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Former Socceroo Erik Paartalu slams government over India travel ban, COVID, coronavirus

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Former Socceroo Erik Paartalu has revealed he has been confined to a hotel for the past seven months due to the COVID-19 crisis in India.

Paartalu, who played two matches for the Socceroos in 2013 as well as a 119 caps in the A-League for the Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City as well as stints across the world, plays for Bengalaru in the Indian Super League.

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Despite playing his last match of the Indian domestic season on February 26 after the club missed the final, Paartalu has been stuck in the club’s biosecurity bubble, with Bengalaru preparing for an AFC Cup qualifying match on May 11 against the Maldives’ Club Eagles.

The AFC Cup is the secondary club competition in Asia with the winners qualifying for the AFC Champions League.

While other foreign players left at the culmination of the season, Paartalu has been stuck in limbo.

Last week, he hit out at the Australian government after the Morrison government introduced fines of up to $66,600 or five years in prison for anyone defying the travel ban preventing Australians returning home from India

India’s COVID-19 outbreak is breaking records with more than 400,000 new cases on Sunday alone, with the nation registering more than 3000 deaths a day over the last week.

It is believed these are being under reported as well, with the world shocked by the scenes of death coming out of the nation.

Paartaluu playing for Bengalaru in India.Source: Instagram

On April 30, Paartalu expressed his disappointment at being stranded in the stricken nation.

“As an Aussie that has lived and worked in India for 4 years now I have never felt so far away from feeling Australian. I don’t know how you can deny citizens to return home especially when there are hotel quarantines in place,” he wrote.

It came after Aussie cricket stars Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson exposed a loophole on the border closure with India, flying home from the IPL via Doha last week.

The loophole was soon closed with gateway destinations, including Doha, Dubai, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur also suspending travel.

It led to the extraordinary tirade from Aussie cricket great Michael Slater, who was commentating the IPL.

Slater has found his way to the Maldives, where he will stay until he can return to Australia, taking to Twitter to savage the Australian government.

Slater tweeted on Monday evening: “If our Government cared for the safety of Aussies they would allow us to get home. It’s a disgrace!

“Blood on your hands PM. How dare you treat us like this. How about you sort out quarantine system.

“I had government permission to work on the IPL but I now have government neglect.”

Erik Paartalu in his Melbourne City days.Source: AAP

But speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Paartalu revealed he has only been able to travel from his hotel room to either train or play, having been in the biosecure bubble since the Indian Super League season began.

While he admitted that the team was relatively lucky, several of his teammates have had family members die from the virus.

Paartalu has also been separated from his family who are in Sydney and his wife in Scotland while he is stranded in India.

“It’s a horrible thing to say but I don’t think anybody is coping,” Paartalu said. “You get past a point where it just becomes exhausting. We are all past that point now and it just becomes a really sad normality. You have a set routine every day: you wake up, have breakfast, go to training, go to the gym, come back to the hotel, eat, sleep.”

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Women’s Champions League; Sam Kerr, Chelsea vs Barcelona, score, updates, report

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Barcelona became the first Spanish side to win the women’s Champions League with a stunning performance to thrash Chelsea 4-0 in Gothenburg on Sunday.

The La Liga champions scored all four goals inside 36 minutes as a Melanie Leupolz own goal, Alexia Putellas’s penalty and simple finishes from Aitana Bonmati and Caroline Graham Hansen killed the game as a contest.

Barca have romped to the Spanish title with a 100 per cent record after 26 games in La Liga, boasting a 123 goal difference.

Chelsea had been on course for a quadruple, but even the big-spending English champions were no match for the Catalans’ speed of thought and movement.

The Blues were rocked after just 33 seconds when after Lieke Martens’s shot came back off the crossbar, Fran Kirby’s attempted clearance looped into her own net off the unlucky Leupolz.

Kheira Hamraoui of FC Barcelona celebrates with teammates after victory in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final.Source: Getty Images

Chelsea had the chance to hit back immediately as Pernille Harder, who cost a world record transfer fee when she arrived in London from Wolfsburg in September, fired over from close range.

Jenni Hermoso pulled another big chance wide for Barca before Harder was denied again by a last-ditch tackle in an end-to-end start.

But Chelsea were shell-shocked once Hermoso went down under Leupolz’s challenge and Putellas confidently slotted home the spot-kick.

Barcelona’s team raises their trophy.Source: AFP

A brilliant team move made it 3-0 as Martens fed Hermoso, who drilled a pass into the path of Bonmati and she beat Ann-Katrin Berger from close range.

