Coronavirus sport news LIVE: fears of the Restart project of the Premier League clubs; Ligue 1 season canceled

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Welcome to the LIVE coverage of the Evening Standard as the coronavirus crisis continues to have a major impact on sport around the world.

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Calderwood wants a “fighting island”Joanne Calderwood relishes the idea of ​​her historic tilt of the UFC title against flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, which takes place on the mysterious “fighting island” of Dana White.

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. ”

Exclusive: no tennis for the rest of 2020, predicts Salisbury

Photo: Getty Images

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. “


The Ryder Cup “takes one for the team”

Photo: Pennsylvania

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. “”

TikTok video accuses rugby player

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.

Tokyo Games “not dependent on vaccine”

Photo: Pennsylvania

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. ”

Green light for Spanish athletes

Photo: AFP
Spanish President Pedro Sanchez has given the green light to professional athletes to resume individual work from May 4, with group sessions scheduled for May 11. Although no date has been suggested as a potential window for competitive action, the prospect of getting at least a little closer.

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. “


RECAP: Ligue 1 season canceled

Photo: AFP

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.

Players’ fears for health

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 Creates £ 400,000 Fund For Distressed Athletes

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.

Photo: Getty

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.

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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.

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