Naomi Osaka is walking away from the French Open after a standoff with the sport’s top officials over her refusal to attend news events with reporters. The move came after an unexpected clash with tennis officials. After arriving in Paris she announced she wouldn’t be attending mandatory news conferences at the French Open, citing, “disregard for athletes’ mental health.”
Twelve of Europe’s top soccer clubs have announced plans to form a so-called European Super League, in a move that looks set to rock the foundations of the sport’s top competitions, including preeminent leagues in England, Spain and Italy and extending all the way up to the World Cup. FIFA, the global governing body for football, denounced the formation of the Super League, saying it goes against FIFA’s core principles.
Brazil’s Maracana stadium will be named after the country’s football legend Pele, as the Rio de Janeiro state legislature voted on Tuesday to change its official title to the Edson Arantes do Nascimento – Rei Pele Stadium. The legislature said the football stadium, with a capacity of almost 80,000, will be renamed but the larger sports complex around the ground can retain its current name.
The Tampa Bay defense stifled Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs all night and the Buccaneers earned a decisive 31-9 victory in Super Bowl LV. Tom Brady, who already held the record for most Super Bowl wins by any player, has now won his seventh championship. Tampa Bay is the first team ever to both play and win the Super Bowl in their home stadium.
The head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee has apologized for making sexist remarks about women, but he said he would not resign, despite calls for him to step down on social media. Yoshiro Mori, who is also a former prime minister of Japan, was reported to have said during an online meeting of the committee’s board of trustees that women talk too much.
Reports of this summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games being canceled due to Covid-19 are “categorically untrue”, the International Olympic Committee said in a statement to CNN on Friday. The Japanese government also said on Friday that it is determined the Games will go ahead following an unconfirmed report that a cancellation might be imminent.
Four coronavirus cases have been detected from charter flights carrying tennis players, coaches and officials to Melbourne for the Australian Open, forcing 47 players into strict hotel quarantine. Health authorities confirmed there’d been three positive tests for Covid-19 returned on Saturday and another on Sunday. None of the cases have so far involved players. The Australian Open starts on Feb. 8.
Argentina soccer legend Diego Maradona, who has died aged 60, succumbed to heart failure. The Argentine Football Association confirmed Maradona’s death on Wednesday and posted a short message on its social media platforms. Regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the game, Maradona became a household name after inspiring his country to World Cup glory in 1986.
Diego Maradona was in recovery after successful surgery to treat a subdural haematoma, a blood clot on the brain, the former World Cup winner’s doctor said. The operation was to address the clot, often caused by a head injury. Maradona, who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1986 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, coaches the local club Gimnasia y Esgrima.
Serena Williams has pulled out of the French Open with an Achilles injury ahead of her scheduled second-round match against Tsvetana Pironkova. Williams, 39, was bidding to win a record-equaling 24th grand slam title at Roland Garros having reached the semifinals of the US Open earlier this month. She said the injury that was sustained in New York hadn’t recovered sufficiently for her to compete in Paris.