The Premier League has decided that the respective seasons will not stop due to the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic – Update News Sport

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The Premier League and EFL have both decided that their respective seasons will not pause because of the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with clubs facing up to a mounting fixture crisis due to the postponement of multiple games across the whole of the English football pyramid.

Elsewhere, Fulham were shocked at home by Sheffield United on Monday evening as the visitors held out a 1-0 win. Iliman Ndiaye’s goal in the third minute was the only difference that has moved Sheffield United into the top half of the table.

We will bring you all the latest updates throughout football here.

Chelsea were only able to name four outfield players on their bench for Sunday’s goalless draw against Wolves due to a wave of coronavirus infections and injuries.

Midfielder Lewis Baker was in line to feature at Brentford in Wednesday’s League Cup quarter-final after a number of academy stars trained with the first team but has now tested positive himself.

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“We can now start from scratch, and this is what we do right now,” said Tuchel. “We’ve delayed training until late afternoon. Right now we will prepare for the match to be played.

“But even to plan training is pretty exciting because until the very last hour you don’t know how many players will arrive.”

A frustrated Tuchel lamented having to rest N’Golo Kante due to his recent knee issue but Jorginho will return, having tested negative for Covid after inconclusive previous results.

Chelsea had their request to postpone their match at Wolves rejected and the following day the Premier League opted not to pause the schedule even though six of the 10 weekend games were called off.

That decision came on the same day that the English top flight reported 90 new coronavirus cases among players and staff last week — a big leap from 42 in the previous week.

Tuchel said he was not surprised by the decision to carry on, even though he felt the club had a strong case.

“I shared my thoughts with everybody,” he said. “We accept the situation and the challenge. We had 14 (outfield) players (in the squad) and with a lot of them we took a huge risk. We did not feel fully safe. Apart from that, we will accept the next challenge and it will not get easier because these guys are out.”

Liverpool crisis
Liverpool’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders issued a stark warning over the punishing demands on the remaining fit players.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are one of eight clubs playing in this week’s League Cup quarter-finals in addition to a packed schedule of league matches over the Christmas and New Year period.

Liverpool currently have Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara and Curtis Jones isolating due to Covid and are expected to rotate heavily against Leicester on Wednesday.

They face two Premier League games in three days next week, against Leeds and Leicester again.

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“We think it is absurd we have to play within 48 hours because it is a much higher risk of injury and the quality of the game will not be as good,” said Lijnders.

“The quality of the game goes down the more fatigue there is,” he added. “We have to respect the fact that a Premier League (team) needs 72 hours to recover if we want more quality.”

The FA Cup’s third and fourth rounds will once more do without replays, the Football Association confirmed.

After replays were suspended throughout the 2020-21 season, they were scheduled to return for this season’s edition.

But as the number of games postponed due to the latest COVID-19 outbreak has continued to pile up, the FA has moved to ease the fixture backlog for affected clubs.

“Replays have been removed in both the third and fourth rounds of the 2021-22 Emirates FA Cup,” the FA signalled in a statement released Dec. 20.

“This exceptional decision was approved by the FA Board on Friday 17 December and has been taken in the wider interest of English football to alleviate the possibility of fixture congestion following several postponements in recent days and continued uncertainty ahead due to COVID-19.

“Ties in the third and fourth rounds of this season’s competition (Round of 64 and Round of 32) will be played to a finish on the day, with extra-time and penalty shootouts if required.

“Replays will return up to and including the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup from the 2022-23 season onwards.”

Why no replays in the FA Cup is a big deal
Replays are a traditional feature of the FA Cup, and are notably an opportunity for lower-league clubs to secure a money-making return match should they take a draw against one of the Premier League giants in the early rounds.

In 2020-21, however, given the need to condense the season due to the pandemic, the format was dispensed with in favor of ending each tie in extra time or penalties on the same day.

MORE: Why Tottenham was knocked out of Europe

In July the FA announced that replays would make a return for 2021-22, and several matches in the first and second rounds were decided in that fashion.

