Akhmedov wants to serve a Turkish dish
Abinash in sole lead
In The City

Calcutta, July 8: 
The Indian coach for the under-20 team, Islam Akhmedov, wants to provide the fans with some Turkish delight in his last assignment for India.

Talking to The Telegraph, Akhmedov said, �The formation of 4-5-1 that Turkey followed in the World Cup with one striker in front, two withdrawan forwards and two genuine wingers has really struck my imagination. I am intending to play the Indian team in that formation for the qualifying round matches of the Asia Cup at Calcutta starting Wednesday.�

He plans to play Rahim Nabi as the sole attacker with Ashim Biswas and James Singh playing in the withdrawan position alongwith two genuine wingers in the form of Malsawmtluanga and Subhash Chakraborty. Akhmedov wants Bungo Singh as the central medio, though the coach is not sure of his fitness level.

Ashim Biswas left the camp Monday citing some personal reasons, but the coach said that he will be back for the matches.

Fitness is a problem worrying the coach no end. He sees a general lack of it in the team as whole, and match practice is in short too. �Most of my best players, like Bungo, sat out for the whole season on the benches of bigger teams. That has done no good to their fitness as well as confidence levels,� Akhmedov said. He said it would have been great if the players had some match practice before the tournament. That was because a proposed Bangladesh tour fell through. �We had to do with whatever little we got (there were matches versus Mohammedan Sporting and versus an under-17 team and the like).�

Talking about his opponents, the coach said, �Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will definitely be the tougher opponents, but I do not want to underestimate Bhutan either. They have a Dutch coach and there might be something surprising in store for us (Bhutan recently beat Montserrat 4-0 in a Fifa rank bottomers� match).�

His last assignment

However, he pointed out that it will definitely be his last tournament for India. �The under-16 Indian team under me has already qualified for the main draw. Even if this team also qualifies, I am not coming back, because there is no need for a country to have two foreign coaches.�

He said that he had talks with the newly appointed Indian coach Stephen Constantine and has also asked him to come for the matches. �There are a couple of outstanding players in my team and there is no reason why they should not be there on the Indian team for the Asian Games,� the coach added.

Akhmedov, however, added with a touch of remorse, that the bosses of the Indian football did not bother to listen to him during his tenure. �Constantine is a big name and I hope they allow him to settle down and work properly. I am physically and mentally drained.�


Bhubaneswar, July 8: 
City lad Abinash Das of DAV School, Unit-8, the top seed at The Telegraph Schools� Chess Championship, is leading the field with 7.5 points after the eighth round on Monday. Following him are second seed Abhisikta Pattanaik, fourth seed Aurobinda Khuntia and NT Rama Rao, all with 7 points. The third slot has eight occupants with 6.5 points each. The meet is being sponsored by Horlicks.

Das, playing the Sicilian Dragon defence against Pattanaik on the top board, agreed to a draw after 17 moves.

On the second board, Khuntia playing the Sicilian Classical defence against Sunday�s joint leader and 13th seed Swayams Mishra, settled for a draw despite being in a superior position.

The third board saw a long struggle before Rama Rao, adopting the Petroff defence managed to defeat Sumit Banerjee with some difficulty.

On the fourth board, Thompson Sahu employed the Giuco Piano against Lipsa Mahasuara. Both agreed to a draw after 20 moves.

The final round to be played on Tuesday, will decide the winner of the Bhubaneswar leg with the top five travelling to Calcutta for the finals.

Test opener Shiv Sundar Das will give away the prizes at the city�s Suchana Bhawan at 6pm on Tuesday.


July 8: 

East Bengal to tap AFC option

East Bengal will seek the Asian Football Confederation�s intervention if at least four of their players are not released for their upcoming Calcutta Football League games. Eight East Bengal players are currently at the Asian Games camp at Jameshdpur training under national coach Stephen Constantine. Club authorities held a meeting on Monday where they decided that at least two mid-fielders and two forwards should be released.

It was also decided that if the AIFF fails to do this, they will seek the AFC�s intervention. Queering the pitch is Constantine�s threat of quitting if any of the players are released.

Dattatreya new U-19 coach

Dattatreya Mukherjee and Udaybhanu Mukherjee will coach the Bengal under-19 cricket team in the forthcoming season. Mukherjee was the Bengal senior team�s assistant coach in the last season. Barun Burman, the incumbent under-19 coach will take charge of the under-17 team along with Palash Nandy.

Further, Mukherjee is headed for the Commonwealth Bank Academy in Australia to attend a coaching course. However, the exact date has not been finalised.

Bengal team for Chennai meet

The Bengal team for the 80th All India MCC Murugappa Gold Cup to be held at Chennai from July 10 was announced on Monday. Bengal is in Group A of the 12-team field along with IHF juniors and Bharat Petroleum. They play their first match on July 12 against Bharat Petroleum and against IHF juniors on July 15.

The Squad: Chandan Debnath, Sunil Soren, Kishore Kujur, Manoj Kujur, Rakesh Mondal, Edmond Kerketta, Christopher Thomas (captain), Niral Bhengra, Prakash Toppo, Pintoo Debnath, Mukti Toppo, Gurdhyan Singh, Jasbir Yadav, Junas Bara, Anil Ekka, Sunil Soren, Paulus Soy

Coach: D. Singh

Bowbazar player marched off

Bowbazar YMU�s Biswajit Khanra was red-carded for striking a Greer SC player during their Calcutta Football League Group A match on Monday. Greer won 2-0.


FOOTBALL: Calcutta League, First Division Group B: Sporting Union vs Barisha SC (MB), Taltola DS vs Aryan Club (EB), Anushilani vs Garalgacha SC (Md Sp), Muslim Institute vs Victoria SC (Rabindra Sarobar) All matches from 3:30 pm



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