Fans to stay away if matches resume – Man United

Manchester United have warned fans to stay away from matches played behind closed doors at Old Trafford if the Premier League restarts amid the corona virus crisis.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are set to resume small group training on Wednesday as Premier League clubs step up the “Project Restart” plan to finish the season.

But all 92 remaining matches will have to be played in front of empty stands due to the pandemic, leading United to activate a refund or rebate to ticket holders for their remaining home fixtures.

If the Premier League get their wish to play at clubs’ normal stadiums rather than at neutral venues, then United will have four home league matches to play.

Aware of the danger of supporters gathering in large groups during the health crisis, United have pleaded with their fans to stay away from matches and watch on television. Place bet 24/7 on Live Matches on NaijaBet

“We share your disappointment that you will not be able to watch United in person from within the stadium, but we would encourage you to give your continued loyal support from the comfort and safety of your home,” United said in an email to supporters on Tuesday.

Greek Super League hoping for 6 June returns

The Greek Super League is waiting on government approval to return from its coronavirus-enforced suspension on 6 June after the league’s board voted unanimously on Monday to complete the 2019-20 campaign.

A positive decision to Monday’s request is expected from the state health authorities this week.

An important step towards resumption was made with clubs being allowed to begin training in larger groups in line with health protocols.

The play-offs to determine the title and European spots is expected to be completed by July 19 with the Greek Cup semifinals between PAOK and Olympiakos and AEK and Aris to follow.

Government health authorities said last week that should league action resume and a player is found to be affected by Covid-19, he would be placed in quarantine at home and the rest of the team will be isolated for five days. Play Bet on today’s games 24/7 on NaijaBet

Up to now, no player has been found with the virus during regular checks at training sessions.

England top League clubs will return to training on Tuesday

Premier League clubs will return to training on Tuesday after agreeing to allow “small group” sessions to begin, the first step on the road to a return to competitive action.

The league held a conference call for all 20 clubs on Monday where the move was given unanimous backing.

It is the first move in the league’s ‘Project Restart’ plans to restart play in the league, which has not held a game since March 9 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Failure to resume the season could cost the league around 750 million pounds ($913.80 million) in lost revenue from broadcasters according to British media estimates.

Some reports said clubs could lose out even if the league restarts should broadcasters demand a 330 million pounds rebate. Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet.com

“Premier League Shareholders today voted unanimously to return to small group training from tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon – the first step towards restarting the Premier League, when safe to do so,” the league said in a statement.

Watching league without fans is like ‘old man’s football’ – Mueller

Thomas Mueller joked that the Bundesliga without fans feels like “old man’s football, 7pm, under floodlights” after Bayern Munich brushed aside Union Berlin 2-0 behind closed doors on Sunday.

A first-half Robert Lewandowski penalty and a late Benjamin Pavard header sealed Bayern’s win in front of empty terraces in Berlin.

The result leaves defending champions Bayern four points clear as the German league restarted this weekend after a two-month hiatus due to the Covid-19 virus.

However, Mueller admitted it was strange to play Union behind closed doors at their compact Alten Foersterei stadium, which is usually packed with 22 000 passionate home fans.

“It felt a bit like the atmosphere you get for old man’s football, 7pm, under floodlights, but as soon as the ball started to roll, the game took our focus,” said Mueller.

The Bundesliga became the first top European league to resume this weekend, using draconian hygiene guidelines, regular testing of players and insisting on games in near-empty stadiums.

Bundesliga restart as Lewandowski set for golden boot

Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski says he is fitter than ever ahead of Sunday’s Bundesliga clash at FC Union Berlin and taking advice from World Cup record-holder Miroslav Klose.

The 41-year-old Klose, who holds the record of 16 goals scored at World Cup finals, has joined Bayern’s staff and will be next to head coach Hansi Flick on the bench on Sunday.

Lewandowski, 31, is enjoying the best season of his career, netting 25 goals in 23 league games and on course to better his 30-goal haul in both 2015/16 and 2016/17.

The league’s top-scorer has used the time since the Bundesliga halted in mid-March, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, to improve his fitness.

