World Sports News in Brief

Tottenham and Barcelona host first legs of Champions League semis

Friday, 2019-04-19 06:29:56
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Tottenham Hotspur players pose for a team group photo before the match - Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg - Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - April 17, 2019. (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
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UEFA have confirmed the Champions League semi-final dates with Tottenham Hotspur hosting Ajax Amsterdam on April 30 in the first leg at the refurbished White Hart Lane stadium, with the return leg at Ajax’s Johan Cruyff Arena on May 8.

In the other semi-final, last year’s runners-up Liverpool head to the Nou Camp to play Barcelona in the first leg on May 1 with the return leg at Anfield six days later.

* Eintracht Frankfurt have top striker Luka Jovic to thank for being the last German team left in a European competition this season and their hopes of a top-four finish in the Bundesliga also rest on the Serb's shoulders. Frankfurt activated his buyout clause from Benfica on Wednesday, a day before they meet his former club in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final and ahead of their crucial league game against fellow European hopefuls VfL Wolfsburg on Monday.

* Barcelona have announced they will visit Japan as part of their preparations for next season, facing Premier League Chelsea in July as well as former captain Andres Iniesta's side Vissel Kobe, who play in the Japanese top flight. The La Liga leaders will meet Chelsea on July 23 at Saitama Stadium in Tokyo before travelling to Kobe on July 27 for the game against Vissel, where they will play against Iniesta and fellow former Barca players David Villa and Sergi Samper.

* Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa was the centre of further controversy on Thursday after the Spanish sports newspaper 'Diario AS' reported that the Brazilian born Spain international refused to train with his team-mates. AS reports that Costa had been informed by the club on Wednesday that he was to face internal disciplinary action for the sending off, which means he will not play again this season.

* Organisers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games said Thursday that a ticket lottery application process for residents of Japan will open on May 9. The organising committee for the quadrennial sporting event has set prices for tickets so that most budgets can be catered to, with the cheapest tickets starting from 2,500 yen (US$22).

* Lazio revived its chances of qualifying for the Champions League with a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Udinese in Serie A on Wednesday.

* Three renowned professional alpinists are missing and presumed dead after an avalanche in Canada's Rocky Mountains, Parks Canada said on Thursday. Climbing media named the men as American Jess Roskelley, 36, and Austrians David Lama, 28, and Hansjörg Auer, 35, saying they were killed after attempting to climb a challenging route on Howse Peak in Banff National Park. Canadian authorities did not release the names of the three men.

* Formula One's esports double world champion Brendon Leigh will make his real race debut this weekend in a Formula Ford 1600 race at Snetterton in eastern England. The 19-year-old former kitchen porter, who had yet to pass his driving test when he won the esports title for the Mercedes team last year but has done so now, became the sport's inaugural virtual champion in 2017.

* Alex McLeish has been sacked as Scotland manager after just 12 matches in charge, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) said on Thursday. The decision was taken by the SFA board after Scotland's disappointing start to their Euro 2020 qualification campaign. Scotland lost 3-0 to Kazakhstan in their opening qualifier and could only beat San Marino, the world's lowest-ranked team, 2-0 last month.

Reuters, Xinhua