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    Chinese GP CANCELLED again for fourth straight year as F1 confirm race called off due to ‘Covid difficulties’

    FORMULA ONE have cancelled the Chinese Grand Prix for the fourth year in a row due to “Covid difficulties”.The circuit was set to return to Shanghai for the fourth race of the 2023 season on April 16.
    The Chinese Grand Prix for 2023 has been cancelledCredit: Reuters
    Lewis Hamilton won the last edition of the race in 2019Credit: AFP
    But with coronavirus still an ongoing issue in the Asian country and restrictions remaining in place, F1 confirmed the Grand Prix will not go ahead as planned.
    China’s covid policies mean that all F1 staff and drivers would be required to quarantine.
    There is the added risk that if team members tested positive for Covid they would be detained while they recover.
    A short statement from F1 said: “Formula One can confirm, following dialogue with the promoter and relevant authorities, that the 2023 Chinese Grand Prix will not take place due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the Covid-19 situation.
    READ MORE ON F1

    “Formula One is assessing alternative options to replace the slot on the 2023 calendar and will provide an update on this in due course.”
    The Chinese GP was axed when the pandemic broke out in early 2020.
    The 2021 and 2022 races were also wiped off the F1 calendar as the problems continued.
    Lewis Hamilton won the last edition of the Chinese GP in 2019.
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    That was the Brit’s sixth victory at the Shanghai circuit in his illustrious career, claiming his first chequered flag in 2008.
    One possible solution is a return to Portimao, which would make up a record 24-race calendar.
    The cancelled race will otherwise mean there will be a four-week gap between the Australian GP and the Azerbaijan GP which run at the start and the end of April respectively.
    Another option would see the Azerbaijan GP move forward to close up the gap, meaning the total GPs is reduced to 23.
    Max Verstappen will begin his campaign for a hat-trick of drivers’ world championships in Bahrain on March 5 – after pre-season testing at the same venue.
    F1 had pieced together the whopping 24-race season for 2023, with a new Las Vegas Grand Prix on the penultimate weekend.
    As usual, the season will come to an end at Abu Dhabi on the last weekend of November.
    But a handful of drivers could be at risk of facing bans next year if they hit the 12-point penalty limit threshold on their licences within a rolling 12 months.
    Pierre Gasly (ten), Lance Stroll (eight), Verstappen and Alex Albon (both seven) are closest to triggering an automatic one-race ban. More

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    Stunning OnlyFans model promises free naked pictures for every Brazil goal at World Cup 2022

    A STUNNING OnlyFans model has promised a free nude snap for every goal her native Brazil scores in the World Cup.Daiane Tomazoni, 24, joined OnlyFans shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic and says she now earns much more than she would in any other job.
    Daiane Tomazoni has promised a nude snap every time Brazil score at the World CupCredit: Instagram – tomazonidaiane
    She works as a model on OnlyFansCredit: Instagram – tomazonidaiane
    Daiane is a fan of RicharlisonCredit: Instagram – tomazonidaiane
    She told Newsflash in an interview: “I currently work exclusively producing 18+ content. In addition to OnlyFans, I work with other platforms in the same industry.
    “Before the pandemic, at the suggestion of some friends who were already working in and were managing to earn a lot from content production, I decided to start selling too.
    “The pandemic and social isolation ended up suiting this online work. I was working in the HR department of a company and I was fired due to court issues.
    “So I decided to focus 100 per cent on content sales and it worked.”
    READ MORE ON WAGS

