Colors: Yellow Color

Former footballers, Marvin Sordell and Liam Rosenior, are among several new members of the Football Association’s Inclusion Advisory Board (IAB) – the subcommittee of the English FA board which aims to enhance diversity and equality at all levels of the game.

Former Coventry City and Burton Albion player, Sordell has spoken out about his mental health since he retired at the age of 28, while ex-Brighton and Hull City defender, Rosenior was a lead supporter of the ‘Rooney Rule’ legislation in the game.

IAB chair, Paul Elliot, said: “The standard of candidacies was hugely outstanding and, as such, we are hugely delighted with the outcome.

“It was important to bring in people who can offer a free perspective from both within and outside of football.

“We have made great strides since the Inclusion Advisory Board was formed in 2013 and it is crucial to bring in those who can challenge existing ideas”.

Marvin and Liam are joined by Sandra Hughes, chief executive of the Centre for Mental Health, KPMG’s director of inclusion, diversity and social equality, Edleen John and Staynton Brown, who is the director of inclusion and talent at Transport for London.

Kick It Out chair, Sanjay Bhandari is also added to the board, while Roya Mehdizadeh-Valoujerdy will represent the FA Youth Council.

Prejudice towards women playing football is a “continuous issue across many regions of the world” and too many face adverse labour conditions, say world players’ union Fifpro.

In a released report, Fifpro found that “discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse” are major issue.

The union also surveyed 186 players from the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Of those, more than half said that they are not enough support staff at clubs.

The union called for the introduction of global standards for players as they say adverse labour conditions “still plagues the women’s game.

Of the 186 elite women players questioned in the survey, 51% said that there were not enough staff at their club to fulfil their playing needs. 41% said they do not receive health insurance from their club, while only 3% received help to relocate after a transfer and 17% said that they received no non-financial benefits from their clubs.

A spokesperson for Women in Football said: “We regularly support women who face discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace.

“The significant increase in the number of sexist reports received by us is of concern, but sadly not a great surprise.

“What is clear is that this is just the tip of the iceberg: for every offensive tweet or comment posted and reported to us, there are dozens that are not. And we know from our 2016 research, that women who experience sexism at work rarely report it – just 1 in 10 according to our landmark industry survey”.

Premier League side, Manchester United have said that they have received permission to install 1,500 barrier seats – standing with rails – at their Old Trafford stadium as a trial measure.

The club says that they will be installing the new section in the north-east quadrant for the 2020-23 season after receiving approval from Trafford Council.

If the trial proves to be successful, the club says that it will look to install barrier seats in other areas of the stadium.

Standing at grounds in England’s top two divisions is banned although clubs have ;looked to find a ‘middle-ground’, with Wolverhampton Wanderers installing rail seats at their Molineux stadium last year.

A statement from Old Trafford said; “United will now discuss installation options with potential supplier, working within current government recommendations relating to construction site operating procedures and social distancing”.

Manchester United has struggled to deal with the problem of persistent standing at the ground for a number of years.

 

The chief doctor of football’s world governing body, FIFA, has warned against any restart of football after the worldwide interruption of the 2019-20 season and have suggested that preparation for any sort of action to be made for next season instead.

With some professional clubs returning with restarting training – although player5s do so in isolation from each other - Michel d’Hooghe said: “As a doctor, I would be very sceptical about continuing any of the leagues amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The chair of FIFA’s medical committee said: “My proposal is that if it is possible, avoid playing football in the foreseeable weeks.

“Try to be prepared for the start of good competition next season”.

Despite the ‘high’ of a survey which showed that more people were exercising, the situation is at a ‘low’ as it is said that many in lower socio-economic groups are less likely to be active.

The Sport England Active Lives Survey of 181,535, in the 12 months to November 2019, found that 28.6 million in England met the chief medical officer’s recommended 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week, which is an increase of 404,600 people on the previous 12 months.

That does, however, ‘fly in the face’ of Sport England – the governing body which funds grassroots sport – who reported a significant decline in the levels of activities being carried out – especially those between the ages of 16 and 34.

11.1m adults in England are inactive; with the country’s low socio-economic group some affluent groups.

Now, in addition, with the Covid-19 pandemic taking its global grip, there is fears that the trend for sporting inactivity may grow, with sporting bodies, including those sending athletes to the Olympic Games, in Tokyo, are fearing that they could go under.

Several governing bodies have said that they are facing a heavy financial crisis to the extent of having to cancel events; with financial implications that may well be irreversible.

A spokesperson for UK Sports said: “The current situation, which has caused the cancellation of the sporting calendar for the foreseeable future, has created a significant financial challenge for major sporting bodies.