“I feel better than ever before because I was able to work hard on my physical fitness for the last two months,” said Lewandowski, who underwent groin surgery in December. #NaijaBetBundesliga is back on NaijaBet.com with boosted odds

The Bundesliga will become the first top European league to return this weekend during the pandemic with games behind closed doors.

Bayern head to Berlin with a four-point lead at the top of the table.

Bundesliga returns with Interesting odds on NaijaBet

The German league takes the spotlight on Saturday as the first top European league to resume during the coronavirus pandemic, with one coach admitting it feels like “flying blind”.

After a two-month break, the German Football League (DFL) had to submit an extraordinarily detailed plan of measures to gain approval for the restart from Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state leaders.

With league football still at least a month away in England, Italy and Spain, and France having already decided to end its season, the Bundesliga games this weekend will be beamed around the world.

Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert has warned the matches, played in empty stadiums because of the risk of infection, will “look and feel different”.

ELBOW TAPS, FACE MASKS

The shouts of players will echo around the empty stands and goals will have to be celebrated with elbow or foot taps because players have been ordered to avoid hugs or handshakes. Start forecasting your games Now

Substitutes and coaches on the bench must wear protective masks.

Match fitness is a concern as teams only started training sessions for the whole squad last week having previously worked in small groups.

Pulisic fully fit after shaking off injury issue during Covid-19

Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic has said the adductor injury that has kept him out of action since January was more serious than initially suspected but he has been able to get back to full fitness during the Covid-19 shutdown.

The 21-year-old, who became the most expensive American soccer player when he joined Chelsea in January 2019 for 64 million euros ($69.13 million), has not played since the 1-1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion on New Year’s Day.

“I didn’t take it as seriously as I think I should have. It was one of those you felt you could do a lot of things but you try to push it that one extra step and realise it’s not ready yet,” Pulisic told Chelsea’s website

“It was very tough and frustrating going through times like that. I underestimated it and tried to get back as soon as I could because I just wanted to play so bad.

“If anything, I’ve given myself a little more time to rest now and make sure that I’m 100 per cent fit. I’d say I’m fully recovered and ready to go as soon as we get back.” Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet

Pulisic, named the US soccer federation’s men’s Player of the Year in December, has scored five goals in 16 league appearances this season.

Mourinho ‘desperate’ for the season to restart

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says he is “desperate” for the return of Premier League action despite mounting concerns about the English top-flight’s restart plans.

Several stars including Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose have gone public with fears about resuming the season during the coronavirus crisis.

Some top-flight bosses are also understood to have expressed concerns about the plan to play from mid-June when they spoke during a League Managers Association meeting on Wednesday.

But Mourinho said he would relish the chance to get back to work despite the challenges and risks posed by the pandemic.

“I have not asked for any delay,” Mourinho said in a statement on Thursday. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7 on NaijaBet

“I want to train, and I am desperate for the Premier League to return as soon as it is safe to do so, particularly now we are seeing other leagues preparing to return to action.”

No kissing the ball or spitting due to covid-19

Teams competing in South America’s Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana have been told players must avoid spitting and kissing the ball as part of new rules published by the region’s football governing body (CONMEBOL) to combat Covid-19.

The two flagship tournaments were suspended in March due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and new start dates have still to be decided.

CONMEBOL also said in a statement that players must not blow mucus from their nose or swap shirts after the game, and they must use their own personal water bottles. In addition, face masks must be worn when giving post-match interviews and by substitutes on the bench.

Belgium league awaits final decision on the season

Belgian football is anticipating a stormy end to the season on Friday when key decisions about the campaign are finally decided in the boardroom.

While play for the rest of the season has been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, decisions must still be made over whether to declare a champion, promotion and relegation as well as places in next season’s European club competitions.

Belgium was the first country in Europe to end the campaign but that decision made by the Pro League board – which at the time saw runaway leaders Club Brugge hailed as champions – has yet to be ratified by the clubs, some six weeks on.

They finally meet for a general assembly, via video conference, on Friday after several postponements, which had offered hopes of a change of heart.

