Training kicks off for FIFA Confederations Cup volunteers across Kazan, Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Sochi
Special training will aim to help volunteers in supporting people with disabilities
Former Spain captain Carles Puyol provides a special message of good luck for participants
With just over two months to go until the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017, the biggest sporting event of the year, some of the key contributors who make the tournament possible, the volunteers, have taken centre stage.
Training for volunteers who will help to run the competition in Kazan, Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Sochi has already started, and the training programme was presented to the media and some high-profile guests on Tuesday, 11 April. In Moscow, the presentation at the Russian State Social University, home to one of the capital’s Volunteer Centres for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, was attended by Vitaly Mutko, Deputy Prime Minister of the RF and Chairman of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee, Russia 2018 Ambassador Sergei Belogolovtsev, and Spartak Moscow and Russia midfielder, Aleksandr Samedov.
"On the pitch, the players are the most important people. Off the pitch, it’s the volunteers who play the biggest role," Puyol said. "You are the face of your country and you have the honour of representing it. You are the ones who get to help out both the participants and the spectators. You have an important and interesting task ahead of you that I hope you will enjoy. I wish you luck and I am certain that your work will be a great success."
Independent human rights experts Impactt Ltd release external compliance report
High levels of compliance in health and safety, living conditions found
15,000 workers engaged on Qatar 2022 projects studied for the report
Impactt Ltd. – the human rights experts responsible for auditing the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s (SC) Workers’ Welfare Standards – have released the first Annual External Compliance report on 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ construction sites.
Looking at the impact the Workers’ Welfare Standards have on the 15,000 workers engaged on SC projects, the report identified numerous areas of compliance with the SC’s Workers' Welfare Standards among the contractors covered. High levels of compliance were identified in areas including working conditions related to health and safety, contracts and administration, and living conditions – including accommodation and food, medical care and facilities management.
The independent auditor's first annual report on SC's Workers' Welfare Standards has identified high levels of compliance on health and safety of the 15,000 workers engaged in SC projects
Impactt, however, also identified a number of areas in which the SC has room to improve. Specific issues of concern relate to reimbursing workers for recruitment fees paid to recruiting agents in their home nations, the provision of adequate personal documentation such as residence permits, and setting up robust employer-worker dialogue mechanisms.
We will do everything necessary to ensure the issues identified are dealt with promptly.
H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, SC Secretary General.
SC Secretary General, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, welcomed the report, reflecting on it as another sign of the SC’s commitment to protect the workers building stadiums for the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East.
"We have always believed that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be a catalyst to accelerate positive initiatives already being undertaken in Qatar, leaving a legacy of enhanced, sustainable and meaningful progress around workers’ welfare," Al Thawadi told sc.qa. "While the findings clearly state there are challenges, they also demonstrate our continued commitment to this process.
"We will do everything necessary to ensure the issues identified are dealt with promptly. We respect the diligence shown by Impactt during their audits and the constructive observations and recommendations made," he added.
The report said the SC has made "significant progress" since the Workers’ Welfare Standards were introduced while the contractors on the SC programme demonstrated an “impressive ability to improve”.
News of the report’s findings kicks off another important year for the SC’s Workers’ Welfare Division. During 2017 the division will aim to boost efforts to further enhance the recruitment process, introduce innovative cooling technologies to supplement existing summer working procedures and further enhance enforcement capabilities.
War-torn Aleppo has this week hosted its first professional football match in five years.
At the end of December 2016, the Syrian League returned to action, and photos of packed stands went viral, showing thousands of fans cheering on their teams as they played on poorly maintained pitches amid bombed-out husks of buildings.
The first match in Aleppo was a derby between local rivals - Horriya versus Ittihad Aleppo. Ittihad came out on top with a 2-1 win, scoring the winner in the 92nd minute in front of a huge crowd.
Aleppo, once a flourishing economic centre boasting impressive historic sites, has been decimated during the war. Gulf war wounds are healing Another landmark event took place this week in Kuwait, when Ali Husni, the Iraqi Al-Minaa left winger, signed on loan for Kuwaiti side Al-Arabi. Coming on as a late substitute and setting up a goal in Al-Arabi's 1-1 draw with Al-Salmiya, Husni became the first Iraqi to play in Kuwait in 27 years - since the 1991 Gulf War.
Husni received a rapturous reception from his new team’s fans, despite the tensions that remain between Kuwait and Iraq since the aggressions of Saddam Hussein nearly thirty years ago.
