Uefa made the decision to postpone Euro 2020 until 2021 due to the coronavirus, with the coronavirus still impacting the sport for the foreseeable future. It should allow for the Premier League and Europe’s other elite football leagues to finish, not to mention the Champions League and Europa League – though a contingency for those tournaments is yet to be finalised.
The French Open in tennis and the PGA Championship in golf are just two more major events postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19, while the Olympics in Tokyo this year continues to resist pressure to postpone the Games.
Fifa now plan to meet in an effort to help ease the impact of coronavirus on the football calendar, while the Premier League have joined Uefa in their efforts to finish their respective competitions by 30 June. While multiple Brooklyn Nets players have now contracted the virus, including NBA superstar Kevin Durant – we will bring you the latest updates from around the world as coronavirus continues to hit sport hard.
Two FA staff members self-isolate after coming into contact with Japan FA president
The move is a precaution after JFA president Kozo Tashima announced on Tuesday that he has contracted Covid-19.
Arsenal set to return to training
Arsenal players remain on course to return to training next Tuesday following their period of self-isolation enforced by the coronavirus pandemic.
Head coach Mikel Arteta tested positive for Covid-19 last week, prompting his side’s Premier League trip to Brighton to be postponed.
Lin attacks Trump over handling of coronavirus
Jeremy Lin has attacked President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus and his decision to label it the “Chinese virus”.
The former NBA star, now with the Beijing Ducks, said: “I wish you would powerfully support the vulnerable people that will suffer due to our mismanagement of this virus, including those that will be affected by the racism you’re empowering.
“And I don’t wanna hear about no German measles/Spanish flu because everyday Asian-Americans including people I know are threatened and physically attacked. I don’t give a crap about the history of names right now. What I do know is this subtle anti-Chinese message only empowers more hate towards Asians. I’m not good with the old school Asian model minority stigma where we won’t speak up or stand up for ourselves.
“In times like now, we truly truly need to stay united. Lets fight this virus TOGETHER!! Wash your hands, practice social distancing, take this seriously, stay safe.”
Following the government’s advice that all mass gatherings should be avoided as the United Kingdom goes into a period of social distancing, the ECB moved to suspend recreational cricket across the board, meaning one of the last available sports for the public in Britain will no longer go ahead until further notice.
A meeting on Thursday will be held to discuss the professional side of the game, as the ECB does not have to be rushed into a decision given the season doesn’t get underway until 19 April.
West Ham United squad return to training ground as manager Moyes completes self-isolation period
As with many other clubs, the players have been training away from their usual locale over the past week or so, following individual training programmes.
But that will end in the coming days, with Moyes saying all precautions are being taken to ensure the grounds are safe for the players and staff to return.
Alaves confirm 15 cases of coronavirus
Alaves have confirmed they have 15 positive cases of coronavirus at the club, including three from the first team.
A statement read: “A total of 15 people have tested positive, three of them belonging to the first team, seven more to the coaching staff and none to the basketball team. Therefore, five workers have also been affected.
“The club made the decision to carry out the tests within the responsibility policy with the people who are part of our family and the results have shown that it was the best way to urgently locate the cases and implement preventive measures to reduce, as far as possible, more infections. The people detected are asymptomatic and in good health.”
Toronto Wolfpack set up to fail, claims former director of rugby Brian Noble
Toronto Wolfpack are being held back by a fear factor and rival clubs’ attempts at self-preservation, according to former director of rugby Brian Noble.
The former Great Britain coach, who stepped down from his role with the Canadian club in February after being with them from the start in 2016, has long accused the Rugby Football League of setting the Wolfpack up to fail.
And in an interview with the Forty20 magazine in which he explains the reasons for his departure, Noble says the governing body has no strategy in place to accommodate overseas teams.
Matuidi responds after testing positive for coronavirus
We will come out of this challenge together, it will teach us to know each other better, show more solidarity to each other, be more generous to each other, be better.
McLaren give update on coronavirus results
McLaren have confirmed that that the seven additional team members on top of the one who contracted coronavirus have all received negative test results, though will remain in quarantine in Melbourne for another seven days to honour the 14-day isolation period.
Tottenham publish financial results
The club say all fan-facing events are cancelled and that everyone is working to ensure the current crisis does not undermine the future of the club.
Italian sports minister offers Serie A resumption date
Over in Italy, sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora was interviewed on TG1 and said that the current hope is for “Serie A to resume on May 3”, with a decision to be taken nearer the time on whether that would be with doors open or closed to the public.
The intention would be then to get the season wrapped up by the end of June.
Watford defender Masina fumes over UK approach
The Watford defender, born in Morocco but an Italian U21 international after coming through the Bologna youth system, told Corriere dello Sport that Boris Johnson’s government hadn’t done enough to protect citizens and had sent out the wrong message initially.
“Of course we are worried, above all for the scarce measures taken so far by the English government, which truly endanger everyone, the young and the old.
“[They worry me] a lot, and now that I’m a father, even more. “Get ready to lose your loved ones”, what kind of statement is that? I don’t understand what games he’s playing.
“It’s an established fact that here in the UK they have underestimated it. Or they don’t care, I don’t know. I hope it won’t be too late when they realise the seriousness of the situation.”
