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Fifa says anti-racism taskforce had ‘completed work’

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Fifa has defended its decision to scrap an anti-racism taskforce, saying it had completed the work it set out to do.

The Fifa Taskforce Against Racism and Discrimination was set up in 2013 to develop recommendations for tackling the issue.

Critics have questioned the dismantling of the group, saying racism is ongoing.

But Fifa General Secretary Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura said: “The taskforce had a specific mandate, which it has fully fulfilled.”

Former taskforce member Osau Obayiuwana told the Associated Press: “I wish I could say I am shocked by the decision, but unfortunately I am not.

“I personally think there remained a lot of very serious work for the taskforce to have done – the 2018 World Cup in Russia being one such matter. But it is evident the Fifa administration takes a different position.”

Speaking at the Soccerex global football conference, Samoura explained that the group’s recommendations had now been turned into a “strong programme” to tackle racism.

Responding to criticism of the decision, the general secretary of football’s world governing body added: “My presence here is a demonstration that Fifa has a zero tolerance policy against discrimination. Not only racism but any kind of discrimination including violation of human rights.”

Samoura will present Fifa’s first Diversity Award at the convention in Manchester on Monday.

The anti-racism taskforce was established by then Fifa president Sepp Blatter and headed by Jeffrey Webb until he was arrested in 2015 as part of an investigation into corruption.

Its recommendations included introducing extra observers at games and tough penalties for clubs whose players, officials or fans are guilty of racism.

Earlier this month, European football’s governing body Uefa ordered Russian club FC Rostov to close a section of their stadium for their Champions League game against PSV Eindhoven as punishment for the racist behaviour of their fans.

Uefa says fans in Rostov-on-Don, one of the host cities for the 2018 World Cup, were guilty of unspecified offences during their play-off victory against Ajax on 24 August.

Former Fifa presidential candidate Tokyo Sexwale had used his speech before Gianni Infantino was elected as Blatter’s replacement in February to call for the group to become a permanent committee.

“Racism is going to be with us for a long, long time,” Sexwale, a former anti-apartheid activist, said at the time. “It can’t just be a committee that comes ad hoc.”

Health & Lifestyle

Sports head injuries Balanced reportage is required – Experts

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A group of more than 60 leading international neuroscientists, including Mark Herceg, PhD, a neuropsychologist at Northwell Health’s Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and a member of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, published a correspondence today in The Lancet Neurology, asking for balance when reporting on sports-related injury chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a type of dementia associated with exposure to repeated concussions, and has been linked with a variety of contact sports such as boxing, football, American football and rugby.



Although CTE is commonly featured in the news media and discussed among peers, the medical community is just beginning to understand how to recognize the disease, guidelines for how to assess its severity have yet to be established.

“We don’t currently have a clear understanding of the link between CTE pathology and any specific symptoms,” noted Dr. Herceg. “It’s important to note to the public at large that CTE is at an early stage of scientific and medical understanding, with many important aspects of the disease yet to be established.”

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“Dr. Herceg and his colleague’s CTE research is timely and impactful as a major step forward to more clearly defining the risk and prevalence of this important syndrome,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute.

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-Northwell Health

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UCL Round of 16: PSG Outplay Manchester United at home

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Despite the hope of reclaiming their place in Europe’s elite, Manchester United lost their first match under the watch of the interim coach Ole Gunnar Solksjaer in front of their fans to a better side; Paris Saint German in the first leg of knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League.



A match that became so intensive with lot of bookings in the second half needed former United’s star, Angel Dimaria’s exceptional performance to decide the pace as he gave the assist to both scorers from PSG Presnel Kimpembe and brilliant Kylian Mbappe.

The team now has mountains to climb as Manchester United’s prolific midfielder Paul Pogba will definitely miss the second leg in France after he was sent off through double yellow cards in the same match. which makes the hope of overturning the result in the return leg less achievable.

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A seemingly depleted PSG without Neymar jr and Edison Cavani will now welcome the Ole Gunnar’s side possibly without Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial in the second leg with the hope of a miraculous overturn.

Meanwhile AS Roma edged FC Porto in a close contest that ended two goals to one.

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