However, the former chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Damian Collins MP, said that the Government “did not ask Netflix to bail out the arts”.Huddleston said: “(Julian Knight, MP for Solihull) said he believed it would be absurd for taxpayers money to be used to bail out or support elite football. I have to say I largely agree with him,” said Huddleston.“It is absolutely vital, and I have said this from the beginning, that football should look after itself – we mean at the elite levels.“The honourable member said there is enough money in football but it is poorly distributed. I’m afraid we are seeing that at this moment in time.“The idea that we should be using public money, our constituents’ money, to bail them out is just not acceptable. I appeal to them to come to a compromise as soon as possible.“I appeal to the EFL and Premier League to continue the very important conversations they are having.” Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston has stated that it is the Government’s intention to see fans return to football stadiums “as soon as possible”.However, at a debate attended by ministers at Westminster Hall on Monday, Huddleston laid out no timeline for pilot events to resume or a date for a lifting of restrictions.- Advertisement – Jonathan Gullis, the Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, called the debate and stated: “As of December 2 I will be expecting to see an announcement that fans are coming back into football stadiums.”- Advertisement – Pressure is growing on the Government to allow supporters to return to football stadiums after coronavirus lockdown restrictions lift on December 2.Ministers debated the issue of supporters returning to grounds at all levels – which was intended to happen in October before Covid-19 cases began to rise once more – after a petition backed by the Premier League and Football League garnered nearly 200,000 signatures. “The Government does understand the financial implications of not allowing fans back into stadia from October 1 and we have worked tirelessly to get sports back up and running over the past few months, albeit behind closed doors. Image:Premier League matches are being played in empty stadiums Image:2,500 fans watched Brighton’s pre-season friendly against Chelsea on August 29 “Pilots were pivotal and have been very successful, they have been excellent learning points and learning opportunities. And that work has not been wasted as it is helping inform the decision-making process and we want to get pilots back and get fans back in stadia as soon as possible.“We have had a plan from very, very early on in the first lockdown and it has been explicitly stated and is out there, but what we have had to do on a couple of occasions, unfortunately, is press the pause button. But we want to get back to the plan as quickly as we can.“A big challenge we are facing, however, is how spectators travel to and from venues and how that might impact on transmission rates.“But we are committed to getting spectators back as soon as possible and we are working with the STIG (Sports Technology Innovation Group) group to analyse new technologies which might support the return of spectators.”Huddleston added that, when it came to financial support at the elite level, “football should be expected to look after itself”. – Advertisement – Huddleston replied that the Government are working “tirelessly” to try to achieve that but while conceding that transmission rates were low inside grounds due to them being open air, he said there remained issues around fans arriving at and gathering around stadia.“I am fully aware of the importance of getting fans back in stadia, not just for football but for all elite sports,” said Huddleston.“The point made by several members today that a one-size-fits-all approach may not be appropriate, and we are paying attention to what is happening in other countries.- Advertisement – Image:Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston didn’t provide a timeline for the return of fans
Louis van Gaal hailed his United side as the best in Manchester after they put four goals past sorry City in Sunday’s derby at Old Trafford. United ended a run of four successive Manchester derby defeats with an impressive 4-2 victory against their local rivals. Ashley Young cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s opener before United ran riot, with Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Chris Smalling finding the net prior to Aguero’s late second. The fans who booed his team were belting his name out at Old Trafford on Sunday and he was looking forward to toasting the biggest victory of his United career at his favourite Chinese restaurant in Manchester. “I can go to Mr Wing’s (restaurant) tonight, because you can do that when you win,” Van Gaal said. “When you lose, the fans say what is Mr Louis doing because he loses and goes out to the best restaurant. “This afternoon is maybe the best feeling (since coming to United). “It was not the best performance, because we started very badly, but we regained our confidence, scored the goals and the second half was fantastic. “At the start of the season it was not fantastic to be a United