In Brief

Sport shorts: Captain Tom Moore is tipped to rival Joe Wicks for SPOTY award and Man Utd pay NHS tribute

Ten things from the world of sport on Thursday 16 April

1. Early SPOTY contenders...

There could be two surprising contenders for this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. 

According to Oddschecker WBC boxing champion Tyson Fury is favourite at 5/4 to win the 2020 gong. However, Joe Wicks, The Body Coach, is a 10/1 shot following his online morning PE sessions during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Another person who is being talked about as a potential SPOTY winner is Captain Tom Moore. The 99-year-old Army veteran has raised more than £14m for NHS charities by walking 100 laps of his garden.

Following his fundraising heroics, hundreds of Twitter users have called for Captain Tom to be nominated for the BBC’s prestigious sporting award. 

Why everyone’s talking about Tom Moore

2. Prem clubs want 30 June deadline

The English Premier League will hold a video conference call tomorrow to discuss when, or indeed, if, the 2019-20 season will be completed.

With nine rounds of matches remaining, Sky Sports reports that time is running out for the Premier League, particularly as an increasing number of clubs want the season concluded by 30 June because of player contracts.

The problem facing the clubs is that while they want to complete the season rather than declare it null and void, dozens of player contracts expire on 30 June. 

Today’s back pages

Premier League to be given season deadline ‘ultimatum’ from clubs

3. Jota: Reds should be champions

Wolves forward Diogo Jota says Liverpool deserve to be awarded the Premier League title if the season fails to be completed. 

Liverpool are 25 points clear of Manchester City and Jota said: “In case we have the misfortune of not being able to end the season, I think that few people would oppose this. Of course, there are always rival clubs that could be against that, but I think 95% of the people would agree. For me they would be fair champions.”

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4. Racing suspended indefinitely

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) says the suspension of racing, which is due to finish at the end of April, is to be extended indefinitely. 

A statement said: “Our plans continue to allow for a resumption in May, if that is possible. We assume it would be behind closed doors only, at a point when the safety of participants can be assured and the pressure on the health service allows. Tough biosecurity measures would be in place to keep any risks to a minimum.”

5. Courtois to race in F1 Virtual GP

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will race alongside six Formula 1 drivers in Sunday’s F1 Chinese Virtual Grand Prix. 

Courtois and Alex Albon will drive for Red Bull and they will face Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, Williams duo George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, McLaren’s Lando Norris and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi. 

Coverage starts at 6pm and is live on Sky Sports F1.

Manchester United Old Trafford NHS tribute Twitter

6. United’s NHS tribute

Manchester United paid tribute to the NHS with a unique light display at their Old Trafford stadium. The Premier League club left the letters N, H and S illuminated and said: “You can’t have Manchester without the NHS.”

7. PGA Tour plans for June return

Golf’s PGA Tour has announced plans for tournaments to return in June, but the first four events will be played behind closed doors.

The first tournament will be the Charles Schwab Challenge starting on 8 June at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. 

The PGA has also confirmed that the season-ending TOUR Championship will be held from 3-7 September at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia.

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8. Kante wanted by La Liga giants 

According to Spanish media La Liga rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid are both keen on Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante.

Mundo Deportivo reports that the French World Cup winner is on Barca’s target list while AS claims Real are also interested.

9. Farrell defers wages

England rugby union captain Owen Farrell has agreed to a 90% wage deferral.

The Times reports that the Saracens fly-half, who reputedly earns £750,000 a year from the Premiership club, will pocket “around £31,000 between now and September - just over a third of which will be paid by the government - instead of £310,000, an initial sacrifice in the region of £280,000”. 

10. Joshua tells Fury: ‘come fight me’

Anthony Joshua has called out British boxing rival Tyson Fury over a unification fight to decide the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Joshua holds the IBF, WBA and WBO belts while Fury is the WBC champion.

“Come fight me,” Joshua said in an interview with Sky Sports. “If you really want to say you’re No.1, come fight me. Let’s get it on. I’ve got the rest of the belts so it only makes sense.”

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