Well, nothing can be worse than the situation we're going through right now, but there has actually been a lot of developments in the world of sports in the past seven days. While the positives come as a blessing in these situations, the negatives just give us scope to improve in the future.
India set to speed-up bid for 2032 Olympics
Just when the entire nation has succumbed to the deadly virus originated from its Asian neighbours, India, as a nation, has finally something to cheer about. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has confirmed that it is going to accelerate its bid to host the 2032 Olympics when the global pandemic situation eases. No doubt that the possibility of hosting the games is light-years away, but the urge shown by the association must be credited. The Asian Games in 1951 and 1982 respectively are the two biggest sporting events that India has hosted so far.
The last multi-sport event hosted on home soil was the 2010 Commonwealth Games, which, even though was a successful one, invited quite a lot of controversies which included failing infrastructure, construction delays and financial scams. But that’s past now. The IOA stated that it has moved a long way from the Delhi-based Games and is now looking to rope in the biggest sports spectacle for the first time.
Kylian Mbappe’s heart-warming gesture
First, there’s one side of the story, where the French Ligue 1 was called off amid the Covid-19 pandemic while Paris Saint Germain was awarded the title, leaving other teams in a state of revolt. But, then comes French youth icon and World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe, refusing to accept the top-scorers credentials on his own and share the honours with AS Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder, who has scored an equal number of goals (18) this season.
While Paris Saint Germain was fortunate enough to finish at the top of the standings when the league was suspended, AS Monaco, placed 7th, missed out on a continental spot, even though they had an outright chance of qualifying for the Europa Cup if the matches were completed as per schedule. The wonderful gesture from the 21-year old became sweeter at a time when the entire human race is going through a crisis situation.
Luka Jovic injures foot despite lockdown
With football coming to a standstill for almost two months now, it was expected that players would finally recover from ailing injuries, but sadly for Real Madrid star Luka Jovic, the script was not so smooth. The Serbian forward, who has been out of training since the lockdown, somehow managed to break his foot while training at home and is likely to be sidelined for seven weeks, as per reports. That’s really ‘Bad.’
After his arrival at the Spanish capital, Jovic has played 24 matches for the Los Blancos across all competitions and scored a couple of goals. Even though La Liga is yet to announce a re-start date, the teams have started training under strict regulations. If everything goes as per plan and pitch for a June restart, chances are high that Jovic will miss out on a lot of action.
Seven Serie A players test positive for Covid-19
Just when European football was on the brink of making a comeback, it suffered a major setback as seven players from the Italian Serie A were tested positive for Covid-19. Four players from Sampdoria while three others from Fiorentina were the latest additions to the list, following the routine tests conducted by the clubs. Serie A was the first of the major European leagues to be suspended owing to the pandemic situation and has been in hibernation since early March.
While the death toll in Europe is increasing ever since, some of the top leagues have already called-off the season like the Belgium Jupiler Pro League, the French Ligue 1 and the Dutch Eredivisie, while the others are in a state of limbo. Taking into account the recent case, the proposals to re-start the league might diminish even further, with health concerns looming overhead. That said, the German Bundesliga is all set to resume on May 16, whether it is a welcome move or not, time will tell.
Footballers kept unpaid by Indian clubs
Agreed. The football clubs are going through dire straits, while the financial condition is dwindling at an enormous rate, but that still doesn’t justify not paying the dues of the players. Unfortunately, two of the most financially stable clubs in the I-League have been under the scanner for committing the unpardonable deed. East Bengal, a club backed by corporate giants Quess Corp, has terminated the contracts of all their players citing ‘force majeure’, in spite of players having signed multi-year contracts.
On the other hand, Chennai City FC has also walked down the same road which has left many foreign players in a spot of worry, including Japanese Katsumi Yusa. A known face on the Indian circuit for years, Yusa has threatened to seek FIFA’s help to solve the issue. The players collectively approached the Football Players Association of India (FPAI) for a settlement, even though nothing concrete has materialized, with association even warning that the process might take time.
Wasim Akram slams countryman Aamir Sohail
Pakistan and controversies share a long-standing relationship and even in the global health crisis situation, there hasn’t been an exception. Former Pakistani batsman Aamir Sohail recently stated that his teammate Wasim Akram was responsible for Pakistan not winning the 1996, the 1999 and the 2003 World Cups and quoted that was his ‘biggest contribution.’ The blame game has gone too far, hasn’t it? But what more can you expect from a nation which has always been on the wrong side of the headlines?
Shocked by the turn of events, Wasim Akram felt ‘very sad’ that ‘some people’ were using his name to promote themselves. 17 years after he retired from the game. While his claim was more justified, with players like Shoaib Akhtar praising him for his services, overall, this is forgettable and shameful for Pakistan cricket.