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The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) in England has named Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez as the Premier League’s player of the year. The 25-year-old becomes the first African player to win the award. The announcement was made on April 24th even though there are still a few weeks to go in the 2015/16 season. Mahrez scored his 17th goal of the campaign earlier in the day as Leicester City downed Swansea City 4-0 at home at King Power Stadium. The win gave Leicester an eight-point lead over Tottenham Hotspur for the league title with Leicester having three games to play and Spurs having a game in hand.
The American Hockey League (AHL) set a new attendance record in the just completed 2015/16 regular season. The 30-team league is based in Canada and the U.S. and is a developmental league for the NHL with each club being affiliated with an NHL franchise. There are just three Canadian-based clubs with the other 27 being spread out from coast to coast across America with five of the teams being located in the non-traditional ice hockey state of California.
The good news for the league of course is that it’s attracting fans across the continent at a record rate as the AHL announced that a grand total of 6,693,526 spectators attended games this season. This surpasses the league’s old attendance record which was previously set in the 2004/05 campaign. The average attendance for each of the AHL’s contests in 2015/16 was close to 6,000, which isn’t bad for minor league hockey, especially considering that seven AHL clubs relocated to new cities this season. The Hershey Bears, who are affiliated with the Washington Capitals and play at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, led the way with an average crowd of about 10,000 per game. The Bears have now led the league in attendance for 10 straight years.
With Major League Baseball players getting suspended with alarming regularity for failing drug tests, it seems they just don’t get it. People don’t fail drug tests by accident and if you cheat there’s a great chance you’ll be caught. The latest MLB player to be hit with an 80-game suspension for allegedly taking performance-enhancing drugs is 32-year-old Chris Colabello of the Toronto Blue Jays. The first baseman was handed the ban on April 22nd for testing positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, which is also known in drug stores as Turinabol. It’s also the same substance Philadelphia Phillies’ pitcher Daniel Stumpf was suspended for a week earlier.
With their preseason odds of winning the English Premier League ranging from 2,000 to 5,000 to 1, bookmakers across the world will have to pay out millions of dollars if the Leicester City happens to pull it off. Therefore, it’s a little hard to comprehend why some betting firms have already decided to declare the club as champions. This is especially true when you consider Leicester is hanging onto first place in the 20-team league by just five points with four games and 12 points still to play for in the 2015/16 campaign. They have a five-point lead on second-place Tottenham Hotspur and sit 10 up on third-place Arsenal.
The inevitable has finally happened as Aston Villa became the first English Premier League club to be relegated this season when they dropped a 1-0 decision at Old Trafford to Manchester United on Saturday, April 16th. It was just a matter of time before the dreadful team was officially relegated and they’ll be playing in the second-tier English Championship League next season. This is the first time the Birmingham-based club has been relegated since the 1986/87 season when they were sent packing from the old First Division to the Second Division. The team has been in the Premier League since the division was launched in 1992/93.
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