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Flight ban over Europe leads to sporting chaos

Other News Materials 19 April 2010 02:31 (UTC +04:00)
The flight ban over large parts of Europe due to a volcano in Iceland spewing clouds of ash and dust has lead to chaos in the sporting arena.
Flight ban over Europe leads to sporting chaos

The flight ban over large parts of Europe due to a volcano in Iceland spewing clouds of ash and dust has lead to chaos in the sporting arena.

Several sporting competitions have been affected as fans, officials and athletes were stranded in airports and cities throughout the world, dpa reported.

The MotoGP race scheduled next weekend for Motegi in Japan has been called off by organizers as they could not guarantee that the drivers, teams and motorcycles would reach the Far East on time.

Already on Friday the European gymnastics federation UEG postponed the start of the European gymnastics championships in Birmingham by a day.

Earlier, the German coach had vowed - tongue in cheek - that his team would be in Birmingham: "We will definitely be at the start, even if we have to swim to England."

Europe's governing football body UEFA said Sunday that Tuesday's and Wednesday's Champions League semi-final matches would go ahead as planned.

Both away teams, however, face travelling by unaccustomed means to their games. Barcelona is already en route by bus to Inter Milan, while Olympique Lyon are needing to get to Bavaria for their game against German club Bayern Munich.

Lyon coach Claude Puel said: "It is tough, but if we have to, we will drive with a bus to Munich."

Germany's water polo match in the World League on Tuesday in France has been cancelled, as have all other matches in the competition.

Widely affected were handball matches, where several European Cup matches were called off. Germany's national team, which had been competing in a tournament in Norway, had to return home by bus and ferry.

A small group of Alba Berlin fans took their support for the German basketball team to the extreme. Stuck in Berlin and unable to fly to a game in Spain, they hired a bus and traveled 1,961 kilometres to Vitoria near Bilbao to cheer on their side.

They were rewarded with a 77-70 victory for Alba against Bilbao.

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