Premier League clubs return six positive tests, remembering ‘Speargate’

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

People walk past a billboard near Arsena’s Emirates Stadium. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/Getty/AFP

People walk past a billboard near Arsena’s Emirates Stadium. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/Getty/AFP

Premier League clubs returned to training yesterday, and ‘Project Restart’ was given a boost after only six positive coronavirus tests were returned out of 748 taken. Watford have announced they returned three of the positive tests - one player and two members of staff - while Burnley revealed assistant manager Ian Woan also tested positive. Under the league’s new rules, anyone who tests positive must isolate for seven days before taking another test. Meanwhile Manchester City’s appeal against their two-year ban from Europe for breaking FFP rules is to be heard by CAS in June, with a decision expected to be announced in July.

Elsewhere this morning John O’Sullivan has written about the spear tackle which ended Brian O’Driscoll’s 2005 Lions tour, as part of the Sporting Controversies series. Lions captain O’Driscoll dislocated his shoulder when illegally driven to the turf by Tana Umaga and Kevin Mealamu in the opening minutes of the opening Test match in Christchurch. The All Blacks duo escaped punishment on the pitch and immediately after - but the incident rankled for years. “The 2005 series against the Lions will always be punctuated with an asterisk; unfairly so in some respects because from a rugby perspective in those three Tests New Zealand eviscerated the opponents with a breathtaking brand of rugby.”

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