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Coronavirus in sport: All the events cancelled or postponed including Premier League, Euro 2020, Olympics, Wimbledon and Anthony Joshua fight

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the worldwide sporting calendar.

The Football Association, the Premier League, the English Football League, FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have all called a halt to the action.


It will be quite a while before we see football in England and Europe return

Getty Images

Meanwhile, England’s cricket team cut short their tour of Sri Lanka, while the year’s first golf major, the Masters, and tennis’ French Open have been postponed.

Horse racing’s flagship race, the Grand National, and the London Marathon have also been called off for now.

Here’s how all sports have been impacted…


Football

– The Premier League, EFL and Football Association announced that professional football in England would not resume until mid-May at the earliest, but the season would be extended indefinitely.

– The Premier League say it will only resume when ‘it is safe and appropriate to do so’.

– UEFA postponed Euro 2020 until the summer of 2021, with new dates of June 11 to July 11 next year proposed. The official announcement from European football’s governing body also confirmed that the Euro 2020 play-offs, due to be played later this month, will now take place in the June 2020 international break.

– All Champions League and Europa League matches have been suspended ‘until further notice’.

– Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has warned that this season’s Champions League and Europa League will be abandoned if restrictions remain until September.

– The three divisions of England’s National League have been suspended indefinitely.

– The 2021 Nations League finals, UEFA Under-21 European Championship and the Women’s Euro 2021 were also postponed.

– The 2020 Copa America is to move to 2021 to give South American players based in Europe the opportunity to finish their league campaigns.

– All Scottish football was suspended with immediate effect, with the Scottish Football Association confirming it will not resume until April 30 at the earliest.

– The Irish Football Association suspended the current season in Northern Ireland until at least April 4. The Football Association of Ireland announced all football activity under its jurisdiction was suspended until March 29.

– England’s two friendlies in March at Wembley against Italy and Denmark were cancelled, and were followed by the friendlies with Austria and Romania in June. Wales’ international matches with Austria and the United States at the end of March were also called off.

– The Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship were also postponed by the FA.

– FIFA relaxed rules on clubs having to release players for forthcoming international fixtures and also recommended that “all international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment”.

Give COVID-19 the red card

The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pubs, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…

STAY AT HOME. Only leave for the following purposes:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary

For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.

The government has also issued further detail on what we can do during lockdown.

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

– Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus.

– Everton’s entire first-team squad and coaching staff undertook a period of self-isolation after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus while three Leicester players showed symptoms and were kept away from the rest of the squad.

– Bournemouth announced five of their employees, including goalkeeper Artur Boruc, were self-isolating having displayed symptoms consistent with the virus.

– Juventus duo Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi tested positive, as did Fiorentina striker Patrick Cutrone, on loan from Wolves, and team-mate German Pezzella and club physio Stefano Danielli.

– Ezequiel Garay became the first LaLiga player to announce that he had tested positive for coronavirus, with Valencia later confirming five positive tests among players and staff.

– Real Madrid players were told to go into quarantine after a member of the club’s basketball team tested positive. LaLiga suspended “at least the next two rounds of matches” as a result of the quarantine in place at Real.

– Barcelona suspended all first-team activity after taking advice from their medical staff.

– All domestic sporting action in Italy – including Serie A matches – was suspended until April 3.

– Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, the top two divisions in France, were suspended until further notice.

– The German Football League suspended games in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga until at least April 3, with a review to be undertaken on March 30.


Football won’t be played in England until May at the earliest

GETTY

– All football in Spain, including La Liga, has been put on hold indefinitely.

– Major League Soccer announced the suspension of matches with no set date for the competition to restart.

– The South American (CONMEBOL) World Cup qualifiers scheduled for March 23-31 were postponed to a later date.

– The Northern Premier League announced all fixtures were suspended until further notice.

– The Scottish Professional Football League postponed all games ‘pending any Government order and/or further direction from the Scottish FA’.

– The Football Association announced it was “advising that all grassroots football in England is postponed for the foreseeable future”.

– The Professional Footballers’ Association announced it had postponed this year’s awards ceremony, which had been due to take place on April 26.

– The final Hillsborough memorial service, which was due to take place at Anfield on April 15, was postponed.

– CONMEBOL confirmed that the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana would be suspended until at least May 5.

– Major League Soccer announced an extension to its postponement of matches, confirming a target date of May 10 for a return to action.

– Rotherham boss Paul Warne confirmed two of his players – Freddie Ladapo and Lewis Price – are self-isolating after contracting symptoms.

– The Turkish Football Federation announced it was suspending all football activities until further notice.

– Four Portsmouth players – James Bolton, Andy Cannon, Haji Mnoga and Sean Raggett – tested positive for coronavirus.

Rugby Union

– The RFU has ended the season for all league, cup and county rugby in England, with the Premiership – which was in a five-week suspension – the only exception.

– The Guinness PRO14 was suspended indefinitely.

– The Super Rugby season was suspended after the decision of the New Zealand government to quarantine people entering the country for 14 days.

– Rugby Australia closed its Sydney headquarters for an “intensive clean” after two members of its Australian Sevens program showed signs and symptoms associated with coronavirus.

– South Africa Rugby suspended all competitive matches until April 25 at the earliest and calls off all national team training camps and business travel.

– The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup semi-finals and finals have been postponed from their scheduled May 22-23 dates. European rugby chiefs are committed to completing both campaigns this season.

– The Welsh Rugby Union has cancelled all league and cups this season. There will be no promotion or relegation in any WRU league and all teams will remain in their current division.

Olympics and Paralympics

– The International Olympic Committee has agreed to delay the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games for a year due to coronavirus. A statement read: “In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”

– The British Olympic Association said it will not “endanger the health” of athletes by encouraging them to prepare for Tokyo 2020 if it is not safe to do so.

– The Greek leg of the Olympic Torch Relay was cancelled the day after the first flame-lighting ceremony since 1984 to take place without spectators.

– The Olympic boxing qualifier in London was cancelled having initially moved the tournament behind closed doors.

