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  • Shauna Rush


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.

Basketball story I am paying attention to -

Five NBA players visited the Vatican to discuss social and economic injustice with Pope Francis.

According to the NBPA, the meeting took place in the papal library of the Apostolic Palace where the players spoke about their efforts to address inequality in their communities. The players present were Jonathan Isaac, Sterling Brown, Marco Belinelli, Kyle Korver and Anthony Tolliver.

"Today's meeting was an incredible experience," said Tolliver.

"With the Pope's support and blessing, we are excited to head into this next season reinvigorated to keep pushing for change and bringing our communities together."

"Looking at the problems in society and especially those of social justice, sport can be a good means of resolving them," Pope Francis said during the meeting.

"We should always remember this because your message is the goodwill of sports but also working together as a team, the work as a community and may this be the seed of beauty and of a shared development towards justice."

Video game news I am following -

Leading footballers such as Gareth Bale and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are consulting their lawyers about the use of their names and images in video games.

AC Milan striker Ibrahimovic claimed on social media that EA Sports' Fifa games were "making profit on my name and face without any agreement all these years".

Many players and agents around the world are also seeking legal advice, pointing to a case in Brazil, w​h​e​r​e players won a settlement of 6.5m Brazilian réel ($1.2m), after the Union of Athletes of Santa Catarina brought a case against the game's developers, EA Sports, in court.

In a statement to BBC Sport Wales, EA Sports said, "To be very clear, we have contractual rights to include the likeness of all players currently in our game.

"We are aware of discussions around licensing of players in EA Sports Fifa.

"The current situation being played out on social media is an attempt to draw Fifa 21 into a dispute between a number of third parties and has little to do with EA Sports."

English sports news I am following -

Spectators are set to return to English sports venues in December as coronavirus restrictions are eased in areas with lower infection rates.

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced that outdoor and indoor venues in tier one and two areas would be allowed to admit spectators on a limited basis.

A maximum of 4,000 fans will be allowed at outdoor events in the lowest-risk areas w​h​e​n the four-week lockdown in England ends on December 2nd. Up to 2,000 people will be allowed in tier t​w​o areas but none in tier three.

Indoor venues in tiers un and two can have a maximum of 1,000 spectators, with capacity across indoor and outdoor venues limited to 50%.

"In tiers o​n​e and two, spectator s​p​o​r​t​s and b​u​s​i​n​e​s​s events will be free to resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing," said Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

"Later this week, we will announce which areas will fall into which tier - I hope on Thursday - based on analysis of cases in all age groups, especially the over-60s.

"Also, [it will involve] looking at the rate at which cases are rising or falling, the percentage of those tested in a local population who have Covid and current and projected pressures on the NHS."

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, "This is a big step forward for sport.

"Bringing grassroots sport back was my number one priority, so I'm pleased we are reopening sports and gyms in every tier, in recognition of the significant health benefits.

"I'm also delighted we are able to get the turnstiles turning sooner than expected, taking a cautious approach and starting with the lowest-risk areas first.

"I'm confident that sports will take every step to ensure their fans are safe and fans will play their part and look out for each other until we can safely get everyone back in."

Baseball story that's interesting me -

Wrigley Field, home of MLB's Chicago Cubs, has been granted federal landmark status in the U.S. National Register of H​i​s​t​o​r​i​c​a​l Places after a seven-year wait. It joins the Boston Red Sox’ Fenway Park and about 2,600 o​t​h​e​r notable American buildings in that company.

Constructed in 1914, Wrigley Field has been eligible to apply for landmark status since 1987 but the Cubs had to factor that into the ballpark’s US$1 billion of renovations over récent years. Across the Windy City, the Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field was stripped of its landmark status after a package of upgrades in 2006.

"The historic significance of Wrigley Field is interwoven into our nation's story and a key part of what has become America's beloved pastime for over a century," U.S. Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt said.

Women's soccer news I am following -

Fifa is to introduce a milestone set of maternity regulations for the women’s game. Reforms due for approval by the Fifa Council next month will establish new ‘global minimum standards’ and commercial protections, including at least 14 weeks’ maternity leave at no less than two-thirds of a player’s salary. All players must also receive medical and physical support to help them reintegrate after giving birth. Fifa could impose transfer bans on any clubs not meeting the new standards.

Fifa's chief legal and compliance officer, Emilio Garcia Silvero said, "The clubs will not be allowed to terminate the contract of a p​l​a​y​e​r on the grounds of a player becoming pregnant.

"If this is the case, we are going to impose not only a fine, and compensation to the player, but also a sporting sanction.

"We are going to impose a transfer ban on the club. From now on, female players will be better protected.

"We think these rules are c​o​m​m​o​n sense. There are some countries in which these rights are already there, but we are trying to regulate this for 211 different territories. These basic conditions will be mandatory from 1 January, 2021."

Have a wonderful weekend, all!



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