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Sports News

Hackwood Stakes back-up plan for Judicial

The bet365 Hackwood Stakes is a back-up plan for Judicial if connections decide to sidestep the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

The Group One on July 11 is an option for the eight-year-old after his victory in the Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle – but should that look too hot, Judicial may wait for the Group Three Hackwood at Newbury a week later.

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Soccer

EXCLUSIVE: Inside football’s sci-fi plans for fans’ safe return after coronavirus pandemic

Brace yourselves football fans – this could be the future. The sci-fi way we experience the game from now on in these COVID-19 stricken times. You stroll up to the stadium with your mask on. Facing you is something that looks like an airport security portal. That is your ‘Entry Point Disinfect Tunnel’.

You step in, push a button to turn on the dry spray, disinfect your hands, and look into a screen that takes your temperature. If the green light buzzes and you pass the temp test, you then step into the disinfection chamber where the dry mist envelopes you and kills all the bacteria on you and your clothing – and then you are through, match ticket in hand.

Sound a bit ominous? Actually, after experiencing it on Monday down at the site of AFC Wimbledon’s new 9,000 stadium at Plough Lane, it feels weirdly cleansing and reassuring. Your reporter came through unscathed – and disinfected.

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The Dons are currently trialling the brand new COVID-19 screening system – which could be a major boost in getting fans back into stadiums.

If the sessions at the new stadium work, the League 1 club aim to install one of the £18,000 units at their training ground to test players and staff when they come out of lockdown in time for the new EFL season.

AFC Wimbledon chief executive Joe Palmer said: “We wanted to be one of the first to give this a go.

“If we can make inroads into the processes to get games going again, anything that can help is good for a small club like ours.

“The fact that it is all in one unit makes it all a lot easier to utilise. We are testing this here first, see if it meets the needs, then hopefully put it down at the training ground.

“It feels more like airport security. Players and staff all go through the same process.

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“If it works there, and then we will look at using it in the stadium. The EFL are watching our trials.

“If we are looking at behind closed doors games then these units will be fine. When we get into crowds, or limited capacity crowds, then you will obviously need a lot more.”

Disinfect UK group chief executive officer Tom Eatenton, whose company produce the units, are in talks with the EFL, as well the NFL in the USA, the PGA European Tour, and Formula E motor racing.

Eatenton said: “Our three step process will help prevent the spread of coronavirus and other viruses. We hope it will give confidence to people so they feel more comfortable gathering in large numbers.”

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The process takes around 20-30 seconds – which means two to three people a minute can be processed through each tunnel. The units can come in, single, double or multiple tunnels.

One NFL franchise in the USA already has them on site – and is planning to install four eight lane units in their stadium.

The Dons are aiming to open their new more modest – and disinfected – Plough Lane home in October.

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Soccer

Lawrence and Miazga sent off for a bust-up AFTER the final whistle

Tom Lawrence and Matt Miazga are both sent off for a furious bust-up AFTER the final whistle with Chelsea loanee SLAPPING the Derby midfielder

  • Tom Lawrence and Matt Miazga approached each other after full time was blown
  • Miazga appeared to hit out at Lawrence after the pair had bumped chests 
  • Lawrence then appeared to retaliate by headbutting the Reading defender 
  • Miazga then appeared to catch the Derby midfielder with a clean face slap 
  • The incident came after Derby had won, with Lawrence scoring for the hosts 

Derby County’s Tom Lawrence and Reading defender Matt Miazga were involved in a furious bust-up which saw the pair sent off, but only after the final whistle had blown.

The pair approached each other and became embroiled in a physical altercation seconds after referee Scott Duncan had blown for full time for a game which had seen Derby beat Reading 2-1 at Pride Park. 

In unpalatable scenes, the duo nonchalantly came together but then bumped chests before Chelsea loanee Miazga appeared to hit out at Lawrence, who scored Derby’s first goal.

