China has delayed the start of its domestic football season because of the escalation of the coronavirus, which has claimed at least 170 lives. The Super League, which features ex-Premier League players including Yaya Toure, Marouane Fellaini, Oscar, Marko Arnautovic and Salomon Rondon, was due to run from 22 February to 31 October. A new starting date for the season has not yet been announced.
Novak Djokovic moved a step closer to retaining the Australian Open title with a straight-set semi-final win over injury-hit rival Roger Federer. Serbia’s Djokovic was 4-1 and 40-0 down in the opening set before recovering to win the tie-break. That laid the platform for the 32-year-old second seed to go on and win 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 6-3.
India top scorer Bala Devi’s groundbreaking move to Rangers “can be inspirational for players everywhere”, says manager Amy McDonald. Devi, 29, has joined the Scottish club from Manipur Police Sports Club on an 18-month deal and is the first professional Indian female footballer. The forward has 52 goals in 58 caps and scored more than 100 domestic goals.
FIFA’s Secretary General Fatma Samoura has refused to comment on whether her role as General Delegate for Africa will continue beyond 1 February. Samoura was given the role for six months from 1 August by football’s world governing following a reported request by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The Senegalese official was talking during a two-day trip to Uganda where she was inspecting FIFA-funded projects.
The Sudan Football Association has named Frenchman Hubert Velud as their new national team coach. The 60-year-old former Togo, JS Kabylie, TP Mazembe and Etoile du Sahel boss succeeds Zdravko Logarusic, whose contract was not renewed in December. Two weeks after leaving Algerian club JS Kabylie, Velud takes over with Sudan third in Group C of 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, three points behind leaders Ghana.
The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has named Croatian Zdravko Logarusic as the new coach of the national team. The 54-year-old left as coach of Sudan in December when his contract was not renewed. He has signed a two-year deal and will be assisted by Joey Antipas, who had been the Warriors’ caretaker coach since August. During his two-years with Sudan he led them to third place at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco‚ and to a spot in the group phase of the 2022 World Cup Cup qualifiers.
Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad have announced the signing of Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony on an 18-month deal. He has joined the Saudi Arabian club as a free agent. The 31-year-old has not played a competitive game since July, when his Ivory Coast side were beaten on penalties in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations. “This is a good chance to compete for something with a traditional club like this and I feel excited about this,” he said but is yet to announce the deal on his social media accounts.
Canada striker Christine Sinclair has beaten the goalscoring record in men’s and women’s international football. She goes ahead of retired American Abby Wambach on 185 goals after scoring twice in the first 23 minutes as Canada beat St Kitts & Nevis 11-0 in a 2020 Olympics qualifier. The highest goalscorer in men’s international football remains Iran’s Ali Daei on 109 goals. Sinclair, 36, was making her 290th international appearance.