The Hammers boss was left irked by referee Neil Swarbrick during Sunday’s 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat to Arsenal at Upton Park after the Gunners were awarded a penalty and the hosts were denied a late spot-kick. Winston Reid was adjudged to have felled Santi Cazorla in the box, with Swarbrick pointing to the spot as the Spaniard went to ground under the challenge, but – with West Ham chasing a stoppage-time equaliser – Morgan Amalfitano decided to stay on his feet when challenged by Kieran Gibbs. West Ham welcome managerless West Brom to Upton Park on New Year’s Day looking to halt a run of two defeats over the festive period, albeit to Chelsea and Arsenal, with Allardyce having an almost-full squad to select from for the visit of the Baggies. James Tomkins is suspended and Mauro Zarate will play no part as a loan move across London to QPR edges closer. Fellow summer recruit Enner Valencia is likely to be involved. Meanwhile, James Morrison insists there is nowhere for the West Brom players to hide as he bids to impress Tony Pulis. Former Stoke and Crystal Palace manager Pulis will watch from the stands when the Baggies go to Upton Park and is expected to be confirmed as their new head coach before the weekend. Press Association Sport understands he will sign a two-and-half-year deal to replace the sacked Alan Irvine. Pulis will be Albion’s fourth head coach in just over a year and Morrison knows places are not guaranteed. “You’ve got to impress the new head coach to get in the team,” he told the club’s official site. “We’ve got a big squad here, a lot of new players came in at the start of the season who are champing at the bit to play. “So you’ve got to be on top of your game to get in the side. “Rob (Kelly, assistant head coach) is a good guy. Keith (Downing) and Deano (Dean Kiely) are also there who have been here for a number of years and have a good bond with the players. “So everyone is pulling in the right direction and in the right frame of mind. “It’s a fresh start. We’ve got to be putting in 100 per cent and getting a win for the fans, who deserve more.” The Baggies are 16th in the Barclays Premier League, a point above the drop zone, after seven defeats in their last nine games. Press Association With both Chelsea and Sunderland profiting from controversial penalty decisions against the Hammers in recent weeks, Allardyce believes going to ground when caught by the opposition may be the only way to bring a foul to the attention of the officials. “As long as it’s not simulation – as long as you get the right decision from it,” he said when asked if a player needed to fall over to get a foul. “If you’re not touched and you go down because you’re not touched, that’s not the way forward. But if you can’t get what you ordinarily should get, then you’ve got to consider the fact that if you make a meal of it, you make a meal of it because the contact is sufficient enough. “The contact on Amalfitano was sufficient enough to put him off getting the ball cleanly in that position to try to help us score a goal. It impeded him from getting a better contact on the ball. “Like I said, that’s where a penalty should be given and if that’s the case then it would be much better across the board. “As difficult as it is for referees, those are the decisions that they should be capable of giving. All the other infringements are here and there, if you like, but then when it comes to major decisions, it’s how the goal is judged and how the referee is judged. “A very good game from a referee can’t evolve being 99 per cent great and then the one per cent being one major decision he’s got wrong, because then he’s had a bad game – like a goalkeeper can be brilliant and then all of a sudden he drops one ball and it gets put in the net and he’s had it. “Unfortunately the referees are not brave enough to give those penalties because, in the surroundings and the atmosphere in the stadiums, it doesn’t look like one, but their job is to identify if it is or not.” Sam Allardyce would not prevent his players from “making a meal” out of contact if it meant his West Ham side were given the decisions they deserved.
