Barca, Real Madrid players begin virus testing

first_imgRelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Sanwo-Olu: We’re committed to fulfilling promises to Lagosians Players at Barcelona and Real Madrid started to undergo coronavirus tests on Wednesday as La Liga clubs planned to return to restricted training ahead of the proposed resumption of the season next month.Barca captain Lionel Messi and France international Antoine Griezmann were among players pictured arriving one by one in their cars at the club’s training centre early Wednesday morning. Players at Madrid, including Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema, also underwent health checks at Real’s training base on the outskirts of the city.Results from the coronavirus tests are typically known within 48 hours.The testing is part of the league’s strict medical protocol with which teams must comply before a return to training.Atletico Madrid, who will also carry out tests Wednesday, are aiming to resume training immediately the results are known, if all goes to plan.The first of a four-phase de-escalation programme announced by the Spanish government last week would allow players to initially train alone, with a maximum of six players allowed on the pitch. Players will be expected to arrive on club premises already in their kit and wear a mask and gloves when not training.After each session they will be given a bag with clothes for the next day.La Liga’s programme will then permit training in small groups before a return to larger team sessions.In the fourth and final phase, scheduled for early June, the government have said outside events can go ahead when attended by fewer than 400 people.La Liga is proposing to complete its season behind closed doors, with games starting again in the middle of June. “People’s health is paramount, so we have a comprehensive protocol to safeguard the health of everyone involved as we work to restart La Liga,” league president Javier Tebas said on Monday.“Circumstances are unprecedented, but we hope to start playing again in June and finish our 19/20 season this summer.”Spain has been one of the worst-hit countries in the world by the coronavirus pandemic, with almost 26,000 deaths in the country according to the latest figures on Wednesday.Tags: BarcelonaCoronavirus TestsCOVID-19La Liga ReturnReal Madridlast_img read more

Analysis: Man City stained by scandal, mired in uncertainty

first_img Associated Press Analysis: Man City stained by scandal, mired in uncertainty City is not a club that likes to be challenged, favoring annual in-house gentler “interviews” with its chairman rather than open news briefings.When it comes to legal cases, spending on a strong squad is the answer just like on the field. Legal representatives from three different firms were deployed by City at CAS in a hearing last year attempting to get the case thrown out. UEFA was outnumbered 8-2 by City lawyers.It was the type of defeat City has not become accustomed to in the Sheikh Mansour era.It was a team that for years wearily watched neighbor Manchester United dominate the Premier League, partly while playing in the third tier before beginning the ascent back to the Premier League in 1999. Abu Dhabi wealth ensured City could compete with United to spend on players in a manner unimaginable before 2008.When City beat United to the Premier League title in the closing minutes of the 2011-12 season it ended a 44-year title drought. The Premier League trophy has been collected three times more since then and it’s currently in City’s possession after edging Liverpool by a single point last season. Factor in too that City will still have to comply with FFP rules if it qualifies for Europe again in 2022. So, once again, regardless of the owner’s wealth, lavish spending on players will be not feasible. And just like in the early years of Sheikh Mansour’s ownership, City will have to convince players to join and settle for not playing in the Champions League.City’s place in the game and world sport is diminished again. The vehicle to promote the Abu Dhabi brand is now associated by many with rule-bending rather than just excellence in sport.___Rob Harris is at If you don’t play by the rules, you don’t get to play in the Champions League. For two seasons in City’s case. It doesn’t matter if Pep Guardiola is the coach or you have some of the world’s most expensive players in the team.Banishing such a wealthy, powerful club from its elite competition was a test of resolve.Not for the leadership of UEFA but the independent investigatory and adjudicatory bodies, with the final verdict decided by a panel headed by a European Court of Justice judge.When City complained on Friday night that “this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA,” it was a statement seemingly as misleading as some of its financial reporting.City appeared to hope the public and UEFA would never discover it was allegedly funneling money around Abu Dhabi to fund sponsorships that helped to ensure it complied with Champions League spending rules. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditLONDON (AP) — Manchester City is now a tainted champion. A club transformed by lavish investment in part to promote the emirate of Abu Dhabi on the world stage is damaged by deceptions in the pursuit of glory on the soccer field.Cut through all the raging against the footballing prosecutors by City, UEFA showed there is a price to pay for misleading the governing body of European soccer. Already there were questions about the club’s reliance to raise revenue on sponsorships from Abu Dhabi when it has been owned since 2008 by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and a member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family.The alleged scheming was only discovered thanks to leaked internal correspondence that City believes should be inadmissible because it is “hacked or stolen” materials. The club has never disputed the authenticity of the documentation gained by German publication Der Spiegel and published in 2018. Nor has it publicly challenged Financial Fair Play rules.In fact, City accepted the need to be monitored by rules restricting losses and the ability of owners to pump money into clubs for spending on players when it first reached a settlement in 2014 to avoid a Champions League ban.It is the 2012-16 financial submission from City that became subject to UEFA scrutiny again when the trove of leaks was published appearing to show how the true source of income was being allegedly covered up. Even though Etihad Airways was paying for naming rights and jersey sponsorship, the company appeared to receive most of it back from City’s Abu Dhabi holding company.According to UEFA City overstated sponsorship revenue and break-even information in documentation. With City planning to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the Champions League ban and 30 million euro fine, more extensive details from the case should become public. City will soon be surrendering the silverware to Liverpool due to its 25-point deficit in the league rather than any investigations. The Premier League, though, continues to look into the financial dealings unearthed in the leaks.The one trophy that has eluded City is the one — as it stands — it won’t get to compete for again after this season until 2022-23.And what prospect of Guardiola sticking around for the entire period in European exile, with his City contract in its final 18 months already?Guardiola has been the public face from City defending the club’s conduct, but he is far removed from the financial division. The loss of Champions League television and prize money alone — almost 100 million euros last season — will prove costly to City’s domestic mission to provide a greater challenge to Liverpool next season. February 15, 2020last_img read more

