World Sports News in Brief

Spain considering allowing soccer fans to return to matches

Wednesday, 2020-06-03 08:33:09
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La Liga Santander - Real Madrid v Barcelona - Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - March 1, 2020 Real Madrid fans before the match. (Photo: Reuters)
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Spain’s health ministry is weighing up whether to let fans back into soccer stadiums when the season restarts later in June after a three-month pause due to the new coronavirus pandemic, Health Emergency Coordinator Fernando Simon said on Tuesday (June 2).

Simon explained that regions which had moved into phase three of the de-escalation process could be authorised to hold matches with spectators but added that they might be prevented from doing so in the interest of sporting fairness. The top-flight is starting up again on June 11 with the Segunda Division resuming a day later, and organising body La Liga has said all matches should be played without supporters in order to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

* Austria Vienna beat Admira Moedling 1-0 in the Austrian Bundesliga's relegation group on Tuesday as the league resumed after a two-and-a-half month suspension amid the COVID-19 crisis. Football resumed in Austria last Friday when Salzburg won the Austrian Cup and the league sprung back to life with three relegation group games played without spectators on Tuesday.

* Formula One will not cancel a race even if a driver tests positive for COVID-19, chief executive Chase Carey said on Tuesday. The American was speaking after the sport published an eight-race initial calendar with the season starting in Austria on July 5.

* Former Bulgaria midfielder Krasimir Balakov has agreed terms to coach CSKA 1948 next season, the Sofia-based club said on Tuesday. Balakov, who won 92 caps for his country, resigned as Bulgaria's national team coach after racist abuse marred his side's 6-0 defeat by England in a Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia last October.

* Premier League clubs have been given the green light to take part in friendlies with strict protocols in place as they prepare for the restart of England's top-flight season on Jun 17, British media reported on Tuesday. Venues must not be more than 90 minutes away and players will need to travel in their own cars and arrive in full kit, according to Sky Sports.

* The Cincinnati Masters could be moved to Flushing Meadows this year as part of a double-header with the US Open under a new plan proposed by the US Tennis Association, the New York Times reported. Both tournaments have previously said they plan to move forward as scheduled, with Cincinnati set to run until Aug. 23 and the US Open's main draw beginning on Aug. 31.

* Everton's Yerry Mina is set to miss the Premier League's restart after the club said on Tuesday that he would be sidelined for several weeks after sustaining a muscle injury in training last week. The 25-year-old Colombian centre back has been pivotal for Everton's backline, making 25 appearances in the league this season and also scoring twice in the 3-2 comeback win at Watford in February.

* Olympique Lyonnais have signed on-loan Cameroon forward Karl Toko Ekambi from Villarreal on a four-year contract, the Ligue 1 club said on Tuesday. Lyon exercised an option to buy the player in a deal worth 11.5 million euros (US$12.86 million) plus add ons which includes a sell-on clause of 15per cent of any future transfer.

* Hungary's Football Federation is selling more tickets for the Hungarian Cup final between Budapest Honved FC and rural side Mezokovesd due of high demand to attend one of the first big games to be played with fans since the COVID-19 pandemic. Fans have been hungry for live action, and tickets for the lower tier of the newly built 65,000-seat Puskas national arena sold out so quickly that additional seating sections have been included.

* Nine-times motorcycling world champion Carlo Ubbiali, who raced in the first world championship in 1949 and later dominated the 125 and 250cc categories, has died aged 90, Italian media reported on Tuesday.

* The French Top 14 season has been officially abandoned amid the COVID-19 crisis and no champion will be named, the French rugby league (LNR) said on Tuesday. The LNR added that no club would be relegated and no team would be promoted from the Pro D2 (second division).

* Austria's Red Bull Ring and Britain's Silverstone circuit will each host two grands prix without spectators on an initial eight race Formula One calendar published on Tuesday. Austria's races start the season on Jul 5 and 12 and will be called the Austrian Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Steiermark (Styria), the region in which the circuit at Spielberg is located. Silverstone will host the British Grand Prix on Aug 2 and the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Aug 9.