UEFA Champions League draw: 5 former winners in same half; Ronaldo-Messi showdown possible in semifinals 1

UEFA Champions League draw: 5 former winners in same half; Ronaldo-Messi showdown possible in semifinals

UEFA Champions League draw: The quarterfinal matches will be played on four straight evenings from Aug. 12-15 at a mini-tournament in Portugal. The semifinals are scheduled for Aug. 17-18.
All five former Champions League winners were put into the same half of the draw on Friday, setting up a possible semifinal pairing between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
Real Madrid, Juventus, Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern Munich will whittle down one side of the draw to reach the final on Aug. 23 at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon. Related News The other side will between three-time finalist Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Atalanta and Leipzig.
The quarterfinal matches will be played on four straight evenings from Aug. 12-15 at a mini-tournament in Portugal. The semifinals are scheduled for Aug. 17-18.
Four quarterfinalists are still to be determined, all of them involving the former champions. Juventus and Lyon will complete their round of 16 meeting next month in Turin. The winner of the two-leg series will play either Real Madrid or Manchester City in the quarterfinals.
Barcelona and Napoli also have a game to play in Spain before heading to Portugal. The winner will face either Bayern Munich or Chelsea in the quarterfinals.
Those four outstanding games will be played on Aug. 7 and 8, hosted by the home teams: Barcelona, Bayern, Juventus and Man City.
The other half of the draw was much more straightforward with all four quarterfinals set before the coronavirus pandemRead More…

Asia Cup postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic till June 2021; no news on IPL yet 2

Asia Cup postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic till June 2021; no news on IPL yet

India won the 2018 edition of Asia Cup defeating Bangladesh in the final in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP/PTI)
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) on Thursday postponed the Asia Cup tournament, scheduled for September this year, until June 2021 owing to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the region.
The development further clears the way for the Indian Premier League, which the franchise-based event’s organisers are trying to hold from September to November with the T20 World Cup also set to be deferred. Related News This comes a day after BCCI president Sourav Ganguly announced cancellation of this edition of the continental tournament, the hosting rights of which was with Pakistan.
With the Asia Cup pushed back by a year, the ICC too is now expected to announce the postponement of the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in October-November.
“After careful consideration and evaluating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Board of the ACC has decided to postpone the Asia Cup tournament that was scheduled for September 2020,” the Asian Cricket Council tweeted.
“The Executive Board of the ACC has met on multiple occasions to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Asia Cup tournament…” the ACC said in a statement.
The ACC Board, of which both Ganguly and BCCI secretary Jay Shah are part of, could not afford to ignore the health risks involved in hosting the tournament.
“From the onset the Board was keen on organising the tournament as Read More…

IPL in New Zealand? Here’s what New Zealand Cricket said 3

IPL in New Zealand? Here’s what New Zealand Cricket said

The IPL was scheduled to start from March 29. (Reuters)
IPL is not happening in New Zealand! New Zealand Cricket has clarified that it has not offered to host the Indian Premier League in New Zealand. This comes days after reports surfaced that New Zealand had offered to host the twenty-twenty cricket league as it was looking difficult in India due to the rising number of Covid-19.
New Zealand Cricket spokesperson Richard Boock said that such news reports were speculative as NZC had not offered to host IPL in New Zealand, as per a report by news agency ANI – that cited another report by Radio New Zealand. “The report is simply speculation. We have not offered to host the IPL nor have we had an approach to do so,” NZC spokesperson Richard Boock was quoted as saying by Radio New Zealand. Related News The IPL was scheduled to start from March 29. However, it was postponed due to the outbreak of Covid-19. In the last few weeks, reports emerged stating that the tournament might be held outside the country as the number of infections was on the rise. Reports also suggested that Sri Lanka and UAE may be the first preference if India decides to hold the game outside the country.
However, Indian cricket body — BCCI — has not yet clarified about its plan for the IPL. Earlier, BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly had said that the board was ready to host the game behind closed doors and was working on all possible options to stage the tournament in 2020. As per ANIRead More…

Asia Cup 2020: Sourav Ganguly declares it ‘canceled’, hopes to host IPL if ICC cancels WT20 4

Asia Cup 2020: Sourav Ganguly declares it ‘canceled’, hopes to host IPL if ICC cancels WT20

