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Rohan Luthra’s Cardiff debut an excellent second for British South Asians in Soccer, says Michael Chopra | Soccer Information

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Cardiff Metropolis legend Michael Chopra has hailed Rohan Luthra’s debut as “an excellent second” for Britain’s South Asian group.

The emergence of 6ft 5in Punjabi goalkeeper Luthra offered one of many few brilliant spots for Bluebirds followers final season – with Cardiff, who lost to champions Burnley on the final day, ending twenty first and enduring an underwhelming marketing campaign.

Luthra got here off the bench within the latter phases of Cardiff’s loss away at Preston in March, becoming the first goalkeeper to come out of Britain’s South Asian community to play in the Sky Bet Championship.

The 20-year-old had been stepping up his return from harm on the time, and was solely on the bench at Deepdale as a result of Cardiff’s common goalkeeper Ryan Allsop was serving a one-match suspension.

Sky Sports News exclusively revealed back in June 2021 that Luthra was leaving Crystal Palace after a decade on the south London membership, earlier than breaking the news the goalkeeper was on his way to Cardiff the place he would grow to be the primary British South Asian to signal for the crew since Chopra greater than a decade earlier.

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Former Newcastle and Sunderland striker Chopra, who scored 63 objectives in 159 appearances for Cardiff, mentioned Luthra is now an inspiration for the following era of footballers from South Asian backgrounds.

“It was an excellent second for the South Asian group when Rohan got here on for Cardiff,” Chopra informed Sky Sports activities Information.

Extra from South Asians In Soccer

“Typically you solely get one likelihood in life and that’s very true within the soccer world. Typically you solely get one likelihood to make your mark, and if you cannot, folks typically look elsewhere, particularly with the amount of cash that is concerned in soccer now.

“I used to be very joyful to see him get the chance, and now everybody desires to see him kick on and construct on that.

“It is nice what he’s doing. It is nice that individuals can really look as much as him now, particularly different South Asian heritage goalkeepers. He is proved that it may be completed and that South Asians can do it in the event that they get the chance.”

Chopra, whose earlier golf equipment additionally embrace Ipswich and Blackpool, mentioned he would have liked to have examined himself towards Luthra, both in coaching or on the pitch.

“I spoke to Rohan’s dad when he left Palace, and I additionally spoke to [my former team-mate at Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters] Graham Stack, who grew to become goalkeeper coach at Cardiff about it,” Chopra mentioned.

Michael Chopra scored 63 objectives in 159 Cardiff appearances

“Two South Asian lads going head-to-head collectively would have been nice banter and a terrific little bit of competitors! Nevertheless it’s a terrific achievement, everyone is basically pleased with Rohan, and hopefully he can construct on it.”

Chopra opened up solely to Sky Sports activities Information nearly a decade in the past about enlisting the support of cricket great Sachin Tendulkar to assist him discover a technique to play for India at worldwide stage, with the nation not permitting diaspora gamers to signify the nationwide crew.

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Yan Dhanda says he’s proud he took a stand for British South Asians in Soccer and hopes to see extra gamers from the group breaking by means of into the skilled sport

Sheffield United’s Danny Batth and Ross County’s Yan Dhanda have confronted comparable frustrations lately, however Indian followers had been handled to the sight of 4 British South Asians taking to the pitch on the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday night time.

Vitoria Guimaraes defender Easah Suliman and Grimsby City attacking midfielder Otis Khan had been among the many quartet to begin for Pakistan towards India on the South Asian Soccer Federation (SAFF) Championship.

The pair, who both recently featured in a first-of-its-kind Team of the Season, had been joined on the pitch by former West Brom academy starlet Rahis Nabi and fellow midfielder Harun Hamid, who spent final season at QPR.

India, who’re nearly 100 locations above Pakistan within the FIFA rankings, ran out 4-0 winners with Sunil Chhetri scoring a hat-trick for the hosts.

Pakistan’s subsequent sport within the event sees them tackle Kuwait, with India arising towards Nepal.

Man Utd’s Zidane Iqbal to join FC Utrecht

Manchester United's Zidane Iqbal
Manchester United teen Zidane Iqbal seems set to depart {Old} Trafford

FC Utrecht are closing in on signing Manchester United trailblazer Zidane Iqbal on a everlasting deal.

Academy graduate Iqbal is about to place pen to paper on a contract with the Eredivisie membership, ending his decade-plus lengthy affiliation with United the place he has progressed by means of the age teams.

Iqbal made history in December 2021 when he appeared within the Champions League sport towards Younger Boys to grow to be the primary British South Asian to play for Manchester United.

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Zidane Iqbal paid tribute to his buddies, household and coaches on social media after changing into the primary British South Asian footballer in Manchester United’s historical past

The Manchester-born midfielder, whose mom is Iraqi and father is Pakistani, appeared on United’s bench on seven events throughout the newest Premier League marketing campaign.

Iqbal not too long ago turned 20 and penned a new United contract last season.

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Manchester United teen Zidane Iqbal was destined to attain massive issues within the sport, says his first soccer coach Stewart Hamer

However the Iraq worldwide now seems on target to proceed his profession within the high division of Dutch soccer, together with his departure from {Old} Trafford first reported by The Athletic’s David Ornstein.

Arjan Raikhy leaves Aston Villa

Arjan Raikhy FA Youth Cup final
Arjan Raikhy in FA Youth Cup last motion towards Liverpool

Information of Iqbal’s departure comes lower than every week after one other main gentle from Britain’s South Asian group, Arjan Raikhy, elected to depart Aston Villa.

Raikhy, who is reportedly a transfer target for Wolves and Leicester, shot to prominence with a surprise purpose towards Chelsea for Villa’s U18s again in November 2020.

The technically-gifted midfielder made his senior first-team debut simply two months later in an FA Cup third-round tie towards Liverpool, described by supporters’ group Punjabi Villans as “incredible”.

Raikhy ended a memorable season by organising Ben Chrisene’s opener in a 2-1 victory towards Liverpool as Villa’s U18s lifted the FA Youth Cup.

The Sikh-Punjabi loved one other productive marketing campaign the next season as he earned the excellence of serving to two groups – Stockport County and Grimsby City – get promoted again to the Soccer League throughout two separate mortgage spells.

Regardless of impressing for Villa throughout their winter break in Dubai forward of final yr’s World Cup, Raikhy is certainly one of eight gamers – together with Ashley Younger and Jed Steer – to have been launched forward of subsequent season.

British South Asians in Football

For extra tales, options and movies, go to our groundbreaking South Asians in Football page on skysports.com and South Asians in the Game blog and keep tuned to Sky Sports activities Information and our Sky Sports activities digital platforms.

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