Sports (85)

The FA says that it "remains committed" to finding a way in which to conclude the season and is open to playing up until the end of June

The Football Association (FA) has confirmed that there will be no professional football in England, including the Premier League, until at least April 30 as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Initially, fixtures in the country were suspended until the weekend of April 3-5 as a minimum, but this has been extended as the UK battles the pandemic, with more than 2,500 cases confirmed in the country.

The governing body released a statement on Thursday, which said: "The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA, understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by Covid-19.

"We're united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019-20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

"We've collectively supported UEFA in postponing Euro 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.

"The FA’s Rules and Regulations state that “the season shall terminate no later than June 1” and “each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season”.

"However, our Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019-20 season in relation to professional football. Additionally, we've collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday, April 30.

"The progress of Covid-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.

"We will continue to follow Government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow.

"We would all like to re-emphasise that our thoughts are with everyone affected by Covid-19."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi are two highest profile figures within English football to have tested positive for the disease, which has killed in excess of 100 people in the UK.

It was announced on Wednesday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that schools would be closed from Friday onwards, but no parts of the country have yet been put into lockdown despite such measures being taken elsewhere in Europe.

Odion Ighalo will be happy to take a £6million pay cut in order to make his loan move to Manchester Unitedpermanent, according to The Sun.

He is currently on loan at Old Trafford from Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season.

However, he has impressed so far, and boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to retain his services for next season. 

The striker currently earns £240,000-a-week from Shanghai, but reportedly wouldn't mind taking around a 50% pay cut to join United full-time. 

Ighalo's contract runs until the start of 2021, but United have an option to buy him in the summer transfer window.  

The 30-year-old has scored four goals in eight appearances so far, helping United put together a long unbeaten run. 

Solskjaer said: 'he will improve and get better but he has qualities we saw in him and we needed and we will still need those qualities for next season, so let's see what we will do.

'He knows his job and what his role in the team is, and he's very good with his back to goal, great link player, but maybe the best thing about him is his personality, so he's got the whole lot really.

'He had three touches before his fourth was the finish. All them touches were high quality but he had to make them to create space for himself. But the strike is on the half-volley, great timing, no one would have saved that one so anyone would have been proud of that finish.'

Chelsea men’s team player Callum Hudson-Odoi had a positive test result for Coronavirus returned this evening.

This is coming few hours after Arsenal's head coach, Mikel Arteta was also confirmed to have tested positive to the virus.

Chelsea personnel who had recent close contact with the player in the men’s team building will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. These will include initially the full men’s team squad, coaching staff and a number of backroom staff.

It is expected that those who did not have close contact with Callum will return to work in the coming days. In the meantime, the men’s team building, one of several separate buildings at our training ground, will remain closed. The rest of our training facility, Stamford Bridge and our other facilities are operating as normal.

Callum displayed symptoms similar to a mild cold on Monday morning and has not been at the training ground since then as a precaution. However, his test came in positive this evening and he will undergo a period of self-isolation. Despite testing positive for the virus, Callum is doing well and looking forward to returning to the training ground as soon as it is possible.

We will continue to adhere to Government and Public Health Guidelines with regard to our facilities and staff and will be discussing next steps with regards to upcoming fixtures with the Premier League on Friday morning. We will provide further updates as necessary via the club’s website.

We wish Callum a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to the club soon.

All sport in Italy has been suspended until at least 3 April because of coronavirus, the country's prime minister Giuseppe Conte has announced.

This includes Serie A but not Italian clubs or national teams participating in international competitions.

Serie A - Italy's top flight - had already said all games would be played behind closed doors until 3 April.

Giuseppe Conte extended a series of strict quarantine measures, including a ban on public gatherings, to all of Italy.

Earlier, Italy's Olympic committee (CONI) recommended the move to suspend all sport at all levels after hosting a special meeting of sporting federations on Monday.

Italy has been the European country worst hit by coronavirus so far, with over 9,000 confirmed cases and more than 450 deaths.