But any possible decision to go back on the decision to cancel the season was ended last week when Belgium’s government extended a ban on sports events until July 31. Place bet and make cool cash online 24/7 on NaijaBet

A working group was established to thrash out the details of the season but has had its work muddied by lobbying from clubs, Belgian media have reported.

Top-flight Portuguese League to resume on June 4

Portugal’s top-flight soccer division will restart on June 4 after being halted since March due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the league’s organising body said in a statement on Tuesday.

The government had initially given May 30 as the date for action to resume but the league said the first match would take place on June 4 in order to allow enough time for stadiums to be inspected and for all players to undergo tests for the virus.

Porto led the standings by one point over champions Benfica when the season was indefinitely postponed, with 10 games remaining.

Guardiola might return to Barca if Laporta is elected as president

Joan Laporta has said he will seek to bring former manager Pep Guardiola back to Barcelona if his bid to return as president of the La Liga club in 2021 is successful, as reported on media .

Laporta was Barcelona president from 2003 to 2010 and was at the helm when Guardiola was promoted from the youth team to manager of the senior team in 2008.

Guardiola is under contract at Manchester City until June 2021 but his future is in doubt after Uefa handed the club a two-year ban from European competition for breaching Financial Fair Play rules, a ruling City have appealed.

“I’m working to introduce myself as a presidential candidate. I’ve been president before and I’m excited to be back,” Laporta was quoted as saying on Catalan station TV3. Play Now on Naija and Bet

“I would very much like Guardiola to come back, but now he is at City and it is a decision that Pep should take. He is a benchmark for Barcelona and many Catalans would like him to coach Barca again.

Italian Serie A clubs will resume training from May 18

Italy’s Serie A clubs will be allowed to start team training from May 18 “with prudence”, the government said on Monday in a boost for plans to resume the season.

So far clubs have only been allowed to train on an individual basis and respecting social distancing rules, often with players having half a pitch to themselves.

Serie A has been suspended since March 9 and the government has yet to decide if it will allow the season to be completed but Monday’s announcement was a step forward.

The government said its technical-scientific committee had conducted a close examination of the protocol which the Italian football federation (FIGC) plans to implement to ensure training can be conducted safely.

In a joint statement from Health Minister Roberto Speranza and Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora, it said the committee had ordered some changes, which were not specified, but had given the green light for group training to restart. Place bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet

“The committee’s indications, which are to be considered stringent and binding, will be sent to the FIGC for the necessary adjustments to the protocol so as to allow the safe resumption of team training from 18 May,” it said.

Sport might not resume in England until June 1 -Government

Premier League clubs are meeting on today May 11 to discuss their plans to restart the current season, after the stoppage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, as they await detailed policy instructions from the UK government.

A series of meetings are scheduled for this week, including with the government, who are expected on Tuesday to publish a paper on plans and guidelines for elite sport.

No vote on the proposal for games to be held at neutral grounds is expected but consultations will go on throughout the coming days with players and managers as well as government officials and medical experts.

The Premier League is hoping to get the green light for a restart to the 2019-20 season in June but has to give European governing body Uefa details of their plans by May 25.

Fernandes & Pogba can shine in midfield under Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes playmaker Bruno Fernandes and record signing Paul Pogba can form a strong midfield partnership when the Premier League season resumes following the Covid-19 disruption.

The 25-year-old Fernandes, who joined United from Sporting Lisbon in January, registered three goals and four assists in nine matches, adding creativity to the team with Pogba out of action due to a foot injury.

Pogba, restricted to eight appearances in all competitions this season, was primed to return before the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak and Solskjaer said the Frenchman and Fernandes can thrive.

“Good players can always play together, so definitely they can… it’s a big yes,” Solskjaer said. Play bet on Virtual Games 24/7 on NaijaBet

“I’ve got Scott (McTominay), Fred, Nemanja (Matic). There are many games coming up. I’m sure we can find a good connection between them. We’ve been discussing that as a coaching team and we’re looking forward to it.

Corona virus: Inter Milan players all tested negative

Inter Milan’s entire first-team squad have given negative results in testing for the coronavirus, the Serie A club said on Friday as they prepared to resume training.

