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Silly Season – And Some Super Stuff

This week in sport

From a sun kissed Cape Town, this past week’s Sports Highlights, in the words of Paulo Do Carmo.

Football:

  • This week saw the beginning of what is traditionally know in football circles as the “silly season” or officially the transfer window.The window opened the day after the season finished, on Monday, July 27. It will run for 10 weeks and closes on Monday, Oct. 5 before the UEFA competition squad deadline the following day. However, there will be an additional, domestic window that continues through to 5 p.m. on Oct. 16 when clubs will only be able to trade (either loans or permanent registrations) with EFL teams (so not internationally or with other Premier League clubs)

  • The current EPL Champions, Liverpool are set to miss out on £9m in ‘merit money’ for winning the Premier League due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic – but will still pocket an eye-watering £175m pay-out.
  • As the major European leagues wrap up, the winners represent most of the usual suspects, Juventus (Italy), Real Madrid (Spain), PSG (France), Bayern Munich (Germany), Olympiakos (Greece)and FC Porto (Portugal).
  • The Champions League returns this coming week – 7th August and conclude on 23 August. The unplayed leg of the round of 16 is to be played at the original venues, but the resultant round of last 8 will be played in a mini-tournament style in Lisbon, behind closed doors, with the final to be held at the Estadio Da Luz.
  • Newcastle take over bid has collapsedafter the proposed Saudi buyers pull out. The Saudi Arabian-backed takeover offer of more than £300 million to buy the club was suddenly withdrawn amid fury at the Premier League continually delaying its approval.

Rugby:

  • World Rugby has finally announced that the postponed 2020 Guinness Six Nations campaigns will conclude on the weekends of October 24 and 31.

Springboks

  • the Rugby Championship – contested by Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa – will take place over a reduced six-week period between November 7 and the second week in December.
  • World Rugby has approved a temporary global player release window between October 24 and the first weekend of December.
  • Organisers have decided to move the 2020 Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals away from Marseille and stage them at different venues. The French city will now stage the 2021 finals, with Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London hosting in 2022.
  • Springbok Women’s captain Babalwa Latsha headlines the list of 60 finalists for the 2020 Momentum gsport awards announced on Saturday. This year marks the 15th edition of the longest-running women’s sports awards in South Africa,

Cricket:

  • Stuart Broad became the second Englishman and only the seventh bowler in history to reach 500 Test wickets on Tuesday against the West Indies at Old Trafford
  • CSA director of cricket Graeme Smith has confirmed, South Africa men’s tours of the West Indies and Sri Lanka have been postponed indefinitely
  • The IPL Governing Council is still awaiting a clearance from the Indian government to host the IPL in the UAE, and according to chairman Brijesh Patel, it “will come” soon. The proposed window for the tournament is between September 19 and November 10.

Tennis:

  • Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the US Open because of his concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Andy Murray has not played on the ATP Tour since winning the European Open in Antwerp last November as he suffered more injury problems, but returned to action at the singles and doubles versions of the Battle of the Brits tournament a few weeks ago and again this past week in preparation for next months proposed US Open in New York.

NFL:

  • After removing their ‘Redskins’ nickname, which they have held since 1933, Washington will now simply be known as the Washington Football Team for the new season. With only six weeks until the new season is scheduled to begin, the team have indicated they want more time to find a long-term nickname, but will push forward with removing all references to the Redskins in the meantime. Politics and Sport.

Horse Racing:  

  • In horse racing Investec the sponsor of the arguably the greatest horse race on the planet, The Derby (The Investec Derby) and its supporting races over 2 days, has ended its sponsorship deal by mutual agreement. The current agreement had been in place for the last 10 years and had a further 10 years to go. A deep blow for global horse racing.

  • On a positive note, Stradivarius, arguably the best stayer in the world, owned and bred by South African born Bjorn Nielsen, won his 4th Goodwood Cup at the world famous Goodwood festival. A record.
  • At the same meeting, super sprinter, Battaash won his 4th King George (also a record) and didn’t stop there, breaking his own course record and setting a new one that will hard to beat.
  • In Johannesburg the much delayed National Yearling Sale finally took place this weekend. Despite the contracted economy, Covid19 restrictions on attendance and several other challenges, Celestial Sky, a full brother to the soon to be exported and this years outstanding horse, Hawaam, sold to a bid of R7 Million. The sales highest price.

Boxing:

  • There has not been a bona fide, unified heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis more than 20 years ago. A Fury v Joshua match up would create this scenario. The stakes could not be higher as history could be made by either of these two champions, with no heavyweight fighter ever previously holding all four (WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO) belts at the same time. Rumours about that an announcement is afoot in the month of August after an agreement in principle was reached in June for the fight to take place.

  • In the meantime, Anthony Joshua is slated to defend his world titles against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev in December, before facing Fury sometime in 2021.

UFC:

  • The UFC’s Vegas 5 Fight Night card fell apart this weekend with multiple fights being scrapped at the last second. The UFC was forced to scramble on Saturday to replace fighters the day before the event with two fighters replaced and a third fight cancelled completely. The hits kept coming on Sunday when two more fights were cancelled at the last second, including the main card opener between Trevin Giles and Kevin Holland. It was announced just minutes before the main card was due to open that Giles had fainted behind the scenes, triggering a decision from the Nevada State Athletic Commission to scrap the fight. It came after Ed Herman and Gerald Meerschaert fight was also scrapped on Sunday as a result of a positive COVID-19 test.
  • On the same card, and in the main event between middleweights Derek Brunson and Edmen Shahbazyan, there was once again some stoppage drama. Brunson won the fight via a third round TKO, but the UFC world was left confused by a weird ending to the second. The pressure is on UFC management and the refereeing consistency.

F1:

  • Lewis Hamilton survived an extraordinary last-lap puncture to win the British Grand Prix for a remarkable seventh time.

Golf:

  • The 2020 Ryder Cup has been postponed for 12 months. The biennial match between the United States and Europe was scheduled to take place from September 25. It means the competition will now take place in 2021 and every two years thereafter, meaning Rome’s turn to host will now come in 2023.

  • Italy’s Renato Paratore converted his 54-hole lead to run out a convincing winner of the Betfred British Masters. The 23-year-old saw off teenage sensation Rasmus Hojgaard by three shots, with Justin Harding fading tamely to third on a final day. Paratore has now won twice on the European Tour since graduating from Qualifying School at the age of 17.
  • After the PGA Championship moved to May last year, it returns to August because of the schedule shuffling caused by the coronavirus. For the first time since 1971, the PGA will be the first major championship of the season.Tiger Woods will be looking to make his fifth start of the season looking for his 83rd PGA TOUR win

The rest:

Stay safe and be good to yourself and others

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