Pakistan’s Waseem Reaches Boxing Finals

December 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

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File:  Mohammad Waseem, right, hits Haroon Khan.

Pakistan’s star boxer Mohammad Waseem fought his way into the finals of the Second Shaheed Benazir Bhutto International Boxing tournament at the Liaquat Gymnasium in Islamabad earlier this week. Waseem defeated India’s Madan Lal in the semifinals of the 52 kg division.

Waseem emerged as the only boxer from the host Pakistani contingent to fight for gold as seven other Pakistani fighters had to settle for bronze medals after they were beaten in the semifinals of their respective categories. Mohammad Nisar, Jamal Nasir, Nisar Khan, Ghulam Mustafa, Niamatullah, Nadir Khan and Yasir Javed all fell in the semifinals as part of a disappointing overall performance by Pakistan, who fielded a whopping total of 34 boxers in the event.

Waseem, who crushed Senevira from Sri Lanka in the quarter-final on Monday, faced even less adversity against Madan Lal in the semifinal and edged the Indian 19-12. “Thanks God, I qualified for the final,” Waseem told The News after his fight. “I did not face much difficulty and am confident to lift gold for Pakistan,” he said. Waseem is scheduled to face Benson Gicharu from Kenya in the final. Benson got a walkover against Latipovr Jasurbe from Uzbekistan in the semifinals.

By beating Madan Lal, who had outgunned England-born Haroon Khan in the quarter-final on Monday, Waseem proved that he is better than Amir Khan’s brother in the 52kg weight category. The superb show from Waseem must have convinced the authorities that they were wrong when they were compelling the Quetta-born lad to reduce his weight and play in the 49kg in the World Championship held in Baku back in the fall of this year.

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Yaya Toure Kept from Representing Country

December 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

tourx_yayaEnglish Premier League football club Manchester City has been granted special dispensation to delay Yaya Toure’s departure for the Africa Cup of Nations. The Ivory Coast international had looked set to miss out on the Football Association Cup third round match against Manchester United and the first leg of the League Cup (Carling Cup) semifinal matchup with Liverpool, but he will now be able to feature in both matches.

Although glad he can take part in two important matches, Toure admits to feeling indifferent about the situation, with his loyalties split between club and country. The star midfielder told reporters, “Our country needs people like myself and Didier Drogba because there is a war and it’s important we do what we can for our people, but this is also a crucial time of the season. There are two crucial months coming up and now I am going to miss one of them. The team, the club and the manager need me, but I will have to go away and play in a different competition. It’s difficult as I am very focused for City and we need all the players. I have to go because my country is going through some difficult things, but I am a little bit guilty and confused about it. My loyalties are divided and I do feel a little bit sad. But City will cope.”

The tournament, hosted in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, begins on January 21st, with Ivory Coast’s first match taking place in Malabo against Sudan on January 22nd. Meanwhile, Manchester City sit atop the English Premier League with 38 points, two points ahead of cross-town rival Manchester United.

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Nuri Sahin Finally Makes Real Debut

November 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

Nuri-SahinTurkish midfielder Nuri Sahin finally took a bow with his new soccer team Real Madrid this past weekend as part of their 7-1 blowout of fellow Spanish club Osasuna. His debut was delayed by a knee injury, after having signed with the club this past summer from Borussia Dortmund. He admitted to being nervous prior to his debut, but he received a warm welcome from the crowd as he was introduced as a second-half substitute.

Sahin, who was a key figure in Dortmund’s Bundesliga title success last season, told the club’s website: “It’s been a great day for me. I wish to thank everyone at the Santiago Bernabeu, my team-mates, the manager and the president. I must now work hard to be able to help the team.

“I’m very happy for playing my first game with Real Madrid. It’s been difficult being injured. I was a little nervous before coming on because it was my first match before the fans. I felt confident and happy after a couple of minutes. We must continue to work hard because we will face difficult games after the league break.”

Real extended their lead at the top of the Primera Division of Spain’s La Liga to three points after their blowout victory, coupled with rival Barcelona’s 2-2 draw at Athletic Bilbao later in the day.

It was a big day for another Muslim footballer on Real Madrid as well, as French striker Karim Benzema scored twice. Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo added a hat trick. The one negative note was the injury sustained by Angel Di Maria. The Argentina winger was forced off with what the club described as a hamstring injury, having set up all three of Real’s first-half goals.

