Mohamed Salah ‘happy’ with Egypt amid Chechnya political symbol furore

first_imgShare on Messenger Mohamed Salah given honorary citizenship by Chechen leader – video Read more World Cup 2018 Share on Facebook Topics Mohamed Salah Share on LinkedIn news Europe 0:28 The Egyptian football federation spokesman, Osama Ismail, said Salah had not complained to the federation. “Only what Salah writes on his Twitter account should be counted on,” he said. The federation said in a later statement reported by the BBC: “Reports that Salah wants to leave are completely wrong. Mo is still with us now and he is happy in the camp. He is eating and laughing with his teammates. He is training well and that means no problem.”Chechnya, a predominantly Muslim region in southern Russia, was devastated by wars between separatists and Russian forces. Kadyrov, a former rebel who switched his loyalties to Moscow, faces accusations of gross human rights violations, including abductions, killings and a widely reported anti-gay pogrom, which he has denied. World Cupcenter_img Chechnya Egypt football team Reuse this content Share on Twitter Mohamed Salah ‘honoured’ with gift of citizenship from Chechen leader Salah, who also took part in a photo opportunity with Kadyrov, has been criticised for allowing the Chechen leader to use him to improve the government’s international image. The Liverpool player has not responded publicly.If Salah were to quit the national team, it would be a major embarrassment to the federation and the government, which decided to base the team in Grozny. A populace that sees Salah as a hero would likely be furious, with the blame going to a government facing growing popular discontent over its decision to increase the price of fuel, drinking water and electricity.Human Rights Watch and other groups tried to persuade Fifa to drop Grozny from the list of team bases.Egypt complete their World Cup games against Saudi Arabia on Monday. Play Video Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Egypt have said Mohamed Salah is training well and has no desire to leave the World Cup, despite reports claiming the forward is considering retiring from international football after being used as a political symbol while the squad are based in Chechnya.The Associated Press reported Salah was angry about a team banquet hosted by the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who used the dinner to grant Salah “honorary citizenship”. The reports were based on a conversation with two people close to the player, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. Share via Emaillast_img read more

An independent W-League is ripe with possibility but key questions remain

first_imgW-League Share on Facebook Guardian Australia sport newsletter: subscribe by email features Intent is not enoughRos Moriarty, chair of FFA’s Women’s Football Council The first concerns the formal partnership with another domestic women’s league, likely the NWSL in the United States, or possibly a premier women’s league in Europe or Asia. What are the risks of the W-League entering into a formal partnership with one of these leagues, which themselves come with various internal issues? And what assurances are there that the W-League won’t sacrifice its own self-determination, becoming merely a feeder league for these bigger competitions with little in return?Further, a partnership with another league raises the issue of overlapping calendars. Given plans for a full home-and-away W-League season, coupled with the need for more rounds following expansion, it’s unclear how the league can partner with a growing NWSL competition without calendar overlap or potential player burn-out. On the other hand, partnering with another league with less interest, investment and competitiveness in Europe or Asia may drive top players to the NWSL permanently, affecting the W-League talent pool overall.The second question centres around funding and the mechanisms that determine how much each club invests in their women’s programs. While the W-League CBA ensured gradual increases to player wages, this agreement was only granted an extension to cover the current transition period. Continuing to increase women’s pay is imperative for the league to grow. Although there are plans to negotiate a longer-term CBA, it is not known how or when these negotiations will occur once the current CBA runs out in July 2020.Questions of funding also extend to the workings of the salary cap. The W-League cap has risen in recent seasons, but the rise has been inconsistent: it doubled between 2016-17 and 2017-18, but only rose by 16.67% between 2017-18 and 2018-19. This year, the cap has risen by 25% to $450,000. There is no explanation for this inconsistency, nor do we know precisely how the ultimate cap number will be determined after the handover from FFA.There is also the overarching issue of whether a salary cap is necessary at all. It is understood that some internal parties – including the players’ union, Professional Footballers Australia – are against the idea of the cap, believing it artificially limits the potential earnings of the league, clubs and players, while others believe it is required to ensure stable, consistent growth. It remains unclear how this debate will be resolved and who will have the final say once the transition to independence is complete. Share on Twitter Share via Email When asked how these changes could affect the W-League, PFA chief executive John Didulica says responsibility lies with the clubs and flows on from there. “It is the role of everybody within the game to ensure the W-League is a success but equally to ensure that if clubs don’t meet the standards of care that we all legitimately expect, those clubs are held to account,” Didiluca says.“Our view is unchanged – the W-League is critical to the growth of Australian football and all the noises from the clubs align with this. Anything less than this level of care can only hurt the game and the credibility of the league’s new governors.”The final question concerns the commitment to gender equality. In the PFA’s 2018-19 W-League report, players were asked how they felt the W-League side was integrated into their clubs. 79% of players said they were either “not at all satisfied” or only “slightly satisfied” with their integration – the lowest two ratings out of a possible four. This had risen by over 10% from the previous year. In the PFA’s words, “gender equality does not only mean equal pay, but includes the way they are treated and respected in their environments.” This makes the body’s commitment to gender equality all the more difficult to quantify because equality is about culture as much as it is about facilities, funding and meeting professional standards.According to the PFA, there are three key areas of the league that require improvement: performance standards, commercialisation and remuneration. How will each club approach these areas under the umbrella of gender equality? Will clubs be required to pass certain benchmarks, like those used in the PFA report? Will they be required to commit a certain percentage of their total cost base to their women’s programs? Will club boards be required to be gender balanced? Will there be a commitment to closing the gender pay gap for all employees? And if clubs are found to be falling short of these benchmarks, what are the penalties?Chair of FFA’s Women’s Football Council, Ros Moriarty, says that more detail needs to be provided in this respect. “The Council is really keen to see more than something aspirational,” she says. “There’s a definition needed around exactly how women’s football is going to be resourced, measured, and benchmarked.” “There’s a 40-40-20 intent within the FFA constitution at board level, and the Women’s Council has actually called for that to be mandated within FFA, because intent is not enough. I would really hope that, if that is resolved, it filters into State Federations and clubs.” Read more Women’s football Read morecenter_img Wide-reaching plans for independent W-League revealed Share on WhatsApp Australia sport Topics Reuse this content Share on Messenger Women’s football in Australia is on the cusp of a new era. Having played second-fiddle to the A-League for much of its life, the W-League now appears to occupy a prominent place in the incoming governing body’s vision for the game. And as the success of the Women’s World Cup showed, there is a market ready and willing to participate.Following years of unknown plans and unfulfilled promises, there is cause for optimism at the proposal to transform the W-League into a sustainable, competitive, and fully-professional competition with an enthusiastic and engaged fan culture. But this is easier said than done, and there are a number of key questions that should be asked at this formative stage if fans, players, staff and other stakeholders are to trust that the future of women’s football is in safe hands. Share on LinkedIn As for governance – the people and bodies making the big decisions about the league’s future – it is understood that a new board, made up of two FFA board members and representatives from each club, will be formed to oversee the operations of the leagues. These are largely the same figures in charge when the PFA found in 2018 that “all clubs are falling short of providing fully professional standards for W-League players and being fully compliant with all conditions of the new CBA”. Share on Pinterestlast_img read more