Premier League may see reduced crowds into next year: Govt adviser

first_imgCalder added that experiments were being conducted to determine whether chanting and singing at stadiums might lead to a greater risk of virus transmission.”Now if there is no massive droplet spread we can keep within the social distancing that we’ve put down for … the Crucible and The Oval,” he said.”But if it is a problem, then we need to rethink the social distancing within the stadia, and that becomes very difficult.” Sporting venues in England are unlikely to get the green light to fill to capacity this year and the entire 2020-21 Premier League season could be played in front of reduced crowds, a senior government adviser has said.The British government announced plans this month to allow spectators at selected trial events to ‘stress test’ new guidelines.Cricket was the first sport to bring back spectators, with 1,000 fans watching a friendly between Surrey and Middlesex at The Oval on Sunday. The World Snooker Championship at the Crucible and the Goodwood horse racing festival are also pilot events. “I would be very surprised if we could get full stadia back this year,” James Calder, who was part of the cross-sport working group with government and health officials that laid down protocols on the return of sports, told the BBC.”Realistically I think it probably will need a vaccine and also a high take-up rate of that vaccine before we can really see full capacity stadia.”Calder said it was possible the new soccer season might be played in front of reduced capacities.”I think realistically we will be under scrutiny for the next year … and probably for the rest of the season,” he added.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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New Zealand could delay election after virus return

first_imgIn a statement, the legislature said that step “will no longer be held today” but could be done any time before Oct. 13, potentially pushing the election out by months.Health officials were also locking down aged care homes across the country because they could act as transmission hotspots.”I realize how incredibly difficult this will be for those who have loved ones in these facilities, but it’s the strongest way we can protect and look after them,” Ardern said.Director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield acknowledged the heartbreak of many Kiwis as they come to terms with the return of a virus many thought had been defeated.”I know the virus re-remerging in our community has caused alarm and the unknown is scary,” he said. “[But] we’ve been here before, we can get through it if we work together.”New Zealand had been held up by the World Health Organization as an example of how to contain the disease after recording only 22 deaths in a population of five million, and halting community transmission for more than three months.Ardern described the new cases as “unsettling” but said all efforts were being made to retrace the steps of the Auckland family of four who contracted it from an unknown source.Her center-left Labor Party has been riding high in opinion polls, largely on the back of its success containing the virus through a strict seven-week lockdown earlier this year.With campaigning temporarily halted by the latest virus scare, the conservative National Party said it was open to a delay if circumstances warranted.”It’s going to be very difficult to have an election in mid-September when we are now mid-August. It is very little time,” National leader Judith Collins told TV3.The initial lockdown is only for three days but University of Otago epidemiologist Amanda Kvalsvig said it could last much longer if the source of the infection was not found swiftly.”The aim is to return to alert level one [New Zealand’s lowest] and regain elimination status — but that won’t happen overnight,” she said.”Even after we stop seeing new cases it’ll take time and extensive testing to be sure the virus is once more under control.”The outbreak has already eroded some of the everyday freedoms New Zealanders had enjoyed, with Ardern urging Aucklanders to wear masks and restricting gatherings in the city to a maximum of 10 people.The final match of Super Rugby Aotearoa — which had been set to take place in front of a sold-out 43,000 crowd at Eden Park on Sunday — is also in doubt.The Auckland Blues said its players had been sent home to await advice on whether they can host the weekend’s blockbuster match against newly-crowned champions, the Canterbury Crusaders.Topics : Panic buying returned to supermarkets, huge queues formed at COVID-19 testing stations and face-masked police manned roadblocks on major roads to enforce the new measures. Ardern warned the Sept. 19 election may be have to be delayed if the outbreak could not be contained.”We’re seeking advice from the Electoral Commission, just so that we make sure we have all options open to us,” she said. “No decisions yet, as you can imagine, have been made.”New Zealand’s parliament had been due to be dissolved Wednesday, to allow the election to go ahead. New Zealand’s looming general election could be delayed, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned Wednesday, as the shock re-emergence of the coronavirus sent the country’s largest city into lockdown and forced nursing homes nationwide to shut their doors.Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents whose positive tests on Tuesday ended the country’s envied run of 102 days without community transmission.A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland — a city of 1.5 million people — went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday, ending weeks of near normality, when thousands had flocked to restaurants and filled rugby stadiums.last_img read more

