Stay up to date with how COVID-19 is affecting the global Sports industry with daily updates on the key developments.
Wanda Sports Group’s (WSG) has reported total annual first-quarter revenues fell by 26 per cent to €163.7 million (US$180.3 million), primarily due to heavy losses within the company’s spectator sports and mass participation divisions.
New Zealand Rugby has confirmed no limit on crowd numbers for Super Rugby Aotearoa opening weekend. With the country's lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions this week, this will be the first sporting tournament in the world to be played in front of live spectators since the pandemic outbreak.
“We’re incredibly proud, and grateful, to be the first professional sports competition in the world to be in a position to have our teams play in front of their fans again. It’s going to be a very special and unique competition and it’s fitting that New Zealanders now have a chance to be part of it.”
NZR chief executive Mark Robinson
The North American professional basketball league NBA will continue the season with 22 teams at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, starting July 31st.
This was announced by the NBA on Thursday. According to information from "ESPN" 29 of the 30 teams are said to have voted for the format - only the Portland Trail Blazers voted against the proposal. For eight teams, the season has thus ended prematurely.
The 22 teams are made up as follows: 16 teams that were in the playoffs before the break on 11 March in the Eastern and Western Conference. In addition, there are six clubs with a maximum of six wins less than the eight-placed team in their conference. The New Orleans Pelicans, the Phoenix Suns, the Portland Trail Blazers, the Sacramento Kings and the San Antonio Spurs are added from the west, while only the Washington Wizards
The North American ice hockey league NHL wants to determine their champion in a final series of the usual length. Starting with the round of the best 16 teams, four victories in a series should be necessary to advance and in the end also for the Stanley Cup. Only in the first round, which this year is due to the expanded format to 22 teams, three victories are enough for a team. This was announced by the strongest ice hockey league in the world on Thursday.
The pairings will be defined by a seed list and not by drawing lots. League boss Gary Bettman had stressed that neither the two venues nor the time for the play-offs had already been fixed and were dependent on further developments in the Corona pandemic. The only thing that is clear is that there will be two locations and ten cities to choose from.
In the evening (local time), the league at least allowed its clubs to enter phase two of the return protocol from 8 June onwards, which means small group training in the teams' facilities. At the earliest on 1 July, teams in squad strength will be allowed to go to training camps.
The 2020 Formula 1 season will start in Austria on 5 July, the first of a run of eight races in Europe. An F1 statement said the championship would begin across three consecutive weekends - two in Austria on 5 and 12 July and a third in Hungary.
There will then be a two-week break before two consecutive races in Britain and events in Spain, Belgium and Italy. All will be run behind closed doors with participants following guidelines to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
BREAKING: The opening 8 races of a revised 2020 calendar are now confirmed— Formula 1 (@F1) June 2, 2020
All 8 are currently set to be closed events, operating under the strongest safety procedures
Further races will be announced in the coming weeks pic.twitter.com/vQioKOAkQo
Record champion Real Madrid will not be playing the remaining games of the season in its Bernabéu stadium after the end of the Corona compulsory break. This was announced by club president Florentino Pérez in a letter to the club members, Spanish media reported. Instead, Alfredo di Stéfano will play at the club's own training stadium, Estadio Alfredo di Stéfano in Valdebebas outside Madrid. The reason for this is, on the one hand, ongoing renovation work in Bernabéu, which holds 80,000 spectators, and, on the other, the fact that the games will be played without spectators anyway because of Corona.
The Primera Division continues its season with the city derby between FC Sevilla and Betis Sevilla. As can be seen from the timed schedule, La Liga will start on Thursday 11 June at 22.00. Leader of the standings FC Barcelona with national goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen will play his first match two days later on 13 June (22.00) at RCD Mallorca. Pursuers and record champions Real Madrid will be back in action on Sunday (14 June, 19.30) against SD Eibar. Barcelona are two points ahead of the "royals" from the capital eleven matchdays before the end of the season.
Formula 1 may start late with two races in Austria. The Austrian Ministry of Health confirmed that the health concept of the organizers meets the current requirements.
This means that Formula 1 may start its shortened season with a delay of almost four months at the beginning of July in Spielberg, Austria. On Saturday (30 May 2020), the Austrian Ministry of Health granted permission for the event to be held, and on 5 and 12 July two races are to take place in Spielberg; spectators are not allowed at the track. The confirmation of the Formula 1 should be a formality.
Read more here.
A decision about the restart of the North American basketball league NBA and the format for the rest of the season could be made next Thursday, according to information from the US channel ESPN. Then the board of governors of the league will meet. According to Saturday's report, the owners of the clubs want to approve the proposal of league boss Adam Silver to end the season on the premises of Disney World in Orlando.
The portal "The Athletic" had reported on Friday evening that Silver had presented the club owners during a telephone conference on Friday 31 July as the target date for the resumption of the season, which had been interrupted since 11 March.
The NBA has been examining several plans on a return-to-play, but numerous members of the Board of Governors say there's growing support for a plan to bring 22 teams to Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports in July.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 29, 2020
(via @wojespn, @ramonashelburne) https://t.co/N5quuKjQPB
It is official: The season in Serie A will continue on 20 June with four catch-up games of the 25th matchday. This was decided by the League Association. Among others, Atalanta Bergamo will meet Sassuolo Calcio with German Robin Gosens. The four matches had been cancelled due to the Corona epidemic in March. Third place in the standings Inter Milan will go to Sampdoria Genoa, Hellas Verona will meet Cagliari Calcio and FC Turin will play Parma Calcio. The Italian government had decided on Thursday to continue the season on 20 June. In addition, the cup semi-finals are to be held on 13 and 14 June, with the final scheduled for 17 June.
The Premier League is set to restart on 17 June with Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal, subject to government approval. All matches will take place behind closed doors and will be broadcasted live on Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport or Amazon Prime.
Safety guidelines are yet to be issued by the government and decisions will remain subject to the continuing fight against the coronavirus pandemic. It is understood that finishing the season would require six weekends and three midweek rounds.
As the English newspaper "The Guardian" reported on Saturday, the organisers, like other sports organisations, have not yet been granted an exemption from the strict quarantine regulations, despite great efforts.
The races in Silverstone are scheduled for July 26 and August 2, according to the Guardian. But the corona measures of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson provide for a two-week quarantine for all air travellers after their arrival in England. Should self-isolation after entry be necessary, the dates would not be kept.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach says he understands why the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Games would have to be cancelled if it cannot take place next summer. Local organisers have said they have no back-up plan after the event was postponed by a year because of the coronavirus crisis.
Bach said he hoped the first ever postponed Games, which are due to take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021, could prove "unique" and send "a message of solidarity among the entire world, coming for the first time together again, and celebrating the triumph over coronavirus". He also added:
"You cannot forever employ 3,000 to 5,000 people in an organising committee. You cannot have the athletes being in uncertainty."