“We are making sure that we do everything within our powers to support all sporting, at all levels, where possible.

 

 

Finishing the season in a 40-day window was one of the scenarios discussed at a Premier League meeting.

Top-flight clubs remain committed to playing all 92 remaining fixtures this season but did not discuss a deadline by which action must resume. Clubs were expected to debate a 30 June deadline to end the season but instead discussed "possible scheduling models".

Meanwhile, the Women's Super League (WSL) season could be completed over a six-week period, with the 45 games left played behind closed doors at one central base. St George's Park, the Football Association's national football centre, is understood to be under consideration to host teams and matches.

No WSL fixtures have been played since February 23, with the suspension of elite football across England coming after a two-week international break for the SheBelieves Cup and the Women's League Cup final.

With the Premier League (PL) being suspended since March 13, because of coronavirus, they say that it "remains our objective" to complete matches but currently "all dates are tentative".

It is understood some clubs expected to discuss the proposed 30 June deadline at Friday's meeting but it was decided this was not the right time to do so.

A Premier League spokesperson said: "In common with other businesses and industries" clubs were "working through complex planning scenarios.

It remains our objective to complete the 2019-20 season, but at this stage all dates are tentative while the impact of Covid-19 develops."

Sixteen of the 20 Premier League teams have nine games to play, with four having 10 left.
The Premier League earlier said play will only resume when "it is safe and appropriate to do so". 

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden spoke to PL bosses and signalled the government was content for them to start contingency planning.

In a section on player welfare at the meeting, it was decided tests for coronavirus would have to be widely available to the public before the widespread testing of players.

When and how football resumes has been widely debated across the sport as clubs face up to financial difficulties and the logistical issues caused by a late finish to the season.

If the season is extended beyond that date there is a possibility clubs will lose players before fixtures are concluded.

Lower down the football pyramid in England, the EFL has sent a letter to clubs recommending they return to training on May 16 at the earliest. The EFL has not discussed a league restart date with the government but told clubs: "Our planning needs to be agile enough to allow us to be as prepared as possible for a start at relatively short notice."

The remaining options for this campaign were outlined to WSL clubs during a conference call, including the possibility of having to void the season with the n FA spokesperson saying: "We are in the early stages of assessing what options are available for when it is safe and appropriate to resume the FA WSL and FA WC seasons.
"This includes the potential use of neutral venues.

The FA is understood to want the top women's divisions next steps to be in line with any decisions made by the Premier League, as well as following guidance from European football's governing body UEFA, with the top two WSL teams set to qualify for the Women's Champions League.

That means there could yet be some flexibility around the proposed restart start in June, but nevertheless the WSL is understood to have two main options remaining as the most likely.

Tiers three to seven of the women's pyramid in England were formally declared null and void after that decision was ratified on 9 April and the top two tiers could follow suit depending on the health advice given.

The English Football Association (FA) has launched an advisory group to study why anterior cruciate ligament injuries are more prevalent in women’s football.

Women players are 8-times more likely to injure their ACLs than men.

During this season, 12 players in the top two divisions in the women’s game – the WSL (Women’s Super League) and the Woman’s Championship – have suffered with the serious knee injury during this season with the FA saying that the results will be “carefully assessed”.

An FA spokesperson said that the results from the Female Athletics Scientific Advisory Group will be carefully assessed over time.

The spokesperson said: “The audit, already in its early stages, will be carried out by a group of experts from institutes involved in producing results in women’s athletics and football.

“Then, we will be able to assess any particular injuries – including ACLs.

“We will then be able to analyse rates of injuries in comparison to previous audits in men’s and women’s football, as well as in other sports.

A programme of ACL strategies - set up by the FA - is already in place, where experts deliver contents on the prevention, and rehabilitation from, to club medics.

Manchester City defender, Aoife Mannion, is one of the WSL players to suffer the potential career-ending knee injury and, after undergoing surgery, will be on the side-lines for a lengthy period.

Fellow WSL club, Bristol City, is undergoing research into the possible relation of the menstrual-cycle in ACL injury prevention.

 

Jan Frodeno, Olympic gold medallist and three-time winner of the Ironman Triathlon World Championship, has shown that COVID-19 cannot stop all sport if you are creative and determined enough.

Laureus Ambassador Frodeno today found an imaginative way to complete a sporting challenge amid COVID-19 restrictions and raise OVER €200,000 for healthcare institutions in Girona and Laureus Sport for Good.

Now in lockdown in Girona, he completed the Ironman distance ‘AT HOME’ – in a remarkable time of 8hrs 33mins and 39secs.