Spot of bother in Tehran Esteghlal Tehran, one of the two Persian mega-clubs, found itself in hot water last week when FIFA banned the club from signing players in the current transfer window
The ban, issued by FIFA's Dispute Resolution Chamber, followed an unofficial payment from Estghlal to German midfielder Adil Chihi. The DRC also prohibited the club from fielding two players already signed in this window - Uzbek international Server Djeparov, and Iran national team captain, Andranik Teymourian. The Blues are struggling in fourth place in the league, 13 points adrift of their city rivals, Persepolis, who sit atop the table. On top of their unsatisfactory league form, and this damaging player ban, the club awaits in-form Qatari side Al-Sadd in the Asian Champions League play-offs. Broken hearts on the beach On Saturday, the Lebanese league provided one of the most riveting games of the weekend, when Tripoli played host to Nejmeh in a seven-goal thriller. Nejmeh led 1-0 at half time after a goal from Cofi. Then, early in the second half, the home side got their noses in front with a double from Shamsin and Ashia in the 49th and 52th minutes, making it 2-1 to Tripoli. Nejmeh came back strongly when Hasan al-Mohamed and Nader Matar scored to make it 3-2 for the boys from Beirut. Not to be swept aside, Abu Bakr al-Mal equalised for Tripoli from the penalty spot in the 91st minute - and that seemed to have settled a bonkers 3-3 draw in the beach-front city, but it wasn't over yet. In the 94th minute, well in to added-on time, Mazen Jamal scored the winner for Nejmeh with a surface to air screamer from 20 metres out, and completed a heroic victory for the burgundy Beirutis.
The result opened up the table in Lebanon, putting Nejmeh into fourth place, five points off league leaders Ahed, in a tight race with Safa and Salam Zaghrta for the second spot.
LEICESTER boss Craig Shakespeare has revealed how he helped stop Jamie Vardy quitting football for a life in Ibiza by promising to make him an England striker.
Vardy revealed In his autobiography that he was close to walking away from the game during a his first season with the Foxes in which he scored just five goals in 29 games.
It took a meeting with former boss Nigel Pearson and assistants Shakespeare and Steve Walsh to change his mind in what the forward labelled a ‘career-defining moment’.
“I remember the situation really well,” said Shakespeare of the meeting in the 2012-13 season. “Our job is to support players. Sometimes they do have self-doubt and Jamie would be the first to admit he was going through a rough patch.
“Myself, Nigel and Steve were here to support him. All we did was told him about his attributes and that we thought he could go on.
“We even mentioned then about not only playing in the Premier League but also he had the attributes to play for the national team. We told him we wanted him and believed in him.
Craig Shakespeare stopped Jamie Vardy from quitting in 2012/13
“Thankfully he didn’t go to Ibiza. I think he has made the right decision!”
Vardy will line up against Sunderland tonight with the Foxes aiming to move a step closer to safety.
But they will again be without captain Wes Morgan, who is now a major doubt for the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Atletico Madrid a week on Wednesday.
He has yet to resume training after a back injury and Shakespeare is unsure when he will be fit. “You can never quite tell with a back problem and especially a nerve problem,” said Shakespeare.
Sunderland manager David Moyes has bigger problems, however, after Football Association chiefs revealed they will contact him over his threat to “slap” a female reporter.
Every Premier League Goal of the Month this season
Fri, March 31, 2017
Click through the gallery to reveal every Premier League Goal of the Month this season so far
March: Andros Townsend - Crystal Palace (West Brom)
The governing body will seek clarification following an exchange between the 53-year-old Scot and BBC Newcastle and Radio Five Live reporter Vicki Sparks, which has been widely condemned since details emerged.
An FA spokesman said: “We are seeking observations from the club.”
Moyes took offence to Sparks’ question in a post-match interview following his side’s goalless Premier League draw with Burnley at the Stadium of Light on March 18.
Sparks had asked Moyes whether the presence of Black Cats owner Ellis Short at the game meant his job was under threat.
After the interview was over, Moyes said: “It was getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself.
Vardy scored just five goals in his first season at Leicester
“You still might get a slap even though you’re a woman. Careful the next time you come in.”
The BBC and Sunderland confirmed that Moyes and Sparks had spoken since and that the matter was resolved and yesterday Moyes said: “I’ve never considered resigning. It was the heat of the moment. The business we’re in, sometimes you only have seconds to think and answer. So it was the wrong thing to do.
“I don’t see it as being something which is in my character. It is something which is out of character. I’ve apologised to the girl. She was fine, she accepted it. I phoned her on the Monday morning.
“I spoke to [chief executive] Martin Bain immediately after it happened. I spoke to Ellis about it on the Monday morning as well. They were aware of it two weeks ago. Do I think it will cost me my job? No.”