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COVID-19: Premier League game between Everton and Manchester City postponed, UK

Coronavirus Alert

Everton’s home game with Manchester City has been postponed due to a “number of positive coronavirus cases” among their scheduled visitors.

The Premier League match had been due to kick-off at Goodison Park at 8pm tonight, but is now set to be played at a later date.

On Christmas Day, Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus and defender Kyle Walker – along with two members of staff – were revealed to have tested positive for COVID-19 and entered self-isolation.

The club has now reported further coronavirus cases and, as well as the postponement of the Everton game, will close their first team training ground for an “indeterminate period”.

A statement from Manchester City said: “After the latest round of COVID-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day.

“With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond.

“Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture.”

The club said its playing squad and associated bubble would undergo further testing before any decision is taken on when to resume training.

Everton – who are currently joint second alongside Leicester in the league, but could have gone level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table with a victory – had no say in the decision to call off the match.

The late postponement was also a huge disappointment to 2,000 supporters as Goodison Park is one of only two Premier League grounds – the other being neighbouring Anfield – to be allowed to admit fans under the UK’s tiered system of lockdown restrictions.

A Premier League statement said the move to postpone the match was taken following medical advice.

“The board agreed to rearrange the game as a precaution, and further testing will now take place tomorrow,” the statement said.

“The decision has been taken with the health of players and staff the priority.”

A day after Walker and Jesus’ positive tests were announced, Man City played Newcastle at home on Boxing Day, winning 2-0.

The Everton fixture is only the second Premier League game to be called off because of positive tests for coronavirus since Project Restart began towards the end of the first UK lockdown.

The match between Aston Villa and Newcastle, which had been set to take place on 4 December, was postponed due to COVID cases within the Newcastle camp.

Courtesy of Sky News


Maradona dead: Argentina legend and one of world’s greatest footballers dies aged 60

Maradona at a match in March

Maradona at a match in March

The legendary Argentinian footballer Diego Maradona has died at the age of 60.

The news was broken by Argentinian football association.

Maradona, who captained Argentina’s 1986 World Cup-winning team, is widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time – if not the greatest.

Earlier this month, he was admitted to hospital because he was “not well psychologically”.

He said he had been “very sad for a week” and “didn’t want to eat”, according to one of his representatives.

Courtesy of Sky News

Manchester United hit by ‘sophisticated’ cyber attack but say fan data is safe

Cyber Attack Alert

Manchester United have been hit by a cyber attack on their systems but say they are not “currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers”.

The club, who host West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday, confirmed the hacking on Friday evening and said all systems needed for the match remained secure.

In a statement, United said: “Manchester United can confirm that the club has experienced a cyber attack on our systems. The club has taken swift action to contain the attack and is currently working with expert advisers to investigate the incident and minimise the ongoing IT disruption.

“Although this is a sophisticated operation by organised cyber criminals, the club has extensive protocols and procedures in place for such an event and had rehearsed for this eventuality. Our cyber defences identified the attack and shut down affected systems to contain the damage and protect data.

“Club media channels, including our website and app, are unaffected and we are not currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers.

“We are confident that all critical systems required for matches to take place at Old Trafford remain secure and operational and that tomorrow’s game against West Bromwich Albion will go ahead.”

A spokesman for the club added: “These type of attacks are becoming more and more common and are something you have to rehearse for.”

United have informed the Information Commissioner’s Office and added that forensic tracing is being carried out in an attempt to establish further detail about the attack.

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Coronavirus: Cristiano Ronaldo tests positive for COVID-19

Coronavirus Breaking News

The footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for coronavirus, the Portuguese Football Federation (PFF) has said.

The Portuguese attacker will now miss his country’s Nations League match against Sweden on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old, who also plays for the Italian side Juventus, is said to be “doing well, without symptoms, and in isolation”.

Ronaldo posted a photo of himself on Instagram on Monday which showed him sat around a long dinner table with fellow members of the Portugal team.

