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Game of Thrones, `Avengers: Endgame’ lead 2019 MTV movie nominations



American Fantasy series “Game of Thrones,” “Avengers: Endgame” and “Ruth Bader Ginsburg” are tied for the most nominations at the 2019 MTV Movie and TV Awards with four each.

The final season of “Game of Thrones” is nominated for Best Show for the third year in a row, along with Best Hero for Maisie Williams as Arya Stark.

Also, Arya Stark was nominated for Best Fight vs. the White Walkers and Best Performance in a Show for Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen.

“Avengers: Endgame” followed suit, with nominations for Best Movie and Best Fight  with Robert Downey Jr. getting a Best Hero nod, and Josh Brolin getting nominated for Best Villain.

Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the first public figure to be nominated in the Best Fight category.

“RBG” is also nominated for best documentary and a new category called Real-Life Hero.

Similarly, “taboola-mobile-mid-article-thumbnails smallscreen,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Us” join “Avengers: Endgame” made the Best Film category.

Also, “Riverdale,” “The Haunting of Hill House,” “Schitt’s Creek” and “Big Mouth”  were also nominated in the Best Show Category.

The awards holds on June 17 in California with host Actor, Zachary Levi who is also nominated for Best Hero and Best Comedic Performance for his role as the title character in “Shazam!”


Tokyo 2020 vice president unsure whether Games can be held in 2021




A top official from the Tokyo Olympic Games‘ organizing committee said here on Friday that he is unsure whether the postponed 2020 Olympic Games can be held next summer.

Toshiaki Endo, one of the vice presidents of Tokyo 2020, was quoted by Kyodo news agency as saying “Selecting athletes by around next March will be a major challenge. The organizing committee will need to make some kind of a decision considering the situation at that time.”

70-year-old Endo, also a former Olympic minister, added at a meeting of his Liberal Democratic Party, “There are still many estimates, and it is unclear what the new coronavirus situation will be next summer. It is still too early to discuss whether to hold (the games) or not.”

Edo was appointed in 2015 to oversee the Olympics preparations on behalf of the Japanese government.

His comments were the first in public by an executive member of the organizing committee about when a decision regarding the fate of the Games might be made, Kyodo said.

John Coates, chairman of the International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission, told The Australian newspaper two weeks ago that October will be a critical period for assessing if the Olympics can take place.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told reporters that Coates had denied such reports, but he admitted that many things will not become clear until autumn.

The Tokyo Olympics have been rescheduled from July 23 to August 8 next year and the Paralympic Games will be held between August 24 and September 5.


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Tokyo exec says make Games decision in spring: Kyodo



A Tokyo 2020 executive board member said on Friday organisers will need to monitor the novel coronavirus situation until next spring before deciding whether to go ahead with the Summer Olympics, Kyodo News reported.

The comment by lawmaker Toshiaki Endo, one of six vice presidents on the board and a former Olympics minister, marks the first time an organising committee executive has remarked on the timing for a decision on the Games, the news agency said.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japanese government took the unprecedented decision in March to delay the Games, which had been due to start in July. A further delay beyond 2021 has been ruled out.

Previously, John Coates, head of the IOC’s inspectorate for Tokyo, said that if by October the new coronavirus outbreak was “being contained but not eradicated” decisions would have to be made on streamlining the Games.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said on Thursday that organisers were looking at ways to simplify the Games.

Also on Friday, public broadcaster NHK reported that organisers had decided against holding a large scale event marking the one-year countdown to the Games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organisers are seeking to cut costs related to the postponement and are also conscious of pandemic risks.

“We cannot hold a lively event while the risk of infection continues,” NHK quoted an unnamed organising committee source as saying.

Tokyo 2020 organising committee representatives did not immediately respond a request for comment.

At last year’s countdown event, organisers unveiled the medals at a ceremony attended by IOC President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and countdown clocks were launched in central Tokyo.

The new coronavirus has infected more than 6.5 million people and killed about 386,000 around the world. Japan has reported some 17,000 infections and 900 known deaths to date.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Japan now thinking of “simplified’’ Olympic Games   —- Tokyo governor



Tokyo city’s Governor Yuriko Koike said on Thursday it might be necessary to a stage a “simplified” Olympics next year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Koike said organisers were already discussing possible changes.

His comments came after a newspaper in Japan reported that various options, such as mandatory coronavirus testing and having fewer spectators, were being considered by organisers.