Ganguly’s prediction on the World T20 does not seem to be completely off track (File: Reuters image)
Coronavirus outbreak has accounted for yet another big tournament with the Cricket’s Asia Cup 2020 becoming the latest victim of the pandemic. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly in an Instagram conversation with Sports Tak has announced that the upcoming edition of the Cricketing tournament due later this year has to be cancelled. “Asia Cup has been cancelled”, said Ganguly. Ganguly, however, did not reveal if the decision has been taken by the ACC. Ganguly’s announcement has come on the eve of the ACC meeting scheduled to take place tomorrow, July 9.
The tournament was scheduled to take place in Pakistan but the rise in tension between the cricket boards of the neighbouring nations led to a quagmire at the ACC. BCCI, however, had said that it does not have any problem with the PCB being the host of the tournament provided the event will take place at a neutral venue. Reportedly, UAE was emerging as the top contender to host the tournament before the pandemic hurt the fate of the upcoming edition. Related News Refusing to announce any major decision or India’s next series in the near future without any concrete plans, Ganguly said “It’s difficult to say which will be India’s first international series. We’ve done our preparations but we can’t do much till we know the government rules. We are not in a hurry because the health of players is of the utmostRead More…

European soccer clubs face $4.5 billion income drop over next year due to Covid 5

European soccer clubs face $4.5 billion income drop over next year due to Covid

“The results demonstrate that the financial impact of COVID-19 on European clubs is already a seismic shock,” ECA chief executive Charlie Marshall said. (Reuters)
European soccer clubs expect to lose 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) in revenue over the next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a study released Tuesday by the European Club Association. The ECA estimated clubs in 55 countries face a collective shortfall of 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) this season and 2.4 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in the 2020-21 campaign. The analysis excluded possible transfer market profits. “The results demonstrate that the financial impact of COVID-19 on European clubs is already a seismic shock,” ECA chief executive Charlie Marshall said.
ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli, who is also the president of Italian club Juventus, has called the pandemic a real existential threat to the soccer industry. FIFA has committed hundreds of millions of dollars from its financial reserves to make grants and interest-free loans to member federations, which can choose to invest in club soccer. Related News The pandemic has affected broadcasting deals around the world and forced games to be played with few or no fans in stadiums, hurting club revenue. In the 10 leagues researched by the ECA including the five wealthiest of England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain clubs face losing 400 million euros ($450 million) in ticket sales this season and 1.1 billioRead More…

MS Dhoni birthday special: Tendulkar, Virat Kohli wish MSD; Always wanted him to bat up the order, says Ganguly 6

MS Dhoni birthday special: Tendulkar, Virat Kohli wish MSD; Always wanted him to bat up the order, says Ganguly

MS Dhoni birthday special: Ganguly, the current BCCI president, led a barrage of birthday wishes for ‘captain cool’. Cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar and India skipper Virat Kohli also paid their tribute to Dhoni. (File Image)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni went on to become one of the best finishers in the game but on his 39th birthday, former India captain Sourav Ganguly said the World Cup winning skipper would have been even more lethal if he batted higher in the order.
Ganguly, the current BCCI president, led a barrage of birthday wishes for ‘captain cool’. Cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar and India skipper Virat Kohli also paid their tribute to Dhoni. Related News “He’s one of the great players of the world cricket, not just a finisher. Everyone talks about the way he finishes lower down the order. I always believed that he should bat up the order because he was so destructive,” Ganguly said in a chat show hosted by young India opener Mayank Agarwal on BCCI’s Twitter handle.
Tendulkar wrote: “May God bless you with good health and happiness in life. Have a great year ahead.”
Most of Dhoni’s India and IPL teammates too set the social media abuzz with their wishes.
A BCCI source confirmed that Pandya brothers, Hardik and Krunal, are on a charter flight from Baroda to Ranchi to wish Dhoni in person.
“Hardik has always looked up to Dhoni and they share a special bond. Flight connectivity is limited due to the COVID-19 situation, so they have taken Read More…

Indian Super League 2020: ISL 7 to be held behind closed doors from November to March; Goa, Kerala frontrunners to host 7

Indian Super League 2020: ISL 7 to be held behind closed doors from November to March; Goa, Kerala frontrunners to host

Owing to the coronavirus outbreak, the previous ISL final between ATK and Chennaiyin FC was played behind closed doors at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on March 14.  (Courtesy: Twitter / IndSuperLeague)
The seventh Indian Super League is set to be held behind closed doors from November to March and it is likely to be restricted to two states in view of the COVID-19 pandemic with Goa and Kerala emerging as frontrunners.
This was discussed during a meeting between the ISL organsiers Football Sports Development Ltd. (FSDL) and club representatives on Monday. Related News “The league will be held behind closed doors for sure and the dates are from November to March. Kerala, Goa, West Bengal and Northeast were discussed as the likely states but Goa and Kerala can be said as the frontrunners at this point of time,” a source close to the ISL told PTI.
“The plan is to host in one or two states across multiple venues.”
Both Goa and Kerala are better placed than many other states at the moment as far as the COVID-19 situation is concerned, and that makes it “favourable” for the organisers to host the league there.
“Everything has been and will be further discussed internally and ISL will work with the state governments and the central governments.
“Before going ahead with finalising the states and venues, they will look into the medical aspects, logistical aspects so as to create a conducive and healthy environment for everyone involved.
“Also what needRead More…