Dirk Bach, IOC president
Read the full story on BBC here.
Clubs will still be promoted and relegated from the three divisions of the English Football League if seasons are ended amid the coronavirus crisis. Play-offs will also be played, but with no more than four teams.
The EFL has confirmed that 51% of Championship, League One and League Two clubs need to agree for the campaign in each division to be curtailed. This could pave the way for the League One season to be cancelled, with teams currently split over a resolution.
The #EFL have released a statement about promotion, relegation and the play-offs.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) May 21, 2020
The season in the Italian Serie A should be finished by August 20. This deadline was set by the responsible committee of the Italian football association FIGC on Wednesday. The planned start date for the 2020/21 season therefore is September 1st 2020.
Play is to resume in mid-June at the earliest. If the season is interrupted again, the association will propose alternative formats such as playoffs, for example, to identify promotions and relegations, which should always be available.
From the coming season on, 22 instead of 20 clubs will play in the second French football league. This was reported by the French football association Ligue de Football Professionnel on Wednesday evening in Paris after a general assembly. After the 2019/20 season, there will be no relegations, the association announced.
Clubs of the Premier League are allowed to go back to training in groups of up to five players, starting today. "Strict medical protocols of the highest standards will ensure that everyone returns to training in the safest way possible" it was issued in a statement on monday.
However, in the first round of mass testing in England´s top flight, six cases of corona occurred at a total of three clubs. Previously, a total of 748 COVID-19 tests had been performed on players and staff from all clubs. Some players seem unsure, if going back to regular training is the rigth decision.
"My son is five months old and already had breathing difficulties. I don't want to come home and put him in danger."
Troy Deeney, FC Watford
Only then will it be decided whether the football season in Serie A may be played to the end, a new government decree stated. The National Football Federation (FIGC) is adapting to the government's decision, but is putting pressure on the government to restart the championship on 13 June if the epidemiological data in Italy develop positively. This is stated in a press release issued by the federation on Monday.
About a month before the end of the corona-based ban on football matches, which millions of football-loving Spaniards had been longing for, the government has again allowed training in groups. From Monday (18.05.2020) on, professional clubs in the La Liga will then be able to prepare more effectively for the scheduled start of the game between 14 and 28 June, according to a government announcement made late Saturday evening. Until now, players were only allowed on the pitch for individual training. Should the season be cancelled after all, the current standings will be the deciding factor for participation in the Champions and Europa League.
Premier League clubs hope to give their players the go-ahead to return to training in small groups this week. But there is a growing feeling the intended 12 June date for matches to start again will need to be pushed back.
If a vote passes on Monday, players would be able to train in groups of five from Tuesday. That would be on condition that they observe social distancing rules and adhere to a series of strict criteria, which include getting changed at home and driving to training grounds on their own.
The Bundesliga is the first major league to have resumed play after being postponed for more than two months. On Saturday the action continued under strict regulations and health security conditions, gaining positiv feedback not only from league officials and politics.
Pay-TV broadcaster Sky reported a record breaking viewing audience for all five games taking place this afternoon. A total of 3.68 million viewers watched the live broadcasts of the five matches on pay TV. 2.45 million fans watched the free multi-match broadcast on Sky Sports News HD. In pay TV, Sky recorded twice as many viewers as on normal match days before the Corona pandemic. And that is with Bayern Munich yet to play Union Berlin in the evening.
The UK government says it is “opening the door” for the return of professional soccer in England next month. Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said a meeting on 14th May with the Football Association (FA), Premier League and English Football League (EFL) had “progressed plans”, adding that a resumption of the sport should “include widening access for fans to view live coverage”.
Clubs in League One, England’s third-tier, will meet again next week after failing to agree whether to end the season early. Meanwhile, the fourth-tier League Two campaign has been brought to an early conclusion. The EFL said clubs “unanimously indicated” they wished to end the season via a “framework” that included tables being decided on points per game and the playoffs remaining as planned.
The current season in the Belgian football league will not be played to the end because of the Corona crisis. The plenary assembly of the Pro League football association finally voted in favour of an early end to the season, according to the Belgian news agency Belga. The season would end with the 29th matchday at the end of March. The FC Brugge champion is thus the 16th time in the club's history to become the champion. Waasland-Beveren is relegated.
The women's under-20 World Cup, postponed from August to September, has now been rescheduled for 20th January–6th February 2021. The women's under-17 World Cup, originally pencilled in for this November, has also been rescheduled for 17th February–7th March 2021.
The Futsal World Cup will be pushed back a whole year and will now be held from 12th September–3rd October 2021. Meanwhile, the 70th Fifa congress will be held as an online event on 18th September, having been due to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.
With ten Formula One events postponed or cancelled already this year, organisers of the British Grand Prix confirmed in April that they would be willing to host two consecutive races behind closed doors at Silverstone to help get the season back on track after the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the BBC, Formula One agreed to waive Silverstone’s UK£15 million (US$18.3 million) hosting fee and cover all costs the track would incur from hosting the pair of Grands Prix. However, the circuit then asked to be paid the same amount to stage the two races to make up for the money it would be unable to obtain from ticket sales. Formula One believes Silverstone is making ‘unreasonable’ financial demands to stage the races on 19th and 26th July.
"Silverstone and F1 remain in close dialogue with each other and the relevant authorities to try to make a British Grand Prix happen behind closed doors.”
Clubs in English soccer’s top-flight Premier League could be forced to pay the competition’s domestic and international broadcast partners as much as £340 million in refunds even if the 2019/20 season is completed behind closed doors.
"We were able to update our clubs today on our situation with broadcasters, which is obviously confidential. Whatever happens, there's going to be significant loss of revenue for clubs. That is inevitable."
Richard Masters, CEO Premier League
Refunds would be owed because games would not be staged as originally stated in the league’s broadcast contracts, with fixtures set to be played at different kick-off times and without fans in attendance. The figure is also reportedly likely to rise if the Premier League campaign cannot reach a conclusion. Richard Masters, the competition’s recently appointed permanent chief executive, has already warned that the league faces a loss of ‘at least’ £1 billion if the current season is not completed.
The Premier League is set for a decisive few days in establishing whether it is possible to resume and complete the current season. Club officials will meet on Monday to continue talks on "Project Restart". The government is expected to announce on Monday that some elite athletes can start an initial phase of restricted group training later this week. That will depend on medical protocols being finalised and accepted. Footballers have so far been limited to individual training.
Read more here.
Top-level sport in England could restart behind closed doors from 1st June but spectators may not be able to attend venues until a vaccine is found. The British government’s road map for exiting the lockdown imposed to limit the spread of coronavirus was published on 9th May, setting out the conditions under which various activities can be safely carried out.
