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Van Ranst goes further and considers that it is still too early to talk about dates, he even warns that football will be far from restarting. “How can you talk about downsizing and restarting the competition if we don’t even know if we are on top of the first peak? Soccer is the most important secondary problem in the world. But we must be honest: massive events like soccer games or music festivals will be among the last things we allow again“The UEFA threatened the Belgian Federation and the Jupiler League that if they went ahead with the suspension, Belgium teams could be excluded from European competitions. On April 15, a hearing is scheduled for Belgian football to defend its decision against UEFA. Van Ranst will be present assessing, as a specialist, the consequences of starting football in the short term. Marc van Ranst is a Belgian virologist and professor at the Leuven University. In addition, serving as an advisor to the Jupiler Pro League in the COVID-19 crisisHis reputable opinion allows him to remain in direct contact with UEFA to help him assess the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.“I have the impression that UEFA is starting to see that playing football is no longer possible this season”, has admitted Van Ranst in statements collected by the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.The doctor next week has a telematic hearing with the body, chaired by Aleksandr Ceferin, to support the Belgian league in its decision to definitively suspend the competition. “The peak of infections is far from being reduced. No one can blame the Belgian clubs for making that decision. The Pro League understood that a minimum of three to four weeks of training will be required before matches are possible again. So it is not realistic to finish current competitions“says the Belgian specialist.
PERFECT STYLE SINGAPORE (AP): Having seen his title rival win three straight races in four weeks, Lewis Hamilton could be forgiven for fearing the worst about the destiny of the 2016 Formula One title, but the Briton still believes he can reverse the current championship tide. Hamilton had a frustrating weekend in Singapore and was off the pace of his rival and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in all three practice sessions, qualifying and the race. That was compounded by a hydraulic failure in practice that cost him a lot of long-run practice. Given that, a third place finish and an eight-point championship deficit to Rosberg represented an acceptable level of damage limitation. “A very trying weekend, these ones come along sometimes and you just have to take it on the chin sometimes,” a philosophical Hamilton said post-race. Hamilton has overcome championship adversity already this year. When Rosberg won the opening four races of the season, the points gap was 43, but seven races later, the Briton had pulled ahead. Now he has to do it again. “It’s not as tough as you think, I don’t know why,” Hamilton said. “We’ve come from 43 points down, so theoretically, eight points isn’t anywhere near as steep as that. “With everything that’s gone on this year, I’m still in the fight, there’s still a long way to go and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.” Hamilton suffered through the first two-thirds of the race with overheating brakes on the punishing stop-start circuit. “I just had to slow down and watch the other guys pull away,” Hamilton said. “Once I did my (last) stop, all of a sudden my brakes were under control.” Rosberg hung on for the narrowest Formula One victory for six years, celebrating his 200th career start in perfect style as he reclaimed the championship lead. Rosberg held on to beat a fast-finishing Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull by just 0.488 of a second at the Marina Bay street circuit, while Hamilton took third place, narrowly in front of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Rosberg’s third successive win and first in Singapore, took him back to the top of the drivers’ championship, eight points ahead of Hamilton with six races left. Ricciardo, having pitted for fresh tires with 14 laps left, sliced Rosberg’s lead from 25 seconds to under a second, but ultimately fell just short of overtaking the German. It was the closest F1 finish since the 2010 race at this venue when Fernando Alonso edged Sebastian Vettel by three-tenths of a second.