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How is COVID-19 vaccination affecting the Premier League?

The COVID-19 vaccine is gradually bringing normality back to life in the United Kingdom. Lockdown restrictions were lifted earlier this month, with social distancing rules and mask-wearing no longer a requirement – although it is still advised in places. However, that hasn’t stopped the pandemic from having an impact. Cases are still high, with over 300,000 new cases being reported over the last week. With more and more people gathering in close spaces to make up for lost time, this figure is expected to increase. One of the latest controversies to develop from the pandemic is the suggested introduction of ‘vaccine passports’. The NHS COVID Pass allows you to show proof of your vaccination status, which may be compulsory to attend certain events. Here is where football comes in. According ...

UEFA invite Christian Eriksen, medics who saved him to Euro final

European football governing body UEFA have invited Denmark international Christian Eriksen and the paramedics who helped save his life during an on-field cardiac arrest to attend the EURO 2020 final at Wembley on Sunday. The brilliant Danish midfielder was resuscitated in front of shocked fans and a massive global TV audience during his nation’s first match of the tournament. Uefa said Eriksen, his wife and six medics were invited to the final, but there was no confirmation he would attend. One of the paramedics, Peder Ersgaard, said he was honoured to receive a VIP invite from Uefa boss Aleksander Ceferin. “I’m excited, like a child on Christmas Eve,” he told the Fagbladet FOA magazine. “I’m very proud of my efforts, but also of the whole team. It wasn’t a one-man effort.” Eriksen collaps...

German football gets green light for fan return next season

Bundesliga clubs and other German sports venues will be allowed to welcome up to 25,000 spectators from next month, the city of Berlin said on Tuesday after a meeting of officials from Germany’s 16 states. Most matches in Germany’s top football league were played behind closed doors last season because of the Covid-19 virus. The new Bundesliga season starts on August 13 and with infection rates having fallen sharply, sports stadiums could be at 50 percent capacity, with the total number per match or event capped at 25,000. The only exception is reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, where up to 20,000 fans will be allowed into home games at the 75,000-capacity Allianz Arena because officials in Bavaria are allowing only 35 percent of capacity. The new rules apply until September 11 a...

Coronavirus: England to lift mask, distancing rules July 19

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday revealed plans to lift most of England’s legal coronavirus restrictions, including face masks and social distancing from July 19, urging personal responsibility rather than government edict. Johnson had initially aimed for a full reopening on June 21, but was forced to push back the date because of a surge in the highly contagious Delta variant. That variant now accounts for nearly all new Covid-19 cases in Britain, and infection rates have soared, sparking concern. But mass vaccinations have stopped a resultant surge in hospital admissions or deaths. “This pandemic is far from over, it certainly won’t be over by the 19th,” warned Johnson. “We must reconcile ourselves, sadly, to more deaths from Covid. “There’s only one reason why we can contemplate g...

Paul Pogba pays surprise birthday visit to Burna Boy in Miami

Manchester United star and France international, Paul Pogba, paid a surprise visit to afro-pop star, Burna Boy as he celebrated his 30th birthday in Miami. The French star posted a picture of his and the Grammy award-winning musician on Instagram as he wished the artist a happy birthday. Pogba gave Burna Boy a signed number 6 shirt of his France jersey. Burna Boy clocked 30-years on Friday as his fans organized a surprise birthday party for him in the U.S. In a viral video, the singer fondly called Odogwu was seen stunned and elated when walking into a beautifully decorated space with people singing “Happy birthday” song. Ahead of his 30th birthday, Burna Boy spoke about how he would love to be like his father in terms of character. He also invited all who can make it down to Miami on July...

Euro 2020: Italy bars travelling England fans from Rome stadium

Fans travelling from the UK to Italy for England’s Euro 2020 quarterfinal clash with Ukraine on Saturday will not be allowed to enter the stadium in Rome, even if they have a ticket, due to coronavirus curbs, the Italian Embassy in London said on Thursday. England’s victory over Germany on Tuesday set up the last-eight clash at the Stadio Olimpico, but fans looking to make the journey to Italy from the UK cannot attend the match. “Anybody who has been in the UK in the previous 14 days, irrespective of their nationality or residency, will not be admitted to the stadium, even if they have a ticket,” a statement read. “Only those who can prove that they have arrived in Italy at least six days previously, have observed five days of quarantine, and have taken a post-quarantine Covid-19 test wit...

