Colors: Yellow Color

 

Raja Casablanca's Champions League semi-final on Sunday against Zamalek in Cairo is in doubt after more players from the Moroccan champions tested positive for Covid-19.

Last week, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) postponed the second leg by a week to after eight Raja players reported positive for Coronavirus. After another round of testing on Tuesday, the number of positive cases now stands at 14.

Caf's Head of Communications Alex Siewe said talks are ongoing with both Raja and Egyptian authorities, who have expressed concerns.

"We are discussing with them to find a better solution for both parties," he told BBC Sport Africa.

Six Raja players will undergo re-tests, with the whole squad to then having another round.

Caf has already allowed Raja to add three players from their youth team to join the travelling party, which is set to leave for Egypt on Friday.

The Moroccan champions lost 1-0 to Zamalek in the first leg in Casablanca earlier this month and are battling to meet another Egyptian side, Al Ahly, in next month's final.

 

 

 

 

Cure Leukaemia has been named as the first ever Official Charity Partner of the Tour de France in the UK. This partnership means that Cure Leukaemia’s major cycling event, The Tour 21, which will see amateur cyclists take on all 21 stages of the Tour de France route one week ahead of the professional event in 2021, 2022 and 2023, will be the only charity event of its kind with an official partnership with the Tour de France in the UK.

 

The Tour 21, which will take place from Saturday 19th June – Sunday 11th July 2021, will see a team of 25 amateur cyclists led by former footballer, blood cancer survivor and Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas taking on all 21 stages of the Tour de France with the aim of raising £1,000,000 for Cure Leukaemia.  

 

This groundbreaking partnership, announced just days before the official 2021 Tour de France route reveal, is the legacy of Geoff Thomas’ phenomenal cycling achievements since his diagnosis with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2003, just months after finishing his professional football career.

 

Thomas, 56, who represented England, Crystal Palace, Wolves and Nottingham Forest during his 20-year career, was initially given just 3 months to live in 2003, but thanks to treatment from Cure Leukaemia’s Co-Founder Professor Charlie Craddock CBE and a stem cell transplant from his sister Kay, Geoff went into remission in 2004 and turned his mind to supporting the doctors and nurses that helped save his life.

 

During his treatment, Geoff was inspired by the survival stories of others and decided to cycle the full Tour de France ahead of the professionals in 2005 to raise funds which led to him being awarded the Helen Rollason Award at that year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Geoff then went on to complete the Tour again in 2007 and then in 2015 he returned to Cure Leukaemia to take on the grueling 21 stages once more.

 

In 2017, Geoff cycled the Tour de France for a 4th time as well as the Giro D’Italia and Vuelta to help Cure Leukaemia raise an additional £1m towards the expansion of one of Europe’s biggest Haematology Centres in Birmingham. This year, 15 years after he first took on the Tour, Geoff was due to ride for the final time with 18 other amateur cyclists with the aim of raising £1m for Cure Leukaemia to fund the national Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) which the charity began funding in January. Consisting of 12 blood cancer centres across the UK, TAP enables patients from a catchment area of 20 million to access potentially life-saving treatments for all forms of blood cancer through clinical trials and Geoff and his team’s efforts would have funded this network for 12 months.

 

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the event was cancelled leaving Cure Leukaemia with a £1,000,000 shortfall. The team is committed to completing their challenge in 2021 and through this official partnership with The Tour de France the charity is hoping Geoff and the team can exceed their £1,000,000 target and raise increased awareness of Cure Leukaemia as a leading national blood cancer charity.

 

Speaking about the partnership Geoff said: “I am extremely honoured that Cure Leukaemia has been named as the first ever Official Charity Partner of the Tour de France in the UK. When I embarked on what seemed a completely crazy challenge in 2005, I could never have imagined that I would not only go on to ride the globally iconic Tour de France route five times nor that our event would secure such a prestigious level of recognition from within the world of cycling.

“Ultimately, the purpose of taking on these challenges is to provide hope to blood cancer patients in the same position that I was back in 2003 and now this event is set to continue doing this after I finally hang my cleats up in July 2021. I would like to thank everyone that has helped myself and Cure Leukaemia over the years to get us to this point and I look forward to our most successful event yet when we take on The Tour 21 next June. 

“Through this partnership, the Tour 21 event in 2021 and onwards will open up a range of exclusive opportunities for our team including staying in the same hotels which will be used by the professionals a week later. I’m delighted all of our team has committed to riding in 2021 but we do have 5 places available for people to join us next June so if you are interested please do visit the website and get in touch.”

Yann Le Monner Chief Executive of Tour de France organiser A.S.O. said: “We are proud to announce Cure Leukaemia as the Official Charity Partner of the Tour de France in the UK.

 

The charity’s work not only benefits the whole of the UK but also has a clear aim to help hasten global progress towards finding effective treatments for all forms of blood cancer and we are excited to partner with them over the next three years.” 

