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No vaccine, no play – where to next for Djokovic?

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World tennis ace Novak Djokovic has arrived home in Serbia after being deported from Australia because he was not vaccinated against COVID-19

Djokovic was booted from The Australian Open over his anti-vaccine views in a controversial decision by Australia’s immigration minister.

It comes as the international tennis event commences at Melbourne Park… where he had hoped this year to win his 21st Grand Slam singles trophy 

Every January for over a decade Novak has been greeted by fans at Melbourne Park for the Australian open, signing autographs and taking selfies, but this time its a change of scenery.

Djokovic was deported on Sunday after losing a ten-day battle over his right to remain. 

Instead of defending his Australian Open title as the grand slam began here in Melbourne, he posed for selfies with fans at Dubai airport as he made the long journey back to Europe.

He may have been all smiles, but he refused any questions about his visa debacle after his plan landed just after 5.30 am local time.

Where to next for the world number one?

This whole saga has ended hopes of defending his Australian Open title and the chance to win a historic twenty first grand slam.

It doesn’t appear he will be back down under any time soon… authorities earlier confirmed that the unvaccinated tennis star will ban him from Australia for up to three years.

However, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison later provided a glimmer of hope for Novak

He said to Australian radio station 2GB: “(The ban) does go over a three-year period, but there is the opportunity for them to return in the right circumstances and that would be considered at the time”

The French Open will commence in late may, is he likely to play at that grand slam?

 As he flew home from Australia, doubts rise over whether Novak would be able to play in the French Open. 

A member of the French Parliament said a new law that will exclude unvaccinated people from sports venues, restaurants and other public places will apply anyone who wants to play in the tournament.

So essentially, no vaccine, no play.

The next tournament on his calendar is likely to be in Dubai at the end of next month, where he will need to provide negative PCR tests before being allowed in the country.

For now, a warm welcome awaits the world number one in his home city, where he continues to receive overwhelming support.

Spain PM’s firm warning

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has firmly confirmed the world number one must comply with rules if he wishes to compete in Spain.

“Any sportsperson who wishes to compete in our country must comply with the health rules of Spain,” the country’s leader said.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz supported Sanchez’s comments, standing beside him during the press conference.

“We all have to abide by them, no matter who we are,” he said.

Djokovic travels regularly to Spain where he owns a house in the southern resort of Marbella.

Spanish rules currently require people to have either a vaccine certificate, a PCR negative test or a certificate of having recovered from COVID.

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Chiefs secure back-to-back Super Bowl titles against 49ers

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Will Patrick Mahomes be hailed as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history? 

The Kansas City Chiefs emerged victorious once again, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 to claim their second consecutive championship.

The high-stakes game kept fans on the edge of their seats as both teams showcased exceptional skill and determination.

The 49ers, known for their strong defence, put up a formidable fight, but the Chiefs’ offensive prowess ultimately proved too much to handle.

STAR PLAYER

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs with a stellar performance, showcasing his prowess with strategic passes and crucial touchdowns.

MASTER CHIEFS

As the confetti rained down on the Chiefs, celebrations erupted both on the field and among fans worldwide, marking another historic moment in the team’s legacy.

With this victory, the Chiefs solidified their status as a dominant force in the NFL, leaving fans eagerly anticipating what the future holds for this powerhouse team.

The Chiefs join the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s, the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s and New England Patriots of the 2000s and 2010s as the only NFL teams to have won three Super Bowls in a five-year span.

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Amazon targets bankrupt Diamond Sports for streaming rights

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Amazon considers acquisition of Diamond Sports as part of its plan to expand streaming portfolio

Sources suggest that Amazon is eyeing the streaming rights for major sports leagues including MLB, NBA, and NHL, signalling the tech giant’s strategic move into the lucrative world of live sports broadcasting.

The potential deal with Diamond Sports would provide Amazon with a significant foothold in the sports streaming market, allowing the company to offer a comprehensive range of live sports content to its Prime Video subscribers.

This move aligns with Amazon’s broader strategy to diversify its entertainment offerings and attract a wider audience. The acquisition of streaming rights for popular sports leagues could make Amazon a major player in the competitive streaming landscape.

Industry experts speculate that Amazon’s interest in Diamond Sports is driven by the desire to capture the growing market for live sports streaming, a segment that has gained immense popularity in recent years.

The acquisition would not only give Amazon access to a vast library of sports content but also position the company as a formidable competitor to traditional broadcasters in the live sports broadcasting arena.

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Disney’s sport streaming goals

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Disney’s ESPN may achieve a $24 billion valuation; potential suitors could involve Apple and Verizon.

In a recent financial report, Bank of America suggests that Disney’s ESPN could be on the verge of reaching a staggering $24 billion valuation. This eye-catching figure has sparked interest from potential buyers, with technology giants Apple and telecommunication leader Verizon being touted as likely contenders.

The valuation surge is attributed to ESPN’s successful digital transition, with streaming services, exclusive sports content, and expanding international markets contributing to its growth. Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s sports networks further boosted ESPN’s portfolio, making it an attractive asset for prospective buyers.

Apple, known for its foray into content creation with Apple TV+, could leverage ESPN’s sports content to expand its media empire. Meanwhile, Verizon, with its vast telecom infrastructure and distribution capabilities, could use ESPN to enhance its content offerings and engage a broader customer base.

This development marks a pivotal moment in ESPN’s history, and its future owner could redefine the landscape of sports broadcasting. As the valuation continues to climb, all eyes are on the potential suitors and the ensuing negotiations.

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