Ref quits after attack
Referee Bachir Awasa was glad to have escaped alive after being assaulted by players and staff in a domestic second-division match last weekend, but has decided to quit following the experience. Awasa was kicked and chased around the pitch in Beirut after showing a red card to an al-Nahda player in Saturday’s match against al-Salam Zgharta. “From the reaction of the players and the staff I expected to be harmed in a grave way ... to be honest I did not expect to get out alive,” the referee told al Jadeed television on Friday. “Usually, whenever we issue a red card we expect a reaction from the player ... and indeed that is what happened. He ran after me and attacked me. When he tried to hit me I tried to run and then coach Mahmoud Seif Eddine also attacked me and other staff ran after me and things got out of hand and I tried to run from one place to the other.”
Nuremberg down Augsburg
Hiroshi Kiyotake scored the opening goal and drew a foul that led to the winner as Nuremberg beat Augsburg 2-1 in the Bundesliga on Friday. The Japan midfielder curled a left-foot shot inside the far post in the 21st minute after a good pass from Alexander Esswein. Augsburg equalized in the 36th when Tobias Werner headed a cross and Nuremberg goalkeeper Raphael Schaefer caught the ball before dropping it and letting it trickle through his legs, and across the line. Esswein scored Nuremberg’s winner in the 54th minute after Kiyotake was brought down on the edge of the box. Esswein drilled his free-kick through the wall after one of his teammates moved to create a gap. Nuremberg moved 10 points above the relegation playoff spot, occupied by Augsburg..
Player puts sick son first
A Greek player has given up playing in the top-flight Super League and joined a fifth-division German team in order to be near his sick son, Athens sports daily Goal News said on Friday. Former Levadiakos defender Giannis Alexiou, 28, has switched to KFC Uerdingen 05 after his new-born son Thanos was diagnosed with a rare lung disease, hyperoxaluria type 1, and had to be taken to a children’s hospital in Athens. Months of therapy in Athens and Thessaloniki failed to cure the child, prompting Alexiou to take his son to Germany, where his condition is being treated. “The only thing that mattered was the child and not my career. I did not come to Germany to quit football, either. I’m here to be near my child,” Alexiou said. With bitterness he spoke about his former team, where he was asked to accept a 30 percent pay cut at a time when he needed funds to pay his son’s medical bills. Alexiou said Livadiakos had also promised to help pay 25,000 euros (US$32,500) of medical bills, but failed to do so.
Late strike earns Betis win
Striker Ruben Castro scored late to give Real Betis Balompie a 2-1 win over CA Osasuna on Friday, as the Andalucian side rose to provisional fifth place in the Spanish league. Jorge Molina gave Betis the lead on a rain-soaked home pitch when he headed in Joel Campbell’s cross in the 19th minute. Osasuna made two substitutions at halftime and came back into the game, with Francisco Silva equalizing in the 73rd minute on the break. However, Betis coach Pepe Mel sent on Dorlan Pabon in the 78th and a minute later the Colombian threaded a perfect through pass for Castro to roll under the goalkeeper.
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions