Welcome to the LIVE coverage of the Evening Standard as the coronavirus crisis continues to have a major impact on sport around the world.
Latest sports news on coronaviruses…
The one-month summer closing of the sport was postponed to the start of the year following the postponement and cancellation of the 10 grand opening prices of the season. But now the previous 35-day halt to all factory work by crews has been extended to 63 days, until the end of May.
The sport hopes to launch its revised calendar with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, followed by consecutive weekends at Silverstone.
Calderwood set to become first UK woman to fight for a UFC crown when she faces Shevchenko, who retired from a scheduled fight on June 6 after undergoing leg surgery, but is expected to return later this summer.
It is not yet known when or where this competition will take place due to the uncertainties caused by the coronavirus, but the UFC is expected to resume on May 9 with three combat cards in eight days in Jacksonville, Florida.
The closed-door shows at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena appear to be a temporary solution during the crisis as White, the president of the UFC, plans to hold events starting in June on a private island in an unknown location.
Such a prospect is tantalizing for Calderwood, who told the PA news agency: “I love the idea of the fighting island, it would be a great opportunity and a bit like” what is it? ‘hell! “
“It’s something to say to the grandchildren, isn’t it? The whole context of the story would be crazy enough and awesome enough to be part of it.
“When I’m on my run, I always think of these strange scenarios. That’s what’s going on right now, it’s not the norm, so I have to think even if there are crazy thoughts to be had. “
“You have to have this mentality of everything that could happen and (the fight) could be anywhere. I think the fighting island is going to be good for (security) because you just grab your little team and go out to fight the island, where you’re not going to be in public. ”
Grand Slam winner Joe Salisbury has warned that he does not expect the ATP tennis circuit to resume in 2020.
The British double player No1, who won his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, predicted that the US Open and the postponed French Open would be canceled, like Wimbledon.
And he warned that tennis would likely be one of the last sports to resume normally, due to its global nature.
The US Open is scheduled to start in late August in New York, which has recorded 27,000 deaths from coronaviruses. Meanwhile, the French Open was moved in late September, but remains in doubt, the French government yesterday extended the ban on public gatherings until September.
And Salisbury said, “I don’t think we’re going to be playing until next year. The US Open is the next step on the calendar. As things stand, we still plan to move forward, but I think all of the American tournaments will be canceled soon.
“I don’t see how we can get back until there is a vaccine, until people can travel the world again, which doesn’t seem to be happening for a long time.
“Tennis is one of the worst [sports] for that. With football, you can stay in one country, it’s a more controlled environment. With tennis, people travel all over the world to a different place every week. “
Organizing this year’s Ryder Cup without supporters is not in the interest of the event, but it may be necessary to “take one for the team” and do so in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. , said European team captain Padraig Harrington.
Three of the four major tournaments of the year have been rescheduled and the British Open has been canceled, but the Ryder Cup is scheduled for Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, September 25-27. PGA chief Seth Waugh said it could be fanless.
“Everyone wants the fans to be there, but the question is whether the sport needs the Ryder Cup and should the Ryder Cup take one for the team? Irishman Harrington told The Times.
“Would it be for the greater good of sport? It would not be in the best interest of the Ryder Cup, but it could be in the best interest of enough people who want to see a great sporting opportunity on television. “
The PGA Tour plans to resume its season in June with the first four competitions closed to the public, and Harrington said the PGA of America and the European Tour would make a decision on the Ryder Cup after studying these events.
“If these PGA Tour events go well behind closed doors then we are much more likely to see a Ryder Cup as normal,” added Harrington, triple winner of the competition.
“It greatly increases the chances of being with the fans because in September we may have moved on. I guess there is no chance of having a vaccine (in September), so we are looking at how well it is contained by then and how it is treatable. “”
La Vuelta a Espana has canceled plans to organize this year’s departure to Holland due to the “exceptional global situation” caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Utrecht was slated to host the start of the race, the dates of which are still unknown due to a change in the cycling calendar, although a UCI announcement may take place later on Wednesday.
While the Vuelta organizers still hope that the event will take place, after the world championships and possibly until November according to some reports, they will now look for a new route.
“The departure of La Vuelta 20 from Holland was a project that had been designed as a big summer party,” La Vuelta Holanda said in a statement.
“Faced with the impossibility of ensuring the planned development of the official start of the race, with all the guarantees required for an event of these characteristics, La Vuelta Holanda preferred to request the cancellation of the official start. “
The huge 70% pay cut agreed by the Barcelona team has saved the club 24 million euros in 51 days, according to Spanish media.
With an annual payroll of around 250 million euros, Barcelona were forced to take astounding measures in the light of the interruption in football and the player duly answered the call.
So much so, it is now expected that the drop in wages will end at 2% for the salaries of club employees.
Australian rugby league player Nathan Cleary is being investigated for social distancing violations after videos of Penrith Panthers halfback dancing with women are released on TikTok.
Clearly, a fine of 10,000 Australian dollars, 60% of which is suspended, has already been imposed by the National Rugby League following a photo of the 22-year-old young man sitting in his living room with a group of women .
The 22-year-old apologized Tuesday in an interview with local Channel Nine, saying the women were his sister’s friends and walked into his house for 10 minutes while waiting for an Uber.
New videos emerged Wednesday of Cleary dancing with the women, questioning her story.
The Tokyo Olympics are not dependent on the development of a coronavirus vaccine, said International Olympic Committee member John Coates on Wednesday.
His comments come after the president of the Japan Medical Association (JMA), a powerful lobby of doctors, said on Tuesday that it would be “difficult” for Japan to host the Games already postponed to 2021 without a COVID-19 vaccine effective.
Australian Coates, head of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Olympic Games, said that the comment by JMA President Yoshitake Yokokura was “opinion”.
“But the advice we get from WHO (the World Health Organization) says we have to keep planning for this date and that’s what we do, and it doesn’t depend on a vaccine,” Coates told Australian Associated Press.
“A vaccine would be nice. But we will continue to be guided, as we must be, by WHO and the Japanese health authorities because in all of this, the health and well-being of athletes and other participants in the Games is number one priority. ”
Wednesday night, the sports calendar could suffer another major loss, the inaugural season of The Hundred being discussed by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The Hundred was slated for a big budget launch on July 17, but with mass rallies that should be banned, the new divisive 100-ball competition should return to 2021.
The format was openly designed to attract new fans, with a generous pricing policy making it clear that bringing families into the stadiums was a major driver.
La Liga President Javier Tebas had previously presented the arguments for a return in clear terms: “I do not understand why it would be more dangerous to play football behind closed doors, with all precautionary measures , than working on an assembly line, being on a deep sea fishing boat.
“If important economic sectors cannot restart in a safe and controlled manner, they could end up disappearing. It could happen in professional football. “
FIFA medical chief Michel D’Hooghe, who warned against returning to football before September.
He told Sky Sports: “The world is not ready for competitive football, I hope it can change very quickly and I sincerely hope it does, believe me, but I think This is not the case today.
“Football is always a contact sport and one of the first things everyone says is that you should avoid contact at the moment. Football can only be possible if contact is possible again. “
The same view may not be the same in all cases, with England’s Premier League clubs ready to work towards standardized return-to-training protocols as part of Project Restart. A resumption date of June 8 was reportedly mentioned, although the Palestinian Authority news agency understands that it could be two days earlier.
A general ban on sporting events in France until September prematurely ended the Ligue 1 season and cast doubt on the immediate future of the Tour de France and the Top 14 as the sport continues to fight the coronavirus.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe addressed the nation on Tuesday to announce a strategy to exit the lockout, but while certain sectors are expected to start emerging next month, elite sport has been pushed further.
Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 football have followed the example of the Dutch Eredivisie by ending the 2019-2020 campaign, when it seems inevitable that the country’s national rugby tournament will be forced to a similar conclusion.