    On her latest, eyebrow-raising pledge, Daiane added: “I have a group on Telegram where I keep in close contact with my followers.
    “Unlike subscriber platforms, this group is for interaction and for me to send previews of my content.
    “I talk a lot, I reply to everyone, and I realised that people weren’t that excited about the games.
    “So I thought of creating a way to encourage everyone to better support the national team.
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    “As soon as I pitched the idea, many thought it was a lie and that I wasn’t going to send them.”
    Daiane continued: “Even so, the majority started backing and sharing messages of support for Brazil.
    “They asked for photos even for balls that hit the crossbar during the game. As the goals took a while and only happened in the second half, people got anxious.
    “But as soon as Richarlison scored the first, the group was thrilled! And, of course, I sent the first photo completely uncensored.
    “Of course, with the second goal, people were even happier.
    “And since it worked out, in the next games I will keep and expand my pledge. Who knows? Maybe even with videos. Anything for the Brazil’s sixth title!”
    Commenting on Brazil’s performance in the World Cup so far, Daiane said: “Our team shone on the field.
    “There was the nervousness of the opening game that’s always common, especially for those with five stars on their shirt.
    “But the team soon found themselves and secured their first victory.”
    Daiane also spoke of her love for the beautiful game and named Spurs and ex-Watford and Everton striker Richarlison a second time.
    She said: “I think it’s impossible not to be a football fanatic in Brazil. It’s very connected to our culture. I love it!
    “And even before the call-up, my fans were already very fond of Richarlison, who scored the goals in the opening game.
    “He has cool opinions off the field and he has the Brazilian joy of playing football.”
    She is not the only Brazilian fan to talk up the attacker as Mayara Lopes believes Richarlison will be a superstar.
    Daiane wants to reward Brazil’s squad the same way she rewards her followers.
    She said: “I want to send the same incentive I send to my followers to the national team players and the entire coaching staff.
    “Imagine some of them getting some intimate photos and receiving that excitement, right?”
    Read More on The Sun
    She joked: “I’ll send, you can DM me on my official Instagram!”
    Daiane ended with a message of support for Brazil and PSG superstar Neymar, saying “I want to send good luck in particular to Neymar Jr., who deserves our support, as he was injured in his first game.”
    She wished Neymar luck after his injuryCredit: Instagram – tomazonidaiane
    Daiane believes football is connected to the culture of BrazilCredit: Instagram – tomazonidaiane More

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    China censoring Qatar World Cup crowds on TV by cutting away to hide maskless faces as rage grows of Covid lockdown

    CHINA’S state broadcaster cut away from maskless fans at the Qatar World Cup today amid Covid lockdown rage. During the live broadcast of the Japan and Costa Rica game, CCTV Sports replaced close-up shots of maskless fans waving flags with images of players, officials or the football stadium.
    CCTV Sports replaced close-up shots of maskless fans with images of players, officials or the stadiumCredit: Twitter
    The broadcaster showed distant shots of the crowd where it was difficult to make out individual facesCredit: Twitter
    CCTV Sports showed distant shots of the crowd where it was difficult to make out individual faces, and fewer crowd shots compared to the live broadcast of the same game on Douyin – China’s TikTok.
    Footage of the Tunisia and Australia clash on Saturday also emerged showing a stark difference between the state TV’s version of the game and other broadcasts.
    CCTV Sports kept the camera on players on the pitch and officials on the sidelines while the other broadcast zoomed in on fans reacting to the game.
    And in a video shared of the 1-1 draw between the USA and Wales, the crowd appeared to be blurred in one version of the broadcast.
    Read more on China
    Tens of millions of people in major cities in China – including the capital Beijing – are currently under some form of lockdown as Covid cases rise across the country.
    China is the last major economy still trying to stamp out the spread of Covid with snap lockdowns, lengthy quarantine rules and mass testing regimes.
    But the contrast of the harsh restrictions with the raucous World Cup crowds has infuriated many living in China.
    The images of maskless fans in Qatar have highlighted to many frustrated Chinese the difference between their country’s Covid curbs and a world that has moved on from masks and lockdowns.
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    An open letter to China’s National Health Commission questioned the country’s Covid policies and asked if China was “on the same planet” as Qatar.
    It went viral online last Tuesday before being deleted.
    One Weibo user fumed: “My biggest takeaway from watching the World Cup: no one is wearing a mask, and no one is afraid of the pandemic!”
    “How long will the policies keep us in lockdown? Are we not the same species with those from the rest of the world?
    “Are we closing off the entire country from the world now?”
    Another said: “The Qatar world cup tells us that the rest of the world has returned to normal.
    “It’s not sustainable for us to maintain this state of shutdown.”
    State broadcaster CCTV spent millions of dollars on the rights to broadcast the event – even though China has not qualified for the competition since 2002.
    It comes as China deployed an army of riot cops to crush protests as fury erupted over the deaths of ten people in a tower block blaze.
    Hundreds have taken to the streets across major cities in China after the tragedy was blamed on Xi Jinping’s draconian zero-Covid lockdown.
    From Beijing to Shanghai, the deaths have led to protests across China and cops have descended onto the streets to keep order as tensions boil over.
    The deadly blaze at the apartment block in Urumqi on Thursday sparked outrage as the city has been under strict Covid restrictions since August.
    Furious residents have blamed the deaths on the Covid lockdown as they said they were only allowed to leave home for short periods each day and the timing was strictly controlled by authorities.
    Footage also showed workers trying to take down fences near the building, delaying firefighters and emergency services from getting to the scene and helping victims.
    Thousands took to social media to question whether residents had been trapped in the building – and whether the fire exits had been blocked.
    Urumqi authorities issued an unusual apology on Friday night and confirmed lockdown measures would be eased “in stages” after the blaze.
    And on Sunday, Beijing appeared to acknowledge the tragedy as authorities reportedly issued a notice stating it is “strictly forbidden” to block fire exits in buildings under lockdown.
    But the deaths have sparked protests across China.
    People in Urumqi were seen confronting officials, breaking down a barrier and yelling “end the Covid lockdown”.
    Read More on The Sun
    Protesters in Shanghai stood on police cars and others chanted “we don’t want PCR tests” as a vigil was held in the city for the fire victims on Saturday night.
    The demonstrations are the latest signs of building frustration with Chinas intense approach to controlling Covid. More

