Yankees COVID cases force postponement of Red Sox series opener

By Sports Desk July 15, 2021

The New York Yankees announced their Thursday clash with the Boston Red Sox has been postponed following positive coronavirus tests within the organisation.

Yankee Stadium was due to play host to the series opener of arguably the most historic rivalry in baseball, with MLB restarting its regular season following the All-Star break.

Instead, the game has become the eighth of this campaign to be postponed due to COVID-19.

A statement posted on the Yankees' Twitter account read: "Following positive COVID-19 tests within the Yankees organisation, tonight's game between the Yankees and the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium has been postponed to allow for continued testing and contact tracing.

"MLB will continue to provide scheduling updates as available."

The Yankees are scheduled to host the Red Sox on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Boston leads the American League East with a record of 55-36; the Yankees (46-43) are eight games back in the division and four and a half games back of an AL Wild Card spot.

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  • Tottenham 'extremely surprised' by decision to postpone Arsenal clash Tottenham 'extremely surprised' by decision to postpone Arsenal clash

    Tottenham have said they are "extremely surprised" Arsenal's request to have Sunday's north London derby postponed was approved by the Premier League.

    The Gunners asked the league to reschedule the match as they said they would not have the minimum requirement of 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper.

    Mikel Arteta's side lodged the appeal after Martin Odegaard tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. Arsenal were also set to be without the suspended Granit Xhaka and the injured Cedric Soares, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.

    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe are all at the Africa Cup of Nations as well.

    Under Premier League rules, clubs can apply for a match to be postponed "if COVID-19 infections are a factor in their request".

    Tottenham, though, are not happy with the decision, and have called for greater "clarity and consistency on the application of the rule".

    A statement posted on Spurs' official website read: "We regret to announce that Sunday's north London derby against Arsenal has been postponed.

    "This follows an application from Arsenal to the Premier League on the basis of a combination of COVID, existing and recent injuries and players on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.

    "We are extremely surprised that this application has been approved.

    "We ourselves were disqualified from the European Conference League after a significant number of COVID cases meant we needed to reschedule a fixture and our application to move our Leicester fixture was not approved – only for it to be subsequently postponed when Leicester applied.

    "The original intention of the guidance was to deal with player availability directly affected by COVID cases, resulting in depleted squads that when taken together with injuries would result in the club being unable to field a team.

    "We do not believe it was the intent to deal with player availability unrelated to COVID. We may now be seeing the unintended consequences of this rule. It is important to have clarity and consistency on the application of the rule.

    "Yet again fans have seen their plans disrupted at unacceptably short notice. We shall once again send food deliveries to the local food banks to avoid unacceptable waste.

    "We are sincerely sorry for our fans – some of whom will have travelled great distances."

  • Tottenham vs Arsenal called off as Odegaard positive leaves Gunners short for derby Tottenham vs Arsenal called off as Odegaard positive leaves Gunners short for derby

    The Premier League clash between Tottenham and Arsenal on Sunday has been postponed following a request from the Gunners.

    Mikel Arteta's side asked the league to reschedule the match as they said they would not have the minimum requirement of 13 outfield players and one goalkeeper.

    Arsenal lodged the appeal after Martin Odegaard tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday. Under Premier League rules, clubs can apply for a match to be postponed "if COVID-19 infections are a factor in their request".

    The Gunners were also set to be without the suspended Granit Xhaka and the injured Cedric Soares, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.

    They are also missing four players due to Africa Cup of Nations commitments, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe with their countries in Cameroon.

    In a statement on Saturday, issued a little over 24 hours before the game's scheduled kick-off time, Arsenal said: "We are disappointed to announce that Sunday’s north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur has been postponed.

    "We know how much this match means to our fans around the world, but the Premier League has made the decision to postpone the match, due to many players across our squad currently being unavailable as a result of COVID-19, existing and recent injuries, in addition to players away with their countries at AFCON.

    "We apologise to our fans for any disappointment and inconvenience caused."

    The decision to postpone the game came a few days after Burnley successfully appealed to have their match with Leicester City rearranged due to COVID-19 cases and injuries, the Clarets having also sold striker Chris Wood to Newcastle United this week to leave them further short on numbers.

    Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, whose side had a request to move their match with Wolves last month rejected, said on Friday he would be "very angry" if it emerged that rules around postponements were not being applied consistently.

    "We are doing everything to make games happen and we were made to play when we thought maybe we should not. So I can only strongly hope the rules are the same for everybody," Tuchel said.

    Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville tweeted on Sunday: "What started out as postponements due to a pandemic has now become about clubs not having their best team.

    "The Premier League must stop this now, draw a line in the sand and say all games go ahead unless you have an exceptional amount of CV cases. It's wrong."

  • Djokovic detained again ahead of court hearing – reports Djokovic detained again ahead of court hearing – reports

    Novak Djokovic was detained once again by Australian border force officials ahead of Saturday's crucial hearing, according to widespread reports.

    It was agreed in court on Friday that the world number one would be detained in Melbourne, ahead of a hearing that will take place with justice David O'Callaghan from the Federal Court on Saturday at 10:15 (Friday 23:15 GMT).

    Djokovic, whose visa was revoked for a second time on Friday despite the 34-year-old winning his initial case on Monday, was granted permission to remain at his accommodation but it was agreed he would be detained at 08:00 in Melbourne when he was due to report for an interview with immigration officials.

    The 34-year-old is fighting the decision, and lawyer Nick Wood, on behalf of Djokovic, contended in a directions hearing on Friday evening that the "underlying new rationale" behind the Australian government's latest move to kick out the Serbian is that it contends his presence "will excite anti-vax sentiment".

    Wood said immigration minister Alex Hawke had given no consideration to the impact that deporting Djokovic may have among those opposed to COVID-19 vaccines, saying his client was of "negligible risk", "of good standing" and had a medical contraindication to a vaccine.

    In a statement released on Friday, Hawke said the decision had been taken "on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so".

    Djokovic has expressed opposition to vaccine mandates in the past and has confirmed he has not been vaccinated against coronavirus.

    The case has been transferred from the Federal Circuit Court to the Federal Court of Australia, judge Anthony Kelly said, and will take place via videolink.

    Whatever decision is made, this is woeful preparation for Djokovic ahead of the tournament where he was planning to mount an assault on a 10th Australian Open title, and a record-setting 21st grand slam.

    Djokovic will then be allowed to attend meetings with his solicitors in person from 10:00 to 14:00 on Saturday, accompanied by Border Force officials, before returning to a detention hotel until he is reunited with his solicitors from 09:00 on Sunday.

    To avoid possible disorder on the streets, he is set to meet his legal team away from their Melbourne offices, where fans gathered and unruly behaviour took place following Djokovic's first effort to clear a path to play at the tournament that begins on Monday.

    Should Djokovic lose his case, he faces being deported from Australia.

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