However, no further positive tests have been reported in the squad ahead of the Sweden match.

The PFF confirmed in a statement: “Following the positive case, the remaining players underwent new tests this Tuesday morning, all with a negative result, and are available to Fernando Santos for training this afternoon, in Cidade do Futebol.

“The game (against Sweden), counting for the qualification phase of the Nations League, is scheduled for Wednesday, at 19:45, in Alvalade.”

Ronaldo had played in both of Portugal’s matches so far during the international break.

The attacker started against Spain in Lisbon, coming off late in the second half of the goalless draw, and then played the whole of the Nations League A3 fixture against France in Saint-Denis on Sunday.

Ronaldo has scored in each of his league appearances Juventus this season, including a brace in the 2-2 draw against Roma on 27 September.

The fives times Ballon d’Or winner has previously played for Real Madrid and Manchester United.

Courtesy of Sky News

Sadio Mane tests positive for coronavirus ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Aston Villa #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #SadioMane #LiverpoolFC #LFC #Football #Soccer

Coronavirus Breaking News

Liverpool have been dealt another blow ahead of their Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Sunday after Sadio Mane tested positive for coronarvirus.

New signing Thiago Alcantara tested positive for the virus last week and missed their clash with Arsenal.

And Jurgen Klopp’s side are now set to be without star attacker Mane on Sunday after he was confirmed as also testing positive.

The Senegal international is self-isolating and will be out of action for at least 10 days as a result.

With the international break coming up, he is likely to be back in time for the Merseyside derby on October 17.

He will miss Senegal’s games against Morocco and Mauritania due to being unable to travel.

A club statement read: “Sadio Mane has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently self-isolating according to the necessary guidelines.

“The forward, who started and scored in Monday’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal, has displayed minor symptoms of the virus but feels in good health overall.

“However, like with Thiago Alcantara, Liverpool Football Club are – and will continue to – follow all protocols relating to COVID-19 and Mane will self-isolate for the required period of time.”

The 28-year-old has hit the ground running this season with three goals in his last two games.

His absence will give new signing Diogo Jota a huge chance to impress after he scored his first Reds goal against Arsenal on Monday.

Liverpool’s protocol has been to keep any COVID-19 tests private

But, like Thiago, Mane cleared the information to be released.

Liverpool first-team doctor Jim Moxon recently said: “It is the choice of each individual whether they reveal publicly the outcome of a COVID-19 test.

“We have followed all the protocols to the letter and Thiago is OK. He will be self-isolating now as per the guidelines and hopefully he’ll be back with us soon.”

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Several Chelsea stars isolating as coronavirus outbreak hits pre-season plans #COVID19 #coronavirus #ChelseaFC #UK #Greece #Football #Soccer

Coronavirus Alert

A number of Chelsea players are self-isolating as a coronavirus outbreak at the club has put pre-season plans in jeopardy.

The Mail report Chelsea have confirmed several players have tested positive for the virus and have been ordered to stay at home to reduce the risk of infecting teammates and colleagues.

Among those in isolation are Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Fikayo Tomori – all of whom have just returned from holidaying in Mykonos, Greece, though it is not known whether any have contracted Covid-19.

Frank Lampard has already begun preparations for the new season at Chelsea’s training HQ in Cobham but will have to wait to be joined by those in quarantine.

Each player currently in isolation has undergone a test to determine whether they are carrying the virus ahead of their return to training.

In the cases of Abraham and Mount it could even scupper England’s plans as both players are due to report for Three Lions training on Monday ahead of next month’s Nations League fixtures after being included in Gareth Southgate’s squad.

Chelsea are not the only team to record positive coronavirus tests since returning for pre-season.

Sheffield United, West Ham and Brighton were among 12 different clubs to record a total of 14 positive tests between them.

Liverpool are also believed to have had one member of their travelling party carrying the virus after testing shortly after landing in Austria.

While Chelsea’s on-field plans aren’t going quite as planned, off the field they are doing some impressive business in the transfer market.

