South Asians in Football Weekly: Hamza Choudhury's dream week, Danny Batth makes Norwich debut, Aqsa Mushtaq set for OFI Crete move – Sky Sports

Tee Rasheed
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Hamza Choudhury, Danny Batth, Dilan Markanday, Asmita Ale, Aqsa Mushtaq, Shadab Iftikhar, Millie Chandarana, Mariam Mahmood and Zahmena Malik all enjoyed a good week; our resident expert Dev Trehan brings you the details in the latest edition of South Asians in Football Weekly

Tuesday 3 October 2023 09:46, UK
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The latest edition of South Asians in Football Weekly is out after another fantastic week for the community in the ‘Beautiful Game’…
Hamza Choudhury enjoyed a dream week for Leicester City, signing a new deal before playing at Anfield – and then rounding off the week by wearing the captain’s armband for the Foxes on his birthday!
Leicester announced the academy graduate had signed a new four-year contract on the morning of their trip to Anfield to play Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.
After putting pen to paper on new terms, Choudhury said: “It’s an amazing feeling for me and my family.
“This is my home. I’ve obviously spent the majority of my life here around the same people in the same environment.
“I’m looking forward to cracking on now and hopefully helping the team get back to the Premier League. To be staying here for another four years is exactly what I want.”
Leicester took a shock third-minute lead against Liverpool last week, before the home side came back to win 3-1, with Choudhury playing the full 90 minutes in a midfield holding role.
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The British-Bangladeshi midfielder came off the bench at the weekend to help Leicester to an emphatic 4-1 win against Blackburn Rovers as they returned to the top of the Championship.
Choudhury, who played as an inverted full-back on his 26th birthday, was handed the captain’s armband after Ricardo Pereira and Jamie Vardy were both substituted at Ewood Park, with Leicester going on to take the three points.
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Dilan Markanday started that game for Blackburn after the ex-Tottenham youngster continued his impressive cup form for Rovers earlier in the week.
Markanday rounded off the scoring to notch his fourth goal in six Carabao Cup starts with a composed finish as Blackburn thumped Cardiff City.
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The attacker was recognised for his performance with selection in the Carabao Cup Team of the Round – in a front three alongside Liverpool pair Diogo Jota and Cody Gakpo – as he helped Rovers set up a mouthwatering clash away at Chelsea.
Speaking to RoversTV after the win in South Wales, Markanday said: “I loved it, it was a really enjoyable night and we scored five goals against good opposition.
“The goals come as a result of all the hard work we put in every day on the training ground.
“As an attacker, goals, assists and creating chances are a big part of my game. If I want to keep getting opportunities here then that’s what I’ve got to keep doing.
“I want more opportunities going forward and to do that it’s about proving to the gaffer that I can do it.”
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Meanwhile, Rovers stormed to the top of the Barclays Women’s Championship with a fine 2-0 win at Lewes as they recorded their third victory on the bounce.
Millie Chandarana came on at the Dripping Pan, maintaining her ever-present record for Blackburn this season after starting the previous four matches.
Asmita Ale was also in action, appearing in Tottenham’ opening-day Women’s Super League clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
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Ale came on with Tottenham two goals down, and although Martha Thomas pulled a goal back, Spurs were unable to get anything out of the London derby against Emma Hayes’ side, losing 2-1.
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Mariam Mahmood continued her fine start to the season with another goal for West Brom in an action-packed cup tie against Liverpool Feds.
Fran Orthodoxou got a brilliant late winner in a 3-2 victory, with Mahmood scoring to make it 2-2 as West Brom came from behind twice to seal their place in the FA WNL Cup second round.
Danny Batth made his debut for Norwich City in the win over Birmingham at the weekend.
The experienced defender, who featured in a first-of-its-kind South Asians in Football Team of the Season at the end of the last campaign, left Sunderland late on Deadline Day to join Norwich.
Batth came on for opening golascorer Gabriel Sara in a 2-0 win for David Wagner’s side at Carrow Road, with Jonathan Rowe also on target as the Canaries ended a run of three straight defeats.
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The centre-back, who turned 33 last month, is under contract with Norwich until the end of the season, with an option for a further year.
Londoner Stephen Constantine has been named as the new head coach of Pakistan.
Constantine, who previously had a spell as Millwall first-team coach, will take charge of Pakistan for two FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Cambodia next month.
“Stephen has agreed to join PFF with a singular focus for now – to win qualifiers against Cambodia,” a Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) statement said.
Constantine, who has also managed Nepal and Rwanda, had two spells as India boss, leading the country in more international matches than any other manager and helping India break into FIFA’s top 100 ranked nations.
Shadab Iftikhar guided Pakistan all the way to the final at their first-ever U19 South Asian Football Federation Championship.
Preston-born Iftikhar, led the side to victories against Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan, before Pakistan lost to India in the final.
Iftikhar became the first British South Asian ever to manage in senior Scottish football when he took on a six-month spell at Scottish Highland League side Fort William, ending in May last year.
The Pakistan U19 job is his first role since undertaking his adventure in Scotland.
Sky Sports News understands Iftikhar has made a very positive impression on Pakistan federation chiefs and is now in line to support the senior squad ahead of their World Cup qualifiers next month.
Zahmena Malik was also part of a historic outing for Pakistan after she was involved in a first-ever penalty shootout for the women’s team.
After drawing 1-1, Pakistan’s match with Laos went to spot-kicks, with East Londoner Malik showing no hesitation when it came to taking one.
Malik calmly slotted her penalty home as Paksitan went on to win the shootout and finish above their opponents at the six-team friendly tournament in Saudi Arabia.
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Aqsa Mushtaq is poised to join OFI Crete after Sky Sports News revealed the attacker is set for a return to club football in Greece.
Mushtaq, who features in the first timeline documenting the history of South Asian heritage players in the modern women’s game, spent the second half of last season at Championship side Lewes FC.
She has previously played for Greek side Avantes Chalkida, where she won the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
Mushtaq is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University where she scored 13 goals in 17 matches in her final season at the North Carolina-based college.
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In 2019, Mushtaq was named South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year, helping her secure a move to Napoli, where she became the first player of Pakistani heritage to join a women’s team playing in Italy’s top division.
Dillon De Silva is back in the international fold with Sri Lanka after the country’s suspension from football for government interference was recently lifted by FIFA.
The Torquay United winger has been named in Sri Lanka’s squad for next month’s World Cup qualifier against Yemen.
For more stories, features and videos, visit our groundbreaking South Asians in Football page on skysports.com and South Asians in the Game blog and stay tuned to Sky Sports News and our Sky Sports digital platforms.
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