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Corona Crisis and Sport: Formula 1 Considering “Ghost Racing”

Canada Formula 1 race track in Montreal (picture-alliance / Panimages)

With the Canadian Grand Prix, Formula 1 also postpones the ninth race of the season and is considering unusual measures. Sport under control of the corona crisis – developments in the blog.

7th of April

The  Formula 1  can not go as planned in mid-June in Canada because of the Corona pandemic. The organizers of the race in Montreal scheduled for June 14 announced on Tuesday that the Grand Prix had been postponed indefinitely. This means that the ninth of the original 22 races this season cannot take place as planned. The World Cup races in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, the Netherlands, Spain, Monaco and Azerbaijan had previously been canceled or postponed. In addition, Formula 1 apparently is now considering “ghost races”.

As the BBC reports, Formula 1 boss Chase Carey is currently “seriously” considering a scenario in which drivers fight for championship points without fans. So the currently dormant season could still be somehow saved. And again a little money would flow into the coffers of the racing series and the  clammy teams .

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Expiring contracts are valid until the end of the season, the transfer window should be relocated:  FIFA has reacted to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic with fundamental adjustments and thus probably also prevented possible legal chaos – the World Football Association also allows the season to be extended beyond the regular end on June 30th under contract law. “Expiring player contracts usually end at the end of the season. Because the game has stopped in most countries, the current season does not end as originally assumed. For this reason, contracts should be extended until the effective end of the season,” FIFA said on Tuesday evening: ” This should be in line with the parties’ original intention when the contract was signed, while maintaining sporting integrity and stability. “

The same applies to contracts that should start at the beginning of the new season: “These contracts only become effective when the new season begins.” This would also open the transfer window later than usual. FIFA is striving for flexible solutions “so that the transfer window in question can be moved between the end of the old season and the start of the new season”. So far, the summer change period has always started on July 1 and ended in most leagues on August 31.

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The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister Armin Laschet (59) has announced talks about the continuation of the season in the  Bundesliga with ghost games in the coming week. “The league has its ideas so that it can start again at the end of April,” said Laschet at “RTL” and announced that this question would be discussed in the “next week”. “We need a consensus,” said Laschet: “The Bundesliga may play again for the foreseeable future. But one thing is clear: without spectators! We will not experience major events with many thousands of people in the coming weeks and months.” 

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Managing Director Christian Seifert sees the German Football League (DFL) well prepared for the continuation of the season with ghost games in the current exceptional situation . “From a purely technical point of view, around 300 people per game would return to their jobs in the stadium, football players, physiotherapists or cameramen, when the game resumes. We will be ready,” said Seifert of the weekly newspaper “Die Zeit”. The clear goal is to end the season by June 30. “But we don’t have it in our hands,” admitted the 50-year-old.

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Top athletes are allowed to train at sports facilities in Lower Saxony. As part of the amended regulation restricting social contacts to curb the corona pandemic, the Lower Saxony Ministry of the Interior and Sport announced on Tuesday that training will be recognized as a professional activity for athletes who make a living by doing sports. The regulation also applies to the Olympic and perspective cadres of the German Olympic Sports Confederation and top cadres of the German Disabled Sports Association. “The top athletes in Lower Saxony now have the opportunity to train in their training facilities. Of course, in compliance with all applicable distance and hygiene regulations”, Interior and Sports Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) is quoted as saying.

April 6th

After the Tennis Classic at Wimbledon also be British Open golfer because of the coronavirus pandemic without replacement . The 149th edition of the traditional tournament will not be rescheduled this year, but should now take place in July 2021, the organizers announced on Monday. The major was originally scheduled for July 16-19, 2020 at the Royal St. George’s Golf Club in south-east England. It is the first time since World War II that the Open Championship – as the official name is – does not take place.

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The world association FIFA wants to pave the way for a possible extension of the football season beyond June 30th. A recommendation is to be made that players can continue to run for their club despite expiring contracts should the season not be over on the originally planned date. The Internet portal “The Athletic” reports that FIFA will allow the provisional extension of contracts that actually end on June 30 until the end of the season. As in German professional football, the season officially ends in many other top leagues at the end of June, and contracts with professionals usually run until this date.

