Inside Ground

With stadium beer ban, World Cup fans look for sip of hope

Publish: 02:29 PM, 20 Nov, 2022


Football fans who travelled thousands of kilometres to get a glimpse of the sport's most prestigious event savoured their first sips of beer at the launch of a fan festival on Saturday, a rare place where they can drink alcohol at the World Cup.

In a last-minute U-turn, two days before the tournament's opening match, the international football governing body Fifa said on Friday that alcoholic beer would not be sold at Qatar's World Cup stadiums.

Budweiser, a major World Cup sponsor, had been set to exclusively sell alcoholic beer within the ticketed perimeter surrounding each of the eight stadiums three hours before and one hour after each game during the month-long event.

Now fans can only consume beer at the Fifa Fan Festival in Doha. Alcoholic beverages remain available at the stadium hospitality areas.

One Mexican fan in a sombrero, his country's tricolour flag draped over his shoulders, balanced a cardboard drink holder containing four beers as he joined a group of his compatriots at Doha's Al Bidda Park, hosting the Fifa Fan Festival.

"Not having alcohol is not good because the World Cup it's a party of the world," said Brazilian fan Julio Cesar, wearing a felt hat in his country's colours.

The 2022 World Cup is the first edition of the tournament held in a conservative Muslim country with strict controls on alcohol, the consumption of which is banned in public.

Qatar has also faced criticism from some countries playing in the 32-nation tournament over its rights record on migrant workers, women and the LGBTQ community.

For the fans unfazed by Qatar's dire human rights record, the absence of beer at World Cup venues has proven a major disappointment.

"It's tough to tell what happened in Qatar, whether it is the truth or not," said 41-year-old Guilherme, another Brazil fan.

"My only problem is banning alcohol."

- Reuters

FIFA World Cup 2022   Qatar World Cup 2022   FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022  


Inside Ground

USA to face Brazil in Copa America warm-up

Publish: 01:48 PM, 28 Feb, 2024


The United States will take on five-time world champions Brazil in a warm-up friendly ahead of the Copa America, US Soccer confirmed on Tuesday.

The June 12 fixture will take place at Orlando's Camping World Stadium in Florida as the two teams prepare for the Copa, which is being held in the United States from June 20 to July 14.
"Getting the opportunity to play against Brazil is special. When you talk about wanting to challenge ourselves against the best teams in the world, you can't ask for much better than Brazil," US men's national team coach Gregg Berhalter said.

The US kick off their Copa America campaign against Bolivia in Dallas on June 23.

Brazil open their tournament at Los Angeles's SoFi Stadium on June 24.

This year's Copa America -- South American football's regional championship -- is being staged entirely in the United States and has been expanded to 16 teams to include six teams from the CONCACAF region.

Copa America   South American football   USA  


Inside Ground

Gill, Jurel help India clinch Test series against England

Publish: 08:56 PM, 26 Feb, 2024


Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel kept calm to lead India to a series-clinching five-wicket win over England on day four of the fourth Test on Monday.

Chasing 192 for victory, India slipped to 120-5 but Gill (52) and Jurel (39) put on an unbeaten stand of 72 to achieve the target in the second session in Ranchi.

The win gave India an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series after they lost the first Test.

It was the first series defeat for captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum since they took charge in 2022 and changed England's fortunes with their attacking philosophy dubbed "Bazball".

Gill played the anchor in his 124-ball knock as he and Jurel, who made 90 in India's first innings, staved off a mini-crisis when Shoaib Bashir took two wickets in two balls soon after lunch.

India still needed 72 more but Gill and Jurel rotated the strike coolly to pick off singles before raising his fifty with two successive sixes off Bashir.

Jurel hit the winning runs, punching the air and hugging his partner as the Indian dressing room rose to celebrate.

India started the morning strongly with captain Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal extending their overnight 40-run opening stand to 84.

Root made the breakthrough in his first over of the day, as he induced Jaiswal, on 37, to loop a catch to a diving James Anderson at backward point .

Rohit reached his half-century but fell for 57, stumped by Ben Foakes off Tom Hartley's left-arm spin.

England's travelling army of fans then erupted when Bashir, who took his maiden five-wicket haul in the first innings, had Rajat Patidar brilliantly caught by Ollie Pope for a duck to leave India 100-3.

After the interval Bashir silenced the home fans with his twin strikes to give England some hope of an unlikely win.

Ravindra Jadeja slapped a full toss Jonny Bairstow at mid-wicket, Sarfaraz Khan tickled the next ball to Pope backward short-leg for a duck but Jurel survived the hat-trick ball.

England had scored 353 all out in their first innings and led by 46 after India's 307.

Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav set up the victory after they shared nine second-innings wickets to bundle out England for 145 on day three.

England had recovered from 112-5 in their first innings courtesy of Root's unbeaten 122.

India were without pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested, but the bowling stood up -- including debutant quick Akash Deep, who took three early wickets after England elected to bat.

Anderson reached 698 Test wickets in the match and needs two more to become only the third bowler to 700 after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan and late Australia spin wizard Shane Warne (708).

The fifth and final Test begins on March 7 in the Himalayan hill town of Dharamsala.

India   England   Test Cricket  


Inside Ground

Messi the creator as Miami win in MLS opener

Publish: 01:37 PM, 22 Feb, 2024


Lionel Messi created both goals as Inter Miami made a winning start to the new Major League Soccer season with a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday.

The Argentine World Cup winner, who played the entire game, put aside any concerns about his fitness with an excellent performance for Gerardo "Tata" Martino's team.

