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Return of fans to English stadiums on hold: UK PM

first_imgPrime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday that the planned return of spectators to sports venues in England could be on hold for six months due to a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.A number of pilot test events, in which capacities have been capped at 1,000, have taken place and it was hoped venues would be allowed to welcome more spectators from the start of October.But Johnson set out a range of tough new restrictions for England designed to limit the spread of COVID-19. “We have to acknowledge that the spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events,” he told the House of Commons.”So we will not be able to do this from October 1 and I recognize the implications for our sports clubs which are the life and soul of our communities, and… the Chancellor and the Culture Secretary are working urgently on what we can do now to support them.”He said the measures being announced on Tuesday would remain in place for “perhaps six months”.It is a devastating blow to sporting organizations, many of whom rely heavily on match-day revenue for survival, and there have already been calls from governing bodies for the government to provide emergency funding. Topics : Professional sport, including the Premier League and Test cricket, has largely been played behind closed doors since it returned following the coronavirus shutdown earlier this year.The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport confirmed all pilot events scheduled for September had now been cancelled. They will now take place with no fans. Stark warning The English Football League has estimated its clubs will lose a collective £200 million ($255 million) without fans in stadiums for the whole of the 2020/21 season.The Premier League warned of the “devastating impact” the continued absence of supporters was beginning to have on its clubs and communities.”Football is not the same without attending fans and the football economy is unsustainable without them,” the league said in a statement.”Last season, Premier League clubs suffered £700 million in losses and at present, our national game is losing more than £100 million per month. This is starting to have a devastating impact on clubs and their communities.”We are confident that Premier League clubs, using innovative ways to get supporters safely back into grounds, will enable revenues to return to all levels of the game, as well as maintain solidarity arrangements, current tax contributions and financial support for local and national economies.”The Football Supporters’ Association said it was “crucial” to the survival of clubs to get spectators back into grounds as soon as it was safe to do so.Bristol Bears boss Pat Lam said a ban on fans for up to six months would have a “huge impact” on rugby clubs in the English PremiershipThe Jockey Club called for direct government support.”Without paying spectators, the largest revenue streams for many sports have been cut off for six months to date,” said group chief executive Nevin Truesdale.”And, with no prospect of a change soon, this threatens the survival of sports organizations and the many livelihoods they support.”last_img read more

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Rio: It’s the right time to retire

first_imgFormer England captain Rio Ferdinand has brought his near 20-year playing career to an end following his recent release from QPR. Manchester United then paid £29.1million for his services in July 2002, a world-record fee for a defender, and it was at Old Trafford where he became regarded as one of the finest centre-halves in the world. Ferdinand, who formed an excellent partnership alongside Nemanja Vidic for many years at United, believes that would not have been possible without the help of Sir Alex Ferguson. “Winning trophies over my 13 years at Manchester United allowed me to achieve everything that I desired in football. From a young child to today, that was all I cared about,” he said. “None of that would have been possible, without the genius of one man, Sir Alex Ferguson. His greatest accomplishment in my eyes will always be how he developed us as men, not just as footballers. He will in my opinion, always be the greatest manager in British football history.” There were low moments too. He was given an eight-month suspension at club and international level from January 2004 for missing a drugs test, meaning he missed the rest of the season and that year’s European Championship. He did play in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups but an injury ruled out an appearance in South Africa in 2010, a few months after he was named captain of the side. He announced his international retirement in May 2013 having endured an acrimonious previous 12 months that included being left out of the Euro 2012 squad, leading to rumours of an ill-tempered relationship with John Terry, who at the time was awaiting trial for racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother Rio. After making over 300 appearances with the Red Devils, he linked up with Harry Redknapp again last summer, but it was not be a fitting farewell as QPR were relegated from the top-flight. Saturday’s announcement prompted several former Manchester United and England team-mates to pay tribute. Paul Scholes said: “He was a great player, without a doubt the best centre-half I ever played with.” Michael Owen concurred, saying: “What a player he was, absolute Rolls Royce.” Gary Neville also added his praise on Twitter, saying: “Congratulations to @rioferdy5 on his great career. Best I played with and best pairings I’ve seen with Vida/JT. Covered me very well too!” Jonny Evans, who played alongside Ferdinand on many occasions at Old Trafford, told Press Association Sport: “He was the modern day centre-back that everyone looked to. Training every day and playing with him, he was someone I tried to replicate in my own game. “I had the opportunity to play alongside Rio for a lot of years and he was someone who had the ability to make the game seem so easy. “Anyone who’s played with him would tell you that. “He transmitted that to the rest of the team and he was a great character in the dressing room. “More than anything he was a winner and a leader. His trophy record reflects that” The 36-year-old, who played 81 times for England, was quietly released along with several other players on Wednesday by the recently relegated Rangers and he has decided against finding another club. In a statement, he said: “After 18 years as a professional footballer, I now feel it’s the right time for me to retire from the game that I love. “As a 12-year-old boy, kicking around a football on the Friary Estate in Peckham, I never dreamt that I would play for my boyhood club West Ham, captain Leeds United, win the Champions League with Manchester United, or re-join my first manager Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers. “I will always regard the 81 times that I played for England, with immense pride. These are all treasured memories that will last a lifetime. “I’d like to thank and pay tribute to my wife Rebecca and my family, including my mother and father, for their sacrifices, their encouragement and their advice throughout my career. “And finally, I’d like to thank all the fans from all the clubs – for without them professional football would not exist. I will miss each and every one of you on my Saturday afternoons.” Ferdinand made over 100 appearances for the Hammers in four years, while he was also given his England bow at the age of 19 while still at Upton Park. He built his reputation as a lithe defender capable of starting attacks from the backline, which convinced Leeds to splash out a then British record £18million in November 2000 on the Londoner, who went on to captain the side in the 2001/02 season. Ferdinand made his senior debut as a 17-year-old in May 1996 with West Ham before going on to complete big money moves to Leeds and Manchester United, with whom he won six Premier League titles and the FA Cup and Champions League once. He switched to QPR last year after failing to win a new deal at Old Trafford, but the central defender struggled to hold down a regular first-team place and was absent for the closing stages of the season after his wife Rebecca Ellison died following a battle with cancer on May 1. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Assam Premier Club Championship: Nambor Club win title in Golaghat

