30 Jun 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

10:21 am on 30 June 2020

Latest - Burnley moved up to eighth in the English Premier football League after a header from captain Ben Mee earned them a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.

Burnley manager Sean Dyche.

Sean Dyche Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Sean Dyche's side move above Arsenal and Sheffield United and on to 45 points, level on points with Tottenham Hotspur, who have played a game less.

Despite being depleted by injuries, including All White Chris Wood, and with another incomplete and inexperienced substitute bench, Burnley were well on top in the first half with Dwight McNeil influential in a central role.

Palace were stronger after the break but fell behind shortly after the hour mark when Mee launched himself at an Ashley Westwood free-kick and Palace keeper Vicente Guaita could only push the ball in off the post.

Dyche has been critical of the club's chairman Mike Garlick after three players left the club last week when their contracts ran out but he brushed off a question about his future.

"Everyone keeps talking about my future apart from me. I'm getting on with my job as I always do - I'm still here," he said.


Zanardi has further surgery

Former Formula One driver and Paralympic champion Alex Zanardi, seriously injured in a handbike accident 10 days ago, has undergone neurological surgery for a second time.

Alex Zanardi, Italian champion on HandBike.

Alex Zanardi Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Santa Maria alle Scotte hospital in Siena said that the surgery had lasted around two-and-a-half hours and that Zanardi, who suffered severe head injuries in the accident on June 19, was sedated and intubated in the intensive care unit.

The 53-year-old Italian is an inspirational figure in the worlds of motorsport and Paralympic endeavour, a hugely popular and positive competitor who returned from life-changing injuries with a smile.

He had both legs amputated above the knee, with his heart stopping seven times as he lost all but a litre of the blood in his body, after a horrific crash in a Champ car race at the Lausitzring in Germany in September 2001.

He later turned to paracycling and won a total of four Paralympic gold medals, two each at London in 2012 and Rio de Janeiro in 2016.


Lowe can play for Ireland

The former Chiefs winger James Lowe will become eligible to play for Ireland later this year after signing a new deal with his club Leinster.

The Chiefs' James Lowe in action.

James lowe Photo: Photosport

Lowe will become eligible for Ireland in November after signing a new three-year deal with the Irish province.

Lowe, 27, went back to his native New Zealand in March after the Covid-19 pandemic halted the season.

He tweeted: "Excited to be staying in Dublin for another three years."

Lowe joined Pro14 Leinster from the Chiefs in 2017 and will become eligible for Ireland through World Rugby's three-year residency rule.

That rule has been extended to five years but Lowe arrived in Ireland when the three-year protocol existed.

The Pro14 season is due to resume on 22 August, while Leinster will play their Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final against Saracens in mid-September.

Lowe played six games for the Maori All Blacks between 2014 and 2017.


Fox drop golf

A crowded sports schedule caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the FOX network to choose the NFL and Major League Baseball over the U.S. Open, leading the U.S. Golf Association to end its 12-year deal with the broadcaster and transfer it to NBC Universal.

The U.S. Open originally scheduled for June was moved to September due to the new coronavirus outbreak, creating a logjam for FOX which also has broadcast rights for ratings behemoth the NFL as well as college football and Major League Baseball.

FOX signed a 12-year deal worth a reported $1.8 billion in 2015 that runs through 2026.

The USGA said terms of the agreement will remain the same as NBC jumps in to broadcast this year's U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York which was moved from June to Sept. 17-20 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The deal also includes the rights to other USGA flagship events including the U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women's Amateur tournaments.


Netflix to produce Kaepernick doco

Netflix are teaming up with Emmy Award-winning director Ava DuVernay to bring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's adolescent life to the television screen.

Colin Kaepernick.

Colin Kaepernick Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Entitled 'Colin in Black & White', Netflix said the six-episode series would focus on Kaepernick's early years as a Black child growing up with a white adopted family and his formative high school years.

Kaepernick, who sparked a national debate in the United States when he protested against racial injustice by kneeling as the U.S. national anthem played during a game, has signed up as narrator of the series.

Kaepernick said he was honored to work with DuVernay, the first black female director to be Oscar-nominated for a documentary, saying that too many stories about race and Black people were told through a "white lens".


Hurricanes let Spencer go

Assistant coach Carlos Spencer has left the Huricanes Super Rugby franchise.

Carlos Spencer

Carlos Spencer Photo: Photosport

The club released a statement saying due to the financial uncertainty created by COVID-19, the Hurricanes have agreed to let Carlos Spencer finish his contract early.

The Hurricanes say the financial uncertainty created by Covid-19 means they agreed with Spencer he would finish his contract early.

The decision is effective immediately.

The former All Blacks and Blues first five joined the Wellington-based side prior to the 2019 season after coaching stints with several teams in South Africa.

Spencer has previously had coaching experience in South Africa and Japan.

Mercedes unveil black livery

Formula One champions Mercedes have unveiled black-liveried cars for the 2020 season as part of a public pledge to further improve diversity within the team and the world of motorsport.

