World Sports News in Brief

Benzema stunner for Real frustrates impressive Chelsea

Wednesday, 2021-04-28 07:09:43
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Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates. (Photo: Reuters)
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Chelsea held their own away to Real Madrid but had to settle for a 1-1 draw in Tuesday's (Apr 27) Champions League semi-final first leg after Karim Benzema scored an acrobatic goal to cancel out an early strike from Christian Pulisic.

This was the first ever Champions League meeting between the two sides. Real will visit Stamford Bridge in the second leg on May 5 looking to reach the final for a fifth time in eight years.

* Europe's soccer governing body UEFA is set to increase the size of the national team squads at this year's European Championship from 23 to 26 players, British media reported on Tuesday. The decision was taken by UEFA's national teams committee on Monday and is expected to be ratified by its executive committee later this week, the BBC said.

* African powerhouses Egypt and Algeria were drawn in the same group on Tuesday for the inaugural Arab Cup, an event which will take place in December and serve as a dress rehearsal for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The tournament will start on Dec. 1, with the final to be held on Dec. 18, exactly one year before the 2022 World Cup final.

* Arsenal owners Stan and Josh Kroenke said on Tuesday they remain "100% committed" to the Premier League club, are not selling any stake and have not received and will not entertain any offers.

* West Ham United defender Fabian Balbuena has had his red card successfully overturned following a successful claim of wrongful dismissal in Saturday's 1-0 loss to Chelsea in the Premier League, England's Football Association said on Tuesday.

* UEFA will redistribute 24 million euros (US$29 million) to clubs across Europe when the revamped women's Champions League kicks off next season, European soccer's governing body said on Tuesday. UEFA said the new format, which includes a 16-team group stage with centralised marketing and television coverage, will increase revenue while the distribution model also draws on a cross-subsidy from the men's competitions.

* The Wimbledon Championships will become a 14-day tournament from 2022, with matches set to be played on Middle Sunday, traditionally a day off at the grasscourt Grand Slam, the All England Lawn Tennis Club said on Tuesday.

* The Spanish government and football organising body La Liga are planning on letting fans back into matches for the final four rounds of fixtures this season as national COVID-19 restrictions loosen, radio station Cope reported on Tuesday. The report said a maximum of 5,000 fans will be allowed in from the weekend of May 8.

* Bayern Munich have signed RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann to take over from next season on a five-year contract, the club said on Tuesday. The 33-year-old Nagelsmann, who took over second-placed RB Leipzig in 2019 and led them to the Champions League semi-finals last year, succeeds Hansi Flick, who is leaving at the end of the season on his own wish despite a having a contract until 2023.

* Australia has sent the International Olympic Committee (IOC) funding guarantees for Brisbane's 2032 Games bid following confirmation of federal government support, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Tuesday. Palaszczuk said the government had confirmed it would fund the Games' infrastructure with Queensland state just over an hour before an IOC deadline on Monday.