Martens was toying with Chelsea right-back Niamh Charles and the Dutch international laid the fourth on a plate for Hansen to tap into an empty net.

Two years ago it was Barca who found themselves 4-0 down after just 30 minutes against a dominant Lyon side.

The French giants had won this competition for the past five seasons, but their reign was ended by Paris Saint-Germain in the quarter-finals, who were then eliminated by Barcelona in the last four.

Chelsea will be hoping to show similar resilience to come back and win the competition for the first time as they missed out on becoming the first English side to become European champions since Arsenal in 2007.

Sam Kerr missed a number of chances to pull a goal back for Emma Hayes’s women in the second-half.

But Barca could afford the luxury of withdrawing Hansen and Hermoso as they cruised towards the title and set a new record winning margin in a women’s Champions League final.

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Man Utd can seal Jadon Sancho transfer on one condition as Dortmund provide fresh hope

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Manchester United have been targeting Jadon Sancho for a long while and could go back in for his services this summer.

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Liverpool vs West Brom; Alisson goal, Champions League, Premier League, reaction, video, Jurgen Klopp, crying, dead father

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Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker scored a 95th minute winner as the Reds beat West Brom 2-1 on Sunday to keep a place in next season’s Champions League in their own hands.

Jurgen Klopp’s men would have needed favours from Leicester and Chelsea in their final two games of the campaign had they failed to beat the already relegated Baggies.

But the Brazilian was sent forward for a corner deep into stoppage time and headed home Trent Alexander-Arnold’s delivery, becoming the first Liverpool goalkeeper to score a competitive goal – a 129-year first.

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Alisson celebrates with team mates. (Photo by Rui Vieira - Pool/Getty Images)
Alisson celebrates with team mates. (Photo by Rui Vieira – Pool/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Liverpool moved one point behind fourth-placed Chelsea and three behind Leicester.

With Leicester and Chelsea still to face off in a repeat of the FA Cup final, won 1-0 by the Foxes on Saturday, victories over Burnley and Crystal Palace will take Liverpool into the top four.

Alisson’s father died in February after drowning in a swimming accident in his native Brazil.

“It’s too emotional. For these past months for everything that happened to me, to my family, but football is my life,” Alisson told Sky Sports.

“I play since I remember with my father. I hope he was here to see it, but I am sure he saw it with God on his side and is celebrating.”

A first victory away to Manchester United in seven years on Thursday kept Liverpool’s top-four fate in their own hands.

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Alisson paid tribute to his father. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

And after injuries ravaged their Premier League title defence, Klopp may feel his luck finally turned in a thrilling finale at the Hawthorns.

West Brom thought they had gone 2-1 up with 20 minutes to go when Kyle Bartley bundled home a corner.

The Baggies captain was onside, but Matt Philipps was deemed to have obstructed Alisson’s view from an offside position.

“Everything is kind of our season in a nutshell,” said Klopp.

“We do a lot of good stuff, get punished for the first mistake and then have to work like crazy. I liked it because nobody got over the top, we kept playing football and had the best chances in the last five minutes.”

Klopp has had to cope without any of his senior centre-backs for months after a series of injuries and the inexperienced pairing of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams were easily troubled early on.

Alisson Becker hugs Liverpool’s manager Jurgen Klopp. (Photo by Rui Vieira / POOL / AFP)Source: AFP

Hal Robson-Kanu latched onto a simple long ball forward on 15 minutes with Phillips playing the Welsh striker onside and he coolly slotted home his first Premier League goal since 2017.

Sadio Mane reacted angrily to being dropped in midweek as he shrugged off Klopp at full-time as the German celebrated victory against United.

The Senegalese returned in Diogo Jota’s absence through injury, but his poor form showed little signs of improving as he side-footed a glorious chance wide from Thiago Alcantara’s cut-back.

Thankfully for Liverpool, Mohamed Salah has remained deadly in front of goal and he fired home his 31st of the season to level on 33 minutes from the edge of the box.

Liverpool’s Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker celebrates scoring his team’s second goal. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths / POOL / AFP)Source: AFP

Roberto Firmino then hit the post as the visitors ended the first-half on top. Even when Mane did find the net early in the second period he was denied by the offside flag.

West Brom had more reason to complain when Bartley’s goal was controversially ruled out.

Chances continued to come and go for the visitors as Alexander-Arnold blasted over before Sam Johnstone denied Thiago and Gini Wijnaldum curled just wide.

But the most unlikely source came up with the winner as West Brom were caught napping from Alisson’s late run into the box to meet Alexander-Arnold’s corner.

“In the end we needed Ali to sort it,” added Klopp.

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