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Postponed Tokyo Olympics & UEFA Euros to go ahead as planned: Officials Updated: 2021-02-01 15:55:22 KST

Time now for 'This Week in Sports' and so joining us in the studio is our sports editor Paul Neat.
Paul, it's that time of year - everything is building up to the start of the new professional sports seasons and with that we now have the K League 1 schedule released?

Yes, you’re right. One week after the K League 2 fixtures were released, we now know the schedule for K League 1.
It will begin on February 27th and the first match will be Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors vs FC Seoul, at 2 PM not versus Ulsan Hyundai as was first anticipated.
There is to be a six-week gap from April 10th to May 22nd to allow the Champions League Group stage teams to travel to the centralized venue and go through quarantine.
The end of the regular season will be October 3rd.

You mentioned the AFC Champions League there, the group stage draw was made recently. What can you tell us about that?

Yes, it is an expanded tournament this year with 10 groups up from eight.
K League Champions Jeonbuk are in Group H with Gamba Osaka from J.League, (tam-puh-nees)Tampines Rovers from Singapore, and Sydney FC from the A-League.
Pohang Steelers and Daegu FC have qualification playoffs to win first.
But, holders Ulsan Hyundai are in Group F with BG Pathum United from Thailand, Viettel of Vietnam and a playoff winner.
But before ACL begins, or K League, Ulsan are in Qatar for the FIFA Club World Cup.
They will face Tigres from Mexico in the second round this Thursday at 11pm Korea time.

Well, good luck to Ulsan. There has been a lot of speculation recently about the Olympics whether or not they will go ahead. There has also been some talk about what will happen with the postponed 2020 UEFA European football championships. What's the latest?

Organizers of both are insistent that they will go ahead.
IOC President Thomas Bach said recently that there is “no reason whatsoever” to believe that they won't.
But a major unanswered question is about fans.
Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto said last week that the decision will be announced "by spring."
The local organizing committee expected to receive 800 million U.S. dollars from ticket sales. Any shortfall will have to be made up by the Japanese government.

And, just like the Olympics, the Euros were supposed to take place last year but were postponed.
But, unlike the Olympics, the Euros are to take place across 12 different host countries.
UEFA has said there are no current plans to change this.
But host cities have been ordered to draw up preferred plans for the number of fans allowed.
90 percent of tickets were sold prior to the pandemic and sources have said that only a "minimal" number have been returned leaving UEFA with a problem if crowd limitations are imposed.
According to a report, delaying the tournament by one year cost UEFA an estimated 360 million U.S. dollars cancelling the event entirely around 485 million.
The cost of postponing the Tokyo Olympics could reach about 2.8 billion dollars.
Around one third of revenue is generated by selling broadcast rights and sponsorships.

It is Februrary 1st so that means KBO spring training has begun, except with a difference?

Yes, it doesn't feel a great deal like spring but training has begun.
But this year, because of the pandemic, teams cannot travel overseas as normal.
It got off to a wet start for most clubs due to rain, too.
But Kiwoom Heroes used their home stadium the Gocheok Skydome.
SK Wyverns were the only club to fly anywhere to Jeju Island.
With SK Group selling the club to Shinsegae Group, this will be their last spring training as the Wyverns.

Thank-you for that, Paul. We shall see you next week.

Thank-you.
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