Training ground return as Moyes sends well-wishes
“We know that unfortunately COVID-19 is a virus that it will affect many of our lives directly over the coming days, weeks and months.
“Everyone here at the Club is pulling together to support one another and of course, the national effort to delay the spread of the virus with our primary focus being the wellbeing of our colleagues, their families and of course our supporters.
“We have already seen many examples throughout society of human nature at its best in the face of adversity and I encourage you all, more than ever, to look out for one another.”
IOC respond to concerned athletes
The International Olympic Committee has told athletes “no solution will be ideal” after a number of competitors raised concerns over its plans to press ahead with Tokyo 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Great Britain’s heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson was among those to speak out on Tuesday, questioning advice from the IOC asking them to prepare “as best they can” for the Games despite social contact and travel being placed under severe restrictions across the world because of the virus.
Johnson-Thompson pointed out the difficulties she and other athletes were facing and wrote in a social media post: “I feel under pressure to train and keep the same routine which is impossible.”
The IOC said: “This is an exceptional situation which requires exceptional solutions.
“The IOC is committed to finding a solution with the least negative impact for the athletes, while protecting the integrity of the competition and the athletes’ health.
“No solution will be ideal in this situation, and this is why we are counting on the responsibility and solidarity of the athletes.”
Olympic pole vault champion Katerina Stefanidi said the IOC was risking the health of athletes, who feel obliged to continue training despite advice to reduce contact.
Hayley Wickenheiser, an IOC member, said the organisation’s conviction that the Games would go ahead was “insensitive and irresponsible given the state of humanity”.
The former Canada ice hockey star added: “This crisis is bigger even than the Olympics.”
The IOC had said on Tuesday it was fully committed to staging the Games and with four months to go there was no need for any drastic decision to be taken.
GB ice hockey match cancelled
Britain were due to play two games against Hungary, in Coventry on Tuesday, April 21 and in Nottingham on Wednesday, April 22.
Ice Hockey UK general secretary Andy French, said: “We’d like to apologise to all supporters who had bought tickets for these games, but I am sure everyone will understand why they are cancelled.
“The most important thing right now is everyone’s health and well-being – and that comes before anything.”
What are Premier League clubs doing to help casual and matchday staff during the coronavirus pandemic?
“My football-mad son, who is seven, didn’t ask me when he could watch a game again. He asked me if I will still have a job. The truth is I don’t know, but I didn’t have the heart to tell him that.”
In London on Monday, around 72 hours after the inevitable announcement that elite football will be suspended in Britain due to the coronavirus pandemic, a Premier League matchday steward related his predicament to The Independent.
He had not yet had clarity over his employment in these uncertain times and still hasn’t. He did not want to speak on the record due to this, but warned that “for a lot of us who work in football, it’s not about the loss of the game, but of our livelihoods. There is anxiety. What am I meant to tell my son?”
Six Espanyol players contract coronavirus
Six Espanyol soccer players have tested positive for coronavirus, the Spanish La Liga club said on Tuesday.
“We had confirmation this afternoon that six members of the first team and the technical staff of RCD Espanyol de Barcelona have returned positive results for COVID-19 tests carried out during the last hours,” Espanyol said in a statement.
“All of them are suffering from mild symptoms and they are complying with the medical recommendations.”
The Spanish league said last Thursday that all La Liga matches would be suspended for two weeks amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Newspaper El Mundo reported that 76-year-old former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz, head of the club from 1995-2000, has been admitted to a hospital in critical condition.
In Spain, 11,409 have been infected by the coronavirus and 510 have died.
Players remain calm amid coronavirus pandemic
“They’re probably now the only calm people in football,” one agent says. “Their lives are so controlled that they’re largely used to being told what to do and where to be, as well as making sacrifices and the highs and lows of the game. The players are possibly the only people in football not panicking.”
Chelsea owner to pay for NHS staff to sleep in club’s hotel to aid outbreak
Roman Abramovich will pay for NHS staff to stay at Chelsea’s Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge for at least the next two months after personally taking the decision to help aid the coronavirus crisis.
A Chelsea statement read: “Chelsea Football Club is joining the medical response to the coronavirus outbreak in London with the news the National Health Service (NHS) has accepted the Club’s offer to make the Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge available for NHS staff.
“The initiative came from club owner Roman Abramovich and, after contact with the NHS was made by Chairman Bruce Buck, it was decided the best way Chelsea can assist the NHS is to provide accommodation for NHS staff. Mr Abramovich will be covering the costs of providing the accommodation.”
Parkruns cancelled across UK over coronavirus
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Earlier on Tuesday, Euro 2020 was postponed until 2021 in order to free up space this summer to ensure club football campaigns around Europe can be finished.
In a statement, Uefa said it had convened and “unanimously agreed” on a commitment “to complete all domestic and European club competitions by the end of the current sporting season, i.e. 30 June 2020 at the latest, should the situation improve and resuming playing be appropriate and prudent enough”.
Uefa also agreed upon the “possible adaptations of the 2020/21 Uefa Champions League and Uefa Europa League qualifying rounds,” however, “in case of late completion of the 2019/20 sporting season, i.e. after 30 June 2020.