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    Gareth Southgate to let players see their WAGS for World Cup downtime if Covid permits

    ENGLAND boss Gareth Southgate wants players to see their partners for World Cup downtime but Covid may intervene.Southgate, 52, said: “We would like it to happen, we think it is a significant part of a team feeling relaxed and comfortable.
    England boss Gareth Southgate wants players to see their partners, such as Jack Grealish’s girlfriend Sasha Attwood, during downtime at the World CupCredit: Instagram
    Model Sasha Attwood, girlfriend of Man City’s Grealish, is among those expected to fly out for the tournamentCredit: Instagram
    Southgate said he thought it would make the team ‘relaxed and comfortable’Credit: PA
    “But at the moment none of us know what the transmission rate is likely to be out there.”
    On Friday, there were 307 new Covid cases in Qatar.
    Southgate added: “We need to monitor it quite closely.”
    Some of the players’ wives and girlfriends will be on the £1billion cruise ship MSC World Europa. 
    READ MORE ON THE WORLD CUP
    Model Sasha Attwood, 26, girlfriend of Man City ace Jack Grealish, 27, is among those expected to fly out for the tournament, starting next Sunday.
    Southgate also revealed he has some special motivational plans up his sleeve – but was keeping it a secret for now.
    Actor Michael Sheen delivered a rousing pre-World Cup speech to the Welsh team, who will face England in the group stages.
    It was light-heartedly put to Southgate that perhaps he would bring in Brian Blessed to do likewise.
    Most read in The Sun
    Yet the England chief was giving nothing away, and joked: “Maybe we can go one better than Wales.”
    When Southgate was pressed to reveal details, he added: “No, we can’t. But we want them to do all the things that going to a World Cup involves the suits, the photos.
    “But thankfully there’s been no record, or song! We just want them to be excited about going.”
    Read More on The Sun More

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    World Cup will be a superspreader event – I know the best way you can protect yourself from a flu outbreak

