11 Mar 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

7:37 am on 11 March 2020

Latest - The New Zealand heavyweight boxer David Nyika has won through to the final of th Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament in Jordan.

David Nyika with New Zealand coaches Thomas Rangiawha and Billy Meehan.

David Nyika Photo: Boxing NZ

Nyika, who qualified for the games by making the semi-finals, beat an Uzbekistan in a unanimous points decision.

Nyika will meet the top seed and Olympic silver medalist Vassiliy Levit from Kazhakstan in the final.

The winner will gain a seeding for the Olympic tournament.

Rowing regattas cancelled

The first two World Cup Rowing regattas of the year have been cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Jackie Kiddle (Star Boating Club) and Zoe McBride (Nelson RC) NZ Womens Lightweight Double Scull

Finals races at the World Championships, raced on the Regattastrecke, Linz Ottensheim, Austria. Saturday 31 August 2019  © Copyright photo Steve McArthur / www.photosport.nz

NZ women's double Photo: © Steve McArthur / @RowingCelebration

The first and second regattas were both scheduled for Italy which is now in a full country lockdown.

The first was to be held in Sabaudia and the second in Varese.

New Zealand crews had been scheduled to compete in the second World Cup regatta.

The third World Cup regatta in Switzerland in late May, which doubles as a final Olympic qualifying event, is still on at this stage.

-World Rowing

Ferns beaten

The New Zealand women's footballers have been beaten 2-1 by Norway in the third place playoff at the Algarve Cup in Portugal.

The Football Ferns opened the scoring in the 11th minute through Hannah Wilkinson before Norway levelled the ledger later in the first half.

The score was locked at 1-all until the 86th minute when Norway bagged the matchwinner.

The New Zealanders are next scheduled to play Japan in Japan on April 11th, though the game could be cancelled due to the coronavirus.

Football games to be played behind closed doors

Football matches in the top two divisions in Spain and France are to be played behind closed doors because of coronavirus concerns.

La Liga announced its ruling will affect the next two rounds of fixtures while the French league said fans will be banned until 15 April.

La Liga said it acted on guidance from Spain's ministry of health.

The French government announced on Sunday a ban on all gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

Barcelona's Champions League match against Napoli on 18 March will also be played at an empty Nou Camp.

Germany's international friendly with Italy in Nuremberg on 31 March will also be played behind closed doors.

Manchester United's Europa League last-16 first leg match at LASK Linz in Austria on Thursday is another match that will be played without fans.


All Blacks XV to be play Fiji

The newly formed All Blacks XV will play Fiji in a weekend of rugby that also involves the USA and Canada in Vancouver at the end of October.

New Zealand Rugby announced the establishment of the team on Monday.

The four teams will take part in the inaugural Halloween Rugby Weekend with New Zealand playing Fiji and the USA playing Canada.

The event is the first leg of a three-city world tour by the All Blacks XV team... with the other two matches still to be announced.

-Rugby Canada

Ireland beat Afghanistan

Ireland snatched a super over win against Afghanistan to avoid a Twenty20 series whitewash in India.

The Irish only posted 142-8 in their innings but seemed set for victory before two final-over wides off Josh Little helped the Afghans reach 142-7.

Craig Young bowled an excellent super over to concede eight runs.

After hitting a four, Paul Stirling was out lbw but Kevin O'Brien's six off Rashid Khan in the last ball secured victory.


Oldest pro footballer scores a goal

Egyptian grandfather Ezzeldin Bahader took a big step towards becoming the world's oldest professional football player by making his debut at the age of 75 over the weekend and celebrated the occasion by scoring a goal.

Striker Bahader made light of a knee injury and completed the full 90 minutes as his Egyptian third-tier club October 6 drew 1-1 with rivals Genius.

The former amateur player, father of four and grandfather of six, showed he still had an eye for goal by slotting in from the penalty spot much to the delight of his team mates and fans.

In order to be recognised as the world's oldest professional player, Bahader must play at least one more 90-minute game.

The current record for the oldest professional soccer player is held by Israel's Isaak Hayik, who played in goal last April for Israel's Ironi Or Yehuda, aged 73.