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Promotion and relegation to be retained in lower divisions: EFL

Friday, 2020-05-22 07:38:22
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Soccer Football - Championship - Leeds United v Huddersfield Town - Elland Road, Leeds, Britain - March 7, 2020 Leeds Uniteds Luke Ayling celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates. (Photo: Action Images)
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Clubs in the lower divisions of the English Football League (EFL) will still be promoted or relegated if the 2019-20 season is curtailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the EFL said on Thursday (May 21).

The EFL board said they had finalised a draft framework that would be adopted into its regulations in the event of a division ending their season, saying a 51% majority is required to curtail the season in any division. League Two (fourth-tier) clubs in England unanimously voted to end their season last week while League One (third-tier) clubs failed to reach an agreement over ending their season. Championship (second-tier) clubs will vote this week on how to conclude the season.

* The novel coronavirus outbreak has claimed another sporting victim, with organisers cancelling the under-20 Oceania rugby union championship that was due to start next week in Australia. The tournament, involving teams from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Japan, was due to be held at Bond University in Queensland from May 27-June 6, Oceania Rugby said in a statement.

* IndyCar cancelled two more races on Thursday, forced to tweak its schedule due to restrictions put in place by the novel coronavirus outbreak. Races in Toronto on July 12 and Richmond, Virginia on June 27 were cancelled while REV Group Grand Prix at Road America was rescheduled from June 21 to July 11-12, making a double-header at the icon road course near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

* Former Netherlands and Manchester United defender Jaap Stam has been named head coach of FC Cincinnati, the Major League Soccer club said on Thursday. Stam replaced fellow Dutchman Ron Jans, who resigned as head coach in February following allegations he used a racial slur in front of players.

* German second division club Dynamo Dresden, where the entire squad is nearing the end of a 14-day quarantine after three players tested positive for COVID-19, say a fourth player plus a staff member have returned positive tests. However, the club said health authorities had not extended the collective quarantine and that only the infected pair would be isolated.

* Liverpool are preparing for a shorter break between seasons due to the disruption to the current campaign caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, manager Juergen Klopp has said. The Premier League hopes to restart the season - which usually ends in May - next month. With nine rounds of fixtures remaining, the season will spill over into at least July, while the 2020-21 campaign was set to begin on Aug 8.

* UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin expects the postponed Euro 2020 tournament to take place as scheduled next year, he told Spanish newspaper El Mundo. The Euros, which were to be held across 12 host cities between June and July, were postponed in March until 2021 as the novel coronavirus ravaged the global sporting calendar.

* Singer-songwriter Luis Fonsi, who broke all-time streaming records with his 2017 hit Despacito (slowly), is joining the Formula One fast stream for a virtual Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday. The Miami-based Puerto Rican will line up in Racing Point colours in a field with eight regular F1 drivers, including Ferrari's Charles Leclerc who will still be a home favourite on simulated streets.

* Manchester United on Thursday abandoned its annual financial targets and reported a second consecutive drop in quarterly core earnings and revenue after the coronavirus brought the Premier League to a halt.

* The 2020 European championship may have been pushed back by a year but soccer fans starved of live action will still be able to support their national teams when they face off in the inaugural eEURO 2020 tournament this weekend. Gamers from all 55 of UEFA's national associations participated in the qualifying rounds and 16 teams will now take part in the final tournament with matches being screened on UEFA's YouTube channel. They will compete in Konami's eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 (PES 20) on the PlayStation 4 video game console.