Club To Scout In Various Parts Of The Country Starting With Bengaluru; Academy To Be Set Up In Vijayanagar, Bellary

Bengaluru: JSW Bengaluru FC, on Wednesday, revealed its plans of a full-fledged residential academy at the JSW Township in Vijayanagar, Bellary, at a press conference addressed by club COO Mustafa Ghouse, CTO Mandar Tamhane and new Head of Youth Development John Kila at the club offices at the Bangalore Football Stadium.

The club will conduct trials in five different locations across the country – Bengaluru, Kerala, Mizoram, Punjab and Chandigarh – in the Under-16 (January 2000 to December 2003) and Under-18 (January 1998 to December 1999) age categories. The shortlisted players will then be put through a final round of trials in Bengaluru after which the selected players will relocate to the academy in Bellary.

The Bengaluru leg of trials will be held from July 23 to July 30 at the Bangalore Football Stadium and interested players can register and obtain further information on the official BFC website,www.bengalurufc.com or on the club’s social media platforms. The dates of trials at the other venues will be announced shortly.

The fully-funded youth development program, which will be overseen by Kila, will provide for the players’ accommodation, education and nutrition.

“Youth Development has always been a part of the club’s philosophy and a residential academy is something we’ve wanted to put in place for quite a while now. John (Kila) comes with a rich experience of having implemented youth programs at various clubs and we are sure that under his guidance, our youngsters will progress through the ranks and make it to the club’s first team and in time, the Indian National Football Team as well,” said Ghouse.

With licensed coaches, physiotherapists, professionals in strength and conditioning and sports science, the BFC Academy will work in tandem with the club’s first team. With regards to the infrastructure, the facility comprises a full-length sand-based football pitch equipped with floodlights, a gymnasium and a swimming pool.

Kila, meanwhile, expressed his excitement at the project. “It is a privilege to be a part of this club as we are looking to put our youth in the first team, which I am very excited about. The BFC residential academy and talent hunt is a fantastic project and I am looking forward to working with the coaches and players,” said Kila.

5 things you need to know about Uttarakhand Super League

Uttarakhand Super League, Football, AIFF, USFA, league Dehradun, Pithoragarh, Kotdwar, Haldwani, Haridwar1) What is Uttarakhand Super League?

  • Is a franchise based football tournament organized by a company called Uttarakhand Adventure Sports Pvt.Ltd.
  • The tournament is affiliated to AIFF and the Uttarakhand State Football Association (USFA).
  • The tournament will feature 14 teams, which would include one from each of the 13 districts in the state, and a team representing Corbett National Park!
  • The tournament starts July 10 and the first round of matches will go on till the 30th July.
  • Two matches will be played per day at 2.00 pm and 4:00 pm across five locations in the state!
  • The matches are taking in place at Dehradun, Pithoragarh, Kotdwar, Haldwani, Haridwar.
  • Second round matches of the league will be televised on DD Sports.

2) Teams?

  • Almora Burans
  • Bageshwar FC Kafals
  • Chamoli Bugyal FC
  • Champawat Hills
  • Corbett Tigers
  • Dehradun Capital Rangers
  • Haridwar Ganges
  • Nainital FC Lakes
  • Pauri Platoons
  • Pithoragarh Panthers
  • Rudraprayag Monals
  • Tehri Lions
  • Udhamsingh Nagar Warriors
  • Uttarkashi Glaciers

If we go by the League’s website, each teams has a roster size of 15. A total of 210 players are listed across all 14 teams.

3) Sponsors?

Interestingly,  USL has managed to rope in some good sponsors. Backers of Bengaluru FC, JSW is the title sponsor for the event. USL’s website also lists LIC, GAIL ONGC as some of the other brands that are backing the league. For a regional league, this array of sponsors look quite formidable.

4) Baichung Bhutia?

USL’s website says “Former International player, Arjuna Awardee and advisor U-17 FIFA World Cup in India, Bhaichung Bhutia has graciously agreed to be the Brand Ambassador for the tournament!”

5) Foreign Players in USL?

