Coronavirus COVID-19 The Buzz

Three national players at NIS test positive for corona

Tribune News Service

Patiala, November

Three players under the National Centre of Excellence scheme have tested positive for the COVID -19 at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) here. 

This is the first time players since pandemic broke out that players at the NIS have been tested positive for coronavirus.

It has been learnt that players – one fencer and two judokas – had already been in quarantine since November 1.

The players who tested positive for the contagion have been identified as Jyotika Dutta, Ajinkya and Pardip Gaikwad.

The trio has been shifted to a private hospital in Patiala.

District Health authorities informed that all the three players were asymptomatic.

Around 56 national players from three disciplines – judo, athletics and fencing – were tested on Friday at the NIS campus on the special request of the NIS authorities.

Patiala Civil Surgeon Dr Harish Malhotra said, “The players have already been shifted to a private facility. We have started contact tracing. We will conduct more tests in the coming days at the NIS campus.”

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Technology US

Fortnite players who make in-game purchases can get two months of Disney Plus for free

Fortnite developer Epic Games announced a new promotion that allows players who make a real-money purchase in-game and are new Disney Plus subscribers to get up to two months of the streaming service for free. The offer is valid November 10th starting at 7PM ET through December 31st for players 18 years old or older in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand where Disney Plus is available.

Any real-money purchases made in Fortnite beginning November 6th, including the purchase of its-in game V-Bucks currency, will qualify users for the offer. Purchases made with V-Bucks are not eligible, however. Once the two-month Disney Plus trial ends, users will be charged the monthly rate for a subscription unless they cancel.

Epic is currently embroiled in a legal dispute with Apple over Fortnite’s in-app payment system. Apple removed the battle royale game from its App Store in August, because the payment system bypassed Apple’s 30 percent fee, a violation of App Store policy. Google also removed the Android version of Fortnite from the Play Store for violating its policies over in-app payments.

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Sports Canada

For the players to see …

The NBA has decided to launch its 2020-2021 season on December 22. It offers a 72-game schedule and players agree that salaries will be paid in proportion to the number of games. However, we are proposing to negotiate a new business model in terms of revenue sharing or, due to the pandemic, of the deficits incurred.

Will this decision influence the National Hockey League?

Not necessarily.

On the one hand, because the players and owners of the NHL agreed to a new agreement during the return to work protocol negotiations last July.

Also, because the NBA enjoys a much more lucrative television contract than the NHL’s. Therefore, the owners want a return in December with the goal of having amphitheatres 25% occupied in the near future … then 50%, and we’ll see later.

Owners in distress

In the National League – and the question was asked to Geoff Molson, owner of the Canadiens, in various forums this week – hockey is going through worrying moments because investors would prefer that we resume activities when we have found a way to curb COVID19.

In other words, for them, it would be better to put away the equipment until economic conditions improve significantly.

Mr. Molson recognizes that some owners will have to review their financial commitments with bankers, but the National League must continue its activities.

And he is absolutely right.

TV money

The stakes are too high to close the door. There is the prospect of a new contract with television and that is a priority. The league must complete the last year of its agreement with American television, then enter into negotiations with several networks.

This will be the main source of income to repay the debts accumulated as a result of the events that marked the end of hostilities on March 12, 2020.

“I’m convinced there will be a season,” he commented, trying to be convincing.

Of course, we will have to do it, but obviously respecting special conditions, conditions which will force decision-makers to think outside the box.

  • What is the best solution to ensure economic stability?
  • Which teams are in difficulty?
  • Are we going to demand an extended financial participation from the players?
  • Are we going to imitate the NBA model?

Slow economy

Right now, professional sports, like all businesses, face a harsh opponent. It forces governments to take drastic measures to protect the population.

And the consequences plunge everyone into the unknown and raise concerns.

The economy is slowing down.

Americans are sinking into this pandemic every day with disastrous results despite warnings from public health specialists.

Of course, the possibility of creating four divisions and especially a Canadian division is an interesting project. The decision to call off the All-Star game was over. And due to the Summer Olympics, it’s clear Gary Bettman and his group have been advised by NBC not to host Stanley Cup games in July 2021.

January 1, as Bill Daly, Gary Bettman’s right-hand man confirmed yesterday, is still the date set for the start of the season, although players and owners have only engaged in talks with the goal of prepare the terrain.

In other words, a schedule of 56 or 48 games would fit perfectly with the current context and especially with the current economic situation.

But that would mean lost revenue for the players. Will they be called upon another time?

Already they have given a 10% loan to the owners and they will pay 20% of 90% of their wages into the trust account?

But you have to believe that when you are faced with the inevitable, all alternatives deserve special attention.

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Tech News

Google Pay, PhonePe Hit by India’s Move to Limit Digital Payments Players

Global tech giant Google on Friday criticised India’s move to cap the share of transactions some companies within the country’s digital payments space can account for, saying it would hinder the nation’s burgeoning digital payments economy.

