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LIVE: Coronavirus in sport latest – Premier League, Wimbledon both under threat

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Ederson of Manchester City looks dejected after his side concede their second goal to make the score 2-0 during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on March 8, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom

Image credit: Getty Images

ByEurosport UK
27/03/2020 at 13:53 | Updated 27/03/2020 at 19:39

Rolling coverage of the latest sport news, focusing on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic…

19:30 - Dybala 'feeling better'

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Juventus forward Paulo Dybala says he is recovering well after testing positive for coronavirus.

"I feel good, much better in fact, after having had some strong symptoms for a couple of days. Today I feel much better, without any symptoms and I can move much better, so I will try to train again."

18:20 - English leagues facing 'difficult decisions'

The Premier League and Football League have reiterated that they will not restart until April 30 at the earliest, and say they face “difficult decisions” over the economic impact of suspending the season.

After a meeting with the PFA players' union on Friday, the leagues issued a joint statement.

"The Premier League, EFL and PFA agreed that difficult decisions will have to be taken in order to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England and agreed to work together to arrive at shared solutions," they said.

"The leagues will not recommence until April 30 at the earliest. They will only do so when it is safe and conditions allow."

17:30 - 'Close down talk of F1 this year'

Bernie Ecclestone holds little hope of Formula One racing this season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

F1 has said it hopes to run a reduced season of 15-18 races, starting sometime in the summer, but former F1 chief Ecclestone said: "Today what would I do? I think I’d have to say we’re going to close down talk of having any races this year.

"That's the only thing you could do safely for everybody so nobody starts making silly arrangements which may not be able to happen."

Read the full story here.

16:30 - Basketball leagues cancelled

Professional basketball leagues in Russia and Japan have cancelled the remainder of their seasons.

The Japanese B League announced it will call off attempts to resume play and the VTB League, with teams from Russia, Poland, Belarus, Estonia and Kazakhstan, will not resume.

South Korean KBL also has been cancelled, and the Chinese (CBA) league is postponed with the likelihood of being cancelled.

"We've prioritised the mental and physical health of our players, coaches and club officials," league chairman Masaaki Okawa said in a video news conference.

15:24 - Atletico cut wages

Atletico Madrid have taken the decision to cut the wages of their staff, including the players, to ease the financial burden on the club as they struggle with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic,

Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil said wage cut was necessary to guarantee the "survival of the club" with the staff being paid despite the season being suspended indefinitely, which has impacted revenues of clubs across Europe.

Gil said the club made a "difficult decision" to request for a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) which allows them to cut wages when circumstances are beyond their control.

"We are working to minimize the impact of the measure and limit it to what is strictly essential, so that when the competition resumes, everything will work as it has been until now," he said in a statement.

Our sponsors and collaborating companies are suffering like us and the rest of society from the terrible impact of this health and economic crisis. I want to thank you for your commitment in these hard times and for your help.

14:53 - PSG sell out special jerseys, raise over €200,000 for hospitals

Paris St Germain have raised over €200,000 (£181,000) for local healthcare professionals battling the coronavirus outbreak with the release of a limited edition jersey, the Ligue 1 champions have said.

FULL STORY

14:19 - Diamond League postpones three events

Diamond League events in Stockholm, Naples and Rabat that were scheduled for late May have been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said on Friday.

The Diamond League has now postponed five events in the 2020 season, after meets scheduled for Doha and an unspecified host city in China were also moved.

"The decision was made in close consultation with all the relevant parties. The dynamic global spread of the COVID-19 disease, the travel restrictions expected to be in force for some time and above all concerns over athlete safety have made it impossible to stage the competitions as planned," the Diamond League said in a statement.

The meeting organisers, the Diamond League and World Athletics, remain committed to delivering a structured, extensive season in 2020.

Stockholm was due to host a meeting on May 24, followed by Naples (May 28) and Rabat (May 31).

14:03 - Man Utd to refund fans if season cancelled

Manchester United will offer fans either a pro-rata cash refund or a rebate on next season's tickets if this season's remaining Premier League games are cancelled or played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, the club said on Friday.

The outbreak has brought sport around the world to a virtual standstill, with the Premier League suspended until at least April 30.

United said in a statement that they had also suspended the May 1 deadline for season ticket renewal until the club received confirmation of when next season would start.

"We know our fans will not want to miss any games played in the coming months... but clearly we must all play our part in the efforts to combat coronavirus," group managing director Richard Arnold said.

By pushing the season ticket renewal deadline back and confirming our policy if games were to be cancelled or played behind closed doors, we want to ease any concerns our loyal fans may have.

The club added that all tickets would be valid if the current season resumes and games are played as normal from a later date.

12:50 - Nobby Solano arrested in Peru

Newcastle legend Nolberto Solano has been arrested for, erm, see below...