 

Cure Leukaemia Chief Executive James McLaughlin added:  “This partnership is true testament and legacy to Geoff’s extraordinary and selfless efforts to help and inspire others over the last 17 years. In securing this partnership and association with the world’s biggest annual sporting event, we hope that it not only raises awareness of Cure Leukaemia at a global level but also provides us with the opportunity to secure increased fundraising potential from The Tour 21 and expand our range of cycling events and opportunities going forward.

“Led by Geoff, cycling has played such a key role in the growth of Cure Leukaemia since 2015 and we are immensely proud to now be officially associated with the world’s most famous and prestigious professional cycling event.”

 

 

 

 

Marcus Rashford came off the bench to score a clinical hat-trick as Manchester United continued their recent momentum by taking apart RB Leipzig in the Champions League.

 

England international Rashford came on just after the hour mark and netted three goals in 16 minutes, first running clear to calmly slot in, then smashing in a terrific second, before drilling home a third in stoppage time. Teenage forward Mason Greenwood scored his first goal in the competition, latching onto Paul Pogba's defence-splitting pass before drilling a precise, low finish into the far corner. Greenwood produced another thumping effort straight at Peter Gulasci, while the visiting goalkeeper also kept out Anthony Martial's poked effort. But when Martial was tripped in the box with three minutes to go, he converted the penalty to score his first goal of the season.

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side backed up their excellent win at Paris St-Germain in their opening game by collecting another impressive three points to extend their unbeaten run to four games. United's backline had a comfortable night, David de Gea keeping out efforts from Christopher Nkunku and Ibrahima Konate.

 

In the Group H's other game, last year's runners-up Paris St-Germain picked up their first points with a 2-0 win at Istanbul Basaksehir. United had said before the game that they were "bemused" by the government's decision not to allow fans into Old Trafford despite making the stadium a socially-distanced venue for 23,500 supporters. And with United playing their first Champions League game at home since losing to Barcelona in the quarter-final in April 2019, it was a shame the supporters missed out on their side's best performance of the campaign.

 

Solskjaer's side were up against the current Bundesliga leaders and a team that reached the semi-finals last term, but made the German side look ordinary with a superb, all-round performance. United's dominant display was highlighted by the fact that Leipzig had won six and drawn one of their seven games this season, conceding just three goals in the process.

 

Man of the moment Rashford again made an impact, netting with all three of his shots on target. Honoured with an MBE earlier in the month and continuing his fight against the government over free meals for school children off the pitch, Rashford showcased his prowess on it with a first treble in Europe's elite club competition.

 

His first was initially ruled out by the assistant referee for offside, but replays showed he had timed his run to perfection from behind the halfway line, bursting clear from Bruno Fernandes' raking pass and opening up his body to before slotting home. The second came with a run to the edge of the box before powering his finish into the corner, while he completed his hat-trick from close range.

 

Since the 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Tottenham, United have collected three victories and a draw, including back-to-back clean sheets. The much-maligned defensive duo of

 

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof kept the Leipzig forward line quiet as they secured another welcome shut out. In front of them, Netherlands international Donny van de Beek was given his third start, after two in the Carabao Cup, and the midfielder was steady and tidy, completing 89% of his 28 passes and winning the ball back six times in his 67 minutes on the pitch. Such is United's depth, star man Bruno Fernandes was only on the bench, but came off it to grab another assist. Few would have expected the Premier League side to claim six points from six against supposedly the two most difficult opponents in the group.

 

But they have set themselves up perfectly to reach the knockout stage, with back-to-back games coming up against the pointless Istanbul Basaksehir.

 

 

 

 

Lewis Hamilton passed Valtteri Bottas to take a commanding victory in the Portuguese Grand Prix and break Formula 1's all-time win record. The six-times Formula 1 world champion dropped to third in a manic first two laps that ended with McLaren's Carlos Sainz leading, but fought back to crush Bottas' hopes. After both Mercedes passed Sainz, Hamilton tracked Bottas before taking the lead on lap 20. From there, Hamilton dominated to take his 92nd career Grand Prix victory.

 

Hamilton received a standing ovation from the socially distanced crowd, before celebrating with team members and then a long embrace with father Anthony. He said he "owed it all" to his Mercedes team, adding: "I could only ever have dreamed of being where I am today.

 

"I didn't have a magic ball when I chose to come to this team and partner with these great people, but here I am. Everything we do together - we are all rowing in the same direction and that's why we're doing what we're doing. And my dad's here and my step mum Linda, and Roscoe (His dog). It is going to take some time for it to fully sink in. I was still pushing flat out as I came across the line. I can't find the words at the moment."

 

His victory, on a humiliating day for team-mate Bottas, gave Hamilton a 77-point advantage in the championship as he moves ever closer to a seventh world title, which would match Schumacher's other surviving record.

 

Hamilton had to do it the hard way, cool temperatures and a sprinkling of rain at the start leaving his Mercedes grip-less on its medium tyres on the opening lap, on which he was passed by both Bottas and Sainz. But once the Mercedes' tyres were up to temperature, they wasted no time in dispatching the McLaren and disappeared into a race of their own.

