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Southall FC hopeful of return home after public consultation opens as top female players land in suburb | Football News

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Southall FC’s efforts to return home have been handed a boost after Ealing Council opened a public consultation on the future of Warren Farm Sports Centre.

QPR identified Warren Farm in Southall as their preferred site to build a new training centre over a decade ago, before eventually opting to redevelop a 27-acre site in nearby Heston, bought from Imperial College.

Southall FC’s old Western Road ground was knocked down to make way for social housing 30 years ago and the club – founded in 1871 – have not played in Southall since, with home matches currently being played at the home of Ashford Town in Stanwell.

Southall FC chairman Sanjeev Sharma said it is time to bring the historic football club home, and ensure the local community can enjoy access to quality sporting facilities.

“All of us at Southall Football Club are delighted and optimistic about the opening of Ealing Council’s online consultation on the future of Warren Farm Sports Centre as it is a step closer for our 150-year-old club to return to Southall,” Sharma told Sky Sports News.

“Warren Farm was a hub for football in west London but has been derelict for a number of years. We feel this is an opportunity to bring Southall FC home, which will also support our diverse and predominantly South Asian community to excel in sports and truly break down barriers.

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Dave Rainford, Head of Education and Academy Player Care, praises the impact of the PFA’s Asian Inclusion Mentoring Scheme and says the Premier League will do more to try and help boost the number of British South Asians playing at elite level

“Southall FC has not played in Southall since the early 1990s and has been groundsharing on a season-by-season basis. Our community in Southall has lost out and has not had access to adequate sports facilities. We hope the supporters of the club and the local community can once again create lasting memories, and we want future generations to have a healthy future.

“I feel great passion for this project personally, as I played to a good standard when I was younger and I hope the next generation can dream like I did and achieve their goals. Southall FC belongs in Southall, which is the beating heart of the South Asian community in west London.”

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Kick It Out chair Sanjay Bhandari says action is needed to improve British South Asian representation in football

Southall FC said dialogue with Ealing Council is positive and ongoing, and the club are encouraging people to fill in the public consultation to air their views.

Southall FC have a number of former players who have gone on to win full international honours with England, including current QPR director of football Les Ferdinand, former West Ham midfielder Alan Devonshire and ex-Manchester United winger Gordon Hill.

Atwal wows youngsters in Southall

Young footballer from Essex poses with freestyle footballer Kaljit Atwal (right)
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A budding young footballer poses with freestyle footballer Kaljit Atwal (right)

Freestyle footballer Kaljit Atwal joined Derby’s Kira Rai and Blackburn’s Millie Chandarana at the Seeing is Believing girls’ community football event in Southall.

Bavaria-born Atwal wowed youngsters in attendance with tricks, flicks and nutmegs galore at the event hosted by west London multi-sports club Indian Gymkhana at Featherstone Sports Centre.

The trio hosted skills sessions alongside Arsenal sports scientist Nav Singh, Brentford B Team footballer Harpreet Heer, and Gymkhana coaches at the free event – with parents travelling from as far afield as Essex and Kent to give their children the opportunity to build their confidence by meeting role models in the game.

Sky Sports and Sporting Equals devised the Seeing is Believing girls’ football pilot project for century-old west London sports club Gymkhana, aimed at encouraging more South Asian female participation in the game.

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England manager Gareth Southgate welcomed the push for greater Asian representation across football as he appeared alongside Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury and Manchester United starlet Zidane Iqbal in an FA video series

Sky has teamed up with Sporting Equals to support one of the charity’s ambitions of inspiring more opportunities for British South Asians in football.

Punjabi Spurs and Villans walk to Villa Park for Eye Can

The Punjabi Spurs and Punjabi Villans supporters’ groups have joined forces for a charity walk from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to Villa Park to support people living with sight loss.

The groups had raised more than £2,500 for the Eye Can charity before embarking upon the 120-mile journey on foot from north London to Birmingham on Monday.

“This will be our way of supporting Eye Can’s goals and help grow awareness for the support available for people living with sight loss,” the Punjabi Spurs and Punjabi Villans said in a joint statement.

“We hope to encourage and promote healthy life choices and positive action with this trek.”