Step two of the road map, which cannot begin any earlier than 1st June, includes 'permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact'.
It is less clear when supporters will be able to return to venues. The document says businesses such as cinemas and hairdressers can reopen in step three – no earlier than 4th July – but states: 'Some venues which are, by design, crowded and where it may prove difficult to enact distancing may still not be able to reopen safely at this point, or may be able to open safely only in part.
Almost all 200 remaining games in English soccer’s top-flight Premier League and the second-tier Championship will be televised under Project Restart, the plan for the two leagues to resume next month, according to the Times. The UK newspaper reports that pay-TV broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport are aiming to give as many games as possible their own slot, with three or four Premier League and Championship fixtures taking place each day at different kick-off times. The Times added that the scheduling plan already has the support of the UK government because it would help keep people indoors during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Tour de France will start on 29 August, with the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana overlapping during October, the UCI has announced. The Tour de France - pushed back from June - had been cast into doubt when the French government said it was "not sure" the country would be ready. France last week extended a ban on mass gatherings until September.
The Tour will stick with that adjusted schedule, starting on 29 August and ending on 20 September. That means Cycling's three Grand Tour races are part of a packed schedule across just over three months from 1 August, as the Giro d´Italia and the Vuelta a Espana will overlap in October.
We have drawn up a solid, attractive and varied new calendar that is as realistic and coherent as possible. The recommencement of our activities will remain dependent on the evolution of the world health situation"
David Lappartient, UCI president
The National Football League (NFL) has confirmed the cancellation of its four games scheduled to take place in London later this year. Two fixtures featuring the Jacksonville Jaguars were scheduled for Wembley, while another two were set to be played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The games will now be held in the US at the respective franchises’ stadiums.
The European Road Cycling Championships, set to be held from 9th to 13th September in Trentino, Italy have been postponed to 2021. The European Cycling Union (UEC) has said the options for new dates are 1st to 5th September or 8th to 12th September.
The 20 club doctors have been holding their own discussions about Project Restart - the label given to plans to resume action - with a view to feeding their thoughts into the Premier League's leadership. One issue that the senior medics have sought assurances over includes their own liability and insurance cover if players contract the virus.
"I guess the views of our members will be a kind of snapshot of society really. There are those who think it can be done, there are those that are doubtful and there are those that probably suggest it is an impossible task. We have to wait, this is a waiting game all the time, it is such a changing landscape and fluctuating on a day to day basis."
Eamonn Salmon, Football Medicin and Performance Association
They also confirmed that the league was in talks with insurance companies over the issue of club and doctor liability, and that this would be brought up with government representatives this week.
Fina, swimming’s global governing body, has confirmed new dates for its World Championships and World Masters Championships in Japan, moving them from 2021 to 2022, following the postponement of Tokyo 2020 to next year. The two events will now take place from 13th to 29th May and 31st May to 9th June in 2022 respectively.
Spain’s La Liga is aiming to restart the season in June after clubs returned to individual training this week after an agreement with Spain's sports and health authorities that guaranteed the safety of both players and staff. Players must undergo test before they can return to training facilities.
"These measures cover a period of approximately four weeks with different phases that, in any case, will be subject to the de-escalation process established by the government. Together with the medical tests carried out by clubs, a staggered return to training has been implemented that will start with players training alone and with group activities prior to the return to competition, scheduled for June."
A growing number of Premier League clubs are open to playing the remaining fixtures at neutral venues but with the threat of relegation removed. Top-flight clubs have been told that using up to 10 neutral stadiums will be the only way to complete the season.
Premier League clubs remain committed to finishing the 2019/20 season, but this will only be possible if 8-10 neutral venues are used to play the remaining fixtures.— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 1, 2020
Serie A clubs have been given permission to restart individual training sessions from Monday at training grounds. But team training will not be allowed until 18 May at the earliest. The league was suspended on 9 March. Serie A and the Italian football federation (FIGC) both want to complete the season, although the Italian government says it has not yet decided whether it will give its permission to do so.
"In terms of the resumption of the championship - for now we don't talk about it."
Vincenzo Spadafora, Italian sports minister
The German Football League was hoping a decision would be taken by government on 30 April, but the issue was delayed and the next meeting is on 6 May. The season needs to be completed by 30 June because of deals with sponsors and broadcasters and last week the league said it would be ready to return on 9 May - but 16 or 23 May are now considered more realistic dates.
With nine games remaining in the season, Bayern Munich lead the table, four points ahead of Borussia Dortmund, with Leverkusen in fifth and chasing a Champions League spot.
"The most important thing was we got good feedback from politicians for our concepts for games without spectators. In the next week we will see which decisions are there. I don’t know exactly when but we hope we play in May, the middle or the end of May, we don’t know.”
Simon Rolfes, sporting director Bayer Leverkusen
Paris Saint-Germain is the first Champions League club to be given the assurance by the government that they will no longer be allowed to play at home. UEFA now needs alternatives: one could be neutral venues.
Consequently, UEFA is considering a procedure similar to german football´s plans: no spectators, only a few people present, close testing of players and staff. However, it is not known in which country UEFA will look for such venues.
Additionally, UEFA has set the national leagues a deadline of May 25th to announce their next steps. Contrary to previous threats, season closures in the leagues are now acceptable to UEFA under certain conditions. UEFA has not yet regulated this for itself.
Due to the coronavirus crisis, the world governing body FIFA wants to temporarily allow football teams up to five substitutions per game instead of three. This proposal has yet to be decided by the International Football Association Board (Ifab), but approval is considered certain.
With this proposal, FIFA aims to protect players in the event of an expected high volume of matches following a resumption of the currently suspended match:
"In this context, we are concerned that the above-average frequency of matches could increase the risk of potential injuries due to the resulting overloading of players. The safety of the players is then one of FIFA's main priorities".
The Tour de France could still go ahead despite more sanctions on mass gatherings by the French government. Cycling's biggest race was set to start two months late, on 29 August, because of coronavirus, but the government ban has extended until September. The Vuelta a Espana also announced it would cancel its departure from the Netherlands, set for 14 August.
"The Tour de France has not been called into question. There will not be any large gatherings before September but with the Tour starting on 29 August, there could be adjustments. It is up to [organisers] ASO to make some suggestions."
Roxana Maracineanu, French sports minister
Football in Spain was suspended indefinitely in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Spain has announced a four-phase plan to lift the country's stringent lockdown and, during 'phase zero' from 4-11 May, professional sports leagues can go back to training.
The country's top division has created a detailed protocol for the return to training so proper health safeguards are observed. The aim is a potential restart to the league in mid-June behind closed doors. There are 11 rounds of matches remaining, with Barcelona two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table.
