VAR to be used at World Cup
Video assistant referees (VAR) are to be used at the World Cup for the first time and talks are under way with potential sponsor branding to appear when it is used, a FIFA executive said on Monday. “Definitely, VAR will happen,” FIFA chief commercial officer Philippe Le Floc’h said. “It’s great to have technology in football, because this is also a fair[ness] thing.” The final decision on allowing replays to become part of the rules of the game falls to the International Football Association Board on March 3, when its annual meeting is held.
Cyclist awakes from coma
Dutch cyclist Jelle van Gorkom has awoken from a coma and his life is no longer in danger, but he faces a long recovery, officials said on Monday. Van Gorkom, who won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was hurt in an accident on Jan. 9 during training on a BMX track at the national sports center. He was placed in an induced coma for several days after breaking his ribs, fracturing his face and skull, and damaging his liver, spleen and kidneys.
US board members resign
Three top board members of USA Gymnastics on Monday resigned and 2012 Olympic team coach John Geddert was suspended after calls from angry gymnasts who say the organization did nothing to protect them after being abused by former team doctor Larry Nassar. Chairman Paul Parilla, vice chair Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley announced they were stepping down as testimony in Nassar’s sentencing hearing moved into its second week. Many Olympians have testified, sued the US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, and called for the sports leaders to leave their jobs. “To believe in the future of gymnastics is to believe in change, but how are we to believe in change when these organizations aren’t even willing to acknowledge the problem?” gymnast Aly Raisman said last week.
Brewers offer Darvish deal
Pitcher Yu Darvish has received a contract offer from the Milwaukee Brewers, multiple reports said on Monday. The 31-year-old right-hander tweeted a Japanese report of the deal with a thinking-face emoji while MLB’s Web site also reported the submission. The Chicago Cubs are also having talks with Darvish, a person with direct knowledge of the discussions said. The talks come amid reports the Cubs have agreed to a minor league deal with Chris Gimenez, who regularly caught Darvish while they were in Texas and developed a trusted working relationship with the pitcher.
McAvoy has heart surgery
Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy on Monday underwent a heart procedure, team internist David Finn said in a statement. The procedure was to treat an abnormal heartbeat and McAvoy is expected to require two weeks to recover, Finn said. McAvoy originally notified the team of heart palpitations following the Bruins’ Nov. 26 game against Edmonton. He was diagnosed with a supraventricular tachycardia, but was able to play despite the condition. However, he decided to undergo the procedure after additional consultation with team physicians and cardiologists.
STANDINGS: The Uni-President Lions’ victory pushed the CTBC Brothers to first place after they won their third straight game, beating the Fubon Guardians 6-3 The big bats of the Uni-President Lions were on fire in the CPBL yesterday as they crushed the Rakuten Monkeys 21-5 in Taoyuan, with outfielder Lin An-ko driving in seven runs on five hits and two homers. The result enabled the CTBC Brothers to take the No. 1 spot after they beat the Fubon Guardians 6-3. It was a highlight reel for the Taiwanese-Argentinian star Lin, who drilled two homers amid a heated home-run race between himself, now on 16 for the season, and Lions teammate Su Chih-chieh, who is on 18. Lin performed outstandingly, collecting five hits at six at-bats to drive
GERMAN LEADER: Liverpool’s 19th English title, one behind Manchester United’s record of 20, owes much to the transformational impact of coach Juergen Klopp Liverpool on Thursday ended a 30-year wait for the English title as they were crowned Premier League champions, triggering jubilant scenes as fans ignored social distancing measures to celebrate uproariously. Juergen Klopp’s men sealed a 19th league title with a record seven games remaining after Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat of second-placed Manchester City left the defending champions an unbridgeable 23 points adrift. Liverpool’s first English title since 1989-1990 — delayed by the COVID-19 suspension — earns them their maiden trophy in the Premier League, which was introduced in 1992-1993 and has been won 13 times by their archrivals Manchester United. Klopp was in tears
WOLFSBURG BEATEN: Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty, his 34th league goal this season, finishing as the top Bundesliga scorer for the fifth time Werder Bremen gave themselves hope of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga by thrashing Cologne 6-1 to grab a playoff place on the last day of the season, while champions Bayern Munich routed VfL Wolfsburg before lifting the trophy on Saturday. Japan striker Yuya Osako scored twice as Bremen stole the lifeline of the relegation/promotion playoff place from Fortuna Duesseldorf, who lost 3-0 against Union Berlin and were relegated with SC Paderborn, finishing one point behind Bremen. “We put in a great performance under pressure, but we are aware that we haven’t achieved anything — in the relegation playoff, the emotions will be
Alexis Lafreniere was supposed to walk on stage on Friday night in Montreal as the top pick in the NHL draft. After the COVID-19 pandemic paused the hockey season and postponed that possibility, Lafreniere was supposed to find out Friday night where he would be going when the league held its draft lottery. Instead, he must wait a little bit longer. Chaos reigned at the NHL draft lottery, with the No. 1 pick still up for grabs in a second lottery drawing among the eight teams that lose in the qualifying round of the playoffs — if play resumes. “We all knew