Men’s basketball: Wisconsin to take on talented Arizona team with spot in Final Four on the line

first_imgLOS ANGELES – It was the matchup that everyone had circled when the brackets for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament were revealed on March 15.A rematch of last season’s West Regional final between Wisconsin and Arizona was possible once again this season as the top-seeded Badgers and second-seeded Wildcats were set to meet in the Elite Eight in Los Angeles should both teams win their first three games.Fast forward 13 days and it’s game on once again, as Wisconsin (34-3) and Arizona (34-3) will play Saturday at the Staples Center in the West Regional finals for a berth in the Final Four.Last season’s game between the Badgers and Wildcats was perhaps one of the best of the tournament as Wisconsin snuck out a 64-63 win in overtime to advance to its first Final Four under current head coach Bo Ryan. Wisconsin forward and Big Ten Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky had essentially his national coming out game against Arizona last season, scoring a game-high 28 points with 11 rebounds as the Badgers knocked off the No.1 seed Arizona.“It was a good game,” Kaminsky said. “It was kind of a culmination of what I had been flirting with the whole season. I had games like that but I wasn’t very consistent. And I think just the whole tournament last year was consistent for me. It really helped my confidence coming into this season.”But while Arizona is the two-seed this season and Wisconsin sits as the top-ranked team in the West Region, the Wildcats are loaded with talent. And they’ll have two players in the starting lineup who didn’t even play in last season’s matchup.One key piece to Arizona’s team this season is freshman forward Stanley Johnson. Johnson was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, earning Pac-12 first-team honors in the process. The Fullerton, California native leads the Wildcats in scoring (14 points per game) and is second on the team in rebounds with 6.6 per game.Along with Johnson, forward Brandon Ashley – who didn’t play in the NCAA tournament for the Wildcats last season after suffering a foot injury earlier in the season – averages 12.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game for Arizona. Ashley was selected as the Pac-12 tournament Most Outstanding Player.“Obviously the guys they have coming back are better and you bring back Ashley, you bring Stanley Johnson, everyone else has gotten better,” Wisconsin fifth-year senior Josh Gasser said. “Even though they lost a couple of pieces, they’re still a heck of a team and it’s going to be a huge challenge for us.”Arizona, who returned to the Elite Eight after a 68-60 win over Xavier Thursday, also returns forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, guard T.J. McConnell and center Kaleb Tarczewski to this year’s team. Both Hollis-Jefferson and McConnell were first-team all-Pac-12 selections this season.McConnell is also a Pac-12 all-defensive team selection and ranks 10th nationally in assists per game with 6.3 and is seventh in the country with a 3.11 assist-to-turnover ratio.“We know he’s a great on-the-court leader,” Kaminsky said of McConnell. “He can do a lot of things. He knows how to get his teammates involved in the game. He can score, he can rebound, he can pass. So it’s hard to frustrate a player like that.”With Arizona returning their talent and the Badgers riding high with a two comeback wins to advance to their second straight Elite Eight, Saturday’s matchup could turn out much like the game from nearly a year ago.“It’s going to be the same type of battle, the same type of grit that’s going to be needed,” Wisconsin junior forward Sam Dekker said. “Obviously, they want to make a Final Four and so do we. And we’re going take a lot of pride in our game and go out there and try to get a big win.”No. 1 Wisconsin (34-3)NCAA Tournament:Second Round – Defeated Coastal Carolina 86-72Third Round – Defeated Oregon 72-65Sweet 16 – Defeated North Carolina 79-72Probable Starters: G – Bronson Koenig (6-4, 8.6 ppg), G – Josh Gasser (6-4, 6.8 ppg), F – Sam Dekker (6-9, 13.5 ppg), F – Nigel Hayes (6-8, 12.5 ppg), F – Frank Kaminsky (7-0, 18.4 ppg)Key Reserves: G – Traevon Jackson (6-3, 9.1 ppg), G – Zak Showalter (6-2, 2.2 ppg), F – Duje Dukan (6-10, 4.8 ppg)No. 2 Arizona (34-3)NCAA Tournament:Second Round – Defeated Texas Southern 93-72Third Round – Defeated Ohio State 73-58Sweet 16 – Defeated Xavier 68-60Probable Starters: G – T.J. McConnell (6-1, 10.3 ppg), F – Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (6-7, 11.1 ppg), F – Stanley Johnson (6-7, 14.0 ppg), F – Brandon Ashley (6-9, 12.1 ppg), C – Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0, 9.2 ppg)Key Reserves: G – Gabe York (6-3, 9.1 ppg), G – Elliott Pitts (6-5, 3.6 ppg), C – Dusan Ristic (7-0, 3.5 ppg)Game VitalsWho: No. 1 Wisconsin vs. No. 2 ArizonaWhen: Saturday, March 28, 5:09 CSTWhere: Staples Center (19,709); Los Angeles, CaliforniaTV: TBS (Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, Rachel Nichols)last_img read more