    YES, I know, I know. It’s happening at the wrong time of year in the wrong kind of place and we’ll doubtless end up with the wrong result.But once it gets going, all that will be forgotten.
    Social distancing will be long forgotten as bars pack out for the World CupCredit: Reuters
    We’ll be watching and we’ll want to be watching it together.
    Because — despite Fifa’s best efforts to mess things up — this is what football does and it’s what the World Cup does in spades.
    And the great nation coming together is one aspect of this World Cup which could be really special, precisely because the timing is all wrong.
    The atmosphere, as we crowd into pubs and so on to watch the games, is going to be something else.
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    It’s always great during the usual summer tournaments but, crammed indoors with winter raging outside, it’s going to be so much more intense.
    While frosty winds will blow their worst outside, inside we’ll be heating ourselves up to fever pitch watching the football together.
    This will be the 28th international football tournament in my lifetime.
    The other 27 I’ve watched over long summer days and evenings. And I’ve loved them.
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    DELIGHTING AND DESPAIRING
    Now I’m really looking forward to being part, for once, of some wintry World Cup fervour.
    But, but, but. As ever in football, there is a big but.
    If we can catch football fever from each other jammed in pubs delighting and despairing at the drama, there will be other bugs we can pick up from each other too.
    When Covid came along we had to learn a whole new way of living and new vocabulary to go with it.
    There was that thing called social distancing, and the notion of certain environments being great vectors for infection, and certain occasions becoming known as superspreader events.
    I don’t think you need to be very highly qualified in epidemiology to work out that hundreds of football fans, in a confined space, shouting, chanting, jumping around, kissing and crying, will facilitate the passing of germs.
    They’ll be getting sprayed around the place like nobody’s business.
    But, whatever, the craic will be so great that a few coughs and colds will be a price worth paying.
    Some catarrh thanks to Qatar? So what?
    Except, if we’re not careful, it could be about a whole lot more than an outbreak of winter sniffles.
    Covid is always threatening to send a new wave to break over us, quite possibly in the form of worrying new variants.
    And then there’s that annual killer, winter flu.
    Something we don’t worry about enough, which is daft, because it’s not rare and it’s well worth not getting because it’s extremely unpleasant and could even finish you off.
    If only there was something we could do to keep us safe from all this, freeing us up to whip up our football passions and hug and kiss strangers without fear of spreading anything other than joy or despair.
    If only the NHS that we applauded so loudly could somehow help us out.
    If only more of us realised that, of course, the NHS not only can vaccinate us but is desperate to do so.
    Yes, join The Sun’s campaign and get jabbed for Covid and jabbed for the flu. Do The Double.
    If you haven’t done that, then ask yourself why not, especially if you’re planning to spend large parts of the next month in confined spaces with others like you, shouting at TV screens.
    I’m sorry, but if you stood and applauded the NHS but now don’t help them out by doing the double, this winter of all winters, then you’re possibly a bit of a hypocrite.
    It really isn’t hard. It can’t be that hard. Because I’ve done it.
    First I got the flu one done, then the Covid booster a week later.
    The only challenging thing was explaining to jabber number two why I still had the plaster on covering jabber number one’s work a full week earlier.
    I assured him I did wash regularly, just not very thoroughly.
    GLORIOUS WORLD CUP
    As one of Britain’s leading hypochondriacs and a serial sufferer of terrible man-colds, I’m happy to report that the side-effects amounted to not very much at all.
    I felt a little bit rough after the Covid jab but it can’t have been so bad because that very afternoon I went to see West Brom at QPR.
    And we won, which restored me to rude health anyway.
    So come on, let’s do this. Let’s get right behind England and Wales in what yet could be a glorious World Cup for us.
    Read More on The Sun
    Let’s Do The Double, then get ourselves down the pub, shut out the bleak mid-winter and enjoy the ride.
    Or, to put it another way, Do The Double so if and when the football does end in tears, you don’t have flu or Covid adding to your misery.
    Do the double and get jabbed for Covid and the winter flu More

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    England fans handed boost as Covid restrictions are eased ahead of 2022 World Cup in Qatar

    ENGLAND fans travelling to Qatar for the World Cup will no longer have to do a Covid test to enter the country.Visitors previously needed negative results on a PCR or rapid antigen test as well as being able to provide the correct health documentations to be allowed in.
    Qatar have scrapped Covid restrictions ahead of the World CupCredit: PA
    But with the World Cup on the horizon Qatar have relaxed measures in relation to Covid and none of this is now necessary.
    This hands all fans, players and staff travelling to the competition a major boost.
    The change in restrictions comes into force from today – just 19 days before the tournament begins.
    An estimated 1.5million fans are predicted to be visiting Qatar in November and December.
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    Ten thousand England fans and a further 5,000 Welsh supporters are making the journey, according to reports.
    Qatar was previously strict on who could enter the country amid the pandemic.
    Tourists did have to pre-register on the government’s Ehteraz health application before touching down in Doha.
    They had to also submit documents to get their stats on the app to turn green.
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    But now nobody even has to present a Covid vaccination certificate giving those travelling to the World Cup one less thing to worry about.
    England fans could still face a tough time in Qatar with alcohol only being served in certain areas, while those going who are part of the LGBTQ community were given a shocking warning from the UK government.
    Fans have also been warned to stay clear of camels over killer bug fears.
    If the Three Lions make the final then it could cost each person at least £5,000 per person to follow Gareth Southgate’s men all the way. More

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    World Cup fans warned to steer clear of camels in Qatar over killer bug fears

