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first_imgRelatedPosts Vidal lands in Milan to complete move from Barca to Inter Barca president Bartomeu says he won’t go to war anymore with Messi Bale completes Tottenham return from Real Madrid Barcelona coach, Quique Setien, is pessimistic that the Spanish top flight season will be completed and has called La Liga’s conditions for the campaign recommencing “a non-starter” due to the continued threat of the novel coronavirus.La Liga has been on hold since March 10 due to the pandemic, although president Javier Tebas has said matches could start up again on either May 29, June 7 or June 28, most likely without spectators.Tebas has estimated Spanish clubs would lose around one billion euros ($1.09 billion) if the season is not completed.A draft of the league’s protocol for returning to training and matches, once given the green light by health authorities, recommends that clubs hold training camps at their training grounds or hotels for a two-week period before matches can start again.Added the protocol: “Only first team players, coaching staff and a small number of other staff would be allowed to access the facility, with everyone at the training camp being subjected to two COVID-19 tests before accessing the site.“Testing would continue to take place during the camps.”But Setien, whose Barca side held a two-point lead over Real Madrid at the top of the standings when the campaign was indefinitely postponed, does not think it is so simple.Setien told Catalan radio station RAC1 on Thursday: “Everyone wants to be ready for when the season starts again but that cannot happen until the health authorities can guarantee that there will be no problems.“I have read the protocol and the reality is I don’t know if it can be carried out as it is written, I think it’s unworkable, I think it’s very difficult logistically.”Barca midfielder Sergio Busquets also expressed doubts about the feasibility of clubs holding training camps.Busquets told Spanish radio stations Onda Cero and Cadena Cope: “We can start training again little by little but it will be difficult once everyone comes together and the competition starts again and teams start travelling.“I have heard that La Liga wants teams to concentrate for a few months, I think that’s too much and it cannot be done. There will be too many problems.”La Liga declined to comment on Setien and Busquets’ comments although a source close to the matter said stakeholders were continuing to discuss a plan to return to matches along with the association of European leagues.“The objective of La Liga is to create a protocol of the highest possible standard that can allow return to training and get us in a good, healthy, way to the light at the end of this dark tunnel,” added the source.More than 19,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Spain although this week the government loosened the terms of a strict lockdown to allow some businesses back to work.Reuters/NAN.Tags: FC BarcelonaLa LigaQuique Setienlast_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Three years after being crowned the national champion at home, India’s star boxer Shiva Thapa aims to make his homecoming special by picking up the 60kg gold as the second edition of the India Open kicks off at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium in Guwahati, Assam from May 20. Having suffered an upset loss in the semi-finals in the first edition of the India Open at New Delhi last year, the 2015 World Championships bronze medallist is determined to make amends this time.Armed with a silver medal from the GeeBee Boxing Tournament and a bronze medal from the Asian Championships this year, the 25-year-old once again looks sharp and agile and is hungry to prove himself.“Yes, there are a lot of expectations from me for the gold,” said Thapa. “I recently got a bronze medal from the Asian Championships and that tells me that the gold is not far off. I am hungry to change the color of the medal which is what I think every boxer would want to. And it will be all the sweeter if it comes at home in front of my own people,” added Thapa, oozing confidence.The Guwahati pugilist, who created history in Bangkok when he became the first Indian to win a medal in four consecutive editions of the continental event, is now leaving no stone unturned, especially with the World Championships, which is an Olympic qualifier, coming up.“Performing well here will give me a huge boost of confidence ahead of the World Championships. It will be critical to analyze the players who are coming to the India Open as I’ll have to compete with quite a few of them in the World Championships as well,” Shiva Thapa said.Thapa is among 6 Assamese boxers who will vie for the title at the upcoming India Open. Getting a chance to perform in front of his city people gives the former Asian champion an extra impetus to do well. Acknowledging the tremendous support he gets every time he plays at home, Thapa praised the amazing sports environment in Guwahati.“I am very excited to get a chance to play in my hometown,” said Shiva Thapa. “There is an amazing sports environment in the city and people enthusiastically keep supporting the homegrown players. I am sure there will be a lot of people who would want to be a spectator of this mega event and be a part of it,” he hoped.Shiva also expressed optimism that organizing such high-profile events in Assam will help to churn out more talent from the North-East which is a powerhouse of boxing talent and has already contributed immensely to India’s medal tally at major competitions.“Getting a chance to inspire youngsters is a major source of motivation for us. When we first began at the Sub-junior level, we used to get inspired by watching our seniors and how they used to play.“Same way, if we too can motivate more youngsters to join our sport, it’s really a blessing for us. Definitely, the North-east is a powerhouse of talent. If such major tournaments keep happening in the North-east, there will be a lot many youths and youngsters who will come up and take up sports as a profession,” explained Thapa.Also Read: SPORTS NEWSlast_img read more

