19 Aug 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

10:18 am on 19 August 2020

Paris St Germain reached their first ever Champions League final with a 3-0 win over RB Leipzig, inspired by Argentine Angel Di Maria.

Angel Di Maria of Paris Saint-Germain.

Angel Di Maria Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Goals from Marquinhos and Di Maria put PSG 2-0 up at the interval and Juan Bernat added the third in the 56th minute for what was a comfortable victory at the Estadio da Luz.

The French club, who celebrating the 50th anniversary of their founding in 1970, will meet the winner of tomorrow's other semi between Bayern Munich and Olympique Lyonnais.

The big-spending PSG were a step too far for Leipzig, who were playing in the regional leagues just 11 years ago and have outperformed all expectations by reaching the last four, knocking out Tottenham Hotspur and Atletico Madrid en route.


NZ cyclists have bikes stolen

The Swiss cycle team of New Zealanders Mikayla Harvey and Niamh (Neve) Fisher-Black has been forced to withdraw from a race in Italy after their bikes were stolen.

Paule Ka had seven bikes stolen at the weekend in the leadup to a one day race in Bologna.

The bikes were taken from the team's hotel.

The team has offered a $10,000 reward.

-Paule Ka

Ko to play alongside close friend

The New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko will play alongside the woman that pipped her for a title two weeks ago at this week's British Open.

Lydia Ko and Danielle Kang in 2017.


Ko has been paired with American Danielle Kang for the first two rounds of the major at Royal Troon in Scotland.

Ko blew a five shot lead late in the final round of the LPGA Tour's Marathon Classic in Ohio to be overtaken by Kang.

Ko's best result at the British Open was tied for third in 2015.

The British Open is the first women's major to be played this year.

IPL sells naming rights

An online fantasy sports company has paid 45 million dollars for the naming rights of this year's Indian Premier League.

Dream11 won the bidding process for the tournament which will now run from September 19 to November 10.

Dream11 sponsored last summer's Super Smash T20 competition in New Zealand.


Proctor gets four weeks

Gold Coast captain Kevin Proctor has been handed a four-game suspension for biting Shaun Johnson but both players may yet face further sanction for publicly discussing the case prior to the hearing.

Kevin Proctor.

Kevin Proctor Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Proctor was found guilty of biting Johnson at the judiciary last night and handed a four-week suspension despite the Sharks star and Kiwi teammate testifying on his behalf, claiming that upon review his first thoughts that he had been bitten were a mistake.

The judicial panel took just eight minutes to hand down their verdict after a marathon, and at times farcical two-plus hours of evidence from NRL counsel Peter McGrath and Proctor's lawyer Tim Fuller.

The four-game ban for Proctor falls well short of previous lengthy suspensions for biting - namely James Graham's 12-game ban in 2012 and Brad Morrin's eight-game suspension in 2007.


Warriors to keep sponsor

The Warriors have applauded the National Rugby League's decision to allow the club to continue with major sponsors Vodafone.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck post-game wearing the Warriors jersey displaying the Tamworth postcode. Manly Sea Eagles v Vodafone Warriors. NRL Rugby League, Lottoland, Sydney, NSW, Australia. 7th August 2020. Copyright Photo: David Neilson / www.photosport.nz

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

The telecommunications company has supported the Auckland for 22 years and they still had to years to run on their current deal, but their partnership appeared in danger because of Telstra's exclusive naming-rights with the NRL.

Telstra announced last night it had made a decision enabling the Warriors to continue their sponsorship with Vodafone.

"This is tremendous news for the Vodafone Warriors," Warriors chairman Rob Croot and CEP Cameron George said in a joint statement.

"We're extremely grateful for this outcome and now we can all get on with growing the game.

"The Covid-19 situation has been difficult for everyone. This whole year has been stressful enough without facing this challenge over our partnership with Vodafone.


Jakobsen happy to be alive

The Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen will require "multiple facial surgeries" after his crash at the Tour of Poland, but says he is "glad to be alive".

Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen's bicycle (behind,L) flies through the air as he collides with compatriot Dylan Groenewegen (on the ground ,L) during the opening stage of the Tour of Poland race in Katowice , southern Poland on August 5, 2020.

Photo: AFP

The Deceuninck Quick Step rider was involved in a horrifying crash during a sprint finish two weeks ago.

He was pitched through a barrier and into spectators following a tangle with Jumbo-Visma's Dylan Groenewegen.

The 23-year-old was taken to hospital where surgeons operated for five hours to give him "a chance to live".

"It was a difficult, dark period for me in the ICU, where I was afraid of not surviving," added Jakobsen in a statement released by his team.

Jakobsen's Dutch compatriot Groenewegen, who caused the crash, was suspended by his Jumbo-Visma team pending the outcome of a disciplinary by the UCI, cycling's governing body.


Lions tour could be postponed

Rugby fans will have two weeks in early September to register for tickets for the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa, while officials say the tour could be pushed back - possibly to 2022 - if the coronavirus pandemic halts travel.

The Lions will play three tests, two in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town, on an eight-match tour from July 3-Aug. 7 next year.

There have been fears that COVID-19 may yet play a role in restricting travel, and SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux has said that would in all likelihood see the tour moved to 2022.

"Travelling for international events will likely still be under more pressure than pre-COVID (in July 2021)," he said.

"No spectators and people not being able to travel would not make this commercially viable and then we would discuss how we continue with the tour.

"There has been some talk of moving it out (to a new date), but our travel advice is that by June/July we should be at what is deemed to be normal international travel.

Roux said full refunds for tickets and package tours would be offered if the tour is cancelled.


Koeman wants Barca job

Ronald Koeman says he is in talks to leave his role as Netherlands football manager in order to succeed Quique Setien as coach of Barcelona, who have continued a restructuring effort by sacking sporting director Eric Abidal.

Ronald Koeman (Netherlands);


Koeman, who is revered by Barca fans for delivering their first European Cup, will be expected to lead the club's rebuilding work after they were subjected to an 8-2 drubbing by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.

The Dutchman, who has coached the Netherlands since 2018, said he wanted to coach Barca but had not yet finalised a deal.

Koeman is fondly remembered at Barca for the role he played in Johan Cruyff's hugely successful side known as the "Dream Team" and for scoring the only goal against Sampdoria in the 1992 European Cup final.

The defender later became the club's assistant coach before embarking on an eventful career as a head coach managing Dutch sides Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord plus Premier League sides Southampton and Everton and La Liga's Valencia.


Broncos cop more fines

The Brisbane Broncos have been slapped with $150,000 in fines after 10 players breached biosecurity protocols by having lunch at a pub.

The NRL has strict social distancing rules to protect the competition during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Broncos players fell foul of them by dining at Brisbane's Everton Park Hotel this month.

A police investigation cleared the players of breaching Queensland state's social distancing rules, but the NRL said the Broncos were not permitted to sit in pubs or gaming areas.

However, they could have avoided the sanction if they had dined at a restaurant or a cafe, the NRL said.

The Broncos, second-bottom of the standings after 11 losses from their last 12 games, have become repeat offenders in breaking Covid-19 protocols.

Broncos head coach Anthony Seibold is self-isolating after he left the team's bubble this month to deal with a personal matter.


Covid hits start of French season

The opening match of the 2020-21 French top-flight football season has been postponed after four positive coronavirus tests at Marseille.

Marseille were due to host Saint-Etienne on Friday in the first of eight weekend fixtures in Ligue 1.

The 2019-20 campaign was curtailed in April because of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Paris St-Germain, 12 points clear at the top, awarded the title.

Marseille v Saint-Etienne will now be played on either 16 or 17 September.

The French league told clubs last week its protocol for dealing with coronavirus meant more than three positive cases at a club was likely to lead to a postponement.