France's suspended Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 season's have been officially cancelled after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that no sporting events, even those behind closed doors, could take place before September. The Professional Football League (LFP), the organising body for French soccer's top two divisions, had hoped that the campaign could resume on 17th June and conclude on 25th July. The French top-flight follows the Dutch Eredivisie as a second major European league to be abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"It will not be possible to practice sport in covered places, nor team or contact sports. If the [health] indicators are not there, we will not end confinement on May 11. The 2019/2020 season of professional sport, in particular football, therefore will not be able to resume."
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe
The president of Japan's medical association, Yoshitake Yokokura, said on Tuesday it will be "difficult" to hold the Olympics in 2021 without vaccines or effective drugs being developed. Games Chief Yoshiro Mori when asked if the Olympic Games could be moved again to 2022 replied "No".
European leagues have until 25 May to tell Uefa whether they want to complete or cancel their seasons. The Premier League league is hopeful of a potential 8 June restart and finishing at the end of July to fit in with Uefa's European competition plans. This would require full training to begin by 18 May. The deadline set by Uefa is referred to in a set of guidelines on 'eligibility principles' for European competitions that the governing body's president and general secretary have sent out to football bodies.
"Given the unforeseen and unprecedented situation [...] national associations and leagues are facing a situation whereby the completion of their domestic competitions may be at risk. Stakeholders should be in a position to communicate to Uefa by 25 May the planned restart of their domestic competitions, including the date of restart and the relevant competition format"
English soccer's top-flight Premier League is in discussions with UK rights holders about how best to broadcast the season’s remaining fixtures as the campaign edges closer to a return behind closed doors, the PA news agency understands. Meanwhile, Aston Villa have announced their first-team players, coaches and senior management will defer 25 per cent of their salaries for four months. Chelsea have confirmed their first-team players will not be taking a pay cut, but will “focus on further supporting other charitable causes”.
According to the Daily Mail, Pay-TV broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport will resist pressure to screen their remaining 47 Premier League matches for free this season.
Read the full story here.
The UK government plans to set up a series of regular meetings involving senior medical directors of major sports in the country this week in a bid to return to action as soon as possible, according to BBC Sport. The move was reportedly described by a source as a “quickening of the pace” and intended to help sport resume “within weeks” if progress was made.
The English Premier League is considering resuming play in selected stadiums from 8 June. The British daily newspaper "The Times" reports on a plan to this effect. According to this report, representatives from the world of sport are in talks with the government about possible scenarios. According to the article plans are being provided for the 92 outstanding matches to be played in "approved stadiums". The games are to be played behind closed doors, if the government gives the necessary permission.
Read more here.
Two races, on July 5th and 12th, are planned in Spielberg/Austria, according to Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko on Friday at the public radio station Ö3. As Ö3 further reported with reference to the 76-year-old, the organiser had fulfilled all requirements with his concept, only a second wave of coronavirus infection could prevent the first double event in Formula 1 history on the same track.
The World Football Association is distributing a total of $150 million to the national associations in an emergency financial aid package for the coronavirus pandemic. This was announced by FIFA on Friday. It means that each of the 211 member associations will receive at least $500,000 - in some cases even more if associations have not yet drawn down all the money.
European soccer’s governing body, has clarified its stance on domestic leagues cancelling their seasons after an executive committee meeting on 23rd April, having said earlier in the week that leagues should only be cancelled in “special cases”.
The organisation has now added two sets of circumstances in which it would be acceptable to end a season prematurely:
1) Existence of an official order prohibiting sports events so that the domestic competitions cannot be completed before a date that would make it possible to complete the current season in good time before the next season to star
2) Insurmountable economic problems which make finishing the season impossible because it would put at risk the long-term financial stability of the domestic competition and/or clubs.
After the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the second highlight of the season for track and field athletes is also cancelled. The organisers, in consultation with the French Athletics Federation, cancelled the European Championships in Paris (25th to 30th August) on Thursday evening due to the corona pandemic.
European Athletics Championships in Paris cancelled due to Covid-19 https://t.co/3HRl8XblAj— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) April 23, 2020
German soccer’s top-flight is prepared to resume play as early as 9th May pending government approval, the German Football League (DFL) has confirmed. In its proposed concept, the DFL sees playing behind closed doors as the only chance that Bundesliga football can take place again in Germany in the foreseeable future.
"Should it not be possible to start playing again the Bundesliga would then at some point be a collateral damage of the Corona crisis"
Chrisitan Seifert, DFL President
The decision on the resumption of the season is in the hands of politicians - possibly, a decision could be made at the meeting of the prime ministers with Chancellor Angela Merkel on 30 April.
European soccer's governing body has postponed the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021 championship until the summer of 2022. The tournament will be played in England from 6th July to 31st July using the same venues that were originally proposed.
"When we had to take an urgent decision on the postponement of Uefa Euro 2020, we always had the impact on UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 in mind. By moving UEFA Women’s Euro to the following year, we are ensuring that our flagship women’s competition will be the only major football tournament of the summer, providing it with the spotlight it deserves."
Aleksander Ceferin, UEFA President
In a position paper outlining addressing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sport sector, the EU acknowledges the size of the industry and its importance to the regional economy. The EU paper says 5.67 million people are employed in the sports sector, which equals 2.72 per cent of total EU employment the political union.
"Governments should have a special interest in protecting jobs in sport as an industry with a strong economic impact in terms of employment and its share of GDP. The associated social benefits of sport will contribute to the rebuilding of European societies during and after the crisis."
The EU paper also puts forward several suggested support measures to ensure the sports sector is able to survive. They include eligibility to receive funds for the protection of jobs, employees and the self-employed against the risk of dismissal and loss of income
Read the full article here.
UEFA told the 55 associations on Tuesday there was still the possibility of the competitions being played throughout June, July and August. Nothing definitive has been agreed but Uefa is keen to leave all options on the table for as long as possible given the general uncertainty across Europe and in the knowledge there is no guarantee the season will be finished.
UEFA hopes the situation will become clearer in the next fortnight but completing the season in this way would cause the least disruption to its qualification competition for the 2020-21 season, which was supposed to start at the end of June but has been delayed indefinitely.
UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, is set to officially confirm the postponement of the 2021 Women's European Championship, which will subsequently take place from 6th to 31st July in 2022. The tournament, which will be hosted in England, has been pushed back a year to avoid a clash with the rescheduled Tokyo Games, which features women’s soccer.
After the German government extended a ban on large-scale gatherings until 24th October, the Berlin Marathon will now not go ahead as planned on 27th September, with no word so far on a rescheduled date.
The marathon is one of the largest running events worldwide and was to take place on 27 September. Last year, 47000 participants had started.
There will be no more professional football matches in the Netherlands until the 1st of September. This means that the season for both top leagues will end early. Announced by Premier Mark Rutte on Tuesday evening in The Hague, all events requiring permission will be banned until September 1, and this also applies to football matches without an audience.