Nearly all Serie A clubs have re-started training on an individual basis this week following a two-month stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic and all players and staff are subject to testing.

Sampdoria said previously they had found three new positive cases, Fiorentina reported six positive tests – three players and three back-up staff – and Torino one.

“FC Internazionale Milan announces that all the medical tests the first team underwent were negative,” the club said in a statement. “Optional individual training sessions will begin this afternoon.”

“The club maintains the utmost attention to the preventive measures for the health of the players and all members of the club, in compliance with all government guidelines and the protection of public health.”

Bundesliga will resumes with empty stadiums on May 16

The Bundesliga season will restart on May 16 after a suspension of more than two months, the German Football League (DFL) said on Thursday, becoming the first European league to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The DFL said the season would restart under the terms of a strict health protocol that bans fans from the stadium, with six games on Saturday, including the high-profile Ruhr valley derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04.

The derby and four other matches will start at 1330GMT while Eintracht Frankfurt will host Borussia Moenchengladbach at 1630GMT. League leaders Bayern Munich face Union Berlin in one of two games on Sunday while one more will be played on Monday.

“The interest (globally) is big. I see reports from across the world that we are the first major league to return,” DFL CEO Christian Seifert told a news conference.

“This is only possible because we have the privilege to live in a country with one of the most modern health systems in the world.” Place bet on Live Events 24/7 on NaijaBet

He was speaking by video conference after a meeting with first and second division clubs following the government’s decision on Wednesday to give the green light for the Bundesliga to restart in the second half of May and throw a financial lifeline to the cash-strapped clubs.

Klose becomes Bayern assistant coach

World Cup record scorer Miroslav Klose has signed a one-year contract to become Bayern Munich assistant coach under head coach Hansi Flick from next season, the Bundesliga champions said on Thursday.

Klose, who scored a record 16 World Cup goals and won the trophy with Germany in 2014, has been a youth coach at Bayern for the past two years since retiring as player in 2016.

“We have known each other very well since our time in the national team and we trust each other both professionally and personally,” Klose said in a club statement.

“For me this is the next step in my career as a coach,” the 41-year-old added.

Flick was assistant coach when Germany won the World Cup six year ago and Klose got his record.

Klose also played for Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen, Bayern Munich and Lazio in Italy.

Players set for covid-19 tests as barca return to training

Barcelona’s players will return to their training ground on Wednesday for the first time since early March to undergo testing for the coronavirus as La Liga clubs begin the path back to activity ahead of a planned return to action in June.

“The first team will return to the training ground on Wednesday to do the necessary tests before starting individual training in the next few days,” the Spanish champions said in a statement on Tuesday.

“After completing its inspection of the club’s facilities this morning, La Liga has given the green light to carry out these tests in order to guarantee the safety of the players.”

Barca’s last match was a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad on March 7, which took them two points clear of Real Madrid with 11 rounds of matches remaining in the league campaign.

Kalou get suspended over handshake video

Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin have suspended forward Salomon Kalou after he posted video on Facebook which showed himself and teammates shaking hands and displaying a casual approach to Covid-19 guidelines.

The club also said in a statement that “this was the conduct of a single player” and denied that the squad do not take social distancing and hygiene rules seriously.

The Ivorian apologised for his behaviour which the German Football League described on Twitter as “absolutely unacceptable” and which some media suggested could even hamper the Bundesliga’s hopes of re-starting after the coronavirus outbreak.

The Bundesliga has been suspended since mid-March but is hoping to convince the government that it is safe to restart in the next few weeks. A decision is expected on Wednesday.

Hertha, which said that the film was made after the entire squad had tested negative for coronavirus, admitted that the video at one point showed players shaking hands while Kalou was also seen to interrupt a teammates’ medical test. Place bet on Live Matches 24/7

“Salomon Kalou’s video from the dressing-room violated basic team rules and showed behaviour that is neither appropriate to the situation nor in accordance with the club’s rules of conduct,” said the statement.

Trainning resumes as Sassuolo players run on empty pitches

Sassuolo on Monday became the first Italian top-flight club to resume training following the coronavirus stoppage although it was still a long way from normality with only a handful of players running up and down empty pitches.