Syracuse’s Bryce Holmgren is getting on base partially thanks to 12 hit by pitches

first_imgWhen Bryce Holmgren was hit by a Jessica Dreswick fastball earlier this season against Boston College, there was no fanfare, no display of pain or anguish.She tossed her bat toward Syracuse’s home dugout, spun on her heel and jogged to first base. It was nothing new for the Roland, Iowa, native, who leads the team with 12 hit by pitches.Holmgren paces Syracuse (18-17, 4-10 Atlantic Coast) in nearly every offensive category — first in hits (43), batting average (.434) and runs batted in (25) — and is the only player on the Orange to total more walks (20) than strikeouts (15). Part of the reason she is so adept at getting on base, Holmgren said, has been her patience in the batter’s box. It’s also led to her hit-by-pitch habit.“I try not to lean in, but also it just kind of happens,” Holmgren said. “Things in softball just happen so fast, you don’t really think too much about it. I just try to let it hit me.”After leading the team in hit by pitches last season with 11, Holmgren wasted no time in grabbing the team-lead this year, too. After getting plunked in six of the first nine games of the season, Holmgren started the year on base a lot, whether it was by choice or not.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGetting hit by pitches is a relatively new trend for Holmgren, who said that she didn’t get hit a lot when she was younger. Even at Western Kentucky as a freshman in 2016, Holmgren was hit three times in 45 games. Only when she arrived at Syracuse did she start to get hit more. With 23 hit by pitches in 85 career games at SU, she’s developed a knack for reaching base unconventionally.Holmgren believes that her tendency to get hit stems from a few factors. As a left-handed batter, she said her right elbow at times hangs close to or over the plate when she’s in the box. Like Dreswick, most pitchers are right-handed. Holmgren often faces pitches on the inner-half of the plate to crowd her and sometimes pitchers lose control. Holmgren’s willingness to “take one for the team” is another factor that sets her apart in her propensity to get hit.“I wouldn’t consider it unlucky, I would consider it lucky,” head coach Mike Bosch said. “Honestly, we just want to get on base any way.”Holmgren’s consistency in reaching base was clear earlier this season when she broke the program record for consecutive games reaching base. Holmgren’s streak of 46 broke the previous record of 32 and has since ended, but the WKU-transfer has already begun a new one, reaching base in eight-consecutive games.Teammate Alicia Hansen has played 138 games for the Orange but has been hit by a pitch just once in her career. The reason, Hansen said, is because she’s “more inclined” than her teammates to move out of the way of pitches.“Bryce will stick her arm out for it,” Hansen said. “It’s funny, because sometimes she’ll get hit and the umpire will call her back, and then she’ll get a hit, and the joke’s on you. You should want her to just get walked because you might be giving up extra bases if you pull her back.”With the Syracuse offense struggling to find consistent sources of power and contact hitting alike, Holmgren has been the lone source of consistency throughout the season. Her batting average has dipped slightly since beginning the year, but her on-base percentage still leads the conference.Holmgren has remained steady getting on base all season long, even if it’s not in the most conventional way.“One of our mottos is ‘find a way,’ so if you’re up, find a way on,” Hansen said. “No matter whether you bunt, get hit by a pitch, dropped third strike … taking one for the team sure, because it’s a baserunner that could mean a lot.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 10, 2018 at 7:43 am Contact Eric: [email protected] | @esblack34last_img read more

