- Medvedev victorious in London
- Guardiola extends Manchester City contract
- Löw set to keep head coach job – reports
Medvedev wins ATP World Tour Finals
Russia’s Daniil Medvedev recovered from losing the first set to beat Austrian Dominic Thiem to win the prestigious end-of-season ATP World Tour finals in London.
Medvedev, a finalist at last year’s US Open, ends the year as the world number four after the 4-6, 7-6, 6-4 win. Thiem has now lost the last two World Tour finals in London.
Reyna signs Dortmund contract extension
Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund have announced that USA international Giovanni Reyna has extended his contract with BVB until 2025. The club’s official press release referencing the 18-year-old as «one of the greatest talents in European club football.»
«BVB are a big club that can challenge for titles and are in all the important competitions. Young players in particular have the chance to develop here,» said Gio Reyna, adding: «I have already learned a lot in Dortmund and I want to learn a lot more in future. I look forward to being with BVB in the long term.»
DEL set to restart on December 17
The German Ice Hockey league (DEL) have announced their intention to start their 2020/21 season on December 17. With many of the 14 clubs facing existential crises on account of the COVID-19 pandemic , an agreement was struck for a behind-closed-doors campaign.
«It was a lot fo hard work for everyone involved and was a real representation of teamwork,» said DEL CEO Gernot Tripcke. «Our aim was always to start the season with all 14 clubs. We’ve achieved that and everyone deserves praise. Now the fans can look forward to non-stop ice hockey.»
Pep Guardiola signs contract extension
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has signed a new two-year contract that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2022-23 season, the Premier League club said on Thursday.
«Ever since I arrived at Manchester City I have been made to feel so welcome in the club and in the city itself,» Guardiola said. «Since then we have achieved a great deal together, scored goals, won games and trophies, and we are all very proud of that success.»
The 49-year-old has guided City to two Premier League titles and an FA Cup since his arrival in 2016.
British sport to receive ‘survival package’
The British government announced a 300 million pound ($396.9 million) ‘winter survival package’ on Thursday to help spectator sports impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but excluding the Premier League and cricket.
The cash injection is largely made up of loans and comes after more than 100 sports bodies wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in September to ask for emergency funding.
«Support will be provided to rugby union, horse racing, women’s football and the lower tiers of the National League football,» the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said in a statement. «Rugby League, motorsport, tennis, netball, basketball, ice hockey, badminton and greyhound racing are also in line to benefit.»
Löw to stay on as German head coach – reports
Following Germany’s 6-0 humbling at the hands of Spain, questions have been asked as to whether Joachim Löw will keep his job as national team head coach. «If I have to worry about my job or not is a question for other people,» Löw after the loss in Seville.
One of those people is DFB president Fritz Keller, who released an official statement after BILD had earlier reported that a decision had been made to keep Löw in the role following a crisis meeting held at Munich airport. «We experienced a dark day in Seville, which hurt. Our young team can learn from this bitter setback if this game, which lacked heart and passion, is thoroughly analyzed and the necessary conclusions drawn.»
«We made a conscious decision to make the change that involved a lot of new and young players with perspective. As we saw yesterday, this path can be the bumpier one and also lead to painful defeats. But even if we all wished to leave this difficult, but until then actually successful international year in a different way, our challenge is still to form a strong team for the next three major tournaments: the European Championship next year, the World Cup 2022 and the European Championship at home in 2024.»
Legends call for change in German national team
Germany World Cup winners Lothar Matthäus, Jürgen Klinsmann and Mesut Özil have all backed recalls for at least one of Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng and Thomas Müller after Germany’s 6-0 hammering by Spain in the Nations League.
«I have never seen such a total failure. There will be further discussion about Hummels and Boateng. You need these leaders after
such a defeat. When it comes to team leadership, Müller must also be included,» Matthäus, 1990 world champion, told BILD on Wednesday. «I don’t think that Jogi Löw will deviate from his opinion on the three. Löw doesn’t have to do an analysis of all the errors. The video session would last eight hours.»
New challenges’ hit Australian Open warm-up events
Lead-up events to the Australian Open tennis Grand Slam were thrown into doubt Wednesday after organisers flagged «new challenges» around players arriving in the country during the coronavirus pandemic.
In a message to players the ATP, the men’s tennis tour, said arrivals originally planned for December were now uncertain, potentially disrupting the packed January schedule. «In discussions with Tennis Australia over the past 24 hours, we have been informed there are some new challenges around the previously planned arrival dates for players and team members,» read the ATP’s message.
Stiles family call for urgent action in dementia ‘scandal’
The family of England’s World Cup winning midfielder Nobby Stiles, who died aged 78 last month, has urged authorities to address the «scandal» of dementia in the professional game which have left many yesteryear heroes struggling after retirement.