12:20 - Meanwhile...

Stepping outside of the coronavirus news cycle for a second... and we bring news that Manchester United are interested in poaching Ajax sensation Donny van de Beek. It's Friday's Euro Papers:

United stun Real with 'important offer' for Van de Beek - Euro Papers

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11:40 - Djokovic donates €1m euros to Serbia

Novak Djokovic has joined the growing list of sports stars to offer financial help in the coronavirus crisis, donating €1 million for respirators and medicine equipment in Serbia.

10:52 - Could the PL be cancelled?

Senior figures in club football are calling for the 2019/20 Premier League season to be cancelled rather than postponed amid coronavirus fears, according the Athletic.

FULL STORY

10:49 - Good morning

Coronavirus continues to dominate all of our lives. Keep it here for all the latest news on how the pandemic is affecting the world of sport.

23:00 - Until tomorrow

That's it for the day's live blog. We'll back tomorrow with more updates, and in a few minutes we shoud have Paper Round with the latest gossip up on site. Thanks for reading today.

22:30 - Barcelona players take pay cut

It had been coming for a while. Barcelona's players have admirably taken on a paycut to support the club as it goes through the coronavirus crisis. As well as that, the club have made its facilities available to the region's authorities should it need them.

22:00 - Arteta feared spreading infection

Happily, Mikel Arteta has recovered from his coronavirus infection but says he was most worried about infecting those close to him, including his squad.

21:00 - Football stadia used for coronavirus logistics

The Maracana in Brazil and the Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain, are to be used in the fight against coronavirus. The Brazilian stadium will be used as a hospital, while Real Madrid's ground will be employed as a storage facility. More on the Maracana here and the Bernabeu here.

20:00 - Jones takes paycut

England's head rugby coach Eddie Jones has agreed to take a huge paycut in order to help the organisation through its loss of earnings. You can get the details here.

19:00 - Lower league football cancelled

Lower league and grassroots football in the United Kingdom has not just been postponed, but cancelled, due to the coronavirus.

18:00 - Indy 500 cancelled

There's another cancellation, as the Indy 500 event has been postponed due to coronavirus concerns, despite Donald Trump's assertion this will all be sorted in the next two or three minutes.

You can read more here.

16:30 - Tennis action!

As we slalom gently but evocatively from afternoon into evening, let's catch up with the latest tennis happenings.

First of all, Ana Ivanovic has orchestrated the purchase of 35 ventilators for Serbia amid the coronavirus panic.

Secondly, we have Rafael Nadal asking for donations.

15:50 - Pistons cameraman in medically induced coma

A cameraman who filmed inside the Utah Jazz locker room during their March 7 game in Detroit is reportedly in a medically induced coma after testing positive for the coronavirus.

15:17 - When will the Grand Tours happen; how would an autumn season work?

The future of the 2020 editions of the Tour de France and Vuelta Espana are in doubt, while the Giro d’Italia and Spring Classic Monuments (Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Milan-San Remo and Tour of Flanders) will all need to be rescheduled due to the covid-19 pandemic. Eurosport analyse what could happen to the cycling calendar and assess the intentions of UCI chief David Lappartient.

Full story here

14:25 - Bernabeu stadium to store coronavirus donations

Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium will be used as a makeshift storage facility as Spain faces an uphill battle against the coronavirus, the club announced on Thursday in conjunction with the country's Superior Sports Council.

The Bernabeu in Madrid

Image credit: Getty Images

13:25 - Four Bundesliga teams create 20m euros fund for clubs in crisis

Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen have come together to create a 20 million euros ($21.92 million) solidarity fund to help German clubs in the top two tiers stave off a potential financial crisis during the coronavirus pandemic.

Germany's Bundesliga and second division are set to resume in April but the organising body's (DFL) executive committee has recommended the season be suspended until at least April 30, which will further impact revenues of clubs across the country.

Dortmund said the four clubs, who participated in the Champions League this season, will forego their share of the national media revenue -- approximately 12.5 million euros -- while adding an additional 7.5 million euros of their own.

"We are prepared to help out other professional football clubs if it is ultimately a matter of cushioning the financial effects of the pandemic," Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said in a statement https://www.bvb.de/eng/News/Overview/20-million-Act-of-solidarity-from-the-Champions-League-participants.

12:45 - Contracts should be extended due to coronavirus

Current contracts for players and coaches should be extended until the end of the delayed domestic soccer seasons, according to an internal FIFA document presented to its Coronavirus Working Group.

The confidential document, seen by Reuters, also recommends allowing transfer windows to be changed in accordance with new season dates and urges clubs and players to work together to find solutions to salary payments during stoppages.

The document is due to be discussed by members of FIFA's Working Group later on Thursday. No decision on the issues has yet been taken by FIFA.