– The Artistic Gymnastics All-Around World Cup event scheduled to take place in Tokyo next month has been cancelled. The competition had been due to serve as an Olympic test event.

IOC confirm Russia will not face blanket ban from the 2016 Olympics
The IOC has agreed to postpone the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo for a year

Golf

– The Masters at Augusta, traditionally regarded as the sport’s blue riband event, became the first golf major to be postponed. The US PGA was postponed to a date later in the summer.

– The Players Championship was cancelled along with all PGA Tour events for the next three weeks. The PGA also cancelled four other events in April and May – the RBC Heritage, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Wells Fargo Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson.

– Six European Tour tournaments were postponed. The Kenya Open has been joined by April’s Hero Indian Open, Maybank Championship and China Open. The Andalucia Masters, from April 30-May 3, was also postponed along with August’s Czech Masters.

– The Irish Open, scheduled for May 28-31, has also been postponed.

– The Ladies European Tour’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International was postponed with a view to it being rescheduled later in the year.

– Africa’s Sunshine Tour suspended all activities and will review the situation on April 20 “or as the situation demands”.

– The entire PGA EuroPro Tour schedule, due to run from May to October and covering 15 events in total, has been cancelled.

– The USGA cancelled first stage qualifying for the US Open and US Women’s Open.

– The European Tour cancelled the GolfSixes Cascais event, with the Made in Denmark tournament postponed. European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “We will continue to monitor this global situation in relation to Coronavirus and evaluate its impact on all our tournaments, with public health and well-being our absolute priority.”

– The R&A says it is undertaking a “comprehensive evaluation” of its plans to stage The Open Championship and AIG Women’s British Open.


The Masters will not begin on April 9 as scheduled

Getty Images – Getty

Cricket

– The ECB announced there will be no professional cricket played in England and Wales until May 28.

– England’s Test series against Sri Lanka was postponed with the touring players returning home.

– The start of the Indian Premier League was postponed from March 29 to April 15 as a precautionary measure.

– The annual Champion County match, regarded as the curtain-raiser to the domestic season, due to be played between the MCC and Essex between March 24-27 at Galle was called off, as was the MCC World Cricket Committee meeting in Colombo scheduled for March 28 and 29.

– Surrey, Lancashire, Worcestershire, Hampshire, Essex, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Kent, Yorkshire, Somerset, Sussex, Derbyshire, Durham and Warwickshire cancelled or decided to return early from pre-season trips.

– The final two one-day internationals between India and South Africa will be rescheduled following an agreement between the countries’ governing bodies, while the remaining two ODIs between Australia and New Zealand were called off.

– Australia Women’s limited-overs tour of South Africa, consisting of three ODIs and as many T20s and due to start on March 22, will not take place.

– New Zealand Cricket cancelled the last two rounds of its domestic first-class competition after taking advice from medical experts. Wellington Firebirds, who finished the truncated season 26 points ahead of Central Stags, were awarded the 2019-20 Plunket Shield.

– Pakistan announced the third leg of Bangladesh’s visit, comprising of one Test and a one-day international, next month will be put back to a later date.

– Cricket South Africa cancelled all forms of cricket for the next 60 days.

– Ireland’s limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe next month was postponed.

– The seven-match series between Ireland and Bangladesh was postponed.

– Surrey sent six players home from training to self-isolate. Not all six reported symptoms but had been in close proximity to others who had.

– The Pakistan Super League announced on March 17 – the day the semi-finals were due to take place – that the competition had been postponed.

– England opener Alex Hales revealed he is in self-isolation after developing coronavirus symptoms.

– The England and Wales Cricket Board recommended all forms of recreational cricket be suspended.


Joe Root and co were due to be playing two tests in Sri Lanka

AFP or licensors

Boxing

– Anthony Joshua’s world title fight against Kubrat Pulev has been postponed. It was set to take place in London on June 20.

– The British Boxing Board of Control has suspended all events until the end of May.

– Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin has been moved to July 4.

– Top Rank announced the postponement of its shows at Madison Square Garden on March 14 and 17. Belfast featherweight Michael Conlan’s bout against Colombian fighter Belmar Preciado at the Hulu Theater on St Patrick’s Day was therefore scrapped.

– All events scheduled for March in Japan were cancelled.

– Shakur Stevenson vs Miguel Marriaga and James Kirkland vs Marcos Hernandez (March 14) were postponed.

– London-based Olympic qualifiers were postponed until later this year.


Stevenson was due to defend his world featherweight title against Marriaga

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

MMA

– UFC president Dana White has said the next three Fight Nights are postponed, including UFC London (due to take place on March 21).

– UFC Fight Night 170 was held in Brazil behind closed doors.

– Bellator 241 event – slated to take place in Connecticut – was scrapped.

Motorsport

– The season-opening Australian Grand Prix was called off along with the Monaco GP, while the races in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Spain and the Netherlands have been postponed.

– The Azerbaijan Grand Prix, due to take place on 7 June, has become the eighth race to be postponed.

– Formula One’s governing body approved a revised shutdown period – which had been reserved for August – to enable the possibility for racing throughout the summer. Team factories will be ordered to close for three consecutive weeks at an elected time between now and the end of April.

– Formula E temporarily suspended its season.

– Nascar postponed its race events in Atlanta (March 15) and Miami (March 22). All races were postponed until May 3.

– The Le Mans 24 hour race in June was postponed, with a provisional new date of September.

Motorcycling

– The opening four races of the MotoGP season in Qatar, Thailand, the United States and now Argentina were called off. The Qatar race was cancelled, while the other three have been moved to later in the season, which is now due to get under way in Spain on May 3.

– The opening three rounds of the British Superbike Championship – at Silverstone, Oulton Park and Donington Park – have been postponed.

Wimbledon 2020 CANCELLED for the first time since World War due to coronavirus pandemic

The All-England club have cancelled this year’s Wimbledon because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision was made at an emergency board meeting on Wednesday.

