Iranian women football match spectators

Iranian women fans of Persepolis football club, EPA photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Hundreds of Iranian women at Asian Champions League final

In the Azadi stadium in the Iranian capital Tehran, hundreds of women have attended the final of the Asian Champions League. Remarkable, because for almost forty years women had not been welcome in the stadiums.

80,000 spectators saw today the match between Persepolis and the Japanese Kashima Antlers in the Azadi stadium. In a separate section, approximately 850 seats were reserved for women.

The Iranians saw their team draw 0-0. Because they lost the away match with 2-0, they did not win the Asian championship.

The women present, family members of the players, players in Iranian women’s football teams and employees of the Iranian Football Association, loudly encouraged Persepolis.

Stadium ban

In Iran there has been a ban on stadiums for women since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The religious authorities do not want mixing Muslim women with ‘excited men’, to the displeasure of many (female) football fans.

In March, 35 women were arrested who tried to attend a match in the Iranian competition. A month later, five women, disguised as men, managed to reach the stands of the Azadi stadium and watch a match there.

The fact that women were admitted today is seen as a possible new step towards the lifting of the stadium ban. Last month some hundred women were allowed to attend the friendly match of the Iranian national football team against Bolivia.

Protest during Iran-Morocco football match


Racism in Paris Saint-Germain football

This 18 February 2015 video says about itself:

Amateur footage shows Chelsea football fans preventing a black man from boarding a Paris metro train shortly before the Champions League fixture between Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday. The unidentified passenger attempts to squeeze on to the train, only to be pushed forcefully back on to the platform at the Richelieu-Drouot station. The fans then chant: ‘We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it’.

These English Chelsea hooligans included a supporter of the far-right UKIP party.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The French football club Paris Saint-Germain has for years been guilty of racism within their youth academy. That reports the French website Mediapart based on articles in Football Leaks.

PSG wanted to limit the number of dark-skinned players in their youth training. Scouts of the top level club had to indicate the ethnic background of players in their reports.

The number one club in the French competition confirms to the BBC that between 2013 and 2018 the ethnicity of footballers in the academy was filled in on assessment forms. The club is now going to find out how this could have happened and which measures should be taken against whom.

General manager Jean Claude Blanc told BBC radio he was shocked and felt betrayed. It may very well be that the French champion has broken the law with this approach. The club says in a statement that the relevant forms were an initiative of one specific person.

If that statement about only one person is true, then it is probably a really influential person.

Tiger Woods not playing golf in Saudi Arabia

This video is called Tiger Woods‘ winning highlights from the 2018 TOUR Championship.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Tiger Woods has declined a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia. The American golf legend was promised an amount of 2.9 million euros for participation in a tournament in 2019, according to [British daily] The Telegraph. …

Woods would have come under the magnifying glass if he would have pledged his participation. Saudi Arabia has been followed very critically since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Golf top players Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed and Paul Casey have confirmed their presence at the tournament that will be part of the European Tour next year.

Sports world approached critically

Amnesty International called on Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to refrain from cooperating with a demonstration match in Jeddah on 22 December. The top level tennis players, who had said yes in 2017, said they were aware of the situation, but did not yet comply with the call.

Roger Federer recently announced that he had not accepted an invitation to the Saudi event last year, despite a promised check of $ 1 million.

“I was indeed approached, I did not want to play there, so for me it was a quick decision”, said Federer …

Amnesty International also urged Juventus and AC Milan not to play their Super Coppa football match in Saudi Arabia. That match – between the national champion and cup winner of Italy – is scheduled for January 2019 on the calendar.

‘Boycott tennis, football in bloody Saudi Arabia’

This 25 October 2018 video from England says about itself:

Demonstrators gather outside Saudi embassy to protest Yemen bombings and Khashoggi killing

Dozens of people gathered outside Saudi Arabia’s embassy in London on Thursday evening to protest against the gulf state’s war in Yemen and the killing in Turkey of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Amnesty calls on Djokovic and Nadal to avoid Saudi Arabia

The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey has also put Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in a difficult situation. The best two tennis players in the world at present would play a demonstration match in the Saudi city Jeddah on 22 December, but the pressure on both tennis players to abandon that lucrative performance increases as the political tension around
the Khashoggi case increases. …

Already a year ago, Nadal and Djokovic signed a contract stating that they will play a lucrative demonstration contest in Jeddah on 22 December. The match is financed by the Saudi government.

Amnesty International, among others, has now called on both tennis players to refrain from playing there, since this would give a wrong signal. By playing tennis in Jeddah, Nadal and Djokovic, according to Amnesty International, give credibility and approval to a controversial regime. …

Incidentally, Amnesty International not only appeals to the tennis players. Eg, the Italian football clubs Juventus and AC Milan received a letter from the human rights organization asking them not to play the Super Coppa match in Saudi Arabia. That match – between the national champion and cup winner of Italy – is scheduled for January 2019.

