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2030 World Cup bid given £2.8m budget boost, and other stories

Chancellor Rishi Sunak crunches the numbers ahead of today’s budget announcement. Photo credit: HM Treasury Flickr.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today pledged £2.8m to support a bid for the UK and Ireland to host the 2030 World Cup. 

The announcement came as part of Sunak’s 2021 budget, which also included a £300m recovery package for professional sports and £25m for grassroots football. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson threw his weight behind the bid, stating in an interview with The Sun on Tuesday, “It’s the home of football, it’s the right time. It will be an absolutely wonderful thing for the country.”

Johnson also backed plans for the UK to host more games for this summer’s Euro 2020 tournament, with the current plan of playing it across 12 European cities cast into doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Football Association (FA) has rejected this idea though, saying its focus “remains on delivering the seven games at Wembley inclusive of both semi-finals and the showpiece final and welcome all efforts being made by government to ensure as many fans can attend.”

Cricket: Tom Banton tests positive for Covid-19

England and Quetta Gladiators batsman Tom Banton is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday.

The Pakistan Cricket Board has announced that just under 300 people are inside Banton’s bubble and are set to undergo repeat swab tests on Thursday.

The 22 year-old has scored nine runs in two games in this year’s Pakistan Super League.

He has not been included in the T20 England line-up against India, set to start on 12 March.

Banton is one of two foreign players out of a total of three players in the PSL who have tested positive for Covid-19.

Women’s rugby treated unequally?

In a BBC Radio Wales interview, former Wales full-back Dyddgu Hywel has expressed disappointment at women’s rugby being treated unequally.

This comes after the delaying of the women’s Six Nations until April, where before it would have been played alongside the men’s event.

Hywel has also taken issue with Women’s Test Rugby last year being put on hold, while the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup for men’s rugby went ahead.

Hywel has, however, stated that one upside for the Welsh women’s side could be having more time for training under new boss Warren Abraha.

Premier League fixtures

Leicester will go to Turf Moor to play Burnley at 6pm tonight, with the Clarets losing back-to-back games in all competitions. 

Sean Dyche’s men will have reason for hope, however, with Leicester’s in-form winger Harvey Barnes set to miss at least six weeks following knee surgery.

Meanwhile at Bramall Lane, a last place Sheffield United will face off against Aston Villa, who will be missing captain Jack Grealish due to an ongoing shin injury.

Later on, Crystal Palace will be missing star forward Wilfried Zaha in taking on Manchester United, who have won four successive Premier League away games against the Eagles.

Burnley v Leicester City and Crystal Palace v Manchester United will be available to watch on Sky Sports, while Sheffield United v Aston Villa will be available to watch on BT Sport.

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