The tournament was scheduled to take place from June 29 to July 12, but because of the ongoing global health crisis it will not take place – the first time it hasn’t done so since World War II.

The All England Club said in a statement: “It is with great regret that the AELTC has today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic.

“Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.

Giving COVID-19 the red card

The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pub, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…

1. Practice social distancing by remaining two metres apart from others.

2. Wash your hands regularly

3. Self isolate if you have a fever or cough

Stay at home if you have either:

a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.

The government has also issued its guidance on social distancing.

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

“Since the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in January, we have followed guidance from the UK Government and public health authorities in relation to our year-round operations, alongside developing an understanding of the likely trajectory of the outbreak in the UK.

“With the likelihood that the Government’s measures will continue for many months, it is our view that we must act responsibly to protect the large numbers of people required to prepare The Championships from being at risk.

“From the training of ball boys and girls to thousands of officials, line judges, stewards, players, suppliers, media and contractors who convene on the AELTC Grounds – and equally to consider that the people, supplies and services legally required to stage The Championships would not be available at any point this summer, thus ruling out postponement.”

The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.

 


Source: TalkSport.com Tennis

Jamie Murray believes Wimbledon will be CANCELLED due to coronavirus pandemic with postponement likely to cause scheduling issues

Jamie Murray believes Wimbledon will have to be cancelled this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The annual tournament is unlikely to start on its scheduled June 29 date with COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the sporting calendar.


Jamie Murray is a two-time Wimbledon mixed-doubles champion

Getty Images – Getty

The All England Club is holding an emergency board meeting on Wednesday to discuss the fate of the 2020 Championships.

The grass court season only lasts for six weeks and is played at the height of the British summer when daylight hours last the longest.

Asked whether he thinks cancelling Wimbledon is more likely than postponing it, Murray told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4: “I think so, I think for them it is difficult to move the tournament back for many reasons, because you are running into other tournaments.

“I guess for the moment it is still on the schedule. Even things like daylight, to host the event, each week that passes you get less light to play the tournament. They play until 9pm or 10pm each night at Wimbledon.


Wimbledon is one of the biggest sporting events of the summer

“I guess everyone has been waiting on it, it is obviously the next big event in the calendar that is on for the moment.

“I think there are meetings today and tomorrow about what their plans are. That will give us insight into what that means for our grass court season, but also the rest of the season going forward after that.”

The French Open has already been pushed back to late September, making it difficult to rearrange Wimbledon.

If Wimbledon is cancelled, it will be the first time it does not feature on a sporting calendar since 1945.

Give COVID-19 the red card

The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pubs, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…

STAY AT HOME. Only leave for the following purposes:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary

For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.

The government has also issued further detail on what we can do during lockdown.

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading

Murray, a two-time Wimbledon mixed-doubles champion, is following the government’s lockdown guidelines by staying at home.

He added: “There is no playing schedule for now, I am at home like everyone else.

”It is different. We are used to being on the road all the time, we are in different cities each week and you sort of become institutionalised to it.

“When it comes to Friday and Saturday when you are starting to play for big prizes at the business end of the tournament, even then your mind is ready to go to the next event because that is what you’re programmed to do.”


Source: TalkSport.com Tennis

Mercedes Formula One team helps develop breathing aid for coronavirus patients

The Mercedes F1 team has helped create a potentially life-saving breathing aid to help coronavirus patients.

Mercedes has been working alongside engineers from University College London (UCL) to develop the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, which the NHS has approved.


The device could help save several lives

University College London (UCL)

The technology has been used in China, where coronavirus originated from, and in hospitals in Italy, the worst-hit country of the pandemic.

The CPAP device helps patients with serious lung infections breathe more easily when oxygen alone does not prove sufficient.

One hundred are now being delivered to UCLH for clinical trials, with the aim of then rolling them out in vast numbers to hospitals around the UK.

Professor Mervyn Singer, who is a critical care consultant at UCL Hospital, said: “These devices will help to save lives by ensuring that ventilators, a limited resource, are used only for the most severely ill.

“While they will be tested at UCL Hospital first, we hope they will make a real difference to hospitals across the UK by reducing demand on intensive care staff and beds, as well as helping patients recover without the need for more invasive ventilation.”

The coronavirus outbreak has infected more than 700,000 people and claimed over 30,000 lives worldwide.


The equipment was made by Mercedes and engineers from University College London (UCL)

University College London (UCL)

According to reports in Italy, approximately 50 per cent of patients who have been given CPAP have not needed a ventilator, a piece of equipment the UK is short of.

Mercedes are also among seven UK-based Formula One teams working on manufacturing ventilators to assist with the treatment of the coronavirus nationwide.

McLaren, Red Bull, Racing Point, Haas, Renault and Williams are also collectively part of ‘Project Pitlane’, seeking to pool their engineering expertise to provide much-needed medical devices.

A statement from F1 read: “The seven teams’ combined efforts, termed ‘Project Pitlane’, are part of a UK industry-wide effort to manufacture and deliver respiratory devices to support the national need.

“Project Pitlane is focused on three workstreams. These workstreams vary in scope from reverse engineering existing medical devices, to support in scaling the production of existing ventilator designs, to the rapid design and prototype manufacture of a new device.

“Project Pitlane will pool the resources and capabilities of its member teams to greatest effect, focusing on the core skills of the F1 industry: rapid design, prototype manufacture, test and skilled assembly.

“F1’s unique ability to rapidly respond to engineering and technological challenges allows the group to add value to the wider engineering industry’s response.

“The seven teams remain ready to support in other areas requiring rapid, innovative technology responses to the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In the UK, more than 19,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus, with the death toll at 1,228, as of Monday, March 30.

Give COVID-19 the red card

The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pubs, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…

STAY AT HOME. Only leave for the following purposes:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary

For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.

The government has also issued further detail on what we can do during lockdown.

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.


Source: TalkSport.com Motorsport

Daniel Ricciardo EXCLUSIVE: Formula 1 season to start in July says Renault driver, who concedes: ‘But really, who knows?’

