This article was originally published on February 21st, 2020.
Here is this week's dose of “5-Point Friday”. A weekly round-up of the sports news and stories that I find most interesting and enjoyable.
Soccer news I am following -
Manchester City has been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons by UEFA and fined $32m after they were found to have seriously misled European soccer’s governing body and broken financial fair play rules.
The severity of the ban from both of Uefa’s elite club competitions and the scale of the fine reflects how seriously Uefa’s FFP compliance bodies consider the club to have breached the rules and code of conduct.
City responded immediately with a characteristically forthright statement, alleging that the process was “prejudicial” and stating that they will immediately appeal to the court of arbitration for sport (Cas). If the appeal is still going on when next season’s Champions League starts, City will be able to compete and, if Cas upholds the ban, it will start in 2021-22.
Italian soccer news -
The FIGC, the governing body for Italian soccer, has asked FIFA if they can introduce a system whereby Serie A teams could challenge refereeing decisions and ask for technology to intervene.
Serie A introduced the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system in 2017-18 but it has been criticized by managers who feel technology should take a second look at controversial decisions made by on-field referees. The FIGC believes managers should be allowed to challenge decisions like in some other sports.
Running event news I'm learning about -
Organizers of the Tokyo Marathon have announced it will no longer be a mass participation event due to the coronavirus outbreak. Meaning that only elite runners and wheelchair athletes will compete in the event in Japan, which takes place on 1 March.
"We cannot continue to launch the event within the scale we originally anticipated," said the organizers. Around 38,000 runners were expected to take part in the marathon, which is one of the largest in the world. All registered runners will be able to defer their entry until 2021.
Football news I am interested in -
NFL owners accepted the negotiated terms of a new proposed collective bargaining agreement, sending the vote to players ahead of a potential agreement between the sides.
The proposed CBA would allow the NFL to expand the regular season from 16 games to 17 at some point in the next four years (although no sooner than 2021) in exchange for financial and other concessions the players have sought in negotiations.
In addition, the playoff field would be expanded to seven teams from each conference, and only one team from each conference would receive a first-round bye as opposed to the two that currently do.
One of the NFL's best players, Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (@JJWatt), took to social media to voice his disapproval with the proposal.
Decision I respect -
Alleged racist abuse from fans in three successive games has led to the manager, coach, and secretary of English non-league Atherstone Town all resigning. Former manager Scott Rickards said to BBC local radio "I've got black players who play for my team - where do I stand morally and ethically if I say let's just deal with that person and move on? "Instantly the club made a statement about dealing with the individuals, and I made my stance along with my assistant. When a club has a stigma attached to it and you're at the helm as the manager, if I go and support that where does that leave me as a coach and a manager? "We don't manage football games to be abused, whether racially, verbally or physically - it shouldn't be part of football full stop, let alone at our level." Have a wonderful weekend, all!