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Al Dah to Fight in US Next

October 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

17-EisaAlDah9-cropUnited Arab Emirates welterweight boxer Eisa Al Dah, also known as The Arabian Warrior, is scheduled to fight his tenth bout against as yet unconfirmed opposition on December 16 in Tampa, Florida after an invite to the USA International Boxing Championship sanctioned by the International Boxing Council (IBC).

The 32-year-old Emirati (seven wins, three losses, from nine fights, four by knock-out) has been training in the United States for the past two months with British WBA Super and IBF World Light Welterweight Champion Amir Khan. Khan fights Lamont Peterson at the Walter E Washington Convention Centre in Washington DC on December 10 to defend his titles.

Al Dah, who will fly back into the UAE on Monday before returning stateside for early November for the big fight, is hoping his famous sparring partner will enable him to reach higher competency over eight and six rounds, instead of his current four round ability.

The two-time Arab, six-time UAE and three-time West European champion, will be busy stoking support for his fight when he arrives back here this week as he looks to raise the profile of the sport in this region. Local training sessions will be taking place at Bel Rematha Sports Centre.

Having first beaten Larry Foster in 2007 via technical knock-out (TKO) in the first round at Shaikh Rashid Hall, at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Al Dah went on to beat David Love by first round stoppage in 2008 at the same venue.

Al Dah also beat Karl Taylor on points at Newport Leisure Centre in Wales that same year before losing to Alfredo Valdes by second round TKO in Polanco, Mexico in 2009. Three more wins followed in the form of two points decisions either side of a second round KO against Wayne Downing and Steve Cooper in Wales, plus Matt Seawright in Knightsbridge, London [listed chronologically] all in 2009.

However, it proved to be too much in a split decision loss awarded to Anthony Woods in Florida 2010. Al Dah made up for it in front of a home crowd at the Trade Centre with a third round KO of Ignasi Caballero this February. He now seeks his first career win in the Americas, [US and Mexico] where he’s previously sustained his sole losses.

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Turkish Soccer Star Joins Spanish Giants

May 12, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

2011-05-09T110721Z_671877595_BM2E7590ZMO01_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-SAHIN-REALTurkish midfielder Nuri Sahin announced this week that he will, as expected, complete his move from German champions Borussia Dortmund to the Spanish titlists Real Madrid at the end of the season. The 22-year-old Sahin has arguably been the most influential member of a team packed with potential, and, at 8.8 million pounds, represents a bargain in the current market. That reasonable price tag is a far cry from Real’s free-spending days, and it represents the changing economics of big time football.  And, given the relative success of German imports (and fellow Muslims) Sami Khedira and Mesut Oezil this past season, it makes sense that Madrid have once more looked to the German Bundesliga for a further infusion of talent.

In addition to joining Oezil and Khedira, Sahin also joins a couple of other prominent Muslims on the Real Madrid squad: French midfielder Lassana Diarra, and French striker Karim Benzema. Sahin brings further possession and playmaking to the Real Madrid midfield, and while Madrid already has a talented midfield, you can never have enough people feeding the world’s greatest striker, Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Yaya Toure Fires Manchester City to Finals

April 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Parvez Fatteh, TMO, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

2011-04-16T173519Z_566425266_GM1E74H04JN01_RTRMADP_3_SOCCER-ENGLAND-CUP

Manchester City’s Yaya Toure (L) shoots to score during their FA Cup semi-final soccer against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London, April 16, 2011.  

REUTERS/Toby Melville

 

Midfielder Yaya Toure scored the lone goal of the match for Manchester City against fierce rivals Manchester United, sending Man City into the Football Association (FA) final match. This will be the first time taking part in the FA Cup finals for Manchester City since 1981. Toure, an Ivory Coast international, scored in the 52nd-minute, capitalizing on a giveaway by Manchester United’s Michael Carrick. Toure then sent the ball past United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar, and they held on for the 1-0 victory at Wembley Stadium in London. Toure dedicated the semi-final goal to brother and Manchester City team-mate Kolo Toure, who is suspended after testing positive for a banned substance. Manchester City will now face surprise FA Cup finalist Stoke City, who will be playing in their first ever FA Cup final. The match will take place on May 14th.

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