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo has given hope to Formula 1 fans by revealing to talkSPORT when the 2020 season could finally start.

However, the potential date would mean at least TWO more Grands Prix could be postponed to join the eight races already removed from the calendar.

The coronavirus pandemic led to the cancellation of the Australian GP – Ricciardo’s home race – on the eve of the season opener getting underway, while the historic Monaco GP soon went the same way.


The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc worldwide with more than 700,000 confirmed cases

AFP or licensors

Furthermore, events in Azerbaijan, Bahrain, China, the Netherlands, Spain and Vietnam have all been postponed with no new dates yet in place given there are no guarantees as to when the 2020 season will actually begin.

The first race remaining on the calendar is the Canadian GP, which is due to take place on June 14 in Montreal.

However, Ricciardo has exclusively told talkSPORT a July start date is being predicted which would mean the races in Canada and France (June 28) would also have to be rescheduled or cancelled.

“I’ve kept in contact with the team and we’re just trying to figure out what is going on,” said Ricciardo. “I’m also aware that no one really has a hold of this virus yet.

“We are predicting maybe July we will get going, but, really, who knows?”

The first race scheduled for July is in Austria on the fifth of the month, with the British GP due to take place 14 days later.

Despite predicting the season to begin in July, Ricciardo hopes to see no more races postponed with the campaign instead beginning in Canada, which is currently scheduled as round one on the 2020 calendar.


Daniel Ricciardo spoke exclusively to talkSPORT amid the coronavirus pandemic

Getty Images – Getty

Asked about which Grand Prix he would want as the opener after the coronavirus pandemic, Ricciardo replied: “I mean the fantasy answer is Melbourne – I’d love for it to get started at home – but knowing what I know for now, I don’t think Montreal has been cancelled yet and that is the next one on the list.

“I love Montreal as a city and a circuit; it’s one of my favourite Grands Prix.

“So if we could start there that would make my day.”

Ricciardo was, along with his fellow drivers, in Melbourne earlier this month for the season opening Aussie GP.

The event was due to go ahead as planned despite sports events being cancelled left, right, and centre across the globe, and it was eventually pulled in the wake of McLaren withdrawing from the race three days before it was due to begin after a member of their team tested positive for COVID-19

Ricciardo has provided a first-hand account of being directly involved in such a bizarre situation.

“It was weird being there, and even on Thursday I was preparing myself to compete that weekend,” he continued.


Drivers, teams and cars had all arrived in Melbourne for the Aussie GP – it was cancelled at the eleventh hour

AFP or licensors

“But I was never certain it was going to happen; I knew there was a slight risk it could all get pulled last minute.

“The bombshell for me was really when I went to bed on Thursday night, and just before I went to sleep I saw McLaren had pulled out of the race, because of the case within their team.

“I then stayed up for probably another three hours trying to fish out a bit more information, but I knew then we weren’t going to race without a full grid.

“To be honest, I was no longer comfortable with it either; I was like, ‘look, this is the first race of the season, either we are all in it or we’re not, that’s just how it is’.

And how is the feeling in F1 right now with so much uncertainty over the sport and the 2020 season in particular?


Ricciardo and his fellow drivers remain in the dark over the future of the 2020 season

@RenaultF1Team on Twitter

The Renault ace finished: “From the teams’ point of view there is still the annoyance of when we will get going.

“What I’m seeing in the news is that most places have taken the measures they’ve need to – with lockdowns and not leaving your house – so I feel the sooner everyone starts to contain it that should be the right direction to finally say goodbye to this virus.

“That gives me confidence that sooner rather than later we will see it go off, but for now, from a point of view of the racing, I just want to get racing.

“Obviously Melbourne was a disappointment to not happen, but for sure I want to do it when people’s health is back where it should be. That is the priority.”


Source: TalkSport.com Motorsport

The greatest acts of sportsmanship to restore your faith in humanity, including Mike Tyson, Aryton Senna, Freddie Flintoff and Robbie Fowler

The outbreak of the deadly coronavirus has stopped civilisation as we know it, bringing the globe to a grinding halt.

As the death rate and cases of infection for COVID-19 continue to mount, more and more of the world as we know it is shutting down.


Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a £330billion package to help businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Unfortunately, this has meant sport has also taken a back seat in the midst of a global pandemic, a vice which is so often an escape from reality for both fans and the athletes themselves.

However, as the pace of life slows and the value of what is truly important is ingrained once again into people’s minds, the chance to reflect on what makes sport so compelling and rich is too good an opportunity to miss.

Despite the ferocious levels of competition and the sheer willpower required to make it to the top, the stars we revere often provide us with moments of humility and affection which remind us it is just sport after all.

In light of the dark times, talkSPORT.com has decided to delve into the archives and pick out 10 of the greatest moments of sportsmanship to hopefully restore your faith in humanity.

Mike Tyson vs Clifford Etienne

After getting thoroughly outclassed and then stopped by Lennox Lewis in 2002 at the Pyramid in Memphis, Tyson knew he needed to bounce back quickly and remind the world of the force he was.

He booked in a fight with outside ranked contender Clifford Etienne and, despite the protests from trainer Freddie Roach about his conditioning, Tyson proceeded to take the fight at the same venue where he was so convincingly beaten months before.

All in all, it proved to be one of his quickest victories ever as he racked up the 50th and final knockout of his career in just 49 seconds with a clubbing right hand.

But in the immediate aftermath and with the brave Etienne struggling to his feet, Tyson helped his fallen foe to his feet and embraced him like a friend.

It was an unusually tender moment from ‘Iron Mike’ who had caused controversy throughout his career with his outlandish remarks and behaviour.

But the New York native proved to the world he was a human just like the rest of us on that night in Tennessee.


Mike Tyson destroyed Clifford Etienne before helping him back to his feet and embracing him

AFP – Getty

Luz Long & Jesse Owens

Jesse Owens was able to transcend the world of athletics in 1936 when his sheer brilliance acted as a stand of defiance to Adolf Hitler at the Berlin Olympics.