man and the fans still have supported us. “This week they can go on the streets, heads up and say: ‘We are the better team because goal average (over the two derbies) is in our favour’.” Van Gaal played down his role in United’s revival before kick-off, claiming his players should take credit for the recent upturn in form. But the Dutchman must take a lot of praise for the way he has helped Young and Fellaini develop into two of the most destructive players in the league on current form. Young lacked confidence last year and looked almost certain to be heading out of Old Trafford after Van Gaal replaced David Moyes. But on Sunday he gave Pablo Zabaleta, one of the most experienced and consistent right-backs in the league, a truly torrid time. Young s wept the ball into the City net at the second attempt following a block by Gael Clichy to equalise and he then set up Fellaini, who put United 2-1 up. Young also provided the cross for Smalling’s goal, a free header which he nodded past Joe Hart with 17 minutes left. The United boss praised the 29-year-old after the match. “He was fantastic. He was our best player,” Van Gaal said. “I am very happy for him but I have a group of 25, 26 players. “Ashley has always made a big contribution, he has always played with me.” Van Gaal was also happy to see Fellaini given a standing ovation in the second half when he was substituted. “The fans also see that he is very important for the team,” Van Gaal said. “He scores goals, he beats pressure when we need it and he passes well. “I am very happy for him. A standing ovation is fantastic for the players.” The only downside from the afternoon was that United finished the game with 10 men because Michael Carrick came off injured after Van Gaal had made all three substitutions. The problem does not seem too serious, though. “It was a little bit stupid of me (not to substitute Carrick),” Van Gaal said. “He was wise to step off but we have to wait and see tomorrow. He had a stiff calf.” The win moved United four points clear of their ‘noisy neighbours’, who are now in a scrap for Champions League qualification after being joint-top of the table on New Year’s Day. When asked whether he regarded United as the best team in Manchester, Van Gaal said: “We are this moment four points ahead so that is a fact. There was a faint attempt to try to play down expectations. “Maybe the difference will be one point again next week,” Van Gaal added. But the main feeling was one of pure joy from the Dutchman after the final whistle, and who can blame him? He has, after all, presided over a remarkable turnaround at Old Trafford. After the 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium, United were 10th in the standings, having won three of their opening 10 games. Now Van Gaal’s team are almost certain to qualify for the Champions League. They are nine points ahead of Southampton with six matches to go and just one shy of second-placed Arsenal. Press Association
Like Plateau Utd, MFM FC and Akwa Utd knocked outDuro IkhazuagbeEnyimba FC is the only surviving Nigerian team in continental inter-club campaign after MFM FC and Akwa United FC crashed out of the second tier CAF Confederation Cup competition wednesday. Enyimba played out a 0-0 draw with Bidvest Wits of South Africa in Calabar to go through on the away goal rule after the two teams drew 1-1 in Johannesburg.Akwa United fell to the same away goal rule. Coming from a two-goal disadvantage from the first leg Akwa United failed to surmount Al Hilal of Sudan hurdle despite a 3-1 victory in Uyo yesterday. They tied 3-3 aggregate but Hilal moved into the group stage on the away goal rule. AI-Hilal skipper Basheer stunned hosts Akwa United in the 28th minute, tapping in a rebound after goalkeeper Ojo Olorunleke had spilled a fierce shot. Michael Ibe restored parity for the Promise Keepers in the final minute of the first half.Four minutes into the second half, Ibe finished off Haggai Katohâ€™s delightful pass to make it 2-1 for Akwa United. Ibe completed his hat-trick in the 69th minute from the spot after Aniekeme was fouled in the box by an Al Hilal player. But they searched in vain for the fourth goal that would have ensured their passage to the next phase of the competition.Elsewhere in Mali, MFM FC became the third NPFL team to crash out of the competition in under 24 hour after champion Plateau United was similarly sent packing on Tuesday.MFM FC could only manage a goalless draw at Djoliba AC. They thus crashed out of the competition on a 1-0 aggregate after they lost 1-0 at home to the experienced campaigners from Bamako.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Loughmore-Castleiney manager Declan Laffan says that this year’s County Senior Hurling Final is an example of the current strength in the mid division.Loughmore – last year’s County Senior double champions – will put their ownership of the Dan Breen Cup on the line against Thurles Sarsfields at Semple Stadium this Sunday.But Laffan says that they’re just happy to have a chance to defend their title. You can hear the County Senior Hurling Final live on Tipp FM.Throw-in at Semple Stadium on Sunday is at 3:30, with our big-match build-up beginning from 3 o’ clock.