Weekly Digest (June 8-14): From La Liga's restart and another lawsuit in US sports to Afridi's fight against COVID-19

From fans coming back to the stadiums in New Zealand and Shahid Afridi testing positive for COVID-19 to a sexual harassment lawsuit in USA, here are the biggest stories from the week.

Here are the biggest updates from the world of sport this past week.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact countries all around the world, sport is making the low crawl back to normalcy, some form of it at least. From fans coming back to the stadiums in New Zealand and Shahid Afridi testing positive after spending weeks engaged in relief work to another sexual harassment lawsuit in sporting circles in the United States, here are the biggest updates from the world of sport this past week.

CRICKET

IPL Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel told Sportstar that the BCCI has earmarked the September-October time frame for the franchise league. (REPORT)

The BCCI on Friday called off the Indian cricket team’s short tour of Zimbabwe in August due to the threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was on expected lines after Sri Lanka Cricket announced on Thursday that India’s limited overs tour in June-July was postponed indefinitely. (REPORT)

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi tested positive for COVID-19. He is under self-isolation at home. (REPORT)

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has alleged that he was subjected to racist comments during his stint with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). (REPORT)

The ICC Chief Executives’ Committee ratified the Cricket Committee recommendations aimed at mitigating the risks posed by coronavirus. (MORE)

The West Indies team arrived in the U.K. ahead of a Test series to be played between England and West Indies. (WATCH)

With New Zealand declaring itself virus-free, the country could emerge as a sought-after neutral venue for Test matches, reckons Heath Mills, chief executive of the Players Association.  (REPORT)

IN STANDS THIS WEEK: We are back in print! Will women’s sport survive the pandemic?

 

FOOTBALL

Lionel Messi set another La Liga milestone as Barcelona made a winning return to the pitch with a 4-0 thrashing of Real Mallorca. (REPORT)

Atletico Madrid drew 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao, missing out on the chance to capitalise on slip-ups by its rival for Champions League places. (REPORT)

Napoli went through to the final of the Coppa Italia on aggregate after a 1-1 draw against Inter Milan. Napoli will face Juventus for the title. (REPORT)

The Premier League said that there two positive test results from their latest round of coronavirus tests of players and staff ahead of the competition’s resumption next week. (REPORT)

Dele Alli will miss Tottenham’s first game back from the Premier League’s suspension after receiving a one-match ban on Thursday for a racially insensitive post on social media during the coronavirus outbreak. (REPORT)

Robert Lewandowski netted a second-half winner as holder Bayern Munich remained on course for a domestic double after beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 to reach the German Cup final for the third straight year. (REPORT)

The U.S. Soccer Federation said it had repealed its requirement that players stand during the national anthem, saying the policy was wrong and detracted from the Black Lives Matter movement. (REPORT)

Match schedules and venues for international football and European club competitions in Europe disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic will be decided by UEFA next week. (REPORT)

Liverpool could win the Premier League at the home of city rival Everton after local authorities approved Goodison Park being used for the game rather than a neutral venue. (REPORT)

Major League Soccer said it will restart the season after being shut down for almost three months for the COVID-19 outbreak on July 8 with a tournament without fans at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. (REPORT)

The top two women’s football divisions in Spain have gained professional status, the Spanish federation has announced. (REPORT)

 

TENNIS

Stacey Allaster is the U.S. Open's new tournament director, the first woman to hold that job at the American Grand Slam tennis tournament. Her appointment comes at a time when the marquee event is facing pressure from the COVID-19 situation in the country. (REPORT)

Roger Federer will miss whatever remains of the coronavirus-impacted 2020 tennis season because of a setback in his recovery from surgery on his right knee. (REPORT)

The call to have spectators at the re-arranged French Open will be made by the French government only.  (REPORT)

The United States Tennis Association has proposed moving the Cincinnati Masters to New York for a doubleheader with the US Open.  (REPORT)

The Serbian government recently lifted the coronavirus lockdown restrictions, only recommending people stay 1 meter apart. On Wednesday, there was a 20,000-strong crowd for the Serbian Cup semifinal matches in Belgrade. (REPORT)

