Paris Saint-Germain Argentine star Lionel Messi has emerged the winner of the 2021 Ballon d’Or award, claiming a record-extending seventh title.
Messi, who left Barcelona as a free agent to sign for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, was presented with the award on Monday night in Paris after another record-breaking 12 months for club and country.
The PSG forward was the previous winner of the award in 2019 as last year’s edition was cancelled because of Covid. Messi also won the Ballon d’Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015.
The Argentine beat Bayern Munich Polish striker Robert Lewandowski who was the favourite to win the 2020 edition of the Ballon d’Or.
2022 U-20 WWC: Netherlands Defeat Falconets
Two first half goals by the Netherlands earned them a 2-0 win against Nigeria’s Falconets in Sunday’s quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA U-20 women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
It is a first ever appearance in the semi-finals for the Netherlands at the U-20 women’s World Cup.
The last time the Falconets made it to the semi-finals was at the 2014 edition in Canada.
Victory against the Falconets means the Netherlands will take on Spain in the semi-finals.
FIFA Suspends Indian Football Federation Over Third-Party Influence
FIFA has suspended the Indian football federation meaning that the country will not currently be able to host the under-17 Women’s World Cup in October.
Football’s world governing body said its council unanimously decided to suspend the All India Football Federation “due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA statutes”.
Federations must be free from legal and political interference, according to FIFA rules.
The AIFF is in disarray and being run by administrators after former chief Praful Patel stayed in office beyond his term without fresh elections, which courts ruled invalid.
Fresh elections are to be held on August 28 and the poll process began last week after India’s Supreme Court approved a timeline prepared by the administrators.
India is due to host the U-17 tournament on October 11-30 but FIFA said on Monday that because of the suspension it “cannot currently be held in India as planned”.
FIFA said that it was “in constant constructive contact with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India and is hopeful that a positive outcome to the case may still be achieved”.
Indian men’s and women’s national teams also cannot play junior or senior international games during the suspension.
Former men’s captain Bhaichung Bhutia called the suspension “very harsh”.
“At the same time I think it’s a great opportunity to get our system right,” he told Indian sports news outlet Sportstar.
“And very important that all the stakeholders — the federations, state associations, sport ministry — come together to get the system right and everybody work for the betterment of the sport.”
India captain Sunil Chhetri had recently advised his players “not pay too much attention” to the FIFA ban threat as the situation was out of their control.
“The suspension will be lifted once an order to set up a committee of administrators to assume the powers of the AIFF Executive Committee has been repealed and the AIFF administration regains full control of the AIFF’s daily affairs,” FIFA said.
Dollar Rain for Amusan, Brume, others from Sports Ministry for Commonwealth successes
Team Nigeria medallists and their coaches at the 2022 Commonwealth Games have received their cash rewards from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for their heroics in Birmingham.
Athletes who won gold medals received $5,000, silver medallist received $3,000, while bronze medallists got $2,000. Athletes who represented Nigeria in the 4 x100 relay received $15,000 for the team.
Amongst those who got rewarded are Women’s 100m Hurdles Champion, Tobi Amusan, 200m Silver medallist and long jump winner, Ese Brume among others.
The Coaches and officials also got rewarded by the ministry for their roles in Team Nigeria’s success.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare ensured that three weeks camping allowance was paid to all athletes.
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