K-Sports lead the way but now some of Europe's top football leagues are back, including the English Premier League. Our Sports editor, Paul Neat, is back in the studio this week. Hello, Paul. The Premier League is back after a long wait
Hello, Connyoung. Yes, the English Premier League returned on Wednesday local time for a couple of games in hand. With 'Black Lives Matter' printed on the back of the players' shirts instead of their names, Aston Villa drew 0-0 with Sheffield United and Manchester City beat Arsenal 3-0. After these two matches, all 20 teams have now played 29 times and so the league can restart fully this weekend.
The EPL returning also means Korean fans will finally be able to see Son Heung-min play again
Yes, it does. Son Heung-min is back. The break has allowed Son Heung-min to return to fitness. He returned to Korea earlier this year for treatment on a fractured arm. Before the break Spurs were experiencing something of an injury crisis. But Son, as well as Harry Kane are back from injury and featured in a warm up match with Norwich City last week.
Who are they playing this weekend and where can fans watch?
Spurs have a huge first game back as they take on Manchester United at 8:15PM UK time, or 4:15 AM here in South Korea. The game will be live on SPOTV. Both teams are pushing for European Champions League qualification. Manchester United sit in fifth, Tottenham 8th but are only four points behind United. A win would therefore narrow the gap to just a point.
Tottenham will be particularly keen to pick up a win if fifth place is enough for them to qualify for the Champions League.
Yes, absolutely. This season 5th place should be enough because of Manchester City's two-year ban due to breaching financial fair play regulations. Financially, this would be huge for the club, but might help their top stars stay.
Speaking of Champions League, this year's competition will pick back up again in August. It will be played in Portugal in neutral venues in a straight knock-out format over 12 days. The aim was to get domestic seasons finished before completing any continental competitions. The Round of 16 second legs will be played on the 7th and 8th of August then the 12-day mini tournament can begin. The final is scheduled for Sunday August 23rd.
Across the Atlantic I hear that MLS is due to restart soon but at a rather interesting venue?
That's right, Major League Soccer is due to kick off on July 8th. All games will be played at the 'ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort'. There will be a World Cup-style tournament with group stages and knockout rounds.
Korean international Hwang In-beom and his Vancouver Whitecaps teammates have been drawn to play against San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas. NBA basketball will also be held at Disney World but that isn't due to start until the end of July.
Golf is another sport that was able to restart during the post-COVID-19 era. The KLPGA Korean Open teed off this week.
Yes, the 34th Korean Open got underway on Thursday. This is the second major of the season, after the 42nd KLPGA Championship got underway on May 14th. World number one Ko Jin-young was in the lead on Thursday at six under par, after day two Yoo So-yeon leads at five under par. In men's golf, Im Sung-jae finished in the top 10 in the PGA Charles Schwab Challenge recently and became the highest-ranking Asian player in the world, climbing to 21st.
Thank-you for that, Paul. We will see you again next time.