Recently, however, a spike in coronavirus cases has caused upheaval in the schedule, with no fewer than six Premier League matches postponed last weekend.

As those games will have to be rescheduled in the coming weeks and months, removing potential replays may help to stop the fixtures piling up for affected teams.

Chelsea had only four outfield players on the bench for the goalless draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday after seven members of their squad tested positive for coronavirus. Soccer-AC Milan striker Ibrahimovic injured for Empoli match – Pioli AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the club’s latest player to be ruled out with injury, Stefano Pioli said on Tuesday, as the Rossoneri look to end a recent winless run against Empoli before the winter break.

Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.

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Cricket-South Africa focused on beating India despite off-field woes

Test captain Dean Elgar says he will not let the allegations of racist conduct that have come to light at Cricket South Africa in recent months become an excuse for failure as his side prepare to host India in a three-match series from Sunday. Director of cricket Graeme Smith, who denies the claims, and national team coach Mark Boucher were among a number of CSA employees implicated in “tentative findings” made by the Social Justice and Nation Building Ombudsman into alleged past discrimination.

Soccer-Chelsea disappointed with depleted squad but ready for challenge – Tuchel

Chelsea must “find solutions” on the pitch despite not having a full-strength squad, manager Thomas Tuchel said on Tuesday, as the London side face the busy year-end fixture period short of several players due to injury or COVID-19. Chelsea had only four outfield players on the bench for the goalless draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday after seven members of their squad tested positive for coronavirus.

Soccer-AC Milan striker Ibrahimovic injured for Empoli match – Pioli

AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the club’s latest player to be ruled out with injury, Stefano Pioli said on Tuesday, as the Rossoneri look to end a recent winless run against Empoli before the winter break. The Rossoneri have lost important figures like Simon Kjaer, Ante Rebic, Olivier Giroud, Rafael Leao and Davide Calabria to injury in recent weeks, and the absences have coincided with a dip in form.

Tennis-Bencic tests positive for COVID-19 after Abu Dhabi event, has “severe symptoms”

Olympic tennis champion Belinda Bencic has tested positive for COVID-19 after her trip to Abu Dhabi and has “severe symptoms”, she said on Tuesday, a day after Rafa Nadal announced he had also tested positive. Both players had travelled to Abu Dhabi to play in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event last week. Nadal also said he was having some “unpleasant moments” after testing positive upon his return to Spain.

Alpine skiing-Shiffrin secures 72nd World Cup in Courchevel giant slalom

American Mikaela Shiffrin crushed the opposition in Tuesday’s giant slalom in Courchevel in France to claim her 72nd alpine skiing World Cup victory. The 26-year-old was in a league of her won in the opening run in the French resort and kept things under control in the second to clinch her third World Cup win this season and second in a giant slalom.

Soccer-PSG must alter tactics with Mbappe and Neymar unavailable – Pochettino

Paris St Germain will look to end the year on a high when they take on Lorient in the final game of the year but must alter their tactics with Neymar still injured and Kylian Mbappe suspended, manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Tuesday. PSG are top of the standings with 45 points while relegation-threatened Lorient are 19th ahead of the final match before a short winter break.

Swimming-Canada’s MacNeil sets 50m backstroke short course world record

Canada’s Maggie MacNeil set a short course world record in the women’s 50 metres backstroke to win gold at the world championships in Abu Dhabi. MacNeil, who won 100m butterfly gold at the Tokyo Olympics, clocked 25.27 to shave 0.33 seconds off Kira Toussaint’s mark on Monday.

Motor racing-Latifi speaks out after death threats following Abu Dhabi crash

Canadian Nicholas Latifi spoke out on Tuesday after receiving death threats and online abuse over a crash at the Dec. 12 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that led to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen winning the Formula One title and Lewis Hamilton missing out. The Williams driver brought out the safety car late in the race, with a change in procedure giving Verstappen the opportunity to pass Mercedes’ Hamilton on the last lap.

