The Latest: Copa del Rey final delayed until fans allowed in
The Latest on the effects of the new coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
The Spanish soccer federation says the Copa del Rey final will only take place when fans are allowed back into stadiums in Spain.
The federation says the final between Basque Country rivals Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad will be delayed until fans are allowed to attend it, even if that means playing the match next year.
Both clubs had petitioned to play the final only when fans were allowed back.
The federation says the only condition is that it takes place before the 2020-21 final.
This year’s final was originally scheduled to be played on April 18 in Seville.
French horseracing organizer France Galop says Paris police have given the green light for racing to resume next Monday, when France starts to ease its coronavirus lockdown in place since March 17.
France Galop President Edouard de Rothschild announced the decision in a tweet.
He says: “It’s very good news and a real victory!”
The first races will be held at the ParisLongchamp race track without spectators.
The organizer has previously said that access to racecourses will be tightly controlled as racing resumes.
It says horses trained abroad and foreign jockeys will not be allowed to participate in French races until the end of May at the earliest.
World TeamTennis is in discussions with several cities in an attempt to find one to host the league’s full nine-team schedule in one venue without spectators amid the coronavirus pandemic.
WTT still hopes to start play on July 12, as scheduled.
But that could change, as could the length of the season. It normally lasts three weeks, with play at the various teams’ home sites.
The league’s teams are based in Chicago; Las Vegas; New York; Orlando; Orange County; Philadelphia; San Diego; Springfield, Missouri; Washington.
All sanctioned professional tennis tours are suspended at least until mid-July because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Some exhibitions have started popping up, with no fans in attendance.
The German soccer league says there were 10 positive tests for the new coronavirus among 36 clubs in the Bundesliga and second division.
The DFL says that 1,724 tests for COVID-19 were carried out over two rounds among players and staff.
Cologne previously reported three positive cases, while second-division Stuttgart had reported one “inconclusive result” from a person.
The tests were part of the DFL’s hygiene concept as it bids to restart the leagues some time in May. It says teams will also undertake a “a mandatory training camp under quarantine conditions before a possible continuation.”
Testing will continue regardless of whether competitive games restart or not.
Chancellor Angela Merkel and 16 state governors have postponed a decision until Wednesday on whether the Bundesliga could resume without fans present.
German clubs had committed to finishing the season by the end of June.
The Big Ten Conference has announced it will extend the suspension of organized team activities through June 1 and re-evaluate then.
The conference previously announced a moratorium on all on- and off-campus recruiting activities. No date for that to end has been set.
The Big Ten says it is continuing to consult with medical experts and school leaders to determine appropriate steps for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld said during a regents meeting last week it was hoped preparations for the 2020 football season could begin June 1.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky and U.S. women’s soccer star Carli Lloyd are among the athletes who are participating in a project which will recognize and celebrate health care workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Real Heroes Project” was announced on Monday. It is a collaborative initiative among 15 leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer.
Participating athletes will share a personal thank you message on social media utilizing #TheRealHeroes from Monday. Athletes will cover their name on their jerseys or uniforms and replace it with the name of the health care worker they are honoring.
Public service announcements will debut on Wednesday across league and team platforms. The other leagues participating are the ATP, NASCAR, NWSL, USGA, WNBA, WTA as well as the WWE and esports Overwatch League, Call of Duty League and Electronic Arts.
Among other athletes participating are New York Yankees all-star outfielder Aaron Judge and Milwaukee Brewers slugger Christian Yelich (MLB), Utah Jazz point guard Donovan Mitchell (NBA), Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (NFL), Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Hockey Hall of Famer Hayley Wickenheiser (NHL) as well as Los Angeles Galaxy forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore, and Orlando City SC forward Nani (MLS).
Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, U.S. soccer standout Alex Morgan, two-time WNBA all-star Breanna Stewart and Ashleigh Barty, the world’s top-ranked women’s tennis player, are also included. The leagues teamed up with creative agency 72andSunny and production company Hecho Studios for the campaign.
Amiens is asking the French soccer league to review its decision to relegate the club from the country’s top flight following the early termination of the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The team from northern France has started a petition to “demand justice for this far-reaching decision which goes against fairness in sport.”
Amiens was in 19th place in the 20-team Ligue 1, above only Toulouse, when sport around the world was brought to a halt in March due to the pandemic. The French league season was canceled last week under orders from the government.
Amiens had 10 games left to play and was four points behind 18th-place Nimes. The bottom two teams are automatically relegated in France.
Amiens says the “fairest choice” would be to expand Ligue 1 and make it a 22-team division for the 2020-21 season.
The club is asking “supporters from Amiens and lovers of football” to support its initiative, which “would make football and sport grow.”
The search is on for a new host for the women’s European gymnastics championships.
European Gymnastics, the continental governing body, says that France isn’t able to host the championships if they’re rescheduled to the fall of 2020, so the “call for a new host is open.”
The championships were meant to take place in Paris from April 29 through May 3 as a tune-up ahead of the Olympics but were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. European Gymnastics is still hoping to stage them on a new date.
European Gymnastics says the men’s European championships will remain in host nation Azerbaijan on rescheduled dates later this year, and the rhythmic gymnastics championships will stay in Ukraine.
It’s looking for a new host for the European trampoline championships to replace Sweden. That event has been moved from this month to spring 2021.
The head of English soccer says he does not expect crowds to be allowed back into matches “any time soon.”
The Premier League and other soccer competitions in England have been suspended two months during the coronavirus pandemic.
The English Football Association, which owns Wembley Stadium and runs the national teams, is cutting its annual budget by 75 million pounds ($93 million) as it tries to offset a potential “worst-case scenario” deficit of 300 million pounds over the next four years.
FA chairman Greg Clarke says “with social distancing in place for some time to come we do face substantial changes to the whole football ecosystem.”
In a letter to the FA Council, Clarke says “it’s hard to foresee crowds of fans – who are the lifeblood of the game – returning to matches any time soon.”
The English Football League, which operates the three professional divisions below the Premier League, has told clubs games might be played without fans until 2021.
The Premier League is trying to find a way of restarting next month. Liverpool is 25 points clear with nine games remaining.
The FA Cup quarterfinals are yet to be played.
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