12:00 - Olympics delay opens door for banned wrestler

The postponement of the Tokyo Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic may have opened the door for dope-tainted Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav to realise his dream of winning an Olympic medal.

Yadav was handed a four-year doping ban just hours before his first bout at the Rio Olympics after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) won its appeal against an earlier exoneration.

An Indian anti-doping disciplinary panel had previously ruled the freestyle wrestler was the victim of "sabotage" and cleared him to compete at the 2016 Games.

While the ban would have kept Yadav out of the reckoning for Tokyo, the decision to put the Games back to 2021 may have afforded him another Olympic opportunity.

11:20 - Too early to decide if Tour de France can go ahead

It is too soon to decide whether the Tour de France can go ahead amid the coronavirus pandemic, a French Sports Ministry spokeswoman told Reuters on Thursday.

French media have speculated on a cancellation or postponement and newspaper Le Figaro wrote that the ministry is considering organising the cycling event in June and July without spectators in order to minimise infection risk.

10:50 - NBA star's mother in coma

NBA star Karl-Anthony Towns has revealed his mother is in a coma.

In an emotional interview initially published on his social media platforms, Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves says his mother is seriously ill after contracting Covid-19.

NBA star reveals his mother is in a coma, urges people to take coronavirus seriously

00:03:21

10:25 - McLaren team returns from Aus

McLaren now have all their employees home from Australia after a period in quarantine following a positive test at the cancelled season-opener in Melbourne, the British-based Formula One team said on Thursday.

Sixteen members of the team spent two weeks in quarantine, 14 due to close contact with a colleague who had tested positive while an additional employee also developed symptoms but subsequently tested negative.

Three members of the team's senior management had also stayed in Australia.

"As of yesterday evening, all team personnel who were in self-isolation in Melbourne, as well as management who had stayed with them, have now safely returned home," said a spokeswoman.

McLaren are now in a factory shutdown until April 14.

09:45 - Ticket holders in U.S will be honoured

Tokyo Olympics ticket holders in the United States will not immediately get refunds in light of the event's postponement due to the coronavirus pandemic, but will be able to use existing tickets when the competition happens next year, the official ticket seller said on Wednesday.

CoSport, the only authorized Olympics ticket vendor in the U.S., said in an email to customers that it would take weeks to finalize further details. The company did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

"We know there are questions surrounding such an unprecedented move and want you to know that CoSport Tokyo 2020 purchases will be honored at the Games in 2021, and we continue to work in support of our customers in addressing issues,"

09:15 - ICC postpones qualifiers

The International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Thursday that all qualifying events for the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup and 50-overs version in 2023 that were scheduled to be held before June 30 have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"In light of the significant global health concerns at the current time and the restrictions on movement imposed by governments across the world, the ICC has taken the decision to postpone all events up until the end of June subject to further review," Chris Tetley, ICC head of events, said.

"Work will continue on contingency plans and options for both men's qualification pathways. We will provide updates in due course on these plans and decisions on the staging of the remaining events this year."

India host next year's T20 World Cup and the 50-overs event in 2023. As many as eight events will now be postponed due to the ICC decision.

This year's women's T20 World Cup was held in February-March in Australia, which will also host the men's version starting in October. The World Cup trophy tour for the men's event, which was scheduled to start next month, was also postponed.

08:50 - Overnight news

A few things you may have missed overnight...

Olympics

The International Olympic Committee is working with the International Athletic Federation and others to arrange for a July-August 2021 Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan's Yomiuri newspaper reported on Thursday.

UK Sport chair Katherine Grainger has said the organisation will hold discussions with the government on extending Team GB's current level of funding through to next year's rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

Football

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has called for urgent talks with the Premier League and English Football League to discuss the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Boxing

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been accused of irresponsibility after two Turkish boxers and a trainer caught the coronavirus during a qualifying event in London this month.

08:30 - Good morning

Hope you are keeping well. Welcome back to our live updates of how the coronavirus is impacting sport, and lives, across the world.

22:45 - That's all for tonight

Stay tuned tomorrow - let's hope for better news.

21:55 - Union Berlin players forfeit wages

Union Berlin have announced that their playing staff has agreed to forego their wages while the Bundesliga is suspended because of the Covid-19 crisis.

"The first-team football department has agreed to waive their salaries," the club said in a statement on Wednesday, although it did not say how long this would last.

"The club's managers and employees have also agreed to part-time working arrangements, which will also result in salary cuts. At the same time, we are pulling together to prepare for a full-time resumption of Bundesliga operations at any time."

Club president Dirk Zingler added: "Our club's purpose is football. If it ceases to exist, then it will touch the core of our existence.

"The management, our staff, the squad and backroom staff have worked hard in recent months to ensure success in the Bundesliga. Now they are giving up a lot of money to get through this crisis together."

Union, based in the former East Berlin, are famed for their left-wing ethos.