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Soccer-Spurs may appeal UEFA decision after Europa Conference League exit – Conte

Tottenham Hotspur may appeal UEFA’s decision to eliminate them from the Europa Conference League and are confident of getting the verdict overturned, manager Antonio Conte said on Tuesday. Spurs were knocked out of the competition on Monday after European soccer’s governing body ruled that they must forfeit their final group game against Rennes, which was cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak at the London club.

Soccer-‘Absurd’ to play twice in four days given COVID, says Liverpool’s Lijnders

Liverpool assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders said on Tuesday that it was “absurd” that Liverpool have to play two games in four days given the number of COVID-19 cases and injuries at the club. The Anfield side drew 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday in the league and will face Leicester City at home on Wednesday in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

Punjab beat UP 2-1 in shoot-out to win 11th Senior National Men’s Hockey Championship
Punjab defeated Uttar Pradesh 2-1 in the shoot-out after both the teams failed to break the deadlock in regulation time to clinch the 11th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship title here on Tuesday.In the third-fourth place play-off game, Karnataka beat Maharashtra 5-2.

Punjab defeated Uttar Pradesh 2-1 in the shoot-out after both the teams failed to break the deadlock in regulation time to clinch the 11th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship title here on Tuesday.

In the third-fourth place play-off game, Karnataka beat Maharashtra 5-2. In the final, the first half ended goalless between the two heavyweights. The deadlock continued in the second half as well, with neither of the teams coming close to scoring in regulation time. Punjab goalkeeper Kamalbir Singh emerged as the hero of the match, making as many as four saves in the shoot-out to help his team clinch the title.

Speaking about his side’s victory, Punjab coach Balwinder Singh said, ”As many as 10 players were playing the Nationals for the first time, so this win shows how talented this group is. We expected this kind of challenge in the final, our boys showed great character today. ”The team was led by Rupinder Pal Singh, hence we were confident in defence. Our goalkeeper Kamalbir Singh stood tall and made excellent saves in the shoot-out.” Earlier in the day, Karnataka defeated Maharashtra 5-2 to clinch the third place. Karnataka established an early two-goal cushion, courtesy goals from Kumar Yathish B (3rd minute) and Mohd Raheel (5th). Maharastra didn’t give up and equalised through two goals from their captain Taleb Shah in the 24th and 33rd minutes respectively. But, that wasn’t enough as goals from Pavan Madivalar (37th) and Chiranth Somanna N D (45th) put Karnataka in the driver’s seat at the end of the third quarter. Likhith B M’s goal in the 52nd minute sealed the match for Karnataka.

Seeing the Indian flag on the podium is a proud moment and I will cherish it forever, said Kumaran.Kumaran, racing with Peregrine team, became the 2021 FMSCI Senior National Rotax Karting champion last month and made it to the three-member FMSCI India team.

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Peregrine Racing’s Kyle Aditya Kumaran made India proud by winning the silver trophy at the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals, the annual karting competition for Rotax national champions here.

The 18-year-old Kumaran, a native of Thiruchirapalli, took part in the DD2 class and finished third in the pre-finals to qualify for the 36-grid ‘Grand Finals’ where he became the vice-champion to be assured of a podium finish at the Bahrain International Karting Circuit, the venue that hosts F1 races.

”Representing India has been a dream and I am thrilled and happy to achieve it. Seeing the Indian flag on the podium is a proud moment and I will cherish it forever,” said Kumaran.

Kumaran, racing with Peregrine team, became the 2021 FMSCI Senior National Rotax Karting champion last month and made it to the three-member FMSCI India team. Kumaran finished the 21-lap final race in third, clocking 18 minutes 41.392 seconds and was promoted to second place after penalties were applied. Thus, Kumaran became the vice-champion in the DD2 shifter class. Martun van Leeuwen of the Netherlands won the gold and Patriks Noels of Latvia came third behind the Indian.

Canadian Nicholas Latifi spoke out on Tuesday after receiving death threats and online abuse over a crash at the Dec. 12 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that led to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen winning the Formula One title and Lewis Hamilton missing out.

