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Qatar Presses On With World Cup Projects Despite Coronavirus

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Work on Qatar’s World Cup stadiums and mega-projects linked to the tournament have continued apace despite tough social distancing rules to stem the spread of coronavirus among the largely migrant workforce.

Dozens of labourers with covered faces and sporting near-identical blue overalls clamoured across the vast exoskeleton of Lusail Stadium, an arena set to host the final of the 2022 tournament, AFP correspondents saw on Thursday.

Dozens of vehicles including buses, diggers and water tankers criss-crossed the complex of new parks, apartment blocks and tram stops around the stadium, which will become Qatar’s largest with a capacity of 80,000.

The number of confirmed infections among those involved in construction for 2022 facilities stands at eight across three stadium projects, but organisers have not given an updated toll since Friday.

Qatari authorities have declared 7,764 confirmed infections nationwide, 10 deaths and 750 recoveries.

The supreme committee responsible for delivering the tournament said it “is reviewing the situation on a continuous basis and will take the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of all construction workers and direct staff”.

Those measures “may include temporary suspension of work as and when required,” it added in a statement.

Building work for the stadiums and infrastructure to stage the tournament has continued through the crisis even as non-essential retail has been halted and mosques, parks and restaurants have closed.

Work on roads, the airport and other infrastructure has continued during the health emergency.

From Sunday onwards, it will be compulsory for all construction workers in Qatar to wear masks.

Previously crowded buses ferrying labourers between their accommodation and work sites have been ordered to only allow one passenger for every two seats, in order to limit the transmission risk.

The labour ministry said last week it had issued a penalty to a contractor for failing to operate its worker transport buses at 50 percent capacity.

Rights groups have raised concerns that cramped living conditions, communal food preparation areas and shared sanitary facilities commonly found in labourer accommodation could exacerbate the spread of the virus and compromise social distancing measures.

(AFP)

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Sports

Tiger Woods Hospitalised After Car Crash

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US golfer Tiger Woods was hospitalized Tuesday after a car crash in which his vehicle sustained “ major damage , ” the Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s department said .
Woods, the sole occupant, was removed from the wreckage by firefighters and paramedics and taken to a local hospital for treatment , a statement said.
The extent of his injuries was not known . The roll -over collision near Los Angeles did not involve any other vehicles .

AFP

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E-News

FIFA Clears Eight Players For Super Eagles

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FIFA has cleared eight new players for the Super Eagles.
Fulham’s forward Ademola Lookman is on top of the list.
Others on the list are:
* Jordan Torunarigha Hertha BSC
* Nathan Tella Southampton FC
* Tosin Adarabioyo Fulham FC
* Ovie Ejaria Reading FC
* Noni Madueke PSV
* Sheyi Ojo Cardiff City

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Arsenal Complete Martin Odegaard Signing

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By Agency Report

Arsenal have made an official statement to confirm that they have signed Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid on loan. The 22-year-old Norwegian international has joined the Premier League heavyweights for the remainder of the 2020/21 season.
Odegaard was touted for big things upon returning from his impressive loan spell at Real Sociedad, having been recalled from a two-year spell with La Real early, last summer. However, the 22-year-old has struggled to nail down his spot in Zinedine Zidane’s side, managing just nine outings in all competitions till date. His situation alerted Arsenal, who have quickly moved to sign him.
The interest from Arsenal makes a great deal of sense, seeing as they have lacked a genuine creative powerhouse in the squad this season. While Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka provided respite in recent weeks, the Gunners have still been in need of another out-and-out attacking playmaker, especially following the infamous departure of Mesut Ozil.
On his part, the young Norwegian was intent on temporarily leaving Real Madrid, which brought Arsenal on the verge of signing him this week. With Los Blancos unwilling to let him join Real Sociedad again, Arsenal became the favourites to sign him and have now secured his services. Upon his arrival, Mikel Arteta expressed his delight at having landed Odegaard.
The Arsenal boss said, “It’s great that we’ve secured Martin to come to us until the end of the season. Martin is of course a player that we all know very well and although still young, he has been playing at the top level for a while. Martin will provide us with quality offensive options and we’re all excited to be integrating him into our plans between now and May.”

 

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