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US Women’s Team Files Appeal After Equal Pay Case Setback; Watford Chairman Questions Integrity, 6 EPL Teams Oppose Restart and More (Football Round-up)

Short Passes (Football News Round-up): US women’s national team files appeal after last week’s trial setback | Watford chairman questions integrity of neutral venues for Premier League matches while six teams oppose restart | Bundesliga restart: Leipzig manager and coaches to use masks during practice | Maradona autographs shirt to help the Buenos Aires poor | Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic suffers foot injury while training at home
US Women's national team at the FIFA Women's World Cup

The US Women’s National team had highlighted the fight for equal pay with its national federation during the successful FIFA World Cup campaign in France last year (Pic: Twitter, WSJ).

US women’s national team (USWNT) filed an appeal against the setback in its equal pay lawsuit where they presented the fact that they are being paid less than the men even though they have won twice the number of matches.

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In dismissing the case last Friday, Judge Gary Klausner said it was unwarranted because the women’s team previously turned down an offer in the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations to be paid the same as the US men’s team.

“The argument that women gave up a right to equal pay by accepting the best collective bargaining agreement possible in response to the Federation’s refusal to put equal pay on the table is not a legitimate reason for continuing to discriminate against them,” said USWNT spokesperson Molly Levinson.

Levinson said the women’s team is being discriminated against because they don’t get paid as much as men on a per game basis and “close to the same amount” statement is not valid.

Six EPL Teams Oppose Restart 

After Aston Villa and Brighton, now Watford is voicing objections to the Premier League’s plan to resume the season at neutral venues on police advice. The club chairman said it is going to be unfair to relegate clubs on the basis of an event that “bears no resemblance to the one that was started”.

When the matches were suspended, Watford were still left with five to play in nine fixtures at Vicarage Road and felt home advantage was being taken away from them. This could affect the number of points they gathered.

Club chairman Scott Duxbury also said that at least six of the 20 English Premier League (EPL) clubs are concerned about the plan to use neutral grounds to end the season.

Duxbury says “there is no altruism in the Premier League” and that “there are 20 different vested interests, which sometimes align but more often than not work purely to protect each individual club.”

Leipzig Coaches to Train Wearing Masks

Julian Nagelsmann of RB Leipzeg

Manager Julian Nagelsmann of RB Leipzig

When German Bundesliga resumes next weekend, it  will also bring back hope to other European leagues that they can also successfully restart the season, according to Schalke 04 coach David Wagner. The matches will resume behind closed doors on May 16.

RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann, whose side is going to be chasing the Bundesliga title when action resumes next weekend, is going to make sure practice will happen with coaches wearing a face mask so that they are used to the new normal.

Also Read | FIFA Approves Five Substitutions Per Game

Certain rules of Bundesliga will be changed upon its return. Detailed instructions have been given to coaches, including wearing a protective mask over their faces during training as well as matches.

The new rules are going to allow coaches to remove their mask to give instructions, only if a minimum distance of 1.5 metres away from others is maintained.

“I’ll have to pull the mask off my face to scream and then put it back on again when I stop. That’s not going to be easy to coordinate,” he said.

Maradona helps the Buenos Aires Poor 

Diego Maradona jersey for raffle in Beunos Aires Covid-19 relief

Diego Maradona's jersey was initially offered at an auction, but is now being raffled.

Diego Maradona extended his hand in the fight against the coronavirus in his hometown by autographing an Argentina national team jersey for a raffle. The sale was organised to help generate money for an underprivileged area on the outskirts of Buenos Aires which is affected by quarantine rules.

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“We’re going to get through it,” Maradona wrote on the jersey, a replica of the one he wore while he led his country to the 1986 World Cup victory.

The jersey was initially offered at an auction, but is now being raffled to those who have given donations in an initiative that helps get hygiene products, masks and around 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of food for charity.

“Diego can’t even imagine what he has done for us, it’s priceless. I’ll be grateful to him until the day I die,” said local resident Marta Gutierrez.

In addition to the pandemic, Argentina is facing a serious economic crisis and is in laborious negotiations on debt restructuring with creditors.

Luka Jovic Injured at Home

Real Madrid's Luka Jovic

Luka Jovic of Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic suffered a foot injury while he was training at home and is possibly not going to be fit when the season of La Liga restarts mid-June.

The Spanish club confirmed their medical team discovered a fracture in the Serbian striker’s heel bone during routine tests that were being carried out before the resumption of individual training from Monday.

Jovic’s club had allowed him to come back to his hometown of Serbia and self-isolate as Spain’s strict anti-coronavirus measures are still in force.

“I am very sorry that some people did their job unprofessionally and did not give me the correct instructions on how to behave in self-isolation,” Jovic responded in an Instagram post in March. “I apologise to everyone if I have endangered them in some way.”

While Real Madrid players are going to resume individual training on Monday, a number of top-flight clubs including their title rivals Barcelona have already begun their four-phase process on Friday.

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