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Minerva U-13 boys pulled up by AIFF for being over age

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New Delhi: There is no end to Minerva Punjab FC’s problems with the All India Football Federation (AIFF), club owner Ranjit Bajaj alleged that his team has been wrongly stopped from playing in the ongoing under-13 I-League because of over-age players.

The Chandigarh-based club is considered to be running one of the best youth development programmes in the country in recent years.

Last season, Minerva bagged titles in the under-13, under-15 and under-18 I-League tournaments. They also won the senior I-League crown in 2017-18. The club is known for being involved in running battles with the AIFF on several issues.

 

Bajaj said: “A host of my boys in the under-13 squad have been declared over-age by the national federation. I am currently in no position to field the team.”

Bajaj said it was done despite the fact that he submitted the correct age certificates of the boys. “Apart from submitting original age certificates, we also placed on record the copies of the boys’ passports. As far as my knowledge goes, a passport is considered a person’s biggest identity proof in India,” Bajaj said.

An AIFF official said it was wrong to assume that the federation has taken a vindictive stand against the Punjab outfit. “The players’ age is being verified by our bone age determination programme, which is TW3. The programme is headed by Vece Paes, the Chairman of the federation’s Medical Committee.

“Each participating side in the under-13 I-League was allowed to register 40 players. Teams having at least 18 eligible players each as per age verification would be allowed to participate. The federation officials have nothing to do with it. This process is also being used by the Indian cricket board,” the official said.

Minerva were in the news last month after they refused to play an I-League match against Real Kashmir FC in Srinagar immediately after the Pulwama terror attack. The fate of the match still hangs in balance and could be decided in the league committee meeting on April 13.


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Stokes asked umpires not to add 4 overthrows to England total: Anderson

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London: England World Cup hero Ben Stokes asked the umpires to take away the four overthrows that proved decisive during their summit clash win over New Zealand , according to his Test team-mate Jimmy Anderson.

A throw from Black Caps fielder Martin Guptill deflected off Stokes’ bat while he was diving to reach his crease to complete the second run and the ball ran off to the boundary in the dying stages of the England run chase.

Having taken into account the two completed runs and the resultant boundary from the overthrow, Stokes was awarded six runs, though some experts have opined that he should only have got five, which would have left England a run short of New Zealand’s total of 241 for 8.

 

If Stokes had his way, the match might have never reached a tie and gone to a Super Over, where both teams scored 15 runs and England eventually won the World Cup on boundary count.

Anderson, who will be Stokes’ Test team-mate for the upcoming Ashes series against Australia, said that the England all-rounder, who apologised the moment the incident happened by raising his hands, had appealed to the umpires to overturn their decision.

“The etiquette in cricket is if the ball is thrown at the stumps and it hits you and goes into a gap in the field you don’t run. But if it goes to the boundary, in the rules it’s four and you can’t do anything about it,” Anderson told the BBC’s Tailenders podcast.

“I think, talking to Michael Vaughan who saw him (Stokes) after the game, Ben Stokes actually went to the umpires and said, ‘Can you take that four runs off. We don’t want it’. But it’s in the rules and that’s the way it is,” added Anderson.

“It’s been talked about for a while among the players, potentially that being a dead ball if it does hit the batsman and veer off somewhere.”

Christchurch-born Stokes said after the summit clash that he might have to say sorry “for the rest of my life” for the extra runs which he labelled “fluke”.

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Bengaluru to miss out on mainstream football next season?

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Mumbai: The city of Bengaluru has been a hotspot for football in recent years, with I-League, Indian Super League (ISL) and AFC Cup matches of Bengaluru FC hosted at the Kanteerava stadium. However, in the upcoming season, the fans in the city could well be starved of mainstream football.

Bengaluru FC find themselves at an impasse after a Karnataka High Court order opened up the possibility of them being barred from using the Kanteerava Stadium from which they play their ISL matches.

The Karnataka High Court has ordered the state government to carry out a probe and initiate action against concerned officials who allowed Bengaluru FC to use the Kanteerava Stadium even after the license agreement came to an end.

 

Any urgent resolution to the issue seems impossible, given that the case has been adjourned until early October. As such, it remains to be seen what Bengaluru FC will do as the chances of them continuing at the Kanteerava seems slim.

It is understood that Bengaluru have, as of now, uploaded the High Court stay order in place of the stadium documents for the club licensing procedure. The club ideally needs to upload a letter showing the consent of the stadium authorities for using the facilities.

The club, however, can make amendments to the document before August 25.

Sources in the know have told Goal that Bengaluru FC have been considering a few alternate venues. But Bengaluru FC CEO Mandar Tamhane refused to comment on the issue when Goal reached out.

As such, fans in Bengaluru might just miss out on mainstream football for the upcoming season if the issue is not resolved soon.

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World Cup win can spur England to Ashes glory: Root

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LONDON: England’s Cricket World Cup triumph can be the perfect launch pad to complete a memorable double by winning the Ashes series against Australia this year, Test skipper Joe Root has said.

Hosts England ended a 44-year wait to win the World Cup as they beat New Zealand side on boundary count after a tied Super Over in a dramatic final on Sunday.

Shifting focus to the five-match Ashes series, which begins on Aug 1, the 28-year-old said England were full of confidence as they bid to reclaim the urn having already achieved one of their targets.

 

“It’s what we set out to do two or three years ago and we’re halfway there,” Root told reporters. “This will give the guys confidence and we’ve talked about taking that forward into a series like that.”

England beat Australia in the World Cup semi-final at Edgbaston, the venue for the first Ashes Test, and Root said they were looking forward to getting back there.

“The way we played against Australia in that semi-final… the guys who were involved relished it and will want a bit more: the feeling of euphoria we felt at that ground,” Root added.

“To potentially be able to experience all that again is very exciting. Ashes cricket always has a different edge to it so that in itself will get everyone going.

“The atmosphere, the way it builds up and the way the guys get excited about it, it’s like no other series in Test cricket.”

However, England must ensure their ODI success does not affect preparations, all-rounder Ben Stokes said.

“Everyone here deserves to feel like a champion because we’ve just won it, but when it comes to the Ashes it’s going to be heads on again because it has to be,” Stokes said. “Whether you’re winning or losing, you’ve just got to wipe the slate clean.”

England warm up for the series with their maiden Test against Ireland, a four-day contest, starting at Lord’s on July 24.

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