World Sports News in Brief

Messi, Guardiola donate US$1.08 million each to coronavirus battle

Wednesday, 2020-03-25 09:06:13
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Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain - March 7, 2020 Barcelona's Lionel Messi prepares to take a penalty. (Photo: Reuters)
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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola have each donated one million euros (US$1.08 million) towards the fight against coronavirus.

Argentina international Messi’s donation will be split between Hospital Clinic in Barcelona and another medical centre in his home country, according to a report in Marca. Former Barcelona player and manager Guardiola made his contribution to a campaign launched by the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation and Medical College of Barcelona.

* Global athletics chief Sebastian Coe has indicated that next year's Eugene world championships could slip to 2022 as a consequence of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics being postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tuesday's International Olympic Committee announcement said the July 24-Aug. 9 Games would be held no later than the summer of 2021.* The Australian Olympic Committee has said athletes who have already qualified for the Tokyo Games are assured of their spots when the global sporting showpiece takes place in 2021. The 2020 Olympics were pushed back by a year on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic which has disrupted qualifying for thousands of Tokyo hopefuls in a slew of sports.

* Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is on course to return from a hamstring injury whenever the Premier League resumes following the enforced break due to the coronavirus, he said on Tuesday. England captain Kane had an operation to repair the damage following the injury suffered at Southampton on New Year's Day and was expected to return to training in April.

* McLaren will be allowed to make chassis changes in 2021 to accommodate the switch from Renault engines to Mercedes even though the sport has decided to keep this year's cars for another season. The Woking-based team are the only ones undergoing a change of engine provider at the end of 2020.

* The anticipated third bout between heavyweights Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will be pushed back from July 18 due to the coronavirus pandemic and possibly rearranged for October, Top Rank chairman Bob Arum told ESPN on Tuesday.

* The fifth and sixth rounds of the world rally championship in Portugal and Italy have been postponed due to the coronavirus, organisers said on Tuesday. Portugal would have been on May 21-24 while the Italian round in Sardinia was scheduled for June 4-7. Three rounds of the championship have taken place so far with Argentina postponed.

* Cristiano Ronaldo and football agent Jorge Mendes joined forces on Tuesday to donate lifesaving equipment to Portuguese hospitals struggling to treat patients with coronavirus. The two will donate equipment for two wards at Lisbon's Santa Maria hospital, providing the wards with 10 beds each, ventilators, heart monitors, infusion pumps and syringes, the hospital said in a statement.

* A Scottish curling champion has put her sporting career on ice to battle the coronavirus as a full time nurse on the night shift, after the sport cancelled its world championship set for this month. Vicky Wright, 26, whose team won Scotland's curling championship last month, is a general surgical ward nurse who has pursued the sport full-time since last year, aiming to qualify for the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.

* The European Professional Club Rugby on Tuesday postponed the semi-final and final of this season's Champions Cup and Challenge Cup tournaments. Quarter-final fixtures of both tournaments from Apr 3-5 were already postponed last week. Quarter-final fixtures of both tournaments scheduled for Apr 3-5 had already been postponed last week due to the coronavirus outbreak.

* Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman expects international matches scheduled for late May and early June to be scrapped due to the coronavirus outbreak and sees September as a more likely window for fixtures to resume. Koeman said his side's scheduled matches against Greece (May 28) and Wales (Jue 6) were also unlikely to take place.

* The Scottish Football Association (SFA) has urged clubs to stop conducting training sessions and adhere to government guidelines on the coronavirus crisis. Following a meeting of their joint response group, the SFA has reminded member clubs "in the strongest possible terms" to "desist" training activities and follow the social distancing advice outlined by the government.

* Qualifying trials for three of the United States' Olympic sports, athletics, swimming and gymnastics, have been postponed for 2020 officials said on Tuesday after the Tokyo Games were delayed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.