Blackburn Rovers’ global advisor Shebby Singh has rubbished claims that a Bollywood actor is a candidate to become the Championship club’s manager.
Rovers’ Indian owners Venky’s are searching for a new boss after sacking Henning Berg on Thursday just 57 days into his reign at Ewood Park.
With assistant manager Eric Black, first-team coach Iain Brunskill and goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms also dismissed, Blackburn were short of options to lead the team into yesterday’s league clash at Barnsley.
That power vacuum prompted reports that Judan Ali, a youth and amateur coach who once featured in a Bollywood soccer movie, could be brought in to work as head coach alongside former Malaysia international Singh.
Television footage of Ali wearing a Blackburn kit at the club’s training ground emerged on Friday, but Singh insists the 39-year-old was just a guest of Rovers.
“No, no — he’s a guest of the club and, no, there’s been no appointments, there’s been no signings. None at all,” Singh told Sky Sports News.
“That’s rumor and speculation at the end of the day, what can I say? Please, I am serious now, no it’s not true,” he said.
Brought up by Indian-born parents in London’s Brick Lane, Ali failed to make the grade as a player in Arsenal’s youth ranks in the 1980s and is then said to have spent time at Spanish club Murcia.
He enrolled in a Football Association scheme aimed at addressing under-representation among ethnic minorities in high-level coaching positions.
The FA sponsored Ali while he took his coaching badges and he informed the governing body’s official Web site of his lofty ambitions.
“My goal is to become the first British Asian Premier League manager,” Ali said. “I also want to take a country to the World Cup when I have qualified and the 2022 tournament in Qatar is my goal.”
Ali documented his struggle for a breakthrough in the game in the 2007 film Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, a story about the Asian community in the UK told through the eyes of Asian soccer players.
While Ali would be a fascinating appointment, a more likely move for Rovers will be to install reserve team boss Gary Bowyer as a temporary first-team manager while the search for Berg’s successor continues.
“We’ve got capable people,” Singh said. “This club is well run, we’ve got proper people.
“Gary Bowyer has been reserve team and Under-21 manager for two years, he’s been at the club for eight years.
“Terry McPhillips, Tony Grant [both youth coaches] — these are great guys. They’ve been working so hard behind the scenes and people don’t realize all the good work that they’ve put in.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Growing concern over health standards in e-sports has prompted a new federation to pledge to address the problem, as players fall victim to conditions ranging from wrist injuries to obesity, stress and diabetes. The retirement of top Chinese player Jian Zihao, better known by his gaming handle “Uzi,” sent tremors through the booming sport, whose revenues are predicted to reach US$1.1 billion this year, according to industry analyst Newzoo. The 23-year-old, hailed as an “icon” of the League of Legends game, stepped away from e-sports in June, saying that “chronic stress, obesity, irregular diet, staying up late and other reasons” had given
‘COMPLICATED’: The 34-year-old from Spain called sitting out the tournament ‘a decision I never wanted to take,’ but added that he would ‘rather not travel’ Defending champion Rafael Nadal has said that he would skip the US Open because of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting on hold his bid to equal Roger Federer’s men’s record for Grand Slam titles. On Tuesday, Nadal explained his decision in a series of tweets sent in Spanish and English. “The situation is very complicated worldwide. Coronavirus cases are increasing. It looks like we still don’t have control of it,” Nadal wrote. The 34-year-old from Spain called sitting out the tournament scheduled to begin on Aug. 31 in New York “a decision I never wanted to take,” but added that he would “rather not
The Braves were dealt a double blow as the Mets’ Jacob deGrom struck out 10 in six innings to help New York snap a five-game skid with a 7-2 victory on Monday, and as Atlanta top pitcher Mike Soroka went down with a torn Achilles tendon in the third inning. “There’s no sugarcoating this night,” Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman said. “It stinks. It really does.” Soroka crumpled to the ground on a seemingly routine play, breaking toward first to cover the bag on a grounder to Freeman’s right. “When you lose, in my mind, one of the top pitching arms in this entire