Samir Nasri Goes to Manchester City

August 25, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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

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The Sheikh of Abu Dhabi has been trying to secure this deal all summer, and he finally got his man. Manchester City football club of the English Premier League have finally secured the services of French Muslim footballer Samir Nasri from his former club, fellow English League rivals Arsenal.

The Abu Dhabi-owned football club reportedly obtained Nasri for a transfer fee of £24million. The 24-year-old midfielder subsequently signed a four year contract with Manchester City. This would be the fourth major signing this summer for City, but it would only be the second most expensive, after the club record £38million purchase of Sergio Aguero. Nasri will likely make his Man City debut this Sunday against Tottenham.

Nasri had just one year remaining on his contract at Arsenal, whom he joined in 2008, and the London club have agreed to sell now rather than risk losing him on a free transfer next summer. English Premier League rivals Manchester United had also shown interested in the Frenchman. And in recent weeks, there was growing tension at Arsenal with the common knowledge that Nasri wanted out. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger even included Nasri in the starting lineup this past weekend against Liverpool even after it was apparent that the club was close to a sale. He was, however, left off of the roster for Arsenal’s midweek Champions League qualifying match against Udinese.

This was a rough week for Arsenal, who were forced to sell captain Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona the week before, followed by a home loss to Liverpool. Now they have been strong-armed into parting with another of their young talents.

Nasri came up in the Marseille youth system and made his debut for the French club at the age of 17. He came to Arsenal in 2008 for £15.8million. But he struggled for a couple of years, and was even left off of the 2010 French World Cup team. But he finally broke through last year with 15 goals and a nomination for Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year.

Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini told www.mcfc.co.uk: “He’s a fantastic player because he has technique, he has mentality. I knew him when he played for Marseille. I followed him when I was at Inter and we wanted to take him five years ago. But I think in the last few years in the Premier League he’s improved a lot. Now I think he’s a top player.”

Nasri now joins a Muslim-laden squad in Manchester City. The Ivorian brothers Kolo and Yaya Toure are there, as well as fellow Ivorian Abdul Razak, and Somalian midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim, not to mention the Emirati ownership.

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Aisam ul Haq Qureshi Falls in Epic French Open Quarterfinal

June 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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

Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi-96269Pakistan’s Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and his Indian doubles tennis partner Rohan Bopanna put on quite a show in Paris, but they ultimately fell to their American arch rivals, the Bryan brothers. Qureshi and Bopanna took a stirring first set 7-6, 7-2 in the tiebreaker. But the Bryan brothers rebounded with a 6-3 second set victory. And everything then came down to a third set that once again ended in a tiebreaker, but this time in the Bryans’ favor, 7-3.

In the previous round, Qureshi and Bopanna, the number five seeded men’s team, dispatched of the team consisting of Kazakhstani Andrey Golubev and Uzbek Denis Istomin 6-3, 7-5 in the fourth round to reach the quarters. And in the quarterfinal round the Indo-Pak Express will face their nemeses, the American team of brothers Mike and Bob Bryan. The Bryans, in the fourth round, ironically also took out a Kazakhstani, as well as a Russian.

Back in September the Bryan brothers defeated Qureshi and Bopanna in the finals of the U.S. Open, after which Qureshi gave a stirring speech about the plight and misunderstanding of his home nation of Pakistan. This time Qureshi, and Bopanna, were hoping to do all of the talking with their rackets to avenge their previous defeat. But, the defeat notwithstanding, Qureshi and Bopanna certainly got the attention of all onlookers at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris.

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Sania Mirza in French Open Semifinals

June 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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

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Sania Mirza of India returns the ball to Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 26, 2011.    

REUTERS/Thierry Roge

India’s Sania Mirza, and her Russian doubles tennis partner, Elena Vesnina, are getting the attention of the paparazzi in Paris after upending the ladies’ doubles number one seeds Gisela Dulko of Argentina and Flavia Pennetta of Italy 6–0, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the French Open. Mirza and Vesnina, the seventh seeds, took only 66 minutes to dispatch of Pennetta and Dulko, who are ranked number one and number two respectively in the ladies’ world individual doubles rankings. Mirza’s partner, Vesnina, currently ranks number 10 in those same world rankings, while Sania has moved up to number 25. Sania is up to number 72 in the singles rankings.

Mirza and Vesnina will now take on the fourth seeded American duo of Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond on Wednesday at Roland Garros Stadium in  Paris. No matter the result, Sania and Elena are sure to see their rankings shoot up further after the French Open.

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Muslims at the 2011 French Open

May 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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

TENNIS-OPEN/It has been a mixed bag so far for Muslim tennis players at the 2011 French Open Tennis Tournament. Although, there has been a preponderance of sour ingredients in that bag so far. First with the bad, Uzbeki female tennis player Akgul Amanmuradova succumbed in the first round of the ladies’ singles competition to German Sabine Lisicki 6-0, 6-4. French Muslima Aravane Rezai was also a first round loser in her home tournament to Romanian Irina Camelia-Begu 6-3, 6-3, also in the first round.

Indian Sania Mirza was a first round winner in the ladies’ singles over Kristina Barrois of Germany 6-3, 6-3. Mirza was also a first round winner in the ladies doubles with Russian partner Elena Vesnina. Speaking of doubles, the team of Pakistani Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Indian Rohan Bopanna is seeded fifth in the men’s doubles as they wait to play their first match.

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