All-weather GAA pitches needed in Tipp

first_imgTom Maher – who’s Secretary of the Tipp CCC – says the problems playing fixtures over the past few months show why it would be well worth investing in these kind of facilities.He also thinks they would be of great use to county teams who do a lot of their most important preparatory work in November and December.Tom believes that action needs to be taken in order to meet the challenges posed by the predicted weather patterns of the future.last_img

RTÉ and Sky retain GAA TV rights

first_imgMeanwhile, the GAA has also announced that its broadcast agreement with 20 local radio stations around the country, including Tipp FM, will continue as before. The state broadcaster will televise 31 games a year with Sky showing 20 matches, 14 of them exclusive.Both stations will show the All-Ireland Hurling and Football finals.The new agreement begins next year and will continue until 2022.last_img

Chelsea beat Everton 1-0

first_imgA late strike from Willian ensured Chelsea beat Everton 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday to remain seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.Tim Howard looked set to deny the leaders victory on his return from injury, but the Everton goalkeeper was unable to keep out a deflected strike from Brazil midfielder Willian just a minute from time in a dramatic finale.Eden Hazard, Willian and Nemanja Matic were all thwarted by the former Manchester United man and Branislav Ivanovic had a late goal disallowed for offside before Willian secured an 11th win from 12 top-flight home games.Romelu Lukaku was denied by a fine save from the recalled Petr Cech and also went close in the first half for the visitors, who had Gareth Barry sent off for a second bookable offence just before Willian struck.Manchester City’s 4-1 victory at Stoke City ensured Chelsea’s advantage at the summit remains seven points, while Everton have won just one of their last nine Premier League games.Juan Cuadrado made his first Chelsea start, while Cech, Kurt Zouma and Loic Remy also came into the side. Oscar was not risked due to injury, but fit-again midfielder Cesc Fabregas was named among the substitutes Howard started at the expense of Joel Robles, while Aaron Lennon was handed a first start for the club and Ross Barkley was recalled.Matic almost made an early impact with a goal when he beat two Everton players before firing a left-footed strike over the crossbar.Fellow midfielder Willian went even closer with a dipping shot from just outside the penalty area, before Lukaku almost struck at the other end against his former club when he raced into the box. His low effort was kept out by the feet of Cech after only seven minutes.Cuadrado looked a threat and the big-money deadline-day recruit dragged a shot wide of the far post and then Howard saved a Remy header in a frantic start.The lively Hazard went agonisingly close to getting on the end of Cesar Azpilicueta’s fine cross as Everton struggled to contain the leaders, but Chelsea were unable to find the back of the net before the break. Everton manager Roberto Martinez replaced Muhamed Besic, who was shown an early yellow card, with James McCarthy at half-time and Chelsea were soon back on the front foot after the break.Hazard was a constant menace to the Everton defence and the Belgium winger fired the ball across the face of the goal, but Bryan Oviedo was well positioned to avert the danger.The outstanding Hazard then surged into the area, after producing some fine close control, before forcing a save from Howard. The Everton goalkeeper also had to be at his best to save Matic’s well-executed free-kick.The busy Howard again demonstrated why Martinez was so eager to recall him when he produced a diving stop to keep out a measured Willian effort, before Cech showed his class at the other end to thwart an unmarked Lukaku.Belgium striker Lukaku looked certain to convert Oviedo’s ball in from the left, but Cech stood up to keep out his finish from only six yards out. Jose Mourinho replaced Cuadrado and Remy with Fabregas and Didier Drogba 20 minutes from time and Chelsea had a late goal disallowed when Matic’s shot was deflected in off Ivanovic, who was offside.Barry was then dismissed for a challenge on Willian which sparked a mass confrontation and there was more drama to come, as Howard fisted away a cross into Willian’s path and he rifled home with the aid of a defletion to stun Everton.last_img read more