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Bundesliga soccer team Borussia Mönchengladbach will initially do without the corona tests being carried out by the professionals. “In the opinion of our doctors, that makes no sense. There are currently no signs of infection. Of course, we are watching very closely whether someone develops symptoms that require a test,” said sports director Max Eberl on Monday. In the past few days, the players, coaches and supervisors of the licensed players department were once again extensively informed about the corona virus and the necessary hygienic behavior patterns due to the special location in order to avoid infection.

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The professionals from Borussia Dortmund will train on the back burner this week and use the extensive training grounds in several small groups. The company strictly adheres to the Corona Protection Ordinance , which allows professional training to a limited extent in accordance with current hygiene and infection protection regulations. The club announced in the announcement last Sunday. 

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RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff  is against a termination of the currently suspended season in the Bundesliga. “That would be” a disaster, “said the 44-year-old in an interview with the” Bild “newspaper with a view to possible bankruptcies at the clubs. “The Bundesliga would no longer be what we know it would be. It would be a catastrophic picture and we have to do everything we can to end the season reasonably. Nobody wants games without a spectator. But I think that is in the current situation this is not a wish-what, but the fact that it does not lead to many clubs having to go bankrupt, “said Mintzlaff.

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Cycling star Emanuel Buchmann does not expect the France 2020 tour to take place in the face of the corona crisison the scheduled date. “As things stand at the moment, I cannot imagine that the tour with spectators will start on June 27th,” said the fourth of last year of the tour of France to SID. The 27-year-old captain of the German team Bora-hansgrohe was confident, despite the recent dramatic increase in the number of casualties in France, that the tour will roll at least at a later date in the year. “If the situation is as it is at the moment, it would make no sense to run the tour there,” said the Ravensburger: “But if you can maybe postpone it for a month or a month, the situation will probably look better again Right now I still think it will take place, I’m still optimistic. “

April 5

With the financially badly struck Karlsruher SC, the scenario of insolvency in the Corona crisis is approaching. “We already had a backpack from the past, that’s perfectly clear, especially from the two third league years,” Managing Director Michael Becker said on Sunday to the German Press Agency: “We wanted to solve that with the sale of shares, at least one Part of it. But this stock sale is now stuttering because of the corona issue. ” Previously, the second division soccer team had already published “Information on a possible bankruptcy in self-administration” on its homepage. 

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The English Premier League proshave declined a 30 percent salary waiver due to the Corona crisis. The players union PFA justified the attitude with the fact that with this step the English government lost around £ 200m (227m euros) in tax money over a period of twelve months. “That would be at the expense of our national health service NHS or other government-supported services,” said the PFA in a statement. The Premier League clubs had agreed on Friday to ask the players for a 30 percent waiver. “Players are aware that the combined tax on their salaries makes a significant contribution to funding essential public services – which are currently particularly important,” 

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The German soccer record champions Bayern Munich will  train from Monday (April 6th) at least again in small groups. The units should take place under strict conditions and in compliance with all specified regulations. At first the “kicker” reported about it. According to the report, the professionals are divided into four groups. These should be picked up at intervals in the underground car park on the club premises and brought to several cabins. Afterwards you will train in different places. The stars should then shower and eat at home. Cyber ​​training, which was last carried out via video chat, can be used as a variant in the training work.

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Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) has confirmed that there will be no exemptions for football in the fight against Corona . The federal leagues want to resume playing without spectators as soon as possible in order to limit the economic damage to the clubs. “We want to do justice to sports interests,” said the politician: “But there can be no special right for football clubs alone. Everything that football clubs do must fit into the overall scene in a reasonable manner.” There are considerations that the Bundesliga season could be continued through English weeks and isolation of the teams involved. For now, the game schedule is suspended until the end of April. 

4. April:

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the new football season has started in Tajikistan . FC Istiklol from the capital Dushanbe won the traditional Supercup at the season opener 2-1 against FK Khujand. Contrary to prior announcement, the game in the Dushanbe central stadium took place without spectators due to precautionary measures. The regular league games should then start on Sunday. So far there are no coronavirus infected people in Tajikistan, according to official information. This makes the Central Asian country one of the few in which football is still played despite the spread of the corona virus. Despite wide criticism from abroad, the football matches of the national championship continue in Belarus , also in Nicaragua andBurundi is still being played.