Google’s criticism came after India’s flagship payments processor the National Payments Corp of India (NPCI) on Thursday said third-party payments apps, from January 1, will not be allowed to process more than 30 percent of the total volume of transactions on state-backed United Payments Interface (UPI) framework, which facilitates seamless peer-to-peer money transfers.

The move will likely stymie the growth of payments services offered by Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Walmart, while boosting the likes of Reliance’s Jio Payments Bank and SoftBank-backed Paytm, which are armed with bank permits.

More than 2.07 billion UPI transactions were processed in October, according to NPCI, with Walmart’s PhonePe accounting for just over 40 percent of those transactions. Google Pay was a close second, with rivals like Paytm and dozens of others splitting the remaining 20% share.

Companies such as PhonePe and Google, which currently exceed NPCI’s stipulated cap, will get two years to comply with the new rules.

“This announcement has come as a surprise and has implications for hundreds of millions of users who use UPI for their daily payments and could impact the further adoption of UPI and the end goal of financial inclusion,” Sajith Sivanandan, Business Head at Google Pay, India, said in a statement.

The new caps do not apply to Reliance’s Jio Payments Bank, or to Paytm, which have niche banking licences and do not fall into the “third-party apps” category.

“This plays to the whole theory of foreign players versus Indian, at some level,” said a senior executive at a digital payments company, who asked not to be named. “Why could the NPCI not say the cap was for all players, why just the third-party app providers?”

A spokesman for Paytm said NPCI had taken the right measures for the growth of the UPI system.

“The transactions volume cap put on various payments apps will make sure that NPCI has de-risked and diversified the UPI platform,” he said.

PhonePe is committed to ensuring that NPCI’s new rule does not disrupt services for its customers, founder and CEO Sameer Nigam said.

NPCI and Reliance did not respond to requests for comment.

Facebook stymied

The new rules came as NPCI finally granted Facebook approval to launch WhatsApp payments in India, clearing a limited rollout of the service to 20 million users.

While the long-delayed approval is a reprieve for Facebook, the limited rollout thwarts WhatsApp push into payments in its largest market with over 400 million users.

Still, the Menlo Park, California-based firm welcomed the approval on Friday stating that the WhatsApp and UPI combination would boost rural participation in the digital economy.

Ram Rastogi, a digital payments strategist and former NPCI executive, said NPCI’s move to cap transactions for each third-party payments providers would foster healthy competition.

“If just two technology service providers (PhonePe and Google Pay) are capturing about 80% of the market share then it poses systemic risks and NPCI’s move to put a limit is aimed at correcting that,” Rastogi said.

The move to limit some players comes at a time when Google already is coming under intense scrutiny in India, where it faces at least four major antitrust challenges.

The restrictions are also expected to help regulators limit any potential cybersecurity threats.

“It is important that there is more competition which makes the space less vulnerable and leads to better controls,” said Abizer Diwanji, EY’s India head for financial services.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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Sports UK

Souness points blame at Man Utd players with scathing “exit hatch” accusation

Graeme Souness says Manchester United’s players need to take a look in the mirror and “stand up and be counted” as he suggested they were taking the easy option by getting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked.

United’s manager is under intense pressure after back-to-back defeats, with Saturday’s clash with Everton shaping up to potentially be a make-or-break fixture in his tenure.

Solskjaer has defended his position in the face of criticism, stating defiantly: “I don’t look at one or two results and fall like a house of cards.”

And Souness feels United’s players should take it upon themselves to pull their manager out of a sticky situation.

“The players have underperformed but the way it is in the world of football today, all the focus is on changing the manager,” Souness told Sky Sports .

Souness laid into United’s players and urged them to shoulder some responsibility

“You ask your players to constantly look in the mirror. I wonder if any of the Manchester United players are doing that right now or if it’s the easier route, that exit hatch is there in getting rid of the manager and everything will be fine.

“Sometimes these players need to stand up and be counted. There’s less and less of that in the Premier League right now than there has ever been.”

United are currently languishing in 15th place in the table with just two wins from their first six games.

Manchester United are looking to plot their path back to the top.

And you can keep track of their journey by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have missed out on Jadon Sancho in the summer, but he still made some big moves in the transfer market with Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani all arriving.

But their start to the season has been a mixed bag, with a home defeat to Crystal Palace and a 6-1 thrashing by Spurs at one end of the scale, and a tremendous 2-1 win over PSG in Paris at the other.

The question now is whether they can find the right balance?

From the latest news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.

Signing up is simple. Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.

Their Champions League form had been considerably better until a shock defeat at Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday, where their defensive incompetence was again laid bare.

The loss came exactly a month after the 6-1 humiliation at home to Tottenham, and just days after a lacklustre performance in the defeat to rivals Arsenal.

