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Canadian government reviewing CFL’s request for modified quarantine for 2021 season

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The CFL has cleared two more hurdles in its quest to return to the field in 2021.

An official with the Public Health Agency of Canada told The Canadian Press the federal government has received the CFL’s request for a national interest exemption for modified quarantine for the upcoming season. The official added Ottawa is reviewing it in consultation with provincial health authorities.

The inclusion of negotiations with Ottawa, in addition to previous talks with provincial health authorities, is a big step in the right direction for the league as it attempts to return to the field for the first time since 2019.

Essentially, the CFL is asking Ottawa to provide it with the same exemptions it has for the NHL. The federal government waived its mandatory 14-day quarantine period for players acquired by Canadian NHL teams from American clubs “under national interest grounds” ahead of the league’s April 12 trade deadline.

Under those terms, CFL players would observe a seven-day quarantine upon arrival into Canada and be subject to daily testing for COVID-19. Players would be eligible to suit up for their teams while continuing to undergo daily testing the following week.

Another positive step is the ratification of an amended collective bargaining agreement between the CFL and CFL Players’ Association. Three sources told The Canadian Press the two sides have reached an agreement in principle on an amended deal — it has been ratified by the union — which would again pave the way for football to return in 2021.

The sources were granted anonymity because the deal has not publicly announced.

“We’ve done everything we can as a union and as players to lay the groundwork needed for us to play a safe 2021 season and now the CFL board of governors has an opportunity to do their part,” union president Solomon Elimimian said in a statement.

“We eagerly anticipate the CFL now making the right decision to get the season going while maintaining the highest player safety standards,” added executive director Brian Ramsay. “”The pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone in the CFL — and I can tell you that it has been especially hard on the players and their families.

“This MOA (memorandum of agreement) represents another big step toward getting us all back to work so that we can safely get back on the field this season.”

The CFL board of governors will hold their vote on the amended deal Monday.

The CFL didn’t stage a 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league shelved plans for an abbreviated campaign last August after failing to secure a $30-million, interest-free loan from the Canadian government.

Last November, the CFL unveiled plans for a full 18-game 2021 regular season. But in April, commissioner Randy Ambrosie announced the league was delaying the start of the ’21 season to Aug. 5 and reducing the number of games played to 14 per team.

The next big step for an Aug. 5 return is Monday’s board of governors meeting.

The board doesn’t require unanimous support to accept the Aug. 5 start but seven of nine teams would have to vote in favour as the CFL constitution requires over two-thirds majority. However, it’s unknown if the constitution could force teams to play and incur significant financial losses simply because a majority wants to go ahead with a season.

The fear is that could force a situation where a team voting against the Aug. 5 startup date would simply refuse to play if the remainder of the board votes in favour of beginning a season in early August. That scenario could result in very serious implications regarding league transfer moneys as well as the CFL’s broadcast agreement and league’s ’21 schedule.

Not playing in 2020 came at a significant cost to the CFL. A source has said the league lost between $60-and-$80 million last year by not staging games.

The source has been granted anonymity because the CFL has never revealed its 2020 financial figures.

Another factor, too, is the possibility of fans. The CFL wants to have a “significant” amount of fans in the stands. However, the Ontario government hasn’t signed off on that, and three of the league’s franchises are based in the province (Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa).

But an Aug. 5 kickoff would see all four East Division teams opening the season with a series of road games in Western Canada. The hope would be that once they were slated to return home that some fans would be allowed in the Ontario stadiums.

A TSN report earlier this week said a committee representing seven of Ontario’s seven pro franchises (Argos, Ticats, Redblacks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC and Toronto Blue Jays) submitted a report to the Ontario government. The report said the committee was looking for 35 per cent of stadium capacity for Ontario’s second stage re-opening and up to full capacity for the third stage.

“We will continue to work with our stakeholders as well as our public health experts at the provincial and local levels to determine when and if it is safe for measures to be lifted, including when other professional sports leagues may return to play,” Ontario’s Heritage, Sport and Tourism ministry said in a statement to The Canadian Press.

The first stage in Ontario’s re-opening is scheduled to start Friday. The province will remain at each step for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on key public health and health system indicators.

The earliest date for the second stage would be July 2, with July 23 the earliest for stage 3.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2021.

Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press

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A year after Euro 2020 was postponed, soccer fans on the edge of their seats as Euro 2021 begins

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Another sign the world is getting closer to ‘normal’… Euro 2021 is here!  Soccer fans around the world are geared up for the biggest sporting event in the world since the pandemic hit.  Teams representing 24 nations are vying for the championship.  Here’s what the pro’s see going into the tournament.

The Euro Top Stats And Records

The moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Euro 2021 is set to kick off in June 2021 and participating teams are already training for the big moment. Bettors looking to make a fortune off their favourite teams and players can ready themselves when the games finally begin. Euro 2021 betting sites are already in full fledge so fans can conveniently gamble on any of the 24 qualified teams and also monitor as Europe’s best teams clash for the cup.

But before the event begins in the next couple of weeks, let’s dive into the records set by top teams and players during the tournament. Keep reading this page to learn more!

