PARALYMPICS

All fans will be barred from the Paralympics in Japan because of the coronavirus pandemic, just as they were from the recently-completed Tokyo Olympics, organizers said Monday.

There were a few exceptions made during the Olympics with some fans allowed in outlying areas away from Tokyo. This time, all fans will be barred except the possibility of some children attending a few unspecified events.

Organizers have also asked the public not to come out to view road events.

The decision was announced after a meeting with International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons, organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa.

The Paralympics open on Aug. 24 with about 4,400 athletes, a far smaller event than the Olympics with 11,000 athletes. But the Paralympics come as new infections have accelerated in Tokyo, which may expose an athlete population that is more vulnerable to COVID-19.

New infections in Tokyo tripled during the 17 days of the Olympics, although medical experts said the surge was not directly linked the Tokyo Games. Rather, experts suggested an indirect effect as the public was distracted and lulled into a false sense of security that staging the Games offered.

With the situation growing worse, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Monday said a state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas will be extended until Sept. 12. The state of emergency has been in force since July 12 and was to end later this month.

The Paralympics end on Sept. 5.

FOOTBALL

CFL: The Calgary Stampeders of the CFL canceled outdoor practice because of smoke from forest fires.

The city’s air quality health index was 8 on a scale of 1 to 10 and deemed high risk for outdoor activities.

There were 64 active fires burning in southeast British Columbia as well as another four west and northwest of Calgary.

Rain was forecast for late Monday and Tuesday, so the Stampeders may get back on the McMahon Stadium field Tuesday under clearer skies.

The Stampeders (0-2) are home Friday against the Montreal Alouettes.

SOCCER

GERMAN CUP: Wolfsburg has been thrown out of the German Cup for fielding too many substitutes in its first-round win over Preussen Munster.

The German soccer federation said its sports court had decided to overturn Wolfsburg’s 3-1 win and award a 2-0 victory to the fourth-division side. Wolfsburg used six substitutions rather than the permitted five in the game on Aug. 8.

“The clubs themselves are responsible for substitutions. One of their basic duties is to find out about substitution options and to act accordingly,” Stephan Oberholz, deputy chairman of the sports court said. “Wolfsburg violated this duty and thus carelessly and avoidably committed the central error by making the illegal sixth substitution.”

In his debut as Wolfsburg coach, Marc van Bommel made three substitutions in normal time against Munster, then another three in extra time after his team equalized in the last minute for 1-1. Van Bommel brought on Admir Mehmedi for Maximilian Philipp in his sixth substitution when the teams were still level, less than a minute before his team scored.

Oberholz said Wolfsburg could not blame the mistake on the referees who allowed the substitution because “the central initial error is club’s fault.”

The federation said Munster will play in the second round, though Wolfsburg said it wasn’t giving up.

“We don’t agree with the decision and will now check legal options,” Wolfsburg chief executive Tim Schumacher said.

Wolfsburg attempted to see the funny side of its mistake Saturday when it offered fans who bought five tickets for its Bundesliga game against Bochum a sixth ticket for free.

The second-round draw takes place on Aug. 29.

HOCKEY

NHL: The Minnesota Wild have signed Kevin Fiala to a $5.1 million, one-year contract.

Fiala had 20 goals and 20 assists in 50 games last season with the Wild, leading the team with five winning goals and 41 takeaways. He has 101 points in 133 games over two-plus seasons since Minnesota acquired him from Nashville for Mikael Granlund just before the 2019 trade deadline.

•  The Nashville Predators signed goaltender Juuse Saros to a four-year, $20 million contract.

Saros, 26, is coming off his best season yet in his five-year NHL career. He went 21-11-1 in 36 games with career bests in wins, 35 starts, a 2.28 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. He finished sixth in the Vezina Trophy voting for best goalie and 11th in the Hart Trophy voting for most valuable player.

MEDIA

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Holly Rowe has been promoted to sideline reporter for ABC’s college football Saturday night games.

Rowe, beginning her 26th season covering football at ESPN and ABC, will join Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit on the network’s top announcing team.

Rowe will be taking Maria Taylor’s place. Taylor went to NBC last month after her contract with ESPN expired.

Rowe started with ABC in 1995 and joined ESPN full time in 1998. In addition to college football, Rowe is one of the lead ESPN reporters on Big Monday men’s college basketball, the NCAA Women’s Final Four, the Women’s College World Series, NCAA indoor and beach volleyball national championships, collegiate gymnastics and the WNBA.


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