England are at risk of missing Manchester United teenager Zidane Iqbal, with Iraqi football chiefs keen to secure the teenager’s services at senior international level.
The attacking midfielder was called upon to play for the Iraqi Under-23 team at the WAFF (West Asian Football Federation) championship last month, helping them reach the semi-finals before their elimination against the ‘Saudi Arabia. Iqbal also played against the United Arab Emirates and took on the captain’s armband before scoring against Lebanon.
Manchester-born Iqbal is eligible to represent England, Iraq and Pakistan, but has yet to be called up to an England squad by age group, although he has spent more than a decade with United and established himself as a regular member of United’s U23 squad.
The 18-year-old scored for the club’s youth against Sunderland in the EFL Trophy last month, and went on to score United’s opener in their 4-2 UEFA Youth League victory over Italian team Atalanta.
Iqbal is one of four UK footballers in the South Asian Premier League on a full-time professional contract alongside Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury, Aston Villa’s Arjan Raikhy and Tottenham’s Dilan Markanday.
Markanday: I hope to be the first of several
Tottenham pioneer Dilan Markanday has said he is desperate to inspire more British South Asian footballers after his historic appearance for the club.
Barnet-born attacking midfielder Markanday came off the bench in Spurs’ Europa Conference League game at Vitesse to become the first British player in Southeast Asia in Tottenham’s 139-year history.
Markanday’s achievement was rightly celebrated as an important moment for the player, the club and the community, but the 20-year-old, who was nominated for the October Player of the Month in Premier League 2, did not does not want to stop there. .
“I hope more and more people pass and I’m the first of many,” he said.
“I hope a lot of British Asians take this step, believe in themselves, support themselves and can get out of this and show what they can do.
“I hope they all see it, love it and be inspired by it, I hope they continue to support me, follow me and I hope that one of those who is watching will and will. himself.
“The dream is to play for Tottenham for the next 15 years, playing every game, but obviously I know things might not work out and there will be ups and downs.
“But all I can control are the controllable things and things will turn out for the best. Being around the first team made me want even more. It made me hungry and I want to be in this environment. every day for the next 15 years. “
Diwali delight for women in County Derby
The Punjabi Rams fan group extended their commitment to the women of Derby County by becoming a shirt sleeve sponsor for the team.
The group, which was shortlisted for the Football Supporters’ Association’s Fan Award for Diversity, have built a strong relationship with Derby County Women over the years, with members of the team and club hierarchy regularly attending end-of-season dinners in recent seasons.
They have sponsored the Sikh-Punjabi winger of the Kira Rai team for four years. Rai, 22, recently said Sky Sports News that they try to inspire each other, adding that she feels lucky to have “her own little community within a club”.
🗣 “If I can inspire other South Asian girls to play soccer, then this is the main thing.”
Derby County footballer Kira Rai admits she is slowly starting to get used to the idea that she is a role model for girls in Britain’s South Asian community. pic.twitter.com/VGm2xoDfR5
– Sky Sports WSL (@SkySportsWSL) September 13, 2021
Title-seeking Ewe Rams have won six of their last seven games in the FA’s National Women’s League North Premier League, and are just one point behind rivals Wolves as they pursue promotion at the FA Women’s Championship.
Deby County’s official fan club, the Punjabi Rams, chose an auspicious time of year to announce the partnership, with Hindus celebrating the Diwali Festival of Lights and Sikhs celebrating Bandi Chhor Divas last week.
Addressed exclusively to Sky Sports News, Punjabi Rams founder Pav Samra said: “Our relationship with the Derby County Women’s team dates back to 2015, when they demonstrated an incredible alliance with us, a group of fans, by printing our logo on the back of their first team kit.
“With the continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of County Derby, we know the impact is being felt more widely, and as a group we are desperate to support the club as a whole, as well as the women’s team. , which is having a fantastic season.
“The Punjabi Rams who sponsor the team’s shirt sleeves are more than just a gesture. We are actively demonstrating our belief in the one club philosophy, while trying to play our part in supporting women’s football in this country. “
British South Asians in Football
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