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The German Football League has denied media reports after a fixed schedule for the period after the interruption forced by the corona crisis already exists. There was no final game plan for the rest of the current season, the DFL announced on Saturday afternoon via Twitter. The specialist magazine kicker had previously reported that the Bundesliga and the 2nd league would start playing again on the first or second weekend in May and would like to end the respective seasons by June 30.

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The soccer Bundesliga and the 2nd league apparently want to continue their season interrupted by the Corona crisis on the first or second weekend in May and then largely end the season until June 30 without English weeks. The 36 clubs are said to have agreed on this, according to information from the specialist magazine “Kicker”. However, the prerequisite is that the health authorities give the green light for ghost games. The appointments during the week should primarily be used for catch-up games, games of the DFB Cup or the European club competitions.

3rd of April:

According to a media report, the economic situation of many clubs in the Bundesliga and 2nd division is more dramatic than previously known. As the “kicker” reports, 13 of the 36 professional clubs – including four first division clubs – are facing bankruptcy this season due to the corona pandemic . The specialist magazine relies on figures that were announced to the representatives of the professional clubs at the video membership conference of the German Football League (DFL) on Tuesday. The terrifying result resulted from the inventory of the 36 clubs that they deposited with the DFL on their current situation.

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The English Premier League requires the players of the clubs to waive their wages by 30 percent. The financially strongest league in the world said on Friday in a statement. At a meeting of the 20 first division teams, the decision was made to suspend the league until it was “safe and appropriate” to start playing again.

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The largest football stadium in Germany becomes a corona treatment center: Bundesliga soccer club Borussia Dortmund makes the Dortmund arena in the Westfalenpark available for the fight against the corona virus. Starting tomorrow, Saturday, the care of suspected coronavirus cases and patients with corresponding complaints will be the focus in the area of ​​the north grandstand. The BVB, together with the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of Westphalia-Lippe (KVWL), has converted some of the area.

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Two other bike races have been canceled: due to the corona virus pandemic, the 84th Tour de Suisse and the German one-day race  around Cologne will not take place this year. The Swiss bike tour was to be held from June 7th to 14th, but the organizers were forced to cancel due to the serious effects. The Tour de Suisse is planning a digital offshoot: A virtual racing series is to be held from April 22 to 26. Cycling professionals and cycling fans should be able to participate on their home trainers in a network. According to the Tour de Suisse, 17 WorldTour and ProTeams as well as the Swiss national team have already registered for “The Digital Swiss 5”.

2nd of April:

The first top league in Western Europe is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The Belgian Pro League board of directors unanimously recommended that league operations in the country’s first division  cease for the rest of the season.  The official demolition is scheduled for a general assembly on April 15. According to the Belgian media decision, this was only a formality, according to the Belgian media.

“There is a risk that possible infections of a player or the player core affect the sporting course of the rest of the competition in an unacceptable way,” said a corresponding announcement from the league. So ghost games are not an option either. As a result, Club Brugge is ahead of the league champions with a 15 point lead. In the regular season, a game day should have been played, after which play-offs were planned. How the ascent and descent will now be regulated will be clarified at the general assembly. 

April 1:

The European Football Union (UEFA) will postpone the remaining games of the Champions League and the Europa League, as well as all international matches for men and women scheduled for June. The rule also applies to the playoff games for Euro 2020, which will be played in 2021. The European football association announced this after a video conference with the general secretaries of all 55 member associations on Wednesday.

It remains to be seen how contracts with expired contracts will be dealt with on July 1 or June 30. A working group from the responsible world association FIFA is advising on this. UEFA would set new deadlines “in due course”.

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Wimbledon is out of action for the first time since World War II . Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tennis tournament scheduled for June 29 to July 12 will not be held, the organizers announced on Wednesday and announced the next edition for June 28 to July 11, 2021. 

“Since government action is likely to continue for many months, we believe that we must act responsibly to protect the large number of people needed to prepare for the championships – and also to do so to take into account that the persons, deliveries and services required by law for the organization of the championships will not be available at any time this summer, so that a postponement is impossible, “said the official statement on the homepage.

