Zlatan Ibrahimovic Returns To Milan; Fans Return To Taiwan


No, Ibrahimovic is not returning khổng lồ play soccer in Sweden, his home country. Plus: A top soccer team in China folds, and fans return (carefully) to lớn the baseball stands in Taiwan.

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Well, that was quichồng. Zlachảy Ibrahimovic is phối lớn return khổng lồ Italy for a two-week quarantine period before rejoining A.C. Milan.Credit...Jonathan Nackstrand/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Swedish soccer fans had been hoping that the strange circumstances of the coronavi khuẩn pandemic would have sầu a surprising side effect: the return of striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic to his home country.

But now it seems those hopes have sầu been dashed, as Ibrahimovic, 38, is set to lớn return to lớn Italy for a two-week quarantine period before rejoining A.C. Milan, which is starting individual training again. (Cristiano Ronalvày is already in quarantine for a return lớn Juventus.)

Ibrahimovic started his career at Malmo in Sweden before moving on lớn some of the top teams around the world, including Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelomãng cầu, Paris St.-Germain, Manchester United & the Los Angeles Galaxy. He played eight games for his lakiểm tra team, Milan, before Serie A shut down.

He then returned khổng lồ Sweden and trained with a team he co-owns, Hammarby. That prompted headlines about the return of the prodigal son. Alas, it seems Ibrahimovic is not ready khổng lồ leave Italian football yet.

But some remarks by Jesper Jansson, the director of football of Hammarby, caused the speculation engine khổng lồ rev up again. Asked if Ibrahimovic might return khổng lồ Sweden at the over of the Italian season (whenever that may be), he told the Swedish newspaper Expressen: “I think so. But only Zlatung himself knows. He hasn’t said anything lượt thích that, & it’s not that I need khổng lồ ask hlặng and tell hyên ổn that we want hyên ổn here. But I’ve sầu learned that he doesn’t say anything until he’s 100 percent sure.”

While that might seem pretty vague, it was enough khổng lồ get Swedish fans and the news truyền thông fired up again for Ibrahimovic lớn start adding khổng lồ his Swedish league goal total for the first time since 2001.

A Top Team Is Shutting Down

Many teams & leagues around the world have talked of their financial hardship during the pandemic. But few top teams have actually shut up shop.

One of the biggest to vày so thus far may be the soccer team Tianjin of the Chinese Super League, which said on Monday that it would pull out of the league in preparation of folding.

Tianjin had spent three years in the top division, finishing in a high of third place in 2017 & 14th last season.

The C.S.L. had been set to start in February, but did not because of the virus. It now hopes to lớn start in late June, perhaps with an abbreviated schedule.

When big sports teams anywhere in the world cry poor, there is sometimes the suspicion that they are merely angling for a government handout or tax relief. Once they actually start khổng lồ cđại bại their doors, the signs get a lot grimmer.

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Horse Racing Proceeds in France

The French Open was postponed. P.S.G. has stopped playing. The Tour de France won’t roll down the Champs-Élysées in July. But top-level sports returned to lớn Paris on Monday as horse racing resumed at Longchamp in the Bois de Boulogne.

The horses broke from the gate despite a governmental order banning sports in France until Sept. 1. The government of President Emmanuel Macron decided lớn give racing special permission to lớn proceed, without fans.

Everyone at the traông xã was required khổng lồ wear a mask, including the jockeys during the races. Trainers, along with one assistant each, were allowed khổng lồ attend, but not owners. Many of the track’s buildings were closed, and the sprawling facility had just one entrance open.

The main event was the Prix d’Harcourt, a major race for older horses. Shaman won, và many bettors watching from home were tearing up their tickets after the heavy favorite, the French Derby winner Sottsass, ran fourth.

Horse racing has been one of the few sports khổng lồ press on in some places in the United States, including at major tracks such as Gulfstream in Florida & Oaklawn in Arkansas.

Stands With Fans in Taiwan

Step 1: Play the games. Step 2: Let the fans back in. That is starting khổng lồ happen in a few places.

Taiwan’s baseball league got underway in mid-April, a month late, with empty stadiums. But over the weekover, some fans were allowed baông chồng, carefully, for the first time.

The crowds were limited to lớn 1,000 fans. Everyone was required khổng lồ wear a mask, and fans were seated three seats apart, even if they arrived at the game together. There were temperature checks, & no food was served, or allowed khổng lồ be brought in.

With a record of 14-4, the Rakuten Monkeys comfortably lead the four-team league.

With Taiwan và South Korea now both in action, fans are starting khổng lồ clamor for the return of the biggest league in the region, Japan. No definite date has been mix for a return, but officials are hoping for some time in June. But the All-Star trò chơi, scheduled for July, has been canceled, for the first time in history.