Afghan Women Development Football Team

The Football Supporters Association (FSA) have been working closely with what will become a steering committee of stakeholders across football to support the safe arrival of the Afghan Women’s Development football team in the UK.

The team have now arrived here and are in need of multiple layers of support – from basic essentials to more specialised support (given the traumatic ordeal they and their families have been through and other family members are still through back in their country).

One way the FSA has committed to helping initially is through the sharing of information on what the players and their families need. There are two pressing things as it stands:

·  Warm clothing and shoes

· Funds to assist with living expenses – including food and medical needs

Therefore the FSA have asked supporters networks to support donations to the just giving page and/or to the clothing bank that has been set up. Details of how to donate are below

Funds

If you would like to donate funds please do so via this page:

Afghan Girls’ Journey to Freedom: the Next Chapter – JustGiving

Clothing

If you can/would like to donate warm clothing and shoes please donate to:

Play for Change

Elland Road

Beeston, Leeds

LS11 0ES

*Please note they need women’s/men’s/boys/girls clothing in a range of sizes and ages.

For clothing the group needs any/all the following:

  • Children sizes 4-11 years:
    • Coats/Jackets
    • Clothing (sports, casual day etc)
    • New underwear & socks
    • Shoes
    • Hats & Gloves
    • Toys, Games, Colouring Book & Colours
  • Adults and Teenage Men
    • Coats/Jackets
    • Clothing (jeans, sports, casual, formal)
    • Vests
    • New underwear & socks
    • Shoes sized 40-43
    • Hats & Gloves
  • Adult and Teenage Woman
    • Long coats/jackets
    • Long sleeved tops/dresses
    • Leggings & loose trousers
    • New underwear & socks
    • Hats & Gloves
    • Headscarves
    • Shoes sized 35-39
  • Other
    • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
    • Body lotion and shower gel
    • Shampoo and conditioner
    • Hairbrushes
    • Make up
    • Razors
    • Medicine
    • First aid kits

PREMIER LEAGUE CONFIRMS NEW COVID-19 SAFETY MEASURES FOR MATCH-ATTENDING FANS

Following on from the specific information supplied by Leicester City yesterday, the Premier League has asked the Football Supporters Association Premier League Network Group to share the following information

  • Fans required to complete COVID status declaration prior to matchday
  • Valid NHS COVID pass or proof of negative NHS COVID test result is mandatory
  • COVID status checks at every Premier League ground
  • Fans urged not to travel if displaying any COVID symptoms

The safety of everyone is priority and the Premier League and clubs are taking all steps possible to create safe matchday environments for supporters. Following the introduction of the Government’s ‘Autumn and Winter Plan B’, the Premier League has confirmed requirements for all fans attending Premier League matches. 

From Wednesday 15 December, all those aged 18 and over attending Premier League matches must complete a COVID status self-declaration via their club’s website ahead of matchday. This simple online process requires fans to confirm they have a valid NHS COVID pass or negative NHS COVID test within the previous 48 hours. 

Supporters must be prepared to show their NHS COVID pass or proof of a negative NHS COVID test on arrival at the stadium.  Checks will take place at all Premier League grounds. Fans risk being denied entry if they are unable to show their NHS COVID Pass or proof of a negative NHS COVID test result from within the previous 48 hours, ideally as close to matchday as possible.

Fans must wear a face covering while in indoor stadium areas and when travelling to matches on public transport. Although it is not mandatory within the stadium bowl, supporters are encouraged to wear face coverings in congested areas and in stands to protect themselves and those around them.

Supporters must not attend matches if they have any COVID-type symptoms or there is a risk of passing on COVID-19.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: “We are doing all we can to keep fans safe and grounds open at full capacity. The safety of everyone remains our priority and since the start of the season we have been working closely with our clubs, Government and local public health authorities to prepare fans and stadium operations for the introduction of COVID certification.

