England restart doubted
Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has reportedly told the Premier League that he does not believe the domestic soccer season will be completed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Premier League on Friday suspended all fixtures at an emergency meeting. “It was unanimously decided to suspend the Premier League with the intention of returning on 4 April, subject to medical advice and conditions at the time,” the Premier League said in a statement. Clarke said at the meeting that he did not think it was feasible for the season to be completed, the Times reported. The virus is not expected to peak in Britain for many weeks, raising doubts over a restart early next month. The Times said it is understood that Brighton & Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber also questioned the brevity of the suspension. Premier League chief executive Richard Masters is reported to have said it would at least allow time to consider the potential consequences and debate the possible solutions. The decision was taken after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for COVID-19. Arteta welcomed the move to put the season on hold. “Feeling better already,” he tweeted. “We’re all facing a huge & unprecedented challenge.Everyone’s health is all that matters right now.”
Biles snaps at birthday tweet
Four-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles wants more than good wishes from USA Gymnastics. The US federation wished Biles a happy 23rd birthday on social media on Saturday. Biles used the tweet to demand an independent investigation into the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal. “How about you amaze me and do the right thing ... have an independent investigation,” Biles wrote on Twitter after the federation’s birthday tweet. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the most decorated gymnast of all time, @simonebiles!” USA Gymnastics wrote, posting a video of Biles in action in a floor exercise. “We know you will only continue to amaze us and make history!” Former national gymnastics team doctor Nassar was jailed for life for abusing more than 250 athletes, including stars of the US’ 2012 and 2016 gold medal-winning Olympic teams. A US Senate investigation found that “multiple institutions” failed to adequately respond to credible allegations against Nassar, but Biles has said that USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee still owe his victims, including herself, more answers and a framework to ensure such abuses would not occur again. “Wish they BOTH wanted an independent investigation as much as the survivors & I do,” she tweeted earlier this month.
Ogier wins shortened rally
Sebastien Ogier won the Rally Mexico for a sixth time yesterday after the world championship event was cut short due to changing travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision to end the rally after Saturday’s second leg was to allow teams and officials time to travel home to Europe from Mexico. “A victory is a victory of course, but this one feels different from any other,” said six times world champion Ogier, who had led the Leon-based event since Friday and whose win was the Frenchman’s first with Toyota.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
Neymar on Sunday claimed that he had been the victim of racism as he was one of five players sent off in a mass brawl at the end of Olympique de Marseille’s 1-0 win over Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. PSG’s Brazilian star appeared to accuse Alvaro Gonzalez of calling him a “monkey” in a series of furious tweets after he was sent off in stoppage-time for slapping the Marseille defender on the back of the head. “Look at the racism. That’s why I hit him,” Neymar, who was returning from COVID-19 quarantine, said as he left the pitch. “The only regret I