Suarez may play ‘Classico’
Disgraced Uruguay international striker Luis Suarez, who is serving a four-month ban for a biting incident at the FIFA World Cup, could make his Barcelona debut against Real Madrid in El Clasico in October. La Liga announced its fixtures for the season on Thursday and the first meeting of the two Spanish giants will be on the weekend of Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 at Real’s Santiago Bernabeu. However, Suarez would only be able to play if the match went ahead on Oct. 26, the day after his suspension ends. The 27-year-old was given a nine-match international ban and suspended for four months from any soccer-related activities by FIFA after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in a Group D match last month. Earlier this month, Suarez was transferred from Liverpool to Barca for a fee that media reports put at 81 million euros (US$109 million). After an initial appeal against the ban was rejected, Barca decided to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). If CAS decides to cut the suspension, Suarez could appear for his new club earlier.
Lampard signs for New York
New York City introduced Frank Lampard in Brooklyn after signing the 36-year-old former Chelsea midfielder to a two-year contract on Thursday. “Why not New York? Talk about ticking all the boxes. I want to carry on challenging myself,” Lampard said at a press conference. “That’s a great challenge, isn’t it? City of hopes and dreams. That’s where you want to go to and play isn’t it?” The club owned by Manchester City and the New York Yankees previously signed David Villa of Atletico Madrid. Lampard was asked about a widely reported encounter with US travelers in 2001, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when he and teammates were fined following reports they were behaving drunkenly and boorishly in front of distraught Americans. “I was naive and a young boy at the time and I have some regrets,” Lampard said. “I categorically didn’t insult anyone, set out to insult anyone, behave badly in front of Americans or in fact anyone.”
Andy Carroll out injured
West Ham United striker Andy Carroll has revealed he will miss the start of the Premier League season after suffering a serious ankle injury. Carroll was sidelined for much of last season due to a recurring foot problem and the England international’s injury troubles have resurfaced. The 25-year-old, who cost West Ham a club record ￡15 million (US$25 million), had already been ruled out of his side’s two friendlies on their tour of New Zealand as a result of the ankle problem and reports suggest Carroll could now be out for up to another four months after the former Liverpool and Newcastle United star admitted he requires surgery to fix the issue. “Going under the knife tomorrow morning and absolutely devastated to be missing the start of the season,” Carroll tweeted.
Pinto quits national team
Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto announced on Thursday that he was parting company with the Central American side after a breakdown in talks with the national federation. Colombian Pinto, 61, had coached Los Ticos since 2011, leading them to an historic World Cup quarter-final. Costa Rica lost to the Netherlands on penalties, but they were not beaten in open play, despite facing three former World Cup winners as well as former European champions Greece. In a 30-year coaching career, Pinto has also led clubs in Colombia and Peru.
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
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
MEDIA RUMORS? With no pay agreement secured and players’ representatives calling for more financial information ahead of talks, the sport had another week of bad press Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle could be sacked in a matter of days, media reported yesterday, as the embattled governing body struggles to deal with a financial crisis compounded by a shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Castle this week took a 50 percent pay cut and laid off 75 percent of Rugby Australia (RA) staff members, saying that the body would face losses of up to A$120 million (US$71.95 million) if no more rugby was played this year. With no pay agreement secured with the players and their representatives calling on RA to provide more financial information ahead of negotiations, the
OLYMPICS Delay pushes rower to retire British rowing gold medalist Tom Ransley on Friday announced his retirement after deciding that the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games to next year was a step too far. The 34-year-old was part of the men’s eight who won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics and also a bronze in the 2012 London Games. “I have used up everything I had and I know that to get myself in the necessary condition to compete for a seat in 2021 is a step too far,” he told the BBC. The years of early starts, of three training