World Sports News in Brief

Bundesliga season resumes on May 16 with empty stadiums

Friday, 2020-05-08 09:09:46
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Bundesliga - Borussia Moenchengladbach v FC Cologne - Borussia-Park, Moenchengladbach, Germany - March 11, 2020 General view of a match ball during the warm up before the match that will be played behind closed while the number of coronavirus cases grow around the world.
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The Bundesliga season will restart on May 16 after a suspension of more than two months, the German Football League said on Thursday, becoming the first European league to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The DFL said the season would restart under the terms of a strict health protocol that bans fans from the stadium, with six games on Saturday, including the high-profile Ruhr valley derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04.

* New Zealand Rugby will lay off half of the organisation's full-time staff and have the other half reapply for their jobs as part of cost-cutting to cope with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, state media reported on Friday.

* La Liga has refused to confirm Leganes coach Javier Aguirre's announcement that the Spanish soccer season will re-start on June 20 after being halted for more than three months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking to Mexican website Marca Claro earlier on Thursday, Aguirre said he had been given details of when the campaign would start again and had been informed the season would conclude before the end of July.

* The coronavirus relief golf match featuring Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will be on May 24 at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, WarnerMedia's Turner Sports said on Thursday. The sanctioned PGA Tour event, which is being dubbed The Match: Champions for Charity, will begin at 3 pm ET (1900 GMT) and the four golfers will come together to make a charitable donation of US$10 million to benefit COVID-19 relief.

* Formula One could race at circuits not on the current calendar as it seeks to rev up a 2020 season stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic and against a backdrop of plunging revenues. The Liberty Media-owned sport reported first quarter revenues of US$39 million on Thursday, compared to US$246 million in the same period last year, with no races scheduled for Q2 either.

* The all-female W Series is launching an Esports League for women drivers only in the absence of any on-track action due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All 18 drivers who qualified for the regular W series season, which was scheduled to start in St Petersburg, Russia, on May 29, are expected to race from their homes on identical simulators.

* Sporting events in the Netherlands will have to take place without fans in attendance until there is a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said. Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Wednesday organised sport could resume from Sept. 1, but de Jonge said mass gatherings would not be allowed until a vaccine had been developed.

* World Cup record scorer Miroslav Klose has signed a one-year contract to become Bayern Munich assistant coach under head coach Hansi Flick from next season, the Bundesliga champions said on Thursday.

* Bulgaria's top division will resume after the COVID-19 stoppage on June 5 without spectators in a shortened format, which would allow the league season to be completed within a month, the country's football union said on Thursday. The decision means the top tier comprising 14 clubs will play another two rounds of matches to complete the regular season, while championship and relegation playoffs requiring an additional 10 rounds have been reduced to five.

* All tickets purchased for this year's French Open are going to be cancelled and reimbursed instead of being transferred, after the tournament was delayed by four months, organisers said on Thursday. The event was due to be held from May 24-June 7, before being postponed to Sept. 20-Oct 4 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

* The men's tennis tour has partnered with online learning platform Coursera to help players gain new skills and knowledge, as well as look after their mental health during the COVID-19 shutdown, ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said on Thursday. The professional tennis season was halted in early March due to the pandemic and will remain suspended until at least mid-July, depriving lower-level players who depend solely on tournament winnings of the chance to earn a living.

* Three first-team players at Brazilian champions Flamengo have tested positive for the new coronavirus, along with 35 other people linked to the club, the Rio de Janeiro side said. The club carried out 293 tests on players, officials and their families between April 30 and May 3.

* MotoGP has proposed starting its season, after months of delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with two races on consecutive weekends in July at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain. It said in a statement on Thursday that the regional government of Andalusia, the city council of Jerez and series promoters Dorna had agreed to make a proposal to the Spanish government. If approved, Jerez would host MotoGP grands prix on July 19 and 26 as well as a round of the world superbike championship on Aug. 2.