"This situation has no precedent in history," a
CONI statement said.

Image result for Coronavirus: Italy Suspends Serie A And All Sport Activities

The announcement from CONI came just after Sassuolo v Brescia kicked off in Serie A.

The game carried on and Sassuolo won 3-0.

It was also confirmed on Monday that Serie A side Roma's Europa League tie at Sevilla on Thursday will be played behind closed doors.

In rugby union, England's men's and women's Six Nations matches against Italy, which were scheduled to take place on 14 March and 15 March respectively, were postponed last week.

At the weekend, Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora accused Serie A of being "irresponsible" for ignoring his calls for football to be suspended because of the outbreak.

He said it made "no sense" for football to continue when, at that stage, up to 16 million people had been placed in quarantine in northern Italy in a bid to contain the spread of the virus - but the weekend's games all took place behind closed doors.

Parma's fixture against SPAL on Sunday kicked off 75 minutes late as they awaited a decision on whether the match would go ahead after Spadafora's comments.

There have been reports on Monday that the French sports ministry had decided matches in Ligue 1 - the country's top-flight football competition - should be played behind closed doors or in front of no more than 1,000 spectators as a measure to limit the spread of the virus.

Paris St-Germain's Champions League last-16 match against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday will be played without fans because of coronavirus.

A member of Nasarawa United Football Club (NUFC), Martins Chineme, on Sunday evening slumped and died on football pitch at the Lafia Township Staduim in Nasarawa state.

The Solid Miners’ star mysteriously passed away during Sunday’s Nigeria top-flight game
Nasarawa United’s Chieme Martins has tragically passed away during Sunday’s Nigeria Professional League clash against Katsina United.

The player slumped after a collision with an opposing player.

When the game was still goalless, Martins collided with a Katsina United player and fainted.

Chairman of the League Management Company, Shehu Dikko anticipates an autopsy to establish the cause of the player’s death.

“We commiserate with Nasarawa United and the immediate family of the late player,” said Dikko in a statement.

“It is hoped that the findings of the autopsy would inform subsequent measures, if any, that has not been addressed by the existing standard procedure.”

Anthony Martial could be fairly satisfied with his day's work on Sunday afternoon, scoring a goal and winning Man Of The Match as Manchester United beat Man City 2-0.

But it wasn't all easy for the Frenchman, who took to social media to share images of the wounds he picked up during the high octane derby.

Martial was struck down injured in the second half when he collided with the woodwork after pressing City goalkeeper Ederson. He ended up in the net and needed treatment from United's medical staff.

He initially played on but was eventually replaced on the 78-minute mark by Scott McTominay — who then scored the second and match-sealing goal from long range.

White the cuts look bad, it doesn't appear to be too serious a problem. Martial used a 'pained' and a 'laughing' emoji alongside his Instagram story post.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope Martial is fit to keep his place in the side, despite substitute Odion Ighalo having an excellent impact against City — as he has in many games since his January arrival.

United still have forward Marcus Rashford out injured with a double stress fracture in his back. Martial is likely to be fine and ready to feature as United travel to Austrian side LASK on Thursday night for the first leg of their Europa League last 16 tie.

The Premier League has announced that the pre-match handshakes between both teams and officials will take not place until further notice because of fears over the spread of coronavirus.

The measure comes the day after the government asked the league "to step up its contingency planning".

The teams will still line up as usual but the home team will walk past the away side without shaking hands.

There have been more than 90,000 cases of the virus in 87 countries.

Government tells Premier League to 'step up' coronavirus planningValencia v Atalanta in Champions League to be played behind closed doorsCoronavirus sport timeline

A statement on the Premier League's website said: "The Premier League fair-play handshake will not take place between players and match officials from this weekend until further notice based on medical advice.

"Coronavirus is spread via droplets from the nose and mouth and can be transmitted on to the hands and passed on via a handshake."

Premier League leaders Liverpool announced on Thursday that they would not be having mascots at Anfield.

