The latest edition of South Asians in Football Weekly is out after another eventful week for the community in the Beautiful Game…
Football fans in the North East were treated to a rare sight to kick off the weekend as Sikh-Punjabi twins Amar and Arjun Singh Purewal captained their respective teams as Consett hosted Hebburn Town.
The brothers have been blazing a trail for British South Asians in Football for more than 15 years, first entering the history books as teenagers when they became the first twins ever to score in the same FA Cup tie after both netting for Bishop Auckland in an Extra Preliminary Round win against Darlington RA back in 2008.
The twins went on to make history again two years ago when they became the first British South Asian brothers ever to line up against each other under the arch in a Wembley Cup final.
Arjun captained Consett that day but it proved to be a day to remember for Amar, who scored his side’s first goal as Hebburn went on to lift the FA Vase trophy with a 3-1 win.
But Arjun got the last laugh this time round, rounding off the scoring for Consett with a bullet header in a 3-0 win over Hebburn, who had been top of the Northern Premier League East table prior to the weekend’s matches.
Simran Jhamat marked her first home start for West Brom with a goal in a 4-1 win against Huddersfield in a match that was played at The Hawthorns.
The attacker was starting her first game alongside Mariam Mahmood, with the pair both seeing their football journeys showcased earlier this year in the first-ever timeline and exhibition documenting the history of South Asian heritage female players in the modern English game.
Jhamat opened her Baggies account with a typical poacher’s goal as she converted skipper Hannah George’s cross from close range. Mahmood also won a penalty in the game.
Sky Sports News exclusively revealed earlier this month that trailblazing former Liverpool and Bristol City forward Jhamat was joining West Brom.
Whitehawk new-boy Imran Kayani was also on target at the weekend, marking his home debut with a well-taken goal as the Hawks thrashed Redhill 4-0 to book their place in the FA Cup third qualifying round.
It was another good week for promising young Manchester United Women’s goalkeeper Safia Middleton-Patel, who briefly became the club’s clear second-choice stopper behind England international Mary Earps.
United parted company with Sophie Baggaley, who joined Brighton on WSL Transfer Deadline Day, leaving Middleton-Patel as the next goalkeeper in line to Earps, who had herself been linked with a move away from the club.
But as expected, United completed a £100,000 deal to sign Phallon Tullis-Joyce from OL Reign later on Deadline Day to reinforce their options between the sticks.
Middleton-Patel also last week earned selection in the Wales squad for the opening matches of the UEFA Women’s Nations League.
Wales will play away at Iceland on Friday, before hosting Denmark at the Cardiff City Stadium next Tuesday.
There was also an international call-up for east Londoner Zahmena Malik, who was named in Pakistan’s squad for a six-nation friendly tournament in Saudi Arabia.
The London Seaward attacker, who grabbed a memorable assist on her international debut, is the sole British representative in the squad this time around.
Malik is expected to play a prominent role in Pakistan’s tournament campaign, kicking off with a match against Malaysia on Thursday before a showdown with the host nation on Sunday.
Legendary former EFL referee Jarnail Singh also paid a visit to Sky Studios in west London to share insight around officiating and the British South Asian experience in English football.
Singh, who is the first and only turbaned Sikh referee in English league football history, delighted staff members across Sky Sports News as he opened up about his desire to see British South Asians much better represented in the English game.
Singh and Sky Sports worked together earlier this year to push for the Football Association to issue guidance to match officials across the country about the importance of religious head coverings as articles of faith.
It followed an incident involving a Sikh semi-professional footballer, who was shown a second yellow card for his reaction after an opposing player appeared to tug at his patka, which is a religious head covering worn by many Sikhs.
Speaking to Sky Sports News at the time, Singh said: “I’m very happy that we were able to contribute to educating and improving understanding about South Asians and Sikh communities in football.”
British South Asians in Football
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