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Latest headlines

  • Wolfsburg draw Albanian side Kukes in Europa League qualifying
  • German football fans find Nations League ‘unnecessary’
  • Spain winger tests positive for COVID-19

August 31

Wolfsburg draw Albanian side in Europa League qualifiers

Wolfsburg’s quest to qualify for the 2020-21 Europa League group stage will begin in Albania.

The Wolves drew Albanian Superliga runners-up Kukes in the second round of Europa League qualifying. The tie will be a one-off match on September 17 in Zeqir Ymeri Stadium in Kukes, a city in eastern Albania.

UEFA, Europe’s football confederation, has ordered that all qualifying matches be one-match affairs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wolfsburg’s seventh-place finish in the Bundesliga last season put them in the second round of Europa League qualifying. Kukes defeated Bulgarian side Slavia Sofia in the first round of qualifying 2-1 to reach the second stage.

German football fans for scrapping Nations League

The second-ever Nations League is set to kick off this week. According to polling website Bundesliga-Barometer, nearly three-quarters of German football fans (74.7%) don’t think the competition makes sense.

According to the survey, which had 5,145 participants, 80.6% see the Nations League as “an unnecessary burden for the professionals of the major soccer nations.” Most (79.6%) said the competition was too complex, and more than half (56.2%) of those surveyed do not follow the games.

Germany was set to be relegated from the top division in the first iteration of the Nations League after finishing third in their group but remained in the top flight after a format change. They are set to take on Spain in Stuttgart on Thursday and Switzerland in Basel on Sunday.

Spain's Mikel Oyarzabal (picture-alliance/NurPhoto/J. Breton)

Mikel Oyarzabal has seven caps with the Spanish national team

Spain player to miss Nations League after positive COVID-19 test

Mikel Oyarzabal has withdrawn from Spain’s Nation’s League squad and will miss his country’s opener against Germany after testing positive for COVID-19.

“I want to communicate that I’ve received a positive result from my last test,” The 23-year-old Real Sociedad . “I have to be at home for a few days and I won’t be able to go to the national team.”

He has been replaced in Spain’s squad by Villarreal forward Gerard Moreno. Spain are set to play Germany on September 3 and Ukraine on September 6.

Tiger Woods at the BMW Championship (picture-alliance/dpa/C. R. Arbogast)

Tiger Woods finished over par in all four rounds of the BMW Championship

Tiger Woods misses out on Tour Championship

After a poor showing at the BMW Championship over the weekend, Tiger Woods failed to reach the Tour Championship for the second straight year.

He finished tied for 51st at the Olympia Fields course in Illinois, leaving him in 63rd place in the FedEx Cup playoff rankings. The top 30 qualify for the Tour Championship, which is set to begin on Friday at the East Lake Golf Club near Atlanta, Georgia.

Woods finished over par in all four rounds of the tournament at Olympia Fields, the first time he has done so at a tournament since 2010.

The 44-year-old now has two weeks to prepare for next month’s the US Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York.

Real Salt Lake owner under investigation for racist comments

Dell Loy Hansen, owner of Major League Soccer (MLS) team Real Salt Lake, will sell the company that owns the club, MLS Don Garber has confirmed.

“MLS will work with Mr. Hansen on supporting the sale efforts for the company and will work closely with the club’s executive staff to support the operations of the team during the transition period,” Garber said.

The allegations of racist remarks by Hansen surfaced in a report by The Athletic on Thursday, citing former Real Salt Lake scout Andy Williams. Hansen was already under fire for comments about players deciding to sit out a home match last week in protest of the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

Despite saying he “strongly disagreed” with those comments, Garber has been criticized for not taking a stronger stand against incidents of racism and alleged racism.