AUTO RACING

New Hampshire Motor Speedway will allow fans in the grandstands and suites for the NASCAR Cup Series race on Aug. 2.

Fans will be subject to social distancing requirements and additional health and safety protocols. New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s modified protocols will include social distancing in the grandstands and concession lines, limited guests in suites and infield admission for race team and operational personnel only.

The race was originally scheduled for July 19 and was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Holding New England’s premier NASCAR race this summer here in New Hampshire has always been a priority,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said. “While the stands will not be as full as they usually are, we are proud to be able to hold an in-person viewing experience for NASCAR fans.”

SOCCER

ENGLAND: Liverpool clinched its first Premier League title since 1990, ending an agonizing title drought without the players even having to take the field.

Instead, the crown was secured when Chelsea beat second-place Manchester City 2-1, a result that means City can no longer catch Liverpool with seven games remaining.

CONCACAF: CONCACAF will revise its World Cup qualifying format following FIFA’s decision to remove September dates from the international match calendar because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The hexagonal that determines the three direct qualifiers for North and Central America and the Carribbean was scheduled to have two games each in September, October and November, followed by two matches apiece in March and September of 2021.

The U.S. was to have been in the six-nation hexagonal with Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica and either El Salavdor or Canada. The final berth was to have been determined by FIFA rankings in June, but matches in March and June were scrapped because of the pathogen.

Among the possible formats under discussion would be having three groups of four, much like the old semifinal round. The group winners would qualify for the 2022 tournament in Qatar, and there would be playoff opportunities for some teams that don’t finish first.

FIFA: Soccer’s governing body, FIFA, is using almost $900 million of its cash reserves to help member federations get through the coronavirus pandemic.

All of FIFA’s 211 national members will get a $1 million payment, and $500,000 more to spend specifically on women’s soccer.

Each of the six continental governing bodies gets $2 million from FIFA’s reserve fund, which held $2.7 billion after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

FIFA says a further $565 million is available for interest-free loans to federations of between $500,000 and $5 million, depending on their audited annual revenue. Continental confederations can access $4 million.

FOOTBALL

NFL: Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule said he’s considering kneeling alongside his players during the national anthem this season in support of the movement against racial injustice.

“I would consider anything as we move forward,” Rhule said Thursday on a Zoom conference call. “I’m supportive of the cause. I’m supportive of the movement. I’m supportive of social justice. I think for every person, coach or player, that will be a very personal decision. I think it has to be made at the right time and the right reason for everybody.”

The first-year coach previously has told his players that he will support them for expressing their views about social injustice.

COLLEGES

ACC: Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford is retiring after the 2020-21 academic year, ending his tenure after 24 years.

Swofford, 71, has been commissioner of the ACC since 1997, the longest run in that position in the history of the 67-year-old conference.

This story will be updated.

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