Even though USL’s website has not listed any foreign players, our sources say that we could expect to see some foreigners playing.
Psst: Nurjan Komekov from Turkmenistan could be one among them! Good luck Nurjan!
Nurjan Komekov, Uttarakhand Super League, Football, AIFF, USFA, league Dehradun, Pithoragarh, Kotdwar, Haldwani, Haridwar

#KickForABrick – Chhetri and Ranbir takes the kick!

Lenovo, Sunil Chhetri, Ranbor kapoor, Donosti, Yuwa, Jharkhand, NGO, football, womens football, india, spain, kickforabickAfter the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the internet is in a frenzy over the #KickForABrick challenge.

While the rest of the world has been busy talking about Iceland’s meteoric rise at the Euro’s 16, Messi’s retirement after Argentina’s loss at the Copa America and other teams such as Germany, Spain, England, Poland etc a section of the Indian audience has been glued on to the #KickForABrick challenge.

 

The video that started it off appeared on Twitter a couple of days ago, and shows Ranbir Kapoor and Mumbai City FC striker & Captain of the Indian Football team Sunil Chhetri passing the ball to one another. They then proceed to challenge their fans to take up the #KickForABrick challenge.

 

 

And here’s the effect it had on fans.

 

From simple kicks

 

 

 

To mind-blowing tricks

 

  To Sketches of footballs made on paper   https://twitter.com/anuragsinha1992/status/749644524012568577   And even human footballs  

 

People have come together to support the YUWA girls in their quest to build a new school.

 

The reason for doing so became clear after we took a closer look at the video. Ranbir and Sunil were heard saying “Every time you kick a ball, the YUWA girls get to add a brick to their new school.

 

A quick google search later, we chanced upon a site where we found out that the girls from the NGO YUWA have travelled all the way to Spain to play at the Donosti Cup-the largest youth football tournament in the world in order to raise funds for their school.
Looks like their story tugged at the internet’s heart strings & sent these people into a #KickForABrick frenzy.

 

And it’s simple to participate. Record your video, send it to +91 7718991766 or upload it on to Facebook & Twitter and challenge your friends using #KickForABrick. For more information, you can log on to http://www.girlswithgoals.in/kick-for-brick

 

And if football, is not your thing, you can simply donate money to fund the YUWA girls’ school on http://girlswithgoals.ketto.org/

 

Former Barcelona assistant manager Albert Roca roped in as coach by Bengaluru FC

Barcelona, Albert Roca, Bengaluru FC , I-league, football, India, Catalonia Former Barcelona Assistant Signs Two-Year Deal With Indian Champions; AFC Cup Quarterfinal Will Be Roca’s First Game In Charge

Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC are delighted to announce the appointment of Albert Roca as the club’s new coach. The 53-year-old Spaniard has signed a two-year deal that keeps him with the Blues till the end of the 2017-18 season.

Roca brings with him a wealth of coaching experience at the highest level having served as an assistant to Frank Rijkaard for five seasons at Barcelona (2003-2008) during which the Catalans won the Champions League once, the La Liga twice and the Spanish Super Cup twice before following the Dutchman in the same role to Turkish club Galatasaray (2009-2010) and finally the Saudi Arabian national team (2011-2013). Roca’s last job was as manager of the El Salvador national team where he was in charge for a year.

As a player, Roca’s most notable stints were with Real Zaragoza and CE Sabadell FC in the La Liga apart from shifts with a number of clubs in the second division.

“We are very excited to announce Albert Roca as the new coach of Bengaluru FC. He is, what I would call, a major signing at the club.  Albert has been with some of the best clubs in Europe as well as spent time in developing countries because of which he will have a great sense of the challenges India would bring,” said Parth Jindal, CEO, Bengaluru FC.

“We have had a very successful three years and Albert is only going to compound the efforts we have been making. He has also done some commendable work with young players in his career and that is absolutely in line with the philosophy of BFC where we are trying to develop players into stellar talent for the future,” he added.

Roca, a resident of Grannolers in Catalonia near Barcelona, said he was excited at the prospect of joining the Blues and was confident about playing the kind of football that the club and the supporters would be proud of.

“I’m very satisfied to have signed with Bengaluru FC. They are the champions of India, have fantastic supporters and most importantly, have a great support system and a management that is always hands on and wants to stay at the top. I want to assure our supporters that we will always give it our best. I want the supporters to be happy about the way we play,” said Roca.