Virat Kohli conflict of interest case: Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman too faced such allegations in the past — check details 8

Virat Kohli conflict of interest case: Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman too faced such allegations in the past — check details

Virat Kohli does not have a role in Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment Private Limited. (Courtesy: Reuters/File photo)
BCCI ethics officer D K Jain on Sunday said he is examining a conflict of interest complaint against India captain Virat Kohli from Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association life member Sanjeev Gupta, who has levelled similar charges against other players in the past which were deemed “infructuous”.
In his latest complaint, Gupta has alleged that Kohli is conflicted as he occupies two posts — captain of the Indian team and director of a venture which has co-directors linked to a talent management company that has on board, several of his teammates. Related News Gupta has alleged that it is a violation of the BCCI constitution which bars one individual from holding multiple positions.
“I have received a complaint. I will examine it and then see if the case is made out or not. If yes, then I have to afford an opportunity to him (Kohli) to respond,” Jain told PTI.
Gupta claims that Kohli, who is one of the directors at Cornerstone Venture Partners LLP and Virat Kohli Sports LLP, is conflicted as his co-directors — Amit Arun Sajdeh (better known as Bunty Sajdeh in Indian cricket circle) and Binoy Bharat Khimji –, are also a part of the talent management company Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment Private Limited.
Kohli does not have a role in Cornerstone Sport and Entertainment Private Limited.
The company manages the commercial interests of the IRead More…

Sri Lanka 2011 World Cup final fixing probe: Sangakkara records statement over 10 hours 9

Sri Lanka 2011 World Cup final fixing probe: Sangakkara records statement over 10 hours

Former Sri Lanka cricket captain Kumar Sangakkara. (File Photo/PTI)
Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara on Thursday spent 10 hours recording his statement to a Special Investigation Unit probing allegations by the country’s former sports minister that the team’s 2011 World Cup final against India was fixed by “certain parties”.
An investigation was started into the 2011 World Cup final by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Sports, following former Minister of Sports Mahindananda Aluthgamage’s allegations that the April 2, 2011 final was fixed even though no substantial proof has been furnished to corroborate the charge. Related News According to ‘newswire.lk’, Sangakkara, who captained Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final, recorded his statement over 10 hours. However, the details of his deposition are not known as yet.
“Former Sri Lanka cricket Captain Kumar Sangakkara recorded a statement for nearly 10 hours at the Special Police Investigation Division of the Ministry of Sports today,” the website reported.
It also reported that members of a youth outfit — Samagi Tharuna Balawegaya — gathered outside the SLC office with posters alleging that a legendary cricketer was being harassed by authorities.
Sangakkara, according to a report in ‘Island’, was supposed to record his statement next week but requested the police for an early deposition.
Already, former Chairman of the 2011 National Selection Committee Aravinda de Silva and opener Upul TharRead More…

Shashank Manohar steps down as ICC chairman after two stints 10

Shashank Manohar steps down as ICC chairman after two stints

Shashank Manohar has served two consecutive terms as the ICC chairman starting 2016 when he was also the president of the BCCI. (File image: Reuters)
Shashank Manohar stepped down as Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) today. Manohar has called it a day after the completion of his second term as the head of the global cricket governing body. The ICC is likely to decide the process for the selection of the next chairman by next week.
The Current Deputy Chairman Imran Khwaja will handle the affairs of the ICC till the election of the next ICC chairman. Khwaja expressed a sense of gratitude for the outgoing chairman and said that Manohar has left cricket and the ICC in better shape than it was when he assumed office as the chairman. Related News “On behalf of the ICC Board and staff and the whole cricket family, I would like to thank Shashank for his leadership and everything he has done for the sport as ICC Chairman. We wish him and his family all the very best for the future.”, said ICC Chief Executive, Manu Sawhney.
Shashank Manohar has served two consecutive terms as the ICC chairman starting 2016 when he was also the president of the BCCI. He then resigned from the post of BCCI president and also as the representative of the BCCI and Asian Cricket Council on the ICC Board. After completion of the first term in 2018, he was elected unanimously by the ICC board in 2018.
His tenure as the ICC Chairman ran into some serious conflict issues between thRead More…