India’s Sunil Chhetri overtakes Messi, one goal away from entering all-time top-10

News Network
June 8, 2021

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Doha: Indian football talisman Sunil Chhetri has surpassed Argentina's global superstar Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goal-scorer with 74 strikes, adding another feather to his illustrious career.

The 36-year-old Chhetri achieved the staggering feat with his brace against Bangladesh in the joint preliminary qualifying round match for FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 here on Monday night.

The seasoned striker, who helped India register their first win in six years in World Cup qualifiers, now stands only behind Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (103) in the active international goal-scorer list.

Chhetri leads Barcelona star Messi by two goals and sits a place above Ali Mabkhout of the UAE, who is third on the list with 73 strikes to his name.

Messi scored his 72nd international goal in a World Cup qualifier against Chile last Thursday, while Mabkhout added to his tally against Malaysia, also last week.

At the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Monday, Chhetri broke the deadlock in the 79th minute when he headed in Ashique Kuruniyan's cross from the left, and then sealed the victory by curling in a shot from long range in added time.

The India captain is also just a goal away from entering world football's all-time top-10. He is behind Hungary's Sandor Kocsis, Japan's Kunishige Kamamoto, and Kuwait's Bashar Abdullah, who all have 75 goals.

Delighted with the team's victory and Chhetri's record, All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel lauded the captain for leading from the front.

"Our @IndianFootball skipper Sunil Chhetri adds another feather to his illustrious cap as he overtook Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goalscorer with 74 goals.

"A big congratulations to Captain Fantastic & wishing him many more accolades in the future," Patel tweeted.

The AIFF boss also praised the team on the convincing win that was built on Chhetri's brilliance.

"Congratulations #BlueTigers on an awesome win over Bangladesh today & fabulous performance by skipper @chetrisunil11 who lead from the front & paved the path to victory.

"Your hard work and determination was visible on the field. Wishing you all the very best in the upcoming game!"

Chhetri's twin strikes meant India registered their first win in what was turning out to be a forgettable World Cup qualifying campaign in many years. It was also India's first victory in World Cup qualifiers away from home in 20 years.

With the win, India rose to the third spot in Group E with six points from seven games.

India will next lock horns against Afghanistan in the qualifiers on 15 June.

The side is already out of contention to qualify for World Cup 2022, but the Blue Tigers can still make it to the Asian Cup in China.

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News Network
June 8,2021

goal.jpg

Doha: Indian football talisman Sunil Chhetri has surpassed Argentina's global superstar Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goal-scorer with 74 strikes, adding another feather to his illustrious career.

The 36-year-old Chhetri achieved the staggering feat with his brace against Bangladesh in the joint preliminary qualifying round match for FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 here on Monday night.

The seasoned striker, who helped India register their first win in six years in World Cup qualifiers, now stands only behind Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (103) in the active international goal-scorer list.

Chhetri leads Barcelona star Messi by two goals and sits a place above Ali Mabkhout of the UAE, who is third on the list with 73 strikes to his name.

Messi scored his 72nd international goal in a World Cup qualifier against Chile last Thursday, while Mabkhout added to his tally against Malaysia, also last week.

At the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on Monday, Chhetri broke the deadlock in the 79th minute when he headed in Ashique Kuruniyan's cross from the left, and then sealed the victory by curling in a shot from long range in added time.

The India captain is also just a goal away from entering world football's all-time top-10. He is behind Hungary's Sandor Kocsis, Japan's Kunishige Kamamoto, and Kuwait's Bashar Abdullah, who all have 75 goals.

Delighted with the team's victory and Chhetri's record, All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel lauded the captain for leading from the front.

"Our @IndianFootball skipper Sunil Chhetri adds another feather to his illustrious cap as he overtook Lionel Messi to become the second-highest active international goalscorer with 74 goals.

"A big congratulations to Captain Fantastic & wishing him many more accolades in the future," Patel tweeted.

The AIFF boss also praised the team on the convincing win that was built on Chhetri's brilliance.

"Congratulations #BlueTigers on an awesome win over Bangladesh today & fabulous performance by skipper @chetrisunil11 who lead from the front & paved the path to victory.

"Your hard work and determination was visible on the field. Wishing you all the very best in the upcoming game!"

Chhetri's twin strikes meant India registered their first win in what was turning out to be a forgettable World Cup qualifying campaign in many years. It was also India's first victory in World Cup qualifiers away from home in 20 years.

With the win, India rose to the third spot in Group E with six points from seven games.

India will next lock horns against Afghanistan in the qualifiers on 15 June.

The side is already out of contention to qualify for World Cup 2022, but the Blue Tigers can still make it to the Asian Cup in China.