Gianni Infantino: Fifa president cleared in ethics probe

first_imgFifa president Gianni Infantino has been cleared of wrongdoing following an investigation into his expenses, recruitment and alleged sacking of whistleblowers.Infantino took charge of football’s world governing body in February after the disgraced Sepp Blatter resigned.Fifa’s ethics committee found no “conflicts of interest” and no breaches of the organisation’s ethics code.”The benefits enjoyed by Mr Infantino were not considered improper,” it said.Infantino said he was pleased with the decision, adding he “would like to thank all those who co-operated with the ethics committee to ensure that the facts were heard and the truth prevailed”.BBC Sport learned last month that Infantino, 46, was under scrutiny from the investigatory chamber of Fifa’s ethics committee. At the time, the Swiss lawyer was said to be “very confident” no further action would be taken, with sources close to the former Uefa secretary general describing the allegations as “absurd” and “baseless”.”Mr Infantino’s conduct with regard to his contract with Fifa, if at all, constituted internal compliance issues rather than an ethical matter,” the ethics committee added.What were the allegations?A leaked internal Fifa memo outlined a series of claims relating to Infantino. The claims were that he: Left himself exposed to claims of a possible conflict of interest by using private jets laid on by a World Cup bidding country;Filled senior posts without checking people’s eligibility for the role;Billed Fifa for mattresses, flowers, a tuxedo, an exercise machine and personal laundry;Demanded Fifa hire an external driver, who then billed the governing body for driving Infantino’s family and advisors around while he was abroad.last_img read more

Kante plays FIFA, has dinner with new friends after missing train

first_imgAs if it were possible to love him even more, stand by and wait for your admiration of N’Golo Kante to grow ten-fold.The story goes that after playing a central role in Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Cardiff City on Saturday, Kante was due to spend the rest of the weekend in Paris with his family.Unfortunately, the France midfielder missed his Eurostar train and was therefore stranded in London as a result.The devout Muslim used his mobile phone to search for a local mosque where he could partake in evening prayer.It was at the mosque that Kante was recognised by a small group of football fans who, on discovering he had missed his train, invited the Blues star back to their house for dinner.  World Cup winner, former premier league player of the year, 2 time premiership winner casually joined us to watch MOTD after visiting a local mosque. True definition of being humble. What a man.— J (@jahrul999) September 16, 2018The gang enjoyed a nice curry, chatted, played a few games of FIFA and then settled down to watch BBC Premier League highlights show “Match of the Day,” which rather bizarrely featured highlights of the man sitting next to them on the couch.Amazing. Totally surreal, but amazing nonetheless. All hail Kante, a man so genuinely humble, polite and talented that he has quickly come to unite all football fans, regardless of club or national loyalties, behind him.last_img read more

Rules expert Desmond Duffy to be 2018 England Golf President

first_img Rules expert Desmond Duffy has accepted the nomination to become President Elect of England Golf for 2017 with a view to becoming President in 2018. “I am proud and thrilled,” said Desmond (image © Leaderboard Photography), who has refereed at all levels of the game, including at eight Open Championships. “I am looking forward to meeting a lot of old friends throughout the country, making new ones and visiting many clubs that, even after 24 years of refereeing, will be new to me. What joy!” Desmond was a keen footballer in his teens but was prompted to try golf by the simultaneous arrival in his parish of a golf-playing priest and a new professional at Catterick Garrison Golf Club. He took lessons, joined the club and began a notable golfing career in which he held a single figure handicap for 52 years. Even now, approaching his 80th birthday, he plays off 11. For the past 48 years Desmond has been a member at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, where he has been Captain and club champion and is an honorary Vice-President. He deeply treasures the club and credits it with putting him on the path towards the national golfing stage. First he became involved with the Northumberland Golf Union – where he has been President – and then went on to represent his county on the English Golf Union (now England Golf). He joined the Tournament Panel and, over the years, has refereed at eight Open Championships, at the Walker Cup, the Palmer Cup, on the European Tour, European Senior Tour and at English amateur events. Alongside his refereeing duties he has been a member of the EGU Board, represented England on the Council of National Golf Unions and been a member of the R&A Rules and Championship Committees. He has been a member of the PGA Rules Panel since 2002. “I have had a wonderful career refereeing at every level and visiting not only most of the British Isles but Europe as well. All that I owe to Bamburgh, Northumberland and England, each has been an important step along the way,” he said. In his professional life Desmond trained as a quantity surveyor and worked in building contracting, eventually retiring as joint managing director of Tower Construction in Alnwick, Northumberland. His interests outside golf including sitting as an education appeals panel member for seven local authorities in the North East and supporting his church. Desmond’s wife, Erika, is a member at Bamburgh Castle and is the handicap secretary for the ladies’ section. The couple have two children, Caroline, who lives with her husband and three children in Morpeth; and Paul, who lives with his wife and two children in New Zealand. 30 Jun 2016 Rules expert Desmond Duffy to be 2018 England Golf President last_img read more