Morocco fine cut 95%
The Moroccan soccer governing body had its fine for pulling out as host of the African Cup of Nations reduced to US$50,000 from US$1 million by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The CAS also said in an e-mailed statement it reversed the Confederation of African Football’s decision to bar Morocco from participating in the 2017 and 2019 tournaments. Morocco was stripped of the African soccer championship in November last year because it sought to postpone the event because of concerns over the spread of Ebola. Ivory Coast won the title in February after Equatorial Guinea stepped in as host. The African confederation is also seeking US$8.7 million in compensation from the Moroccan governing body, which can still be examined by another jurisdiction, the CAS said.
‘No delays, despite layoffs’
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes has dismissed reports that layoffs of construction workers at one of the main 2016 Olympic sites could result in potentially damaging delays. At a hastily called news conference at Deodoro, where 11 Olympic sports will be staged, Paes on Thursday said the layoffs by construction company Queiroz Galvao were part of an ill-advised strategy to strong-arm the city council into making quicker payments for the US$205 million project. Dozens of workers at Deodoro, where about 1,000 workers are employed, had been fired and hundreds of others warned they could soon be let go if funds owed by the city were not received soon, the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported. Queiroz Galval refused to confirm the layoffs, but workers leaving the site on Thursday showed reporters their pink slips. “Lies. What they want is to use the press to pressure City Hall into paying before the deadline,” Paes said on a precipice overlooking the vast scar of raw earth where Deodoro’s Olympic venues are going up. “This pressure is not going to work.”
Megafight PPV US$99.95
Do not expect much change back from a US$100 bill to watch the Floyd Mayweather Jr-Manny Pacquiao fight at home. The two cable networks broadcasting the fight on Thursday said the suggested retail price for the May 2 pay-per-view (PPV) will be US$89.95. Many, though, will end up paying US$99.95 because of a surcharge for high definition tacked on by many cable and satellite providers. Like almost everything else about the fight, the pay-per-view price is a record for boxing. The previous highest was the US$64.95/US$74.95 charged for the 2013 fight between Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez. The welterweight title unification fight will be televised by HBO and Showtime. Depending on how the pay-per-view does, Mayweather could earn about US$180 million and Pacquiao US$120 million.
Dustin Byfuglien suspended
The NHL suspended Dustin Byfuglien of the Winnipeg Jets for four games without pay on Thursday for his cross-check to the head of New York Rangers center JT Miller. The play occurred late in the second period of Winnipeg’s 3-2 loss to New York on Tuesday. Miller fell near the crease after taking a swipe at a rebound off the pads of Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec. Byfuglien drove his stick in to the back of the Rangers forward’s head while falling to his knees. The league’s video explanation of the suspension characterized the blow as “dangerous” and delivered with “excessive force.”
APPROPRIATE RESPONSE: The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan expressed ‘sincere regret’ for publishing the image on its in-house magazine and Web site A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Games logo as the novel coronavirus has been pulled from online after Olympic organizers branded it “insensitive” and said that it infringed copyright. The design combines the distinctive, spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo Games logo. It appeared on the cover of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s magazine. The Tokyo Games have been postponed until next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and halted sport worldwide. Club president Khaldon Azhari yesterday said that the club had decided to withdraw the image and remove
Uncertainty grips next year’s postponed Tokyo Olympic Games: Will there be fans or empty stadiums in 14 months? How will thousands of athletes, staff members and technical officials travel, be housed and stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic? And the Tokyo Games are not the only event. China, where COVID-19 was first detected, is to hold three mega-sports events in the year after the Tokyo Olympics are set to close. The World University Games in Chengdu, China, are to open, with up to 8,000 athletes, only 10 days after the Tokyo Games close. Next come the Beijing Winter Olympics beginning on Feb. 4, 2022,
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas’ burgeoning career, but he remains philosophical about the tennis shutdown. The world No. 6 would have been preparing for the French Open that was originally scheduled to start this weekend, but was postponed to September. While he is missing life on the ATP Tour, Tsitsipas believes that the lockdown has given the planet a breather. “I actually think they should put us in lockdown once a year — it’s good for nature, it’s good for our planet,” Tsitsipas said in an Instagram Live conversation for At Home With Babsi on Eurosport’s Instagram page. “I
When South Korea’s domestic women’s golf tour held its premier event last week — without spectators because of the COVID-19 pandemic — no fewer than three of the world’s top 10 players took part. The country of 52 million people has a disproportionate share of the women’s world golf rankings, providing eight of the current top 20. In a demonstration of their prominence, South Korean women have won at least one major every season since 2010, with coronavirus cancellations perhaps the biggest threat to their run this year. The phenomenon, players and commentators have said, results from driven parents, intense training, a highly