Sports minister launches Saudi Games, Kingdom’s largest sporting event

Saudi Arabia’s newly appointed sports minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal announced the launch of the Saudi Games on Wednesday. (Twitter: @GSAKSA)
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Updated 26 February 2020

Sports minister launches Saudi Games, Kingdom’s largest sporting event

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s newly appointed sports minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal announced the launch of the Saudi Games on Wednesday, a new competition that will start on March 24.

At a launch event in Riyadh, the prince said the event will be open to both men and women and added that more than 6,000 athletes from 13 of the Kingdom’s regions are expected to participate.

The theme of the event will be “Heroes Amongst Us,” Prince Abdul Aziz said.

The event will feature 40 games with the participation of 35 sports federations in 18 venues within Riyadh.

The prince said: “It is a new, happy day that brings with it a new sporting event to be added to the myriad of events organized or hosted by the Kingdom in its history and in the last three years in particular.

“All of this would not have been achieved without the unwavering care, attention and support accorded by King Salman and the crown prince to the sports sector,” he added.

Prizes of SAR1 million ($266,500) for each gold medal winner will be on offer, with SAR300,000 for a silver and SAR100,000 for a bronze.

"I am pleased to announce the launch of the first edition of the largest sporting event in the history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Prince Abdul Aziz said.


UEFA warn clubs risk Champions League exclusion if seasons are not completed

UEFA and the European Club Association said that they were working on the possibility of playing on into July and August if need be. (AP/File)
Updated 04 April 2020

UEFA warn clubs risk Champions League exclusion if seasons are not completed

PARIS: UEFA and Europe’s top clubs have stated their determination that the current football season should be played to a conclusion and threatened that teams may be excluded from the next Champions League if their domestic competitions are ended prematurely.
In a joint letter released late on Thursday, UEFA, the European Club Association (ECA), and the European Leagues body representing nearly a thousand clubs in 29 countries, said that they were working on the possibility of playing on into July and August if need be.
The Champions League and Europa League — both of which are frozen in the last-16 stage — could be completed once the domestic seasons are finished, and “stopping competitions should really be the last resort after acknowledging that no calendar alternative would allow to conclude the season.”
The joint response came after the Belgian Pro League announced on Thursday that it recommended declaring the season over with the present table accepted as final.
It is the first European league to take such a measure, although more could follow.
That means Club Brugge would in theory go straight into the next Champions League group stage, but UEFA, the ECA and the European Leagues indicated that they may be barred from continental competition if the Belgian league decision is finalized.
“It is of paramount importance that even a disruptive event like this epidemic does not prevent our competitions from being decided on the field, in accordance with their rules and that all sporting titles are awarded on the basis of results,” the joint letter said.
“We are confident that football can restart in the months to come — with conditions that will be dictated by public authorities — and believe that any decision of abandoning domestic competitions is, at this stage, premature and not justified.
“Since participation in UEFA club competitions is determined by the sporting result achieved at the end of a full domestic competition, a premature termination would cast doubts about the fulfilment of such condition.”
The letter concluded: “UEFA reserves the right to assess the entitlement of clubs to be admitted to the 2020/21 UEFA club competitions.”
The Belgian Pro League said it had had “constructive” discussions with UEFA on Friday in which it “contested any approach which would force a league to continue in the current health crisis.”
It has called for a “varied approach” based on the specifics of individual leagues and countries.
UEFA has set up two working groups to devise a way for European football to get out of the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.