Sports & Entertainment

By Simon Evans MANCHESTER, England - Manchester United owner and co-chairman Joel Glazer has told supporters he is willing to discuss increasing fan shareholding in the club as part of greater consultation with them. Violent protests against United's American owners, who were central to plans for a breakaway Super League, led to Sunday's Premier League match at hoem to Liverpool being postponed. The Manchester United Fans' Forum had written to Glazer on Monday urging him to take several steps including opening up shares to fans. Res...
By Alan Baldwin -Seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton led Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes one-two in practice for the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday. Championship leader Hamilton's closest rival Max Verstappen had been second fastest in the morning for Red Bull but dropped to ninth, 0.615 off the pace, in the afternoon at the Circuit de Catalunya. Bottas had set the morning pace with a lap of one minute 18.504 seconds, 0.033 faster than Verstappen, but Hamilton put in a 1:18.170 effort on soft tyres after lunch when the conditions were wa...
- Italian former Olympic 50km walk champion Alex Schwazer had his appeal against an eight-year doping ban dismissed on Friday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Schwazer filed a "request for provisional measures" in an attempt to take part in this year's Olympics after an Italian court cleared him of doping and ruled that World Athletics and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had been "opaque" during his case, Italy's Ansa news agency reported. "The Court of Arbitration for Sport has dismissed an urgent request for provisional measures filed by Alex...
- Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is furious with the Premier League after the club were ordered to play three matches in five days, saying he may have no other option but to rotate his squad heavily against their top-four rivals. United travel to Aston Villa on Sunday before Leicester City visit Old Trafford on Tuesday. The rearranged fixture with Liverpool, postponed last weekend following fan protests, has been scheduled for 48 hours later on Thursday. "I've never seen that schedule before, not in modern-day football," Solskjaer told a news co...
- Manchester City's home clash with Chelsea on Saturday is being dubbed a dress rehearsal for the Champions League final but manager Pep Guardiola says the only thing on his mind is the victory that will confirm the Premier League title. City need three points to be sure of securing their third title in four years but the visit of Chelsea has suddenly taken on another dimension with the clubs having set up a showdown in Istanbul. The game will be analysed over and over for clues about which way the Champions League final will go, but Guardiola says neither he n...
By Amlan Chakraborty NEW DELHI -India seam bowler Mohammed Shami and spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja returned to the squad on Friday for next month's World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in Southampton and the subsequent five-match series against England. Both players sustained injuries during the tour of Australia and missed the home series against England earlier this year. All-rounder Hanuma Vihari is also back from injury to join the Virat Kohli-led squad, who will play New Zealand in the final of the inaugural WTC at Southampt...
- Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has played down his side's top-four chances and said winning their five remaining Premier League games might not be sufficient to secure a Champions League spot for next season. Liverpool stormed to the Premier League title last season but a campaign marred by injuries and poor form has left them seventh, seven points below the fourth and final Champions League place. "I am not sure there is still a chance (for top four) but we will try and if there is one, we will be there for sure," Klopp told a news conference ahead of Satur...
- India named the following squad on Friday for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in June and the five-match test series against England beginning in August. India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; ...
TOKYO -International Olympic Committee head Thomas Bach's visit to Japan is now expected to be cancelled given that the state of emergency has been extended in Tokyo and other areas, broadcaster NHK said on Friday citing unnamed sources. Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto also said on Friday that Bach's visit might be "difficult" with coronavirus cases showing no signs of abating and the government keeping infection countermeasures in place to slow the spread of the virus. "I suspect that coming to Japan in the midst of this very severe situation would also be an...
By Martyn Herman LONDON - There have been some tough times for Arsenal since Arsene Wenger ended his long reign as manager in 2018 but there was always something to cling to for the fans, a glimmer of hope despite the nagging sense of decline. A Europa League final against Chelsea in Unai Emery's one full season in charge and a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League suggested Arsenal were not too far behind. Even last season when Arsenal finished eighth in the Premier League, they beat Chelsea in the FA Cup final, a result that vindicated the d...