The ITF announced that it will use the ATP and WTA rankings of June 7, 2021 to finalise the entry list for the tennis events of next year’s Tokyo Olympics though the criteria to determine the eligibility of athletes remains unchanged. (REPORT)

Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev joined world number one Novak Djokovic in expressing their reluctance over playing at the 2020 US Open. (REPORT)

Naomi Osaka says she has no intention of backing down and hopes to help drive real and permanent social change. (REPORT)

Yannick Noah, the last French winner of a Grand Slam tennis title, said he was concerned that the sportsmen in France condemning police brutality and discrimination in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in the United States were all black. (REPORT)

BADMINTON

H.S. Prannoy is back on the court after the Kerala government eased training norms for elite sportspersons in the State. (REPORT)

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) cancelled the 2020 Swiss Open and the 2020 European Championships on Wednesday. (REPORT)

Coaches and support staff have had “virtually no income” for the past three months, ever since the nationwide lockdown was imposed, India’s chief national badminton coach P. Gopichand said. (REPORT)

 

HOCKEY

In a complaint, IOA vice-president Sudhanshu Mittal had accused FIH president Narinder Batra of violating the International Hockey Federation’s statues. Batra has found support from the international body in the ongoing power tussle within the Indian Olympic Association. (REPORT)

SHOOTING

The Administrative Council at the ISSF has unanimously approved the new anti-doping rules, which will be fully implemented from January 1 next year. WADA has confirmed the new rules are consistent with the revised World Anti-Doping Code, which was ratified by all signatories in November 2019. (REPORT)

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has asked its shooters to stay away from an “unauthorised online league", stating disciplinary action will be taken against those who compete in the tournament. (REPORT)

MOTORSPORT

The 2020 MotoGP season will start on Friday, July 19, with two back-to-back races scheduled at the Circuito de Jerez in Spain. There will be a minimum of 12 races and a maximum of 17 rounds taking place this season. (REPORT)

Formula One races in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan were canceled because of issues arising from the coronavirus pandemic. The sport’s governing body said it still hopes to deliver up to 18 races in the rearranged 2020 season. (REPORT)

BOXING

The former world light heavyweight boxing champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk has retired, his manager said. Gvozdyk won the WBC title in December 2018 when he knocked out Adonis Stevenson, who had held the belt for five years.  (REPORT)

Former national boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu has recommended two-time Commonwealth Games medal-winner Manoj Kumar’s personal coach and elder brother Rajesh Kumar Rajound for this year’s Dronacharya award.  (REPORT)

 

ATHLETICS

Gomathi Marimuthu, the 2019 Asian championship 800m gold medallist, has been stripped of her medal and banned for four years by the Athletics Integrity Unit after her ‘B’ sample also returned positive for anabolic steroid nandrolone. (REPORT)

IOC is in talks about easing protest ban at Olympics and had earlier issued guidelines reiterating its support of Rule 50, which bans inside-the-lines protests at the Games.  (REPORT)

In a communique to IOC president Thomas Bach, Narinder Batra has refuted allegations of forgery levelled by IOA vice-president Sudhanshu Mittal to the IOC and the FIH. (REPORT)

BASKETBALL

NBA teams will be tested for the coronavirus regularly from June 23 as the league prepares to resume the season. (REPORT)

Renowned basketball coach JD Walsh says India needs a pro-league that players can aspire to play in and more grassroots marketing to encourage participation. (REPORT)

As the NBA and its players continue to negotiate an attempt to restart the season, several young stars reportedly spoke with the NBA Players Association (NBPA) on Friday about the possibility of league-financed insurance policies to protect against career-threatening injuries. (REPORT)

The NBA plans to allow as many as 17 players per team once the season resumes at the end of next month. (REPORT)

SWIMMING

Six women have filed civil lawsuits against USA Swimming, its local associations in California and three now-banned coaches claiming the national governing body failed to protect them from abuse by those coaches.  (REPORT)

Frustrated at not being able to resume training, Virdhawal Khade said he may consider retiring from swimming if swimming pools continued to remain shut. (REPORT)

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