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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Roundup: AFC nominates I-League for best developing football league

Football Roundup: AFC nominates I-League for best developing football league

October 11, 2018 20:00 IST

Minerva

IMAGE:  Minerva Punjab players celebrate after winning the 2017-18 I-League title. Photograph: AIFF Media

The Asian Football Confederation has shortlisted the I-League among the top three nominations for the SPIA Award in the 'Best Developing Football League of the Year' category.

The SPIA Conference and Awards Gala will take place on November 19 and 20 in Bangkok.

The I-League is the premier league in the country and the next edition will be played among 11 clubs, the champions of which get a slot for AFC Champions League qualifier.

 

All India Football Federation president Praful Patel said: "It is very encouraging that the work of AIFF and the I-League department has got recognition by being nominated for this prestigious award. I would like to congratulate all stakeholders especially the clubs who have been an integral part of this league."

General secretary Kushal Das said: "I am very happy to see that our initiative for developing I-League pan India and introducing the club licensing criteria has had the necessary impact, and that the I-League has been nominated for the Award.

"I would like to congratulate everyone who has been part of the League – FSDL, the clubs, the sponsors, all other stakeholders and my colleagues in AIFF without whose support this wouldn't have been possible."

I-League CEO Sunando Dhar said: "This is excellent news for Indian football. We have been striving hard over the years and this nomination is only a motivation for us to do better."

The AIFF had earlier won the AFC Developing Member Association of the Year Award in 2016, and the AFC President Recognition Award for Grassroots Football in 2014.

The 2018-19 edition of the Hero I-League kicks off on October 26. 

Belgium charges referee, four others with match-fixing

Belgian prosecutors charged a referee and four other people on Thursday with match-fixing in the country's top soccer league in a broad investigation into alleged corruption in Belgian football.

Prosecutors said a judge had charged four people with criminal organisation and corruption and a fifth with money laundering - agent Dejan Veljkovic, referee Sebastien Delferiere and officials of KV Mechelen and Waasland-Beveren, who played each other on the final day of the regular season in March.

None of the five or their lawyers have commented on the accusations.

Three months after the Belgian national side reached the World Cup semi-finals, Thursday's news indicating uncomfortably close ties between agents, soccer officials and referees has dominated Belgian media.

Belgium defender and former captain Vincent Kompany told broadcaster VTM that no one should be surprised.

Monaco's Raggi gets five-match ban for red card

AS Monaco's Italian defender Andrea Raggi has been given a five-match ban for his sending-off in Sunday's home defeat by Stade Rennes, Ligue 1's disciplinary commission said on Thursday.

He was dismissed at the end of the first half for pushing his hand into the face of Clement Grenier at a corner. Monaco's 2-1 loss left last season's runners-up 18th in the 20-team table and they sacked coach Leonardo Jardim on Thursday.

Paris St Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe was handed a three-match ban for his first-half dismissal in the 5-0 win over Olympique Lyonnais for a high tackle on Tanguy Ndombele.

Kimpembe, whose suspension includes the high-profile match away to Olympique de Marseille, was initially given a yellow card which was changed to red after a VAR review.

Guingamp's Marcus Thuram was suspended for four matches for his sending off in the 1-1 draw at home to Montpellier when he elbowed an opponent, another decision made after a VAR review.

Barca's Umtiti may require knee surgery

Barcelona's World Cup-winning defender Samuel Umtiti's knee injury is not healing as planned and he may be forced to undergo surgery which would put him out of action until 2019, Spanish media reported on Thursday.

The France centre back has not played for the La Liga champions since their shock 2-1 defeat by Leganes on Sept. 26, with Barca saying was out of action due to discomfort in his left knee.

Barcelona-based newspaper Sport said on Thursday the injury is taking longer to clear up than expected, and Umtiti and the club must decide whether to opt for knee surgery, which would leave him on the sidelines for several months, or to undergo treatment to regenerate the cartilage.

Spanish daily Mundo Deportivo said Umtiti is expected to miss Barca's top-of-the-table clash with Sevilla on Oct. 20 and the "Clasico" against Real Madrid on Oct. 28, as well as the Champions League home game against Inter Milan on Oct. 24.

Barcelona did not immediately respond to a request to comment from Reuters.

Barca are second in the La Liga standings but have the worst defensive record of the top eight teams in the league, having shipped nine goals in eight games. They have conceded 12 goals in 11 matches in all competitions.

Ernesto Valverde's side are without a win in their last four league games.

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