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Football: African champs Algeria win Arab Cup

31st Dec 2021
Football: African champs Algeria win Arab Cup

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune receives Algerian football team and their coach Abdel Madjid Bougherra at the El Mouradia Palace Presidential Palace in Algiers, Algeria on December 20, after the team won their first Arab Cup.(Credit: Algerian Presidency/Anadolu Agency)

 

Football

FIFA Arab Cup: Doha, Qatar (November 30 – December 18): Reigning African champions Algeria won their maiden Arab Cup with a 2-0 win against Tunisia on December 18 after extra-time goals from substitute Amir Sayoud and Yacine Brahimi in Al Khor, a victory that backs up their credentials for the Africa Cup of Nations.

It also underscores North Africa’s domination in a tournament that served as a World Cup dress rehearsal for Qatari organisers. The African champions needed 99 minutes to find the opener through Sayoud against a formidable Tunisian side, who created opportunities and danger of their own but failed to capitalise.

With the last kick of the game, talisman and Qatar-based Brahimi, clean through on goal, wrapped up the 2-0 victory in the 125th minute to deservedly crown Algeria champions after a formidable tournament.

Egypt’s Mohamed Salah finished seventh in the Ballon d’Or, football’s top award but his talent was recognized with two other awards that evening. Liverpool’s forward is considered to be the world’s top player at this point in time, but what failed to acknowledge him as such.

So, while Lionel Messi collected his seventh title on November 29, Salah added two more individual awards and was there to collect one of them, in Monaco. He was one of 10 players nominated for the Gold Foot Award, which honours athletes for their performance as individual and team players, and for their personality.

Players can only be selected by international journalists with the final list of nominees then subject to an online vote, and a player can only win once. Salah, 29, was the recipient with his wife Magi accepting the award on his behalf. Closer to home, Salah was voted the Football Supporters’ Association Men’s Player of the Year at the FSA Awards, securing his second win having also won in 2018. “I’m honoured to be the first player to win this award twice. I would like to thank the organisers and all the football fans who voted for me,” Salah said.

Athletics

Adam Gemili and Laviai Nielsen have been removed from UK Athletics’ world-class programme after opting to stay with their coach Rana Reider, who is the subject of a Safe Sport US investigation after multiple complaints of sexual misconduct were made against him.

It means that both sprinters will no longer receive lottery funding, which can be worth up to £28,000, or medical support from UKA while they remain with Reider in Florida. However, a third British athlete Daryll Neita, who was coached by Reider to the women’s Olympic 100m final, will stay on funding after deciding to leave his Tumbleweed training group.

 

Basketball

National Basketball Association (NBA): The Brooklyn Nets will let Kyrie Irving return to action, despite previously saying he could not do so until he had been vaccinated against Covid-19. Irving has refused to be vaccinated but the Nets now say he can take part in “games and practices in which he is eligible”.
The 29-year-old will not be able play in home games because rules in New York require players to be vaccinated.

Irving will also have to miss away games where you need to be immunised. Nets general manager Sean Marks said the decision was made “after discussions with our coaches, players and staff”. Irving, a seven-time All-Star has not played in the current campaign which began in October. He will be required to be tested on a daily basis on his return and will be unavailable for home games, those against the New York Knicks and when playing in Toronto.

 

Cricket

New Zealand will tour Pakistan twice next season, including once to compensate for abandoned tour earlier this year, the cricket boards of both countries said on December 20.

New Zealand aborted its limited-overs tour to Pakistan in September due to security fears just before the toss in the first one-day international was due to take place at Rawalpindi. England followed the New Zealand decision by also abandoning its short tour to Pakistan just before the Twenty20 World Cup in October.

The cancellations came as a massive blow to Pakistan’s hopes of staging regular international cricket and infuriated the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), whose Chairman Ramiz Raja alleged that Pakistan had been “used and binned” by the “Western bloc”.

 

Squash

Egypt’s Nour el-Sherbini has, on December 17, won the CIB Black Ball Squash Open in Cairo for the second time in her history, after defeating her compatriot Hania al-Hamami, of Wadi Degla, 3-1 (11-7, 9-11, 11-1, and 11-7).

Sherbiny qualified for the final match after defeating UK’s Georgina Kennedy 3-0 in the semi-finals. Hamami qualified for the final match after her rival Nouran Gohar withdrew from the fourth round due to injury. Hamami lost in the final of the last edition of the tournament as well, after she was defeated by the UK’s Sarah Jean Perry.

Tennis

Mubadala World Tennis Championship, Abu Dhabi, UAE (December 16 – 18): Ons Jabeur the Tunisian world number 10 became the first Arab player to win at the pre-season tournament in Abu Dhabi.

Jabeur defeated Switzerland’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic in a third set championship tie-break 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in an entertaining match on Thursday night.

The 27-year-old Tunisian was a late arrival for MWTC after replacing US Open champion Emma Raducanu, who was forced to withdraw after testing positive for Covid-19 just days before the tournament. “It’s amazing to be here in Abu Dhabi; to be here in an Arab country, representing Tunisia, representing the Arab world. I’m so glad I had this opportunity, so I’m really grateful for that” said Jabeur

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

Belal Muhammad dominated Stephen Thompson on December 18, winning a lopsided unanimous decision in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 45.

The judges scored the bout 30-25, 30-26, and 30-26 in Muhammad’s favour, extending the Chicago native’s unbeaten streak to seven straight fights.

After a short feeling out process, Muhammad (20-3, 1 NC) took control late in the opening round by slamming Thompson (16-6-1) to the mat, scurrying up his back, flattening Thompson out and unloading a ferocious stream of unanswered punches. Thompson blocked most of the worst blows, however Muhammad wasted little time in Round 2 taking Thompson down again, hunting for an unsuccessful kimura submission, then blasting him with short elbows.

Muhammad went right back to work to start Round 3, dumping Thompson to the floor with an instant takedown. Thompson tried to reverse the action with a takedown attempt of his own; however Muhammad once again ended up in top position and spent the remainder of the bout unleashing short strikes from Thompson’s half guard.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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