“It is really important fans take the time to understand what is required of them when attending Premier League stadiums, which is why we are asking fans to declare their COVID status ahead of a matchday. We want everyone to enjoy matches in safe environments and we and our clubs will continue to urge fans to do all they can and follow public health guidance.”

Since the start of the season, Premier League clubs have been asking supporters to provide proof of COVID status. The League and clubs will continue to work with Government and local public health authorities to update safety measures in line with the latest guidance.

Clubs will contact their supporters to provide further details regarding the COVID status declaration process and stadium-specific information.

Our article specifically for LCFC fans is available here

Calling All LCFC Fans – Register For Game Attendance & Protect Fellow Fans

All Premier League clubs have adopted the same process of requiring pre-registration to acknowledge full understanding of the government covid regulations for game attendance where either a valid Covid Pass or proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test within 48 hours of the game are required.

Once you have completed registration it covers all home and away games for the season, it only takes a couple of minutes and the Foxes Trust board feels there is no acceptable reason not to complete the registration.

Our club has published a guide to all fans attending the Spurs game on Thursday LCFC – Leicester City Official Website where the pre-registration form can be accessed

Protect Fellow Fans

With the omnicron variant rapidly spreading the Trust board urges every LCFC attending the Spurs game to take a Lateral Flow Test before the game (even if holding a valid covid pass), to protect their wider LCFC family and keep away from the game if a positive test result is given.

Many fans will already have Lateral Flow Tests at home due to requirements of their employers, while kits are available to collect at chemists and are free.

You can have Covid 19 without having symptoms, please don’t inadvertently share the virus with fellow fans by failing to take a test prior to the game

With the omnicron variant being easily transmitted, the Foxes Trust board also urges all LCFC fans to wear masks inside the concourse

Clean Sheet At Last

Leicester 4 Newcastle United 0 – 12 December 2021

Report by Tish Krokosz

After a disappointing trip to Italy, the question was whether City were strong enough physically and mentally to cope with a revitalised Newcastle team under the stewardship of Eddie Howe. Games after any European Thursday match away from home always seem to be difficult for an English side.

On this occasion, the visitors had the added advantage of knowing, due to continuous media reminders, that the City defence is now one of the most vulnerable in the land. There is the almost expected gift of two goals given to the opposition before City get going. Added to this, there was little strength in depth due to the unwanted Covid cases that had materialised in the last few days. Where would the inspiration come from and how would City be reinvigorated?

It has been topical recently to have a Plan B. I do not know whether Brendan Rodgers had one for this match but it was rendered out of date within three minutes of the start as Evans went down with a hamstring problem and had to be replaced by Soumaré. Ndidi slotted into the back four and for the next fifteen minutes City were trying to become accustomed to this new combination. Any Newcastle attempts to benefit from this early change were weak and gradually City became more confident and were instigating moves against the Newcastle defence more often.

A foul on Barnes to the left of the D allowed Maddison to have a crack at goal and he was not far from picking out the top left-hand corner of the goal, with the ball skidding off the top of the net. Soon after, Daka was able to make a run down the right and was only stopped by an illegal push from Lewis, who received a yellow card for his action. The ensuing free kick reached the back of the visitors’ defensive line where Ndidi was waiting to nod the ball back across goal. Unfortunately, there was no player in blue able to knock it in.

Perhaps plan B involved the City front-runners being asked to pressurise the opposition earlier. They, in turn, were making it easier for City to do this as they tried to play the ball out from the back. This led to a mistake in the 36th minute and City won the ball on the edge of the area. It fell to Maddison, who pushed it into the box, and was promptly fouled by Lascelles. The game needed a goal to liven it up and Tielemans obliged by thumping the ball high into the left-hand side of the net with Dúbravka diving in the opposite direction.

This wakened up Howe’s team and they were forced to move forward more urgently. However, City withstood any pressure and the teams went in at half-time with the same score line.

The visitors continued their willingness to move forward at the start of the second half. Both teams were showing more ruggedness and the tackles were more intense. However, it was City who were showing more inventiveness and a deft pass from Maddison to Barnes, who beat the offside trap, allowed him to run behind the defence and stroke the ball to the unmarked Daka. He only had to tap the ball into the net and this allowed the City fans to see a spectacular backward somersault as he celebrated his second Premiership goal.