2020 Mercedes F1 car in black livery


Mercedes have traditionally raced in silver throughout their time in Formula One but will switch to black and have 'End Racism' emblazoned on the halo of both cars.

The team said the Black Lives Matter movement has "shone a searching light on how much we need new measures and actions in the fight against racism and all forms of discrimination".

The new livery will make its debut when Britain's world champion Lewis Hamilton and Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas feature in the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix this weekend.

Mercedes said only 3% of their workforce identified as belonging to minority ethnic groups, while just 12% are women.

Six-times Formula One champion Hamilton said: "It's so important that we seize this moment and use it to educate ourselves whether you are an individual, brand or company to make real meaningful changes when it comes to ensuring equality and inclusivity."


Windies support Black Lives matter

The West Indies cricketers will wear 'Black Lives Matter' logos on the collar of their shirts throughout their three-test series in England next month.

Premier League soccer clubs have been wearing the logo since the season's restart as a tribute to protests against racial injustice following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

West Indies have been allowed to use the same emblem designed by Watford captain Troy Deeney's partner Alisha Hosannah.

"We believe we have a duty to show solidarity and also to help raise awareness," West Indies skipper Jason Holder said in the statement.

"We have come to England to retain the Wisden Trophy but we are very conscious of happenings around the world and the fight for justice and equality."


Fowler not returning to Brisbane

Former England striker Robbie Fowler will not be returning to take charge of Brisbane Roar when the A-League football season restarts next month.

Brisbane Roar's coach Robbie Fowler.

Robbie Fowler Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Liverpool great and his assistant Tony Grant went home to England in March when the season was suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.

"We are disappointed that the global pandemic has impacted our plans together but completely understand that family comes first during these difficult times," vice-chairman Chris Fong said in a statement.

Fowler had led the club, which had finished second bottom the previous season, to fourth place when matches were suspended with six rounds of the regular season and the championship playoffs remaining.

The A-League will resume behind closed doors on July 16 with the regular season to be wrapped up by the end of August.


Klopp urges fans to refrain from too much celebration

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has urged supporters of the English Premier League champions not to spoil the work done in containing the coronavirus outbreak by gathering in large numbers to celebrate their title victory.

Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Liverpool's 30-year wait for their 19th English top-flight crown ended last week when Manchester City lost at Chelsea and thousands of fans turned up at Anfield to celebrate.

Liverpool, Merseyside police and the City Council issued a joint statement condemning the "wholly unacceptable" behaviour after crowds gathered for a second night on Friday, sparking fears of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

"Please -- celebrate -- but celebrate in a safe way and in private settings, whereby we do not risk spreading this awful disease further in our community," Klopp wrote in a letter to fans in the Liverpool Echo.

Klopp thanked fans for their support during a remarkable season in which Liverpool have established a 23-point lead over second-placed City with seven games left.


County Cricket given start date

English County Cricket will start on August 1st.

The men's County Championship was initially scheduled to begin on April 12, but was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fixtures and format for the season are to be decided by the 18 first-class counties in a meeting in early July and plans will include both red-ball and white-ball cricket.

The ECB says plans for the return of the women's domestic game remain ongoing.

England's county cricketers will continue to take pay cuts of up to 20% in June and July as counties reel from the financial impact of the pandemic.

On the international cricket front, England return to action following the COVID-19 stoppage with three tests against the West Indies next month.

The first match is scheduled to begin in Southampton on July 8 without spectators.


Patriots fined again

The New England Patriots will pay a $1.5 million fine and lose a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft for their taping of the Cincinnati Bengals' sideline last season.

Additionally, the Patriots production crew has been banned from filming games in the 2020 season. Senior team officials must undergo training about NFL operations and game policies, according to multiple reports.

The videographer who filmed the Bengals' sideline, David Mondillo, also was banned indefinitely from NFL facilities. The team previously fired Mondillo.

The Patriots had not issued a statement as of Monday morning about the penalties, though a spokesperson confirmed to ESPN that the team would not appeal.

The taping incident occurred as the Bengals played the Cleveland Browns, a week before the Patriots were scheduled to play Cincinnati.

The Patriots defeated the Bengals 34-13 a week later.

The December incident raised comparisons to 2007's "Spygate," in which an investigation showed the New England staff illegally taped the signals of opposing coaches. Head coach Bill Belichick and the organization were fined a total of $1.25 million and lost a first-round draft pick in 2008.


Dovizioso will be able to ride

Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso is expected to be fit for the start of the 2020 MotoGP season next month after successful surgery for a damaged left collarbone.

The 34-year-old sustained the injury on Sunday in a crash while competing in a motocross race at Faenza in northern Italy.

Dovizioso had the operation in Modena and Ducati said he would be able to start physiotherapy immediately and be ready for the first race of the season in Spain on July 19.

MotoGP will resume the 2020 season stalled by the Covid-19 pandemic with back-to-back races in Jerez on July 19 and 26.

Five circuits will host double-headers and Spain will have seven races as part of the revised 13-round European calendar.

Dovizioso finished runner-up behind Spaniard Marc Marquez of Honda in the 2019 season.