 

Once ahead, Hamilton left his team-mate behind, pulling out a lead of more than seven seconds in the next 10 laps, and continuing to inch further clear over the remainder of the race. He extended his lead even further after they made their pit stops, as he was able to get the hard tyres into their temperature window more effectively than his team-mate.

 

The 35-year-old's only concern was cramp in the final 10 laps but it did not seem to affect him unduly, and he still crossed the line 25 seconds clear of his team-mate. It was a masterful performance, befitting the monumental nature of his achievement, supplanting Schumacher at the head of the all-time win lists, where the German had been for 19 years.

 

Hamilton said: "I really owe it all to the (Mercedes) team for their teamwork, continually innovating and pushing the barrier even higher every year. It's such a privilege working with them. It really is absolutely incredible."

It was an exciting race on a new track to F1, with overtaking and incident aplenty throughout the field.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third, after slipping down to fifth on the opening lap, while Charles Leclerc was impressive in recovering fourth place in the Ferrari after he, too, struggled for grip in the opening laps on the medium tyres and dropped to eighth.

Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly was outstanding in taking fifth, grabbing the place with a lovely move around the outside of Racing Point's Sergio Perez with two laps to go.

Perez, too, drove a strong race, recovering from a first-lap collision with Verstappen and spin, which required him to stop for fresh tyres and drop to last.

Perez came under further pressure on the last lap, this time from Sainz, who passed him to take sixth place, with the Renaults of Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel all close behind.

Kimi Raikkonen was just outside the points, after an outstanding first lap, rising from 16th on the grid to seventh place on his soft tyres, and then passing Leclerc's Ferrari for sixth, before the lack of pace of his Alfa told once the race settled down and he began to slip back.

Next weekend, F1 moves on to Imola in Italy, an historic, challenging and popular track which holds a race for the first time since 2006.

What they said

Bottas: "The opening lap was pretty good, some cars behind with the soft tyre had the upper-hand but I was really pleased I could get the lead but after that, I just had no pace today. I don't understand why."

Verstappen: "It was very low grip at the start. I tried to stay out of trouble but had a touch with Sergio Perez. He didn't give me enough space so he took himself out. I did my own race after that."



 

 

 

After a superb time trial performance that secured his maiden victory in a Grand Tour, Briton Tao Geoghegan Hart became the fifth British winner after victory in the Giro d’Italia

 

The 25-year-old started the Giro d'Italia and as a support rider to Ineos Grenadiers' Geraint Thomas, only for his pre-race favourite teammate to crash out in the third stage.

 

Along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, the Giro is one of cycling's most prestigious events and, in winning it, Geoghegan Hart becomes the fifth British man to win a Grand Tour race and the second after Chris Froome to win the Giro.

 

He was part of the British Cycling development program before signing for Axeon Hagens Berman in 2014, an American Continental team of Under-23 riders managed by former professional cyclist Axel Merckx. He joined Ineos, then known as Team Sky, in 2017, supporting the likes of Thomas, Chris Froome and Egan Bernal, all former Grand Tour champions.

 

"All of my career I have dreamt of being top 10 or top five in a race like this”, the champion said. “During the ITT (individual time trial) my DS (directeur sportif) told me I was faster than Jai Hindley," he added.

 

Level with Team Sunweb's Jai Hindley ahead of the final day's individual time trial -- the first time in Grand Tour history that two riders had been tied going into the last stage -- he finished 39 seconds ahead of Hindley over the 15.7km course into Milan to capture the pink jersey.

 

"It's incredible. It was impossible for me to even think about winning the Giro when we started in Sicily," Geoghegan Hart said after the race.

 

There was more joy for Ineos as Filippo Ganna won the final stage in a time of 17:16, the Italian's fourth stage victory of the campaign and the team's seventh. Australian Hindley finished second in the overall standings ahead of teammate Wilco Kelderman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev has undergone a heart surgery at a hospital in India's capital Delhi after he complained of chest pain.

 

A statement from the hospital said that Dev, 61 was admitted on Friday, and was in a stable condition now.

 

Dev captained India's World Cup winning team in 1983. He was named by Wisden as the Indian Cricketer of the Century in 2002.

 

Wishes have poured in for the former captain from across India. The former middle-order batsman and fast bowler is regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders to play the game.

 

"Wishing you a speedy recovery," tweeted India batsman Shikar Dhawan. Several other players, including former Test captain Anil Kumble, also wished Dev a speedy recovery.

 

An all-rounder who was devastating with both bat and ball, Dev took more than 400 wickets and scored more than 5,000 runs in Test cricket. Since retiring, he has coached the Indian side and had various other roles away from cricket.

 

Dev is considered as one of the greatest fast bowlers India has produced. In total, he took a remarkable 434 Test wickets and 253 one-day international wickets.

 

With the bat, he made 5,248 Test runs, including eight centuries and 27 fifties, at an average of 31.05. He has scored 3,783 ODI runs, including a top score of 175 not out which he hit against Zimbabwe during the 1983 World Cup.