Why is 4-times champion Italy not in the World Cup 2022?

News Network
November 26, 2022

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Four-times champions Italy are not in this year's World Cup in Qatar, marking the second time in a row that the 'Azzurri' will miss the tournament. Here's what you need to know about the European Champions' failure to qualify:

How did Italy's World Cup qualification campaign unfold?

* Italy were drawn in Group C of the UEFA World Cup qualification round along with Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania.

* The pressure was high on coach Roberto Mancini and the squad as Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia four years earlier.

* They started with three consecutive wins against Northern Ireland, Bulgaria and Lithuania before taking a break for the European Championships last year.

* After winning the tournament, they drew twice in a row to Bulgaria and Switzerland, before claiming a 5-0 win at home against Lithuania.

* With two games left, Italy appeared to be in pole position to secure qualification, but drew 1-1 with Switzerland to leave both teams on equal points before the last round.

* Four months after their Euro 2020 success, Italy's 0-0 draw in Northern Ireland meant Switzerland finished top of their World Cup qualifying group after a win over Bulgaria, sending Mancini's side to the playoffs.

How did the World Cup playoffs unfold for Italy?

* Italy were on course to meet Portugal in the deciding playoff tie, but they missed out on the World Cup finals after losing 1-0 at home to North Macedonia thanks to Aleksandar Trajkovski's last-gasp strike.

* North Macedonia progressed to the final, where they were beaten 2-0 by Portugal, who claimed the World Cup spot.

Why did Italy not qualify for the World Cup in 2018?

* Italy finished in second place of Group G in the qualification for the 2018 World Cup.

* They then failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 60 years after being held to a 0-0 home draw in 2017 by a defiant Sweden, who booked a place at the finals in Russia with a 1-0 aggregate win.

* The Italians, who had not missed the World Cup since the 1958 finals in Sweden, saw Andrea Barzagli, Daniele De Rossi and captain Gianluigi Buffon all declare their retirement from the national team right after the game.

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News Network
April 5,2024

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Bengaluru: Actor-turned-politician and independent MP from Mandya in Karnataka Sumalatha Ambareesh on Friday joined the BJP.

Veteran BJP leader B S Yediyurappa, state President B Y Vijayendra, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly R Ashoka, national General Secretary in-charge of elections in Karnataka Radha Mohan Das Agarwal and former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda were among those who welcomed the 60-year-old into the party fold at its state headquarters here.

With BJP ceding Mandya seat to its alliance partner JD(S) in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Sumalatha, after consulting her supporters and wellwishers in Mandya, on Wednesday announced her decision to opt out of the elections, and join the BJP.

The wife of popular film star M H Ambareesh, Sumalatha had earlier staked claim for BJP ticket for re-election from the Mandya seat that was represented by her late husband in the past. But the party convinced her and gave it to JD(S).

JD(S) state President and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy is now the alliance's joint candidate from Mandya.

Kumaraswamy on Sunday met Sumalatha, and sought her cooperation in the polls.

As an independent candidate, Sumalatha had won the seat in 2019 by defeating the then Chief Minister Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumaraswamy of JD(S), by a margin of 1,25,876 votes, with the BJP's support.

It was a bitterly fought election back then. The JD(S) was in an alliance with the Congress at the time.

Sumalatha entered politics in 2019 and plunged into the poll arena as an independent, after the Congress, of which her late husband was a part, denied her the ticket, as the party had ceded the Mandya seat to its then alliance partner JD(S). Both parties were then running a coalition government under Kumaraswamy's Chief Ministership.

Late Ambareesh had served as MP, MLA and Minister in Karnataka and at the Centre in the Congress governments. He was also part of Janata Dal in the past.

In the 2019 polls, Sumalatha rode on a sympathy wave following the death of her husband, who was an icon of sorts in Mandya district.

Popular Kannada film stars like Darshan Thoogudeepa and Yash (Naveen Kumar Gowda), along with her son Abishek Ambareesh had extensively campaigned for her then. 

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News Network
April 14,2024

New Delhi, Apr 14: In response to the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran, ministry of external affairs (MEA) on Sunday issued a statement expressing serious concern over the potential threat to regional peace and security.

"We are seriously concerned at the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran which threatens the peace and security in the region," the MEA said in the statement.

The ministry called for an immediate de-escalation of the situation, emphasizing the importance of exercising restraint and refraining from further violence. 

Stressing the need for diplomacy to prevail, India urged both parties to step back from confrontation and seek peaceful resolutions to their differences.

"We call for immediate de-escalation, exercise of restraint, stepping back from violence and return to the path of diplomacy," the MEA said. 

India, closely monitoring the evolving situation, assured that its embassies in the region are actively engaging with the Indian community, providing support and assistance as needed.

"We are closely monitoring the evolving situation. Our Embassies in the region are in close touch with the Indian community," the MEA affirmed.

Highlighting the significance of maintaining security and stability in the region, India reiterated the importance of all parties involved prioritizing peaceful dialogue and cooperative measures. "It is vital that security and stability are maintained in the region," the MEA said.

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News Network
April 9,2024

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More decomposed bodies have been found inside al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, amid operations to recover bodies of the victims of one of the largest massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinians, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor says.

The founder and chairman of the group Ramy Abdu said in a series of social media posts that “operations to discover bodies executed by the Israeli army at al-Shifa Hospital continue.”

He published a “shocking” video that showed rescue teams, civil defense, and forensic evidence finding more decomposed bodies.

“It seems we are witnessing one of the largest massacres committed by Israel against the Palestinian people in history.”

Abdu said the video confirmed the Geneva-based rights group’s report on field execution operations carried out by the Israeli forces during their recent attack on al-Shifa.

“Horror: Doctors, nurses, displaced persons, administrators at the hospital, children, women. This is what is revealed after the Israeli army's withdrawal from al-Shifa Hospital. Dozens of people were executed in the field,” he said.

According to his remarks, the Israeli army placed the bodies inside pits it had dug.

On March 18, Israeli forces started a new wave of attacks on Gaza’s main hospital, al-Shifa, and imposed a two-week siege on it. 

On April 1, the Gaza Health Ministry said Israeli forces withdrew tanks and vehicles from al-Shifa, adding that dozens of bodies, some of them decomposed, had been found at the complex after the Israeli pullout, which also left behind a vast swath of destruction.

Israel first raided the hospital in Gaza City last November.

Al-Shifa, Gaza’s largest hospital, has sheltered thousands of Palestinians who fled Israel’s invasion in the northern parts of the territory.

The Israeli military claimed that the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas is using the facility to “conduct and promote terrorist activity.” Hamas has repeatedly denied operating from Shifa and other health facilities.

The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said al-Shifa is no longer functional because of months of Israeli siege and attacks on the facility.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s intensified violence against Palestinians.

Since the start of the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has killed 33,207 Palestinians and injured nearly 75,933 others.

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