Egyptian footballers refuse unsafe play during pandemic


This 3 July 2020 video says about itself:

Egyptian giant Zamalek to boycott league [Football Planet]

Uncertainty still lingers in the forthcoming 2021 CAF. The cancellation of FIFA dates in September further complicates the CAF’s 2020 games.

In Egypt, after issuing several threats, Zamalek has finally taken action. The frustration of some clubs with the decision to resume the championship takes a dramatic turn. The Cairo-based club has announced that it will not be resuming the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This 3 July 2020 video is called From Scarred Lungs to Diabetes: How COVID May Stick With People Long-Term | SciShow News.

Russian soccer, Israel, Palestine, coronavirus pandemic news


This 17 April 2020 video says about itself:

As the surge in cases of coronavirus continues, cultural diversity has led to different approaches and even misunderstandings in the fight against #COVID19 around the world. As part of our determination to keep connected in this time of global isolation, we are joined by internet influencers from the U.S., the UK, Italy, Iran, Japan, and Israel.

Social influencer from Israel, Raz Galor, shares stories of mask donation between China and Israel.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Israel has risen sharply, with 859 confirmed infections in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, 980 cases, the Times of Israel writes.

That is the largest increase in one day since the outbreak began. The number of confirmed cases in the country now stands at 25,547.

In another report, the Times of Israel reports that the Palestinian Authority is also concerned about the spread of Covid-19. A lockdown in the West Bank will apply for five days from Friday, a spokesperson said. All government buildings are closing and shops must also keep the doors closed, except supermarkets and pharmacies. Travel for nonessential reasons is prohibited during lockdown.

Also translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

The problems pile up in the football league of Russia. FK Orenburg refuses to continue playing under the current circumstances.

For the second time in four days, the club is absent from a competition game because of the many infections within the selection. Ten Orenburg players and staff members are already battling covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

FK Rostov, where six players tested positive and which had to quarantine the entire squad, gave way a week and a half ago under the pressure of the Russian Federation and sent a youth team against FK Sochi to fulfil their duty. The result was a record loss (10-1) and a Champions League ticket that is at risk.

Stand firm

At Orenburg, however, they stand firm. Then no football. “Such matches will not be of interest to fans and in our opinion will damage both our club and Russian football,” the statement said.

There are still five rounds to finish. Zenit Saint Petersburg is ahead with a street length, but for both the distribution of European tickets and the battle at the bottom, the mutual differences in the rankings are minimal.

Before the first cancellation, Orenburg already got a regulatory 0-3 defeat, which means that the club is now last in the highest division. The game against Ural would be played on Wednesday afternoon, about which the league will decide later.

German slaughterhouse millionaire, no football boss anymore


This 29 June 2020 German video says about itself (translated):

Schalke fans protest against board member Clemens Tönnies

Football club fans have formed a human chain in front of the home arena in Gelsenkirchen. They demonstrated against the management of the association, which also includes meat entrepreneur Clemens Tönnies.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Controversial meat baron Tönnies resigns as director of Bundesliga club Schalke 04

Clemens Tönnies leaves as chairman of the board at Schalke 04 after almost twenty years, the German football club reports on its website. The 64-year-old businessman is under attack for the disappointing sports performance of Schalke 04 and the recent coronavirus outbreak at his meat factory Tönnies Fleisch.

Schalke 04 did not win the last sixteen Bundesliga matches, finished in twelfth place and again did not qualify for European football. It is the worst series in history. Even before the coronavirus crisis, the club from Gelsenkirchen balanced on the verge of bankruptcy. …

Coronavirus outbreak

Two weeks ago, a major coronavirus outbreak was diagnosed at a branch of the Tönnies meat factory in Rheda-Wiedenbrück (in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia). More than 1,500 people tested positive in the slaughterhouse, making it Germany’s biggest source of infection.

According to the authorities, Tönnies violated the coronavirus rules, endangering the entire region. About 7000 people had to be quarantined. In the slaughterhouses of Tönnies, many foreign workers work under appalling conditions.

Mr Tönnies also got much criticism, including by Schalke players, for his anti-African racism.

