Mastercard alters meal plan
Mastercard on Monday said it was changing a campaign in which thousands of free meals were to be given to the needy every time Neymar and Messi scored goals. Under the scheme, every time the strikers score, 10,000 meals would be donated to the UN World Food Programme. The idea, due to run until March 2020, drew fire on social media as being in poor taste. Brazilian national team coach Tite also criticized it as counterproductive, because it put too much pressure on individual stars. The credit card giant said that instead, 1 million meals will be donated this year, regardless of the goals scored, in addition to 400,000 meals already donated. “We don’t want the fans, players or anyone else to lose focus of the crucial question of hunger and our efforts to help this cause,” Mastercard said in a statement. Neymar and Messi would continue to cooperate for the campaign, it added.
Pep banned for first game
Pep Guardiola is to be banned from the touchline for Manchester City’s first game in the Champions League next season. The City manager would also be banned for a further game if there is a repeat offense during a probationary period next season, after being found guilty of improper conduct during the Champions League quarter-final loss to Liverpool in April. After being sent to the stands for protesting a goal being disallowed and verbally abusing a referee, Guardiola appeared to send communications to his coaching staff from his seat high in the main stand.
‘The Catch’ receiver dies
Dwight Clark, the former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver whose reception known as “The Catch” sent the team to their first Super Bowl, has died just over a year after revealing he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). He was 61. Clark in March last year said that he had ALS, which attacks cells that control muscles. He suspected that playing football might have caused the illness. The team said Clark died on Monday surrounded by friends and family. Clark won two Super Bowls with the 49ers during a nine-year career that ended in 1987. He memorably pulled down the winning touchdown pass from Joe Montana in the 1981 NFC championship game against the Dallas Cowboys, a play remembered simply as “The Catch.” Clark later served as general manager of the 49ers and the Cleveland Browns.
Thrope urges stop to targets
Swimmer Ian Thorpe, Australia’s most decorated Olympian, has called on national bodies to stop setting gold medal targets as it puts too much pressure on athletes. Speaking at an Australian Institute of Sport summit on athlete well being yesterday, the five-time Olympic gold medalist and 11-time world champion said the focus should be on athletes representing the country well. “What I’d prefer to see happen is we know the athletes represent our communities, they’ll represent the diversity of this country and they’re going to represent it well, to the best of our ability, and that will lead to gold medals,” he said. The Australian Olympic Committee has set, but not met, a target of a top-five finish in the medals table at the past three Summer Games and individual sports have also made their own targets.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
DISSENT: The US track and field body joined sports officials in Norway and Brazil, as well as Indian athletes, in calling on the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 organizers have started drafting possible alternatives to holding the Olympics this summer, two sources familiar with the talks said, in contrast to the Japanese government’s stance that postponement is not an option. While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted sports events around the world, Japan has been steadfast in saying that the Games would go on. A Japanese government spokesman on Wednesday said that Tokyo was not preparing for postponement. “Finally, we have been asked to make a simulation in case of a postponement,” said one of the sources, an official close to the organizing committee who is involved in drafting the
EXPENDITURE: Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that ‘additional expenses are going to be quite massive’ to reschedule the Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-to-August window next year for the postponed Tokyo Olympics and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. John Coates, head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics, told the newspaper that the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, scheduled to end in mid-July, and the US Open, which starts in late August. “We want to more or less finalize the dates in four weeks’ time,” the newspaper quoted Coates as saying. Coates, who is also
PROUD, BUT BOWING OUT: The Dallas center missed all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, but Travis Frederick returned to be a standout again last season Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick on Monday stunningly announced his retirement. Frederick, who turned 29 on Wednesday last week, was a Pro Bowl selection in five of his six NFL seasons. Frederick revealed his retirement in a lengthy letter, beginning it by writing: “After much consideration, discussion, and reflection, I have decided to retire from football. This was not an easy decision.” Frederick cited his bout with autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome as a factor. He missed the 2018 season due to the illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, but he returned to be a standout again last