first_imgOur Sports ReporterGUWAHATI: Nambor Club won the Golaghat chapter of Assam Premier Club Championship as they defeated Amulapotty by 55 runs at Golaghat Stadium today.Electing to bat first, Nambor were bundled out for just 138 runs, but their bowlers, specially Nipumoni Kumar who took 6 wickets, restricted the opponent at 83 in 24th over.Brief Score: Nambor Club 138/10 in 34.2 overs (Raja Saikia 37, Sibsankar Roy 23, Antorikh Kashyap 5/23) beat Amulapotty 83/10 in 23.3 overs (Bedanta Saikia 24, Nipumoni Kumar 6/16).From Udalguri: Saurav Mousum Dihingia hit a century as Dhemaji Cricket Club beat Udalguri Lions Club by 92 runs in a Zonal level match here. Brief Score: Dhemaji CC 241/6 in 40 overs (Saurav Mousum Dihingia 101no, Manab Buragohain 63) beat Udalguri Lions Club 149/10 in 35.4 overs (Gurprit Singh 29, Kunal Das 28, Manab Buragohain 3/34, Rajesh Prasad 3/34, Joseph Buragohain 3/36).From Tezpur: Nakari Club of Lakhimpur thrashed Biswanath Blue Warrior by 42 runs in the North Assam Zonal level match. Brief Score: Nakari Club 200/10 in 39.1 overs (Sunzow Brahma 50, Jitumoni Kalita 34, Roktim Bonia 35, Altaf Ali 2/14) beat Biswanath Blue Warrior 158/10 in 30.4 overs (Dibash Hazarika 35, Jogeswar Bhumij 33, Amlan Talukdar 4/53).From Bongaigaon: Bongaigaon Cricket Coaching Centre won by 5 wickets against Tribeni Sangha in the Lowar Assam Zonal level match. Brief Score: Tribeni Sangha 116/10 in 35.5 overs (Pradip Sarkar 4/19) lost to Bongaigaon CCC 120/5 in 25.3 overs (Bishal Roy 49, Subhadeep Chakraborty 33, Deepjyoti Adhikary 4/39).From Kokrajhar: United Sports Association outplayed Deshbanshu Club by 8 wickets in the Lowar Assam Zonal level match. Brief Score: Deshbanshu Club 97/10 in 23.4 overs (Kishor Choudhury 3/11, Sujit Deury 3/14) lost to United SA 100/2 in 12.1 overs (Prantar Sarma 36no).From Sivasagar: CCD registered 9-wicket win over Phoenix CCC in the District level match at Outdoor stadium. Brief Score: Phoenix CCC 93/10 in 27 overs (Phanindra Sonowal 3/23) lost to CCD 95/1 in 13.2 overs (Yasir Ali 42no, Siddhart Doshi 28no.Also read: Local Sportslast_img read more

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England appoint Gough as fast bowling consultant ahead of NZ Tests

first_img(REUTERS) – Former seamer Darren Gough has been appointed as England’s fast bowling consultant for the warm-up period leading into November’s two-test tour of New Zealand, the country’s cricket board (ECB) said on Wednesday.Gough claimed 229 wickets in 58 Tests for England between 1994 and 2003.“I’m delighted to have Darren on board,” England head coach Chris Silverwood said in a statement.“I have known him a long time and his vast knowledge and experience at international level will drive our bowling unit forward leading into the two-match test series. He will be excellent around the group and will settle in quickly.”England are without a bowling coach after Silverwood was promoted to head coach’s role earlier this month.Gough, a former Yorkshire team mate of Silverwood, will join the test squad in Auckland on Nov. 5 and will work with the pace attack for two weeks before the first test in Mount Maunganui which begins on Nov. 21.“It is a tremendous honour to be asked by Chris Silverwood and Ashley Giles to be involved in this elite environment,” Gough said.“I will gain a lot from the experience and to work at this level will benefit me as a coach for the long-term.”last_img read more

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