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Arjan Raikhy’s success in Aston Villa’s FA Youth Cup campaign made South Asian youngsters believe they can also thrive in football, said Punjabi Villans co-founder Ricky Cheema

They were sent on their way by ex-Spurs and Aston Villa winger David Ginola and former Tottenham captain Ledley King. Villa host Spurs in the Premier League on Saturday, with the groups set to arrive at Villa Park in time for the kick-off.

Khan headlines Leyton Orient network event

January signing Otis Khan will join a panel of decision-makers and practitioners across the game when Leyton Orient hosts the South Asian Football Network event on Monday.

The free event at the Breyer Group Stadium in the heart of east London will be hosted by Paul Kirton from Grassroots Football UK, and Soccer Social LDN, in association with the Fans for Diversity campaign.

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Kick It Out chief executive Tony Burnett says the South Asian voice is absolutely essential in football

The Fans for Diversity campaign is a joint initiative run by the Football Supporters’ Association and Kick It Out, whose chief executive Tony Burnett will also be speaking.

Other confirmed panellists include FA board member Rupinder Bains, West Ham academy link mentor Rashid Abba, QPR assistant head of coaching Manisha Tailor and Maidstone United manager Hakan Hatteyrin.

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Riz Rehman says there needs to be less talk and more action to increase the number of players from South Asian backgrounds coming through

The event features Q&A sessions and will provide opportunities to network with people from grassroots football right through to the professional game and the boardroom. An Iftar meal will also be provided for guests after sunset with the event falling during the holy month of Ramadan.

Sky and Sporting Equals team up for British South Asians in football

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Sky Sports has announced a partnership with Sporting Equals to inspire more opportunities for British South Asians in football

Sky Sports announced a partnership with Sporting Equals last month to support one of the charity’s ambitions of inspiring more opportunities for British South Asians in football.

The partnership stems from a shared desire to help tackle under-representation by addressing some of the barriers affecting the participation and progression of British South Asian football talent, particularly in the women’s game.

Active Lives survey data has consistently shown that South Asian women are the least physically active group in the country, and just 0.3 per cent of players in the top division of English women’s football, the FA Women’s Super League, hail from the British South Asian community.

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Look back at our feature on British South Asians in the English game

Moving forward, Sky and Sporting Equals will work together to raise awareness and educate the public on this topic, collaborating with other stakeholders to create opportunities for talent to flourish, and supporting participation in the game.

Jonathan Licht, managing director of Sky Sports, said: “Sky Sports is proud to give a platform to help inspire more opportunities for the South Asian community to get involved in football.

“Collectively we are striving for greater equality in sport and, as Europe’s largest sports broadcaster, we’re well placed to highlight under-representation in the game and use our platforms to drive change in this space.

“Building on the excellent job Sky Sports News has done over the past year, the partnership with Sporting Equals is a step further in our commitment to ensuring all audiences feel represented by our content.”

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Sporting Equals’ chief executive says helping elite-potential South Asian female footballers succeed will inspire the next generation of players from the community

Sporting Equals chief executive, Arun Kang OBE, said: “Sporting Equals is pleased to be partnering with Sky on this important work, which is a significant step towards engaging and celebrating South Asian communities in football, by removing outdated and negative stereotypes to inspire the next generation of players, coaches and football administrators.

“It is vital to highlight viable role models, which we will be doing through this project by showcasing football ambassadors, particularly South Asian females throughout community settings. With the support of Sky through this partnership we will seek to tackle these issues and demonstrate the true capabilities of South Asians in football.”

British South Asians in Football

For more stories, features and videos, visit our groundbreaking South Asians in Football page on skysports.com and stay tuned to Sky Sports News and our Sky Sports digital platforms.





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Pedro Porro speaks about Tottenham for first time as flight and medical booked

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I

ncoming signing Pedro Porro has spoken publicly for the first time about his move to Tottenham ahead of boarding a plane to London.

Standard Sport understands the right-back will complete a £39million move from Sporting later on Tuesday, the final day of the January transfer window.

The move was thrown into doubt on Monday after Sporting reneged on the deal by asking for more money, despite Porro having said his goodbyes and with a medical in London booked.

