This article was originally published on November 15th, 2019.
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.
Scottish soccer news I have been following -
Queen's Park's members have voted to end 152 years as amateurs and Scotland's oldest club will now move towards the professional ranks. The Glasgow club is the last remaining amateur side in the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). However, 91% of members accepted advice from the club that change was needed to compete with their rivals.
With the team's Hampden Park being sold to the Scottish FA, and a move to neighboring Lesser Hampden in prospect, Queen's Park have also recognized the growing threat of Highland League and Lowland League teams keen to take their place through promotion to the SPFL.
The motion means the League Two club will, within a matter of months, be able to offer paid, part-time contracts to their first-team players and earn a financial return through transfer fees or compensation when players move on.
Motorsport news I found interesting -
Formula 1 has launched a plan to become carbon neutral by 2030. The intention is to wipe out the carbon footprint of activity at race tracks, including road and air transport of staff and equipment to the events.
F1 says it will "move to ultra-efficient logistics and travel and 100% renewably powered offices, facilities and factories" and offset emissions that cannot be cut.
The first steps in the carbon-reduction projects will begin immediately. The FIA added that it will make all events "sustainable" by 2025, including eliminating single-use plastics and ensuring all waste is reused, recycled, or composted. And in 2021, rules will demand that the petrol used in F1 has a biofuel content of at least 10%.
Baseball story I am interested in -
The Houston Astros' reputation took another hit this week with cheating allegations. The MLB and the Astros are investigating claims the team illegally used a camera to steal signs from catchers to pitchers during their 2017 World Series-winning season.
A former Astros pitcher informed The Athletic that Houston had used a camera in the outfield during home games. Although the MLB prohibits the use of electronic equipment to steal signs, the practice, while frowned upon, is otherwise not against the rules.
The claim states that during the 2017 season, Astros players and staff would monitor opposing catchers' signals and after working out which sign corresponded to which pitch, they would tell the batter what was coming, allegedly banging on a rubbish bin inside the clubhouse to signal an off-speed pitch.
Athletics story I am following -
Top British athletes are threatening to sue the British Olympic Association over sponsorship regulations. Mo Farah (@Mo_Farah), Katarina Johnson-Thompson (@JohnsonThompson), and Adam Gemili (@Adam_Gemili) are among a 20-strong group of athletes who are contesting ‘Rule 40,’ an International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulation that protects official sponsors during the Olympic Games. The athletes argue it unfairly prevents competitors from cashing in on the biggest moment of their sporting careers and reduces their earning potential.
Spanish soccer news I am learning about -
In the same week that a Spanish court blocked La Liga's plans to host Villarreal's game against Atletico Madrid in Miami, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed the Spanish Super Cup will be staged in Saudi Arabia over the next three years.
The four-team event features Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Valencia at the 62,000-capacity King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah. The three games, two semi-finals and a final will be plated between the 8th and 12th January. The RFEF would earn an estimated $132 million, from the three-year deal.
Human rights organization Amnesty International has protested against the idea of staging the tournament in Saudi Arabia. The organization highlighted the country's "abysmal" human rights record. Heavy restrictions on freedom of expression and women's rights have been raised, as has the use of the death penalty for offenses not recognized as crimes under international law.
As part of the contract between the RFEF and the Saudi authorities, women will be allowed to attend the games.
"Saudi women will be allowed to attend the three games freely, without restrictions and wearing whatever clothes they feel is appropriate. There will not be an area of the stadium specifically set aside for them and that is written in the contract. It will not be the Super Cup of shame. We have an agreement with the Saudi Federation to also stage a women’s tournament there and that is something we will do. We are going to Saudi Arabia because it is good for Spanish football and it’s important for us to be recognized even more because we want to host a World Cup with Portugal,” a spokesman for RFEF chief Luis Rubiales (@LuisRubiales) said.
Have a wonderful weekend, all!