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Roma off the mark as Mkhitaryan scores debut goal in Sassuolo rout

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored a debut goal to help Paulo Fonseca secure his first win as AS Roma coach in a 4-2 victory over Sassuolo.

This was after Lazio fell to a shock defeat and Bologna moved into second place in Serie A on Sunday.

The Armenia international joined the capital club on loan from Arsenal on transfer deadline day.

He went on to score his side’s third goal as the visitors were put to the sword in the first half when Roma were 4-0 up inside 33 minutes.

They scored from Bryan Cristante’s header, a volley from Edin Dzeko, Mkhitaryan’s low strike and a composed finish from Justin Kluivert.

The visitors rallied in the second half through Domenico Berardi’s brace but it was too little too late.

The result moves Roma into seventh place on five points, four behind leaders Inter Milan, while Sassuolo are 12th after taking three points from their opening three games.

Earlier in the day, SPAL stunned European hopefuls Lazio as they came from behind to win 2-1 thanks to Jasmin Kurtic’s late winner.

Bologna went joint second after pulling off a remarkable comeback in Brescia, recovering from a 3-1 half-time deficit to win 4-3 after Daniele Dessena was sent off for the hosts shortly after the break.

Duvan Zapata scored a stunning stoppage-time strike to earn Atalanta a 2-1 victory at Genoa, while Cagliari won 3-1 away to Parma.(Reuters/)
VO/JPE/OLAL

(Edited by Joseph Edeh and Olawale Alabi)

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Coronavirus cases in Romania surpass 20,000

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The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Romania has risen by 196 to 20,103 as of Friday, including 1,308 deaths, the latest official figures showed.

Meanwhile, 14,145 recoveries have been reported so far, while 152 patients are admitted in intensive care units, announced in its daily report the Strategic Communication Group (GCS), the government agency authorized to publish information on COVID-19.

Romania has been under the state of alert since mid-May after the end of a two-month higher-level state of emergency.

After two phases of relaxation measures, Romanians are actually living “a quasi-normal life.” Indoor performances are not allowed, malls and enclosed restaurants are not yet open, and masks must be worn in indoor public places and buses.

The number of infections is declining in the eastern European country, but there are still fluctuations and it is maintained at around 200 cases per day. Prime Minister Ludovic Orban on Friday urged Romanians again to protect themselves and observe the “physical distance for health protection,” warning that “any significant increase in the number of cases can lead to new restrictive measures.”

(XINHUA)

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Romanian doctor gets suspended jail sentence over Cameroonian player’s death

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A Romanian court has handed a one-and-a-half-year suspended jail sentence to an emergency doctor for negligence before the death of Dinamo Bucharest’s Cameroonian midfielder Patrick Ekeng in May 2016.

Ekeng collapsed on the field after suffering a heart attack, shortly after coming on as a second half substitute during a domestic league match, and was pronounced dead two hours later.

Elena Duta, the medical specialist in the ambulance which took Ekeng to hospital, was charged in June 2016 with unjustified inaction.

Prosecutors said she made no attempt to resuscitate the player.

Duta was also ordered to pay 200,000 euros (227,000 dollars) in damages and sentenced to 60 days of community service, the court said in a statement late on Thursday.

Duta was not immediately available for comment.

Following the death of Ekeng, the world football players’ union FIFPro raised concerns about the level of first aid treatment for footballers in Romania.

Eighteen-times Romanian champions Dinamo Bucharest retired the number 14 shirt as a mark of respect to Ekeng, who also played for clubs in Cameroon, France, Switzerland and Spain.
OLAL

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Edited By: Olawale Alabi (NAN)
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Serie A legend Boniek dismisses rumors of new role with AS Roma

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Former Juventus and AS Roma player Zbigniew Boniek, who is currently the chairman of the Polish Football Federation (PZPN), dismissed on Wednesday rumors that he will be AS Roma sport director after he emphasized that “he is not interested in that job.”

The Italian paper Corierre dello Sport had informed that AS Roma‘s new owner Dan Friedkin would like to hire Boniek as sport director. The former midfielder, who played 76 games for “Giallorossi” from 1985 to 1988, dismissed the rumors that he will work at Stadio Olimpico.

“I’ve heard a lot of rumors that I got an offer to be the new Roma sport director but this is not true. I’m not interested in such a job at all. I received other calls and I have many other possibilities. When I leave the Polish Football Federation, I can for example buy a football club, but it’s too early to talk about the details,” Boniek was quoted as saying by Przeglad Sportowy.

It’s not the first time Boniek is connected with the club from Rome. “Five or six years ago, when Rosella Sensi stepped down as president, I was offered to become AS Roma vice president, but I was not interested,” added the Pole.

The former Juventus player hoped that his compatriot SSC Napoli attacker Arkadiusz Milik, who is linked to the “Old Lady,” will join the Italian champions after the season.

“I talked to Milik few days ago and asked if he was going to Juventus. He replied that everything was in the hands of his agents. Milik can play in any club in the world and, although I’m not the one who likes to suggest on such matters, my opinion would be clear. If he has an opportunity to join Juventus, he should do that as it’s one of the best organized clubs in the world,” concluded Boniek.

