Ultimate clash, off battlefield
Chileans leave for home without their cheques
Chile’s 4-point protest to Fifa
Basu’s team in lead
Fazal, Srinath doubtful
Contract was biased, admit sponsors
7-wkt win for Md. Sporting
Mumbai Racing/ Warrior Queen for Bahrain Trophy
Calcutta Racing/ Eight events in Saturday’s card
Track Trials/ Earl Grey shines

Calcutta, Jan. 24: 
Tomorrow will be only the second time in the history of the two nations (one only a toddler yet) that their football teams will meet. On the first occasion, in the group league match of the Sahara Cup in Kochi, they had shared two goals, but not before Yugoslavia had wasted a plethora of chances.

In the final of the meet tomorrow, Bosnia go in a pretty much different team: more confident, more cohesive, and surely more ambitious. On current form Bosnia, who created a flutter by beating Chile in the semi-final, look the better side, but similar soccer styles, and obviously years of shared history and passion should make it a more or less an equal contest.

Yugoslavia’s form may have dipped a bit, but versus Bosnia and Herzegovina some old rivalries may come to the fore, from a different arena. Yugoslav coach Ilija Petkovic said he will be missing two of his stars for tomorrow’s final — skipper Sasa Ilic through two bookings and defender Milivoje Cirkovic through injury. Vladimir Ivic was also injured in their semi-final versus Japan but is likely to play.

The coach is not making an issue of this. “In soccer injury is a way of life, and in any match, the 11 you put on the field is the best 11 at that time,” he said.

His first intention, of course, and he made no bones of it, is to win the Cup. “(By) one goal or many goals is not important, as long as we win.”

Bosnian coach Husnija Arapovic, however, is being more cautious. “Yugoslavia are a good team, high in the Fifa rankings, and we hold them in great respect,” he said. “Before we came here, out national selection had only four days of practice together. Thus, we virtually developed our team’s combination in this championship, and I guess the understanding between the players and their confidence has grown throughout.”

He too will miss two players tomorrow. Mirzet Krupinac will be out through injury, and Mirsad Beslija, who scored the golden goal to oust Uruguay, will be out through two bookings.

This final entry has created a flutter back home (especially because of the live television coverage) and congratulatory messages have poured in. Three top Bosnian officials, including its federation’s general secretary Munib Usanovic arrived in India three days back and none too soon either.

He clarified that this selection is certainly not the country’s best. “Over 60 per cent of our players play in European clubs, and they have not been available,” he said.

He said the fact that Yugoslavia would be missing two of their stars would not be making any difference. “They may be key players, but the rest of the players are as good,” he said.

Of off-field tensions, the Bosnian coach said he has instructed his players to keep a cool head onfield and “not get into any situation that could create tension.”

The Bosnians practised in the morning today at the SAI, Eastern Centre, while the Yugoslavs were content stretching out at the hotel lawn.


Calcutta, Jan. 24: 
The Chilean soccer team left for Mumbai this evening, en route to home, without their cheques. They were handed over two cheques by Henna Juneja CEO of sponsors/event managers Studio 2100, with a 10 per cent deduction “as per RBI remittance of foreign exchange guidelines”, according to Henna, but their official refused the amount.

Henna said she will be sending the money to the Chilean federation.

Chile had been paid $ 20,000 earlier. That was part of their total appearance fee of $ 75,000. The $ 55,000 was the remainder of that. The $ 25,000 extra was the prize money, reward for reaching the semi-finals. The last cheque amount is redeemable only after a fortnight.

According to Henna, the Chileans had been intimated beforehand about this “statutory deduction as required by the RBI.” “And they had agreed,” she said. “But this afternoon (just before the departure of the team with even the luggage having left for the airport to catch the Mumbai-bound Indian Airlines flight, when they got the cheques, they created a hungama and said they wanted the full amount.

“I have received only a certain amount of RBI clearance for remittance, and for this amount clearance is not required,” she said. “Anything above that is legally taxable.”

The Chileans said they would bring up this issue with their federation, the Fifa and the AFC.

