Back pages: Man Utd cancel winter break over security fears, Australian Open hit by bushfires
A round up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 15 January
Qatar trip cancelled
The Guardian and the Daily Mirror both report on Manchester United’s decision to cancel their training trip to Qatar next month because of security concerns.
The Red Devils had planned a warm-weather training camp in the first week of February but with tensions still high between Iran and the USA, the club have, in the words of the Mirror ‘shelved plans’.
The paper carries comments from United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who said: “We were looking at the Middle East, but that is definitely not going to happen. If there’s one thing that worries me, it’s not on the football pitch – there are other things that will worry me more than football.”
Australian Open under a cloud
“Toxic and Terrifying” is the headline on the back page of the Daily Express, one of several papers to report that the Australian Open is in doubt because of the polluted air from the bushfires that are ravaging the country.
Slovenia’s Dalila Jakupovic had to be helped off court after retiring from her qualifying match and the Express quotes her saying: “I was scared that I would collapse. That’s why I went on the floor. Because I couldn’t walk any more... I think it was not fair because it’s not healthy for us. I was surprised. I thought we would not be playing today.”
Play was delayed for three hours on Wednesday and Tennis Australia issued a statement saying: “Conditions at Melbourne Park are being constantly monitored and further decisions will be made using the on-site data and in close consultation with our medical team, the Bureau of Meteorology and scientists from EPA Victoria.”
The Daily Star is one of several papers to report on Tottenham’s victory over Middlesbrough in their third round FA Cup replay last night. Two early goals from Spurs got them off to a flier and although the Championship side got a goal back in the second half it wasn’t enough to pull off an upset.