Stiles, who played on the World Cup winning team in 1966, had been diagnosed with dementia, as were many of his team mates such as Ray Wilson, Jack Charlton and most recently Manchester United great Bobby Charlton.
«How can it be that these players are left to struggle when the Premier League receives 3 billion pounds a year?» John Stiles, Nobby’s son, said in a statement.
COVID-19 cancels game
The Nations League game between Switzerland and Ukraine cannot take place. The health authorities in the Swiss canton of Lucerne, where the game was scheduled to take place, have ordered the entire Ukraine squad to go into quarantine after three further players had tested positive for coronavirus.
The Ukraine squad traveled to Switzerland after losing 1-3 to Germany in Leipzig last Saturday. Four players and one staff member were tested positive for COVID19 in the evening before the game, raising doubts as to whether it would take place, before being given the go-ahead by the Saxony health authorities.
No decision has been made by UEFA as to how Ukraine’s game against Switzerland will be decided, but a UEFA statement stated «the matter will now be submitted to the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body, for a decision to be taken in accordance with the special rules applicable to UEFA National Team competition matches.»
Hollywood comes to Wrexham
Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are the new owners of Welsh minor league club Wrexham.
The pair’s bid for the club, who play in England’s fifth-tier National League, was accepted by the Wrexham Supporters Trust.
The reason for the actors’ interest is not entirely clear, though it is reported that a TV documentary on the move would help to provide funds for the takeover and beyond.
The pair issued a video on social media in which they said they could not wait to get started while their «mission statement» included the pledge to «always beat Chester», Wrexham’s nearest rivals.
Marcus Rashford opens book club
Having received widespread praise for highlighting the issue of child food poverty, England international footballer Marcus Rashford has now teamed up with Macmillan Children’s Books (MCB) to promote reading and literacy among children from all socio-economic backgrounds.
Rashford said he wishes he had the chance to read more as a child: “Books were never a thing we could budget for as a family when we needed to put food on the table. There were times where the escapism of reading could have really helped me. I want this escapism for all children. Not just those that can afford it.”
Hamilton: “I cannot keep silent on racism”
Fresh from being crowned F1 world champion for a record-equaling seventh time, Lewis Hamilton continues to use his platform to lead the fight against racism in F1.
“Competing and winning championships is a great thing, but what does it really mean? It doesn’t mean anything unless you can help push for change,” Hamilton told The Guardian. “I cannot keep silent during this time. I decided that I have to use this platform.”
As the sport’s only black driver, Hamilton has been at the forefront of the Black Lives Matter movement and established the Hamilton Commission, which is aimed at improving the representation of black people in motor sport.
IOC President Bach speaks on vaccination
Providing one becomes available, IOC President Thomas has said during this week’s trip to Tokyo that he is “encouraging” all Olympic “participants” and fans to be vaccinated — providing one becomes available — if they are going to attend next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Bach is confident that the postponed Olympics will open on July 23, but stopped short of saying athletes would be forced to vaccinate. The Associated Press reported the IOC President as saying “we’re not there yet”, before he went on to encourage everyone to think about the “protection of the entire community”.
Norway orders Haaland to quarantine
Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and other Norwegian Bundesliga players are at the center of a row between Borussia Dortmund and Norway.
Norway’s players were blocked from travelling to Romania for their now cancelled Nations League game in Bucharest and, under Norway’s COVID-19 protocol, players returning to Germany this weekend must quarantine and, therefore, would not be permitted to play in the Bundesliga this weekend.
However, Borussia Dortmund believe that if Haaland completes three negative tests — he has reportedly had two already — then he would be allowed to feature in Berlin on Saturday against Hertha Berlin, who also have a Norwegian player, Rune Jarstein. The other Norwegian Bundesliga player is RB Leipzig’s Alexander Sörloth.
Johnson sets new Masters record
Dustin Johnson is now a two-time major winner after winning by a record margin in Augusta.
The American, who grew up in South Carolina and not far from the famous Georgia course, tapped in for par on the 18th to finish at 20-under 268, breaking by two shots the record set by Tiger Woods in 1997 and matched by Jordan Spieth in 2015.
His five-shot victory was the largest at the Masters since Woods won by 12 in 1997.
«The Masters to me is the biggest tournament and the one I wanted to win the most,» Johnson said. «I was nervous all day. I’m very proud of the way I handled myself and finished off the golf tournament. This is a dream come true.»
Hamilton equals Schumacher’s record
Lewis Hamilton was crowned F1 world champion once again, following his victory in the Turkish Grand Prix on Sunday. He equals Michael Schumacher’s record haul of seven titles. Read more on that here.