The announced dates also pose a major problem for the prestigious Tour, which has already been delayed due to the pandemic and given a new start date on August 29 in Nice.
Phillipe did not specifically mention cycling, but did expressly cover events that brought together groups of over 5,000 people. Amaury’s sports organization, which oversees the race, previously ruled out holding an in camera edition.
Paris St Germain has accepted the decision in relation to the league campaign, and could still clinch the title since it is 12 points ahead of an ongoing game, but is currently focusing on the Champions League.
Having already reserved a place in the quarterfinals, club president Nasser Al-Khelaif has officially registered his intention to participate in any resumption of European competition, with the possibility of playing games at home abroad.
First team players, coaches, management and unauthorized Derby County staff have agreed to “substantial” salary deferrals to help reverse the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the championship club said.
Derby captain Wayne Rooney allegedly held talks on behalf of his teammates against a club proposal to postpone player wages by 50% and the attacker’s spokesperson said he was not in a ” wage war ”.
Derby did not give figures but said the players voluntarily accepted a report “much more than what was reported in the media” and thanked Rooney for his support.
“The players on the first team have voluntarily agreed to a substantial postponement … everyone is fully committed to helping and playing their part,” Derby said in a statement.
“The measures have been agreed upon as part of the ongoing work to protect the future of the club, our staff and the communities we serve in these unprecedented times.
“The club would like to specifically thank Rooney and Curtis Davies, the club representative for the Professional Footballers Association, for their help and support. “
Derby said players, coaches and staff have also donated money to their Stay Safe. Stay fit. Stay connected, while non-player staff will volunteer at a local food center.
Second, the Guardian reports that Premier League clubs fear becoming scapegoats if the resumption of football is correlated with an increase in coronavirus cases.
Clubs would be concerned that if the season resumed – even behind closed doors – fans could gather outside the grounds, neutral locations, in public or at home.
If there were to be a correlation between the restart of the campaign and the positive tests of Covid-19, the clubs would fear being held accountable – particularly if there is pressure from the government to restart the season in order to cheer up.
A number of Premier League players fear the prospect of endangering health if and when the season resumes, reports The Telegraph.
According to the newspaper, “many” footballers are concerned about the potential implications of an early return to the media and the ramifications it could have for their health if they were not completely sure.
World Athletics and the International Athletics Foundation have come together to support competitors in financial difficulty, providing a fund of £ 400,000 for those most affected.
World Athletics President Lord Coe will lead a panel to assess the nominations and allocate money.
“Our professional athletes rely on the cash prize as part of their income and we recognize that our competitive season, both on the track and on the road, is severely affected by the pandemic,” said Coe.
The Premier League has reportedly informed clubs that they should consider recalling the players and staff who are currently abroad as Project Restart accelerates.
Arsenal, West Ham and Tottenham players have been allowed to return to the respective training grounds of their clubs for individual training sessions which follow strict social distancing guidelines.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic leading to an indefinite suspension of the season, a number of foreign players and staff have returned to their countries of origin.
But with the Premier League “Project Restart” working towards a potential return to closed-door football from early June, PA news agency reports that the League has written to clubs advising them to consider the recall. players if they return in May. training becomes possible.
One of the main problems is that most of those currently abroad will have to undergo a two-week period of self-isolation upon their return, in accordance with government directives.
Any return to training and possibly matches will also be subject to government directives and possible loosening of the lock-out measures, which currently prohibit people from separate households from exercising together.
Spanish clubs have been given the green light to resume individual training next week by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
All football activities have been suspended in Spain since mid-March due to a coronavirus, but Sanchez announced on Tuesday a four-phase plan to return to “a new normal” and, as part of that, the players will be allowed to train individually from next Monday. .
“Individual training for professional athletes and the federation and basic training for professional leagues will be allowed from May 4,” Sanchez said at a press conference.
The plan would then allow small groups to train together starting May 18, which would be extended to eight players a week later, with competition scheduled to return in camera on June 5 or 12.
