Miralem Sulejmani Returns to the Pitch

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of,


Miralem Sulejmani (L) of Ajax Amsterdam challenges Luis Ibanez of Dinamo Zagreb during their Champions League soccer match at the Maksimir stadium in Zagreb October 18, 2011. 

REUTERS/Nikola Solic

Serbian forward Miralem Sulejmani will be available to feature for Dutch giants Ajax this week in their crucial Champions League clash with Croatian club Dinamo Zagreb. Sulejmani missed the Dutch team’s last two matches with a groin injury but the club’s official website has revealed that Sulejmani returned to training earlier this week.

Sulejmani, who is of Gorani Muslim origin, joined AFC Ajax on July 4th of 2008 from fellow Eredivisie squad AFC Ajax Heerenveen for a reported transfer fee of €16.25 million, breaking the Dutch transfer record. He signed a five-year contract with Ajax, keeping him there until June of 2013. Sulejmani even claimed in an interview that he himself didn’t even know that Ajax paid over €16 million for his services. He made his debut for Ajax against English Premier League club Sunderland on August 3rd of 2008.

Sulejmani made an impact almost immediately at Ajax. But first team opportunities subsequently became scarce. He almost was loaned out to English squad West Ham United in August of 2010, but his work permit application fell through. But after an off-season coaching change, he exhibited more confidence under new coach Frank de Boer and subsequently got more chances in the first-team.

Central defender Gregory van der Wiel is also available for selection having missed his side’s 4-0 win over Roda on Saturday due to abdominal pains. Ajax coach Frank de Boer could slot both players back into the starting XI to face Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday night. Ajax hosts the Croatian outfit having defeated it 2-0 in Zagreb two weeks ago. Ajax were last year’s champions of the Dutch Eredivisie league. They currently at second position in Group D of the Champions League with four points.


Al Jazeera Launches Sports News Network

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of,

article-6561-jazeera30082009-2Al Jazeera Television has launched the Middle East’s first 24-hour sports news channel. The network announced this week that the Al Jazeera Sport news channel will report sports news and analysis in Arabic. The launch was scheduled to take place on November 1st, coinciding with Al Jazeera’s 15th anniversary.

Qatar-based Al Jazeera has been showing sports from the region on the network’s 18 sports channels with commentary in Arabic, English and French. The events have include the World Cup, Champions League soccer and men’s and women’s tennis tournaments across the Middle East and North Africa.

The channel’s general manager, Nasser bin Ghanem al-Khelaifi, says the aim is to “uncover the ins and outs of everything that surrounds and affects sports, quickly, accurately and around the clock.”
The new sports news channel will broadcast hourly news bulletins and 20 sports news programs that will discuss various types of sports. The news programs will cover all the major international tournaments and sports events, especially those exclusive to Al Jazeera Sports, such as the Spanish, the Italian, and the French and the European football leagues. The channel will also feature weekly programs presenting news about popular sports like basketball, athletics, tennis and motorsports.

Arab sports news will have a prominent presence in the new channel. Two programs will be dedicated to covering major sports events in the Middle East and North Africa, Qatari daily Gulf Times reported on Thursday.

The channel will also follow general and economic sports news in the press, and will provide comprehensive coverage of events that are not transmitted live through a five-hour program, broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays. It will feature a variety morning show and a daily talk show that will provide in-depth discussion. At the end of the day all news broadcasted will be summarized in an hour long program called “Today’s Harvest”.