But the world record holder almost missed out on securing gold in the long jump after twice faulting and was in danger of being disqualified and missing out on the final altogether.

Sensing his rival’s frustration, European record holder – and German – Luz Long revealed the secrets of his own success which allowed Owens to clear the board and qualify.

He went on to win gold whilst Long picked up a silver medal, but the competition mattered little at this point as both men had formed a bond for life.

“You can melt down all the medals and cups I have,” said Owens later. “And they wouldn’t be a plating on the twenty-four carat friendship that I felt for Luz Long at that moment.”


Luz Long helped Jesse Owens defy Adolf Hitler in 1936

Freddie Flintoff vs Brett Lee

The Ashes is notoriously renowned for being one of the most fiercely competed sporting events in history, with constant sledging taking place between England and Australia players on and off the pitch.

As the Second Test of the 2005 Ashes drew to a close in a match where the pendulum of momentum had swung back and forward between both teams, it seemed as though the visitors were on the cusp.

Australia needed just two runs to win the game, but with the victory in sight, Steve Harmison removed Michael Kasprowicz to send the hosts into raptures and spark scenes of wild celebrations.

However, Flintoff decided not to join the embrace of the England team and instead went over to console Brett Lee, who had finished on 43 not out and was still slumped on the turf.

Asked in 2010 what Flintoff had said to him at the moment, Lee told The Telegraph: “Something like ‘bad luck mate, we tried very hard to get you out but we didn’t think it would come down to the last two or three runs but I will see you inside for a beer after’.”


This touching Ashes moment remains one of the most coveted sports pictures in history

AFP – Getty

Matt Ziesel’s touchdown

Whilst the state of Missouri is not the most glamorous of destinations for the world of sport, perhaps one of the most touching stories this Millennium has come from the ‘Show-Me State’.

In 2009, two high school teams met for a freshman football game, with Maryville beating Benton by 46-0.

Benton coach Dan McCamy wanted Matt Ziesel, a 15-year-old freshman with Down syndrome, to make his debut on the football field and approached the opposing team with a request.

“I’ve got a special situation,” McCamy said he remembers telling Maryville freshman defensive coach David McEnaney. “I know you guys want to get a shutout. Most teams would want a shutout, but in this situation I want to know if maybe you can let one of my guys run in for a touchdown.”

The coach of the opposing team agreed and the ‘Matt Play’ proceeded with Ziesel scoring his first touchdown, breaking hearts all around the globe in the process.


Matt Ziesel scored an incredible touchdown

Getty Images – Getty

Jack Nicklaus vs Tony Jacklin

Although the Ryder Cup is a far more evenly contested competition these days, in 1969 this was not the case with Team USA dominating on the course.

As Britain’s Tony Jacklin and USA’s Jack Nicklaus made their way down to the 18th hole, the scores were tied at 15.5 apiece.

It was the final singles game of the competition and the stakes for Jacklin at the Royal Birkdale club in Southport could not have been higher.

Nicklaus holed his putt to make par, leaving Jacklin with a three-foot putt to earn the first ever tie in the history of the competition. Miss and the trophy was going back to the States.

Instead of forcing his rival to take his shot, Nicklaus picked up Jacklin’s ball marker and conceded the tie.

“I don’t think you would have missed that Tony,” Nicklaus said, “but I didn’t want to give you the chance.” The two remain good friends until this day.


Nicklaus and Jacklin remain firm friends to this day

Getty Images – Getty

Paulo Di Canio vs Paul Gerrard

Paulo Di Canio knew how to play the role of the villain in English football and the former Milan and striker revelled in that challenge during his stint in the Premier League.

After an eight-game ban for shoving referee Paul Alcock to the floor whilst a Sheffield Wednesday player, Di Canio moved to West Ham United to work on his image under Harry Redknapp.

The Italian was incredibly talented and the Hammers faithful fell in love with his shimmies, passion, goals and skills.

But for all his heroics at Upton Park, it was on Merseyside where he completed his character rejuvenation. With injured Everton keeper Paul Gerrard lying stricken on the floor and well out of his goal, Di Canio caught a cross rather than volleying it into the empty net.

For a player capable of scoring that volley against Wimbledon, it was a certain goal. But the entire ground (besides perhaps an initially disgruntled Redknapp) stood and applauded.


Di Canio made a lot of people change their opinion of him at Goodison Park

Getty Images – Getty

Nigel Mansell vs Ayrton Senna

The pair had more than their fair share of arguments; clashes at the 1987 Belgian and 1992 Australian Grands Prix and nerve-wracking finishes at the 1986 Spanish and 1992 Monaco Grands Prix.

But as with any great rivalry between two titans of sport, there was always a healthy amount of respect.

This perhaps has never been better exemplified at the 1991 British Grand Prix on the final lap at Silverstone.

After Senna ran out of fuel, Mansell allowed the flamboyant driver to hitch a ride on top of his Williams car.

When Mansell came by the Brazilian and his stricken McLaren on the final lap, he stopped his Williams and offered Senna a ride back to the pits. The marshals at the scene weren’t exactly keen on the idea, but Senna pushed them away and thus created one of the most iconic moments in F1 history.


Mansell gives Senna a lift

Getty Images – Getty

Tana Umaga vs Colin Charvis

Bearing the brunt of a tackle from former All Blacks number 8 Jerry Collins whilst in a Test match against New Zealand is tough at the best of times.

But for his opposite number Colin Charvis, Collins put down a marker during their 2003 clash in Hamilton which almost proved fatal.

The All Black drove the Wales captain back with a ferocious but fair tackle, which knocked Charvis out cold.

Inside centre Tana Umaga stayed behind as the play surged into the Welsh half, removing the stricken forward’s mouthguard and rolling him into the recovery position.

As well as receiving the Pierre de Coubertin medal from the International Olympic Committee for excellent sportsmanship, Umaga received an honour from the Welsh Rugby Union.


