World Sports News in Brief

Premier League clubs hoping to avoid neutral venues

Premier League clubs are hoping they can avoid having to play the remainder of the season at neutral grounds, chief executive Richard Masters said after a meeting of all 20 clubs on Monday.

General view of a match ball during a Premier League game. (Photo: Reuters)
General view of a match ball during a Premier League game. (Photo: Reuters)

Masters also revealed that for the first time clubs discussed what might happen if the season could not be completed – although they continue to believe it can be finished. That aim was given a boost on Monday by the UK government offering guidance that elite sport could return from June 1 if conditions allow for a move into the next phase of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

* France's Racing 92 have signed experienced Australia and New South Wales Waratahs fullback Kurtley Beale, with former Wallabies lock Luke Jones also heading to the Paris-based club for next season. Beale, who has won 92 caps since his test debut in 2009, returned to Australia after a year at English club Wasps in 2017 but struggled at the Waratahs before this Super Rugby season was suspended in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

* Former-world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson continued to tease boxing fans about a possible return to the ring by posting another training video on Instagram on Monday that ended with the message, "I'm back". The 53-year-old caught the attention of the boxing world last week when he posted a short video of a workout that showed he possesses plenty of the punching power and speed that allowed him to become the first heavyweight to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles.

* The all-female W Series has the resources to get through this year even if no races can be held because of the COVID-19 pandemic, founder and chief executive Catherine Bond Muir said on Monday. W Series, which launched last year in support of the German Touring Car championship, has yet to draw up a revised calendar for 2020 after the new coronavirus outbreak changed everything.

* Zach Johnson and Davis Love III were named as vice captains by US captain Steve Stricker for the 2020 Ryder Cup, which is scheduled to take place in September at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin. Love and Johnson join Jim Furyk - who was in charge of the 2018 team - as US vice captains.

* Atalanta youth team player Andrea Rinaldi, who was on loan at Serie D side Legnano, died on Monday after suffering an aneurysm, the two clubs said.

* The men's German Cup final has been rescheduled for July 4 and play can resume in the third division as well as the women's Bundesliga pending a green light from local authorities, the German Football Association said on Monday. With the men's top two divisions set to start without spectators on May 16 after a two-month suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DFB said the ball can also start rolling in the other competitions. The German Cup semi-finals between Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt and Saarbruecken and Bayer Leverkusen will be played on June 9 and 10.

* Dutch Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen has said she will retire from cycling after defending her road race title at the rescheduled Tokyo Games in 2021. The 30-year-old, who won road race gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016, will become a coach with the Boels-Dolmans team after ending her professional career.

* Italy's Serie A clubs will be allowed to start team training from May 18 "with prudence", the government said on Monday in a boost for plans to resume the season. So far clubs have only been allowed to train on an individual basis and respecting social distancing rules, often with players having half a pitch to themselves.

* Denmark's top-flight Superliga will resume on May 28 following a gap of more than two months due to the new coronavirus pandemic, the Danish League Association said in a statement on Monday. The League Association said the season would restart without fans in the stadiums, and that it expected the campaign to conclude with the Europa League playoff game on July 29.

* La Liga president Javier Tebas has said he hopes Spanish football will resume on Jun 12 after being halted for over three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. All clubs in Spain's top two divisions began testing players for the virus last week and many including La Liga champions Barcelona started individual training, the second step of the league's four-phase protocol for returning to action.

* China has included three naturalised players in the national squad for the first time as coach Li Tie has gathered the side in Shanghai for training. Titan Sports reported Brazilian-born Elkeson and Aloisio, and former Arsenal player Nico Yennaris, who was born in England, joined the camp as China begin preparations for 2022 World Cup qualifiers postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Another Brazilian-born player, Alan Carvalho, was also in Tie's plans but the 30-year-old forward is waiting for travel restrictions to be eased before he can leave Brazil and return to China.

* Burundi's domestic season is to resume on May 21, more than a month after Africa's last remaining football competition was suspended to allow political rallies to be held in stadia ahead of general elections, authorities have confirmed.

* The owners of Premier League champions Manchester City have agreed to buy Belgian second division club Lommel SK, City Football Group (CFG) said in a statement on Monday. The Belgian team will become the ninth club in the CFG network, which also includes Major League Soccer side New York City and Spanish second division club Girona among others.

* New Zealand Rugby said on Monday it will restart elite competition from June 13 with its five Super Rugby teams playing each other over 10 weeks.

* The British Horseracing Authority has said it is planning to resume the season on June 1 after the government released guidelines on Monday laying out the steps for easing COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.