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Soccer Extras: Sterling wins Football Writers' award

Last updated on: April 29, 2019 19:15 IST

Manchester City's Raheem Sterling with the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award

IMAGE: Manchester City's Raheem Sterling with the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year award. Photograph: Kind courtesy, Raheem Sterling/Twitter

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was voted Footballer of the Year in the annual vote of members of the Football Writers' Association, announced on Monday.

City forward Sterling has been a key member of the City team which is two wins away from defending their Premier League title and has also been a prominent voice in the campaigns against racism in the game.

Nikita Parris won the FWA's Women's Footballer of the Year award -- like Sterling, the 25-year-old plays for ManchesterCity and England.

 

The FWA said Sterling collected 62 percent of the vote of more than 400 members of the organisation which brings together journalists and others in the football media.

Sterling had 100 votes more than Liverpool's Dutch defender Virgil Van Dijk, who on Sunday was named the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year.

Other players to receive votes from FWA members were Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal), Bernardo Silva and David Silva (Manchester City).

FWA chair Carrie Brown pointed out that the criteria for the award is for a player who by "precept and example" is considered Footballer of the Year.

"To have been voted the 2019 Footballer of the Year by our members, and with such an overwhelming majority, clearly acknowledges the contribution from a player over one season," said Brown.

"But it also recognises the huge impact of Raheem's courage to challenge preconceptions and fight racism, which will leave a legacy not just for future generations in football but society as a whole."

Parris won by a narrow margin from Arsenal and Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema who was named PFA Women's Player of the Year.

India soccer has new technical director

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has appointed Romanian Doru Isac as its new technical director, selecting the 56-year-old from a list of over 60 prospective candidates.

Isac, who has nearly three decades of experience in various coaching roles in several countries, last worked as the sporting director of three-times J-league Champions Yokohama Marinos FC.

"I need to thank AIFF for the opportunity. I'm eager to make a positive contribution to the progress of football in India and to work with everyone from the AIFF family," Doru said in a statement on the AIFF website.

AIFF president Praful Patel said that Isac, who has worked in France, Japan, United States, Romania, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, would help the 101st-ranked side reach the "next level."

India are currently without a head coach following Stephen Constantine's resignation after they were knocked out of the AFC Asian Cup group stage in January.

AIFF general secretary Kushal Das said Isac would work towards improving the roadmap that has already been laid down for the youth teams.

"I look up to Mr Doru to... make value addition to our coach education programme, grassroots, women's and men's football too," Das said.

Spain change Copa del Rey and Super Cup formats

The Spanish FA (RFEF) approved changes to the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup formats for the 2019-20 season and beyond, in a meeting on Monday.

The Copa del Rey switches to a single match format, with the exception of the semi-finals, which remain a two-leg tie.

Teams involved in the Spanish Super Cup - Barcelona, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid -- will not have to participate in the first two rounds of the Copa. The final is on April 18, 2020.

The Spanish Super Cup will change from a match between the league winners and the cup winners to a four team competition.

Both Spanish Cup finalists and the top two in La Liga will participate. If a team is in the cup final and the top two in La Liga, the place would pass down to the next team in the league table.

The Super Cup will take place in January rather than at the start of the season, with the semi-finals on January 8 and 9 and the final on January 12.

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