World Sports News in Brief

Tokyo 2020 torch handover to take place in empty Athens stadium

Monday, 2020-03-16 09:14:19
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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Flame at the Panathenaic stadium in Athens, Greece. (Reuters)
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The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games flame handover in Athens next week will be done in an empty stadium amid the coronavirus outbreak, Greece's Olympic Committee said on Sunday.

Greece on Friday cancelled the remainder of the domestic Olympic torch relay through the country to avoid attracting crowds a day after the Tokyo Games flame was lit in ancient Olympia.

* The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) suspended all national soccer competitions on Sunday due to the coronavirus outbreak, but said it was up to local federations to decide whether to halt the state championships currently under way. The Brazilian Cup, the women’s first and second divisions, and two youth competitions, were halted until further notice, the CBF said.

* Australia's top flight A-League soccer competition has banned fans from matches for the rest of the season as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, Football Federation Australia (FFA) said on Monday.

* Mexico's soccer league, Liga MX, said all matches in the top-flight Liga BBVW MX, the second tier Ascenso BBVA MX and women's league Liga BBVA MX Feminil have been suspended until further notice to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

* Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan (China) beat Chinese world number one Chen Yufei 21-19, 21-15 to win the All England badminton Championship for the third time on Sunday (Mar 15). Tai, seeded second, was on a revenge mission in Birmingham after losing last year's final against Chen.

* Italy's football federation will ask for the Euro 2020 tournament to be postponed over the coronavirus outbreak in the hope of being able to complete the Serie A season, its president said on Sunday.

* Manchester United star Paul Pogba has promised to financially support the fight to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Pogba has organised a fundraising page on Facebook and the France midfielder will double the amount raised if the target of £27,000 is reached.

* Valencia and Argentina defender Ezequiel Garay said on Sunday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first La Liga player to confirm he has the virus that has wreaked havoc on global sport.

* The rest of the modern pentathlon World Cup season has been postponed until May due to the coronavirus pandemic, governing body UIPM said in a statement on Sunday. The UPIM also said it had written to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) sport department to ask that the Olympic qualification deadline be extended to June 30 from May 31.

Reuters, CNA