World Sports News in Brief

Arsenal beat Portsmouth 2-0 to cruise into FA Cup quarter-finals

Tuesday, 2020-03-03 09:11:30
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Soccer Football - FA Cup Fifth Round - Portsmouth v Arsenal - Fratton Park, Portsmouth, Britain - March 2, 2020 Portsmouth's James Bolton in action with Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah. (Photo: Reuters)
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Arsenal cruised into the FA Cup quarter-finals with a 2-0 win at Portsmouth thanks to goals by defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos and striker Eddie Nketiah either side of halftime on Monday.

The rest of the fifth-round ties are being played in midweek due to the short winter break in the Premier League, with the draw for the quarter-finals taking place on Wednesday when holders Manchester City visit Sheffield Wednesday.

* Watford's Spanish forward Gerard Deulofeu is set to be sidelined for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury in the 3-0 home win that ended Liverpool's unbeaten Premier League run. Deulofeu is heading for surgery after scans confirmed a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and torn meniscus in the first half of Saturday's game against the league leaders.

* The Confederation of African Football's (CAF) general secretary Mouad Hajji resigned on Monday. Hajji’s departure after less than a year in the job was confirmed by CAF, who said he was quitting for personal reasons.

* The PGA Tour has no plans to make any schedule changes amid growing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak but has established new protocols in a bid to protect the health and safety of fans and players, it said on Monday.

* The Swiss soccer league has been put on hold until at least March 23 because of the coronavirus outbreak after the clubs rejected the possibility of playing matches behind closed doors.

* European soccer body UEFA says decisions over whether to cancel matches, including playoffs for the upcoming Euro 2020, due to the coronavirus, will be made by governments and health authorities and not the game's ruling organisations. UEFA executives met on Monday but spent only a few minutes discussing the spread of the flu-like disease, which has seen sporting events cancelled around the world.

* Chelsea's progress has been severely dented this season due to a number of injury setbacks and several senior players will be unavailable for Tuesday's FA Cup fifth round clash with Liverpool, manager Frank Lampard said on Monday. Players such as influential midfielder N'Golo Kante have had a stop-start campaign while others like Antonio Rudiger have either returned from injury recently or been sidelined like winger Christian Pulisic.

* Budapest has been chosen to stage the Europa League final in the 2021/22 season at the Puskas Arena, European soccer body UEFA said on Monday. It is the first time the Hungarian capital will stage a single-leg final of a men’s European club competition.

* Liverpool's regulars are set to return to the starting line-up for Tuesday's FA Cup clash at Chelsea after the Anfield club fielded their Under-23 players in the previous round, manager Juergen Klopp said on Monday. Liverpool's under-23 side, led by their former coach Neil Critchley, beat third-tier side Shrewsbury Town in a fourth round replay after Klopp refused to field senior players since the match was played during the Premier League's winter break.

* Former Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge has become a free agent after mutually agreeing to terminate his contract with Turkish side Trabzonspor, the club said on Monday. Sturridge, who joined Trabzonspor on a three-year deal in August, had seven goals and four assists for the Turkish Super Lig side in all competitions, last making an appearance in a 2-2 draw with Besiktas in February before sustaining a toe injury.

* Group stage matches in the Asian Champions League could be held as late as the end of July, the Asian Football Confederation said on Monday, as the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact the schedule of the continent's leading club competition. The confederation said after an emergency meeting at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur that provisions would be made to extend the group phase beyond its scheduled finish in late May until the end of June.

* The second MotoGP race of the season, which was scheduled to be held in Thailand this month, has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus epidemic, the Thai Deputy Prime Minister said on Monday. The decision to postpone the March 22 Thailand Grand Prix in the northeastern province of Buriram comes a day after this weekend's season-opening race in Qatar was cancelled due to travel restrictions on passengers from Italy and elsewhere.

* The women's Kunming Open tennis tournament scheduled to begin in April in China's Anning city has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the WTA Tour said on Tuesday. The April 27-May 3 claycourt event, which features 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams, is the second 125K series tournament to be cancelled because of the virus after the Xi'an Open which was also scheduled for April.