Only 53% of the sports events originally scheduled for 2020 are likely to take place this calendar year according to projections by Two Circles. Originally, 49,803 major sports events1 were scheduled for 2020, however global social-distancing measures introduced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have led to a large proportion of sports events being postponed or cancelled. In March, only 1,870 of the originally-scheduled 5,584 events (33%) took place.
The full analysis can be read here.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more professional footballers have shown symptoms of depression. This is the result of a study by the players' union FIFPro. The main reasons for this are the interruptions in the leagues, the imposed quarantine and the concern about their own future.
According to the report, between 22 March and 14 April, 22 percent of women and 13 percent of men showed symptoms that could indicate depression. In a survey conducted between December 2019 and January 2020, the figures were eleven and six percent respectively.
Read more here.
A significantly changed world with potentially a men's global tour awaits professional golf when it fully returns, according to a leading sports lawyer.As well as a potential merger between the PGA and European Tours, the sport is facing immediate challenges over player status, world ranking points and Ryder Cup qualification.
These are the views of Oliver Hunt, founding partner of London based Onside Law. His company works across all sports and represents and helps manage some of the biggest names in European golf.
"The PGL was challenging the incumbents anyway. Whether or not this will give them an opportunity or a knockout blow remains to be seen. But I think, probably, this crisis may well hit the European Tour harder and therefore I think it will accelerate a notion of a global tour at some point."
Oliver Hunt, founding partner Onsinde Law
Following a club meeting on 17th April, it has emerged that 8th June could be the best-case scenario for when the English top-flight Premier League season could restart. Meanwhile, Uefa will provide an update on plans to finish the 2019-20 season to all its 55 national associations at a video conference on Tuesday, April 21st.
Germany becomes the first country to resume with active sport, at least in a safe surrounding. While most indoor and team sports will probably have to wait a longer time for a relaxation of the bans in view of the coronavirus crisis, there is hope for an early start of the season for tennis clubs in Germany. Starting April 20th, federal states can allow local Tennis Clubs to reopen for the public.
However, there are strict rules which players have to follow. According to the German Tennis Federation (DTB), players have to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters during all time, no handshakes are allowed and clubs have to provide antiseptics and controlled sanitary facilities.
As part of the FIFA campaign #WeWillWin, football stars want to honour people who risk their health on a daily basis in times of the corona pandemic. To this end, 50 selected football stars will use video messages to thank the nursing staff and other professionals who contribute to the well-being of society.
Several famous football players, like Pelé, Diego Maradonna, Zinedine Zidane, Gianluigi Buffon and Harry Kane have already supported this campaign.
To all the health care workers and other professionals who keep working like true heroes, an infinite applause. #HumanitysHeroes taking the fight to #COVID19 #WeWillWin #FIFA— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) April 18, 2020
ℹ️👉 https://t.co/7ubVCNHvvJ pic.twitter.com/jsHyorFJDJ
According to the league, 25 percent of the pay is to be withheld by the clubs as of May 15. The measure is intended to serve the gradual reduction of the wages of basketball professionals in case of an early season end due to the Corona pandemic. Should play be resumed, the money set aside would be paid out to the professionals depending on the number of games.
With play suspended for a year and the Championships cancelled for 2020, Federer’s voice narrates an emotional spot, urging fans to cheer for frontline health worker ‘champions’ who are competing for us.
Formula One is considering the option of starting its 2020 season with the Austrian Grand Prix, scheduled for 3rd to 5th July, followed by two races at Silverstone in the UK, all behind closed doors. Proposals to reduce the series’ budget cap to US$130m by 2022 have also been discussed.
World Rugby has announced the details of a $100 million coronavirus relief strategy aimed at mitigating the impact of the pandemic on the sport.The money will assist the sport’s unions until matches can take place again safely, and will be made available for unions requiring immediate emergency funding subject to ‘appropriate criteria’ being met.
"Global sport is facing a crisis never seen before and at this most challenging time we are taking unprecedented action as a sport united to support global rugby, its unions, competitions and players through the enormous challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures announced today will provide support and short-term relief in the form of a US$100 million relief fund, while we are committed to exploring calendar options that reflect and address a dynamic, complex and uncertain environment."
Chariman Sir Bill Beaumont
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Final Four of the Basketball Euroleague planned in Cologne cannot take place on 22 and 24 May as planned.
"We are in talks with Lanxess Arena about a later date. Our plan is still to finish the season - the six games left in the regular season, the playoffs and the final four."
Euroleague boss Jordi Bertomeu
Clubs in England’s top-flight Premier League will discuss the option of putting a 30th June deadline on the 2019/20 season being completed at a meeting on 16th April.
Not all clubs have been involved in informal discussions at this stage but, with a hoped-for May resumption to the season unlikely, club owners are looking at how to avoid potentially difficult contractual situations. Numerous players' current deals expire on 30 June, notably Chelsea midfielder Willian and Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen. In addition, Liverpool are due to change shirt manufacturers from New Balance to Nike, while Watford and Newcastle are also changing kit suppliers.
World governing body FIFA is aware of the problem and is looking at alternatives, such as contract extensions, with the season currently suspended indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Read more here.
The PGA Championship, which will now be held from 6th to 9th August after being postponed, may have to take place behind closed doors to minimise health risks, says Seth Waugh, the chief executive of the PGA of America. Waugh also told SiriusXM radio that another option would be to move the event to another venue should play at Harding Park prove impossible.
The postponed 2020 Tour de France will now start on 29 August, following the French government's extension of a ban on mass gatherings to mid-July because of the coronavirus pandemic. Cycling's biggest event, won by Team Ineos' Egan Bernal last year, was originally due to run from 27 June to 19 July.
"Holding this event in the best conditions possible is judged essential given its central place in cycling's economy."
Cycling's two other three-week Grand Tour races have also been rescheduled for later this year, as part of a plan by the UCI to stage all major cycling races this season. Here is what the current Road Calendar looks like:
🗓2020 UCI International Road Calendar Update— UCI (@UCI_cycling) April 15, 2020
👉 Suspension of competitions until 1 July (1 Aug for UCI WT)
👉 @LeTour will take place between 29 Aug - 20 Sep
👉 @aiglemartigny20 will still take place between 20-27 Sep
Check out all the updates here 🔗https://t.co/PyRy3BPtE5 pic.twitter.com/inVDx4TIMb
Players on the European Tour have been warned by its chief executive Keith Pelley to expect significantly changed prize funds and that “sacrifices will have to be made” when competitive golf resumes, in emails seen by BBC Sport. Plans are currently under way to overhaul the tour’s calendar, which could see two events played in the same week with potential 14-day quarantine periods for players before tournaments begin.
“We are having to implement tough measures both in the short and long term."
