World Sports News in Brief

Football: Belgian FA confirms contract extension for Martinez

Thursday, 2020-05-21 09:18:24
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FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Belgium Press Conference - Belgium Football Centre, Tubize, Belgium - October 9, 2019 Belgium coach Roberto Martinez during the press conference. (Reuters)
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Belgian national team manager Roberto Martinez’s contract has been extended, officials confirmed on Wednesday (May 20), more than a fortnight after it was first reported.

Martinez will stay until the end of the 2022 World Cup and will also act as the technical director of the Belgian Football Association, it said in a statement.

* Athletic Bilbao forward Aritz Aduriz, the oldest player to score for Spain in an international, announced his retirement at the age of 39 on Wednesday, saying that his body had told him 'enough'. Aduriz made a total of 443 La Liga appearances for Valencia, Real Mallorca and Bilbao and scored 158 goals.

* The head of Qatar's 2022 World Cup organising committee has vowed to ensure the tournament remains affordable for fans despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy. The gulf state will host the 32-nation tournament in November and December 2022

* No Liverpool player will be forced to train if he does not feel safe to do so, manager Juergen Klopp said on Wednesday (May 20) after the Premier League leaders' first training session for more than nine weeks. The league has been halted since Mar 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but clubs can now train in small groups.

* Eight soccer players at Mexico's Santos Laguna club have tested positive for coronavirus but none of them are displaying any symptoms, the Mexican governing body, Liga MX, said on Wednesday. The Mexican league was suspended on March 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak and officials have not indicated when it would restart.

* The women's Bundesliga will restart following the coronavirus stoppage on May 29, the German Football Association (DFB) said on Wednesday following a meeting with the clubs. The DFB said the competition was among the sporting events which had been given the green light to resume by local health authorities who have the final say.

* Nine stadiums have passed inspections and been declared ready to host matches when the Portuguese league restarts after the coronavirus stoppage, the league said on Wednesday. A further six need improvements and would be subject to a second inspection by the government's DGS health directorate, the league added.

* The men's tennis tour has joined up with Sporting Chance and Headspace to help players and its staff deal with mental health problems and look after their well-being during the COVID-19 shutdown, the ATP said on Wednesday.

* Former Tour de France stage winner Jarlinson Pantano has been handed a four-year suspension after failing an anti-doping test last year, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Wednesday. Colombian Pantano retired last June, two months after he was provisionally suspended following a positive test for the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO).

Reuters, CNA