Solskjaer has bore the brunt of the fallout each time, though former United captain Roy Keane warned his old colleague that the players would ultimately lose him his job – something Souness is in agreement with.

Should United part company with Solskjaer? Have your say below.

Solskjaer is now working to save his job
Solskjaer is now working to save his job

“If I was a Manchester United supporter, I’d be unhappy reading that in the newspaper that the players wouldn’t be against a change,” Souness continued. “Modern players, their attitudes and the responsibility that they seem to shy away from today.

“That dressing room needs to have a close look at themselves both collectively and individually as to why they are in this situation. There are some very good players in that Manchester United dressing room.

“Stand up and be counted now. For yourself, first and foremost, then your family, then for your manager and your football club.”

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Sports UK

Five players Mauricio Pochettino could sign at Man Utd if he takes charge

Pressure is continuing to pile on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United after a run of bad games.

And with Mauricio Pochettino admitting that he is ready to step back into the game, many are now backing him to replace the Norwegian.

If he takes over, Poch will face the huge challenge of whipping the United squad into shape.

But the Argentine will no doubt have plenty of former favourites he might like to call upon if he’s given the funds to act in the January transfer window.

So here’s five players Pochettino could sign at Man Utd if he takes charge.

Harry Kane

It’s no secret that England captain Kane is a man United have had their eyes on for years.

He is Mr Tottenham, and they’ll have to pay a huge sum to prise him away from the capital.

But imagine Kane firing on all cylinders at United for Pochettino… Wow!

Jadon Sancho

Oh not him again?

Yes, Poch could finally be the man to bring Sancho to Old Trafford.

Borussia Dortmund have finally admitted they might have to sell the England winger, and it’s no secret that United are hoping to catch him on a good deal.

Dele Alli

Pochettino played a big part in Alli’s journey to the player he is today, and he’s not been the same since they parted ways.

In fact, the midfielder has been restricted to the sidelines for the vast majority of this season, and linked with a move away from Spurs.

Could we see him head north to United.

Philippe Coutinho

All the talk was about Coutinho making a return to the Premier League this summer.

But he appears to have done the right thing in staying put as he’s finally getting some game time at Barcelona.

Coutinho is an old favourite of Pochettino though, having coached him briefly at Espanyol.

Manchester United are looking to plot their path back to the top.

And you can keep track of their journey by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have missed out on Jadon Sancho in the summer, but he still made some big moves in the transfer market with Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani all arriving.

But their start to the season has been a mixed bag, with a home defeat to Crystal Palace and a 6-1 thrashing by Spurs at one end of the scale, and a tremendous 2-1 win over PSG in Paris at the other.

The question now is whether they can find the right balance?

From the latest news to the agenda-setting stories, get it all in your email inbox.

Signing up is simple. Put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.

A new centre-back

One of the first ports of call at United should be to sign a new centre-back after their horror show so far this season.

Harry Maguire has been up and down in form like a rollercoaster, and he needs a steadier head alongside him to keep him in check.

Kalidou Koulibaly would be a great shout, but French youngster Jules Kounde looks to be a more likely option.

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Football USA Headline USA Sports USA

Chivas runs players and loses $ 15 million in one day | The NY Journal

Alexis Peña cost $ 4 million and didn’t even make his league debut.

Edwin Bazan / Imago7

The Chivas of Guadalajara they permanently separated four of their players for indiscipline and lost a fortune the same day.

The loss of the rojiblanco club amounts to $ 15 million for the separation of the soccer players Eduardo “Chofis” López, Alexis Peña, José Juan “Gallito” Vázquez Y Dieter Villalpando, the latter accused of sexual abuse.

“The player Dieter Villalpando has been definitively separated from our institution, the players, Alexis Peña, José Juan Vázquez and Eduardo López have been separated from the squad and keep the quality of transferable,” none of these 4 players will play for Chivas again“, declared last Wednesday the club’s sports director, Ricardo Peláez.

The Flock did not hesitate to sanction its players in this way, at the cost of the money lost, since Peña cost the team $ 4 million, while “Gallito” came for $ 3 million and Villalpando did it for $ 4.1 million.; the only quarry player involved was “Chofis”, who He had a contract until 2025 and is valued at around $ 4 million.

It is a fact that this decision will affect the rojiblanco pocket, since Dieter could even say goodbye to football for some time due to his legal situation and even though three players are transferable, after what happened, it would be difficult for the club to recover the value it paid, since if it manages to sell them they will pay much less for them, being the case of Alexis the most difficult, since he didn’t even have minutes of play in the league.


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Sports UK

Ferdinand demands Man Utd players receive dressing room rocket in furious tirade

Rio Ferdinand has launched a furious tirade against Manchester United after their abysmal loss to Istanbul Basaksehir in Turkey.