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive European Tour
According to a report in the Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, UEFA and the European Club Association (ECA) are considering a Final 8 tournament in August. Reports suggest they looking for a neutral venue where the teams and staff could live in isolation during the competition. The paper continues that there would be strict medical checks and the quarter- and semi-finals will be played in a single match, instead of the usual return match.
Southampton have become the first Premier League club to announce player wage deferrals. The whole first-team squad and coaching staff have deferred part of their salaries for April, May and June in order to ensure non-playing staff continue to be paid. The percentage of their wages that has been deferred has not been disclosed by the English top-flight soccer outfit.
Southampton have become the first Premier League club to announce their players will defer part of their salaries amid the coronavirus pandemic.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 9, 2020
Full story: https://t.co/pl1YagXq2p pic.twitter.com/gimoTkcUVt
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed that 900 tournaments across all its circuits had been postponed so far and that it is furloughing half its staff. Staying in tennis, the 2020 Rogers Cup joint WTA-ATP event in Canada has been cancelled.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said in a televised address to the nation that restrictions on public events would continue until mid-July. This will mean that the Tour de France which is due to run from 27 June to 19 July and France's round of the F1 championship due to be held on 28 June will both have to be postponed.
Macron said France's lockdown would be extended until 11 May, after which creches and schools would progressively reopen, while bars, restaurants, and cinemas would stay shut. There would be no summer festivals "before mid-July".
Series A has been suspended since 9th March because of the global pandemic. There is no set date for when the campaign can resume in Italy, with 12 full rounds and four outstanding fixtures still to be played.
"Soon, there will be a meeting. We will establish the procedure which we will then communicate. We will start, I hope, at the beginning of May with tests to ensure that players are negative and training can follow. Will we play through the summer? We don't have a deadline but the idea is to finish the championships."
Gabriele Gravina, President Italian Football Federation
According to the WTA, the women's Canadian Open in Montreal, which was scheduled to start on August 10, will now not be held this year. The WTA also announced that an extension of the general break beyond July 12 will not be decided until May. The authorities in the province of Quebec had previously suspended all major events until 31 August. The Men's Canadian Open, which was to be held at the same time as the women's tournament, has not yet been cancelled.
A consortium involving all the teams and several other manufacturers has had more than 10,000 ventilator orders. This is as well as 10,000 breathing-aid devices being produced to a new design invented by the Mercedes team and University College London Hospital.
A third F1-related project has been ended as the devices were not required.The new orders with which all the UK-based teams are involved are for a device known as a Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System (RMVS). The RMVS was developed by clinicians and the medicines and healthcare products regulator agency (MHRA), and has now received formal orders from the government in excess of 10,000 units for the NHS.
Read more here.
Three-time Ironman world champion Jan Frodeno successfully completed his "Ironman dahoam" on Saturday and raised around 200,000 euros for charity in the corona crisis. The 38-year-old unwound the Ironman distance in his home in Girona/Spain over 3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling and a 42.195 km marathon.
The world's most important tennis tournament at Wimbledon is insured against a pandemic-related cancellation. Since 2003, Wimbledon is said to have paid 1.8 million euros annually for a corresponding insurance policy. This far-sighted protection strategy is now paying off: after the cancellation of the 2020 tournament, Wimbledon will now receive compensation of around 130 million euros.
Transfer Markt website has indicated that over €1.8 billion will be wiped from the value of Premier league squads due to COVID-19.
The stock market prices collapsed, many clubs could be threatened by insolvency und transfer plans came to a standstill for most clubs because of the many uncertainties. At the moment, it is difficult to imagine that transfer fees will continue to rise as they have in previous years in the foreseeable future,”
Transfermarkt founder Matthias Seidel
Manchester City gets hit the hardest with €250 million taken from it's value to €1.02 billion.
Belgian top level football clubs have postponed the final decision on an early end to the season under pressure from UEFA. The vote, originally scheduled for 15 April, was postponed on Thursday until 24 April.
The National League has advised clubs in its three divisions to vote in favour of ending the regular season without playing games that were scheduled up to 25 April.
If the vote passes, clubs will then be asked to help "determine the outcomes of the season" through further polls.
Read more here.
Meanwhile, Players from England’s top-flight Premier League have launched a collective initiative to help generate funds for the National Health Service (NHS). The #PlayersTogether initiative has also partnered with NHS Charities Together (NHSCT).
This will set "maximum reductions" to salaries, following an agreement between the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the 18 first-class counties for April and May. Players will also agree to be furloughed if requested, with champions Essex among clubs to ask theirs to do so. They will also take pay cuts, with the PCA giving up UK£1 million in prize money.
England’s top-tier Premiership Rugby has announced a further postponement of the 2019/20 season. No new confirmed dates for when play will resume have been confirmed, but the league still plans to complete all games and finish the campaign ‘as soon as it can be done safely’.
The Formula One Canadian Grand Prix has become the latest race to be postponed, the ninth affected so far for the 2020 season. It was due to be held on 14th June on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. An alternative date at the earliest opportunity in the summer is being sought out.
The 2020 Canadian Grand Prix, scheduled to take place June 12-14, has been postponed— Formula 1 (@F1) April 7, 2020
The summer transfer window will be moved and contracts ending on 30 June will be extended for a short period under proposals agreed by all football's major stakeholders, world governing body FIFA has confirmed. FIFA's Bureau Council approved the new proposal.
"It is now obvious that the current season will not end when people thought it would. Therefore, it is proposed that contracts be extended until such time that the season does actually end."
FIFA has also urged clubs to protect as many jobs as possible, including pay cuts and deferrals, and the use of government schemes.
Read FIFA's statement here.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) has announced new provisional dates of 27th September to 4th October for the World Championships in South Korea.
Formula 1 seems to want to consider saving its season by running some of the remaining races without spectators. World championship races behind closed doors is now being "seriously considered" by the leaders of the racing series. The British Grand Prix at Silverstone (19 July) is seen as a possible start to the season because seven of the ten teams operate their factories near to the circuit.
F1 has also placed half of its staff on furlough. The global series employs approximately 400 staff in the UK, 50 per cent of which have now been placed on furlough for two months, with senior management accepting a 20 per cent pay decrease.
UFC president Dana White says he is close to securing a private island to continue hosting fights during the coronavirus crisis. The organisation was forced to postpone three events in recent months, but White says the calendar will resume for international fights this month. With countries tightening travel restrictions and borders, White's plans would be to use a private island to fly in fighters who otherwise would not be able to get into the United States.
McLaren boss Zak Brown has said in a BBC sport interview that Formula 1 is "in a very fragile state" as a result of the coronavirus crisis and needs big changes to survive.
"This is potentially devastating to teams, and if [it is devastating] to enough teams - which doesn't have to mean more than two - then very threatening to F1 as a whole," he said.