That’s 3.8 km in his counter-current swimming pool, 180 km cycling on his roller trainer, and running a 42.2km marathon on his treadmill.

Jan said: “That was certainly different and great fun. I’m really pleased we were able to make this happen, and to raise money for such good and important causes. We’ve been subject to lockdown for almost 4 weeks now and there is strict monitoring of compliance with these rules, and rightly so.

“The situation here is really dire. That’s why I’ve been training at home. However, when I see what the people here in the hospitals are doing for us, this small sacrifice is one I wholeheartedly make.”

Frodeno was planning to compete at the Challenge Roth in Bavaria, but it was called off because of the pandemic.

He said: “In the beginning it was actually just a crazy idea, with me thinking: ‘If I can’t do my race, I’ll just do it at home.’ Then we thought more about how and why we should actually do this. I just wanted to attract attention in order to raise money.

“A portion of the donations will help Laureus Sport for Good in building a project to help young people in my home city, Girona. My sponsor Mercedes-Benz is a Global Partner of this charity and I have been involved in it as an Ambassador for many years.

“Laureus is a wonderful organisation that supports around 200 programmes around the world which use the power of sport to help young people. A lot of this work has had to stop, or has to take place remotely now because of COVID-19. For these young people, many of them disadvantaged, this is a double disaster.

“The rest of the donations will be given to local healthcare institutions here in Girona. I have so much respect and regard for the doctors, nurses and helpers here who are risking themselves to beat this terrible thing.”

Fans around the world tuned in to a live stream of Jan’s #TriatHome Challenge. Throughout the day, he was joined on the stream by a number of the world’s greatest sporting legends, including Laureus Academy members Boris Becker, Fabian Cancellara, Mike Horn and Chris Hoy.

For anyone wishing to support Jan’s initiative, the donation page is www.viprize.org/frodeno.
                           

Ex-England, Crystal Palace, Wolves, Nottingham Forest, Crewe, Barnsley and Rochdale footballer, blood cancer survivor and Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas has reluctantly announced the cancellation of his GT15 Tour de France challenge with view to completing it in 2021.

Geoff and 18 other amateur cyclists had been training to cycle the full Tour de France route, a day ahead of the professionals, this summer with the aim of raising £1,000,000 for national blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia.

Their fundraising would directly fund the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) network which comprises 12 blood cancer centres across the UK. The specialist research nurses funded within these centres allow pioneering clinical trials for blood cancer to run benefitting a catchment area of 20 million people and many of these nurses have now been redeployed to help run clinical trials to fight the COVID-19 virus.

Unfortunately, due to the unprecedented global impact from the COVID-19 crisis, Geoff and the charity have made the decision to cancel the event with a view to completing the challenge next year, a decision that the whole GT15 team are in complete agreement with, despite the main Tour de France announcing its postponement to August 29th this summer.

Thomas, 55, who was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2003, said: “I am devastated to cancel this event which was due to be my final Tour de France challenge. Whilst the official organisers have announced the new date there is still too much uncertainty and risk from a logistical and operational perspective for our event to take place. However, I am so grateful that the majority of the team have already assured me that they will complete the event in 2021.

“Our aim was to raise £1,000,000 for Cure Leukaemia to fund our amazing research nurses across the UK, many of whom have been redeployed to directly fight COVID-19 on the front-line and I am so proud that, as a team, we have already raised over £350,000. I want to thank everyone involved in GT15 for the hours of training and fundraising they have already dedicated to this challenge and we will still do what we can to get as close to our £1m target this year.

“I also want to thank our fantastic sponsors for their support especially our official headline sponsor Farr Vintners who have committed to the event in 2021. We have made this decision with a heavy heart, but we are now even more determined to go well beyond the £1m target when this event can take place in 2021.”

Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin said: “After careful consideration and communication with Geoff and the team and despite today’s announcement, we decided that it is the sensible and right decision to cancel this year’s event. I am immensely grateful to all of our major sponsors and event director Andy Cook for their understanding of the situation and their continued support.

“In cancelling the event, this inevitably creates a potential significant shortfall and we will be doing everything we can for the remainder of the year to ensure we can provide vital funds for the amazing research nurses we fund at 12 blood cancer centres across the UK so they can continue to help save lives.

“I want to thank all of the GT15 riders for their phenomenal dedication to training and fundraising for Cure Leukaemia and their understanding of this decision.”

 

Former England fast bowler Devon Malcolm says it is “really difficult” to come to terms with the death of his father who died after contacting coronavirus, after not being able to visit him in hospital.

Malcolm’s father, Albert, who lived in a care home, died at the age of 75 on April 4.