    FOOTIE fans banned from drinking, kissing, betting and vaping at the World Cup have now been told to steer clear of camels. There are fears thousands flocking to Qatar could be struck down by a killer bug which is deadlier than Covid.
    Camel flu, or MERS-CoV, is thought to have spread from bats to the desert dromedaries in neighbouring Saudi Arabia and can be transmitted to humans.Credit: Louis Wood
    Harry Kane will be leading the Three Lions out in the World Cup in NovemberCredit: Getty
    There are fears that thousands of fans flocking to Qatar could be struck down by the killer bugCredit: Louis Wood
    Camel flu, or MERS-CoV, is thought to have spread from bats to the desert dromedaries in neighbouring Saudi Arabia and can be transmitted to humans.
    Unlike Covid-19 there is no vaccine or treatment and fans following England and Wales have been warned to heed UK government advice.
    The Sun spotted a herd of camels near the England team’s Souq Al Wakra Hotel base outside Qatar’s capital Doha last week.
    READ MORE ON QATAR 22
    And just weeks ago our man Oliver Harvey took a trip on one of the ships of the desert to show what fans could enjoy between games.
    Yesterday, tourist companies were still advertising camel rides and safari trips.
    Fans heading to the strict Muslim nation will have to abide by bans on provocative clothing, kissing, hugging or drinking in public, men speaking to women they do not know and rude gestures.
    Homosexuals face jail and luggage will be screened for drugs, booze and porn.
    Most read in Football
    Prof Paul Hunter, of the University of East Anglia, said: “Fans should steer clear of camels in Qatar.
    “That’s the common sense advice to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.
    “It’s a nasty bug, much deadlier than Covid-19 with a very high mortality rate, and there is currently no effective vaccine.”
    Government guidance says human-to-human spread has been limited inside hospitals and care homes but suggests camel contact is risky.
    World Health Organisation chiefs warned in August that about 80 per cent of cases were as a result of contact with infected camels or infected people in hospital.
    The bug, full name Middle East respiratory syndrome, has infected more than 2,000 people and killed at least 850 since it was first identified in Saudi in 2012.
    Experts fear it could soon spread from the Arabian peninsula to Africa through infected camels, which only exhibit mild symptoms.
    Two cases have been reported this year in Qatar, including a camel owner, 85, who later died in Doha.
    A farmer, 50, who drank camel milk has also died.
    Read More on The Sun
    Qatar officials declined to comment and the FA did not respond to requests.
    Meanwhile, Covid controls including tests and proof of vaccination have been lifted.
    Thousands of England fans will travel to Qatar next month
    The Sun has previously reported on the perils of drinking alcohol in the strict Muslim nationCredit: Louis Wood
    The Sun’s chief feature writer Oliver Harvey has previously written about what fans will be able to expect if they travel to Qatar – where homosexuals are jailed and luggage will be screened for drugs, booze and pornCredit: Louis Wood More

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    Benjamin Mendy’s trial adjourned until next week after juror tests positive for Covid

    BENJAMIN Mendy’s trial has been adjourned until next week after a juror tested positive for Covid. The Manchester City footballer and his ‘fixer’ Louis Saha Matturie are charged with offences against multiple women between October 2018 and August last year.
    Benjamin Mendy’s trial has been adjourned until at least next weekCredit: PA
    Judge Steven Everett told Chester Crown Court the trial would now be halted until next Tuesday at the earliest.
    He told the remaining jurors they should avoid meeting other people for five days under current NHS guidance, during a brief hearing on Wednesday morning.
    The trial can then resume if the juror is no longer testing positive for the virus and feeling well enough to attend court.
    Judge Everett told the jury: “We are all hopeful we will carry on, on Tuesday.
    Read More Football
    “That’s what happens in a long trial, these things happen.”
    The trial, now in its 10th week, has heard that Premier League player and French international Mendy, 28, is a “predator” who “turned the pursuit of women for sex into a game”.
    Matturie, 41, is alleged to have had the job of finding young women for sex.
    Mendy denies seven counts of rape, one count of attempted rape and one count of sexual assault against six young women.
    Most read in Football
    Matturie, of Eccles, Salford, denies six counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault relating to seven young women.
    Both men say if any sex took place with women or girls it was consensual.
    Read More on The Sun
    Louis Saha Matturie denies six counts of rapeCredit: Andy Kelvin / Kelvinmedia More