Umaga was given the Pierre de Coubertin medal – becoming the first New Zealander to win the award handed out for great displays of sportsmanship

Getty Images – Getty

Derek Redmond & Jim Redmond

Great Britain’s athletes were well prepared for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and gold medals were expected to return back to these shores.

Derek Redmond was on course to qualify for the 400m finals, until he cruelly tore his hamstring with less than half of the race to go.

Perturbed at seeing his son limping and crying to the finish line, dad Jim fought off security guards to get onto the track and lift his stricken son over the finish line.

Despite getting a standing ovation from the crowd, Redmond was officially disqualified.

As recognition for the incredible moment, his father was a torchbearer for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.


The image of Derek Redmond being lifted to the line by his father is iconic

Getty Images – Getty

Robbie Fowler vs Arsenal

When a striker wins a penalty for his side, the usual clamour and histrionics which unfold tend to be from the opposing team as they crowd a referee.

But for Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, he decided to do something completely unprecedented in the Premier League at Highbury in 1997.

During a game against Arsenal in a top-of-the-table clash, Fowler went down under the challenge of David Seaman in the box and was duly awarded a penalty. Only this time, he decided to own up and admit his England colleague had not touched him.

Fowler told the Liverpool Echo in 2015: “I just remember getting up and seeing David Seaman. There was all the talk of ‘did he dive or didn’t he’ but I just lost momentum when I jumped over him and fell over.

“It wasn’t a penalty and because he was my mate from the England side, I just said it wasn’t a pen. I don’t think there were too many happy Liverpool fans or too many happy Liverpool management on the bench but two good things came out of it for me that day.

“I helped Jason McAteer score his first ever Liverpool goal and I got a fair play certificate from UEFA so it was not a bad day – and we ended up with the win as well. I didn’t miss the penalty on purpose, it was just a bad penalty but they all are when you don’t score them. I remember it very, very well actually.”


The Liverpool legend showed his class at Highbury

Getty Images – Getty



Source: TalkSport.com Motorsport

Wimbledon 2020 next major sporting event off? All England Lawn Tennis Club set to make decision next week

An emergency meeting to decide whether the Wimbledon Championships will go ahead as planned this summer is set to be held by the All England Lawn Tennis Club next week.

The SW19 tournament, widely considered the biggest event in the tennis calendar, is currently scheduled for June and July, but there is mounting pressure on organisers to make a decision on whether it will take place amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Wimbledon may be cancelled because of the coronavirus

Bosses have ruled out playing the tournament, which is due to start on June 29, behind closed doors and admitted postponing it would be difficult but there may be little other choice.

All professional tennis is currently suspended until the start of the grass-court season on June 7 and The French Open has already been moved from its scheduled spring slot to September.

Wimbledon chief executive Richard Lewis said: “We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC main board for next week, at which a decision will be made.

“The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make.

“We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC main board for next week, at which a decision will be made.”


Novak Djokovic could be denied the chance to defend his title at Wimbledon this year

Getty

Elsewhere on Wednesday, the RFU revealed it is braced to lose up to £50million over the next 18 months because of the coronavirus crisis.

Its executive team, including chief executive Bill Sweeney, will take a pay cut of more than 25 per cent as part of efforts to mitigate the effects of heavy losses.

The RFU is facing revenue losses in the region of £45-50million over the next 18 months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and head coach Eddie Jones will also be asked to take a pay cut in excess of 25 per cent.

Jones is the highest paid coach in international rugby, earning in the region of £750,000 per year.


Source: TalkSport.com Tennis

Coronavirus in sport: All the events cancelled or postponed so far including Premier League, Euro 2020, Olympics, boxing and golf

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the worldwide sporting calendar.

The Football Association, the Premier League, the English Football League, FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have all called a halt to the action.


It will be quite a while before we see football in England and Europe return

Getty Images

Meanwhile, England’s cricket team cut short their tour of Sri Lanka, while the year’s first golf major, the Masters, and tennis’ French Open have been postponed.

Horse racing’s flagship race, the Grand National, and the London Marathon have also been called off for now.

Here’s how all sports have been impacted…


Football

– The Premier League, EFL and Football Association announced that professional football in England would not resume until April 30 at the earliest, but the season would be extended indefinitely.

– UEFA postponed Euro 2020 until the summer of 2021, with new dates of June 11 to July 11 next year proposed. The official announcement from European football’s governing body also confirmed that the Euro 2020 play-offs, due to be played later this month, will now take place in the June 2020 international break.

– The 2021 Nations League finals, UEFA Under-21 European Championship and the Women’s Euro 2021 were also postponed.

– The 2020 Copa America is to move to 2021 to give South American players based in Europe the opportunity to finish their league campaigns.

– All Scottish football was suspended with immediate effect, with the Scottish Football Association confirming it will not resume until April 30 at the earliest.

– The Irish Football Association suspended the current season in Northern Ireland until at least April 4. The Football Association of Ireland announced all football activity under its jurisdiction was suspended until March 29.

– England’s two friendlies in March at Wembley against Italy and Denmark were cancelled, and were followed by the friendlies with Austria and Romania in June. Wales’ international matches with Austria and the United States at the end of March were also called off.

– The Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship were also postponed by the FA.

– UEFA announced all Champions League and Europa League fixtures scheduled for the week commencing March 16 were postponed, as well as the quarter-final draws for both competitions.

– FIFA relaxed rules on clubs having to release players for forthcoming international fixtures and also recommended that “all international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment”.

– Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus.


Arsenal boss Arteta was forced to go into self-isolation having been diagnosed with the disease

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– Everton’s entire first-team squad and coaching staff undertook a period of self-isolation after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus while three Leicester players showed symptoms and were kept away from the rest of the squad.

– Bournemouth announced five of their employees, including goalkeeper Artur Boruc, were self-isolating having displayed symptoms consistent with the virus.

– The Vanarama National League suspended all fixtures until at least April 3 on March 16.

– Juventus duo Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi tested positive, as did Fiorentina striker Patrick Cutrone, on loan from Wolves, and team-mate German Pezzella and club physio Stefano Danielli.