He had been admitted to hospital with a bladder infection on March 29 and had only tested positive for the covid-19 virus just two days before he passed.

Malcolm, who took 128 wickets in 40 Tests between 1989 and 1997, said: “It’s so sad as we lost him in only a few days.

“It’s only when we got the death certificate when reality really sinks in. And when it does, it feels like you are having a dream and you will be out of it soon.

“But it’s going to be very difficult”.

He added: “We have a date for the funeral but the process is so difficult and so different now to going through bereavement in the past.

“There are only 5 people and the vicar who are allied at the graves. We are hoping in the future, when we get back to some sort of normality, we can possibly a proper service, celebrating his lie with all his grandchildren and his friends”.

Devon played all of his County Cricket in the East Midlands - at Derbyshire, Leicestershir and Northamptonshire – between 1084 and 2003.

Following Champions-elect, Liverpool, fellow Premier League giants, Tottenham Hotspur have also reverse the decision to use the government furlough scheme for their non-playing staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

The U-turn comes on the back of overwhelming opposition that the club was receiving from fans, players – present and former – football fans in general and an extensive number people at large.

With a back-lash that proved hugely unbearable by the decision-makers at the North London club, they were forced to put out a statement which said that all non-playing staff will receive “100% of their pay for April and May”.

It comes two weeks after the club announced that 550 of their employees were due to have to take a 20% pay cut ‘to protect jobs’.

This latest statement included the fact that only board members – who include chairman, Daniel Levy, who earned an estimated £7m last year - at the club will be taking a cut in their salary.

He (Levy) said: “We regret any concern caused during an anxious time and hope that the work our supporters will see us doing in the coming weeks, as our stadium takes on a whole new purpose, will make them proud of their club.

The club’s £850m 62,000-seeter Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – which is one of the most advanced in the world - has been offered to the NHS in the fight against coronavirus, with the club using it to support vulnerable individuals affected by the outburst.

Newcastle United, Norwich City and Bournemouth are amongst Premier League clubs who will furlough some of their non-playing staff, fellow Premier League club, Southampton, have become the first in the division to announce an agreement with their players over wage deferrals during the coronavirus crisis.

The cancellation, or postponement, of many a major event - due to the global pandemic that is coronavirus - has not only created a huge nightmare in the diaries (and coffers) of organisers, participants and fans alike, but, for the likes of sporting, entertainment, major family get-togethers and other mass official gatherings, the future is darkened by uncertainty and confusion.

E where the fall-out of the can create added corncerns.

The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is where the issue of the mental health of its competitors could come to the fore.

There is a record number of athletes and others whose respective intense Olympics preparations were due to pinnacle this summer.

With that in mind, there is a growing concern for their mental health preparations – amongst other issues.

Following the first Olympic Games postponement in its history, the most decorated Olympian, Michael Phelps, has backed the decision.

He said: “At first I was shocked at the cancellation”, he said. “It didn’t seem like something that could be managed, or controlled”.

For the athletes, he said: “Your whole life is pointed towards this moment and then this curveball. Now you have to wait for an extra year.

“I just feel so bad for the athletes who have made it this far. On the one hand I’m relieved that they’ve got an extra year to prepare. But the waiting makes it much harder”.

With that he added: “I really hope we don’t see an increase in athlete’s suicide rates because of it. This postponement is uncharted waters”.

With him suffering deep post-athletics depression, mental health awareness has since been the foundation of Phelps’ life.

Every athlete is in a singular place and he is worried about Tokyo Olympians being abruptly being asked to re-calibrate their lives.

“As someone who has gone through some who has gone through some really deep stages of depression, and still dealing with it, I hope and pray than every one of these athletes gets some kind of help with the mental health of this situation. This is a very big thing, and we can’t even leave our homes – no matter who or where we are”.

“So, if you’re an athlete, go online, or pick up the phone. Find someone to talk to”.

 

Didier Drogba, one of the greatest strikers in the history of the Premier League, has donated his foundation’s medical facilities to his home land Cote d’Ivorie (Ivory Coast) government, to aid their fight against the county’s coronavirus crisis.

The Laurent Pokou Hospital - which was built from funds donated by the former Chelsea player – in Attecoube Abidjan, is named after the country’s former player and coach who died in 2009.

Drogba made the donation to the government in the presence of the Major of Abidjan, Vincent Toh Bi Irie and Mariam Breka, who is the director of the Drogba Foundation.

The Ivory Coast recorded 566 Covid-19 cases – the second highest in West Africa - with a registered total of four deaths.

Toh Bi Irie said: “We thank Didier for his donation, which is seen as a huge act of patriotism.

