Daily Briefing

Today’s back pages: Olympic flame will continue to burn in Tokyo, football’s transfer window of opportunity, Kane on the mend

A round-up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 25 March

Time up for Tokyo… for now

“Time runs out for Tokyo” is the headline on the back page of the Independent above a striking photo of the illuminated Olympic rings against the night sky of Japan’s capital. 

Not surprisingly the papers all lead with the news that the summer Olympics and Paralympics have been postponed until 2021

“Hope to the world”, is the lead headline on the Daily Mirror back page, with the paper reporting that the games’s organisers intend to keep the Olympic flame burning for the next 15 months to send a message of hope to the world as it battles the coronavirus pandemic.

Metro and The Guardian relay the response of some of the British athletes to the news that the games have been rescheduled for the first since the Second World War. 

“It’s bigger than any of us”, declares the Guardian, passing on the thoughts of swimmer Adam Peaty. 

Triathlete Alistair Brownlee tells the paper: “From an athlete perspective, it was really important it was done now and not in another month’s time. To go so hard in preparing for the Olympic Games only to be told weeks out that it would be postponed would be so much worse.”

Asked how he’ll adapt mentally and physically to be ready for 2021, Brownleee replied: “My approach will be about a change of focus - about staying healthy, and making the right decisions to keep the people around me healthy.”

The Times’s focus is on the financial implications of the postponement with the paper reporting that “the cost to the organisers is estimated to be about £2bn”. 

There will also be ramifications for other sporting tournaments planned for 2021, and which now find themselves clashing with sport’s showpiece event.

‘The only decision we can support’: reactions to the postponement of Tokyo 2020

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Transfer window of opportunity

The Daily Mirror and Daily Express both report that the summer football transfer window could “stay open until January”. 

With football in an historic limbo, and no matches envisaged before May, there is confusion about how the summer transfer market will work. 

The Mirror reports that if the season does start again in May and go until the start of July that will “cause havoc for the transfer market”. 

As a result talks are underway between the relevant bodies to reach a solution, and one option is to extend the summer transfer window until January, instead of closing it on 1 September.

Kane on the mend

The country needs some good news and Harry Kane provides it with an update on his hamstring injury, reports Metro and the Daily Star. 

The England and Tottenham striker has been sidelined since January with the injury and there were fears - before the coronavirus crisis - that he would be sidelined until the summer. 

But Kane has revealed that he could be fully fit by the end of April, meaning he’ll be able to help Tottenham push for a top four finish if the Premier League returns. 

“I’m good,” he said. “From a rehab point of view and personal point of view, I’m doing really well. I’m at a good stage now and just working hard, doing a lot of recovery, a lot of rehab and just waiting to see what happens to the season.”

Kane also had a message for fans as the country adapts to the lockdown. He added: “My family is well, and obviously everyone is thinking about coronavirus at the moment and it’s a time to be together, to stay safe and hopefully everything will be alright.” 

Today’s sport headlines

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