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Olympics-Ice hockey-Germany out, debutant Denmark, Canada reach men’s quarter-finals

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On a day of upsets China could not provide what would have been the biggest of them all, as Canada rolled to a 7-2 win over the Beijing Olympic hosts on Tuesday and into the men’s ice hockey quarter-finals.

Canada’s expected victory capped off a day of surprises big and small on the ice.

Germany, surprise silver medallist at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, had their hopes for a repeat dashed as they were dumped out of the competition 4-0 by Slovakia, while Olympic debutant Denmark edged Latvia 3-2 and Switzerland stopped 1998 Olympic champions the Czech Republic 4-2.

The games settled Wednesday’s quarter-final matchups that will have the reigning gold medallist Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) taking on the Danes while the speedy United States will face off against Slovakia.

Canada, bronze medallists at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, meet Sweden with Finland skating against Switzerland.

The heavily favoured Canadians may have won as predicted, but were made to work for it against what should have been an overmatched opponent they had dismissed 5-0 on Sunday.

“Even despite the losses, when you take a step back and you see what it means for China ice hockey, the Chinese people, I think we accomplished something while we were here,” said Canadian-born Ty Schultz, who goes by Zheng Enlai on the China roster and whose sister competed for China at the Tokyo Summer Games.

Energetic China, winless through group play, were not going to exit meekly. They trailed just 2-1 after an opening period that could have ended tied if Fu Jiang had converted on a penalty shot.

It was a scrappy effort by China, who were constantly in penalty trouble for which Canada made them pay as Jordan Weal connected on two powerplay chances.

China gave the largest crowd to attend a game at the National Indoor Stadium something to cheer beyond an appearance of hugely popular Games mascot Bing Dwen Dwen, when U.S.-born Jian An scored near the end of the first period.

Canada took control with a three-goal second period on a pair of tallies by Adam Tambellini – one on a penalty shot – and another from Eric O’Dell to go up 5-1.

Jian, who was known as Cory Kane while playing U.S. college hockey, had the crowd on its feet again when he scored his second to close out the period.

Eric Staal, a 17-year National Hockey League veteran and a member of Canada’s 2010 Vancouver Olympic gold medal winning team, and Jack McBain closed out the scoring with third-period goals.

“They were tough, they came out hard. We knew they were going to come out hard, but I think we just kept our composure and played well,” said Canadian forward Eric O’Dell.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Beijing, additional reporting Amy Tennery and Tony Munroe; Editing by Ed Osmond and Bill Berkrot)

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US Soccer announces both men and women will split the prize money from FIFA

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Atlanta, United States of America (USA)- The US Soccer Federation (USSF) has announced soccer players representing the United States men’s and women’s national teams will receive the same pay and prize money, including at World Cups.

Under the new deals, which run through 2028 and cover the next four World Cups, dozens of top men’s and women’s players have been told in internal presentations that they can expect to collect average annual payouts of about US$450 000 from the USSF and potentially more than double that in successful World Cup years.

The deal also encompasses other areas such as child care, parental leave, short-term disability, mental health impairment, travel and equal quality of venues and field playing surfaces.

“This is a truly historic moment. The first Federation in the world to equalize FIFA World Cup prize money. These agreements have changed the game forever here in the United States and have the potential to change the game around the world.

US Soccer and the USWNT (United States Women’s National Soccer Team) and USMNT (United States Men’s National Soccer Team) players have reset their relationship with these new agreements and are leading us forward to an incredibly exciting new phase of mutual growth and collaboration as we continue our mission to become the preeminent sport in the United States,” said USSF president, Cindy Parlow.

This latest development comes after the USSF was ordered to pay US$24 million to settle a discrimination lawsuit with a group of past and present USWNT stars.

As part of their settlement, the group of women’s players will divide US$22 million, which was around a third of what they had originally hoped to seal, with the extra US$2 million used to establish a fund that helps the players navigate their post-soccer careers and women’s sports to grow.

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Formula 1 sets 22 races for 2022 & 3 sprinting events

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London, England- Formula 1 has confirmed that there will be 22 races for the 2022 calendar and 3 sprinting events.

The move follows Formula 1’s decision to permanently cancel Russia’s race at Sochi in the wake of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine.

Formula 1 organizers cancelled the event shortly after Russia’s military operations in February leaving the original slot open as they worked through various replacement options to fit with the original schedule.

Following the cancellation, Formula 1 received plenty of interest from host venues but had to work out if any addition would prove beneficial to the schedule rather than increase costs in terms of logistics.

With the original 23-race number set to be a record for a Formula 1 season, the event organizers then decided the most efficient approach was to simply drop the race that was originally slated for September 25 and leave two weeks between the previous three-straight slate in Europe and the following back-to-back weekends in Singapore and Japan.

Meanwhile, the number of sprint qualifying events that had been expected to be doubled to six this year will remain at three.