Tom Lawrence and Matt Miazga were sent off after the final whistle following an altercation

The duo approached each other after the whistle had blown and the pair bumped chests

The duo consequently began to take turns in shoving each other before Lawrence appeared to lean in with a headbutt towards the Reading centre-back.

The unpleasant scenes then ensued when Miazga caught the Derby playmaker with a clear and clean slap around the face.

Players from both sides did not take long to rush towards the feisty pair involved in the late melee.

Both individuals were quick to protest their innocence and point the finger at the other, with Miazga pointing towards his mouth where he appeared to have received the headbutt.

But it became increasingly physical as Chelsea loanee Miazga appeared to hit out at Lawrence

The Derby midfielder then appeared to retaliate after some shoving by headbutting Miazga

But referee Duncan did not hesitate in handing out the same punishment for  their indiscretion which had marred the game as they were given their marching orders for violent conduct.

The game itself had seen Derby keep their play-off hopes alive after two goals in two minutes on the stroke of half-time.

Lawrence scored in the 44th minute before Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney buried a penalty in the third minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half.

Reading halved the deficit through Andy Rinomhota’s header but it was not enough to prevent Derby from keeping in touch with the play-off places.

The Reading defender was then seen delivering a clear and clean slap to Lawrence’s face

Referee Scott Duncan was in no doubt and sent both Lawrence and Miazga off for the incident




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Fighting

McGregor claims Khabib faked father's health problems to avoid fights

‘A cover up to hide the lack of activity and the pulling out of fights and running away’: Conor McGregor sensationally claims Khabib Nurmagomedov has faked his father’s health problems to avoid UFC fights… before deleting the comment on Instagram

  • Khabib’s father Abdulmanap is currently in hospital recovering from a stroke 
  • However, Conor McGregor has made a sensational claim on social media 
  • In response to Khabib’s cousin Abubakar, McGregor said it is all a cover-up
  • Nurmagomedov himself has not yet responded to McGregor’s shocking claim

Conor McGregor has accused Khabib Nurmagomedov of faking his father’s life-threatening health problems to avoid fighting in the UFC, before later deleting the comment on social media. 

Nurmagomedov’s father Abdulmanap is currently being treated in a military hospital in Moscow as he recovers from a stroke which was brought about after contracting coronavirus. 

Khabib announced earlier in the week that his father’s condition was still ‘serious’, but long-term rival McGregor – who a few weeks ago revealed that he was retiring from MMA – seemingly has his doubts, after posting a comment on Khabib’s cousin Abubakar’s latest Instagram post, which has also since been deleted. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov (R) confirmed his father Abdulmanap (L) is still in a serious condition

Conor McGregor has claimed Abdulmanap’s illness has all been a cover-up by Khabib

‘I figured it was all just a cover up about Abdulmanap,’ McGregor said in the now-deleted post.

‘A cover up to hide the lack of activity and the pulling out of fights and running away. Good luck but remember – Allah sees all!’ 

McGregor was responding to a social media post by Abubakar of Khabib dominating the Irishman during the former’s win at UFC 229 in October 2018, which has also now been deleted, captioned: ‘When it’s coronavirus and you can’t breathe.’    

Khabib himself has not yet responded to McGregor’s claim, but did offer a detailed update on his father earlier in the week, confirming that the coronavirus has led to consequences for his heart and kidneys.

McGregor posted the comment to Abubakar’s Instagram, with both posts since deleted

Khabib has confirmed that coronavirus has had consequences to his dad’s kidneys and heart

‘His condition is still serious, he’s still in intensive care,’ said Khabib, as quoted by RT.com.

‘The coronavirus itself is behind him, but the virus has had consequences for his kidneys and his heart. As for the virus, there’s no need to worry, only about the other consequences.’

The UFC lightweight champion went on to reveal how he visits his father every day at the hospital in an effort to re-establish communication with him.

