Merseyside Police ‘ready’ to host any Liverpool match

English Premier League clubs voted unanimously on May 27 to resume contact training. (AFP)
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Updated 30 May 2020

Merseyside Police ‘ready’ to host any Liverpool match

  • Manager Jurgen Klopp says he is still hopeful his team can lift trophy on home turf

LONDON: Local police have said they would be “ready” to hold any possible Liverpool Premier League title-clinching match at Anfield, despite the UK’s football policing lead suggesting otherwise.

On Friday, Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts of South Yorkshire Police, said games, including any match in which Liverpool can seal the title, would be moved at local forces’ request.

The Premier League is set to resume on June 17 following a three-month suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Merseyside derby and Liverpool’s trip to defending champions Manchester City were among the games Roberts said could be hosted at neutral venues.

But Merseyside Police later said it was happy to police any match held at Anfield or Everton’s Goodison Park.

“Merseyside Police is ready to provide whatever policing is required of us in relation to games being played at our Premier League stadia once the season restarts,” the force said in a statement to the Liverpool Echo.

“In relation to crime and disorder we have no objections to any of the Everton or Liverpool home fixtures being played at their respective grounds.

“We have a good working relationship with both clubs, and their fan groups, and are content that we can work together in advance of the restart of the season.”

Manchester City’s home match against Newcastle and Liverpool’s visit to St. James’ Park were also said to be at risk, but Greater Manchester Police said a decision was yet to be made.

“A decision will be made by the SAGs (safety advisory groups) in due course and we will support whichever outcome is decided,” it said.

The subject is set to be discussed again when Premier League clubs meet on June 4 to finalize plans for the restart.

The Premier League released a statement saying its ambition was to complete the season on a home-and-away basis “where possible.”

“We are prepared for all outcomes and have a neutral venue contingency,” it added.

Liverpool are two wins away from claiming a first league title in 30 years, having sat 25 points clear of Man City when the season was halted in March.

Manager Jurgen Klopp on Friday had said he was still hopeful his team could lift the trophy at Anfield.

“We hope it will be at Anfield but we don’t know, and that’s not important,” he told beIN SPORTS’ Keys & Gray Show.

“Most of the people on this planet have never had a chance in life to become champion of the Premier League, for us it looks like that we have that chance. So we take it.”

Europe’s biggest four leagues are all set to complete their seasons, with the Bundesliga already back under way in Germany, Spain’s La Liga hoping to resume on June 11, and Serie A scheduled for a June 18 restart in Italy.


Saudi figure skater nurtures Olympic dream

Malak Al-Shaya says when in the ice rink everything feels ‘magical’ around her. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 04 August 2020

Saudi figure skater nurtures Olympic dream

  • The 13-year-old hopes to emulate the Russian figure skaters Elena Radionova and Alexandra Trusova

JEDDAH: A Saudi teen who picked up ice skating three years ago at a friend’s birthday party is now dreaming of taking part in the Olympic Games.

“It all started at my friend’s birthday party three years ago where we ice skated and I fell in love with the sport. I started going every day after that. My mom signed me up for classes when she saw my love for the sport,” Malak Al-Shaya told Arab News.
She said: “My mom was the one that encouraged me. At that birthday party, my mom and the coach said I was a natural because I just went for it.”
She came 4th at the Houston Invitational 2020 in March. She said that she will work harder next year to win first place.
The 13-year-old hopes to emulate the Russian figure skaters Elena Radionova and Alexandra Trusova who inspired her and even to get to the Olympics.
“I’ll work on ice and off ice. I want to be like Alexandra Trusova, who makes it look so elegant,” she said.

Gliding on the ice, Al-Shaya said she feels like everything is “magical.”
The young figure skater is aware that the sport is not the most popular in the Kingdom, but she encourages those wishing to master it.
“Just go for it. If you are willing to work hard you can achieve anything,” she said.
She has received a lot of encouragement on social media to pursue her passion in figure skating.
Al-Shaya’s mother, Eman Al-Damegh, shared her daughter’s love story. “At that birthday party, it was the first time Malak ever ice skated. After that, my kids used to ask me to take them ice skating every day,” she said.

FASTFACT

• Malak Al-Shaya won 4th place at the Houston Invitational 2020.

• Al-Shaya started ice skating three years ago.

• The teen’s coach says her speed is impressive, and it takes them years to teach a student to reach the speed that she is naturally able to control comfortably.

She said that her daughter came from a background, which lacked the facilities for the sport, but was “a natural” straightaway.
“She had never been ice skating before, she started it at such a young age. We used to live in Qassim where there were no ice skating arenas at all,” said Al-Damegh.
She added: “The moment Malak set foot inside the rink, she just took off. I was so surprised, she didn’t hesitate at all, she was so daring that day. And there I was wondering what would happen on ice (before she started).”
According to her proud mother, Al-Shaya has all the capabilities required for this sport and possesses the sense of daringness that skating requires.
The teen’s coach told Al-Damegh that her daughter’s speed was impressive, adding that it takes them years to teach a student to reach the speed that she is “naturally able to control comfortably.”