World Sports News in Brief

Premier League to hold talks on Thursday to discuss options for eventual resumption

Thursday, 2020-03-19 09:38:03
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Soccer Football - Premier League - Coronavirus impact on the Premier League - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - March 16, 2020 A man walks by Goodison Park as the Premier League is suspended due to the number of coronavirus cases growing around the world. (Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
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England’s Premier League clubs will hold a video conference call between themselves on Thursday as they begin to sketch out a way to complete the suspended season and tackle the financial damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week all elite soccer matches in England, including the Premier League, Football League and Women’s Super League, were suspended until April 4. With non-league, youth and amateur football having also subsequently suspended play, the English game is now in a state of total shutdown.

* Australia will put extra measures in place because of the coronavirus pandemic but is continuing preparations to send a delegation to Tokyo for the Olympics in July, Australian Olympic Committee officials said on Thursday.

* South America's two biggest club competitions, the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, have been suspended until at least May 5 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the South American Football Confederation said on Wednesday.

* Brazilian soccer club Flamengo told fans on Wednesday their coach Jorge Jesus has tested negative for the coronavirus, contradicting the Portuguese manager's own message a day earlier.

* Serie A club Cagliari said their first team would resume training on Monday, despite the coronavirus pandemic, and that players would be divided into small groups to respect social distancing guidelines.

* The ATP and WTA have extended the suspension of their tours until June 7, the two tennis bodies said in a joint statement on Wednesday, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to shred the sporting calendar. The claycourt season "will not be held as scheduled" due to the suspension, the organising bodies of the men's and women's tours said. The men's ATP and women's WTA rankings will be frozen for the time.

* England's Football League, representing the three divisions below the Premier League, said it is aiming to complete the current season and has put in place a 50 million pound fund to help with the impact of the coronavirus on clubs.

* The Le Mans 24 hours sportscar race has been postponed from June 13-14 to Sept 19-20 due to the coronavirus outbreak, local organisers said on Wednesday.

* FIFA has agreed that the Euro 2020 and Copa America soccer tournaments, which were due to take place in June and July this year, will be held 12 months later due to the coronavirus pandemic and have been included in its international calendar. It also said in a statement that it will decide on rescheduling its own Club World Cup, which had originally been scheduled for that period, at a later date.

* Formula One's August shutdown will be brought forward and extended to a mandatory 21 successive days in March and April as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the governing body FIA said on Wednesday. The 2020 race calendar has already been suspended, with last weekend's Australian season opener in Melbourne cancelled and the next three races at least postponed. The sport has said it hopes to race again at the end of May.

* La Liga side Alaves have confirmed a total of 15 positive coronavirus cases, a club statement said on Wednesday. The news comes after the Basque club revealed on Saturday that two members of their coaching staff had tested positive for the virus. None of those affected have displayed any symptoms, they added.

* Seven McLaren Formula One employees who were tested for the coronavirus while in quarantine in Australia have returned negative results, the team said on Wednesday. The season-opening race in Melbourne was cancelled last week after one McLaren staff member tested positive for the virus sweeping the world.

* The coronavirus pandemic has left a lot of professional riders unable to hit the road to compete or train with the biggest race in the world, the Tour de France, due to start in just over three months. All cycling races up to the end of April have already been cancelled and riders in France and Spain, where many are based, have been explicitly told they cannot train outside.

* Tottenham Hotspur announced an increase in revenue of 80 million pounds (US$94.19 million) in 2019 but chairman Daniel Levy said the figures were inconsequential compared to the challenge of working to ensure the club survives the coronavirus pandemic. Spurs recorded revenues of 460.7 million pounds for the year ending Jun 30, 2019 and made a profit of 68.6 million pounds after tax - a 44.4 million drop from the world record 113 million pound profit the London club made last year.

* Chelsea has made the Millennium Hotel at their Stamford Bridge stadium in London available to the National Health Service to provide accommodation to staff as they fight the coronavirus pandemic, the Premier League club said on Wednesday. Chelsea said owner Roman Abramovich would cover the costs of providing accommodation and the club has made all rooms available if required.

* International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach moved on Wednesday to ease fears after complaints by athletes as Japan insisted it was not preparing for a postponement of the Tokyo Olympics. With the Olympic flame about to be handed by Greece to Japan, Bach said the IOC heard the athletes' concerns on health and preparations as the virus, which has infected over 200,000 and killed more than 8,000 worldwide, continues to spread.

* Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who became the first Premier League player to test positive for the coronavirus, is making "great progress" in his recovery, manager Frank Lampard said. The 19-year-old's positive test last week had prompted the London club to partially close their Cobham training centre, with the first-team squad and coaching staff asked to self-isolate as a precaution.