Chinese Grand Prix Postponed By Coronavirus Outbreak


The Race in Shanghai was originally due to take place on 19 April

The Chinese Grand Prix has been postponed following the coronavirus epidemic.

The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for Formula 1 has accepted a plea from Chinese organisers to postpone the race, which was supposed to take place in mid April.

In a statement, it added all parties would take the “appropriate amount of time” to discuss potential new dates.

The decision has been made to “ensure the health and safety” of drivers, staff and fans.

“The Chinese Grand Prix has long been an important part of the F1 calendar with many passionate fans,” the statement continued.

“The FIA F1 community looks forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wishes everyone in the country the best during this difficult time.”

Ross Brawn, who is the managing director of F1 had previously said that there would be efforts to reschedule the race if it could not be held on the original date.

“We will leave open the opportunity to see if the race can run later in the year,” he said.

“China is an enthusiastic, growing market so we’d like to have a race in China.”

The last time an F1 race was postponed came back in 2011, when the Bahrain Grand Prix was affected by the Arab Spring uprisings.

The starting intention was to run the race later in the year but the teams were opposed to the idea and eventually this race was cancelled.

There has been more than 40,000 cases of the new coronavirus strain worldwide, and it has now been declared a global health emergency.

The current death toll in China stands at 1,016.

Earlier this month, sports authorities in Shanghai recommended the suspension of all sporting events in the city.

The Shanghai Sports General Association has instructed various sports bodies to suspend events until the threat from the virus is over.

They were told to “formulate a plan for epidemic prevention to avoid internal infections” and to “implement a daily hygiene management system and strengthen health education to urge employees to protect themselves”.

The coronavirus outbreak has already led to a number of sporting events in China being cancelled. This includes the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, which was scheduled to place from the 13 to 15 March, and a race of the all-electric Formula E series in Sanya which was supposed to happen the following weekend.

England Survive Late Batting Collapse To Beat South Africa and Level ODI Series




All-Rounder, Moeen Ali took 1 wicket and scored 17 runs with the bat as the 32-year-old made his England return after six months out of the team. 

Third one-day international, Johannesburg
South Africa 256-7 (50.0 overs): Miller 69*, De Kock 69; Rashid 3-51
England 257-8 (43.2 overs): Denly 66; Hendricks 3-59, Ngidi 3-63
England win by two wickets; series drawn 1-1

England held their nerve to secure a 1-1 series draw with South Africa as Tim Silverwood’s side beat the hosts by two wickets at The Imperial Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. 

Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid were both recalled to England’s first eleven and the spin twins took four wickets between them (Ali: 1 and Rashid: 3) for a combined run total of 93 (Ali went for 51 runs and Rashid went for 42  runs).

However, there was drama in the Proteas innings after Temba Bavuma challenged an LBW call after he was given out by the on field umpire, but was given out following the review.

The next ball, Rashid thought he had dismissed Rassie van der Dussen first ball for LBW, as 31-year-old was about to leave the field of play, the fourth umpire stopped him from doing so. What had actually happened was that UltraEdge was not available to third umpire, Aleem Dar when Bavuma was dismissed and it meant that Mark Boucher’s side had in fact been given their review back.

And once the review showed Rashid’s delivery was missing the stumps, Van der Dussen had to turn from near the boundary and head back to the middle to resume his innings.


ICC regulation surrounding the Bavuma and Van der Dussen review uncertainty.



England players were not best pleased with the umpiring decision that occurred in Johannesburg. 


During the opening 50 overs, South Africa finished 256-7, despite having been 140-4 after 30 overs. Proteas captain, De Kock and number 6 batsman, David Miller both topped scored for the hosts with 69 runs.

England got off to a rapid start with Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow putting on 61 runs just inside six overs. Bairstow who scored 43 runs was the first man out for the tourists, whilst Roy who scored 21, swiftly followed as South Africa had World Champions, England 69-2 with just eight overs gone.

Root, who made 49 and Denly, who made 66 stabilised the chase as they both played maturely to steady the ship for the tourists.


Joe Denly and Tom Banton looked to be guiding England home with ease before South Africa began applying pressure with the ball. 

South Africa then fought back with four quick-fire wickets in a tense finale before Moeen (17) and Chris Jordan (0) guided England to 257-8 with 40 balls left in the match.