John Coates, head of the inspectorate set up by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for Tokyo, has said organisers had to plan for what could be a “very different” Olympics.

He said this was necessary if there were no signs of COVID-19 being eradicated.

Holding the Olympic and Paralympic Games calls for sympathy and understanding of Tokyoites and the Japanese people,” Koike told reporters.

“For that, we need to rationalise what needs to be rationalised and simplify what needs to be simplified.”

The Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri, cited government and organising committee sources.

The options being considered include making Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests mandatory for all spectators — in addition to athletes and staff.

Another one is that of limiting movement in and out of the athletes village.

These were among the options Japan would discuss with the IOC.

At a regular briefing, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya did not confirm the details of the Yomiuri report.

But he said stakeholders were looking at ways to “optimise and streamline the scope and service levels in preparing for the Games”.

“At this stage, we have no concrete outcome yet. But we are keen to continue the discussions,” said Takaya.

“The spread of the novel coronavirus … is something very ambiguous and we have no ability to completely understand what the situation will look like next year.”

The IOC and Japanese government in March took the unprecedented decision to delay the Games, which had been due to start in July.

A further delay beyond 2021 has been ruled out.

The new coronavirus has infected more than 6.4 million people and killed about 380,000 around the world.

Japan has had some 17,000 infections and 900 known deaths to date.

Edited By: Olawale Alabi (NAN)

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Tokyo Governor Yuriko says Games could be streamlined




Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko said here on Thursday that discussions are underway to streamline the Olympics and Paralympics.

Japan’s broadcaster NHK quoted Yuriko as saying, “The people of Tokyo and Japan will need to show understanding for the games to be held. To gain that support we are considering what needs to be streamlined and simplified.”

She said the metropolitan government has already held meetings to discuss the matter.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, pushed back a year due to the coronavirus, is scheduled to open on July 23 next year with the Paralympics to follow on August 24.

The Japanese Yomiuri newspaper reported on its front page on Thursday that organizers are considering taking several countermeasures, including mandatory coronavirus testing and having fewer spectators, to make the games safer to hold.

The opening and closing ceremonies of both the Olympics and Paralympics could also be scaled back, Yomiuri said.


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E-Sports federation prepares for 2020 national league games



The e-Sports Federation says preparations for the 2020 On-line National League Games has begun in spite of the coronavirus pandemic affecting sporting activities in the country and beyond.

Mr Christopher Yaba, Secretary of the federation said on Wednesday in a statement after the federation’s virtual board meeting on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that e-sports (electronic sports) is a form of sport competition using video games.

Yaba said that the board urged its athletes to brace up for the league games, noting that a portal for registration would soon be made public.

”The meeting commended the Federal and State Governments for their efforts  in containing the dreaded coronavirus pandemic that had so far claimed the lives of over a million people across the world.

“We thank our members for their compliance with the lockdown directives aimed at holistically fighting the global scourge,

The e-Sports federation further reassures its young and energetic followers of their commitment to continue to build on the solid foundation laid by the founding fathers of the game.

“As a body that focuses on sports, the organisation commends its partners for their consistent support,” he said.

The federation scribe called on investors to take advantage of the huge opportunities embedded in e-sporting activities in Nigeria.

E-sports often take the form of organised, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players, individually or as teams.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey (NAN)

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Washington using pandemic to pursue unilateralism, play blame games — experts




The U.S. administration led by President Donald Trump is taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to pursue unilateral policies while pinning the blame for a mismanaged national health emergency on others, said experts from Latin America.

Trump has repeatedly tried to scapegoat the World Health Organization (WHO), claiming the United States is paying the price for the agency’s mishandling of the pandemic, Guatemalan political observer and former diplomat Manuel Villacorta told Xinhua.

At a time when the international community should be more united than ever, Trump is pulling the United States out of the WHO citing the global body’s alleged mishandling of the novel coronavirus outbreak, said Villacorta, describing the move as a grave error.

In fact, the U.S. handling of the health emergency has been “devastating,” he said, noting upwards of 100,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, more than any other country, and 40 million Americans have lost their jobs and numerous businesses have gone under.

That’s why President Trump is looking to blame someone else. First he did it with China and now he’s doing it with the WHO — an unprecedented political mistake,” said Villacorta, who served as Guatemala’s ambassador to Israel.