Coronavirus in United States soccer, Australia


This 10 June 2020 Mayor League Soccer video from the USA says about itself:

MLS Is Back Tournament! What You Need To Know About Return To Play

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

In the highest United States soccer league (Mayor League Soccer), twenty players tested positive for the coronavirus. The virus has also been diagnosed with six staff members. …

The remaining games will be completed during the MLS is back event, July 8 through August 11, at the Disney World complex in Florida.

Florida, a COVID-19 hotspot where infections are on the rise. Disney World, where the workers oppose the bosses’ dangerous premature for-profit reopening plans.

Also from NOS radio:

Australia reports the largest daily increase in coronavirus infections since April 11. 85 people have been diagnosed with the virus in the past 24 hours. Most new infections came to light in the state of Victoria.

Police, racism and anti-racism


Footballers take a knee in solidarity with anti-racist demonstrations

This AFP photo shows women footballers at the German match Bayer Leverkusen-SGS Essen taking a knee in solidarity with anti-racist demonstrations.

By Bethany Rielly in Britain, 16 June 2020:

Cumbria‘s police seven time more likely to fine BAME people than white people, new figures show

CUMBRIAN police are almost seven times more likely to fine black and ethnic minority (BAME) people under coronavirus laws than white people, new figures show.

Figures obtained by Liberty Investigates, part of the human rights group Liberty, determined the ethnic breakdown of fines issued by 25 out of 43 police forces in England and Wales.

It found that 18 were more likely to issue fines to BAME people, with Cumbria police demonstrating the most disproportionate use of fines at 6.8 times.

ASSA TRAORÉ (centre), sister of Adama Traoré, killed by French police in Paris in 2016, taking part in the Paris health workers' demonstration

This photo shows Assa Traore (centre), sister of Adama Traore, killed by French police in Paris in 2016, taking part in the Paris health workers’ demonstration, along with firefighters.

Colonial abuses haunt France’s racism debate. By Lucy Williamson, BBC Paris correspondent.

From daily News Line in Britain, 18 June 2020:

French Police Chokehold Mutiny

NATIONWIDE demonstrations in France on Tuesday demanding better pay and resources for health workers were the subject of repeated police attacks.

18,000 people attended demonstrations in Paris during a national health workers’ strike.

Police fired tear gas

Officials said … more than 30 arrests were made.

Across France, hospital staff have been demanding government action on pay, recruitment and more beds in hospitals.

Unions say the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in the French health system and want a major boost in investment.

In France, the number of people confirmed to have died from coronavirus infection reached 29,439 on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Meanwhile, the French government has retreated before its own army of riot police.

The French government has dropped plans to ban the use of the controversial and deadly chokehold method during police arrests following agitation from the police unions, who threatened strike action if they were not allowed to choke their victims.

The government’s ban on the chokehold has now been binned after the police organised five days of their own demonstrations.

The death of Adama Traoré in Paris in 2016 has been likened to the killing of George Floyd. Protesters in France held signs displaying his name and have accused police of using brutality towards minorities.

Mass demonstrations led Interior Minister Christophe Castaner to announce that there would be ‘zero tolerance’ of racism in law enforcement, and a ban on the chokehold method – where pressure is applied to the neck of a suspect.

But police unions and officers, in a series of counter-demonstrations, rallied on the Champs-Élysées, throwing their handcuffs on the ground.

On Monday, national police director Frédéric Veaux sent a letter to staff clarifying the announcements made by the interior minister. In it, he said the measure would no longer be taught in training schools but could be used ‘with discernment’.

Footballers against racist police violence


This video from the USA is called Megan Rapinoe Kneels During USWNT [the United States women’s national soccer team] Match National Anthem v. Thailand – September 15, 2016.

Like American football player Colin Kaepernick before her, Ms Rapinoe knelt as a protest against discrimination in the USA.

This caused venomous attacks on Ms Rapinoe by Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch. The United States soccer bosses, cowards like their American football counterparts, reacted by banning anti-racist protests.

Recently, the international football (soccer) association FIFA decided that footballers should not be punished for kneeling against racist police violence.

