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Sports Shorts: Holders ATK play runner-up Kerala Blasters in ISL 4 opener

September 22, 2017 22:37 IST

 A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Friday

Atletico de Kolkata won the Indian Super League (ISL) final in 2014 and 2016

IMAGE: Atletico de Kolkata won the Indian Super League (ISL) final in 2014 and 2016. Photograph: PTI

Two-time champions and holders ATK will take on runner-up Kerala Blasters in the opening match of the Hero Indian Super League season 4 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on November 17.

The match is a re-run of last year's final and the Kerala outfit would be eager to make amends for that disappointment.


Altogether 95 matches will be played this season and 10 teams will be in action with the addition of Bengaluru FC and Jamshedpur FC.

Football Sports Development Ltd, a joint venture between IMG, Reliance Industries and Star India, on Friday, announced the match schedule of the power-packed ISL season 4.

All the 10 teams will play each other in a home-and-away format in 90 games before the two-legged semi-finals, which are scheduled to take place in the second week of March.

Date and venue for the final will be announced later.

All league matches to be played from Wednesday to Saturday will kick off at 8 PM (IST) with Sunday featuring double headers at 5:30 PM and 8 PM (IST).

The season's first double-header will see a repeat of the 2015 final between Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa in Chennai followed by AFC Cup 2016 finalist, Bengaluru FC, getting their first taste of ISL when they take on last season's semi-finalists Mumbai City FC in a home match at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday, November 19.

The highlight will undoubtedly be India captain Sunil Chhetri taking on his previous club for the first time.

The season's first Maharashtra derby between FC Pune City and Mumbai City FC will be played on November 29 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune.

Jamshedpur FC will play their first home match at the renovated JRD Tata Sports Complex Stadium against title holders ATK on December 1.

The 10 clubs have collectively spent Rs 132.75 crores in signing 77 international and 166 domestic players.

Unlike previous seasons, the maximum number of foreign players in the playing XI has been reduced from six to five.

India thrash Bhutan 3-0 in SAFF U-18 C'ships

India bounced back from their opening game defeat to Bangladesh as they thrashed hosts Bhutan 3-0 in their second match of the SAFF U-18 Championships in Thimphu on Friday.

Lalawmpuia missed a penalty in the 26th minute but redeemed himself with an opportunistic goal from a corner in the 38th minute and added another in the 79th. Asish Rai scored the third goal in injury time. With this win, India are third on the table with three points from two matches.

India play Maldives next on September 25.

Ghosal reaches Macau Open semis

India's leading squash player, Saurav Ghosal, on Friday moved into the semi-finals of the US$50,000 Macau Open.

After the early struggle in the tournament when he was stretched to five games by an Egyptian Mazen Gamal, a qualifier in the first round, the fourth seeded Indian was in his elements against Hong Kong's Tsz Fung Yip.

Against the Egyptian, Ghosal had to come back from two games down to stage a dramatic return.

The 85 minute tussle ended 5-11, 8-11, 11-2, 11-3, 11-6 in Ghosal's favour.

Against the Hong Kong player, the Indian carved out a 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 win in 38 minutes. Ghosal is to play the top seed German, Simon Rosner, in the semifinals tomorrow.

Harinder Pal Sandhu, who had ousted his junior partner Abhay Singh in the qualifying phase final, lasted one round in the main draw.

Sandhu lost to Egyptian Omar Mosaad, the fifth seed but after giving a fight. The Egyptian won 11-1, 8-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-2 in 65 minutes.

Chelsea's Abraham denies switching allegiance to Nigeria, commits to England

England under-21 striker Tammy Abraham has denied reports he is set to switch international allegiance to Nigeria in a bid to feature in next year's World Cup.

According to British media reports, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) have been keen on recruiting London-born Abraham, who remains eligible for the African nation through his parents.

"I have informed the FA that I remain available for selection for England," Swansea player Abraham said in a statement. "Contrary to reports in the media I would like to clarify that I have not agreed to switch my national team allegiance.

"I can confirm I met the president of the NFF after our last game against Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday given he is a friend of my father."

Chelsea's Abraham, 19, is currently on a season-long loan at SwanseaCity seeking regular first-team opportunities.

Swiss club president attacks TV commentator after match

FC Sion president Christian Constantin physically attacked a television commentator following a league match on Thursday, then said he had "sorted out" a difference between the pair.

Part of the attack was caught on camera and showed commentator Rolf Fringer, already on the ground, being slapped on the head by the 60-year-old Constantin, shortly after Sion's 2-1 win at Lugano.

Soon afterwards, Constantin told cable broadcaster Teleclub that Fringer, a former coach of the Swiss national side, had criticised him and treated him badly earlier in the week.

"Now, I've sorted that out," Constantin said.

"I grabbed him and I kicked him in the backside.

"When you are attacked, you have to defend yourself."

The Swiss Football League confirmed it would open disciplinary proceedings into the incident.

"As the television pictures show, Sion president Christian Constantin was involved in a physical altercation with Teleclub football expert Rolf Fringer. Constantin confirmed the incident in a television interview," the SFL said in a statement.

Earlier in the week, Fringer had criticised Constantin's leadership of the club, describing it as "ridiculous".

Fringer, whose has also coached a number of clubs including Greek side PAOK, said he was hit in the face and tripped over the camera when he tried to escape.

"I'm still shocked," he said.

"You just don't imagine something like that happening."