– Ezequiel Garay became the first LaLiga player to announce that he had tested positive for coronavirus, with Valencia later confirming five positive tests among players and staff.

– Real Madrid players were told to go into quarantine after a member of the club’s basketball team tested positive. LaLiga suspended “at least the next two rounds of matches” as a result of the quarantine in place at Real.

– Barcelona suspended all first-team activity after taking advice from their medical staff.

– All domestic sporting action in Italy – including Serie A matches – was suspended until April 3.

– Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, the top two divisions in France, were suspended until further notice.

– The German Football League suspended games in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga until at least April 3, with a review to be undertaken on March 30.


Football won’t be played in England until May at the earliest

GETTY

– All football in Spain, including La Liga, has been put on hold indefinitely.

– Major League Soccer announced the suspension of matches with no set date for the competition to restart.

– The South American (CONMEBOL) World Cup qualifiers scheduled for March 23-31 were postponed to a later date.

– The Northern Premier League announced all fixtures were suspended until further notice.

– The Scottish Professional Football League postponed all games ‘pending any Government order and/or further direction from the Scottish FA’.

– The Football Association announced it was “advising that all grassroots football in England is postponed for the foreseeable future”.

– The Professional Footballers’ Association announced it had postponed this year’s awards ceremony, which had been due to take place on April 26.

– The final Hillsborough memorial service, which was due to take place at Anfield on April 15, was postponed.

– CONMEBOL confirmed that the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana would be suspended until at least May 5.

– Major League Soccer announced an extension to its postponement of matches, confirming a target date of May 10 for a return to action.

– Rotherham boss Paul Warne confirmed two of his players – Freddie Ladapo and Lewis Price – are self-isolating after contracting symptoms.

– The Turkish Football Federation announced it was suspending all football activities until further notice.

– Four Portsmouth players – James Bolton, Andy Cannon, Haji Mnoga and Sean Raggett – tested positive for coronavirus.

Rugby Union

– The RFU has ended the season for all league, cup and county rugby in England, with the Premiership – which was in a five-week suspension – the only exception.

– The Guinness PRO14 was suspended indefinitely.

– The Super Rugby season was suspended after the decision of the New Zealand government to quarantine people entering the country for 14 days.

– Rugby Australia closed its Sydney headquarters for an “intensive clean” after two members of its Australian Sevens program showed signs and symptoms associated with coronavirus.

– South Africa Rugby suspended all competitive matches until April 25 at the earliest and calls off all national team training camps and business travel.

– The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup semi-finals and finals have been postponed from their scheduled May 22-23 dates. European rugby chiefs are committed to completing both campaigns this season.

– The Welsh Rugby Union has cancelled all league and cups this season. There will be no promotion or relegation in any WRU league and all teams will remain in their current division.

Olympics and Paralympics

– The International Olympic Committee has agreed to delay the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games for a year due to coronavirus. A statement read: “In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”

– The British Olympic Association said it will not “endanger the health” of athletes by encouraging them to prepare for Tokyo 2020 if it is not safe to do so.

– The Greek leg of the Olympic Torch Relay was cancelled the day after the first flame-lighting ceremony since 1984 to take place without spectators.

– The Olympic boxing qualifier in London was cancelled having initially moved the tournament behind closed doors.

– The Artistic Gymnastics All-Around World Cup event scheduled to take place in Tokyo next month has been cancelled. The competition had been due to serve as an Olympic test event.

IOC confirm Russia will not face blanket ban from the 2016 Olympics
The IOC has agreed to postpone the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo for a year

Golf

– The Masters at Augusta, traditionally regarded as the sport’s blue riband event, became the first golf major to be postponed. The US PGA was postponed to a date later in the summer.

– The Players Championship was cancelled along with all PGA Tour events for the next three weeks. The PGA also cancelled four other events in April and May – the RBC Heritage, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Wells Fargo Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson.

– Six European Tour tournaments were postponed. The Kenya Open has been joined by April’s Hero Indian Open, Maybank Championship and China Open. The Andalucia Masters, from April 30-May 3, was also postponed along with August’s Czech Masters.

– The Ladies European Tour’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International was postponed with a view to it being rescheduled later in the year.

– Africa’s Sunshine Tour suspended all activities and will review the situation on April 20 “or as the situation demands”.

– The entire PGA EuroPro Tour schedule, due to run from May to October and covering 15 events in total, has been cancelled.

– The USGA cancelled first stage qualifying for the US Open and US Women’s Open.

– The European Tour cancelled the GolfSixes Cascais event, with the Made in Denmark tournament postponed. European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “We will continue to monitor this global situation in relation to Coronavirus and evaluate its impact on all our tournaments, with public health and well-being our absolute priority.”

– The R&A says it is undertaking a “comprehensive evaluation” of its plans to stage The Open Championship and AIG Women’s British Open.


The Masters will not begin on April 9 as scheduled

Getty Images – Getty

Cricket

– The ECB announced there will be no professional cricket played in England and Wales until May 28.

– England’s Test series against Sri Lanka was postponed with the touring players returning home.

– The start of the Indian Premier League was postponed from March 29 to April 15 as a precautionary measure.

– The annual Champion County match, regarded as the curtain-raiser to the domestic season, due to be played between the MCC and Essex between March 24-27 at Galle was called off, as was the MCC World Cricket Committee meeting in Colombo scheduled for March 28 and 29.

– Surrey, Lancashire, Worcestershire, Hampshire, Essex, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Kent, Yorkshire, Somerset, Sussex, Derbyshire, Durham and Warwickshire cancelled or decided to return early from pre-season trips.

– The final two one-day internationals between India and South Africa will be rescheduled following an agreement between the countries’ governing bodies, while the remaining two ODIs between Australia and New Zealand were called off.

– Australia Women’s limited-overs tour of South Africa, consisting of three ODIs and as many T20s and due to start on March 22, will not take place.