Cost-saving plans were discussed at a meeting of F1 bosses on Monday, but according to the BBC teams are divided over how best to safeguard the sport.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St.Andrews (R&A) has decided to cancel the Open Championship for the first time since the Second World War. The event was due to be held from 12th to 19th July.
"Our absolute priority is to protect the health and safety of the fans, players, officials, volunteers and staff involved in The Open. We care deeply about this historic Championship and have made this decision with a heavy heart. We appreciate that this will be disappointing for a great many people around the world but this pandemic is severely affecting the UK and we have to act responsibly. It is the right thing to do."
Martin Slumbers, R&A chief executive
The coronavirus pandemic has forced the NFL to make a change like never before. As Commissioner Roger Goodell announced in a letter to the 32 teams, this year's draft (April 23-25) will be completely virtual.
Read more here.
The world governing body FIFA apparently wants to postpone the start of the transfer period and thus pave the way for a possible extension of the football season beyond June 30th. This was reported by the French news agency AFP with reference to FIFA circles. According to the report, a recommendation is to be made that players can continue to play for their club despite the expiration of their contract if the season has not ended by the end of June. The world governing body can only make recommendations in connection with players' contracts, as national law applies in every country.
The Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) has postponed its 2020 regular season indefinitely. The campaign was originally scheduled to tip off on the 15th May.
Europe's governing body UEFA, the European Club Association (ECA), and the European Leagues (EL) have written a joint letter urging its leagues not to abandaon their suspended seasons with plans are in place to complete the 2019/20 campaign in July and August, according to the Associated Press.
New Zealand cricket officials have admitted it is “most unlikely” their scheduled tour of Holland, Scotland and Ireland will go ahead in June. New Zealand also confirmed that the women’s tour of Sri Lanka, set to get underway later in April, has been postponed.
In addition, The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is set to cancel the 2020 County Championship season and is 'modelling many scenarios for a potential streamlined cricket season':
Premier League clubs will ask players to take a 30% pay cut in order to protect jobs as it was announced the season will not resume until "it is safe and appropriate to do so".
"It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May - and that the 2019-20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so. Any return to play will only be with the full support of government and when medical guidance allows."
Premier League Statement
In England, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) is holding talks with the Premier League, the English Football League (EFL) and the League Managers’ Association (LMA) regarding a possible collective agreement on wage deferral. A statement stated that although no decisions had been reached on 1st April, they shared a 'constructive' meeting, and would continue talks 'in the next 48 hours'.
The final round of eEuro 2020 is to be brought forward to 23 and 24 May UEFA has announced. The virtual European Championship will now take place online only and not in London as planned.
All Champions League and Europa League matches have been suspended "until further notice" by UEFA because of the global coronavirus pandemic. All national team games have also been postponed, including play-off matches for Euro 2020 - already postponed to 2021 - and qualifying matches for the Women's Euro 2021.
Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War Two because of the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament was due to be played between 29th June and 12th July. The entire grass-court season has been abandoned, and there will be no professional tennis anywhere in the world until at least 13th July.
This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen,"
Ian Hewitt, Chairman, All England Lawn Tennis Club
Read more here.
With the dramatic impact of not have any live sports content to air, according to Sports Pro, International digital sports broadcaster DAZN is set to write to global rights holders this week to inform them that it will not be making its next rights fee payments for any content that has not yet been delivered.
The global launch of DAZN’s OTT platform, announced earlier this month, has also been pushed back. Whilst DAZN will make the payments for contracts and services that have already been delivered, the moratorium applies to rights holders with matches that have been suspended, postponed or cancelled.
DAZN tells sports leagues it will NOT pay rights fees for matches suspended or cancelled https://t.co/gSIEUDhRIG— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) March 31, 2020
FIFA is drawing up plans to tap its $2.7 billion cash reserve and create an emergency fund to support the ailing football industry according to a New York Times article.
The fund, should global football leaders sign off on it, would be the biggest response from any major sports governing body to the financial impact of the pandemic.
“FIFA is in a strong financial situation and it’s our duty to do the utmost to help them in their hour of need,”
USA Rugby, the National Body for Rugby Union the USA, has filed for bankruptcy amid "insurmountable financial constraints" due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"This is the most challenging period this organisation has faced. While the current climate is of course much larger than rugby, we remain focused with stakeholders and supporters in the continued effort toward a balanced rugby community where the game can truly grow"
Barbara O´Brien, Chairwoman
In a statement on its website, USA Rugby said World Rugby is financially helping them navigate the bankruptcy process. The men's and women's US national teams will start playing again after the pandemic is over, the organisation added.
The World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, were set to take place from August 6 to 15, 2021, and would therefore fall within the agreed dates for the rescheduled Olympic Games.
"Everyone must now be flexible and make compromises, so we are now working with the organizers of the World Championships in Oregon on a new date in 2022".
The IOC confirmed the dates for the Olympic Games in a statement today. The Paralympics will take place one month later from August 24th to September 5th 2021.
A breathing aid that can help keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care has been created in under a week with support from the Mercedes F1 team. University College London engineers worked with clinicians at UCLH and Mercedes Formula One to build the device, which delivers oxygen to the lungs without needing a ventilator. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices are already used in hospitals but are in short supply.
Read more here.
In table tennis, the break will last at least two months longer than expected. The International Table Tennis Federation ITTF announced that all competitions organised by the ITTF will be suspended until June 30th.
Due to the continued uncertainty caused by #COVID19 and the postponement of the #Tokyo2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the ITTF Executive Committee reached the following decisions today 👉 https://t.co/3ovDVDfgeA pic.twitter.com/9Vstu8UZC5— ITTF World (@ittfworld) March 29, 2020
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with international federations (IFs) to find a window in July and August next year to reschedule the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, according to Japanese newspaper Yomiuri. Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) president John Coates, who is also the IOC’s coordination commission chair for Tokyo 2020, reportedly told the newspaper that the Games would have to be held between the Wimbledon and US Open tennis grand slams, which are traditionally staged in early July and late August respectively.
"Tomorrow I will propose to extend the ban on all sports competitions to the end of April"
Vincenco Spadafora, Minister of Sport
The measure should also be extended to training in all sports. The initial restrictions and the suspension of numerous activities had initially been ordered by the government until 3 April.
BBC Sport provides an interesting insight into the lives of players, coaches and managers of the British Premier League in times of the home office:
"We don't believe the season will start again in one month and it will probably be more than two months."— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 28, 2020
An insight into how managers, players and sporting directors are coping during the coronavirus pandemic.
👉 https://t.co/RNFXv2N1bK pic.twitter.com/jRkzsfX9fN
Russia leaves it unclear when the doping controls on athletes suspended due to the Corona pandemic will be resumed. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) continues to work despite the spread of the virus but the agency is complying with the Russian government's conditions and suspending the controls, Yuri Ganus the new RUSADA Director General has said. President Vladimir Putin had ordered a week off as a measure against the Corona pandemic. Ganus promised that Rusada would continue to provide comprehensive support in the fight against doping.