By Akiko Okamoto and Ju-min Park TOKYO -More than 230,000 people have signed a Japanese petition calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled in the two days since it was launched online, as public concerns mount over holding the showpiece event during a pandemic. With 11 weeks to go before the start of the Games, already postponed from 2020 due to the coronavirus, questions remain over how Tokyo can host the global gathering while keeping volunteers, athletes, officials and the Japanese public safe from COVID-19. Organised by Kenji Utsunomiya, a la...
By Chris Gallagher TOKYO - Organisers of the diving World Cup in Tokyo hailed on Friday the "successful" staging of the event after implementing strict COVID-19 countermeasures for the more than 400 participants. In what was seen as a dress rehearsal for bringing in international athletes for the Olympics during the pandemic, the diving World Cup, held May 1-6 at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, doubled as a test event for the upcoming Summer Games. It and a volleyball test event between Japan and China, held May 1-2, marked the first time overseas ath...
- Europe's medicines regulator said on Friday it was reviewing reports of a rare condition affecting the nerves following vaccination with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 shot, and requested the British drugmaker for more detailed data. As part of a regular review of safety reports for the vaccine, Vaxzevria, the European Medicines Agency's safety committee is analysing data provided on cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, the regulator said. AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Ben...
MADRID - Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has no special plans for Saturday's La Liga title showdown with Barcelona. The Argentine's league leaders visit the Camp Nou two points ahead of the Catalans and a win would all but rule Barca out of the title running with three games remaining. Real Madrid, who take on fourth-placed Sevilla on Sunday, also sit two points behind Atletico and could be the main beneficiaries if the meeting ends in a stalemate. Simeone, however, insisted he would not change his usual set-up for a more attacking one. ...
By Alan Baldwin - Valtteri Bottas lapped fastest for Mercedes in first practice for the Spanish Grand Prix on Friday with Red Bull's Max Verstappen next on the timesheets and a mere 0.033 of a second slower. Seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton, who is eight points clear of Verstappen after three races and has won in Spain for the past four years and five times in total, was third quickest. "Less than a tenth between ourselves and Mercedes, at a track like this that's been a stronghold for them for the last seven years or so, that's encouragi...
TOKYO - Japan's Fukuoka prefecture will cancel the Olympic torch relay in the prefecture, Kyodo News agency reported on Friday. It would be a first for a whole prefecture not to have runners participate in the event, Kyodo said. (Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)...
- Tottenham Hotspur interim manager Ryan Mason says Gareth Bale is rediscovering his best form and hopes the Welsh forward will have an important role to play in the London club's hunt for a top-four finish. Bale, 31, arrived at Tottenham on loan in September, but initially struggled with his form and fitness, making just six Premier League starts under former manager Jose Mourinho. But, under Mason, who took charge after the Portuguese's dismissal last month, Bale has flourished, scoring four goals in two games, including a hat-trick in Sunday's 4-0 Premier Le...
- The Malaysia Open, scheduled for May 25-30, has been postponed due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in the Southeast Asian country, organisers said on Friday. Malaysia on Wednesday imposed movement restrictions in the capital Kuala Lumpur due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in recent weeks. "All attempts were made by the organisers and BWF to provide a safe tournament environment for participants, but the recent surge in cases left no choice but to postpone the tournament," the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) and global body Badminton W...
PARIS - Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez said the pressure will be on Chelsea when the sides meet in a high-stakes Premier League encounter at the Etihad stadium on Saturday. City will be crowned champions for the fifth time in 10 years with three games to spare if they beat fourth-placed Chelsea, who are threatened by West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. They will also wrap up the title on Sunday if Manchester United lose at Aston Villa. "We want to win to become champions but they also want to win because they want to finish fou...
- Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit fired a flawless eight-under-par 64 to take a three-stroke lead over compatriot Atthaya Thitikul at the halfway stage of the Honda LPGA Thailand on Friday. Patty, the joint-overnight leader with Atthaya, carded six birdies in the second round and sank a 10-foot eagle putt after a brilliant approach shot on the 18th hole to go 16-under for the tournament at Siam Country Club in Chon Buri province. The 21-year-old ANA Inspiration winner was locked in a tight battle for much of the day with Atthaya, who had an eagle of her own in the...