The Euro Top Stats And Records

Spain and West Germany have dominated UEFA Euro on the national level. Both teams have won the Euro cup three times. Spain won the tournament in 1964, 2008, and in 2012. West Germany also won the tournament in 1972, 1980, and in 1996.

Listed below are some major Euro statistics recorded since the tournament started in 1960.

UEFA Euro Winner & Highest Scoring Teams Recorded Each Tournament.

Year

Host

Winner

Highest Scoring Team

1960

France

Soviet Union

Yugoslavia, 6 goals.

1964

Spain

Spain

Russia, Spain, Hungary 4 goals.

1968

Italy

Italy

Italy, 3 goals

1972

Belgium

West Germany

West Germany, 5 goals.

1976

Yugoslavia

Czechoslovakia

West Germany, 6 goals.

1980

Italy

West Germany

West Germany, 6 goals.

1984

France

France

France, 14 goals.

1988

West Germany

Netherlands

Netherlands, 8 goals.

1992

Sweden

Denmark

Germany, 7 goals.

1996

England

Germany

Germany, 10 goals.

2000

Belgium & Netherlands

France

Netherlands, France, 13goals.

2004

Portugal

Greece

Czech Republic, England,  10 goals.

2008

Austria & Switzerland

Spain

Spain, 12 goals.

2012

Poland & Ukraine

Spain

Spain, 12 goals.

2016

France

Portugal

France, 13 goals.

Final Tournament Appearances

21 Appearances: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
18 Appearances: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
17 Appearances: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
16 Appearances: Cesc Fàbregas (Spain)
16 Appearances: Andrés Iniesta (Spain)
16 Appearances: Lilian Thuram (France)
16 Appearances: Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands)
15 Appearances: João Moutinho (Portugal)
15 Appearances: Nani (Portugal)
15 Appearances: Pepe (Portugal)
15 Appearances: Sergio Ramos (Spain)
15 Appearances: David Silva (Spain)

Final Tournament Goals

9 goals: Michel Platini (France)
9 goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
7 goals: Alan Shearer (England)
6 goals: Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden)
6 goals: Thierry Henry (France)
6 goals: Patrick Kluivert (Netherlands)
6 goals: Nuno Gomes (Portugal)
6 goals: Antoine Griezmann (France)
6 goals: Wayne Rooney (England)
6 goals: Ruud van Nistelrooy (Netherlands)

When it comes to individual player performance, Cristiano Ronaldo currently sets the pace forother players in the EURO competition. For years, he has been at the center of the competition leading his country to the finals and then the champion in 2016.

Cristiano Ronaldo also tops the chart as the highest goal scorer in the tournament (including qualifying) At the moment, he has scored 40 goals for his country, Portugal.

While fans were expecting more of Ronaldo and classic performances from other stunning players like David Silva, Sergio Ramos, and Antoine Greizman in the Euro 2020 competition, all their hopes were dashed when the competition was postponed due to the corona pandemic.

Click here for more sports stories on Todayville.com 

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Red Deer

Red Deer Rebels hire Steve Konowalchuk as new Head Coach

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News Release from the Red Deer Rebels

Brent Sutter, President and General Manager of the Red Deer Rebels, is proud to announce that Steve Konowalchuk has been named the 6th Head Coach in team history.

Konowalchuk joins the Rebels from the New York Rangers, where he is currently a Pro Scout.  Prior to the Rangers, he served as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche (2009-11), and Anaheim Ducks (2017-18).  From 2011 to 2017, he lead the Seattle Thunderbirds as their head coach, including back to back WHL Finals appearances in 2016 and 2017, culminating in a WHL Championship in his final season.  Over the 6 seasons, he lead the Thunderbirds to a 219-176-22-15 record, and coached notable NHL players including Matthew Barzal (NYI), Ethan Bear (EDM), Shea Theodore (VGK), & Keegan Kolesar (VGK).

Prior to his coaching career, Konowalchuk spent 13 seasons as a player in the Washington Capitals organization, before retiring after 2 seasons with the Colorado Avalanche in 2006.  He appeared in 790 NHL games, compiling 396 points in that time.

Konowalchuk will officially join the Rebels  in August, after his duties with the Rangers are complete.  The team will look to add an assistant coach this summer.

Brent Sutter – “Steve is the right coach at the right time for our hockey club.  He is a person of high character, whose intensity and work ethic match that of our organization and community.  With Steve’s winning pedigree, we have the right leadership to become a championship calibre team.  We welcome Steve and his family to Central Alberta.”

Steve Konowalchuk – “I would like to thank Brent Sutter and the Red Deer Rebels for the opportunity to coach in the WHL again.  The organization has established itself as a top franchise in the league, and I look forward to working with the staff and players on reaching the organization’s high expectations.  I would also like to express my gratitude to the New York Rangers for the opportunity given to me over the past 3 seasons.”

Season tickets for the 2021-22 are now on sale!  Contact Shaun Richer at 403 341 6000, or [email protected] to select your seats!

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june, 2021

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