Further talks have revived the transfer and Porro, who was absent from training and understood to be distraught by the hold ups, will now finalise the move on Deadline Day. He spoke to reporters at Lisbon airport on Monday evening.

He told CMTV: “I’m grateful to Sporting, I love the club.

“I didn’t train as I was only focused on the transfer to Spurs but I will always be thankful to the club.”

Porro is expected at Hotspur Way on Monday evening, where he will stay overnight before becoming a Spurs player on Tuesday.



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Derby 0 – 2 West Ham

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West Ham booked a fifth-round FA Cup tie at boss David Moyes’ former club
Manchester United with a comfortable 2-0 win at Derby.

Jarrod Bowen’s third goal in two games gave the Hammers a first-half lead and Michail Antonio headed home their second five minutes after break.

The Londoners made it back-to-back wins after beating Everton 2-0 to climb out of the Premier League’s bottom three nine days go and rarely needed to hit top gear as they halted League One side Derby’s 19-game unbeaten run.

West Ham's Michail Antonio, left, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the English FA Cup 4th round soccer match between Derby County and West Ham at Pride Park stadium in Derby, England, Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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Michail Antonio also got on the scoresheet for the Hammers

West Ham boss Moyes now faces a reunion with former side Man Utd at Old Trafford in the last 16 after being drawn to face the Red Devils in the draw just before Monday night’s routine win at Pride Park. The match will take place in the week commencing February 27.

How West Ham eased past Derby

Paul Warne’s side are flying high in fourth place in the third tier and there were high hopes of an upset among the home faithful before kick-off in a Pride Park crowd of 25,308.

Derby forward Tom Barkhuizen wasted no time in breaching West Ham’s defence, scampering clear in the opening minute before his cut-back was scrambled clear.

Bowen shot tamely at Derby goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith soon after, but was not so wasteful in the 10th minute.

Antonio’s ball over the top caught Derby flat-footed and Bowen volleyed home Tomas Soucek’s neat headed pass from six yards.

Derby’s best move of the half saw James Collins volley just off target after Barkhuizen had run on to Craig Forsyth’s dinked pass to pick out the Derby striker with a fine cross.

Barkhuizen and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing offered Derby’s best hopes of getting back on level terms before the break, but they had no shots on target in the first period.

The good news for Rams fans at the break was their side were still in the tie against a top-flight side who were not at their best.

But five minutes into the second period the home side fell 2-0 behind. Derby skipper Curtis Davies’ sliced clearance span into Bowen’s path down the right and his cross was headed in at the far post by Antonio after deflecting off Forsyth.

Warne sent on four substitutes – Eiran Cashin, Liam Thompson, Lewis Dobbin and Tony Springett – soon after and their fresh legs gave Derby a lift.

Haydon Roberts was an inch away from connecting fully with Dobbin’s excellent cross, but the Rams were soon back-pedalling again.

Bowen was denied in quick succession by Wildsmith’s point-blank save and Cashin’s last-ditch tackle before Ben Johnson’s angled drive was kept out by the Derby goalkeeper.

The Rams were full of endeavour until the final whistle and Dobbin was close to being rewarded for an impressive cameo display when shooting straight at Alphonse Areola, but on the night County could not bridge the gulf in class.

Bowen: You’ve got to beat the best to win the cup

Jarrod Bowen said “to be the best you’ve got to beat the best” after West Ham were drawn to face United in the fifth round.

“I found out (about the draw) on the bench. We’ve got Man Utd away so listen it’s never easy and if we want to be successful in these competitions we’ve got to beat the best teams,” Bowen told ITV Sport.

“With respect to Man United they’re a top top team but we’ve been there plenty of times before and you’ve got to beat the best to be the best.”

Bowen added: “It was nice to score against Everton and tonight as well. I think the situation that we’re in, any sort of confidence from any player…

“The last two to be involved with was very good for me but I think for us, two wins on the bounce as well, two good results for us and it’s all about momentum in this game and I think we can use this going forward.”

Warne: We can’t knock the lads

Derby manager Paul Warne told ITV Sport: “In fairness West Ham played a professional performance, at times I thought we went toe-to-toe but I don’t think we did enough to score unfortunately.