21:15 - FIFA looking at transfer window solutions

FIFA has confirmed that it is looking at solutions to the expiry of players' contracts and the summer transfer window, with European leagues likely to extend beyond June 30 after being suspended due to the crisis.

Read the full story here

20:00 - Wimbledon under threat from coronavirus pandemic

The All-England Lawn Tennis Club, the body which oversees Wimbledon, has admitted that it is looking into postponement and cancellation options for the tournament, which is due to start at the end of June.

Read the full story here

17:50 - Swiss union slams Sion over Djourou and Song sackings

The head of the Swiss Players' Union has hit out at FC Sion after they sacked nine players, including the former Arsenal duo Johan Djourou and Alex Song, with the squad unwilling to take a paycut amid the coronavirus crisis.

"It's not acceptable to behave like that," said SAFP president Lucien Valloni.

"If a crisis appears, you have to look after your employees and not put a gun to their head and tell them they have 24 hours to decide on a (wage) a reduction or not, and then if they say no -- which is their right -- they are sacked. That is really outrageous."

17:10 - Fenerbahce get coronavirus scare

Fenerbahce have confirmed that one of their players and one staff member have been sent to hospital to receive coronavirus tests following the news that Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim had contracted the illness.

"Our player and the medical staff member were sent to the hospital for further tests and treatment," the club said.

The third of Istanbul's traditional footballing giants, Besiktas, have reported no cases so far. Turkey was one of the last European countries to confirm cases of Covid-19 but almost 2,000 people have tested positive since.

16:40 - Amir Khan donates £8 million venue to NHS staff

Former Olympic silver medalist and unified light-welterweight champion Amir Khan has donated his wedding venue to NHS staff who are on the front line of the fight against Covid-19.

Khan spent £8m on the project, which is also due to host outlet stores, amid fears that there are not enough beds for patients.

“I am aware of how difficult it is for the public to get a hospital bed in this tragic time," he said.

“I am prepared to give my 60,000 square foot, four-storey building which is due to be a wedding hall and retail outlet to the NHS.

“I want to help people affected by the coronavirus. Please keep safe.”

16:00 - J League to resume on May 9

Japanese top-flight football is scheduled to resume on May 9.

J League chairman Mitsuru Murai has said there will be a gradual resumption, meaning leagues with lower attendances restart first.

There will also be a ban on away fans for two months and limits on the number of tickets sold so supporters do not sit too close.

15:10 - Players join forces for #FootballUnited

A number of Premier League players have launched #FootballUnited, a new initiative aimed at raising £100,000 to help local communities through the coronavirus pandemic.

Hector Bellerin, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Reece James, Andros Townsend and Callum Wilson have pledged their support.

Proceeds donated to #FootballUnited will be collected by the National Emergencies Trust.

14:15 - Prince Charles tests positive

Prince Charles has tested positive for coronavirus, but "remains in good health".

A spokesman said the 71-year-old is displaying mild symptoms and is now self-isolating.

Anthony Joshua met Prince Charles on March 9 but is said to be "fit and well".

13:00 - Djokovic responds to Olympic postponement

World No 1 Novak Djokovic says he is "sad" that the Olympic Games have been postponed, but it is the "right decision".

12:15 - Federer makes donation in 'challenging times'

Roger Federer and his wife Mirka have donated £857,000 (Fr. 1million) to Swiss families affected by the coronavirus.

"These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind," Federer wrote. "Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland."

11:00 - 2021 Games 'not restricted to summer months'

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach says the rescheduled Olympics are “not restricted to summer months".

"The agreement is that we want to organise these Games at the latest in the summer 2021. This is not restricted just to the summer months. All the options are on the table including the summer 2021."

Read more here.

10:00 - Mixed emotions for Thiam

Olympic heptathlon champion Nafi Thiam says she is relieved but disappointed by the decision to postpone the Olympics.

"It was good that we have now got an answer,” she told Het Nieuwsblad newspaper.

"It’s good the uncertainty is cleared up. But as an athlete I find it sad, because since 2016 all my focus has been on Tokyo 2020. As an athlete you dream of these sort of competitions. But it is a good decision and I have to accept it."

9:00 - Brighton to donate tickets to NHS workers

Brighton and Hove Albion are donating a minimum of 1,000 tickets for NHS workers to thank them for their role fighting the coronavirus.

Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber has also suggested a club-to-club baton approach and has already nominated Bournemouth as the next in line.

Cherries’ chairman Jeff Mostyn said: "We are absolutely delighted to match Brighton’s gesture and commit to 1,000 tickets, and we will pass the baton to another club with the aim of reaching a significant target so football as a whole can show its appreciation for our country’s NHS workers.”

8:30 - Good morning

Hope you are keeping well. Welcome back to our live updates of how the coronavirus is impacting sport, and lives, across the world.

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