The finish date would clearly be untenable for United and Chelsea considering next season’s Premier League kicks off three days later on August 8 – but United boss Louis Van Gaal is believed to have sought assurances on the scheduling. Van Gaal was heavily critical of United’s three-week, five-match schedule last year, decrying the “dreadful distances” and adding: “it is not very positive for a good preparation.” The Dutchman has reportedly insisted this summer’s tour be cut to two weeks and that United’s stay in America does not extend into August, due to the early start to the domestic season. Chelsea too will have looked carefully at the itinerary – they are also expected to confirm a week-long post-season trip to Japan. However both Van Gaal and his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho have acknowledged that the commercial pressures of their respective clubs demand pre-season tours in order to expand their fan-base. Last summer United played Real Madrid in front of a record crowd of more than 109,000 – plus Inter Milan and Roma before beating Liverpool in the final. Real Madrid will not be involved this time – the Champions League holders will be taking part in a sister tournament in Australia along with Manchester City. The Barclays Premier League giants will be joined by Barcelona, Paris St Germain, Porto, Fiorentina, Mexico’s Club America and three Major League Soccer sides in the line-up. The exact format is yet to be announced, although the tournament will take place between July 11 and August 5. Manchester United and Chelsea will return to the United States this summer as part of the 10-team International Champions Cup. Press Association
A Florida community is on edge after a man carrying a pocket knife was able to enter a local high school and sit down inside a classroom.Derek Marlowe was arrested Friday and charged with trespassing, disrupting school functions and breach of peace.Police say the 51-year-old was intoxicated when he rode a bike to Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange and walked inside, “unchallenged.”Marlowe reportedly entered the high school through an unlocked door.The teacher activated his emergency alert button located in the classroom, which said to send assistance immediately.However, the school was not put on lockdown nor were any code red calls made.School district officials admitted that “at least some protocols” for security were not followed properly.The incident is now under review.Deputies say, Marlowe, who has an extensive criminal history, was rambling about testing security.
The spread of the virus also highlights the potential reach of political decisions in a globalized world. According to The New York Times, when officials in China first learned of the coronavirus, their reaction was to suppress the discovery rather than report it. At the time, this was a political calculation, a consideration made with the interests of the Communist party in mind. Now, that political calculation has not only led to a miserable situation for the Party but a potential catastrophe for the wider world of sports. However, there are growing fears that the 2020 Olympics in Japan might not even happen at all. In light of the dire condition brought upon many countries by the coronavirus, the Olympics is now in jeopardy. More than 1,000 people in Japan have been infected with the virus, 12 have died and several schools have been shut down. Now, it’s on our sports pages. The prospect alone of a cancelled Olympics shows just how inextricably linked sports are with politics. Months ago, the coronavirus was a story best suited for the front page of The New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. It was a story that highlighted communist suppression and the global threat of pandemics. Tokyo was chosen for many reasons. The city has been a hub for international trade, culture and technology for decades, and it also boasts a metropolitan population of 36 million people, which gives the Games maximum exposure. There are many different ways to approach the situation, and there’s not one easy answer. But whatever the IOC decides to do, it must not simply call off the 2020 Games. The Olympics might be cancelled due to concerns regarding Coronavirus. (Photo from BBC Sports/ Twitter) Other prominent examples exist to further highlight the connection between sports and politics. After 9/11, MLB postponed several of its games, pushing the World Series well into November. The NFL did the same, cancelling the weekend’s games after the attack. Nathan Hyun is a sophomore writing about the 2020 Olympics. His column, “Going for Gold,” runs every other Wednesday. This is a better option than postponing the Olympics because of the challenges with timing that would arise otherwise. If postponed, many of the athletes and participants would have to wait longer, causing their entire training schedules to be thrown off and, for older athletes, possibly impacting their chances of participating in the Games at all. In addition, the Olympics has a tradition of hosting the Winter Games two years after the Summer Games, so a postponement would throw off the IOC’s time tables. The IOC would be doing athletes and sports fans all over the world a disservice by canceling the Olympics. Though the risk is real and must be approached with the utmost care, the Olympics is a historic tradition that should not be canceled altogether even if there is a fear of a health epidemic. The IOC definitely does not want to cancel the Olympics, and an overwhelming majority of people don’t want that either. If I was in charge of determining where to move the Olympics, I would say move the Games to a location that has already hosted it in recent years such as Rio de Janeiro or London. Most likely, many of the Olympic venues are now being used recreationally and can be quickly turned around to accommodate the Olympics again. Every several years, the International Olympic Committee gathers to determine where the next Olympic Games should be held. Because preparation for the Olympics takes years, the IOC chose 2020’s Tokyo all the way back in 2011. In the same vein, the Olympics, arguably the biggest international sporting event in the world, is under threat. Talk of a potential cancellation is in full swing, and representatives of the IOC have already publicly discussed the potential of delaying the Games or moving them to a different city, which is virtually unfeasible.
The Zambian national team, Chipolopolo, have aborted their flight to Ghana Wednesday after their chartered aircraft failed to obtain landing permission at the Kumasi Airport – a domestic airport.They were billed to arrive in Ghana today ahead of their World Cup qualifier against the Black Stars of Ghana on Friday at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.Public relations officer of the Zambian national team, Eric Mwansa told Joy News they are “disappointed” in their inability to fly to Ghana today for the crucial match.He said the team had embarked on a 100-seater plane ready to take off from Zambia only to be told by the Ghanaian authorities that they have no permission to land directly at the Kumasi Airport which is not an international airport.The team had no choice but to disembark and go back to their hotel, he said.The Kumasi Airport has been undergoing a number of renovations to enable it accommodate the arrival of big aircraft. Eric Mwansa, explained that they had initially chartered a big aircraft to Ghana but were told the flight was “too big to land” at the Kumasi airport, compelling them to go for a smaller one which can accommodate their 44 squad team.But when they got onboard the flight ready to take off, information got to them that, that particular flight has no landing permission for the Kumasi Airport.He said they are now waiting for “clearance” from the Ghanaian authorities to start their journey, albeit not today.The PRO said the team is very much aware that the match is scheduled for Friday and assured that it will certainly come off.He hinted that the team would not “mind”, first landing at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra en route Kumasi. However, the team would not love to move in “batches”, he remarked. The team is currently liaising with the Ghana Football Association to ensure that the match is played on Friday without any hindrance.The Black Stars of Ghana only need a draw to make it to the next stage of the qualifier.