Sports Digest: Russian players allowed to play NHL games in Czech Republic

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HOCKEY

Russian players from two NHL teams opening the season in the Czech Republic will finally be allowed to play in both games of the Global Series in Prague.

The Czech government has dropped its bid to ban Russian players from San Jose and Nashville rosters, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Thursday. The move paves the way for the Sharks and Predators to travel to Europe this weekend for training and exhibition games in Germany and Switzerland, respectively, before facing off at the O2 Arena in Prague on 7 and October 8.

The Czech Foreign Ministry said last week that Russian players would not be allowed to enter the country due to their country’s invasion of Ukraine.

• Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club has announced.

Sandin, a 22-year-old defenseman, had 16 points in 51 games last season.

COLLEGES

SOCCER: The Air Force received two years of probation from the NCAA and had its team size reduced by 10 for four years as part of its penalties for recruiting violations during NCAA-mandated timeouts during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19.

GOLF

EUROPEAN TOUR: Romain Langasque equaled the course record on the Old Course at St. Andrews by shooting an 11-under 61 in the first round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland, including a 28 on the back nine.

SOCCER

WORLD CUP: Fans traveling to the World Cup in Qatar must present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival as part of the host country’s rules to combat COVID-19, organizers said on Thursday.

All visitors aged 18 and over must also download a government-run phone app to track people’s movements and health status.

MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

CFU: The UFC is holding its next fight show without fans or members of the media, and isn’t saying why.

The UFC will host a 13-fight card at Apex Gym at its corporate campus in Las Vegas on Saturday night, but no fans or reporters will be there. The UFC has held regular televised cards in the small gymnasium since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but has generally allowed groups of fans and media representatives. A UFC spokesperson declined to comment when requested by The Associated Press. Journalists are allowed to cover the official weigh-in on Friday, but not the fights.

TENNIS

OPEN LADIES OF PARMA: Top-seeded Maria Sakkari defeated 97th-placed Maryna Zanevska 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 in Parma, Italy to reach her first semifinal since the grass court season.


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