Coronavirus: How football matches, sport events are affected

An outbreak of a deadly coronavirus in the city of Wuhan has placed large parts of China on lockdown and the rest of the world on high alert.

 

 

 

 

 

Authorities are taking measures in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus, which is mainly affecting China, with a small number cases confirmed in Japan, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and the United States. Cases have also been confirmed in Nepal, Australia and France.

Travel restrictions are in effect across 10 Chinese cities in the region most affected, with Chinese officials advising people not to travel into or out of Wuhan in particular.

The outbreak of the coronavirus has had an impact on a number of football events in China, with games being moved, postponed and even cancelled.

It has been confirmed that the Chinese Super Cup clash between Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai Shenhua - originally scheduled to be played on February 5 - will be postponed.

The AFC Champions League is also likely to be affected, but Shanghai SIPG's play-off match against Buriram United - due to take place on January 28 - will go ahead behind closed doors. Certain group stage games, particularly those involving Chinese teams, are also expected to be impacted.

The 2020 Chinese Super League season, which was due to get under way on February 22 has also been postponed indefinitely, with a decision to be made by the Chinese Football Association in consultation with state authorities.

Women's football qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics involving Australia, Thailand and Chinese Taipei, which are due to be played at the beginning of February, have been moved away from China completely to Sydney. They had originally been moved from Wuhan to Nanjing, but safety concerns led to the change.

“The safety of all players, officials and fans is of paramount importance to Football Federation Australia and the Asian Football Confederation," said FFA chairman Chris Nikou. "And we are confident we will host a successful tournament here in Sydney."

 

Coco Gauff knocked out of Australian Open

Teenage phenomenon Coco Gauff missed out on her first Grand Slam quarter-final as fellow American Sofia Kenin fought back to win in the Australian Open fourth round.

Gauff, 15, lost 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-0 to the 14th seed in Melbourne.

She showed all her undoubted quality in the first set, but tired in the third as Kenin wore her down.

Kenin will next face Tunisia's Ons Jabeur, who beat Serena Williams' conqueror Wang Qiang in straight sets.

After a warm embrace at the net, Kenin and Gauff broke out in tears following an intense battle on Melbourne Arena.

Kenin, 21, dropped her racquet and cupped her face with both hands after taking her second match point to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final.

"I was just fighting," Kenin said. "She played some good points at crucial moments but I just had to calm down and relax."

An emotional Gauff received a standing ovation as she walked off the court, understandably disappointed at the manner of her defeat but with the likelihood of much better moments ahead of her.

"I'm doing well right now at 15. I still have so much I feel like I can get better on," said Gauff, who will rise into the world's top 50 for the first time next week.

"I don't even think this is close to a peak for me, even though I'm doing well right now."

Gauff has become a global star in less than a year, announcing her arrival with a victory over seven-time Grand Slam singles champion Venus Williams at Wimbledon before 'Cocomania' surrounded her run to the last 16.

 

Guardiola eyes Man Utd showdown after FA Cup victory

Pep Guardiola quickly turned his focus towards Manchester United after Manchester City thrashed Fulham 4-0 in the FA Cup fourth round.

The game as a contest was effectively over inside the opening eight minutes, with visiting captain Tim Ream dismissed for a foul on Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Gundogan converting the consequent penalty.

Bernardo Silva doubled the hosts' and holders' advantage before the interval at the Etihad Stadium, with Jesus' quickfire second-half double putting the gloss on things.

Next up for City is the visit of bitter rivals United in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final, with Guardiola's side boasting a 3-1 aggregate lead.

Reflecting initially on the clash with Championship promotion hopefuls Fulham, Guardiola said: "For a few moments, I thought it would be a tough game.

"They're a team with a lot of courage but it was a bit different after the red card. They still tried to play but the game was over at 3-0.

"The determination was always there and we will fight to win each competition.

"Always we score goals and have the ability to score. The problem this season has been conceding some goals, but it's always good to score goals."

Casting his mind ahead to Wednesday's derby, he added: "Next is United and a chance to get to the final and that is our next target."

 

'Neymar is in a different world', Navas says

Neymar is "determined to give everything" for Paris Saint-Germain, according to goalkeeper Keylor Navas.

Brazil international Neymar was heavily linked with a return to Barcelona in the close season, just two years after leaving them for a world-record fee of £200 million ($260m)

But the 27-year-old has scored 64 goals in 74 appearances for PSG and this season formed a key part of the 'Fantastic Four' with Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria.

Neymar has reportedly cancelled a party for his upcoming birthday in order to focus solely on PSG, a mentality Navas has taken note of.

 

Asked about the club's formidable attacking line-up, Navas told Telefoot: "These are players with an incredible level and, for me, it is a privilege to be able to play with them.

"We feel calmer and we believe in them. We know that they will do good work.

"Neymar is a player at a whole different level, in a different world. We are very happy to have him in our team because he helps us a lot, he makes us stronger. And we know that he is determined to give everything."

After being eliminated from the Champions League at the quarter-final stage for four straight seasons from 2012-13, PSG have exited the competition at the last 16 in their three most recent campaigns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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