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News Network
June 9,2021

Bengaluru, June 9: The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) formed by the State government has recommended a gradual unlocking of activities across Karnataka, as the Covid-battered state gets ready to take small steps towards normalcy after June 14, when the lockdown is scheduled to end.

The committee — which submitted its recommendations to the government on the unlock process on Monday — suggested the chief minister allow shops, malls, hotels to open for four hours initially. But it recommended against opening up places of worship, swimming pools and others till the end of June.

Members also suggested restricting movement of people from high-risk districts to low-risk ones and a ban on elections that involve organising rallies for the entire year. Cautioning against allowing all activities at once, the committee recommended opening up activities on a weekly or fortnightly basis.

The chief minister is expected to discuss these recommendations with his Cabinet colleagues in a day or two.

According to the committee’s report, “Markets shall initially be open for four hours and gradually increased to 10 hours per day.”

The same recommendation has been made for neighbourhood shops, malls and shopping streets. The committee listed activities within a closed environment as a high-risk category and recommended only 50 per cent occupancy in places like pubs, bars and restaurants and closed market areas.

Referring to public gatherings like marriage and functions, the TAC said, “The ceremonies will have only 100 to 200 people maximum with passes till December 2021. A distance of 3.25 sq mtrs has to be maintained between two persons.”

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News Network
June 14,2021

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Tel Aviv, June 14: Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year tenure as Israeli prime minister has come to an end, as the country’s parliament on Sunday approved a new coalition government led by right-wing nationalist Naftali Bennett.

Bennett, the head of an ultranationalist party that controls six seats in the 120-seat Knesset, was sworn in as prime minister after the parliament backed the new coalition government by a razor-thin margin of 60 votes to 59.

Bennett will lead an unlikely alliance of left-wing, centrist and right-wing parties, as well as a party that represents Palestinian citizens of Israel, who account for 21 percent of the country’s population. The parties have little in common apart from a desire to unseat Netanyahu.

Under a rotational agreement, Bennett will serve as prime minister for two years, after which he will be replaced by centrist leader Yair Lapid, the chief architect of the new government.

They plan largely to avoid sweeping moves on issues such as policy towards Palestinians in the occupied territories while they focus on domestic reforms. But with little to no prospect of resuming any sort of fair peace negotiations, many Palestinians are unmoved by the change of administration, saying Bennett will likely pursue the same right-wing agenda as Netanyahu.

Senior political analyst, Marwan Bishara, described the event as a “family feud”, saying that there are no ideological differences between the old and new prime minister.

“They are basically all belonging to the same right-wing Zionist family,” Bishara said, referring to Netanyahu and Bennett.

The differences between them have been personal, vindictive,” he said.

End of an era

Netanyahu, who served for 12 years as prime minister, sat silently during the vote on Sunday. After the new government was approved, he stood up to leave the chamber, before turning around and shaking Bennett’s hand. A dejected Netanyahu, wearing a black medical mask, then briefly sat in the opposition leader’s chair before walking out.

Netanyahu, the most dominant Israeli politician of his generation, failed to form a government after Israel’s March 23 election, its fourth in two years.

The 71-year-old is loved by his hard-core supporters and loathed by critics. His ongoing corruption trial, on charges he denies, has only deepened the chasm.

He remains the head of the largest party in parliament and is expected to vigorously oppose the new government. If just one faction bolts, it could lose its majority and would be at risk of collapse, giving Netanyahu an opening to return to power.

His opponents have long reviled what they see as Netanyahu’s divisive rhetoric, underhanded political tactics and subjection of state interests to his political survival.

The country’s deep divisions were on vivid display earlier on Sunday as Bennett, a former settler leader and hard-right religious nationalist who has called for the annexation of most of the occupied West Bank, addressed parliament ahead of the vote.

He was repeatedly interrupted and loudly heckled by supporters of Netanyahu, several of whom were escorted out of the chamber.

More anti-Iran rhetoric

Bennett’s speech mostly dwelled on domestic issues, but he expressed opposition to efforts by the United States to revive Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

“Israel will not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” Bennett said, vowing to maintain Netanyahu’s confrontational policy. “Israel will not be a party to the agreement and will continue to preserve full freedom of action.”

Bennett nevertheless thanked President Joe Biden and the US for its decades of support for Israel.

Netanyahu, speaking after him, promised to return to power and predicted the incoming government would be weak on Iran and give in to US demands to make concessions to the Palestinians.

“If it is destined for us to be in the opposition, we will do it with our backs straight until we topple this dangerous government and return to lead the country in our way,” he said.

Both Netanyahu and Bennett’s remarks did not mention the plight of millions of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation. 

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