However, according to McLaren’s CEO, Zak Brown, Formula 1 teams are in favour of more sprints, “We tried to get six sprint races off last year, which obviously didn’t happen for this year. I think all the teams voted in favour of six sprint races now we have seen the data which tells us it creates more fan awareness, and that’s what I think is most important in growing the sport, how do our fans respond when we try new activities?”

Revised 2022 Formula 1 Calendar:

 

  1. Bahrain GP (Sakhir) March 20

 

  1. Saudi Arabian GP (Jeddah) March 27

 

  1. Australian GP (Melbourne) April 10

 

  1. Emilia Romagna GP (Imola) April 24

 

  1. Miami GP (Miami) May 8

 

  1. Spanish GP (Barcelona) May 22

 

  1. Monaco GP (Monaco) May 29

 

  1. Azerbaijan GP (Baku) June 12

 

  1. Canadian GP (Montreal) June 19

 

  1. British GP (Silverstone) July 3

 

  1. Austrian GP (Spielberg) July 10

 

  1. French GP (Paul Ricard) July 24

 

  1. Hungarian GP (Budapest) July 31

 

  1. Belgian GP (Spa) August 28

 

  1. Dutch GP (Zandvoort) September 4

 

  1. Italian GP (Monza) September 11

 

  1. Singapore GP (Marina Bay) October 2

 

  1. Japanese GP (Suzuka) October 9

 

  1. United States GP (Austin) October 23

 

  1. Mexico City GP (Mexico City) October 30

 

  1. Sao Paulo GP (Interlagos) November 13

 

  1. Abu Dhabi GP (Yas Marina) November 20

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CFL strike ends after league, players reach tentative agreement on new CBA – TSN

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The first Canadian Football League strike in nearly 40 years ended Wednesday night, opening the door for the full resumption of training camps and the first on-time start to the regular season since 2019.

The CFL and the CFL Players’ Association reached a tentative seven-year deal on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) Wednesday, less than 96 hours after the strike began when talks broke off.

Monday’s preseason game in Saskatchewan between the Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers is being rescheduled – an announcement is expected on Thursday – but in terms of actual casualties because of this labour stoppage, that’s it.

The end result is a deal – which still has to be ratified by the league’s board of governors and CFLPA members – that produces measureable gains for the players in several areas including health and safety, revenue sharing, salary cap, and guaranteed contracts.

There are tangible measures to slow player turnover, which has long been a CFL problem ignored in collective bargaining.

The big question mark economically is how meaningful the revenue sharing formula will prove to be for the players, and whether they will truly be able to share in any league prosperity.

There is always much debate about the state of the business in Canadian football, but this deal suggests that not all is doom and gloom. Coming off two years in which the league suffered massive losses from a lost 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic and significant ones off a reduced 14-game schedule in 2021, the CFL did not bargain like a league that was on its last legs.

It provided minimum annual increases to the salary cap that are double those prescribed in the last CBA. And the league signed a deal that provides far more than what’s been given in recent memory. All of which suggests there must be some optimism about what lies ahead, barely a year after the CFL parted ways with the idea of merging with the XFL.

So if there was so much ‘give’ from the owners side on this deal, what did they owners ‘get’ in return?

Essentially, besides the term of the deal, the league gained flexibility for its teams in how the league’s ratio of Canadians is applied. The CFL ratio is always the most hotly debated, misunderstood and controversial aspect of Canadian football – people tend to love it or hate it.

The league itself tends to love it … well, sort of.

There’s never been an intent to eliminate the league’s quota for 21 Canadian players on every roster, seven of whom have to be starters.

But reduce it? Sure, the league’s always been open to that and the players’ association has always opposed it.

The uncomfortable truth in all of this is reducing the ratio improves the quality of the game, and improving the quality of the game is something with which the league has become acutely concerned about of late. That’s not a knock on Canadians. It’s just a recognition that the numbers of players in the United States far, far, far outnumber those north of the border.

The sides came up with a solution that preserves the seven Canadian starters but provides for more flexibility for coaches to use American players than they would have been able to in the past. Specifically, veteran American players, those who’ve spent at least three years with their team or five in the league, will be allowed to play as Canadians in some circumstances.

That not only is going to put more of the best players on the field, it’s going to give additional value to American veterans, which slows roster turnover, another key issue this agreement effectively addresses.

Players have a strong incentive to re-sign with their teams, since that allows up to 50 per cent of the final years of their contracts to be guaranteed.

Overall, both the movement of players from team-to-team and out of the league should slow, which is a true win-win for players, fans and general managers.

It’s hard to imagine what the world of Canadian football will be like in 2029, when the new CBA expires.

No doubt much will have changed.

The league is marching into that future with a new collective bargaining agreement that addresses many longstanding issues in the CFL.

Who wins on the business side is hard to say, given all the uncertainties that lie ahead.

But right now all that matters to most is that collective bargaining has been put to bed and the CFL is finally ready to embark on a full season of football.

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