World Sports News in Brief

FIFPro complains of insufficient break for World Cup players

Tuesday, 2018-07-31 07:45:29
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A FIFA sign is seen outside the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo: Reuters)
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Global footballers’ union FIFPro says that at least 15 World Cup players have taken part in UEFA club competitions less than four weeks after returning from Russia, leaving without a sufficient close season break.

The union reiterated its call for a mandatory rest period of at least four weeks between the final game of one season and the start of pre-season training for the next. The group stage of the World Cup in Russia, which was officially part of last season, finished on June 28 while the final was played on July 15. The first round of qualifying for this season’s Champions League began on July 10, meaning that the two seasons in effect overlapped by a few days.

* Olympic cross-country skiing gold medalist Vibeke Skofterud has died aged 38 following a jet-skiing accident, the Norwegian Ski Federation confirmed on Monday. The Norwegian Skofterud was reported missing on Saturday and her body was found by a rescue team on Sunday near the island of St Helena in southern Norway.

* English football will continue its trials of temporary dismissals across 31 grassroots leagues in the new season before making 'sin-bins' mandatory for all leagues at Step Seven and below from 2019-20, the Football Association said on Monday. Sin-bins were introduced in select divisions in England's Step Seven - the lowest tier of the National League system - and lower leagues last year, with the focus on countering dissent. Players shown a yellow card for dissent have to leave the field for 10 minutes.

* Japanese actor Mansai Nomura will orchestrate the opening and closing ceremonies for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it was announced on Monday. Nomura is best known in Japan for his performances as an actor featuring in kyogen, a traditional form of comedic theatre. The 52-year-old won the prize for the best actor at the prestigious Blue Ribbon Awards in 2001.

* Bayern Munich Chief Executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has reiterated his call for the Bundesliga to scrap the so-called 50 plus one rule which effectively bars big investors from taking over clubs. The rule bars commercial investors from having more than a 49% stake in a club, stopping them from taking over clubs and forcing changes against the wishes of supporters.

* Atletico Madrid on Monday presented new signing Thomas Lemar to the press and public. Lemar joins his French team-mates Antoine Griezmann and Lucas Vazquez at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, saying that that after winning the World Cup, his aim now was to win the Champions League with Atletico.

* World No.1 Viktor Axelsen started his title defence at the 2018 BWF World Championships in style in Nanjing, China on Monday, beating Duarte Nuno Anjo of Portugal 21-8, 21-7 in his opening game of the men's singles competition.

Reuters, Xinhua