World Sports News in Brief

Wimbledon cancelled for the first time since World War Two

Thursday, 2020-04-02 09:17:24
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A Wimbledon logo is seen inside the grounds at the Wimbledon tennis championships in London. (Photo: Reuters)
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The Wimbledon championships were cancelled for the first time since World War Two on Wednesday as the coronavirus pandemic struck another blue-riband sports event off the calendar and wiped out the entire tennis grass court season.

While the decision had looked inevitable for some time, since the virtual shutdown of world sport and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, Wimbledon had been one of the few events not to have been officially cancelled or postponed. But after emergency talks between the various stakeholders over the last few days, the All England Lawn Tennis Club announced that it was impossible for the grass court Grand Slam, scheduled for June 29-July 12, to take place.

* Major League Baseball, which already postponed the start of its 2020 season because of the coronavirus outbreak, said on Wednesday it has decided to cancel its planned return to London in June. MLB was originally scheduled to start its 2020 season last week but has now pushed back its opening day until mid-May at the earliest, which includes the cancellation of games that were scheduled to be played in Mexico City and Puerto Rico in April.

* Bournemouth have furloughed staff while top executives and coaches have taken voluntary pay cuts to help ease the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis on the south-coast side, the Premier League club said on Wednesday. The Premier League season has been suspended until at least April 30 due to the pandemic and clubs across the country have been hit by significant losses in match-day revenue.

* Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will play a coronavirus relief golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday.

* 41st edition of golf's biennial women's amateur Curtis Cup tournament due to be held in June at Conwy in Wales has been rescheduled to 2021 due to the coronavirus, organisers said on Wednesday. The Royal & Ancient and US Golf Association said revised dates would be issued in due course. The Cup, a contest between Britain and Ireland and the United States, had been scheduled for June 12-14.

* UEFA bowed to the inevitable on Wednesday and suspended all Champions League and Europa League soccer matches "until further notice" due to the coronavirus pandemic. European soccer's governing body also said all national team games scheduled for June have been postponed, including playoff matches for Euro 2020, which has been moved to 2021.

* Bayer Leverkusen players, staff and management on Wednesday unanimously agreed to accept an unspecified pay cut as the Bundesliga remains suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic.

* Italian MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone has been banned for 18 months after failing a dope test last November, the sport's governing body said on Wednesday. The FIM said in a statement that the Aprilia rider had tested positive for the banned steroid Drostanolone at the Malaysian Grand Prix. The suspension will run until June 16, 2021.

* The players and staff at Serie A team Cagliari have agreed to go without pay for one month to help the Sardinian club get through the stoppage caused by the coronavirus outbreak, its president Tommaso Giulini has said. On Saturday, Italian champions Juventus said their players had agreed to accept reduced wages from March to June to help the Turin club through the crisis. Inter Milan were also reported by Italian media to be close to agreeing a wage cut with their players.

* British Grand Prix organisers have set an end of April deadline to decide whether the country's Formula One race goes ahead as scheduled in July or becomes another casualty of the coronavirus. Formula One's season has yet to start, with two races cancelled and six more postponed so far.

* Butterfly world champion Boglarka Kapas is among nine swimmers on the Hungarian national team to have tested positive for coronavirus, the country's swimming association said in a statement late on Tuesday. Dominik Kozma, who won a bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2017 worlds, has also tested positive for the fast-spreading virus that has brought global sport to a virtual standstill and led to the one-year postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

* Deutsche Bank said on Wednesday (Apr 1) that it had won a deal to sponsor the local soccer team, Eintracht Frankfurt, as the German lender focuses more on its domestic market. Eintracht's home stadium will be renamed "Deutsche Bank Park", and the contract will last for seven years, with an option to extend, Deutsche said.

* New Zealand Rugby has offered a grant of NZUS$250,000 (120,180.67 pounds) to each of the country's five Super Rugby teams to help them get through the next three months while the game remains suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. The intercontinental Super Rugby competition was shut down after round seven when the New Zealand government enforced two weeks of self-isolation for anyone entering the country.

* Spain's La Liga could recommence in July without spectators, the head of a major broadcaster has said, adding that the season was likely to be cancelled if a player tested positive for the coronavirus once the campaign had restarted. All organised soccer in Spain has been on hold since March 10 due to the spread of the deadly virus although Jaume Roures, CEO of Spanish multimedia group Mediapro, predicted that matches could resume behind closed doors in three months' time.