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The European Rowing Championships in Poznan , Poland, which are actually planned for June 5-7, will be postponed due to the Corona crisis. The world rowing association FISA announced that it would check alternative dates in September or October.

Rower Saeid Fazloula (Imago / Sven Simon / A. Waelischmiller)No EM in June: the rowers have to hope for an alternative date

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Tour de France winner Egan Bernal has spoken out in favor of postponing this year’s tour of France because of the corona pandemic. “This compulsory break affects us all. If the tour were to take place in July, some drivers might not be able to cope with the race because of the preparation. It could be better to postpone the tour,” said the 23-year-old Colombian in a live broadcast Instagram. The tour organizers are still sticking to the start date June 27th. The French Minister of Sport Roxana Maracineanu recently proposed a “ghost tour” without spectators.

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Pape Diouf , the former president of the French first division football club Olympique Marseille, died at the age of 68 as a result of a coronavirus infection. His family confirmed that. Diouf headed Olympique from 2005 to 2009, building the 2010 championship team during that time. Most recently he lived in his home country Senegal . It is the first confirmed corona death in the African state. 

March 31

Eintracht Frankfurt - 1. FC Union Berlin (picture-alliance / dpa / U. Anspach)No Bundesliga in April – will it continue in May?

As expected, the mandatory break in the Bundesliga and the 2nd league extends until at least April 30. The bosses of the 36 professional clubs at the first virtual general meeting of the German Football League (DFL) unanimously voted on a corresponding proposal by the DFL Presidium on Tuesday. Due to the corona pandemic, game operations in the Bundesliga and the 2nd division have been suspended since March 12, the first time since the Second World War. Match days 28 to 31 fall victim to the now extended interruption.

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The top Slovak football club MSK Zilina is the first prominent victim of the corona crisis to go bankrupt. The seven-time master, founded in 1909, was placed under an insolvency administrator, who immediately terminated the contracts with 17 players. According to media reports, they had refused to agree to a salary cut of up to 80 percent. Zilina had finished the main round in second place in the Fortuna league named after a betting provider, the subsequent championship round is suspended due to the pandemic. 

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Eintracht Frankfurt’s sports director Fredi Bobic has given the all-clear for the four team members whose test for the corona virus was positive. “They are really very well, they were all over the mountain quickly. One of the four didn’t notice anything,” said the 48-year-old in an interview with “hessenschau.de”. Two players and two coaches are affected. 

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The former president of the Brazilian football federation CBF , Jose Maria Marin, who was imprisoned in the US because of the corruption scandal at football’s world governing body FIFA, was released on Monday (local time) due from penalty because of the coronavirus. Marin’s lawyers had applied for emergency release for “health reasons”. Judge Pamela Chen approved this. Marin was found guilty of six out of seven charges in December 2017, and the sentence was set at four years in prison. 

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Due to the corona pandemic, the remaining Champions League basketball games will also be postponed. As the tournament organizers announced, the meetings originally planned from March to May will be rescheduled between September 30 and October 4. 

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Flushing meadows are usually used for points and tennis trophies – now doctors and volunteers are supposed to fight the corona virus there. Part of the US Open site in the New York borough of Queens will become a hospital in view of the dramatically worsening situation in the American metropolis.
In a training hall, 350 COVID-19 patients are to be treated primarily in 350 beds, the US Army is helping with the conversion. Louis Armstrong Stadium, the second largest court in the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, will become a cafeteria: 25,000 meals a day will be served to patients, health workers and school children.

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The corona crisis doesn’t stop at the wealthiest clubs. The English top club Tottenham Hotspur , the eighth richest football club in the world with a turnover of more than 520 million euros, has sent 550 employees on short-time work or forced vacation. After Newcastle United, the Spurs are the second Premier League team to take this action.

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The American rugby association has filed for bankruptcy in the midst of the corona crisis. As USA Rugby announced on Monday (local time) on its website, the loss of revenue from the pandemic was too much in the already difficult financial situation of the association. With the financial help of the World Association, a restart could be successful.