And United States soccer bosses may follow suit.

This 9 June 2020 video from the USA is called US Soccer considers rescinding the kneeling ban.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Men’s Football: Mikel Arteta supports Arsenal players in protesting against racial injustice

ARSENAL manager Mikel Arteta was proud of his players for their support of the Black Lives Matter campaign ahead of their friendly with Brentford on Wednesday.

The Gunners wore t-shirts with a variety of messages on them, such as “I can’t breathe”, “My skin is not a crime” and “I’m not black but I stand with you”, in support of the protests going on around the world.

They also took a knee before kick-off, a symbolic way to show support, popularised by American football player Colin Kaepernick, which is also being reviewed by Olympic organisers.

Giants Jewish manager Gabe Kapler kneels during National Anthem.

Qatar World Cup stadium construction, without pay


This September 2013 video says about itself:

Qatar World Cup 2022: migrant workers forced to work for no pay

Qatar, one of the richest countries on the planet, will be hosting the World Cup in 2022. But much of the Gulf state’s expansion is being built by some of the poorest migrant workers in the world.

In the worst cases, employees are not being paid and work in conditions of forced labour. Each month dozens of young Nepalese migrant workers are returning home in coffins.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Stadium builders in Qatar work for seven months on World Cup stadium without salary

Stadium construction workers in Qatar worked for seven months without getting paid for it. That reports human rights organization Amnesty International.

It is said that about a hundred foreign workers are building the Al Bayt stadium in Al Khor. The World Cup will take place in Qatar in 2022. The opening match is on November 21. The final is four weeks later, on December 18.

The workers told Amnesty about the hardships they endured working for months without receiving a salary.

“They are concerned about their families”, said Steve Cockburn, head of the Economy and Social Justice Department at Amnesty International. “Their families depend on the money they send home from Qatar.”

Partly paid

The human rights organization recently raised the matter with the Qatari authorities, the world football association FIFA and the local organizing committee. Amnesty says that a number of employees have now received part of their salary, but that many salaries still need to be paid. …

“This case shows how easy it is still to exploit workers in Qatar, even when building one of the crown jewels of the upcoming FIFA World Cup,” said Cockburn. “For years we have urged Qatar to reform the system, but the change has clearly not come quickly enough.”

Cockburn thinks FIFA might have brought about those changes. “If FIFA had held its World Cup partners to account for the past decade and used its power to push Qatar to completely reform its systems, we wouldn’t hear the same stories of workers’ suffering.”

Anti-racism among footballers, Jews, worldwide


This 4 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Police Arrest Kneeling Protester for Giving Speech | NowThis

In US news and current events today, one of the most iconic and disturbing moments to come out of the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality after the killing of George Floyd occured in Charleston, South Carolina, when 23-year-old Givionne ‘Gee’ Jordan Jr. was arrested by police for giving an impassioned plea for peace and unity.

Every peaceful protester arrested may be an affront to the 1st Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech from the Government. The George Floyd protests have shined a spotlight on police brutality and police violence, and this example is one of the most chilling ever recorded of a peaceful protest being shut down by police overreach. BLM protests continue across the nation, while the ACLU has pledged to investigate the case of Mr. Jordan and other peaceful protesters and journalists who have been attacked by police.

Today, Dutch NOS radio reports that Denzel Dumfries, footballer of PSV Eindhoven, will train separately from his teammates for the time being.

That is an anti-coronavirus precautionary measure. It is because Dumfries yesterday was one of thousands of demonstrators in Rotterdam city against the murder of George Floyd and other racism. The demonstration was near the Erasmus bridge, where it was expected that there would be enough space for spatial distancing. Still, so many more people came than expected, that for some demonstrators keeping one meter and half distance became impossible. That did not happen to Dumfries. Still, as a precaution, he will now train separately.

Not only Dumfries, also Memphis Depay, Dutch player in French football club Lyon, was at the Rotterdam demonstration. Two days earlier, he had also been at a big demonstration in Amsterdam.