The Red Devils were expected to bounce back from their weekend disappointment against Arsenal.

But, if anything, they looked worse and the home side’s opener really showed how bad things have got.

United’s attempt at a short corner went awry and they lost the ball but everyone was up, including the entire back four.

Nemanja Matic was the furthest back and even he was miles up the pitch.

The ball got cleared and it left Demba Ba – who was not exactly on the halfway line – one-on-one with Dean Henderson.

United’s poor defending allowed Demba Ba a clean run on goal

The former Chelsea striker calmly slotted past the Englishman to leave Ole Gunnar Solskjaer red-faced but Ferdinand was left fuming with the players.

Speaking to Gary Lineker on BT Sport, he said: “Hold on please, Gary, just look at this here. Where is the organisation in this team?

“All the players you can see are in this screen here. Demba Ba is alone in an orange shirt. You wouldn’t see this in Hackney Marshes.

“Where is the defenders?! Where’s the organisation.

“The goalkeeper must be sitting there thinking I’ve not seen this in Sheffield United all last season, I’ve come to United – one of the best teams around in his eyes, a massive club – and there’s zero organisation.

“Where’s the person organising that? Dominating that situation. I play in that situation I’m screaming at someone if I’m on the halfway line. Get back, two v one on the halfway line. Crazy.”

It comes during a time when Solskjaer has come under huge pressure amid speculation Mauricio Pochettino wants the job and Ferdinand has told his former teammate to get angry with his players.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is coming under serious pressure

He adds: “I’m begging that someone’s in that changing room dragging people about or asking the question like ‘are you for real?

“Do you know what’s going on here? Who’s accountable here?

“If someone’s standing up and saying ‘actually it was my fault’ or digging someone out or pointing fingers. Surely it’s happening. I pray to god it is.”

It has been a hectic season so far – so make sure you don’t miss a single thing by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!

All the latest transfer news and big stories will land straight into your inbox. You won’t miss out.

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“I hope Ole is doing that. Let alone all the players. I hope Ole is there, in front of people, over people, saying ‘you are embarrassing yourself’.”

“I just hope he’s very animated in that dressing room because them players need a rocket.”

Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.

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Technology US

New Steam feature makes it easier for developers to let players test games

Valve is adding a feature to Steam to let developers invite people to test their games right from the Steam client without needing a beta key. The new feature, called Steam Playtest, will let interested testers click a button in a game’s listing on the Steam store to request access and be added to a queue.

Here’s what the button looks like, from the Total War: Elysium Steam page. Prodeus and Iron Conflict are also currently running public Playtests, and Valve tells The Verge that all three games are still accepting requests for new testers.

The button to request access to a Playtest.
Image: Steam

Developers will be able to see how many people have access to the test, how many people have expressed interest and are waiting for access, and how many people have been manually invited to a test. Developers will also be able to add more testers from the Playtest status screen. And when developers end a test, the button to request access to it will be removed from the game’s Steam store page and the game will be pulled from user libraries.

Valve says that Playtests aren’t intended to replace Steam Early Access, and that games can even have a Playtest alongside an Early Access version. Playtests also won’t support commerce or monetization. Valve notes that Steam Playtests are in beta right now and that the tools are subject to change, but if you want to try Playtests for your game, Valve has a contact form you can fill out here.

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Sports UK

Arsenal add three new players to Europa League squad as UEFA rule utilised

Arsenal have added three of their most talented young players to their Europa League squad this season.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta made headlines when he ruthlessly cut Mesut Ozil from the club’s 25-man squad for European competition this season, with defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos also omitted.

UEFA rules dictate that only 17 members of the squad could be ‘non locally trained players’, leaving outcast Ozil and out-of-favour defender Sokratis as the two odd men out.

But in addition to those remaining eight ‘locally trained’ players that the Gunners could include in the initial squad, clubs are also allowed to include a ‘B list’ of youngsters that they can can call upon.

Ozil was axed from both the Premier League and Europa League squads

UEFA state that: “A player may be registered on List B if he is born on, or after, 1 January 1999 and has been eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday (players aged 16 may be submitted if they have been registered with the club for the previous two years).

“Clubs are entitled to register an unlimited number of players on List B during the season, but the list must be submitted by no later than 24:00CET the day before a match.”

The Gunners face Norwegian outfit Molde at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday, and a glance at the Arsenal squad section of the UEFA website now shows defender Zane Monlouis and midfielders Omari Giraud-Hutchinson and Charlie Patino as members of the group, on the B list.

Arteta has called up the talented teens

Monlouis and Patino, both 17, have both recently signed professional deals with the Gunners, with Hutchinson, also 17, expected to follow suit soon.

All three players have been involved with Arsenal’s under-18s this season, and could now be eyeing their senior debuts later in the Europa League group stages.

Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.

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