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Seven months after the Pan American Games in Peru’s capital Lima, the athletes’ village with more than 1,000 apartments will open its doors to the coronavirus patients of the South American country. On Monday, 900 beds were released in two residential towers for the intensive treatment of patients suffering from COVID-19.

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March 30:

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23rd next year and will last until August 8th. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the city of Tokyo and the Japanese state agreed on this date after an executive meeting of the Organizing Committee in Tokyo. The Summer Games were supposed to take place from July 24th to August 9th, 2020, the opening of the Paralympics was planned for August 25th. The Paralympics are now to be held from August 24 to September 5, 2021. Both events had been moved to a year ago due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Soccer star  Neymar  defends himself against the suspicion that he does not abide by the rules for self-isolation in the corona crisis. He lived in his property in Brazil “completely isolated” and only with the people who had traveled there with him from France, had the 28-year-old explained. In two pictures that the professional from Paris St. Germain shared on Instagram, he can be seen with friends on a beach volleyball court. The people accompanied him from France to Brazil and lived with him in quarantine on his property, Neymar said.

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The players of the traditional Spanish football club  FC Barcelona waive 70 percent of their earnings due to the Corona crisis. This is to ensure that the club’s employees continue to receive their full salaries, said Lionel Messi and Co. Barcelona announced short-time working for the entire club last Thursday. At that point, the team had still refused to drop their salaries.

March 29

The Tokyo Summer Olympics canceled for this year are expected to open on July 23, 2021, according to a report by the New York Times. The games canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic were originally scheduled for July 24 through August 9, 2020. The International Olympic Committee and the organizers in Tokyo had agreed on this date, it said. There was no official confirmation. “The games are scheduled to take place in the summer, so we should think of a time between June and September,” said Japanese news agency Kyodo Japan’s former prime minister, Yoshiro Mori, president of the organizing committee. 

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DTB Vice President Dirk Hordorff expects the lawn season and tennis classic in Wimbledon to be canceled . He received “the news that one can be pretty sure that the lawn season will not take place,” said the Vice President of the German Tennis Federation in the “tennisnet” podcast. The Wimbledon organizers had announced a decision for the coming week whether the Grand Slam tournament would be canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Bundesliga soccer club Borussia Dortmund will resume training on Monday, but will only let players work in groups of two to reduce the risk of infection due to the coronavirus pandemic. The national player Emre Can announced in a live switch in the Sport1 double pass. Regular team training still does not take place. 

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EM ambassador Philipp Lahm expects an early decision on whether the twelve venues of the EURO, which was moved to 2021 due to the corona crisis, can continue to be host cities of the major football event in the coming year. “Now all cities have to renew their promise that they want to continue playing. Otherwise, something would have to be changed. If a city can no longer be or does not want to be there, it should be informed promptly,” said the DFB honorary captain of the Welt am Sonntag.

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UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin continues to believe that football operations will cease due to the corona crisis. However, this would have to happen in the next twelve weeks to bring the season to an end. “We could start in mid-May, June or even late June,” said Ceferin of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica. After that, the season was “very likely lost”.

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The Italian soccer record champions Juventus Turin have reached an agreement with their players around superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and the coaching team around Maurizio Sarri in the course of the corona crisis to waive their wages. As the old lady announced on Saturday evening, the savings from the agreement for the current financial year amount to 90 million euros. Salaries for March, April, May and June are affected. Detailed agreements with each individual should be made in the coming weeks. 

28th March

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Dortmund soccer player Marco Reus shows his willingness to help in the Corona crisis and launched the “Help your Hometown” campaign. With a donation of 500,000 euros, he and his wife Scarlett want to help local small businesses cope with the financial emergency. “Social life as we know it stands still. And that is exactly what poses huge problems for small and old-established companies. Despite their passionate work, they could not build up the reserves to survive weeks without customers. But it is precisely these shops that make every city unique. We want to help here, “said the BVB captain

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The professionals of the Bundesliga soccer club 1. FC Köln will also waive part of their salary due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The club confirmed on Saturday that the Bundesliga tithing team had signaled their willingness. In the Bundesliga, the professionals from Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchegladbach and Schalke 04 had previously agreed to waive part of the salary.