Against a cautious Salt Lake side, Messi went close to opening the scoring in the 18th minute with a curling free-kick from 30 yards out which was headed off the line by Justen Glad.

But Miami got in front when Spaniard Sergio Busquets found Messi and the eight-times Ballon d'Or winner cleverly slipped the ball through to Finnish forward Robert Taylor, whose low shot beat RSL keeper Zac MacMath.

The goalkeeper should have kept the effort out but it was a goal which forced the visitors to open up after the interval and their more aggressive approach caused Inter some problems.

Cristian Arango blasted a half-chance high over the bar for Salt Lake and then, after Busquets sloppily gave the ball away, Andres Gomez burst goalwards but the Colombian winger fired wide.

Sensing his team needed another goal or two to make sure of the points, Messi upped his workrate and began to take control of the game.

The 36-year-old weaved down the inside left channel to find space for a cross to the back post to Julian Gressel but the German put his effort wide from the tight angle.

Then Messi burst from deep and found his former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez who picked out Diego Gomez and the Paraguayan midfielder buried his shot low into the far corner to make it 2-0.

That trio almost combined again for a third with Messi slipping to Gomez who then served Suarez but the Uruguayan's effort was saved by the outstretched leg of MacMath.

Inter Miami return to action on Sunday at Los Angeles Galaxy.

Leo Messi   Inter Miami   MLS  


Inside Ground

Bangladesh's Jahir Rayhan clinches silver in 400-meter sprint

Publish: 08:42 PM, 19 Feb, 2024


Mohammad Jahir Rayhan brought laurel for Bangladesh by clinching first ever silver medal in the Men's 400-meter sprint of the Asian Indoor Athletics held in Tehran Sunday night.

He was the 2nd Bangladeshi athlete after the gold medalist Imranur Rahman, who win a medal in the Asian level meet.

Jahir Rayhan, won first-ever Asian silver medal for Bangladesh as he finished 2nd in the 400-meter sprint with a timing of 48.10 seconds.

Earlier, Imranur Rahman, the fastest man of Bangladesh for the last three consecutive times, reached the semifinal in his favourite 60-meter sprint of the Asian Indoor Athletics held  in the Iranian capital Tehran also on Sunday.

Imranur Rahman, the current gold medalist of the Asian 60- meter sprint, competed in the event's heats number-3 and finished 2nd with a timing of 6.62 seconds on Sunday.

He was ranked 4th in overall heats to reach the semifinals.

Ali Anwar of Oman clinched top slot in heats number -3 clocking 6.56 seconds.

Another Bangladeshi athlete Rakibul also took part in heats number 4 of the event and finished 4th with a timing of 6.87 seconds.

The 30-year-old England-based Bangladesh origin athlete Imranur Rahman brought laurels for the country as he emerged  as the first Bangladeshi athlete to win the first- ever Asian gold medal in the men's 60- meter sprint of the 10th Asian Indoor Athletics held in Astana, Kazakhstan February last year.

The event's semifinals are scheduled to be held Sunday night while the final is billed for Monday.

Another Bangladeshi athlete Jahir Raihan will compete in the 400-meter sprint final Sunday night.

Five athletes of the Bangladesh  team are: Imranur Rahman, Rakibul Hasan (60-meter sprint), Zahir Raihan (400-meter sprint), Mahfuzur Rahman (High Jump) and Shirin Akhter (60-meter sprint).

Asian Indoor Athletics   Bangladesh   Jahir Rayhan  


Inside Ground

Commonwealth Karate Championship to be held in Dhaka on Sept 25

Publish: 08:54 PM, 17 Feb, 2024


The Commonwealth Karate Championship will be held from September 25-29 at the Shaheed Suhrawardy Indoor Stadium in the city's Mirpur.

Bangladesh Karate Federation is going to organize a big event for the first time in the country, said a press release.

A total of 32 Commonwealth countries have already confirmed their registration and the organizers hoped that the number of participating countries will be increased further.

In this regards, a press conference was held today at Shaheed Suhrawardy Indoor Stadium to provide all the details of the meet.

Commonwealth Karate Federation president Sonny Pillay (8th Dan), who was present at the press conference as the chief guest said, informed that "If an event like the Commonwealth Karate Championship is organized in Dhaka, it'll have a positive impact on the country's economy because one and a half thousand athletes and officials from nearly forty countries across the world will come to Dhaka."

Bangladesh Karate Federation president Dr Mozammel Haque Khan, its vice president Moazzem Hossain Sentu and its general secretary Kaw Shaw Hla were also present.

In 2021, Bangladesh succeeded in presenting the proposal to be the host of this year at the Congress of the Commonwealth Karate Federation.

Out of the seventy two countries belonging to the Commonwealth, thirty two countries have already registered to participate in this championship. The competition will be held in nine disciplines in two categories - nations and club championships.

Cadets, juniors, U-21, seniors and veterans will compete in the club championship while cadets, juniors, U-21 and seniors will vie in the nations category. Nearly One and a half thousand karateka will fight in both kata and kumi category.

Federation's president Dr. Mozammel Haque Khan said: "We have won the honor of hosting the Commonwealth Karate Championship by defeating four countries like Barbados, Trinidad, Tobacco and Bosnia. Now our challenge is to organize the game properly so that we can organize bigger events of karate in the future."

The accommodation, food and travel expenses of karatekas participating in the championship will be borne by their respective countries.
 The host country will get 40 percent of the Commonwealth and 60 percent of the money for the registration of karatekas in the Nations category.

Commonwealth Karate Championship   Bangladesh