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Palace boss Alan Pardew salutes Yohan Cabaye after masterclass sinks Baggies

first_imgAlan Pardew singled out Yohan Cabaye for praise after his midfield masterclass guided Crystal Palace to a 2-0 victory over West Brom. Press Association “It was his father’s funeral on Thursday so we didn’t see him,” Pardew said. “I like to think, like when I lost my father, maybe he was looking down on him today so it was a nice moment for Yannick. He has dedicated the goal to his father so it was a nice moment all round. It will be a big boost for him because he wants to score goals.” The victory continued Palace’s impressive start to the campaign and Pardew drew comparisons to some of his more successful times at Newcastle. “The last time we (Palace) had 15 points in the Premier League, we were eating our Christmas dinner and (now) we’ve got it on October 2, so we’ve got ourselves in a great position,” he. “You have periods of form and how long we can keep that we’ll have to wait and see, but I can compare this season to the team I had twice at Newcastle and this is a team that can be as good as that team.” West Brom boss Tony Pulis had a short and successful spell as manager of Palace and won on his first return here last season. But the Welshman was at a loss to explain why the same team he had named in their last away game, a 1-0 win over rivals Aston Villa, had fallen well short of expectations here. “When you pick the same team, I came here with high hopes,” he said. “When Jonny Evans was fit and Gareth McAuley was fit and you’re putting that back four together again – you get that performance and it is chalk and cheese, it is really disappointing. I don’t know if it is confidence or whatever, but you have got to sort it out.” Former Manchester United defender Evans hobbled off after less than half an hour with a hamstring issue, while an ankle knock for James Morrison further depleted Pulis’ options. Both will be hoping to be fit for crunch international fixtures for Northern Ireland and Scotland respectively and Pulis will give them every chance to be involved. When asked if he was concerned by Evans’ injury, he replied: “The concern is obviously for Northern Ireland with the big games they have got. Whether those two (Evans and Morrison) will travel I’m not sure. “The home nations, we want to help them as much as we can so fingers crossed they will be okay, if they are anywhere near it we will give them a chance to play. They will be scanned tomorrow and they will know if they are serious injuries or not.” The France international joined the Eagles in the summer in what was seen as a major coup as he moved from Paris Saint-Germain for a club-record fee. “We approached the game knowing what to expect and we knew we needed to be patient, we played in a controlled manner,” Pardew said. “You need someone like Cabaye to orchestrate that and I thought he was great today in everything he did. “He created the goal at a stage we were starting to worry on the bench and potentially looking for changes. “I know his character and he knew he wasn’t going to be accepting what was happening at PSG, he wasn’t getting a fair opportunity and he needed someone to trust. “He wants to play for his national side at the Euros. I hope everyone in France was watching him today because he was excellent.” Pardew believes Cabaye, should he maintain such form, would make the France squad for next summer’s European Championships in his home country, but there was more to this win than just his performance. Bolasie looked back to his best and capped a superb display with his first Premier League goal at Selhurst Park on what has been an emotional week for the Congo international. With the Baggies having not conceded a goal away from home in the Premier League this season ahead of their trip to Selhurst Park, Palace had to be patient in their attempt to break through a stubborn defence. But Cabaye, who also played under Pardew at Newcastle, held the key as he crossed for Yannick Bolasie to head home before converting his second penalty in six days. last_img read more

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Kipyegon adds world title to Olympic 1500m gold

