Daily Briefing

Sport shorts: Premier League bans pre-match handshakes and coronavirus threatens Liverpool’s title party

Ten things from the world of sport on Friday 6 March

1. Prem bans pre-match handshakes

The UK newspapers are still feverishly reporting the coronavirus crisis with The Times saying that the Premier League has banned pre-match handshakes between players and officials in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus. 

A Premier League statement read: “The fair-play handshake will not take place between players and match officials from this weekend until further notice based on medical advice.

“Coronavirus is spread via droplets from the nose and mouth and can be transmitted on to the hands and passed on via a handshake.” 

Instead the players will line up and walk past each other without shaking hands.

As yet there has been no word on what players will now do when they score but presumably the traditional kiss and a cuddle are also a no-no. 

2. ‘Virus threatens Kop party’

The Daily Star and Daily Mirror claim that the coronavirus outbreak “threatens” Liverpool’s Premier League title celebrations.

According to reports the EPL and the Football Association are discussing contingency plans that include playing matches behind closed doors. 

This would deny Liverpool fans the chance to see the champions-elect lift their first Premier League title since 1990.

3. This weekend’s EPL fixtures

After their 3-0 defeat last weekend Premier League leaders Liverpool will look to bounce back against Bournemouth at Anfield tomorrow. 

The big match in the top-flight this weekend is the Manchester derby between United and City at Old Trafford on Sunday. 

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “Let’s hope it will be a 4-3, like we have seen before. There have been many classics. We will do what we can to make it a classic.”

Tomorrow’s fixtures (3pm unless stated)
  • Liverpool vs. AFC Bournemouth (12.30pm, live on BT Sport) 
  • Arsenal vs. West Ham United  
  • Crystal Palace vs. Watford  
  • Sheffield United vs. Norwich City  
  • Southampton vs. Newcastle United  
  • Wolves vs. Brighton & Hove Albion  
  • Burnley vs. Tottenham Hotspur (5.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
Sunday’s fixtures
  • Chelsea vs. Everton (2pm, live on Sky Sports) 
  • Manchester United vs. Manchester City (4.30pm, Sky Sports)

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

4. Ricciardo: GP ‘can’t go ahead’ without full grid

Daniel Ricciardo says Formula 1’s season-opening grand prix in Australia should not take place if Italian teams are not allowed to race because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Renault’s Australian driver told the Sydney Morning Herald: “The race can’t go ahead without a full grid. I don’t think it would be right to race without all ten teams and all 20 drivers.”

F1: Red Bull’s Marko calls the FIA Ferrari settlement ‘political suicide’

5. Lionesses lose SheBelieves opener 

SheBelieves Cup holders England were beaten 2-0 by the United States this morning. 

Goals from Christen Press and Carli Lloyd secured the win for world champions USA while the Lionesses have now lost six of their last nine matches. 

In yesterday’s other game Spain beat Japan 3-1. 

SheBelieves Cup results and fixtures (all times GMT) 
  • Yesterday: Spain 3 Japan 1  
  • Today: USA 2 England 0  
  • Sunday 8 March: Japan vs. England (6.15pm, live on BBC Four); USA vs. Spain (9pm) 
  • Wednesday 11 March: England vs. Spain (9.15pm, live on BBC Four)  
  • Thursday 12 March: USA vs. Japan (12am)
England rugby head coach Eddie Jones oversees a training session

David Rogers/Getty Images

6. England out for Wales revenge 

England rugby head coach Eddie Jones has warned Wales that his team “owe them one” after their 21-13 defeat in last year’s Six Nations championship. 

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s match at Twickenham, Jones said: “They beat us last year so we owe them one. 

“They’ve got a new coach and they’ll want to make a statement. Traditionally our games are very close so they’ll come with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of energy.”

England vs. Wales: Six Nations preview and starting XVs

7. Rory starts well at Arnold Palmer Invitational

World No.1 Rory McIlroy made a good start at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida. The Northern Irishman hit a first-round six-under 66, and is one shot behind leader Matt Every. 

McIlroy told Sky Sports: “I made a couple unforced errors starting off. I hit it in the water on 11 and actually made a good bogey in the end, then I missed the little one on 12. 

“I think with the start and then turning in under par, birdieing 16, birdieing 18, sort of had a bit of a good pep in my step going into the first tee and then I played some great golf after that.

“I hit two great shots into one, the shots into two, holed a good eagle putt on four. I got a bit of momentum and I kept it going until the end.”

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

8. Starc leaves tour to watch wife in T20 final

Australia pace bowler Mitchell Starc will miss the final one-day international in South Africa to return home and watch his wife Alyssa Healy play in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final on Sunday. 

Healy and Australia take on India in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Starc will be among the 90,000 fans expected to attend. 

Australia coach Justin Langer said: “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Mitch to watch Alyssa in a home World Cup final. 

“It is something we have been talking about for a while and, given Mitch has had a considerable workload in all three formats this summer, he's heading home a couple of days ahead of the rest of the squad.”

9. Dier consequences 

The Daily Mail reports that the Football Association is “torn” on whether to charge Eric Dier after the Tottenham defender went into the stand to confront a fan after the FA Cup loss against Norwich. 

According to the Daily Mirror Dier “accepts he is going to get punished”, but he is “philosophical” about the situation.

10. Back pages: Wayne’s woe 

Manchester United’s demolition of Derby County makes all the back pages after the Red Devils ruined Wayne Rooney’s big night. 

“Oh no Roo don’t” is the headline in the Daily Mirror, with the paper reporting that United’s 3-0 victory in the FA Cup fifth round ensured it wasn’t a happy reunion for Derby striker Rooney against his old club.

FA Cup quarter-final draw 

Ties will be played on 21-22 March

  • Sheffield United vs. Arsenal  
  • Newcastle United vs. Manchester City  
  • Norwich City vs. Manchester United  
  • Leicester City vs. Chelsea
Today’s back pages

Eric Dier expects rap for fan confrontation and Iggy pops Rooney’s bubble

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Recommended

All at sixes and sevens: a mad day in Premier League history
Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian bumps fists with Aston Villa hat-trick hero Ollie Watkins
In Depth

All at sixes and sevens: a mad day in Premier League history

Uefa Euro 2020 guide
Uefa Euro 2020
The big match

Uefa Euro 2020 guide

Kane conundrum: can England’s captain start firing again?
Harry Kane will start in England’s final Euro 2020 group D match
View from the terraces

Kane conundrum: can England’s captain start firing again?

Messi vs. Ronaldo: the rivalry and all-time career records
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Juventus against Lionel Messi of Barcelona
In Depth

Messi vs. Ronaldo: the rivalry and all-time career records

Popular articles

The GB News reviews: foxy, fresh or utterly deadly?
GB News launch
In Review

The GB News reviews: foxy, fresh or utterly deadly?

Is the UK’s holiday traffic light system ‘dead’?
Beach
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is the UK’s holiday traffic light system ‘dead’?

Simon Kjaer: the heroic Dane who helped save Eriksen’s life
Denmark captain Simon Kjaer in action against Finland at Euro 2020
Profile

Simon Kjaer: the heroic Dane who helped save Eriksen’s life