World Sports News in Brief

English Premier League suspended due to coronavirus

Saturday, 2020-03-14 09:17:34
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Soccer Football - Premier League - Arsenal v Everton - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - February 23, 2020 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates with Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi after the match. (Reuters)
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All elite football matches in England, including the Premier League, were suspended until Apr 4 on Friday (Mar 13) due to the coronavirus pandemic, English football's governing bodies said in a joint statement.

The “unanimous” decision was made in a meeting on Friday, after Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi were diagnosed with the coronavirus.

* FIFA has recommended that all international matches scheduled to be played in March and April be postponed because of the coronavirus, the global soccer body said in a statement on Friday. It added that clubs would not be obliged to release players for any matches which were played.

* UEFA has postponed all Champions League and Europa League matches due to take place next week because of the coronavirus outbreak, European football's governing body said in a statement on Friday (Mar 13).

* The Indian Premier League, the world's most lucrative cricket competition, on Friday postponed the start of this year's tournament amid mounting anxiety in India over the coronavirus pandemic.

* Four more players at Italian Serie A club Sampdoria have tested positive for coronavirus, the club said on Friday, one day after forward Manolo Gabbiadini was also confirmed to have caught the virus.

* The annual London marathon which was due to take place on Apr 26 has been postponed to Oct 4 because of coronavirus, the organisers said on Friday.

* Organisers of Germany's Bundesliga called off all weekend matches on Friday (Mar 13) and asked for the competition to be suspended until April due to the coronavirus outbreak. The decision came after one match was postponed amid fears that fans would congregate outside the stadium and two second tier teams, Nuremberg and Hanover 96, were sent into quarantine after a player in each club tested positive.

* The PGA Tour took its cue from Disneyland in deciding to cancel the Players Championship in Florida due to the coronavirus outbreak, commissioner Jay Monahan said on Friday, capping a chaotic and confusing 24 hours for the Tour's flagship event.

* The Masters, which brings together the world's best golfers in April for the year's first major, has been postponed because of concerns about the coronavirus, Augusta National Golf Club said on Friday (Mar 13). People from all over the world attend the Masters at Augusta National, which this year was scheduled for Apr 9 to 12, and the club said it hopes the postponement will allow it to host the event safely at a later date.

* Greece's Olympic Committee said it had cancelled the remainder of the Olympic Torch relay through the country on Friday (Mar 13) to avoid attracting crowds that could raise the risk of coronavirus contagion.

* Formula One said on Friday it hoped to start its 2020 season in Europe at the end of May after cancelling this weekend's Australian opener and postponing the next three races in Bahrain, Vietnam and China due to the coronavirus.

* Top flight French football has been suspended until further notice due to the coronavirus health crisis, the league's organisers said on Friday. Both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 games have been immediately halted as the French league became the latest major footballing competition to call off games due to the outbreak of the virus.

Reuters, CNA