Tour de France postponed, to be held from Aug 29

PARIS (Agencies): The Tour de France has been postponed to Aug. 29-Sept 20 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Wednesday. French president Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that no public event would take place in the country until mid-July as part of measures to contain the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected over two million people worldwide. The Tour de France was due to be held from June 27-July 19. The UCI added that Italy’s Giro and Spain’s Vuelta would follow the Tour in a revised calendar and the men’s road race at the world championships in Martigny, Switzerland, would go ahead as scheduled on Sept 27. “The Tour de France is postponed and will take place this year from 29 August to 20 September,” the UCI said in a statement. “Holding this event in the best conditions possible is judged essential given its central place in cycling’s economy and its exposure, in particular for the teams that benefit on this occasion from unparalleled visibility.

All serious concerns against PFF’s NC proving right: Iqbal

LAHORE (Staff Reporter): Former Punjab Football Association (PFA) Vice President Iqbal Shaikh has said that all their serious concerns against the Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) Normalization Committee have been proving right gradually. “We, the actual stakeholders of Punjab football, raised a strong protest against the inclusion of highly controversial figures in the PFF Normalization Committee when it was formed, because of the controversial backgrounds they carry,” said Iqbal and added: “Although we had to face some criticism for being hard against some members of the NC but we were crystal clear on their dubious characters. “We had no doubts that they would not be able to do any good for the football community. Now when the plan of the NC is unveiled and the cat has come out of the bag, the entire football community has been showing absolute distrust while the stakeholders in other provinces are also expressing the same views, which we raised before time.” He said that it was reported in the national media that the Secretary Baluchistan has written a letter to FIFA and AFC articulating his deep concerns over the actions and steps taken by the PFF’s NC showing their bias and clear tilt towards one group. “The situation is not different in Sindh. Few weeks ago, it was the Secretary Sindh Football Association, who, with very heavy heart, gave a statement asking the PFF’s NC to act in neutrality. “The PFF’s NC has badly lost its moral strength as they are taking the football of Pakistan to a jungle. Their only interests are to draw lucrative salaries from the PFF accounts and prepare a stage for the landing of Zahir Shah as PFF President,” Iqbal added. He requested FIFA and AFC again to review the situation, repair the damage by replacing the blatant one-sided NC with a team of people, who just want to gain vested interests.