Ben Chilwell became the latest star to join Lampard’s ranks after completing his £50million move from Leicester on Wednesday.

Former PSG defender Thiago Silva is expected to be the next player to arrive as he is set to undergo a medical on Thursday ahead of a proposed free transfer.

The Blues are also poised to snap up Malang Sarr on a free following his release from Nice, while Kai Havertz is in line to move to Stamford Bridge from Bayer Leverkusen in a club record deal worth £100million, with an announcement expected this week.

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba tests positive for coronavirus #COVID19 #coronavirus #PaulPogba #ManchesterUnited #France #Football #Soccer

Coronavirus Alert

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has tested positive for coronavirus.

He has been left out of France’s squad with Eduardo Camavinga earning a call-up in his place.

Tottenham’s Tanguy Ndombele has also tested positive, report L’Equipe.

Les Bleus take on Sweden and Croatia in the Nations League on their return to action, but will be without the Premier League duo.

Pogba’s United teammate, Anthony Martial, is in the squad.

France boss Didier Deschamps said: “I had to make a last-minute change to this list, because Paul Pogba was planned to be in this list but unfortunately for him, he took a test (for COVID-19) yesterday which turned out to be positive today, so at the last minute he was replaced by Eduardo Camavinga.”

The news comes after several Chelsea stars were forced into isolation after a breakout of Covid-19 derailed their pre-season plans.

Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Fikayo Tomori are among those in isolation, having all recently holidayed in Mykonos.

Blues boss Frank Lampard has begun pre-season at Cobham, but will need to wait to be joined by those players in quarantine.

Abraham and Mount were both named by Gareth Southgate in the England squad for upcoming Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark.

Other clubs have also been hit with positive tests since the end of the season.

Sheffield United, West Ham and Brighton were among 12 different clubs to record a total of 14 positive tests between them.

Liverpool are also believed to have had one member of their travelling party carrying the virus after testing shortly after landing in Austria.

Courtesy of

Premier League ‘hit by 14 coronavirus cases from 12 clubs’ as stars return for pre-season #COVID19 #coronavirus #UK #pandemic #quarantine #PremierLeague #Football #Soccer

Coronavirus Alert

The Premier League has been hit by 14 new coronavirus cases from 12 different clubs as stars return for pre-season training.

As reports The Telegraph there are concerns that the positive tests have come from players returning from holidays abroad.

Liverpool were one of the sides believed to have recorded one positive test after they landed at their pre-season training camp in Austria on Saturday.

Eight clubs are still yet to return to training, with Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea and Wolves among them due to their European commitments.

Arsenal, Fulham, Burnley and West Brom have also not reported back yet.

Meanwhile Tottenham, Everton, Southampton, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Leicester, Newcastle, Sheffield United and Leeds have all returned.

Aston Villa and Brighton are the only two sides remaining but it is not known whether either has started their pre-season scheduling.

The positive cases have not been confirmed by the Premier League and it is expected that they will only release official figures once the 2020/21 campaign kicks off again.

A number of top-flight stars have spent the break jetting off on holiday, some of whom have met up in foreign locations.

Villa’s Jack Grealish was spotted partying with Leicester’s James Maddison and Tottenham’s Dele Alli in Ibiza.

Close friends Mason Mount of Chelsea and West Ham’s Declan Rice have also been holidaying together in Mykonos, Greece.

It is not certain that the positive tests are a result of players enjoying their time off outside of the UK.

However it is an alarming number given only 30 tests came back positive during Project Restart out of approximately 35,000 which were administered.

Testing is set to continue throughout the pre-season campaign and beyond, with the Community Shield curtain raiser arranged for August 29, with the Premier League campaign kicking off two weeks later.

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Liverpool crowned Premier League champions as Manchester City lose to Chelsea #Liverpool #Champions #PremierLeague #LFC

Liverpool Premiership Champions 2019_2020

Liverpool have clinched their first league title in 30 years, putting an end to the nervous wait for glory during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jurgen Klopp’s men teed themselves up with a 4-0 victory at Anfield against Crystal Palace on Wednesday, meaning they were within touching distance of the title.

