World Sports News in Brief

Italian union says four weeks' full training needed before restart

Wednesday, 2020-05-20 10:02:42
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A logo of Italy's Lega Serie A is seen in Milan, Italy, December 17, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
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The head of the Italian footballers’ union said that four weeks of full training is needed before Serie A can re-start without a serious risk of injury to the players.

Italian teams began training after the coronavirus stoppage on May 4, however players were only allowed to train individually and respecting social distancing rules. Full group training sessions will only be allowed from Wednesday.

* Rainy weather led to the postponement of the NASCAR Xfinity Series at South Carolina's Darlington Raceway on Tuesday evening as organizers were forced to reschedule the event for daytime on Thursday. NASCAR released a schedule last week that included 13 races between May 30 and June 21 with no fans in attendance.

* Costa Rica became the first country in the Americas to restart their professional soccer league on Tuesday, with an afternoon game played behind closed doors and substitutes sitting in the stands to ensure their distance from others. The Costa Rican league was suspended on March 15 but Guadalupe’s 1-0 victory over Limon was the first of six games due to be held across the Central American nation this week.

* Australian Greg Inglis, the 2009 rugby league world player of the year, has decided to come out of retirement and play in England's Super League for the Warrington Wolves next year. The 33-year-old helped the Rabbitohs win their first National Rugby League title in 43 years in 2014 but called time on his career, which had been increasingly injury-plagued, early in the 2019 season.

* Brazilian football could restart at the end of June, the secretary general of the Brazilian Football Confederation told Reuters on Tuesday – even though the number of coronavirus cases is still rising in South America’s hardest-hit nation.

* La Liga will use a video analysis programme to help it determine if a player is likely to have infected a team mate or opponent if they test positive for the coronavirus once the season re-starts, according to a draft protocol drawn up by the league. The protocol was sent out to clubs in Spain's top two divisions on Monday and is an updated version of the document clubs received earlier this month.

* Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp believes it is the right time for England's Premier League to resume after a two-month stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Premier League hopes to restart its season in June, having been suspended since mid-March, and its plans were given a boost after the government last week opened the door for competitive soccer to resume.

* The Belmont Stakes will be run on June 20 without spectators amid the COVID-19 pandemic, marking the first time the race will be the opening leg of U.S. thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown, the New York Racing Association said on Tuesday. The race, which will be held two weeks later than originally scheduled, has traditionally been the longest race of the Triple Crown series.

* Formula One could cope with up to 10 positive tests for COVID-19 when the sport starts the season in July, according to the chairman of the governing FIA's medical commission.

* Wales' top soccer league has been called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Connah's Quay Nomads have been crowned champions for the first time, the Football Association of Wales said on Tuesday. The Cymru Premier League season was brought to a halt with Connah's Quay holding a four-point lead over eight-times defending champions The New Saints with both teams having played 26 matches.

* The head of Germany's football federation proposed salary caps to help make the sport more sustainable, saying the coronavirus pandemic offered a chance to implement reforms for the future.

* This year's Challenge Cup final, scheduled for July 18 at Wembley Stadium, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rugby Football League said on Tuesday.

* Serie A's hopes of restarting after the novel coronavirus stoppage will depend on the progress of the contagion curve in the next few days, Italy's Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora said on Tuesday.

* The Premier League said on Tuesday that six people from three different clubs had tested positive for COVID-19 out of a sample of 748 individuals. The novel coronavirus tests were taken on Sunday and Monday ahead of the return to small group training.

* The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport has set aside three days in June to hear Manchester City's appeal against a two-year ban from European competition for breaching fair play rules. Updated listings posted on the CAS website on Tuesday set a June 8-10 date.

* The players, coaching staff and management at Swiss champions Young Boys Bern have agreed to temporary wage cuts to help the club balance the books and pay its 140 support staff during the COVID-19 stoppage.

* Five-times World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo rejoined Serie A champions Juventus for training on Tuesday after an absence of 72 days that included the last two weeks in quarantine. The 35-year-old was filmed arriving at the Turin club's Continassa training ground in a black car and was due to undergo a medical before joining coach Maurizio Sarri and his team mates.

* Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan have announced a mini tournament called the 'European Solidarity Cup: Football for Heroes', to raise funds for health care resources in Italy and Spain which have been depleted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In separate statements, the clubs announced that the matches would take place at each of their stadiums and would raise money for boosting healthcare resources in Italy and Spain, but not in Germany.