Newcastle did not give in and at 2-0 down Saint-Maximin, in particular, was showing off his dribbling skills and waltzed past the City midfield on several occasions. Soon after that second goal, the burly Newcastle midfielder made one such dazzling run and passed the ball to Willock; his fierce shot was only just over the bar.

Two Newcastle substitutions were countered by Albrighton replacing Barnes. This allowed Maddison to play a more central role with Albrighton giving more cover to Castagne. However, this did not stop the latter making an almost suicidal back pass to Schmeichel, who had to scamper back to his goal-line to kick the ball to safety. If Newcastle could not score, it seemed City were desperate to try and help them.

But with ten minutes of normal time remaining, City scored another goal on the break. Thomas, who, I thought, had an excellent match, stole the ball on the halfway line and carried it forward. His pass to Daka was moved on to Maddison and he, in turn, passed it to Tielemans, who, by this stage, was just inside the penalty area. His second goal was placed almost in the same place as the earlier penalty.

Four minutes later, City scythed through the visitors’ defence with quick first time passes and Daka’s lay off bisected the centre backs and allowed Maddison to run behind the Newcastle defenders and hit a wonderful goal with his weaker left foot. His work for the afternoon was done and he was soon replaced by McAteer, a graduate from the Academy set-up, for the final few minutes.

This was not City’s best performance; a better team would have punished some of the mistakes and weaknesses. Newcastle were certainly one of the poorer domestic teams to visit King Power this season.

A 4-0 win helps the goal difference remarkably. It puts City not too far behind the places that would give European football next season. It shows that a high rate of scoring can be achieved without Vardy’s participation. It shows that, in Daka, there will be hope for the future in a post Vardy era. But above all, it brings relief to a defence that has been criticised for many weeks.

Many fans complain that the tippy-tappy style of defensive play that has been the hallmark of City’s play recently does not produce exciting, positive football. Looking at how the Newcastle defenders were caught out using these tactics shows how dangerous they can be. Sometimes, a hoof from defence can bring relief from pressure and puts the opposition on the back foot. In this case, it brought City their first clean sheet since the opening game of the season.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Castagne, Evans (Soumaré 6), Söyüncü, Thomas, Ndidi, Dewsbury-Hall, Tielemans, Barnes (Albrighton 70), Maddison (McAteer 87), Daka. Subs not used: Ward, Bertrand, Brunt, Nelson, Ricardo Pereira, Vardy

Newcastle United: Dúbravka, Manquillo, Schär, Lascelles, Lewis (Murphy 62), Almirón (Fraser 62), Shelvey (Ritchie 85), Willock, Saint-Maximin, Wilson, Joelinton Subs not used: Darlow, Hayden, Hendrick, Krafth, Fernández, Gayle

Referee: P. Bankes                                          Attendance: 31,959

NO DEFENCE AS EUROPA LEAGUE HOPES END

Napoli 3 Leicester 2

Report by Colin Hall

In a frenetic but ultimately fruitless encounter at a storm-ridden Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, Leicester City slipped to a 3-2 defeat to hosts Napoli.

This result, together with Spartak Moscow’s win at Legia Warsaw, saw the Foxes crash out of the Europa League at the group stage and extended Brendan Rodgers’ underwhelming record in European competitions.

While his supporters will cite the absence of TEN members of the first-team squad through injury or illness for this game, the reality was that City were undone by a lack of composure at key moments against opponents who were also heavily depleted.

In addition, failure to keep a single clean sheet in any of the six group games indicates a weakness that ultimately proved fatal to prospects for a competition in which City had begun among the favourites.

Rodgers made three changes from the side beaten in the previous game, with Jamie Vardy, Youri Tielemans and Ryan Bertrand replacing Patson Daka, Ademola Lookman and Luke Thomas.

