Another week goes by and we’re eighteen days into 2021 which has left us a lot to talk about in this week’s edition of ‘Good, Bad and Ugly’. From Marcus Rashford’s continued fight to feed children to irresponsible WSL players to continued racism across sport but the world keeps spinning.
Marcus Rashford’s good fight soldiers on
Few will deny Marcus Rashford’s talent as a footballer with the Manchester United forward arguably one of the best in the Premier League on his day. But the young attacker has turned his eye outside football with him fighting to see young children across the UK get proper meals on a daily basis. Yet while the initiative was passed, the way it was passed saw it come under immense criticism across social media.
Not only did Rashford play for Manchester United over the mid-week, but before he did that, the 23-year-old continued his crusade for children to be fed calmly. So much so, that Liverpool supporters are now looking to put up a banner for the Englishman ahead of their clash against bitter rivals Manchester United. All this and 23 goal contributions in 28 appearances across all competitions this season but yet people claim his football is suffering.
Mohammed Azharuddeen’s scintillating knock transforms the plight of domestic cricket
Few expected it as Kerala’s opening batsman Mohammad Azharuddeen stepped out but by the end of his innings, few people will forget his name. Because somehow, thanks to a 54-ball-137 and a century in 37 balls, Azharuddeen transformed domestic cricket with it attracting everyone to the screen. The 26-year-old became an overnight sensation after he smashed the second fastest century in Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy with him turning a few heads.
So much so, that reports have indicated, the 26-year-old could walk away from the tournament with an IPL contract. But the bigger point of the fact is that because of the lack of cricket, thanks to a certain pandemic, Indian domestic cricket has found it’s way back into the foreground with it being telecasted as well. Which means that players like Mohammad Azharuddeen get the credit that they deserve.
Trips to Dubai over the winter break by WSL players
With the Women’s Super League (WSL) on a winter break, it allowed the players time to rest and recuperate before what is a hectic post winter schedule. However, it saw several WSL players travel to Dubai with the use of the "business trip" section of the COVID-19 protocols in place. That saw the entire league fall apart earlier this week with just one game played across the weekend of January 9/10. Reports have since revealed that it was three Arsenal players who travelled to Dubai which saw one of them test positive, forcing the other three into self-isolation.
The same was the case at Manchester City with four players testing positive after they returned from Dubai. Manchester United boss Casey Stoney further confirmed that some of her squad travelled to Dubai which caused further issues for league. It saw even more games postponed with the tally climbing all the way up to five.
Several first choice players out for India against Australia
While the fourth Test between India and Australia is already underway, Team India have been forced to deal with a serious injury plague with ten first choice players out for the visitors. It has forced them to field a team consisting of second choice bowlers but India have continued to compete and cause issues for Australia which has seen many laud their resilience. But it does question the schedule especially with India somehow managing to fill their squad with net-bowlers.
But that has been the case across all sports post the lockdown with the schedule far too heavy with teams forced to play too many games. It has affected the Indian cricket team but the visitors have showcased a willingness to stay in the fight and a refusal to give up despite all the odds against them.
Shocking scale of sexual abuse allegations against Yves Jean-Bart
After allegations of sexual abuse by Yves Jean-Bart was initially published by the Guardian in April of 2020, FIFA’s ethics committee took over and conducted a detailed investigation that lasted nearly six months. That saw them hire independent companies to try and get down to the crux of the matter and in a detailed FIFA report was released earlier this week. In it, FIFA showcased why they banned the former Haiti football federation president with there being 34 alleged victims at Haiti’s national football center committed by 10 possible perpetrators including Jean-Bart.
The report has shocked the world as it further revealed that 14 out of the 34 women were alleged victims of Yves Jean-Bart himself. It saw FIFA’s ethics committee conclude that at the end of the investigation, the man who ruled Haitian football for more than twenty years had committed acts of “sexual harassment and abuse cannot even be fully comprehended”.
Racism across Sport
Despite all the show of solidarity across all sports, racism continues to rear it’s ugly head and this week was no different with two major incidents of racial abuse. India’s Mohammed Siraj was targeted twice, once last week, and then earlier this week by fans on day one at the Gabba. It saw the fans call the Indian pacer “you bloody grub” after he and Washington Sundar were called out by the crowd at the Gabba. However, so far, India haven’t filed a complaint although the Australian players condemned the abuse.
In Germany, a match between Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen was marred by controversy after Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah revealed that teammate Nadiem Amiri had been racially abused by a Union Berlin player. Reports have indicated that Amiri, who was born in Germany to Afghan refugees, was called "f****** Afghan" by Berlin’s Florian Hubner. However, post the incident, Amiri released a statement on Leverkusen’s Twitter account and stated that the defender had apologised. The DFB, however, have confirmed that despite that they will be opening an investigation in order to get down to the bottom of the incident.