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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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CL heartache not new for United, insists Mourinho

first_imgMourinho was on the winning side that night as Real Madrid manager and also sent United out of the last 16 when Porto boss in 2004.“I’ve sat in this chair twice before with Porto, Manchester United out, and Real Madrid, Manchester United out, so I don’t think it’s anything new for the club,” said Mourinho, who bristled at questions over his tactical approach.“I don’t want to make a drama of it. We have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours, that’s football. It’s not the end of the world.”The visitors were deserving winners as they controlled the game throughout, but had to wait for Ben Yedder’s introduction as a substitute 18 minutes from time to add a clinical finish by taking his Champions League tally for the season to eight goals in seven appearances.Ben Yedder put Sevilla in front two minutes later when he blasted into the bottom corner before heading in a second shortly after.Romelu Lukaku reduced United’s arrears, but it was too little, too late with Mourinho’s decision to once again drop Paul Pogba certain to be scrutinised.“In the first half we played a good game apart from the last 30 metres,” said Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella.“In the second half we were more clinical with Ben Yedder, he made the difference today.”Mourinho sprang a surprise before kick-off by recalling Marouane Fellaini at the expense of Pogba, who had also been dropped for the first game.Sevilla dominated the vast majority of the first leg only to be denied by some stunning saves from David de Gea.However, it was wayward finishing rather than the Spanish number one that prevented the visitors making the most of their ascendency for most of the match.Indeed, of Sevilla’s 10 efforts on goal in the first period only one weak Muriel effort forced De Gea into making a save.– Fellaini gamble backfires –Substitute Wissam Ben Yedder’s second goal looped over the line to finish off United © AFP / Oli SCARFFMourinho’s gamble on Fellaini appeared to have largely backfired as he failed to impose his physical presence on Sevilla’s ball players in midfield.Yet, the Belgian nearly made the breakthrough with United’s best move of the opening period when he latched onto Alexis Sanchez’s layoff and his powerful effort was turned behind by Sergio Rico.The second period began in the same vein as the first with Sevilla on the front foot, and only a brilliant last-ditch tackle by Eric Bailly denied Correa a clear sight of goal.Pogba, who cost United a then-world record £89 million ($116 million) in 2016, was eventually introduced just after the hour mark with Fellaini sacrificed.However, even the Frenchman couldn’t kickstart the hosts and they were eventually made to pay.Ben Yedder had only been on the pitch for two minutes after replacing Muriel when he finally broke the deadlock in the tie with a brilliant finish low into De Gea’s bottom left-hand corner.“Manchester United have experience in the Champions League, it was a special game for us,” said Ben Yedder.“But I believed in myself, believed in the team and we showed we are a great team.”Mourinho responded by throwing on Anthony Martial and Juan Mata, but their attacking edge was needed far earlier as Ben Yedder soon put the outcome beyond any doubt when he forced home a corner at the far post despite a despairing effort by De Gea.Lukaku finally got United on the board six minutes from time when he swept home Marcus Rashford’s corner.But it was to little avail as United have now failed to reach the quarter-finals for four straight years.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Jose Mourinho’s United put in a lifeless display and were dumped out by Sevilla © AFP / Oli SCARFFMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Mar 14 – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted European disappointment is nothing new for the English giants after losing 2-1 to Sevilla at Old Trafford to crash out of the Champions League by the same scoreline on aggregate.Wissam Ben Yedder struck twice in four second-half minutes on Tuesday to send Sevilla into the quarter-finals for the first time in 60 years as United suffered a first European home defeat since Alex Ferguson’s Champions League farewell in 2013.last_img read more

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