(XINHUA)

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Romania further relaxes COVID-19 restrictions

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People walk past reopened terraces of restaurants in Bucharest, Romania, on June 1, 2020. Romania adopted new relaxation measures from June 1, including reopening open-air terraces of restaurants and beaches, lifting the travel restrictions for residents, as well as allowing outdoor shows and sports events. (Photo by Cristian Cristel/Xinhua)

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Romania to allow outdoor sports events from June 1

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Romanian Prime Minister Ludovic Orban announced late Thursday a series of relaxation measures from June 1, including allowing outdoor sports events without spectators.

According to a governmental decision signed by the prime minister, the relaxation measures related to sports include allowing sports competitions to be held in the open air and professional water athletes to compete even in indoor pools.

However, the above relaxation measures are not applicable to sports games with physical contact. In addition, all the competitions are to run without audience and epidemic prevention requirements must be observed.

According to the decision, indoor training for professional athletes must ensure a space of seven square meters per person.

Romania entered in the state of alert on May 15, after the end of a two-month higher-level state of emergency. According to the first phase of relaxation measures implemented at the time, professional athletes can resume training in fully enclosed camps, with a medical certificate confirming a negative test for COVID-19.

Romania’s national and Olympic teams had to stop their centralized preparations in mid-March when the Ministry of Youth and Sports ordered to suspend all sports training and competitions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Romania reported its first COVID-19 case on Feb. 26. The epidemic in the country is still at the plateau, with 197 new cases confirmed in the latest 24 hours.

(XINHUA)

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Romania to take new relaxation measures from June 1: minister

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Romanian Health Minister Nelu Tataru announced on Tuesday that new relaxation measures will be taken as of June 1.

According to the official, the authorities will assess the first period of 14 days of relaxation after the end of the state of emergency and then announce the new relaxation measures.

“For now we can say with a quite high degree of certainty that we will reopen terraces(of restaurants)… We’ll keep the same social distance,” Tataru told local broadcaster B1TV, quoted by the official Agerpres news agency.

“There may be other measures too, but we’ll proceed to the assessment at the end of this week,” he added.

According to the minister, beaches could reopen from June 15 and from July or August, the Romanians could lead “a quasi-normal life.”

As the first batch of relaxation measures after the end of the state of emergency, residents are allowed to travel locally, but mask-wearing is mandatory in enclosed public spaces and on public transport. Meanwhile, parks reopened, while shops with access directly to the street, barbers, beauty salons, dentists and museums resumed business.

Romania reported its first COVID-19 case on Feb. 26, which involved a 20-year-old Romanian national infected by an Italian visitor. The country announced 146 new confirmed cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 18,429, with 1,216 fatalities.

(XINHUA)

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UEFA gives Romania another week to submit restart plan

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European soccer’s governing body, UEFA has given the Romanian football federation (FRF) until June 1, to submit plans on how it intends to complete the domestic season, the FRF has said.

UEFA last month gave European leagues an initial May 25 deadline to submit plans but the FRF requested an extension after the Romanian government said it was assessing the COVID-19 situation every two weeks.

UEFA has approved FRF’s request – the deadline for announcing the resumption plan has been extended until June 1,” the FRF said.

The federation added that the extension would allow them to analyse how current medical protocols would impact team training, etc.

The FRF hoped to resume the domestic top flight on June 13 but the decision needed government approval.

The FRF suspended all football competitions in the country in mid-March.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Romanian police seize 50 kg of heroin in tractor-trailer

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Romanian police intercepted 50 kilograms of heroin in the cabin of a tractor-trailer driven by a Bulgarian citizen, at a border crossing point in the south, according to a statement released on Monday by the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT).

The border police discovered the drug on Sunday, at the Calafat Border Crossing Point, Dolj County, on the north bank of the Danube River. When conducting a routine inspection, the police found in a travel bag hidden among luggage and food bags, several packages containing approximately 50 kg of heroin.

The market value of this batch of heroin is estimated at 1.5 million euros (1.6 million U.S. dollars), according to DIICOT.

The Bulgarian citizen, 38, was detained and then submitted on Monday to the Bucharest Tribunal, with a proposal for preventive arrest for a period of 30 days.

The driver claimed that the travel bag belonged to a friend of his, who had asked him to take it to Switzerland.

Due to its geographical location, Romania forms part of the Balkan route for drug smuggling.

(XINHUA)

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Romania to provide 1 bln euros to companies affected by COVID-19

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The Romanian government announced Monday its plan to grant funds to the tune of one billion euros (1.09 billion U.S. dollars) to companies affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Energy and the Business Environment, the funds would enter its budget from the Ministry of European Funds and will be distributed among companies in the hardest-hit areas.

Some 350 million euros could go to HoReCa (hotels, restaurants and cafes) and transport companies, about 100 million euros could be given as an aid in the form of vouchers for companies without employees (where the employer is the only employee), while the remaining 550 million euros could go to companies that want to speed up production, the ministry announced on its Facebook page.

“We think that in this program we will offer up to 800,000 euros non-reimbursable per beneficiary, money that can go to medium and small companies in industry and trade,” Liviu Rogojinaru, state secretary of the ministry, was quoted as saying, referring to the remaining 550 million euros.

This is another measure taken by the authorities to support enterprises during the pandemic. Late March, the government announced to suspend the payment of rates as a first major measure to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic on households and companies. (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollars)

(XINHUA)

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