This week, too, pretty much started off as good, turned bad midweek before the ugly incidents turned the week around dramatically. We have the Women’s World Cup playing as a protagonist amidst the hush-hush of the footballing calendar - including the dreaded incident in the FA Cup.
Cricket Australia and Mitchell Starc’s support for Alyssa Healy
We know Australia have revolutionised Women’s cricket on the field, with four T20 World Cups in the past six seasons. But now, they have revolutionised it off the field, too, with their speed-gun Mitchell Starc flying across continents from South Africa to Australia just to be a morale-booster for his wife, Alyssa Healy. If the women’s game does need a boost, it is these kinds of ones, where people gather to not only support the team but also cheer for them loudly.
Added to that, the Australian cricketing board, too, has played a huge part in the set of events. First, they allowed Starc to leave mid-way through a series. Given that Australia were playing a dead-rubber, they also continually supported their team on and off the field. For people criticising Starc’s actions of leaving the team midway, his decision to cheer for the women’s team will always be of the highest order. For Australia as a cricketing nation, the message and the intentions will be a big sign of the good things that are set for the future.
Tennis and Football have laid the groundwork for players’ safety
While incidentally, the Football Association did not have a rule-change when it comes to concussion substitutes, their groundwork of taking the traditional ‘hand-shake’ away from the game has gotten them more fans. For, the Premier League has always been concerned about their image. On a similar note, Tennis, too, has taken a similar stance, banning handshakes from their dictionary for the time being. That also includes giving a pair of gloves to the ball youths, who tend to be in contact with the ball directly. Furthermore, organised interactions between players and the fans will also now be curtailed, starting at the Indian Wells. While the two sports have done their part in reducing the spread of coronavirus, there lies cricket, which has not taken any measures thus far. The players will have to still touch the ball, which includes saliva amongst many other things used to shine the ball. With Coronavirus being spread through contact, it might be time that cricket too takes a stance.
Ronaldinho Gaucho, born in Paraguay
Well, if you could be the most famous person in the world or in this case, RONALDINHO GAUCHO, never ever get a Paraguayan passport made. The most famous Brazilian after Ronaldo, Zico and Kaka, Ronaldinho decided to visit Paraguay, but with a little twist - to have the country’s passport done in his name. I mean, if you are a Brazilian, you do not need any documents when visiting Paraguay. Holders of 61 jurisdictions, for up top 90 days, do not need a visa to enter the country. There is a catch, here, however, which is Ronaldinho does not have a valid Brazilian passport. His dual passports were taken away from him - Brazilian and Spanish - after he was caught over unpaid taxes in 2019. Ronaldinho and his brother and business manager Roberto Assis both entered Paraguay on Wednesday with false documents, officials said. And thus, began a drama, that unfurled in the last week. It was a drama that caused havoc with it being all-over on the news, social media and where not.
Damiano Tommasi wants Serie A 2019-20 to be suspended
Last week, we saw it all, starting from the virus affecting the northern part of Italy, where there are at least 2,000 people affected, with the number looking like it is on the increase. While the Italian FA have taken a decision of playing behind closed doors, it has not impressed the Italian Footballers' Association’s president Damiano Tommasi. According to Tommasi, he wants the league to just be suspended for the rest of the season. Another important question on the line, if Juventus do get qualified for the next round, will the opposition dare travel to Italy and play them behind closed doors, or would they walk off? If they do, the rules suggest that the leg would be given to Juventus, and more so, a 3-0 scoreline would prevail. So, for all the obvious reasons, the Italian Football Federation will be looking for a way out of the issue, and one of them can be the entire season being suspended.
Tottenham’s Eric Dier
Well, on the field, he can be sometimes ugly with his tackles, but this time the incident turned ugly way quick. When asked if Dier would play this weekend, Mourinho said: "Of course, the only thing that matters is nothing really big happened and secondly he played so, so well. Of course, he is going to play.” While it is still being investigated, the incident was in pure terms the definition of ugliness in football. Just in case you were wondering what happened, a fan was apparently abusing Dier's brother. However, after full-time, Dier stepped outside the field, into the crowd and was seen furiously pointing fingers and raising a hand towards the supporters. It was all utter ugly, just as their performance against Norwich on the night! Despite all of that, he is set to face Burnley next week, with the incident past him! However, for a football fan, everything there looked just ugly!
Just have a reserve day, ICC
It is just a simple thing ICC - have a reserve day! If there was one thing that you have never learned, it is this one. When it mattered the most, in the Women’s T20 World Cup, the game between England and India was abandoned. And, the result, India qualified for the final, all because of the flabbergasting rule in place. The rule mentioned that in case there is no play, the team finishing with higher points in the group stage will be given the preference. And so India qualified. However, that is not all when it comes to the ugly part. ICC’s reply to not having a reserve day is the ugly part. “The ICC T20 World Cups are short sharp events where reserve days are factored in for the final. Allowing for any other reserve days would have extended the length of the event, which isn't feasible," the statement has every ingredient required for being termed as an ugly one. Well, ‘short sharp events,’ true, but does it mean you take away months, if not years, of practice, training and hard work from the teams just because of a single phenomenon that is the weather? All of this despite Australia being home to the entirely-closed stadium, housing capacity of nearly 45,000.