The hospital is yet to be fully completed, but the government is expected to make it fully functional for purpose very soon.

In the wake of the worldwide pandemic, Drogba, the west London club’s record goal scorer, made a scathing indictment of French doctors.

Along with other African footballing legend, including; Ghanaian international Christian Atsu, Cameroon great, Samuel Et’o and former Senegal star, Demba Ba, he denounced remarks made by two leading French medical experts who suggested that any first testing for any anti-coronavirus drugs should be carried out in Africa.

The football legends were incensed by the remarks that were made on French TV.

Responding to the denunciation, Newcastle United winger, Atsu, posted on his twitter: “During the programme on French television station LCT, professor Jean-Paul Mira, head of the intensive care unit at Cochin Hospital (Paris) and professor Camille Locht, research director at Inserm suggested the effectiveness of the vaccine should be tested in Africa.”

On his twitter, Drogba posted: “It is totally inconceivable we keep on cautioning this. Africa isn’t a testing lab. I would like to vividly denounce those demeaning, false and most of all deeply racist worlds. Help us save Africa with the current ongoing COVID 19 and flatten the curves.”

 

Liverpool legend, Sir Kenny Dalglish has just been released from hospital after testing positive for coronavirus and spent time in hospital but despite not showing symptoms his family announced.

The former Scotland international was admitted to hospital during the past week for treatment for an infection which required intravenous antibiotics.

The former Celtic forward, now 69, was routinely tested for coronavirus after being admitted.

“Unexpectedly, the tests results were positive and he remained asymptomatic”, Dalglish’s family said.

Affectionately called ‘King Kenny’ by Liverpool fans, whilst he was there, he won eight league championships as a player and manager at Anfield and three European Cups.

The club renamed the Centenary Stand at Anfield the ‘Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand’.

Prior to his years at the Merseyside club, at Celtic, he won four Scottish league titles before his move south.

After a glorious, medal-laden career at Liverpool, Sir Kenny then won the Premier League as manager of Blackburn Rovers in 1995.

In a statement following his release Kenny said:

“Thank you for all of your well wishes over the last few days.

 

 

“We will now be in full lockdown for the recommended amount of time in order to protect the lives of others.”

Sir Kenny’s positive testing followed that of former Leeds United great, Norman Hunter, after the World Cup-winning former England international began receiving treatment in hospital after he tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.

Nicknamed ‘Bite Your Legs’, Hunter, 76, was a stalwart during the once giant Yorkshire club’s stellar years under the management of Don Revie and was part of the England squad who won the FIFA World Cup in 1966.

A statement from Leeds United said that the legend is in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus.

 

The LMA (League Managers’ Association) has insisted that the football season in England should only resume after all the players, from every club, in all of the divisions are tested for coronavirus.

“But”, chief executive, Richard Bevan says, “Tests have to be made available to NHS workers and patients first.

“With the game being postponed indefinitely, due to the Covid-19, once that has taken place, wouldn’t it be a great idea to then access it to sport”.

On another point, he criticised the EFL (English Football League) for not consulting his members after they said that, once it restarts, the season can be completed in 56 days.

Bevan described the proposal as “amazingly tight.

He thinks that testing is key to getting back to action as soon as possible.

“Our managers don’t want to be back in action unless the players have been tested.

“Equally, the government must confirm that it is OK. The test has to be made available first and foremost.to NHS and all care workers, patients and their families”.

 

 

Organisers of the 2021 World Athletics Championships have agreed to stage the event the following year, but insist that it will not clash with the Commonwealth Games of the same r

The Championships, set to be held in the United States, was originally due to be held in 2021, but has had to change due to the current worldwide-affecting coronavirus crisis.

With the Tokyo Olympics – which was due to take place this year – now pushed forward to next year, the Worlds’ – due to be held in Eugene, in Oregon - will, subsequently, be pushed forward a year.

But, as such, it did bring out some concerns as to whether it might clash with the Commonwealth Games, which is set-out as THE major international athletics attraction on the sport’s calendar for that year.

Following a period of lengthy, heavy negotiations, compromises with athletics’ governing body were reached to move the event to 15-24 July 2022 so that it doesn’t clash with the Commonwealth Games of that year, which will be taking place in Birmingham from July 27 – August 7.

Lord Coe, president of the IAAF said: “Our guiding principle in rescheduling was to ensure enough space was created enough space around the centrepiece World Athletics Championships for athletes to choose other major events to compete in.

“We were also very mindful that we didn’t damage the other major championships in 2022.

The European Championships is also due in 2022

That is set to take place in Munich, in Germany and is set to start in August 11.