“We can’t knock the lads tonight, we asked them to be the best versions of themselves against a Premier League team so not bad.

“But we probably didn’t have enough graft in the final third but I can’t really knock them and we know West Ham haven’t got an easy draw next but I wish them a sincere good luck.

“I thought the lads gave a good account of themselves at times and at times they were punching.”

What’s next?

Derby return to League One action on Saturday at home to Morecambe – kick-off 3pm – before travelling to Wycombe on Saturday February 11; kick-off 3pm.

West Ham’s next game is away to Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.


Saturday 4th February 5:00pm


Kick off 5:30pm

The Hammers then host London rivals Chelsea on Saturday February 11; kick-off 12.30pm.



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NFL’s ratio of Black QBs to Black head coaches is all wrong

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Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts
Photo: AP

Marlin Briscoe is smiling in heaven. Doug Williams probably has a huge grin on his face. The first Black starting quarterback in NFL history — Briscoe — and the first Black quarterback to start and win Super Bowl MVP — Williams — are the giants whose shoulders Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts are standing on. And between Rihanna’s halftime performance and the fact that we’re about to watch history made as two Black quarterbacks take center stage in sports’ biggest game — you could make the case that it’s destiny, given that it will all take place during Black History Month.

But, don’t let this moment distract you from the fact that Black coaches are still getting a raw deal at a time in which Black quarterbacks are being elevated like never before. Two things can be true at once, this is why this moment is such a joyous, yet infuriating one.

Sixteen years after we watched Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy make history as the first two Black head coaches to appear in the Super Bowl, we’re watching Mahomes and Hurts do it for Black quarterbacks. But since that February day in 2007, things for Black coaches have seemed to fall apart as they’ve improved for Black quarterbacks.

Eleven Black quarterbacks started Week 1. Now compare that to the three Black coaches who had jobs when the season began — Mike McDaniel doesn’t count, as he chooses to identify as a human being with a Black dad.

When Lovie Smith got fired in Houston, three became two. And as we wait for the remaining hires to be made, there isn’t a track record or feeling that anything will be done in the next few weeks to greatly improve these dismal numbers. We’re at a point in which the league, the owners, and fans are fine with having a Black man be their quarterback — but not their coach.

Over the years, the trajectory for Black quarterbacks has steadily risen in a way that hasn’t happened for Black coaches. By the time we reach kickoff, it will mean that eight Black quarterbacks have started in the Super Bowl. It’s a direct result of evolution over the years. What was started by Fritz Pollard, Briscoe, and Williams led the way for Michael Vick to be the first Black quarterback drafted No. 1 and for Steve McNair to be the first Black quarterback to win MVP — which was followed by Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.

Progress on the field, not on the sidelines

This type of progress isn’t something we’ve seen with Black coaches, though. At roughly this point last year, there were only two Black head coaches in the league — Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh and David Culley in Houston. As we know, Culley would get fired after one season by the Texans and would get replaced by Smith, another Black coach that would be fired after a lone year on the job. Brian Flores’ class-action lawsuit (which was joined by Ray Horton and Steve Wilks) is still hovering over the league. But, you wouldn’t know it the way that Wilks wasn’t able to keep his interim tag — which is a death sentence for Black coaches — with the Carolina Panthers despite doing a wonderful job.

In 2000, Dennis Green (Minnesota) and Dungy (Tampa) were the only two Black full-time head coaches in the NFL. Twenty-three years later, we’re in the same place, but worse. The XFL is just weeks away from rebooting and their eight-team league already has four Black head coaches. It’s a jarring stat that embodies just how big this problem is, despite what Todd Bowles thinks.

“I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well,” one of the two Black coaches in the league had the audacity to say earlier in the season.

In less than two weeks, a league that’s majority Black will make history when two Black quarterbacks play in a game that will feature entertainment before the game and during halftime from Black performers in a month that’s dedicated to recognizing the contributions to what Black people have made to this country. It will be a joyous occasion.

However, while you’re enjoying the game, I beg of you to ask one question to the company you’ll keep on that day. “If the NFL, America and the world can accept all this Blackness, then why won’t they accept Black coaches?” And while you’re waiting for people to answer that question, realize that “End Racism” was etched on the field all season. 





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