Bid for Bartomeu exit gains momentum
BARCELONA • With Lionel Messi’s aborted bid to leave Barcelona still raw, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu may be counting his days after a campaign group announced they were racking up signatures in an attempt to force a vote of no confidence.
The Mes que una mocio – More than a motion – group yesterday said they had reached 7,500 club member signatures of the required 16,520 by Sept 17 to trigger a vote of no confidence in the Catalan club.
If the campaign reaches its target and the vote is held, two-thirds of the club’s 150,000 members would have to vote against the deeply unpopular incumbent to trigger an imminent election.
Mbappe becomes 7th PSG player with Covid-19
PARIS • Kylian Mbappe was ruled out of France’s Nations League game against World Cup runners-up Croatia yesterday after testing positive for Covid-19, his national team have said.
The forward is the seventh Paris Saint-Germain player to contract the virus after the majority of the squad travelled to Spanish party island Ibiza for a holiday following their Champions League final defeat last month.
Mbappe will also miss PSG’s opening game of the Ligue 1 season against Lens tomorrow, along with six other teammates including Brazil striker Neymar and Argentinian pair Angel di Maria and Leandro Paredes.
Thailand pull out of Thomas and Uber Cups
BANGKOK • Thailand yesterday withdrew from badminton’s Thomas and Uber Cups after former world champion Ratchanok Intanon and other players pulled out over coronavirus fears.
Chinese Taipei – the team of women’s world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying – and Australia are also skipping the tournaments, which will be played in a bio-secure “bubble” in Denmark in October, the Badminton World Federation said.
The twice-postponed Thomas and Uber Cups will be the first international tournaments since the pandemic brought badminton to a halt in March.