But their fate was in last year’s champions’ hands.

Manchester City could not keep up with the Reds, failing to get the away win they needed against Chelsea on Thursday night to remain in the hunt for the title.

The celebrations will look less traditional than usual on Merseyside, given spectating is still banned under the COVID-19 lockdown and fans are being discouraged from congregating outside grounds.

Liverpool have been top of the Premier League table almost all season – having only lost one Premier League game against Watford at the end of February.

Just as their lead at the top of the division stretched until it was almost impossible for other teams to catch them up, the pandemic took hold in Britain.

Fans waited tensely as clubs decided how to progress.

Premiership and Championship teams eventually decided to continue the season after a three-month break, first allowing contact training and then full games from 17 June.

But lower league clubs had their remaining matches cancelled and were reconciled to relegation, play-off or promotion based on their performance so far.

Since the matches restarted, players have worn t-shirts including logos bearing an NHS heart and Black Lives Matter – and have taken a knee before games to pay tribute to the campaign for racial equality.

Despite the early glory for Liverpool, with several games left to play they are still chasing records.

Having secured 86 points this season, they are chasing down Manchester City’s record of most points in a season – 100, set two years ago.

Both clubs will meet for their own Premier League clash, as Pep Guardiola will try to take win some pride back and dent Liverpool’s celebrations next Thursday.

Liverpool last won the top-flight English football league on 28 April 1990 with a 2-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers at Anfield.

Courtesy of Sky News

Katie Hopkins destroyed over Marcus Rashford jibe by Crystal Palace star #MarcusRashford #PatrickVanAanholt #CrystalPalace #CPFC #Katie Hopkins #UK

Patrick van Aanholt

Crystal Palace star Patrick van Aanholt has slammed Katie Hopkins for her response to Marcus Rashford’s successful campaign to secure free school meals for children into the summer.

Rashford wrote an open letter to MPs on Monday calling for the Government to reverse the decision not to extend the meal scheme.

Despite an initial rejection by the Department of Education, Rashford persevered and a £120million ‘Covid Summer Food Fund’ was announced on Tuesday.

Rashford also raised £20million for food distribution charity FareShare during lockdown and his actions to ensure underprivileged children do not go hungry have been lauded by Twitter users – with the exception of Katie Hopkins.

The former Sun columnist wrote : “Dear Marcus Rashford, do you think women should think about how they are going to feed a child before they decide to have it?

“I do not want to pay to feed other people’s kids. You are welcome to. Thank you, Katie Hopkins.”

Van Aanholt was less than impressed with Hopkins’ reaction to Rashford’s work and responded with a tweet of his own.

“He’s done more for this country in 24hours than you have your entire life, bow before a king,” the Palace left-back wrote.

This was not the first time van Aanholt has clashed with Hopkins on Twitter. The pair exchanged heated remarks earlier this month over the Black Lives Matter movement.

In the wake of social media users going quiet on #BlackOutTuesday, Hopkins tweeted: “Today is #whiteoutwednesday I will shortly be posting a picture of my a***. Thank you.”

Van Aanholt responded by writing: “I don’t know who she is but WOW…2020 needs to cancel you,” before Hopkins introduced herself to the Eagles fan favourite.

She wrote: “Dear Patrick van Aanholt, my name is Katie Hopkins. I am a white Christian Conservative. You May kneel and kiss my ring.”

Van Aanholt then made known who he was, saying: “Dear Katie Hopkins, my name is Patrick van Aanholt, I am Dutch Black, I’m also Christian (not that colour or Religion has anything to do with it).

“As for your ring you are welcome to come to Selhurst and kiss my big toe…I’ll wait.”

The 29-year-old then added, “Twitter I’m going bed but I can promise you I’ll make time for this Katie Hopkins” – which he did on Tuesday in light of Rashford’s campaign.

Courtesy of