– New Zealand Cricket cancelled the last two rounds of its domestic first-class competition after taking advice from medical experts. Wellington Firebirds, who finished the truncated season 26 points ahead of Central Stags, were awarded the 2019-20 Plunket Shield.

– Pakistan announced the third leg of Bangladesh’s visit, comprising of one Test and a one-day international, next month will be put back to a later date.

– Cricket South Africa cancelled all forms of cricket for the next 60 days.

– Ireland’s limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe next month was postponed.

– The seven-match series between Ireland and Bangladesh was postponed.

– Surrey sent six players home from training to self-isolate. Not all six reported symptoms but had been in close proximity to others who had.

– The Pakistan Super League announced on March 17 – the day the semi-finals were due to take place – that the competition had been postponed.

– England opener Alex Hales revealed he is in self-isolation after developing coronavirus symptoms.

– The England and Wales Cricket Board recommended all forms of recreational cricket be suspended.


Joe Root and co were due to be playing two tests in Sri Lanka

AFP or licensors

Boxing

– The British Boxing Board of Control has suspended all events until the end of April.

– Top Rank announced the postponement of its shows at Madison Square Garden on March 14 and 17. Belfast featherweight Michael Conlan’s bout against Colombian fighter Belmar Preciado at the Hulu Theater on St Patrick’s Day was therefore scrapped.

– All events scheduled for March in Japan were cancelled.

– Shakur Stevenson vs Miguel Marriaga and James Kirkland vs Marcos Hernandez (March 14) were postponed.

– London-based Olympic qualifiers were postponed until later this year.


Stevenson was due to defend his world featherweight title against Marriaga

Mikey Williams/Top Rank

MMA

– UFC president Dana White has said the next three Fight Nights are postponed, including UFC London (due to take place on March 21).

– UFC Fight Night 170 was held in Brazil behind closed doors.

– Bellator 241 event – slated to take place in Connecticut – was scrapped.

Motorsport

– The season-opening Australian Grand Prix was called off along with the Monaco GP, while the races in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Spain and the Netherlands have been postponed.

– The Azerbaijan Grand Prix, due to take place on 7 June, has become the eighth race to be postponed.

– Formula One’s governing body approved a revised shutdown period – which had been reserved for August – to enable the possibility for racing throughout the summer. Team factories will be ordered to close for three consecutive weeks at an elected time between now and the end of April.

– Formula E temporarily suspended its season.

– Nascar postponed its race events in Atlanta (March 15) and Miami (March 22). All races were postponed until May 3.

– The Le Mans 24 hour race in June was postponed, with a provisional new date of September.

Motorcycling

– The opening four races of the MotoGP season in Qatar, Thailand, the United States and now Argentina were called off. The Qatar race was cancelled, while the other three have been moved to later in the season, which is now due to get under way in Spain on May 3.

Lewis Hamilton self-isolating after attending event with Idris Elba and Sophie Trudeau – but F1 star has ‘zero symptoms’ of coronavirus

Lewis Hamilton says he has been in self-isolation after attending an event with Idris Elba and Sophie Trudeau – but is not showing any symptoms of the coronavirus.

Actor Elba and Trudeau, wife of the Canadian prime minister, have both tested positive for COVID-19 since the event.


Hamilton reassured his followers on Instagram

The F1 star met the pair at an event in London on March 4 before flying out to Melbourne for the first race of the season, which was called off last Friday morning.

And the six-time world champion has revealed since then he has kept himself distanced from other people.

“There’s been some speculation about my health, after I was at an event where two people later tested positive for coronavirus,” Hamilton wrote on his Instagram story.

“I wanted to let you know that I’m doing well, feeling healthy and working out twice a day. I have zero symptoms, and it’s now been 17 days since I saw Sophie and Idris. I have been in touch with Idris and happy to hear he is OK.

“I did speak to my doctor and double checked if I needed to take a test but the truth is, there is a limited amount of tests available and there are people who need it more than I do, especially when I wasn’t showing any symptoms at all.

“So what I’ve done is keep myself isolated this past week, actually since practice was cancelled last Friday and kept my distance from people.”



Source: TalkSport.com Motorsport

Formula 1 launches esports series to replace Grands Prix postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic

With no real racing on the cards any time soon, Formula 1 has decided to move into the virtual world.

It has replaced races postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus with an Esports Virtual Grand Prix series that begins with the Bahrain GP this weekend – the weekend the actual race was due to take place.

Current F1 drivers will battle it out online with ‘a host of stars’ to tide fans over until the real racing can return.


After many pleas to postpone racing, Formula 1 chiefs finally agreed on the eve of the 2020 season

AFP or licensors

The start of the 2020 season has been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the opening race in Australia cancelled before Grands Prix in Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands and Spain were postponed.

The iconic Monaco GP was also cancelled on Thursday, with the sport currently aiming to start racing in Azerbaijan on June 7.

And F1 chiefs have come up with this unique way of keeping fans entertained after seeing McLaren driver Lando Norris rank as the top streamer on Twitch last weekend as he raced the season-opening Aussie GP on the F1 2019 video game.

“Formula 1 has today announced the launch of a new F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix series,” a statement read.

“Featuring a number of current F1 drivers. The series has been created to enable fans to continue watching Formula 1 races virtually, despite the ongoing COVID-19 situation that has affected this season’s opening race calendar.

“The first race of the series will see current F1 drivers line up on the grid alongside a host of stars to be announced in due course. In order to guarantee the participants safety at this time, each driver will join the race remotely.”

The races will be run at half-distance and will take place at the same time as the postponed Grands Prix would have occurred.

The events start this weekend with the Virtual Bahrain Grand Prix run on the official 2019 F1 video game.

Viewers will be able to tune in via YouTube, Facebook and Twitch with a qualifying session to determine the grid preceding the race itself.

While results will not count towards the F1 world championship the plan is to run the virtual tournament until the real racing can return.


Coronavirus LIVE updates: Follow all the latest COVID-19 news in talkSPORT.com’s live blog


Source: TalkSport.com Motorsport