World Sports News in Brief

Djokovic pledges 1 mln euros to help fight coronavirus in Serbia

Saturday, 2020-03-28 08:18:10
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Tennis - Australian Open - Men's Singles Final - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - February 3, 2020. Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning his match against Austria's Dominic Thiem. (Photo: Reuters)
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Tennis world number one Novak Djokovic pledged one million euros (US$1.10 million) to help buy ventilators and other medical equipment in his native Serbia on Friday, joining a list of other athletes in the fight against coronavirus.

Rafa Nadal had called on Spanish athletes to help raise 11 million euros (US$12.13 million) to help fight the pandemic while Roger Federer contributed one million Swiss Francs (US$1.04 million) to vulnerable families in his native Switzerland.

* World Athletics is working to restart a shuttered athletics season and studying any changes that may be needed in the qualifying process for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, president Seb Coe said on Friday. The governing body is hoping to offer a series of meetings that may begin in August and run to October so athletes can get back in to competition as quickly as possible when it is safe to do so due to the coronavirus pandemic, Coe said in a letter addressed to the athletics community.

* Germany’s cup semi-finals, scheduled for late next month, have been postponed in a further sign that top-flight football will not resume for some time due to the coronavirus crisis. Holders Bayern Munich were to host Eintracht Frankfurt on April 21 and fourth-tier Saarbrucken to welcome Bayer Leverkusen the following day but the German FA said on Friday that the games were suspended to a yet to be determined date.

* England's Premier League and Football League said on Friday they faced "difficult decisions" about the financial fall-out of the coronavirus but would not re-start until it was safe to do so. The leagues have set April 30 as a date for a possible return to action but that appears to be optimistic given the country is under restrictions which stop people leaving their homes for non-essential reasons.

* The Evian Championship, the fourth women's golf major of the year, has been moved to August from July due to the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said on Friday. The tournament, due to take place at the Evian Resort Golf Club in France, is the second women's major to be disrupted by the pandemic after the ANA Inspiration major scheduled for California early next month was moved to September.

* Atletico Madrid have taken the decision to cut the wages of their staff, including the players, to ease the financial burden on the club as they struggle with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the La Liga club said on Friday. Atletico join rivals Barcelona, who imposed a compulsory wage reduction on their players during the period of lockdown after Spain became the second-most impacted country in Europe behind Italy.

* Manchester United will offer fans either a pro-rata cash refund or a rebate on next season's tickets if this season's remaining Premier League games are cancelled or played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, the club said on Friday. United said in a statement that they had also suspended the May 1 deadline for season ticket renewal until the club received confirmation of when next season would start.

* Diamond League events in Stockholm, Naples and Rabat that were scheduled for late May have been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, organisers said on Friday. The Diamond League has now postponed five events in the 2020 season, after meets scheduled for Doha and an unspecified host city in China were also moved, with a revised schedule to be announced later on.

* Batting great Sachin Tendulkar has contributed 5 million rupees (54,967.59 pounds) to India's fight against the coronavirus outbreak. Tendulkar, who also took part in Australia's bushfire charity game in February, contributed 2.5 million rupees each to his state government of Maharashtra and the Prime Minister's relief fund.

* Australia's soccer federation laid off most of its staff on Friday as domestic sports battled to stay afloat during the national lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. A round of layoffs also hit domestic cricket while the National Rugby League, the country's most popular sporting competition in the eastern states, scrapped a slew of national and state tournaments.

* Paris St Germain have raised over 200,000 euros for local healthcare professionals battling the coronavirus outbreak with the release of a limited edition jersey, the Ligue 1 champions have said. The shirt is a replica of PSG's current home strip but has the words 'Tous Unis' (All Together) where the main sponsor logo usually sits and features badges pledging support to doctors.

Reuters