World Sports News in Brief

FIFA U-20, U-17 World Cups moved to 2023 due to COVID-19

Friday, 2020-12-25 09:17:20
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The logo of FIFA is seen in front of its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland September 26, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)
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Next year’s men’s Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia and Under-17 tournament in Peru have been moved to 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, soccer’s world governing body FIFA said on Thursday (Dec 24).

* Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has said that Mohamed Salah is in a "good moment" and is happy at Liverpool, dismissing media speculation the Egyptian wants to leave the club. Salah told Madrid-based newspaper AS in an interview last weekend that he admired Real Madrid and Barcelona, fuelling talk in the British press that the forward was looking to move on.

* Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovani Lo Celso is unlikely to play until the new year after injuring his hamstring against Leicester City at the weekend, manager Jose Mourinho has said. The Argentine had to come off as soon as the second half got underway in Sunday's 2-0 home loss and the 24-year-old will miss the festive fixtures when Spurs play three times in seven days.

* League One (third-tier) side Sunderland announced on Thursday that an agreement had been reached for French businessman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus to acquire Stewart Donald's controlling interest in the north-east club. If approved by the English Football League, the deal will see 22-year-old Frenchman Louis-Dreyfus become Sunderland club early in the New Year.

* Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said he is pleased with the progress made by his team in the Premier League so far this season, but has called for further improvement in their quest to become genuine title contenders. The London side are fifth in the table with 25 points from 14 games, two points behind second-placed Leicester City ahead of Saturday's trip to local rivals Arsenal who have slipped to 15th after a poor start.

* Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that talk of a Premier League title challenge by his side this season was just "noise" but insisted they were getting better. United's 2-0 victory at Everton in Wednesday's League Cup quarter-final was their 14th consecutive away win in domestic competition and they last failed to win on the road in non-European competition against Tottenham Hotspur back in June.

* Paris Saint Germain will appoint Argentine Mauricio Pochettino, the former manager of London club Tottenham Hotspur, as its new coach following its decision to sack Thomas Tuchel, French sports paper L'Equipe reported on its website. Pochettino had previously played for PSG as a defender in the early 2000s.

* Newcastle United find themselves in a "bad situation" after Tuesday's League Cup quarter-final exit at Championship (second-tier) side Brentford and must bounce back in their tough festive fixtures, manager Steve Bruce said on Thursday. Newcastle, 12th in the Premier League, travel to Manchester City on Saturday before hosting title rivals Liverpool and Leicester City in quick succession.

* Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr, who guided her country to their maiden women's World Cup finals last year, has stepped down, the Scottish Football Association said on Thursday. Scotland failed to reach the 2022 European Championship after losing to Finland in the qualifiers and 51-year-old Kerr and the Scottish FA agreed it was the right time to appoint a new coach before the start of 2023 World Cup qualifying.

* Fulham manager Scott Parker will not be in the dugout when they host Southampton on Saturday because he is self-isolating following a positive COVID-19 test in his household, the Premier League club said on Thursday. Parker, 40, has tested negative for the virus and the club said he will return for their next game at Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday if he again tests negative.

* Hull City's League One (third-tier) game at home to Lincoln City on Tuesday has been postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases in their camp, the English Football League (EFL) has said. EFL fixtures have been under threat from the sharp rise in COVID-19 infections across England with other League One and second-tier Championship matches affected by the pandemic.

* Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech will miss Saturday's Premier League encounter at Arsenal due to a muscle problem while defenders Ben Chilwell and Reece James are doubtful after picking up knocks, manager Frank Lampard said. Ziyech joined Chelsea from Ajax Amsterdam during the close-season for a reported 40 million euros (US$48.81 million) but the 27-year-old missed the start of the campaign through injury.

* Inter Milan midfielder Christian Eriksen could leave the Serie A club next month after struggling to settle in Italy following his transfer from English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in January, the club's chief executive Giuseppe Marotta said. The 28-year-old Dane was signed amid huge fanfare but has made only 38 appearances in all competitions with his four goals and three assists for the club all coming in the 2019-20 season.