Pro wrestling stars John Cena and Daniel Bryan have reportedly pulled out of an event in Saudi Arabia following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

First Dominican speed skater to Winter Olympics?

This 8 October 2018 video shows Manuel Leito, a speed skater born in the Dominican Republic, now living in the Netherlands, at a 500 meter race in Thialf stadium in Heerenveen.

Today, Dutch NOS TV reports on Manuel Leito.

Manuel Leito wants to become the first ever Dominican participant in winter Olympics, at the 2022 Beijing games.

Leito started speed skating when he was almost 30 years old, his third season has only started now.

Leito is trying to learn a lot to catch up with other speed skaters who started much earlier. During his first year as skater, his 500 meter was in 40,41 seconds. Now his personal best is 38:56. To qualify for the World Cup, he needs a time below 38 seconds.

Kenyan athlete wins race on one shoe

This 30 August 2018 video says about itself:

One Shoe Wonder Battles to Photo Finish in Men’s Steeplechase!

The men’s Diamond League steeplechase final featured a photo finish between Soufiane El Bakkali and Conseslus Kipruto. Kipruto lost a shoe mid race!

Kenyan Kipruto lost one shoe because another participant had kicked it out.

It reminds me of a Dutch children’s song.

This is a video of the song ‘De boer had maar ene schoen’, the farmer had just one shoe.

However, the farmer in that song did not have just one shoe because someone had kicked it out, but because he was poor.

And the song says that one shoe was not enough for the farmer. However, at least today, it was enough for Conseslus Kipruto.

Donald Trump’s war on American football, continued

This video from the USA about American football says about itself:

Philadelphia Eagles’ De’Vante Bausby discusses decision to demonstrate during national anthem

9 August 2018

Philadelphia Eagles defensive back De’Vante Bausby raised his right fist during the national anthem before the team’s preseason opener on Aug. 9, 2018. He explains his decision to demonstrate alongside teammate Malcolm Jenkins here. (Video by Daniel Gallen/PennLive)

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

American football players demonstrate again during national anthem

Players from American football competition NFL have demonstrated during the national anthem again already during the first exhibition games of the season. At least two players knelt and three stuck their fists in the air. Players also stayed in the dressing rooms during the national anthem.

The protests during the national anthem are sensitive in the US. In 2016, quarterback (playmaker) Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco 49ers started kneeling during the national anthem as a silent protest against the racial inequality in the country, in his view.

Angry Trump

Kaepernick got more and more acclaim from colleagues after his protest, but also the anger of American president Donald Trump.

Trump campaigned strongly against Kaepernick and other athletes during his election campaign. He reproached kneeling players for a lack of patriotism and advocated sacking the “sons of bitches”.

As president he continued to attack the kneeling players, especially via Twitter. The NFL and team owners were right behind their players first and thought that Trump had to keep politics and sport separate. Until it became clear that Trump’s protests and tweets hurt the richest and most popular sports competition in the country, resulting in image damage and diminished TV ratings.


Over the course of last season, the opinion of many clubs and league boss Roger Goodell flip-flopped. Three months ago, without consulting the players, the NFL introduced a new policy on protesting during the national anthem.

If players want to protest, then they must stay behind in the dressing rooms during the national anthem. Whoever protests on the field runs the risk of a fine.

The NFL thought it was the perfect compromise. Supporters and opponents of the protests have different views. The new policy is too vague. For example, clubs are free to decide how strongly they want to maintain or modify the new policy.

Trump came last month with his own proposals. …

“Everyone is waiting what the competition is going to do”, said Malcolm Jenkins, player of champions Philadelphia Eagles. He stuck his fist in the air during the national anthem. “But we will not stop making clear what we stand for.”

Colin Kaepernick, who still has no club after his departure from the 49ers, expressed his support for the demonstrating players via Twitter.

The National Football League preseason games began last week with many players resuming their protests over police killings and racism by kneeling, raising fists, or staying in their locker rooms during the playing of the national anthem: here.

DOLPHINS KNEEL FOR ANTHEM Miami Dolphins Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson have defied the football league’s new policy surrounding on-field protests by taking a knee during the national anthem at Thursday’s NFL preseason opener. [HuffPost]

POLICE UNION WANTS DOLPHINS BOYCOTT A Miami police union is urging its members to protest the Miami Dolphins after two players knelt during the national anthem ahead of their preseason opener last week. [HuffPost]

DOLPHINS WIDE RECEIVERS TAKE A KNEE Colin Kaepernick praised Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson after the pair took a knee during the national anthem prior to their game against the Tennessee Titans. Trump later raged about NFL ratings on Twitter. [HuffPost]

BETO’S NFL SPEECH GOES VIRAL This video of Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) defending NFL players who take a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice was viewed by thousands of people online. [HuffPost]