What happened at that Amsterdam demonstration? It was organised by two small organisations, an anti-blackface movement and an organisation of African Dutch transgender people. Both used to less than 100 people coming to their events. On Facebook, 300 people said that they intended to come. But often, people on Facebook say they will come, and then they don’t come. Police estimated about 250 people would join the anti-racism demonstration on Dam square.

The organisers painted signs on the Dam square to enable spatial distancing.

Amsterdam George Floyd demonstation, ANP photo

The Dam square is big enough for thousands of demonstrators. However, very many more people joined the protest than the organisers and the police expected; as this ANP photo shows. So, spatial distancing became impossible. And both the Dam square and the streets around it became crowded.

UPDATE, 18 June 2020: So far, only one person present at the Dam demonstration is known to have coronavirus. It is not known where the infection of that person happened.

Today, Amsterdam municipality has decided that during the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no more demonstrations on the Dam. Demonstrators will go to the much bigger Museumplein square.

After Amsterdam, there were also anti-racist protests with thousands of participants in Groningen and The Hague. There, there was enough space for everyone to safely adhere to anti-COVID-19 measures.

Translated from NOS radio:

“I see what is happening in the world and what is happening in the Netherlands,” said Depay on Wednesday evening in the television program Beau about his presence at the protests against racism. “I experienced it from an early age. I thought it was my duty to stand there.”

Depay also said that he personally still faces racism. “Recently I was called banana picker. It is not said face-to-face, but on the internet.”

Jewish antifa

This ‘Antifa’ group was also Zionist, pro-Palestinian and Yiddish-speaking — and it’s trending.

Your top 9 Yiddish antifa anthems: a revolutionary playlist.

Rumor that a Los Angeles Chabad [Hasidic Jewish religious orgamisation] is fueling Antifa gets spread by White House.

Jewish history shows the consequences of tolerating police brutality.

A history of anti-fascism: here.

‘Don’t punish anti-racist footballers’, FIFA says


Footballer Jadon Sancho shows George Floyd solidarity shirt

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

World football association FIFA has called on national football associations to use ‘common sense’ and to consider not imposing sanctions on players who seek justice during matches for black American George Floyd, who was killed by police brutality.

It is a remarkable position by FIFA, which has strictly monitored since football regulations in 2014 that players do not convey political, religious or personal messages during football matches, for example by writings on their undershirts. FIFA, however, makes an exception for the statements of support to Floyd, given the huge impact of the event in Minneapolis. ..

Yellow card

In the Bundesliga [German professional soccer competition] last weekend, various players reflected on the violent police action against Floyd. Eg, Jadon Sancho of Borussia Dortmund showed the text ‘Justice for George Floyd’ after his first goal against SC Paderborn.

Because the young Englishman took off his shirt, he received a yellow card. Teammate Achraf Hakimi, who had the same message but only pulled his jersey up, was spared that.

Schalke 04 player Weston McKennie wore an armband with the same text on Saturday, while Marcus Thuram of Borussia Mönchengladbach knelt on Sunday after his first hit, the sign of protest against racial violence introduced in 2016 by American football player Colin Kaepernick.

Coronavirus disaster in Suriname and Brazilian football


This December 2012 video says about itself:

Club classic: Vasco shred Manchester United

Manchester United – Vasco da Gama, FIFA Club World Cup Brazil 2000 Group B: Brazilian icons Romario and Edmundo scored the goals as the Brazilians had the best of this pulsating match.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Suriname reports five new infections with the coronavirus. This brings the total to 28. The death toll in the country is one.

Among the infected individuals are children and military personnel, according to Starnieuws. “There is fear within the barracks”.

Suriname borders on Brazil, COVID-19 epicentre because of the pandemic denialist policies of extreme right President Jair Bolsonaro.

Bolsonaro said he was ready to endanger the health and lives of Brazilian footballers.

Today, news about the results of that.

Also from NOS radio:

Brazilian football club Vasco da Gama has been hit hard by the coronavirus. In a new test round, sixteen players responded positively. The infected group was placed in isolation. Three of them already felt sick.

25 players of Ukrainian football club Lviv infected: here.