The Latest: Turkish volleyball league canceled The federation says that is the first condition stipulated by government authorities to allow the Portuguese league and the Portuguese Cup to resume as planned by the end of the month.The federation says the league, clubs and players at all times “assume the risk of infection” and “bear the responsibility” of all possible consequences related to the disease and to “the risk for public health.”The federation says it received a set of conditions from the government on Sunday.The government recently said it would allow the league and the cup to resume on May 30. The second division was canceled.___ Associated Press Spanish league president Javier Tebas hopes to restart the league on June 12.___The head of Japanese baseball says the 12-team league is hoping to start play next month but no specific date has been set.Japan is living under a state of emergency that is in effect until May 31.Commissioner Atsushi Saito says “I don’t think anyone can make preparations by setting a specific opening day.” Saito says the All-Star game in July has been canceled for the first time since it was initially held almost 70 years ago. The Japanese season was originally scheduled to open on March 20.Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University professor Mitsuo Kaku says it would be difficult to set a date for the season to start with the state of emergency still in effect.Baseball has begun in Taiwan and South Korea in empty stadiums.___The Portuguese soccer federation says the league, clubs and players must take responsibility for the consequences of the return to soccer in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to return to Italy to spend two weeks in quarantine ahead of the potential return of the Serie A season with AC Milan.He leaves behind plenty of questions in his native Sweden.Ibrahimovic has been keeping up his fitness by training with Hammarby. He bought a nearly 25% stake in the Stockholm-based club last year in his first move into soccer ownership. The striker practiced with the men’s and women’s teams and played in a training match because Sweden is not under strict lockdown measures during the coronavirus pandemic.The 38-year-old Ibrahimovic could return to the club as a player in the final years of his career.Milan and most of the other Italian league clubs resumed training on an individual basis last week before full team training restarts next Monday. Turkish Volleyball Federation president Mehmet Akif Ustundag says no team will be declared champion and no team will be relegated.He says “the men’s and women’s leagues have been registered as they stand.”Turkey suspended all league games on March 20 but the country’s soccer federation announced last week it plans to resume games on June 12 and host the Champions League final in Istanbul in August.___Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and third-ranked Karolina Pliskova will lead teams in a tennis charity event during the coronavirus pandemic. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Turkish volleyball league has been canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic. Pliskova’s team will include her twin sister Kristyna, 2019 French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova, Tereza Martincova and Nikola Bartunkova.Kvitova will be joined in her squad by Barbora Strycova, Katerina Siniakova, Barbora Krejcikova, Linda Fruhvirtova and Russian player Ekaterina Alexandrova.Pliskova says “it’s a great opportunity for us to play a unique tournament.”The first of the four tournaments that are part of the competition is scheduled for June 13-15 in Prague.___ May 11, 2020 Real Madrid has become the latest Spanish league club to resume individual training.Players were back in action at the team’s training center two months after the league was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.Most clubs had already resumed individual sessions. Barcelona restarted on Friday and Atlético Madrid on Saturday.All players were tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to practice.The league says five players on first- and second-division clubs have tested positive. Three staff members have also tested positive. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6
–president hails support from young athletesBy Clifton RossTitans Table Tennis Club has ventured into the academic stream following the pandemic which has robbed athletes of their playing time.Club president, Dwain Dick, told Chronicle Sport that the club has ventured into the line of providing academic support for youths as well as their young table-tennis players.Dubbed the ‘Titans Virtual Learning Academy’, the virtual online sessions offer classes in human and social biology, Mathematics, English, EDPM, Physics, and Information Technology, among other subjects, with prices ranging from GY$4,000-$10,000 monthly.There will also be Grades 6, 7-11 and evening classes for adults who might be interested in writing CSEC. Since Covid-19 unleashed its havoc a few months ago, table tennis has been dormant due to the respecting of the social distancing and quarantine guidelines.The club president said that due to the state of things, it was important to ensure that while players were away from live action as well as schools, which remain closed, they maintained that balance of academics, which usually goes hand-in-hand with sports.According to Dick, this new format will allow athletes along with those within the general public, to keep that necessary balance needed to perform at a high mental level during these tough times.Also, with a number of the club’s junior national athletes being heavily involved in their academic lives, Dick believes that it strengthens their approach to table tennis, which calls for exceptional concentration, mental prowess and reflexes.By making use of the time away from schools or even regular gatherings at classes, the young athletes can remain fixed in a positive environment amidst the toughest of recent times, which have afflicted sportsmen and women globally.Dick also advocated for the local associations to keep working closely with their athletes during this time of distancing and solitude.He was also strong on associations keeping track of players workout regimes, eating habits and dedication to working on whatever they can with regard to their skillset during lockdown, as to ensure that they are well-prepared to re-enter a normal sport environment.The club’s head further maintained that his players were keeping in good playing shape by their own personal means, adding that he’s eager to get back out there with his tennis players and Guyana’s next crop of top stars.