Roca’s first game in charge will be the AFC Cup quarterfinal against Singapore side Tampines Rovers in September; a game he reckons will be a tough challenge. “The AFC Cup quarterfinal is definitely going to be a big challenge but we will do our best to get a good result and make the semis,” he said.

The Blues coach is expected to land in Bengaluru in the fourth week of July.

 

Ayeyawady’s Match-fixing Saga : The Breaking News that I Couldn’t Break!

Perks and dilemma of being an Indian football influencer.

Ayeyawady, Football, Myanmar, League, AFC Cup, Match Fixing, BettingThe latest news from Myanmar is that Ayeyawady United  is under the scanner from authorities over match fixing. A report that has appeared in Myanmar Times have revealed that a club official, along with some players fixed a few of their matches in Myanmar league, and also an AFC cup match. We are not yet sure of which AFC cup match of Ayeyawady was fixed, it will only be revealed after investigations are completed by the Myanmar league and the club itself. In AFC Cup, Ayeyawady was in a group comprising of Bengaluru FC, Johor from Malaysia and Lao Toyota FC from Laos.

It is being reported that an anonymous complaint has been filed with the Myanmar league authorities, involving officials and players of club. Ayeyawady had contrasting fortunes in the AFC Cup group stage as they got thorough drubbings at the hands of Johor (8-1) and Bengaluru FC (5-3) in their away matches. The home leg matches were also defeats, but the margin was less as they went down 0-1 to Bengaluru FC and 1-2 to Johor. They also managed two wins against the Laos side Lao Toyota FC.

On April 13th, when Bengaluru FC played Ayeyawady at home, and defeated them 5-3, I was quite elated. But suddenly, my sense of elation turned into a sense of concern, as an unknown twitter handle claimed that the match was probably fixed. It was a  commendable performance from BFC and all of a sudden when I got to hear this, it made me a bit upset. I started digging deeper to get more information on this.

Ayeyawady, Football, Myanmar, League, AFC Cup, Match Fixing, Betting

In no time, I followed the handle that broke this news and discussed why he thought that the match was fixed. This person, who introduced himself as a professional gambler from UK, explained why he thought the BFC vs Ayeyawady match was probably fixed and this is why he thought so.

Basically the odds in play were not moving naturally all game. Everything was almost over in the match and Bengaluru was getting hit constantly. Even with 2 minutes to go, the odds were so so short. The odds should be going the other way when the game is nearly over etc. Nearly every round of AFC cup games, a team will be fixing.

He went on to claim that it is pretty common for teams from Myanmar and Laos to indulge in match fixing.

Usually a Myanmar side or Laos side. Even happening in world cup qualifying games in Asia too. FIFA/AFC seem to take a blind eye towards it. I’m a professional gambler so it’s very easy for me to read the odds in Asian betting markets to see a game that looks dodgy.

…And was quick to point out that so far he has not seen an Indian team involving in fixing and gave a clean chit to our football.

For Bengaluru the prices were so much lower than what they should be. The defending for the goals back it up too. But yeah anyway the good news is that i’ve not seen an indian team fix this year so i’m pretty certain your football is clean.

We still don’t know if the match involving Bengaluru FC was fixed or not. But it was very surprising for me to see a report pop up this week – JDT’s AFC Cup opponent Ayeyawady face match-fixing investigation. Betting is not a silly issue, that I could go public without some credible evidence. So I kept it to myself, and later shared my concerns with some close friends who actively track Indian Football. They did not express any surprise either after hearing the news.

Betting is a dicey issue and it probably happens a lot in Asian football. Many reports claim that there are many betting cartels active in Asia. The recent inclusion of Justice Mudgal in FIFA’s governance committee is definitely a step by FIFA to utilize his expertise in understanding these networks that operate in Asia, especially South Asia. Justice Mudgal was appointed by the Indian Supreme Court as part of a three-member committee that led the inquiry in the IPL betting and spot fixing case.

Afterthought: There are no considerable rewards for running an Indian Football news Twitter handle, except having some followers among fans, players, officials and journalists, who are connected with and are passionate about the sport. But the real joy is when you get trinkets of information such as this alert on match fixing, which later gets substantiated. Call it a dilemma or a joy – these are definitely perks of being an Indian Football Influencer.