The Serie A club posted a video on Twitter showing players exercising individually, with each having half a pitch to himself. The club has limited the number of players who can train to six at a time divided into three pitches and says training is optional.

The government on Sunday gave players permission to start training individually on club premises but no team exercises will be allowed until May 18 and it is still far from certain that Serie A will be allowed to resume this season.

Italy, among the world’s hardest-hit countries, started to relax the longest lockdown in Europe on Monday, allowing about 4.5 million people to return to work after nearly two months at home.

Sassuolo were involved in the last Serie A match to be played before the suspension when they beat Brescia 3-0 on March 9. Make cool from home on NaijaBet

Other Serie A teams were expected to resume training over the course of the week.

Players might need four weeks to get fit : Milosevic

Players will need at least four weeks to regain match fitness once coronavirus lockdown measures are lifted and they are able to resume training, Partizan Belgrade coach Savo Milosevic said on Sunday.

The 46-year old former Yugoslavia striker, who scored 37 goals in 102 internationals and won the 1996 English League Cup with Aston Villa, pointed out that a return to normal training would be gradual.

“We will train in groups of nine, keeping in line with the government’s measures,” Milosevic told Serbia’s Prva television.

“That means players will have to be a mandatory two metres apart at all times. There will be no team lunch or other gatherings before or after training.

“The pandemic has had a crippling effect. Players have been idle for two months now and they will need at least four weeks to get back into shape, otherwise there is a big danger of injuries when the season eventually resumes.” Place bet on Live Event 24/7 on NaijaBet

Serbian clubs are to resume training on Monday, when the Balkan nation’s government is to ease a set of measures introduced to curb the Covid-19 virus.

Pochettino: I’m sure our paths will cross again

Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has said he would like another shot at managing the team within the next decade so he can try again to lead them to a trophy.

The Argentine took Spurs to the Champions League final last year but his side were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool and he was sacked in November, ending a successful but silverware-free four-year spell in charge.

“It was an amazing journey that finished in a way that no-one wanted it to finish, but deep in my chest, my soul and heart I’m sure our paths will cross again,” Pochettino said on Wednesday.

“From the day I left the club my dream is one day to be back and try to finish the work we didn’t finish. It was an amazing journey, we were so close to winning the right trophies like the Premier League and Champions League, we were very close.”

Pochettino, who also led Tottenham to four consecutive top-four finishes and the 2015 League Cup final, is currently without a club. Play Live bet on NaijaBet.com

Players to maintain social distancing rules- Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur are the latest side to announce a limited return to training following the suspension of football activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the players respecting social distancing rules as they get back into shape, the club said.

Spurs said a limited number of players will be taking part in each session at their Enfield Training Centre, and there will be no access permitted to any building on site.

“From tomorrow, the club shall be making a limited number of pitches available at our training centre for members of our first team squad to use for individual running sessions on a strict rotational basis,” the club said on its website.

“No more than one player per pitch will be permitted at any one time to undertake on-pitch exercise, with only a restricted number of the squad coming to the training centre each day. PLAY NOW

Serie A training might resume in May, no date for re-start

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte gave the go-ahead on Sunday for professional sports teams to start training again in May following the novel coronavirus outbreak but did not set a date for soccer’s top-flight Serie A championship to resume.

Conte, announcing measures to ease the lockdown during a televised address to the country, said individual training could start on May 4, when players would still have to respect social distancing rules, and that team training could begin on May 18.

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus and Serie A has been suspended since March 9. The suspension followed a chaotic fortnight in which the country attempted to carry on with matches behind closed doors.

Conte said sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora would work “intensively” with scientists and sports leaders to ensure training was safe.

“Then we will try to see if they can continue with the championships that are suspended. We will only reach this conclusion if it can be guaranteed that it is safe. We don’t want our athletes to get sick. Place bet on Live Events 24/7

“I’m passionate for football,” he added. “Like many Italians, I initially found it strange that the championship could be interrupted or suspended but I think that even the most ardent fan understands that there wasn’t an alternative.”