League leaders Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig have agreed to forego their annual share of organising body the German Football League’s (DFL) national media revenue, which would have amounted to approximately €12.5 million . The clubs will contribute the other €7.5 million from their own resources.
"This campaign underlines that solidarity in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga is not lip service. The DFL presidium is very grateful to the four Champions League participants in terms of the community of all clubs.”
Christian Seifert, DFL Chief Executive
However, slight changes to the programme have been made:
"We will not invite any talents and their families to the local draft, and the draft itself will be conducted and broadcasted on television in a manner that reflects current conditions"
Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
The Indianapolis 500, the USA’s most prestigious race, has been postponed until 23rd August as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The event held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is traditionally held on the last Sunday in May. It is the latest major motorsport event to be affected by coronavirus.
“... The health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe that postponing the event is the responsible decision with the conditions and restrictions we are facing.”
Roger Penske, Indianapolis 500 Owner
European Athletics has stated that its board of directors has asked the Local Organising Committee (LOC) that the event, which is taking place from 25 to 30 August, carry out "a study of possible alternative scenarios for accommodation... including a possible postponement".
“It was a stressful and confusing time for the athletes, we lost our structure and our sense of normalcy. We are joining our larger communities to focus on the health and well-being of everyone during the Covid-19 epidemic. "
Periklis Iakovakis, President of European Athletics
In a statement released Wednesday, the club said the postponement and cancellation of the currently scheduled event from June 29 to July 12, due to the impact of the coronavirus, were possible results. Playing in camera is formally excluded. Earlier this month, the French Open, which was scheduled to start in May, was postponed to September 20-October 4. The ATP and WTA circuits have already been postponed to April 27 and May 2 respectively and last week, this suspension was extended until June 7.
Read more here.
The NHL is temporarily cutting the pay of league office employees by 25%. The league confirmed that salaries will be reduced across the board starting from 1st April. According to ESPN, the NHL is hoping that the temporary pay cut among league office employees will prevent layoffs during this uncertain time.
"What we want to make sure of is that we don't do anything from this season that might impact next season [...]If we are going to complete this current season, it has to have integrity, and it has to be respectful of the well-over-100-year history of the Stanley Cup. And that's something we're very focused on."
Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner
The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) will launch a 500 million euros (£457m) fund to support clubs struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic. The money will help clubs unable to claim lost television rights from the period when matches are not played and would be paid to clubs over a period of five years.
According to media reports, organisers of the Tour de France are working on an edition with restrictions for the public. Restrictions could include the cancellation of the advertising caravan and the Tour Village before each stage. In addition, spectators in the start and finish areas could be excluded, similar to that at the Paris-Nice event held in mid-March. The 2020 Tour de France is currently scheduled to start in Nice on June 27th as planned.
In a report published before the International Olympic Committee (IOC) postponed the Games until 2021, the Asian business economists estimated that a delay would cost the Japanese economy between ¥600 billion and ¥700 billion yen (US$5.42 billion and US$6.32 billion).
"In the event that the games are postponed the obviously there would be some degree of negative impact to Japanese economic growth in fiscal year 2020. However, we need to keep in mind a sense of perspective here as, according to our economics team, the Olympics alone was only forecast to boost GDP by 0.2 percentage points. So in the grand scheme of things, the Japanese overall [impact on] GDP per size of economy is not that large."
Kathy Matsui, Goldman Sachs Chief Japan Strategist
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been postponed until next year because of coronavirus, the IOC confirmed today. The decision was made in close communication with the WHO and comes after a number of countries said they would not send their athletes to Tokyo this summer. A new date is yet to be set but has been agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has announced that the pressing issues in world football will only be resolved after the end of the Corona pandemic. "Football comes second. First we have to win this match against the corona virus," the Swiss said in a video message:
Following Australia and Canada, the US Committee for Olympic and Paralympic Sports (USOPC) has also spoken out against holding the Olympic Games this summer in Tokyo. In a statement from the committee it said:
"It is more than clear that a postponment [of the Olympic Games] is the most promising way. We urge the IOC to take all steps to ensure that the Games are conducted under safe and fair conditions."
In addition, the British Olympic Committee is also questioning participation under current conditions. The IOC has currently set itself a deadline of four weeks to decide about the fate of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.
Professional Footballers`Association deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes said in a statement that there will be no choice but to continue the current Premier League season behind closed doors. While some players have already stated that they would be "gutted" for fans if they were unable to watch their stars compete live, Barnes says:
In an ideal world we'd be playing in front of crowds but I think it's more a case of there being no alternative. [...] Players are realistic. We're not in an ideal world and the players I've spoken to accept that's what it will have to be. I've been speaking to players on a daily basis and the conversations were based around not wanting to play behind closed doors if at all possible.
Football is about fans. But the reality for the vast majority of the players, particularly at the highest level, is their income is funded by television money and there are contracts that have to be adhered to. In order for us [the PFA] to be able to protect those players in terms of securing their salaries, if that's the only offer we have on the table to complete the season, then that is what it will be."
The European Football Association has postponed the finals of the European top competitions in May until further notice. An alternative date has not yet been set. A crisis team set up to deal with all developments relating to Covid-19 is now discussing how to proceed.
Football stars from all over the world are addressing their fans directly in a campaign organised by FIFA in cooperation with the WHO. In doing so, they are appealing to people's common sense and calling for a joint fight against the corona virus. Alisson Becker, goalkeeper of Liverpool F.C. and WHO ambassador, shared via Twitter:
The Monitoring Committee set up under the current RFEF LaLiga Coordination Agreement agrees to the suspension of professional football competitions until the Spanish Government authorities and the General Administration of the State consider that they can be resumed without risk to health.
Read the full statement here.
A start of the motorsport series this year remains unclear. The original plan was to start the season in the middle of March, but now the 8th race has been postponed as well. A possible start of the season would currently be the Canada GP, taking place on June 14th.
Click here for the FIAs full announcement.
The International Olympic Committee will decide on Tokyo 2020 in four weeks' time and possible scenarios will have been discussed by then, said Thomas Bach. However, a cancellation would "not be on the agenda". Some countries, such as Canada and Australia, have already prohibited their athletes to participate under current conditions.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the Premier League is planning to end the season in a fast-forward. The remaining ten matchdays will most likely be held within six weeks starting on June 1. In this way, the FA is trying not to endanger the planned start of the Premier League season 2020/21 on August 8th.
The World Cup in Zurich from 8 to 24 May will therefore not take place. The IIHF Council will discuss an alternative date at a congress later this year.
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