Despite hours of heavy rain locally before the game, it began on an excellent playing surface, albeit in front of a surprisingly sparse home support.

Many City fans who travelled to Italy were forced to miss the start, due to traffic delays affecting our coaches, combined with stringent passport and Covid checks carried out at the turnstiles. Some of the coaches did not arrive until half-time.

This correspondent entered the stadium just in time to see Ounas give Napoli the lead after Tielemans had lost possession. Apparently Timothy Castagne had previously missed a great chance to put City ahead.

Once again, the Foxes found themselves having to recover from an early setback, but they continued to create chances, with Wilfred Ndidi and Harvey Barnes both going close.

But midway through the half, the home side struck again, this time with a real sucker punch as Petagna burst through a flimsy offside trap to tee up Elmas for the simplest of tap-ins.

City, needing to recover quickly, reduced the arrears within three minutes as a James Maddison free-kick was only cleared as far as Jonny Evans, who found the net for the second time in three games.

Incredibly, with Napoli now showing even greater vulnerability at setpieces than City, an equaliser soon followed, with another Maddison free-kick knocked into the path of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who struck home a fine left-foot volley for his first goal in Foxes colours.

Shortly before the break, the home side suffered a further blow when midfielder Lozano was stretchered off following an accidental collision with Ndidi, The half concluded after several minutes of stoppage time amid another torrential downpour.

However, neither side seemed inhibited in any way by the adverse conditions after the resumption. Kasper Schmeichel denied Ounas with a fine near-post save, while at the other end, Vardy blazed wastefully wide after being sent clear by Castagne.

Sadly for City, Elmas proved more clinical in front of goal, with a clinical finish bringing his second goal of the game after the defence had failed to cut out a Di Lorenzo cross.

A minute later, Maddison squandered a glorious chance to level when seizing upon a wayward clearance 15 yards out, only to strike the post with the goal gaping.

The visitors pressed for the remainder of the game, but failed to find the vital breakthrough. Although options from the bench were limited, questions arose about how they were used. Should Barnes have been taken off for Daka? Why was Boubakry Soumare sent on (for an understandably tiring Tielemans) when an attacker might have made more impact? And why was Marc Albrighton not brought on until the 89th minute?

Despite his late introduction, the winger provided a glimpse of what could have been when finding the head of Vardy deep into stoppage time. But the striker sent his effort over and had been flagged offside anyway.

The anguish for the travelling Foxes continued after the final whistle, as news emerged of a late penalty for Legia which, if converted, would have kept us in the tournament. But the spot-kick, as with Vardy’s at the KPS against the same opposition, was saved, dashing hopes of a late (and frankly undeserved) reprieve.

So the new year sees City demoted to the Europa Conference, where several distant and less-than-hospitable venues lie in wait. The club needs to ask itself whether management and players have treated overseas competitions with the attention they need, or merely as a distraction from domestic business.

In the meantime, the luxury and much-heralded training complex must be used as a base to resolve ongoing defensive woes which have blighted performances for several months. Given the experience of the personnel available to Rodgers, the time for excuses has long since passed.

Napoli: Meret, Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Nunes Jesus, Mário Rui, Demme (Manolas 78), Zielinski, Lozano (Malcuit 45), Ounas (Mertens 63), Elmas, Petagna. Subs not used : Politano, Ospina, Boffelli, Costanzo, Vergara.

Goals: Ounas, Elmas 2.                   Bookings : Demme, Petagna

 Leicester: Schmeichel, Castagne, Evans, Söyüncü, Bertrand, Tielemans (Soumaré 77), Ndidi, Maddison, Dewsbury-Hall (Albrighton 89), Barnes (Daka 72), Vardy. Subs not used: Ward, Choudhury, Thomas, Stolarczyk, Nelson, McAteer, Ewing.

Goals: Evans, Dewsbury-Hall.

Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz.          Attendance (officially): 14 646

The views expressed in this report are the opinions of the Trust member nominated to file the report only and do not represent the views of the Foxes Trust organisation