Late goal gives Brazil controversial win over Colombia in Copa America

Brazil continued their winning romp through the Copa America on Wednesday, eking out a controversial 2-1 victory against Colombia after struggling most of the match to answer a magnificent bicycle-kick goal by Luis Diaz. The 11th-hour win gave the “Selecao” a perfect nine points from three matches in the South American championships, and extended their current winning streak to 11 matches. However, the victory was steeped in controversy: Brazil’s second-half equalizer, a Roberto Firmino header, was preceded by a Neymar pass that glanced off Argentine referee Nestor Pitana. Colombia heatedly argued afterward that play should have been stopped, but Pitana ruled neither side was hindered and allowed the match to continue. Disgruntled Colombia fans on social media turned the referee’s name int...

Wizkid receives Grammy plaque

Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, Nigerian superstar popularly known as Wizkid, has finally received his Grammy award plaque. The famous Singer won the best Music video award at the 63rd Grammy award for his collaboration with Beyoncé and her daughter, Blue Ivy, in “Brown skin girl”. Wizkid had his first Nomination in 2015, when he collaborated with Drake in his Album Views. He also brought the trophy home back then. Critics of Star boy as he is fondly called have argued that he is not worthy to be called a Grammy winner because he got both plaques through collaboration but his fans rose in his defence. The Starboy became the only contemporary Nigerian musician besides Burna Boy to shine at the 2020 Grammys. Wizkid took to his Insta story to showcase his trophy. Get more stories like this on Twitte...

Euro 2020: France avoid major upset in draw vs Hungary

France were forced to wait to secure qualification for the knockout stages of the Euros after they were held by a resilient Hungary to a 1-1 draw in front of a capacity crowd at the Puskas Arena in Budapest. Meeting in scorching sunshine in front of more than 60,000 fans, Hungary stunned the world champions by taking a shock lead through Attila Fiola when he burst clear to finish calmly beyond Hugo Lloris in first-half injury time. France were rocked heading into the break but equalize through Antoine Griezmann in the 66th minute following some route-one football from goalkeeper Lloris and clever hold-up play by Kylian Mbappe. France pressed strongly in the closing stages but failed to get the breakthrough as a raucous crowd in Budapest celebrated as if their team had won. The result puts ...

Gareth Bale: Wales in ‘great position’ for Euro 2020 last 16

Captain Gareth Bale said Wednesday’s win over Turkey in Baku puts Wales in a “great position” to reach the Euro 2020 last 16. Aaron Ramsey and Connor Roberts scored to send Wales top of Group A on four points before Italy host Switzerland later on. “The victory puts us in a great position,” Bale told the BBC. “If you’d have offered us four points at the start we would’ve bitten your hand off,” he added. A hostile crowd whistled every touch from Bale and his team-mate with the locals supporting the Crescent Stars due to historical links between Turkey and Azerbaijan. “It helped, playing in front of no fans it’s difficult to get the adrenaline going,” Bale said. “The fans were fantastic, I know most of them were Turkish but the Wales fans were incredible. “We want to thanks the fans at home ...

Euro 2020: Wales set for hostile crowd as Italy eye knockouts

Wales are bracing for a hostile reception when they face Turkey in Baku at Euro 2020 on Wednesday while rejuvenated Italy can seal their place in the last-16 with victory against Switzerland. After drawing 1-1 with the Swiss in their opening Group A game, Wales play in the capital of Azerbaijan, with locals expected to get behind their Turkish neighbours, who will also have several thousand travelling fans on their side. Wales captain Gareth Bale, who experienced a dizzying run to the semi-finals at Euro 2016, said he was unfazed by the prospect of an aggressive atmosphere. “Hostility is no problem,” said the Real Madrid forward. “This is what we do for a living. We’re used to playing in away games and being in front of hostile crowds.” Turkey are desperate to shake off the disappointment ...

Liverpool given go-ahead for Anfield expansion

Liverpool have been given the go-ahead to expand Anfield by around 7,000 seats, taking the total capacity at their historic stadium to more than 61,000. City council planners voted in favour of the redevelopment of the Anfield Road Stand on Tuesday, despite concerns expressed by residents and environmental groups about the impact on nearby Stanley Park. The Premier League club’s project is expected to be completed in 2023. “This is a huge milestone in our journey towards bringing more supporters into Anfield,” said Liverpool managing director Andy Hughes. “We underwent a rigorous two-stage public consultation period during the planning process for this project and I would like to thank everyone who has offered a contribution to that.” As part of the application, the club have also been giv...

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