Eric Abidal Negotiating Contract Extension with Barcelona

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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

Eric_Abidal-4Barcelona have reopened  contract extension negotiations with Muslim left-back Eric Abidal. This was reported by Barcelona’s sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta earlier this week. Just four months ago, Abidal was fighting for his life after a tumor was discovered in his liver. He subsequently underwent surgery in March to have the tumor removed. And he was able to recover so remarkably quickly  that he was able to return to action on May 3rd. And he even made an appearance in Barcelona’s Champions League final win over Manchester United later that month.

Abidal was born in Lyon, France, but is of Martinique descent. Before joining Barcelona in 2007 he played for Lyon and Lille in France, and Monaco before that. He has 55 caps for the French national squad, having made his international debut in August of 2004. He most recently played center back for France in their disappointing 2010 World Cup campaign.

Currently, Abidal only has one year remaining on his current contract, and Barcelona appears eager to retain the 32-year-old defender’s services. “We made Abidal the offer of a new contract before his illness,” said Zubizarreta during a press conference. “Discussions have started again and we will try to come to an agreement. It will take time but we hope that we can conclude a deal and make an announcement soon.”

Reports in the Spanish press are that Barcelona had initially offered Abidal the two-year deal that he wanted, only to withdraw the offer and come back with a proposal to give him a rolling one-year contract instead. Such rumors could make for a contentious negotiating environment, but both sides seem to have avoided stirring controversy. “Eric has stated on numerous occasions that he wants to stay at Barcelona and finish his career at the club,” the player’s agent David Venditelli told Catalan television station TV3 last month.

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Badr Hari Alive and Kicking

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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

badr_hariBadr “The Golden Boy” Hari made his triumphant return to the world of kickboxing after approximately one year away from the sport. This past May, Hari took on Tony Gregory on the It’s Showtime card in Lyon, France in the Super Heavyweight division. The crowd enthusiastically welcomed Hari from an exile that he claims was self-imposed. However, his return came in the wake of his infamous disqualification in a fight against Hesdy Gerges in May of 2010 in Amsterdam, in which Hari was disqualified after kicking Hesdy in the face.

Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and of Moroccan descent, Hari is a former K-1 heavyweight kick-boxing champion. As of May of this year, the 26-year-old Hari was ranked as the number two kick-boxer in the world by LiverKick.com. He has also been officially praised by the king of Morocco, Mohammed VI, for his outstanding accomplishments in the sport.

On this day in May, in France, however, Gregory never truly posed a threat to the great Badr Hari. Despite being booed out of the ring at the end of his last fight, Hari was this time welcomed openly by a raucous crowd that was eager to get re-acquainted with the exploits of kick-boxing’s bad boy. Despite being one of the greatest kick-boxers in the world, Hari has unfortunately has been involved in a number of controversies involving unsportsmanlike conduct in the ring and alleged violent assaults outside of the ring.

Nonetheless, Hari has side-stepped the controversy, and on this day in Lyon, he brushed aside yet another challenger, as Gregory went down and went down hard. Though many have called for a rematch with Hesdy Gerges for the It’s Showtime heavyweight title, it has been announced that Bari’s next fight will be against Romanian Daniel Ghita in September. Ghita has been ranked as one of the top five kick-boxers in the world. Ghita lost a controversial decision to Gerges earlier in the year and should provide stiff competition for Hari. But Badr Hari has been through plenty and should be ready for the challenge.

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