Neither party seems to have seen the end of it. The way the Chilean officials behaved prior to their departure in no way hid their apathy for the AIFF officials who were present in strength, trying to somehow get Chile out of the way.


Calcutta,Jan. 24: 
The Chileans, here for the Sahara Cup, today hit out strongly against the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Araya Rodrigues, head of the delegation here, said they have already written to Fifa about this.

Rodrigues, who is one of the seven directors of the Chilean football federation, said the heads under which the letter has been given are:

1. Bad hotel

2. No payment
3. Fifa tournament rules not followed
4. Unfair deal, because Chile played more and quite naturally earned more yellow cards than team who played less (since their groups were thinner).

He said that there was no co-operation from the AIFF on any issue and that they were not really used to playing in such conditions.

He also refuted AIFF president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi’s claim that a second-string team was brought. He said: “At least six of our players have been part of our recent pre-World Cup campaigns (versus Brazil who Chile beat and versus Argentina against who they drew once and lost the other), and two more from this current selection will surely feature in our next outings. That makes it virtually the national team.”

Asked to comment on Das Munshi’s remark yesterday that the Chileans had “cheated” the Indians, he said he would not make any comment on that.

“We do not want to stoop to any low level, but we can surely say that if this is the setup in the country, India will not do much in international soccer.”

He said that Chile were not averse to returning to India in the future, but he would think of it only with different people in the federation.

“The institution stays. The people change,” he said, indicating that a change of guard at the top could see them thinking positively again about India.

Going by the way officials latch on to their posts in sports organisations in this country, that could take a long, long, time to happen. If it does.


Calcutta, Jan. 24: 
Sugata Basu’s team (B33) carded 42 points on the fourth day today to lead the standings in the Royal Challenge Invitation Golf Cup at RCGC.

Basu and partner J. Nivas have a cumulative score of 125 after the third round.

In second place is Team B17, comprising S.S. Rathore and Alok Mitra. They carded the day’s best of 44 to be 120 in the cumulative count.

Kunal Roy Chowdhury and Dr N. Saikia (Team A36) brought in 42 today and are at 117.

The other prominent scores of the day were recorded by Pradeep Das-Subroto Dutta (42), Asheesh Mohta-Vedant Kanoria (41), Ashit Luthra-M.L. Agarwal and S. Bhattacharya-N.Duta (40 each).

Western Open meet

Rahul Ganapathy broke the course record at the par-71 Poona Club Golf Course today with an effort of five-under 66 on the opening day of Rs 10-lakh Wills Western Open.

According to information received here, the 66 gave Ganapathy a two-stroke advantage over Mukesh Kumar who finished the day second at three-under 68. Digvijay Singh of Meerut was third at 69, while defending champion Feroz Ali fourth at one-under 70.

Meanwhile, Aditya Kanitkar shot a one-over 72 to lead the amateur field by a margin of four strokes over Jaideep Patwardhan. Sachin Nigade was third at 78.


Calcutta, Jan. 24: 
The top two of Indian tennis can’t take part in the national grasscourt meet, such is their hectic ATP schedule. This time, even the second-string may be forced to stay away from the Indian Oil Servo championships beginning at South Club Monday.

With the Indian Davis Cup squad scheduled to leave for Beijing February 2, team members Syed Fazaluddin (defending national champion) and Prahlad Srinath can’t play the premier domestic event as the final is slated for February 3.

The organisers, Paes En Sport, have requested the All India Tennis Association (AITA), through the Bengal Tennis Association (BTA) , to postpone the departure of the Indian team by at least a day.

“We should know the AITA response in a day or two,” BTA secretary Manik Goswami said at a press conference today.

If the Davis Cup duo fails to make it, the weakened field will be led by Vinod Sridhar, Vijay Kannan and Nitin Kirtane.

Among the wild card entries will be Gurmeher Singh, son of World Cup hockey-winning captain Ajitpal.

The women’s field will be also be under-strength. While Nirupama Vaidyanathan and Manisha Malhotra are busy playing on the WTA circuit, Sai Jayalakshmi has a personal problem. Sonal Phadke and Rushmi Chakravarthi will be the two highest-ranked players in the top trio’s absence.

