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FIFA President, Infantino tests positive for COVID-19

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FIFA Chief, Gianni Infantino has contracted coronavirus popularly known as COVID-19,  the world’s football governing body announced on Tuesday.

According to the information scooped from AFP, the 50-year-old has mild symptoms and will remain in isolation for a further 10 days.

“All people who came into contact with the FIFA President during the last few days have been informed accordingly and they are being requested to take the necessary steps,” the body said.

“FIFA sincerely wishes President Infantino a speedy recovery,” it added.

Infantino’s last public appearances was at FIFA’s Compliance Summit which ended on October 16 when all attendees were present via video.

Cases, hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19 in the body’s base, Switzerland, have doubled from one week to the next throughout October.

The country’s government is expected to decide Wednesday on new measures to control the spread of the virus.

The spread of the illness has cast doubt over Wednesday’s potential meeting between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the Champions League after the Juventus attacker tested positive for the illness earlier this month.

 

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Fans may return to premier league games from May 17

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as British govt. plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions


Fans could be in English stadiums for the final weekend of the Premier League season and there are hopes Wembley may be packed for the Euro 2020 final under plans to ease coronavirus restrictions unveiled on Monday.

The British government’s roadmap to easing a nationwide lockdown means elite sport will continue behind closed doors until at least May 17.

If there are no setbacks during the implementation of the four-stage plan, crowds of up to 10,000 or 25 percent of seated capacity, whichever is lower, will be allowed to return.

The Premier League season is due to finish on May 23. Other than a small number of matches played in front of 2,000 spectators late last year, the entire 2020/21 season has been played behind closed doors.

All further restrictions would then be lifted on June 21 in time for a series of major sports events in England.

The semi-finals and final of Euro 2020, which has been delayed by a year due to the pandemic, are scheduled to take place at Wembley from July 6 to 11.

Wimbledon, which was abandoned in 2020 for the first time since World War II, is due to start on June 28.

Golf’s British Open runs from July 15 to 18 at Royal St George’s in Kent.

Monday’s announcement is the first big step towards restoring normal life, nearly a year after Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed the first of three stay-at-home orders that have devastated the country and its economy.

Johnson told MPs that with a mass vaccination programme easing pressure on overstretched hospitals, “the end really is in sight”.

A Sunday Times report at the weekend said Britain could offer to host more Euro 2020 matches or the whole tournament due to the potential for crowds to return earlier than in other countries across Europe.

On top of the semi-finals and final, Wembley and Hampden Park in Glasgow are due to host four matches each in the group stages and last 16.

UEFA has so far publicly insisted it is sticking to the original plan of using 12 host cities across the continent despite the logistical challenges.

Dublin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Saint Petersburg, Bilbao, Munich, Budapest, Baku, Rome and Bucharest are all due to host matches.

However, British health secretary Matt Hancock said on Sunday he was unaware of any offer to host the tournament.

Hancock told Sky News: “I haven’t seen anything on that, I understand that that’s not right.”

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FG to restore Liberty stadium’s lost glory, Sports Minister assures

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Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has given the assurances that the Muhammadu Buhari -led federal government is determined to turn around infrastructural facilities at the first stadium in Nigeria, Obafemi Awolowo Stadium complex, Ibadan popularly known as Liberty stadium, to enhance sports development in the country.

The stadium, originally named Liberty Stadium until 2010, is a historic football stadium with a capacity of 25,000 seats.

Opened in 1960 during the tenure of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who was serving as the Premier of the Western Region at the time, the sports monument, sited at the Southern end of Ibadan was named Liberty Stadium in honor of Nigeria’s independence.

Unfortunately, the iconic stadium which has hosted several matches during the African  Cup of Nations, the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship among others and produced biggest sports stars is now a shadow of itself ; and decreased in vivacity.

The monument, built with public funds by direct labour under the supervision of the regional Ministry of Works and Transport has suffered several neglect from various administrations. The first stadium in Nigeria is in deplorable state and currently on its knees  begging for a total deliverance.

Sports Minister, Sunday Dare addressing SWEGOP at the Workshop

However, the Minister, who  gave the assurance on Saturday in Ibadan while playing guest to the South West Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP) at a two-day seminar for online media held at the Ilaji Hotel and Resorts, also disclosed that the government is set to revive the agelong stadium through Private Public Partnership (PPP).

While citing government efforts at National Stadium, Lagos and others, Dare unearthed that there is an ongoing plan to reach out to some Nigerians to invest in the infrastructural development of the stadium.

He further disclosed that the federal government, in addition to providing needed incentives to private investors, is currently developing a policy that will support value in sports investment.

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Bayern Munich’s striker, Mueller tests positive for COVID-19

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Thomas Mueller, Bayern Munich forward has tested  positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, according to German media reports.

Mueller is set to miss out on Thursday’s Club World Cup final in Doha due to this development.

Sky Sports Germany and Bild newspaper disclosed that the World Cup winner, Mueller tested positive after Bayern’s training session on Wednesday.

A positive test would rule the veteran striker out of Thursday’s clash with Mexican CONCACAF champions Tigres in the Qatari capital, in which European champions Bayern are aiming for a historic sixth title in 12 months.

Neither Bayern nor tournament organisers FIFA have yet confirmed the positive test.

Mueller would be the third Bayern player to contract the coronavirus in recent weeks, after positive tests for Javi Martinez and Leon Goretzka meant they were unable to travel with the rest of the squad to Qatar.

His absence would be the latest blow to Bayern’s Club World Cup campaign, after Jerome Boateng returned home to Germany on Wednesday for personal reasons amid reports that his former girlfriend had died.

-AFP

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