India is one victory away from qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup but…

first_imgAdvertisementWhile the country is busy rejoicing India’s victory over Bangladesh in the Asia Cup, a certain group of boys aged 16 and below are trying to etch their name in the history books. Yes, you guessed it right. India is just one victory away from qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup!India held Indonesia in a nervy encounter in their last matchTomorrow, India will take on South Korea in the Petaling Jaya Stadium in Malaysia at 6:15 pm IST, with a spot at the FIFA U-17 World Cup up for grabs.On paper, the South Korean side is the clear favorite as they hammered Australia 3-0, Afghanistan 7-0, and Iraq 2-0 en route to the quarter-finals of the AFC U-16 Championship. Meanwhile, India qualified by the skin of their teeth by holding Indonesia and Iran to a 0-0 draw and managing a 1-0 victory over Vietnam courtesy of an 85th-minute penalty from Vikram Pratap Singh.Congratulations to our U16 boys as they have qualified to the quarter-finals of the Continental Championship after 16 long years. #StarsOfTomorrow #WeAreIndia #BackTheBlue #Indianfootball— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) September 27, 2018Both the sides are yet to concede a goal in the tournament, but South Korea achieved it with the mantra of ‘attack is the best defense’ while India accomplished it with a disciplined and gutsy display of some best defending the tournament had to offer. South Korea is expected to blaze all the guns from the word go whereas India will look forward to holding them and capitalize on the counter-attack.One interesting aspect of the match is that there would be no extra time if both the teams can’t get a victory in regulation time. The game would go directly into a penalty shootout if the scenario rises. Niraj Kumar had already saved a penalty against Iran whereas his South Korean counterpart was rarely tested in the tournament. India might have an edge if the game goes to the penalty shootouts! Advertisementlast_img read more

Rain fury severely affects Kerala’s tourism, plantation sectors

first_imgThiruvananthapuram, Aug 13 (PTI) Floods due to the unprecedented monsoon fury in Kerala has wrecked the tourism industry and seriously impacted the plantation sector, which are among the major revenue sources for the state.Just as the tourism industry was recovering from thecancellation of bookings at hotels and resorts following theNipah outbreak, heavy rains and floods came as a huge blow,say industry sources.The plantation sector is estimated to have suffered huge losses due to the landslides and flooding that have claimed 39 lives and rendered over one lakh homeless in the latest phase of monsoon rains since early this month.The picturesque high-range districts of Idukki and Waynad, the most sought after destinations by tourists, are among the worst hit.Landslips are continuing in various places and many pockets of the two districts are still flooded and road network also affected.According to Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) Senior Vice-President E M Najeeb, already 70 to 80 per cent cancellations had taken place in Idukki, Munnar, Kumarakkom, which are among the most preferred destinations by domestic and international tourists.The loss was being assessed, he said.According to a 2017 report of the State Planning Board, the share of tourism in Kerala’s Gross State Domestic Product is about 10 per cent.The downpour has played spoilsport for the tourism department’s plans to organise the famed snake boat races, which have mesmerised visitors for ages, under a new league.Snake boats or ‘Chundan Vallams’, in local parlance, are canoe style boats which are 100 to 120 feet long and hold up to 100 rowers.advertisementThe Champion’s Boat League on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and other sport leagues was supposed to have kick started from August 11 this year.The annual Nehru Trophy boat race, expected to mark the beginning of the league in Alapuzha, had been postponed in view of the natural calamity.”We will find a new date. The government is presently busy with relief and rescue operations due to the floods and landslides in various parts of the state,” Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran told PTI.The rains would also dampen the proposal to organise feasts at homes of people in villages for tourists under the Responsible Tourism Mission of the Tourism department during the annual Onam festival next week.Another casualty of the incessant rains is the blooming of ‘Neelakurinji’ flower in the hills of Munnar, a once in 12 year occurrence which attracts large number of tourists.The floods and landslides have wrecked havoc to the plantation sector in the hilly regions of the state which produces spices, rubber and tea.Idukki, once known as the spice capital of the world, produces over 12 varieties of spices, including pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric, which are largely exported.The loss suffered by tea, coffee, cardamom and rubber planters due to the rains since the onset of the South West Monsoon on May 29 has been pegged at Rs 600 crore, secretary of Association of Planters of Kerala Ajit B K said.The estimated loss of tea plantations alone was between Rs 150 crore to Rs 200 crore, he told PTI, adding around 100 acre had been lost in landslides and flooding of tea fields in Waynad.In case of cardamom, around 40 per cent of the crop loss was estimated in Idukki and Waynad districts. Due to heavy winds at the start of the monsoon, standing crops were damaged and 25 per cent of the area needs re-planting, Ajit B K said.According to Spices Board sources, there is a roughly 35 to 40 per cent loss of cardamom and pepper in Idukki according to feedback from farmers.Onam, the harvest festival of Kerala, is the time when consumer durable companies flock the state for sale of their new products, but retail sales were likely to be affected this year due to the rains.The state government has put the overall loss suffered by the state so far due to the floods at Rs 8,316 crore. PTI UD VS NSDNSDlast_img read more