Other Latin American observers agree that the U.S. government fails to take action after the WHO declared COVID-19 a global emergency on Jan. 30.

Not only did Washington drop the ball on taking timely preventive measures, but its inaction shows that the United States is not leading a global initiative of this kind, said Argentine political columnist Andres Oppenheimer.

“Instead of launching a serious campaign to promote social distancing, and ordering tests and ventilators, Trump constantly minimized the pandemic,” Oppenheimer wrote in a May 4 article.

What Washington has done is using the pandemic as an excuse to unilaterally fast-track deportations of undocumented immigrants across the border into Mexico, without considering the health implications amid the pandemic.

A so-called “expedited removal,” which allows authorities to deport immigrants without going through the normal legal process of holding hearings before an immigration judge, began on March 21. In a few weeks, about 10,000 immigrants, many from Central America, had been deported to Mexico.

The prestigious El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (El Colef), a Mexican research center that studies Mexico-U.S. border issues, recently warned that “the United States‘ unilateral and rapid deportations of migrants to Mexico at late hours of the night make it difficult to provide these migrants with a medical check-up and follow-up, and raise the possibility that infected persons are entering the country.”

According to Claudia Masferrer, a research professor at Mexico City’s El Colegio de Mexico, the pandemic has become an excuse for Trump to continue cracking down on migrants.

For President Trump … migrants have always been scapegoats for everything,” said Masferrer.


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Leicester to prepare for restart with practice games at empty stadium



Leicester City will hold practice matches at an empty King Power Stadium to prepare their players for games without fans when the Premier League resumes this month, manager Brendan Rodgers said.

The English top-flight, which has been suspended since March 13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume on June 17 with all matches to be played behind closed doors.

“We will have some practice games in our own stadium before we play.

“We will play at the King Power, so they will feel and get a sense of that,’’ Rodgers told British media.

The Premier League is exploring the use of audio effects and computer-generated ‘fans’ to improve the viewer experience of watching behind closed doors games but Rodgers said the game would not be the same without fans.

“It’s absolutely not; it can’t be.

“However, it’s what we have to do.

“The intensity and commitment of players will still be there.

“We did love our supporters to be there but there won’t be any.

“We will have a cause we will be fighting for.

“They may not be with us in the stadium but there will be millions of people watching, thousands of Leicester supporters around the world… we have a duty for them to do the best we can,’’ Rodgers said.

Leicester is third in the league on 53 points, four behind second-placed Manchester City, who has played a game less. (Reuters/ NAN)

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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Leipzig Captain Poulsen out with ligament injury



RB Leipzig will be without Captain Yussuf Poulsen for at least part of the last seven matchdays of the season, the club said.

Poulsen suffered  a ligament injury on Sunday.

The 25-year-old forward was on target in their 5-0 demolition of Mainz 05 on Sunday and set up two more goals but was diagnosed with a ligament injury a day later.

Leipzig, who host Hertha Berlin on Wednesday, are third in the league on 54 points, seven behind leaders, Bayern Munich, and three off second-placed Borussia Dortmund, with seven games left in the campaign.

The Bundesliga had to break for more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and resumed 10 days ago.

“Our forward Yussuf Poulsen sustained a ligament injury in his right ankle during the game against Mainz 05.

“He will be sidelined until further notice. That was the result of a scan on Monday,” the club said.

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Bayern Munich’s Thiago to miss top game at Borussia Dortmund through injury



Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has been ruled out of Tuesday’s Bundesliga top game against Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich’s coach Hansi Flick said on Monday.

This came to light after the playmaker, who had already missed Saturday’s 5-2 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt, failed to recover from a muscle injury.

“Thiago did not train today,” Flick told a virtual news conference. “Unfortunately he will miss the game (at Dortmund).”

Bayern Munich are top of the table on 61 points, four ahead of Borussia Dortmund, with seven matches remaining in the campaign.

Victory in Dortmund would send them seven points clear and put them within touching distance of a record-extending eighth consecutive league crown.

“It is a completely different game from the first one (which Bayern Munich won 4-0 earlier this season),” Flick said ahead of the game which will be played in an empty Dortmund stadium that normally sits 80,000 fans.

The Bundesliga restarted 10 days ago with a strict medical protocol banning fans from the stadiums to minimise the risk of infection.

“We are on a good run and have lost only twice in the last 23 games and drawn once. We relish this game. It’s what this job is about and that motivates the players more,” Flick added.

Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

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