The run chase should never have been as tight it was, yet this was an improved performance from the world champions after they were beaten by seven wickets in the first ODI in Cape Town, whilst the second match in Durban was abandoned because of rain.


What’s Next?

England next face South Africa in three Twenty20 internationals, with the first match being in East London, Eastern Cape on Wednesday, with a start time of 16:00pm (GMT).

Spanish Giants Crash Out Of Copa Del Rey


Four LaLiga clubs have been eliminated from Spain’s prestigious cup competition this week with FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia and Villarreal all losing to Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Granada as well as Segunda Division side CD Mirandes. 

The cup action began on Tuesday night with 10th placed side Granada welcoming 5th placed Valencia to the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes. Former Tottenham striker, Roberto Soldado gave Diego Martínez Penas’ side the lead after just three minutes into the tie.

Twelve minutes later, Valencia thought they’d equalised through ex Real Madrid player Rodrigo but his effort was ruled out by VAR as the 28-year-old had strayed into an offside position before putting the ball past Aarón Escandell in the Nazaríes goal.

Five minutes before half time Albert Celades’ side levelled as Rodrigo’s volleyed the ball into Granada’s net after being set up by midfielder, Francis Coquelin. It meant that at half time in Andalusia, the tie was evenly poised at 1-1.

In the second half, both sides had changes to extend their lead but neither of them could find the back of the net. The winning goal came in the 90th minute as Roberto Soldado scored his and Granada’s second from the penalty spot after Valencia defender, Jaume Costa had handled the ball inside the penalty area. The result meant that Diego Martinez’s side were the first team to progress into the semi-finals of the 2019-20 Copa Del Rey.

On Wednesday night, Segunda Division side CD Mirandes, who had knocked out Sevilla in the previous round of the competition welcomed Villarreal, who are currently 7th in the LaLiga to the Estadio Municipal de Anduva. Andoni Iraola’s side took a shock lead just 17 minutes into the encounter, after Matheus Aias fired past Andres Fernandez in the Villarreal goal, with Martin Merquelanz being credited with the assist.

Fifteen minutes later El Submarino Amarillo equalised as Javier Ontiveros curled the ball into the back of Jesus Regillos Moya Limones’ net as Javier Calleja’s side found a way back into this thrilling cup tie.

On the stroke of half time, Mirandes were awarded a penalty after Xavi Quintilla handled in the penalty area, up-stepped Martin Merquelanz, who scored the spot kick to give Iraola’s side the lead at the interval.

Just eleven minutes into the second 45 minutes and Villarreal were awarded a penalty as Los Rojillos player, Odei Onaindia handled the ball inside his own penalty area, up-stepped Santi Cazorla, who pulled Calleja’s side level to make the scoreline 2-2 in The Province of Burgos. Two minutes later, Onaindia atoned for his error as 30-year-old defender tapped him from a free kick to make the scoreline 3-2 to the hosts and Merquelanz had his second assist of the encounter.

In the 90th minute, Antonio Sanchez made it 4-2 to the Jabatos after firing home from outside the penalty area, which gave Villarreal goalkeeper, Andres Fernandez no chance of keeping it out. Mirandes, who are the only non LaLiga side left in this years competition join Granada in the semi-final draw after yet another giant killing.

Onto Thursday nights action now and Real Madrid hosted Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Imanol Alguacil’s side took a shock lead as Real Madrid loanee, Martin Ødegaard scored against his parent club just 22 minutes into the match. Both sides had chances to score but neither side were able to find the back of the net. Half time in Madrid and Zidane’s side trialled by just the one goal to nil.

Into the second now and Real Sociedad thought they had made it 2-0 after Alexander Isak found the back of Areola’s net, however his strike was ruled out by VAR after the 20-year-old was adjudged to have been offside when he slotted home.

In the 54th minute of this cup tie, Isak did eventually make it 2-0 to the visitors after volleying past Areola after being expertly set up Ander Barrenetxea. Two minutes later the Txuri-urdinak made it 3-0 as Isak scored his second goal of the tie, after pouncing on Nacho’s mishit clearance before thundering an unstoppable shot high beyond the 26-year-old, Areola in the Los Blancos goal.

Three minutes later, Marcelo scored past Alex Remiro in Sociedad’s goal to make it 1-3 after being set up by Brahim Diaz. In the 69th minute, Imanol’s side went 4-1 up after Mikel Merino slotted home after being set up by Isak, after the young Swede picked out Merino with a cross from the edge of the penalty area.