first_imgThe Russia-based league shut down in March but didn’t immediately decide how the final standings would be determined. The league is widely considered to be the strongest outside the NHL.The KHL says the eight teams still in the playoffs at the time the season ended will be ruled as jointly finishing in the top eight positions.___Soccer clubs from Germany’s top two divisions will discuss setting a date to resume the suspended season amid the coronavirus pandemic. It could be as soon as next week.The German Football League’s board reportedly favors a start date of May 15 but some clubs want it later. He says “we’ll know if we’ve had it only once they test us before training.”Brescia president Massimo Cellino has also been a vociferous opponent to resuming the season but says it’s not because he wants his club to avoid relegation.The Italian government has not yet approved the resumption of the season.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The F1 season hasn’t started yet because of the coronavirus pandemic.___The Gibraltar soccer federation says it has declared the league season null and void with no champion.The top two teams in the league were Europa and St. Joseph’s when the coronavirus pandemic caused the season to be suspended. The federation says they were so close in the standings it could not declare a champion “in the interests of sporting integrity.”The federation said last week that on government advice the season could not be completed by a UEFA-set deadline for Gibraltar of July 20. The clay-court tournament at Roland Garros was initially slated to be held May 24-June 7 but has been rescheduled for Sept. 20-Oct. 4.The FFT says it “has taken the decision to cancel and refund all tickets purchased for the original dates of Roland Garros.”The FFT is also working closely with French authorities “to establish the necessary measures which will ensure the health and security of all guests attending the tournament.”Refunds will be received by end of May and a new ticketing procedure will be opened if the tournament goes ahead.___ Brescia captain Daniele Gastaldello says his entire squad opposes resuming the Serie A soccer season amid the coronavirus pandemic.Gastaldello tells Italian daily La Repubblica “we don’t feel safe. They’re asking us to resume training and to get back out onto the field right away … It’s putting all of the players’ safety on the line.”He says “I’m speaking for me and for my teammates” and adds it’s not worth it “if the price of resuming is us getting seriously injured.”Most clubs in the Italian league are resuming training on an individual basis this week but last-place Brescia is one of the holdouts.Brescia is one of areas hit hardest by the virus but Gastaldello says he was never tested. The Latest: French Open ticket buyers to get refunds May 7, 2020 Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says on sports daily L’Equipe’s website “it might not be too late to imagine … something coherent on a political level.”He adds that “by adapting our methods we could probably have finished the league.”Aulas argued for a playoff system to end the league by late August and reserved the possibility to claim damages he estimated at tens of millions of euros (dollars).___The Kontinental Hockey League says it will not name a champion after it stopped the season part-way through the playoffs because of the coronavirus pandemic. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The French Tennis Federation says it will refund tickets purchased for the French Open because of uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic. Werder Bremen sporting director Frank Baumann backs a May 23 start to “reduce the injury risk” with more training and because some clubs were cleared to return to training earlier than others. Mainz wants two weeks to prepare.The league was given the go-ahead Wednesday to play in empty stadiums following a meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and state governors.More teams are returning to full-team training instead of working in small groups. Borussia Mönchengladbach is resuming full training despite what it called “very weak positive” coronavirus tests for one player and one staff member. The club says the player has since tested negative twice and the staff member is isolating at home after one negative test.___ Formula One says Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and Barcelona midfielder Arthur will compete alongside drivers in this weekend’s virtual Spanish Grand Prix.Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Alex Albon, Antonio Giovinazzi, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will be the F1 drivers in Sunday’s event.Aguero will race for Red Bull alongside Albon. Courtois will run for Alfa Romeo in his second virtual race. Arthur will be with Haas.Golfer Ian Poulter will make his third appearance with Renault.The virtual Spanish GP will take place during the same weekend the real race was scheduled to run at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit. The race will consist of a qualifying session and a 33-lap race. Associated Press Europa will enter next season’s Champions League qualifying rounds. St. Joseph’s and third-place Lincoln Red Imps will enter the Europa League.___The president of French soccer club Lyon says he hopes the resumption of the German league can prompt a reversal of the decision to end the season in his own country.The top two leagues in Germany have been given the go-ahead to play in empty stadiums following a meeting between Chancellor Angela Merkel and state governors.The 10 remaining league matches in France were canceled last week. Paris Saint-Germain was declared champion and Lyon finished outside the European places in seventh.last_img read more