He added: ‘I visit him, he recognises me, but there’s no communication because he’s connected to [medical] devices.

Conor McGregor actually sent his best wishes to the Nurmagomedov family back in May

‘Every day they let me in, I spend half an hour [with him], I hold his hand. When I ask: “Father, do you recognize me?” He gestures and lets me know.’  

However, what makes McGregor’s latest comment even more bizarre is that he wished Abdulmanap well last month, saying: ‘Praying for the recovery of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov. A man responsible for more world champions, across multiple fighting disciplines, than we even know.

‘A true martial genius! Very saddened upon hearing this news tonight. Praying for the Nurmagomedov family at this time.’




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Soccer

FA Cup draw: Semi-final ball numbers confirmed, Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea in hat

Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and holders Manchester City all play in the FA Cup quarter-finals this weekend and draw details are now out for the last four for those who progress. Express Sport has all the details you need.

When is the FA Cup semi-final draw?

The FA have confirmed the draw will take place on Sunday, June 28.

It will take place at half-time in the match between Manchester City and Newcastle.

That means we can expect to find out who will face who in the semi-finals at around 7.15pm.

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How to watch the FA Cup semi-final draw

The semi-final draw will be shown on BBC One in the UK.

If you’re watching from another location you will be able to stream via the Emirates FA Cup’s official Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts.

The semi-finals of the Emirates FA Cup are due to take place over the weekend of 18 and 19 July, with the final scheduled for 1 August.

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FA Cup semi-final draw ball numbers

1 Sheffield United or Arsenal

2 Newcastle or Manchester City

3 Norwich City or Manchester United

4 Leicester City or Chelsea

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FA chief executive officer Mark Bullingham said: “We are pleased to agree the provisional restart date for the 2019-20 Emirates FA Cup.

“The competition has been an integral part of the English football calendar for nearly 150 years, and we’d like to thank the Premier League executive and clubs for their support in scheduling the remaining matches during this unprecedented time.

“This has been a difficult period for many people and, while this is a positive step, the restart date is dependent on all safety measures being met. The health and wellbeing of players, staff and supporters remains our priority.”

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Sports News

Surrey and Middlesex to meet for two-day red ball match

Surrey and Middlesex to meet for two-day red ball match at the Kia Oval next month ahead of truncated County Championship season in August

  • Two counties will meet at the Kia Oval for pre-season friendly on July 26 and 27
  • It is hoped domestic season will be able to start on August 1 after Covid-19 crisis
  • Match will be played behind closed doors but broadcast on Surrey’s website
  • England are set to begin their international summer against West Indies in July 

The return of county cricket has come a step closer after Surrey announced a two-day red-ball game against Middlesex at the Kia Oval on July 26 and 27.

Both clubs are treating the match – which will be streamed live on Surrey’s website and Facebook page, and remains subject to government guidelines – as a pre-season friendly, with the domestic game still hopeful of starting the new season on August 1.

The game, which will be behind closed doors, will be broadcast via six cameras, part of Surrey’s attempts to beef up coverage of their home fixtures.

The Kia Oval is set to host a pre-season match between Surrey and Middlesex on July 26-27

While England are set to start their international summer on July 8 with a three-Test series against the West Indies, the domestic season has been delayed until at least the start of August because of coronavirus.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is hopeful a championship programme can be staged, even if the T20 Blast will take priority, and to that end Surrey’s red-ball fixture against their London rivals is welcome news.

Surrey hope the game is a precursor to ‘returning to competitive action the following weekend’.

England will return to Test action with a series against West Indies starting on July 8

Alec Stewart, Surrey director of cricket, said: ‘I’m really excited to hopefully see cricket return to the Kia Oval at the end of July and then for the rest of the season.’

Surrey’s announcement also seems to indicate Middlesex are preparing to bring their players out of furlough.

Surrey and Lancashire are the only two counties who have not turned to the Government’s job-retention scheme for any of their playing staff in recent months.




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