With nine minutes of normal time left, Real Madrid made it 2-4 as Rodrygo was set up by Vinicius Junior, VAR did end up checking the goal for a possible offside, however the goal was allowed to stand, much to the delight of the Los Merengues fans. Three minutes into added time, Zidane’s side were given a lifeline as Nacho Fernandez headed home from close range to make it 3-4 after being set up by team-mate, Karim Benzema. Real Sociedad became the third side through to the semi-finals after narrowly beating the side from the Spanish capital .

The final game of the quarter finals came from the San Mames Barria, where Athletic Bilbao faced FC Barcelona. During a rather drab first half, neither side was able to find the back of their respective nets as the final match of the round ended up being 0-0 at the interval.

After a host of yellow cards for both sides in the opening exchanges of the second 45 minutes, it was Gaizka Garitano’s team, who took a well deserved lead in the final minutes of this cup tie after, Inaki Williams scored  past Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Blaugrana net, after Ibai Gomez put in a dangerous cross, with the 25-year-old striker heading past Barcelona’s German international keeper.  Quique Setien’s side had chances to equalise but Barcelona failed to test Unai Simón in the Los Leones goal as Garitano’s side held on to join Real Sociedad, Granada and CD Mirandes in the semi-finals.




France Stun England in Six Nations Opener


French players celebrate their win at the end of the Six Nations match. (Source: Getty Images)


England fell to a narrow 24-17 defeat against France at the Stade de France in their opening game in the 2020 Six Nations, as Fabien Galthié’s era got off to the perfect start in Paris.

Inside five minutes, the hosts scored the opening try of the game as Vincent Rattez slid over the try line to give France a 5-0 lead against Eddie Jones’s side. This came after he took on the majority of the England side. Their lead was extended further as Ntamack converted and Galthié’s side went 7-0 up against the World Cup runners up, England.

Almost 20 minutes in and France once again scored a try, this time it was France captain Charles Ollivon, who slid over the England try line to give the hosts a 12-0 lead in Saint-Denis, once again Ntamack kicked the conversion to make the scoreline 14-0.

Before half time, referee Nigel Owens awarded a penalty to France, much to the delight of the French fans and Ntamack converted it to give Les Bleus a 17-0 lead against a stunned as well as a shocked England side.

Into overtime in the opening 40 minutes and England tried to cause a threat to the French try line, but France held up the England charge, by subsequently being awarded another penalty and the ball was kicked out of play by France.

H/T: France 17-0 England


Into the second half and within 14 minutes of the restart, France extended their lead once more as Charles Ollivon, slid over England’s try line despite the best efforts of Elliot Daly, who’s tackle ended up giving momentum to Ollivon, who gracefully touched the ball down as the hosts now took a 22-0 lead against what appeared to be a shell shocked England team.  Following the try, Ntamack once again kicked the conversion to make it 24-0 to France and it looked like the match was over for Eddie Jones’ side.


Just before the hour mark, England scored their first try of the match as Jonny May chased down his own kick and then nudged the ball forward with his boot, before putting his hand on top of the ball on France’s try line. The TMO took a look at the May try to determine if the 29-year-old from Chiseldon had cleanly grounded the ball, and the try was awarded. Owen Farrell kicked the conversion, which meant that France now lead 24-7 in Paris.

With almost 15 minutes left, the visitors got their second try of the tie as May’s solo run from almost within his own half ended with England’s winger sprinting down the French right before cutting back inside and scoring his second try of the match to make the scoreline 24-12. Farrell once again converted and now the French lead 24-14.

Into overtime in the 80th minute and Eddie Jones’ side were awarded a penalty as France were penalised for collapsing the scrum. Farrell was on hand to take the kick, which flew between the posts, to bring England within seven points of their hosts. This also secured a losing bonus-point for England. Fabien Galthié’s new look French side held on to win against Eddie Jones’ side, who are seen as the favourites for this years Six Nations before a ball was even kicked. 


F/T: France 24-17 England


What’s Next?

England will look to put this defeat behind them when they take on long-term rivals Scotland at Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with the game starting at 16:45pm.

France will try to make it back to back wins when they take on Italy at the Stade de France on Sunday afternoon, with the game starting at 15:00pm.