World Sports News in Brief

UEFA formally postpones Champions League, Europa League finals

Tuesday, 2020-03-24 09:18:06
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FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Round of 16 draw - Nyon, Switzerland - December 16, 2019 General view of the trophy before the draw. (Reuters)
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This season's Champions League, Europa League and women's Champions League finals scheduled for May have been formally postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, European soccer's governing body UEFA said on Tuesday.

* The Spanish football calendar has been postponed until further notice, La Liga and the Spanish football federation (RFEF) said in a joint statement on Monday.

* The COVID-19 pandemic prompted Australia to withdraw its athletes from the 2020 Olympics on Monday (Mar 23) while the nation's top rugby league competition was called off and other domestic sports scrambled to stave off financial ruin.

* Arsenal have advised their players, who were to resume training on Tuesday (Mar 23), to stay at home even though they completed their 14-day isolation period after manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the coronavirus.

* Senior International Olympic Committee (IOC) official Dick Pound said on Monday (Mar 23) a postponement of this year's Tokyo Olympics is now inevitable as the world reels from the coronavirus pandemic. The IOC said on Sunday the body would wait four more weeks before announcing its decision on the fate of the Jul 24-Aug 9 Games, amid mounting calls for them to be rescheduled.

* Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar remain the three best-paid footballers in the world with respective annual income of EUR131 million, EUR118 million and EUR95 million, according to a study by France Football magazine. The study estimates the income of the world's highest-paid players by adding their estimated gross salaries and income from image rights to bonuses earned last season.

* Australia's A-League was suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus on Tuesday, with administrators saying travel curbs to contain the outbreak had made it untenable for the country's top-flight soccer competition to continue.

* Azerbaijan postponed its June 7 Formula One Grand Prix on Monday, leaving the stalled championship with a major rescheduling headache after already cancelling or calling off seven earlier races.

* USA Gymnastics joined the growing number of sports federations calling for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to be postponed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement posted on its Twitter account, the federation said it was making the move after a survey found 62 percent of its athletes who responded were in favor of delaying the Games now scheduled for Jul 24-Aug 9.

Reuters, CNA