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Tokyo Olympics chief rules out another postponement despite concerns

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(Last Updated On: June 3, 2021)

The president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organising committee has ruled out a cancellation or further postponement of the Games as doubts swirled among city governments and medical professionals whether the event can be held safely amid the pandemic.

Public opinion polls in Japan have consistently shown that a majority want the Games cancelled or put off yet again after being delayed by one year because of the coronavirus crisis, Reuters reported.

“We cannot postpone again,” athlete-turned-politician and organising committee president Seiko Hashimoto said in an interview published on Thursday by the Nikkan Sports newspaper.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is likely to call a snap election after the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Asahi newspaper reported, showing his resolve to push ahead with the event.

Foreign spectators have already been barred from the Games, and officials are undecided if Japanese fans will be allowed into venues. Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura pointed out on Thursday that excited fans, shouting and hugging could pose a contagion risk.

Towns and cities set to host Olympic training or events have increasingly expressed misgivings, amid concern visitors will spread variant strains of the virus and drain medical resources, Reuters reported.

The government of Ota City has been inundated with complaints by residents over a decision to give preferential COVID-19 vaccinations to city and hotel staff tending to Australian athletes, media reported.

The city, about 80km northwest of Tokyo, is the site of a training camp for Australia’s softball squad, which this week became the first national team to arrive in Japan.

Kurume City in the southern prefecture of Fukuoka pulled out of hosting Kenya’s pre-Olympics training camp, the African nation’s Olympics committee said on Wednesday.

A player on Ghana’s Under-24 team tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in Japan for a friendly match, the Japan Football Association (JFA) said on Thursday. And in Taiwan, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association said it was pulling out of Olympic qualifier games in Mexico amid infection concerns, Reuters reported.

Japan is battling a fourth wave of COVID-19 eight weeks out from the scheduled start of the Games, but the country’s vaccine rollout has been slow and 10 regions including Tokyo are under a state of emergency until June 20.

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ACB announces Afghan women’s cricket will remain intact

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(Last Updated On: November 24, 2021)

Mirwais Ashraf, the newly appointed Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) acting Chairman, said at a meeting with departmental managers that women will continue to play cricket as normal, the ACB said in a statement.

Mirwais Ashraf said that women’s cricket is one of the major requirements of the ICC and they are committed to meeting their obligations.

“Our girls will be playing cricket on the normal basis and we are looking to provide them with their basic needs and all the facilities they need,” he said.

He also said that the ICC requirements are valued by the ACB and they are doing their best to meet them.

He also said that they will work hard to arrange more games for the national teams with other cricket nations.

On internal issues, he said that they will work to solve the problems together. “Every employee must stay committed to the ACB and must strive hard to do well in their own parts”.

ACB’s CEO Naseeb Khan congratulated Mirwais Ashraf on his new post and said this appointment was a good move for the organization.

Naseeb Khan also pointed out they have had lots of effective meetings with various stakeholders in the UAE.

“We have had a productive meeting with the BCCI head Mr. Sourav Ganguly, and also have met officials from other cricketing nations to discuss a lot about having bilateral ties with them,”Khan added.

The departmental managers meanwhile welcomed the appointment of Mirwais Ashraf as the acting chairman of the ACB, assured him off their support and collaboration.

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Messi, Ronaldo and Salah on shortlist for FIFA Best Men’s Player award

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(Last Updated On: November 23, 2021)

Paris St Germain forward Lionel Messi, Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah are among the 11 players shortlisted for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, the world governing body said on Monday.

The trio are joined by last year’s winner Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich, Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne and Chelsea duo N’Golo Kante and Jorginho.

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland and PSG pair Kylian Mbappe and Neymar complete the list.

Women’s Super League players dominate the women’s award with Arsenal’s Vivianne Miedema, City duo Lucy Bronze and Ellen White and Chelsea quartet Sam Kerr, Magdalena Eriksson, Pernille Harder and Ji So-yun all in contention, Reuters reported.

Emma Hayes, who led Chelsea to the 2021 Champions League final, is joined on The Best FIFA Women’s Coach shortlist by England manager Sarina Wiegman and Canada coach Beverly Priestman.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel and Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte are nominated for the men’s award, along with Germany’s Hansi Flick and Italy coach Roberto Mancini, who led them to the Euro 2020 title.

Liverpool’s Alisson Becker, Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy and Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel are among the nominees for The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper award.

The winners will be announced on January 17.

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Afghanistan’s U19s in Group C of 2022 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup

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(Last Updated On: November 21, 2021)

Afghanistan’s national Under-19 cricket team has secured a spot in the 14th edition of the inaugural ICC Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup, which will take place in the Caribbean in January.

According to the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB), 16 teams will take place in four groups between January 14 to February 5.

The U19 team will play in Group C against Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea (PNG) and will start their run against Zimbabwe at the Diego Martin Sporting Complex, in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday, January 16.

The team will then lock horns against PNG in their next game on January 18, at the same venue. For their last match in the group stage, against Pakistan, they will play at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad and Tobago.

Afghanistan will also feature in two warm-up games from January 9 to 12, prior to the start of the event, to better prepare for the main matches.

The team is already in training for the event and are currently taking part in a training camp. They played Bangladesh two months ago – five ODIs and one four-day game. They lost the ODIs 3-2 but won the one-off youth test match.

Since their return to Afghanistan, they have taken part in training camps.

The first was held in Kabul and the second is currently underway in Nangarhar.

The camp will continue for another two weeks and the Afghan youths will play five intra-squad games during this time.

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