The men’s and women’s champions will pocket cheques for Rs 39,000 and Rs 26,000 in this five-lakh prize-money meet.

The most encouraging aspect of this year’s meet is the fact that it’s back in the winter season. The previous two editions were forced back to March-April due to a lack of suitable earlier dates.


Calcutta, Jan. 24: 
The trust has been broken. Studio 2100, sponsors/event managers of the Sahara Cup, will go off with huge losses — its CEO Henna Juneja said it will be to the tune of Rs 17 crore. And, amid all that, though Henna does stoutly maintain otherwise, the grey areas in the contract with the federation remain uppermost in every mind.

If one has to go by the letter of the agreement, it is, as Henna conceded, a “rather one-sided agreement.” “We spent Rs 3 crore in pre-tournament promotional work, including five press conferences, foreign delegations coming in and us going out, and then sank a further Rs 20 crore, with the agreement being that the AIFF would get 30 per cent of whatever revenue we’d generate.”

That left the AIFF totally in the clear vis-a-vis liabilities.

That also means that the AIFF could still demand its 30 per cent cut from the meagre revenue generated — Rs 2.3 crore from Doordarshan and Rs 1.7 crore from Sahara India. “But I think, considering the situation now, the federation might waive this,” said Henna. She said she will have a talk with AIFF president Priya Ranjan Das Munshi on this.

She added while her company (run also by her father S. Juneja), had projected a revenue earning of about Rs 16 crore from selling telecast rights (“ESPN wouldn’t buy it, Fox wouldn’t buy it”), it expected to cover the rest of the expenses from banners, hoardings, gate sales etc. Obviously, the firm was totally in the dark as to the situation prevailing in soccer circles around the country.

“The Doordarshan deal would have been clinched, but the CBI raids suddenly started and nobody would do any sponsorship work any more,” said Henna.

She said that even cricket star Kapil Dev, who was hailed as the banner carrier for this tournament early on, did not fulfil his side of the contract.

“Can you believe it? He was to get us sponsors, and it was we who ended up paying him,” said Henna. “He asked for Rs 10 lakh upfront even before getting associated, and we paid him that amount. Thereafter he recruited a firm (Percept) who brought us the Sahara account. Thereafter Kapil had nothing more to do with the tournament. His association could easily have seen us tide over these rough times.”

She said that it has been a “huge entry cost” for the firm in the arena of soccer. “Our firm still remains committed to the cause and will be in the sports promotion scenario, non-cricket.”

She also denied Das Munshi’s claim at a press conference yesterday that her family was selling assets. “We are in a spot, surely, but it is not as if we are selling property. We will able to take in this loss and tide over the situation,” she said.

She informed that the Indian Football Association (IFA), the local organising committee, had been paid Rs 15 lakh “for all expenses here.” While that also included local publicity etc. none of it was carried out by the IFA. The accounting for that amount has not been done.

She said that the Kochi experience was bad. “I found nearly 8,000 spectators on the field, while official records showed that only 214 tickets had been sold from official counters.”


Calcutta, Jan. 24: 
Mohammedan Sporting coasted to a seven-wicket victory on Day I of their CAB League match against Shibpore today. Skittling out their opponents for 173, Mohammedan Sporting scored at more than a run a ball to overhaul the target.

Mohun Bagan rode Vishal Yadav’s 123 to a score of 390 for eight against Eastern Railway.

The day’s other centurions were Tollygunge Agragami’s Abakash Khatua (110) and Belgachia United’s Biplab Singh (136).


Mohun Bagan 390/8 (Vishal Yadav 123, Ajit Singh 57, Madhusudan Acharya 57, Sanjib Goel 51; Asif Murtaza 3/49, Kanchan Maity 3/75) vs Eastern Railway SA.

Shibpore 173 (Md Misbahuddin 35; Tanveer Hyder Khan 4/63, Nazar Khan 3/36). Md. Sporting 177/3 (Rakesh Joshi 66, Zeeshan Jafri 57). Md. Sporting won by 7 wkts.

Burnpur CC 294/9 (Sudhansu Roy 85, S. Gupta 47 not out, S. Maity 45; Sougata Roy 4/86, Altaf Hussain 3/101) vs City AC.

