Breaking: Tokyo Olympics postponed

first_imgRelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Sanwo-Olu: We’re committed to fulfilling promises to Lagosians Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has spoken to the International Olympic Committee chairman Thomas Bach and they have agreed that this summer’s Olympic Games will be postponed until 2021. The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has a host of countries on lockdown as they struggle to control the killer virus. That has led to the majority of major sporting events being postponed, which has included Olympic qualifiers and training sessions for athletes. Canada and Australia were the first countries to pull out of this summer’s Games as they did not want to risk their stars’ health. And Japan’s PM discussed the postponement with the IOC chief over the phone earlier on Tuesday (today) and they have agreed on a 12-month delay. The IOC’s released a statement on Monday where they claimed a decision will be made within the next four weeks. A statement from Tokyo 2020 read: “While there are currently no regions in Japan where a widespread COVID-19 infection has been confirmed, qualifying events for the Tokyo 2020 Games have been disrupted worldwide by the spread of the infection in many countries. “A number of athletes and National Olympic Committees have also stated that they are unable to continue training in this environment, and this unprecedented situation has been a cause of great concern to us. “In light of this situation, Tokyo 2020 held an urgent video conference with IOC President Bach last night, during which we agreed to proceed with detailed discussions of different scenarios, including postponement of the Games, in full coordination with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Government of Japan, relevant Japanese authorities, international sport federations and National Olympic Committees. “As the IOC has stated, due to the extreme complexity of the Games, a final decision has not been reached at this time, and discussions will be finalised within the next four weeks. Cancellation of the Tokyo 2020 Games is not on the agenda. “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis, and we will continue to prioritise the safety of athletes, spectators and all other Games participants. “As we closely monitor infection trends, we will dedicate ourselves to examining detailed plans for different scenarios, including opening the Games on 24 July, in accordance with the agreement reached yesterday with the IOC. “We will continue to work closely with all relevant organisations in order to meet the expectations of the athletes who have been training day and night and the fans who have been looking forward to the Games for so long. “As we seek to address this unique situation, close coordination with many partners, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Government of Japan, Tokyo 2020 marketing partners, broadcasters, suppliers and contractors, will be essential. “We must be more united than ever in our response. Regardless, what is important now is that the world come together to overcome this crisis. “As President Bach stated, ‘[we] wish that… the Olympic flame will be a light at the end of this tunnel.” We will therefore exert every possible effort to overcome this challenge and deliver the Games’.” However, IOC member Dick Pound thinks the latest statement drops a huge hint that the event will be delayed. “On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound told USA Today. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know. “It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”Tags: CoronavirusCOVID-19Dick PoundInternational Olympic CommitteeShinzo AbeThomas BachTokyo 2020last_img read more

Besiktas 1-0 Liverpool (agg 1-1): Reds dumped out of Europa League after drama from the spot

first_imgLiverpool were dumped out of the Europa League after suffering a 5-4 penalty defeat to Besiktas at Ataturk Stadium.The Reds returned to the venue that staged their historic fifth European Cup triumph in 2005, but had no such luck from the spot this time around as Dejan Lovren missed the all-important penalty, sending the Turkish club through to the last-16.The visitors looked too strong during a dominant first half, but Tolgay Arslan’s stunning strike turned the tie on its head as the home side won the match on the night, levelling the tie at 1-1 on aggregate, before Slaven Bilic’s side advanced.However, Liverpool made a brighter start with Mario Balotelli involved in their first meaningful chance when he teed up Raheem Sterling on the edge of the box, but the 20-year-old’s driven effort was comfortably parried by Cenk Gonen.Sterling, who occupied a free role in Rodgers’ line-up, then dazzled the Besiktas defence with a snappy run into the area but, with only Daniel Sturridge for company, the former Queens Park Rangers youngster was unable to pick out a red shirt in a promising position.Liverpool continued to press and went close five minutes later as Alberto Moreno, one of three changes from the Merseysiders’ 2-0 win against Southampton on Sunday, sprayed the ball to Sturridge, who sent a low cross toward Sterling but a skewed effort let the hosts off the hook.Sturridge was then guilty of wasting an excellent opportunity for Rodgers’ side as he failed to get the ball out of his feet when presented with a chance from 12 yards out, before Simon Mignolet was forced into his first save from Olcay Sahan’s rasping effort.And the Belgian shot-stopper was called into action after the restart as the home side adopted a more attacking approach, with Serdar Kurtulus and Jose Sosa testing the 26-year-old from range.The lively Gokhan Tore showcased his talent with a mazy run from the left and sent a dipping effort whistling over the crossbar, before Kolo Toure was forced into a vital interception to spare the blushes of Lovren.Substitute Arslan sent Liverpool a warning with a thunderous strike from 30 yards with Mignolet all but beaten, but the Reds failed to take note as the 24-year-old smashed the ball into the top corner on 72 minutes.Both sides then traded attacks knowing a goal would send them through, but neither could fashion a clear opportunity to snatch a late winner.That was until Demba Ba was presented with the ball inside the six yard box deep in stoppage-time, however, the former Chelsea striker was left with his head in his hands after smashing the ball into the crossbar.With the match entering extra-time Besiktas were in the ascendency; Daniel Opare’s 20 yard effort a sign of their growing confidence while Ba continued to pose a threat inside the Liverpool box, prompting Mignolet into a fine save.However, as extra-time came and went with few attempts at goal, Liverpool’s participation in the competition was over when Lovren sent his penalty high and wide. Liverpool sent out of the Europa League on penalties 1last_img read more