first_imgBy Mitch PhillipsLONDON, England (Reuters) – Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon added the world title to her Olympic gold when she won a superb women’s 1500 metres final in a white-hot London Stadium atmosphere yesterday, judging her charge to perfection and holding off the field.Kipyegon, silver medallist two years ago, took up the running with 600 to go and was stride for stride with in-form Sifan Hassan until the Dutchwoman faded while the Kenyan stayed strong to cross the line in four minutes 2.59 seconds.Jenny Simpson of the United States, the 30-year-old 2011 champion, also showed great track nous as she slipped up the inside and finished like a teenage sprinter to take second.South Africa’s 800 metres specialist Caster Semenya also powered through on the line to grab the bronze.“I knew it would be fast, it is such a quality field,” Kipyegon said. “The best was going to win here. It was always going to be quick and competitive.”After a relatively low-key night’s action, the 55 000 crowd roared their encouragement to home hopes Laura Muir and Laura Weightman to create a vibrant atmosphere.Muir had travelled to Rio de Janeiro with real medal hopes last year after a stellar season but failed to live with the last-lap pace in the Olympic final and finished seventh.CROWD FRENZYThis time she had vowed not to repeat that error and set the pace from the start and, although it was not a particularly punishing one, her positive move sent the crowd into frenzy.After a slow second lap, Kipyegon and Hassan, the fastest over the distance in the world this year, took it up with 600 to go as Muir and Simpson stayed in their wake in a thrilling last 300.But it was the Kenyan who had the superior staying power as she drove through the line for a brilliant win to follow her 2016 triumph at the Olympics in Rio.Hassan, who slipped to fifth, and then Muir, fourth, ran out of gas over the last few metres, allowing Simpson and Semenya, who has barely run a 1500 in her career but has been unbeatable over two laps, to snatch the minor medals.“My coach has been telling me all day, ‘Be willing to run your guts out and you’ll be great’, so I did exactly what she said,” Simpson said.“The last 300 metres in particular I ran my guts out and it paid off.“Having the experience is huge because having the ability to stay calm is so hard. To come out with a medal, I think it was down to keeping my wits about me.”RISKY MOVESimpson said she has now run a remarkable 17 global championship 1500m races and “learned 17 different ways of running them.”“I don’t think I’ve ever passed on the inside before but for a nanosecond I saw that gap open. It’s risky, it could have closed, but it worked out,” she said.Semenya, who will start as favourite to retain her world title over 800m, said she had enjoyed her major championship experience of the longer distance.“It’s just the beginning for me, you’ll be seeing more of me in the 1500,” she said.“I like the challenge and I think I can do better.”Semenya, whose entire career has been run in the spotlight of questions about her hyperandrogenism and the claimed advantage her high natural testosterone levels give her, was less happy to discuss that situation.“I’ve no time for nonsense about medication,” she said. “My focus is on being healthy and competing.”Ethiopia’s defending champion and world record holder Genzebe Dibaba looked short of fitness and finished last.last_img read more

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Women’s Hockey: Badgers return home following unsuccessful trek to Minneapolis

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (10-1-1, 4-1-1 WCHA) returns to the ice this weekend to host Minnesota State (6-4-2, 2-4-2) at LaBahn Arena.The team is looking to get back on track this weekend after their defeats at the hands of the Minnesota Gophers on Nov. 2 and 3, where the Badgers fell to the Gophers 2–4 and 2–2. In the second matchup, the Gophers triumphed in shootouts 1–0. While the unit faltered a bit on the road, Wisconsin is looking to return to their stellar form that they have assumed at home all season.Women’s Hockey: Wisconsin scuffles in weekend border battle against MinnesotaIn the first border battle of the 2019-20 season, the No. 2 University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team (10-1-1, 4-1-1 Read…The Badgers will return to their home ice in order to defend a 20-game win streak at LaBahn Arena. Dedicated fans surely play a large role in this continued, rampant success. Wisconsin leads the country in attendance, averaging 2,273 fans per home game this year. In addition, Wisconsin has sold out 62 of its last 80 games at LaBahn, including an impressive 20 sellouts last season alone. Season ticket holders are not guaranteed to show up to every game, but Badger nation certainly seems to be in full support of their home team.Minnesota State, up to this point in the season, has failed to capture definitive wins against top WCHA opponents. They are winless against ranked opponents this season as their best finish has been a pair of ties against the top-10 ranked The Ohio State University. This trend will be hard to overcome, especially considering the advantage the Badgers have while competing on their home ice.Women’s Hockey: Daryl Watts’ journey from Boston College transfer to Wisconsin starDaryl Watts started playing hockey around the age of 4, following in the footsteps of her older brother Jackson. Little Read…All signs point toward the Badgers having a dominant comeback performance against Minnesota State — a team they have certainly dominated in the past. Wisconsin is 84-2-3 all-time against Minnesota State. This trend shows little sign of slowing down anytime soon as the Badgers also currently enjoy a 25 game win streak over Minnesota State.If the Badgers are to dominate Minnesota State, look for key offensive players such as Abby Roque, Daryl Watts and Sophie Shirley. This trio has set themselves apart from the rest of the squad in total points per season up to this point. Each of them currently have at least 22 points on the season with Watts leading the pack with 29 total points. The next closest contributor behind these three is Mekenzie Steffen with 15.Women’s Hockey: Minnesota-Wisconsin rivalry best in college sportsSeparated by 273 miles of hate, Minnesota and Wisconsin have always been bitter rivals in athletics. For most, the biggest Read…Wisconsin has all the tools necessary to take down Minnesota State as they return home fresh off of a bye week.last_img read more

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