Tollygunge Agragami 356/9 (Abakash Khatua 110, Adil Sheikh 97 not out; Samit Ghosh 4/130, Sourav Seal 2/63) vs Suburban.

Belgachia 367 (Biplab Singh 136, Sandip Palit 88; Sanjay Srivastav 4/104, Debashish Mondu 3/75) vs Dakshin Kalikata Sansad.

Women’s cricket

Veterans edged past MCC by five runs, while Patha Chakra thrashed Central Calcutta by 126 runs in Central Calcutta Women’s Sports Club-organised meet ties at Vivekananda Park today.


Patha Chakra 249/1 (Geeta Samanta 76 n.o., Bobby Datta 70 n.o.) beat Central Calcutta 123/5.

Veterans 104/7 (Purnima Chowdhury 26; Rumali Dhar 3/11) beat MCC 99/9 (Seema Bhowmick 23; Sharmila Chakraborty 3/12).


Mumbai, Jan. 24: 
Benefited by a good race run, Warrior Queen is fancied to win the 1,000m Bahrain Trophy at the Mumbai races on Thursday. N. G. McCullagh partners the the Cooji Katrak-trained well-bred filly by Tecorno out of Excalibur’s Glory.


2.30 pm: Smash For Cash 1. Ric-Rac 2. Shahpari 3.
3 pm: Bryce Canyon 1. King’s Crest 2. Bigshow 3.
3.30 pm: Natural Grace 1. Mein Kampf 2. Colonel’s Dream 3.
4 pm: Warrior Queen 1. Rhythm Divine 2. Tasmac 3.
4.30 pm: Declaration Of Love 1. Fantasy 2. Musical Melody 3.
5 pm: Cafe Au Lait 1. Mustakeem 2. Zehera 3.
5.30 pm: Bearer Bond 1. Evening In Paris 2. Classic Rock 3.

Day’s Best: Cafe Au Lait

Double: Smash For Cash & Warrior Queen

Calcutta, Jan. 24: 
There are eight events in Saturday’s race-card featuring Eveready Indian Champion Cup. First race starts at 12.15 pm.


1. Goldgainer Cup 1,600m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 12.15 pm: Arco Europa 61; Friendly Knight 61; Anntari 59.5; Acaress 58.5; Blessed Spirit 56; Double Cross 51; Prizren 47.

2. Prince Regent Handicap 1,100m (Cl V, Rt. 00-28) 12.50 pm: Alflora 60; Cancun 59.5; Aliqa 58; Ghunghat 57.5; Pistol Star 53; Private Lives 53; Madame X 52; Armila 50; Adeline 49.

3. Amrit Bhushan Gujral Memorial Cup 1,100m (Cl IV, Rt. 22-50) 1.25 pm: Googy Gangster 61; Nash Tiger 59.5; Melodeon 58; On The Bit 57.5; Chivalrous 57; Reactor 56.5; Diplomatic Gesture 54.5; Orbital Star 54.5; Pneumatic Power 51; Finders Keepers 50.5; Flying Scot 50.5; Double Dancer 50; Flying Power 48.

4. Republic Cup 1,200m (Cl I, Rt. 88 & over) 2.05 pm: Stately Don 60; Allosaki 57; Highland Flame 56; Tsavo 56; Kaizen 55; Mystic Hill 54.5; Annalee 50 Clarice Cliff 49.5.

5. Eveready Indian Champion Cup 2,000m (Terms, 4-y-o & over) 2.40 pm: Allodium 57.5; Alternator 57.5; Alyssum 57.5; Arendal 57.5; Colonial 57.5; Illustrious Reign 57.5; Fame Star 52.

6. Indian Champagne Stakes 1,400m (Terms, 3-y-o only) 3.15 pm: Astride 61.5; Angeles 54; Aiberni 53.5; Accrete 50; Regency Times 50; Rescue Act 50; The Archer 50; Lamborghini 48.5.

