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Uruguay coach Alonso: Suarez is ready for World Cup match

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DOHA, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) — Diego Alonso, Uruguay’s head coach, said the country’s signature star Luis Suarez is fit enough to feature in their opening World Cup match against South Korea on Thursday.

“He is as fit as other players, he is ready for the game,” said Alonso, adding the 35-year-old striker was enjoying the atmosphere of attending another edition of the World Cup tournament.

However, he admitted that he had not yet decided on the starters against South Korea.

“With our strikers, our plan is to put a good performance in the first game. We are very much excited about what we can produce,” said Alonso.

“We have peace of mind because we have goalscoring opportunities, flexibility not only with our strikers, we are good defensively and this will make us a very competitive team,” he added.

Coached in China’s Super League club in 2017, Alonso replaced Oscar Tabarez last November. Speaking of the others’ opinion that he had little experience at the World Cup level, Alonso said everyone is entitled to have their view but he needed to focus on the game with the whole team, particularly the opening game.

A video went viral on the internet recently that each player of the country’s 26-man squad was unveiled by his hometown folks. Speaking of which, Alonso admitted it was a great opportunity to promote Uruguay, as well as a strong single to showcase the bond between players and their people.

“The video was an extraordinary work, and we are also promoting the country through the clip,” said Alonso.

Diego Godin, the 36-year-old veteran as well as captain of the team, told the same press conference that he made a huge effort to deal with pain through difficult situations and now got ready to put on the shirt for his fourth consecutive FIFA World Cup journey.

“We qualified for a new World Cup. My teammate on this boat with a common dream that we all share with the idea to win. And we have dreams and then realized, we will be coming out there to compete from the very first match,” said Godin.

The match is set to take place at the Education City Stadium, with the game kicking off at 4 p.m. local time on Thursday.

The two teams are joined in Group H by Portugal and Ghana.

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The table tennis star Dheema, first Maldivian athlete to qualify for Olympics

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The table tennis star, Fathimath Dheema Ali, who will be partaking in the upcoming Paris Olympic Games, has received a warm welcome upon returning to Male’ City. Dheema showcased her exemplary skills amidst stiff competition from the finest table tennis players in South Asia and emerged victorious in the South Asia Regional Olympic Qualifications. Her triumph signifies a momentous milestone for the Maldives in the realm of international sports.

Upon arrival back to the Maldives, the Minister of Sports, Fitness and Recreation Abdulla Rafiu and senior officials of the ministry along with the President of Maldives Olympic Committee (MOC) Mohamed Abdul Sattar and key figures from the Table Tennis Association of the Maldives extended their heartfelt and warm welcomes to Dheema. The minister organised a special ceremony held in the Youth Centre, commemorating the groundbreaking achievement of Dheema.

Speaking at the ceremony, President of the table Tennis Association Ali Rasheed rejoiced, stating that Dheema’s historic performance marked a significant milestone in the history of the Maldives. Highlighting that this remarkable victory was a result of 10 years of her unwavering commitment and dedication, Ali affirmed that the administration and countries in which she received training played a pivotal role for her success. On this stance, he expressed heartfelt gratitude towards all who were engaged in assisting to ensure this significant opportunity was secured.

While Dheema successfully qualified for the Olympic Games, previously Maldivian athletes competed in the games in invitational (tripartite) opportunities provided. As such, Maldivian athletes have been actively participating and competing in athletics, badminton and swimming since 1988.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Minister announces survey for 20-year sports development plan

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Minister of Sports, Fitness, and Recreation Abdulla Rafiu has announced a special survey for the Maldives’ 20-year sports development plan.

The draft plan was developed in February and focuses on cultivating top athletes by training coaches in schools, hosting major tournaments in the Maldives, and expanding sports associations’ activities in the atolls.

At a press conference, Minister Rafiu highlighted ongoing collaboration with sports associations. He said that detailed work on the long-term policy is available on the ministry’s website. He also said that the survey is a critical part of the process and spans 22 pages and requires time for completion by each association.

Additionally, Minister Rafiu mentioned agreements with Malaysia for training athletes and administrators. He also said that discussions about the plan have taken place with France, and talks are ongoing with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Source(s): PsmNews

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Mbappe announces PSG departure at end of season

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MARSEILLE, May 10 (Xinhua) — Kylian Mbappe confirmed on Friday that he will leave French Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season, without revealing his next destination.

But according to multiple media reports, he will join the La Liga powerhouses Real Madrid after the season ends.

“I wanted to announce to you all that it’s my last year at Paris Saint-Germain. I will not extend and the adventure will come to an end in a few weeks,” Mbappe said in a video posted on social media.

“I will play my last game at the Parc des Princes on Sunday.”

The French international joined PSG on loan from Monaco in 2017 and officially signed with the capital-based side after the season ended for a transfer fee of 180 million euros.

During his seven years with the team, Mbappe helped the club claim six league titles and three French Cup victories, making 306 appearances and scoring 255 goals, becoming the top scorer in the team’s history.

“It’s a lot of emotions, many years where I had the chance and the great honor to be a member of the biggest French club, one of the best in the world,” said the 26-year-old.

“It allowed me to arrive here, to have my first experience in a club with a lot of pressure, to grow as a player of course, by being alongside some of the best in history, some of the greatest champions,” he added.

“It’s hard and I never thought it would be this difficult to announce that… but I think I needed this, a new challenge, after seven years.”

PSG have already secured the Ligue 1 title of this season and reached the French Cup final, where they will compete for the championship against Lyon on May 25th.

However, in the Champions League where the team most aspired to make a mark, they suffered another disappointing exit as they were eliminated in the semifinals after being defeated in both legs by Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.

Source(s): Xinhua

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