Canadian Nicholas Latifi spoke out on Tuesday after receiving death threats and online abuse over a crash at the Dec. 12 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that led to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen winning the Formula One title and Lewis Hamilton missing out. The Williams driver brought out the safety car late in the race, with a change in procedure giving Verstappen the opportunity to pass Mercedes’ Hamilton on the last lap.

Before the crash, Hamilton had been heading for a record eighth title. Latifi said in a statement on his website that he had decided to address the issue of abuse after staying off social media to let things settle down.

He said he hoped to spark another conversation about the “drastic consequences” of online bullying. “I’ve received thousands of messages to my social media accounts…most have been supportive, but there’s been a lot of hate and abuse, too,” said the 26-year-old.

“As we’ve seen time and time again, across all different sports, it only takes one incident at the wrong time to have things completely blown out of proportion and bring out the worst in people who are so-called ‘fans’ of the sport. “What shocked me was the extreme tone of the hate, abuse, and even the death threats I received.”

Latifi said that he had apologised to his team for the crash and that the rest was out of his control. He said that he was no stranger to negative comments about his performances and that having a thick skin was part of being an athlete. “But many of the comments I received last week crossed the line into something far more extreme. It concerns me how somebody else might react if this same level of abuse was ever directed at them,” he added.

Latifi’s situation was similar to that of German Timo Glock in 2008, when the Toyota driver received death threats after being passed by Hamilton on the last corner of the last lap of the final race in Brazil. Hamilton won that title, his first, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa losing out.

Verstappen spoke out in Latifi’s defence last week, saying accidents were just a part of motor racing and it would be unfair to blame the Canadian.

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Juan Ferrando got off to a winning start as ATK Mohun Bagan coach but only just as his side scraped past a spirited NorthEast United FC 3-2 in a thrilling Indian Super League game at the PJN Stadium in Fatorda on Tuesday.

Hugo Boumous (53rd, 76th) scored a brace after Liston Colaco (45th) equalised for ATKMB but Mashoor Shereef (87th) got the Highlanders in the game late on. In the end, the Kolkata side held firm and recorded their first win in four matches. ATKMB now have 11 points from seven games. NorthEast United remain in the ninth spot with seven points from eight matches. It was not a fairytale start for Ferrando as ATKMB boss as NorthEast went ahead in just the second minute. Mathias Coureur floated in a delicious corner towards the near post where Suhair was on hand to nod home.

Stung by the early setback, ATKMB upped the ante and should have pulled level but for Manvir Singh who fired over the bar from inside the box. Roy Krishna had a couple of half-chances thereafter but good reflexes from Mirshad Michu in the NorthEast goal and Krishna’s inefficiency keep the ball in target kept the score to 1-0.

For the Highlanders, seasoned defender Gurjinder Kumar got injured in the 26th minute and had to be replaced by Tondonba Singh. Colaco forced Michu into action with a fierce effort from an angle inside the box but the keeper did well to avert the danger. At the other end, Amrinder Singh pulled off a great save to keep Rochharzela’s long-range attempt at bay. Colaco then burst through into the penalty box but his take from an acute angle was well saved again by Michu The rebound was blocked brilliantly by Khassa Camara off Hugo Boumous.

Just when it looked like NorthEast would go into the break with a 1-0 lead, Michu scuffed a goal kick and the ball fell to Krishna who swung in a delightful cross for Colaco to head into the far corner. After the halftime breather, ATKMB decided to go up a gear and Boumous made it 2-1 soon after the restart to underline their intent. NorthEast United failed to clear their lines for too long, leading to Subhasish Bose cutting the ball back from the left byline for Boumous to outfox the defender with a lovely piece of skill and tap home.

Krishna then beat a couple of defenders to take a wild swipe at goal before Carl McHugh made way for Joni Kauko at the hour-mark. Kauko was at it from the off as the Finland footballer played a crucial part in the third goal, setting up Boumous with a beautifully weighted pass for the latter to slot it wide of the keeper and into the net.

Against the run of play, substitute Shereef got NorthEast back in the game with a powerful shot from inside the box with the dying minutes of the match keeping the ATKMB faithful on the edge of their seats. (ANI)

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