7. Phoenecian Handicap, Div-I 1,400m (Cl III, Rt. 44-72) 3.50 pm: Harry The Horse 61; Sterling Prospect 61; No Regrets 57.5; Lovely Prospect 56.5; Peace Envoy 56; Smokey Bear 54; High Life 53; Ballet Master 52.5; Gambino 51.5; Silver Toy 51.5; Stately Honour 47.

8. Phoenecian Handicap, Div-II 1,400m (Cal III, Rt. 44-72) 4.25 pm: Set Aside 61; Santa Monica 58; Ashbury 56.5; Little Too Much 56; Alborada 54.5; Sky Command 54.5; Raaz 52; Ace Of Spades 51.5; Soviet Port 48.5; Bul Bul 47.

Jackpot: 4; 5; 6; 7 & 8.

Treble: (i) 2; 3 & 4; (ii) 6; 7 & 8.

Calcutta, Jan. 24: 
Earl Grey, Alyssum and Jeweller were impressive in today’s work outs.

Outer sand track

1,400m: Illustrious Reign (A. Imran) in 1-41s; (400m) 29s. Fit. Colonial (Khalander) and Giorgio (Rb) in 1-47s; (400m) 30s. Former far better. Earl Grey (Connorton) and Prince Obolensky (Yadav) in 1-35s; (400m) 29s. Former far better.

1,200m: Ashbury (C. Alford) in 1-29s; (400m) 29s. Note. Cup Of Life (C. Alford) and Adeline (Rb) in 1-26s; (400m) 28s. Former far better. Lovely Prospect (A. Imran) and Alborada (Rb) in 1-29s; (400m) 29s. Former far better. Blue Gardenia (Connorton) and Ispahan (Yadav) in 1-28s; (400m) 27s. Former 2 ls better.

1,000m: Alyssum (C. Alford) and Jeweller (A. P. Singh) in 1-9s; (400m) 26s. Both level. The Archer (Connorton) in 1-9s; (400m) 28s. Fit. Ace Of Spades (Upadhya) in 1-12s; (400m) 28s. Fit.

800m: Tsavo (Khalander) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Handy. Alumina (C. Alford) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Moved well. Merano (Rb) in 1-0s; (400m) 31s. Set Aside (Khalander) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Fit. Arendal (Amil) and Fame Star (C. Alford) in 54s; (400m) 26s. Former better. Sterling Prospect (Amil) and Arco Europa (Surender) in 55s; (400m) 29s. Former a length better. Melodeon (C. Alford) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Fit. Freedom Dancer (A. P. Singh) in 56s; (400m) 29s. Easy. Allosaki (A. P. Singh) in 55s; (400m) 28s. Moved well. Accrete (C. Alford) and Astride (Amil) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Both level. Harry The Horse (Connorton) and Mameena (Yadav) in 57s; (400m) 30s. Former far better. Desert Force (Kujur) in 54s; (400m) 28s. Good. Auctioneer (Amil) in 53s; (400m) 27s. Note. Googy Gangster (Brij) and Madame X (Upadhya) in 58s; (400m) 28s. Both level. No Regrets (Gowli) and Remember Me (M. Reuben) in 54s; (400m) 28s. Former far better. Crucible (C. Alford) and Anolini (Surender) in 55s; (400m) 27s. Former finished ahead. Ansbach (C. Alford) and Angeles (Amil) in 54s; (400m) 27s. Former 2 ls better. Mac The Knife (Connorton) and Kargil Soldier (Yadav) in 57s; (400m) 29s. Both were level.

600m: Little Too Much (Tamang) and Regency Times (A. Imran) in 45s; (400m) 30s. Both were level.

Sand track

1,000m: Spanish Drum’s (Upadhya) in 1-10s; (400m) 26s.

800m: Stately Don (A. Imran) in 51s; (400m) 23s. Moved well. Highland Flame (Som S.) in 52s; (400m) 25s. Fit. Sky Command (Rutherford) in 51s; (400m) 25s. Handy. On The Bit (Rutherford) in 51s; (400m) 24s. Good. Ballet Master (A. Imran) in 55s; (400m) 27s.

600m: Pistol Star (Haroon) and Diplomatic Gesture (Shanker) in 37s; (400m) 24s. Former a length better.    


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