Paris Saint-Germain will consider playing home games in the Champions League in another country after the French government decided on Tuesday to end the 2019-2020 national season, club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced earlier that league sports would not be allowed to return until September due to the Covid-19 pandemic which hit the country hard.
The French football league is expected to decide in May exactly how to end the Ligue 1 season, but the European governing body is considering the possibility of resuming its Champions League and Europa League competitions.
“We of course respect the decision of the French government. We plan to play in the Champions League with UEFA’s approval, where and when it will be held, ”said Al-Khelaifi, quoted in French media.
“If it is not possible to play in France, we will play our matches abroad, in the best conditions for our players and the safety of all our staff. “
The Tour de France may have to limit spectators during the first days of the race in order to comply with a ban on major events gathering more than 5000 people before September, said the French Ministry of Sports.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Tuesday that major sporting and cultural events bringing together more than 5,000 participants could not take place before September, when he announced the gradual end to the national closure of the coronavirus from May 11.
Philippe did not specifically mention the Tour de France, which has been postponed to August 29 – September 20 from its initial start date of June 27 by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
“It is too early to say [how this will impact the Tour] but for the moment it does not imply a postponement or a cancellation, but it does not exclude arrangements, in particular in terms of number of spectators, “said a spokeswoman for the Sports Ministry.
With the ban on mass events now scheduled to last until September, Tour organizers may have to organize the first three days of the race with restrictions in place on the number of fans present.
This would not be familiar for an event that prides itself on its unlimited access for spectators, and where thousands of fans waving the flag, some in fancy dress, regularly line the route of the stages of the Tour.
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“Project Restart” to resume the Premier League season
Premier League football has been suspended since March 13, but Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden, speaking in the Commons, has revealed his role in the pursuit of a comeback.
He said: “Personally, I am in talks with the Premier League to get football started as soon as possible in order to support the whole football community.
“But, of course, such measures should comply with public health directives. “
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston, speaking in DCMS parliamentary questions, said, “All great sports have to take care of their staff, competitors, stakeholders and fans, and that includes knowing when competition could resume, although at this stage it is not possible to give a schedule where the current restrictions will be relaxed.
“Potential conditions under which the sport could return include in camera, on neutral venues and with limited staff and broadcast team.
“Other considerations would include the capacity of first responders and the availability of regular testing. We are in regular contact with the industry on what may be possible in the future, but this will depend entirely on public health guidelines. “
Some members of the Arsenal, Brighton and West Ham teams returned Monday for limited training at their respective bases, while Tottenham confirmed their intention to do the same on Tuesday.
F1 season delayed
F1 chief Chase Carey announced the cancellation of the Grand Prix of France but then revealed the hope that the season would start with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5 to start a season of 15 to 18 races, initially organized in camera.
Carey said on the Formula 1 website: “Although this morning it was announced that the French Grand Prix, which is to take place at the end of June, will not take place, we are now more and more confident in advancing our plans to start our season this summer.
“We are targeting the start of a race in Europe in July, August and early September, the first race taking place in Austria on the weekend of July 3 to 5.
“September, October and November would see us race in Eurasia, Asia and the Americas, finishing the season in the Gulf in December with Bahrain before the traditional final in Abu Dhabi, after finishing between 15 and 18 races.
“We will publish our finalized calendar as soon as possible. All our plans are obviously subject to change because we still have many problems to solve and we are all subject to the unknowns of the virus. “
Carey said that even if the first races were held behind closed doors, it was hoped that fans could return before the end of the season.
At the moment, the British Grand Prix will take place, but the owners of Silverstone have declared that a race “under normal conditions will simply not be possible” when announcing the decision to remove supporters from the event.
Silverstone General Manager Stuart Pringle said in a letter, “I am extremely disappointed to tell you that we cannot present the British Grand Prix this year to Silverstone fans. “
Three Grands Prix have now been canceled – Australia, Monaco, French – and seven postponed – Bahrain, Vietnam, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish, Azerbaijan, Canadian.