They have also cancelled staff travelling to any high-risk countries and "reminded everyone of good hygiene practices".

The club also said there will be "hand sanitisers and/or antibacterial handwash in all the washrooms at Anfield" as well as hygiene information posters.

Last week Newcastle manager Steve Bruce said the club had stopped their morning handshake ritualwhile West Ham boss David Moyes said the players would be fist bumping instead of shaking hands.

Southampton also banned players from signing autographs or taking selfies with fans.

League One club Sunderland have also told their players to not go abroad during their upcoming break.

A Top Kenya rugby star has died after he collapsed at his home.


28-year-old Tony Onyango reportedly collapsed on Tuesday night, March 3 at his home in Ngong, Kajiado County after returning from training.


The Kenya Simbas and KCB Rugby Club fullback was said to be in good health and even attended training in the evening ahead of the Kenya Cup playoffs set for this weekend before his sudden death.


Top Rugby star Tony Onyango dies after collapsing at home


Confirming his death, his Team Manager Philip Wamae said in a statement: "It is with seismic disturbance that we announce the sudden death of our KCB Rugby player Tony Onyango Opondo. This happened at his home in Ngong on the 3rd of March 2020. We will update on further details. We ask for your prayers during this trying time." 


Onyango's body has been deposited at the Umash Funeral Home located opposite Armed Forces Memorial along Mbagathi Way, Nairobi.


Top Rugby star Tony Onyango dies after collapsing at home


He leaves behind a wife and a son.

Young Nigerian striker Shola Shoretire has signed a deal with Manchester United, commiting his future to the Old Trafford club.


Shola who is eligible to represent Nigeria and England has signed scholarship forms with Manchester United until next year when he turns to a professional Man United player, rejecting the advances of many European clubs that wanted his signature.

  16 year old Nigerian striker Shola Shoretire signs deal with Manchester United

Shoretire was fully promoted to United's U18 team before the beginning of this season and has appeared in 12 matches in the U18 Premier League. 

On December 12, 2018, Shola became the youngest Manchester United player in history to feature in the UEFA Youth League and Cup game aged 14 years and 314 days after coming on as a substitute against Valencia U19s team. 


 16 year old Nigerian striker Shola Shoretire signs deal with Manchester United


After the win over Wigan on Friday where Shola scored for the Under 18 team after spending the day at school studying for his GCSEs, Under-18 coach Neil Ryan said: "He was at school today, all day! Then he came over to Old Trafford to play.

"It's incredible really. Different day for him compared to other players. ".

He said: "We want to keep them humble, hard-working.

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has allayed the fears of Liverpool fans who are worried that the government might cancel the premier league season due to the coronavirus outbreak, thereby denying Liverpool the opportunity to win their first English Premier League title.

Liverpool have had to wait since 1990 to win a league title and have never won the Premier League. According to reports, fans of Liverpool are scared that the EPL results this season might be cancelled as fears of the spread of the deadly coronavirus has forced sporting events around Europe to shut down.


Though there is no legislation in place stating that the final league standings this season be curtailed prematurely, Klopp has rubbished suggestions his side could be denied the title this season.


  Jurgen Klopp addresses concerns that coronavirus outbreak could stop Liverpool from winning their first ever Premier League title

Klopp speaking to reporters on Monday said: ‘I don’t think that our fans are paranoid, I think people who are not interested are bringing up these stories. ‘I can’t believe that Liverpool fans are thinking about it, and I actually speak to Liverpool fans.

'If anybody wants to ask me about that, and how much sense it would make to delete all the results of this season and tell me who will play next year Champions League and stuff like this. Would be really interesting. ‘Nice story, always obviously some newspapers they always have to write something.

‘But when I saw it first time I really thought, “Wow! Really somebody thinks something like that?” But Liverpool fans are not silly enough to believe in these things.’


Liverpool maintain a 22-point lead at the top of the table.

Page 1 of 7