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 IOC President Thomas Bach has guaranteed all athletes already qualified for the Olympic Games in Tokyo a right to start the competitions that have been postponed to the coming year. “It is clear that those athletes who qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will continue to be qualified,” said Bach in a statement released by the IOC via Twitter. According to Bach, this follows from the “fact that these Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in agreement with Japan, will remain the games of the XXXIIth Olympiad”.

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The Uruguayan Football Association has responded to the consequences of the corona crisis with the temporary dismissal of all coaches, including national team head coach Oscar Tabarez. The association announced this on Saturday night (local time). Accordingly, Tabarez and other association coaches will be unemployed as of April 1, although everyone will benefit from unemployment insurance, as the AUF announced. The 73-year-old Tabarez has been the head coach of the two-time world champion since 2006 (1930 and 1950). 

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Former Frankfurt Bundesliga professional Martin Fenin (32) is involved in the social sector in his Czech homeland during the coronavirus pandemic. The former top scorer goes shopping for senior citizens on behalf of the Red Cross. “You register in an app. There you specify what you can take over. I go shopping and get medication in the pharmacy,” Fenin reported on the Eintracht homepage. The engagement did not come from the former Eintracht player by chance. “My mother is a doctor, my grandma is a doctor, both are on duty. My girlfriend is a police officer, she is also on duty. How can I say that? I was ashamed, did nothing and was at home. That is why I wanted to help, “said Fenin.

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The President of the European Football Club Association (ECA), Andrea Agnelli, sees an “existential threat” to European football from the corona pandemic. “Because football is suspended, so is our revenue, which we depend on to pay our players, staff, and other operational costs. Nobody is immune and timing is critical,” Agnelli wrote in a letter to ECA Members from whom the Italian news agency Ansa quoted. The president of Italian record champions Juventus Turin said that there are two clear goals for the ECA: on the one hand, to define a “realistic strategy” in order to resume game play at national and European level and to promote the health of the public and players, and on the other, to help clubs in this difficult phase

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27th of March

After the failure of negotiations on a salary waiver with its stars, FC Barcelona cut the working hours and therefore the wages of the team and many employees. The Spanish football champion justified the interference in the contracts with the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. According to Spanish law, companies can use such means in the event of force majeure. Previously, according to the Spanish media, the club had not been able to agree on a voluntary cut in salaries with the superstar Lionel Messi. The Spanish league has also temporarily suspended game operations due to the Corona crisis.

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The semi-finals planned for April 21 and 22 in the DFB Cup will be postponed due to the corona crisis. Both the encounter between Bayern Munich and Eintracht Frankfurt and the home game of regional league 1. FC Saarbrücken against Bayer Leverkusen cannot take place “according to the current disposition”, said the German Football Association (DFB). A new date has not yet been set.

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The “Finals Rhein-Ruhr 2020” in North Rhine-Westphalia and the German Athletics Championships in Braunschweig have been postponed due to the corona crisis. Both events were to take place on June 6th and 7th, the finals in the Rhine-Ruhr region, the athletics DM in Braunschweig. For the finals, which had their successful premiere in Berlin last year and the athletes, possible replacement dates are being examined. The multi-sport event on the Rhine and Ruhr with German championships in 16 sports was to be held in Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Oberhausen, Aachen and Neuss.

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The Bundestag’s sports committee chair, Dagmar Freitag , criticized IOC President Thomas Bach for dealing with the Corona crisis. “In my view, it was not the first time that Thomas Bach raised doubts about his leadership ability during his term in office,” said the SPD politician in an interview with the “Mittelbayerische Zeitung” The primary goal was to get the Russian team back into its “Olympic family” as quickly as possible, did not live up to the claim of an IOC president to represent and preserve the Olympic values, both of which are retrospectively inseparable from Bach’s term in office stay, “said Friday.

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Christian Streich and his coaching team at SC Freiburg waived part of their salary in the corona crisis. This also applies to the executive team of the Bundesliga club, said CFO Oliver Leki in an interview with the “Badische Zeitung”. The players, too, said Leki, that there would be a waiver of wages: “There are already positive signals from the professional squad. We still have to have final discussions. I am confident that we will find a consensus.”

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The Spanish league bottom Espanyol Barcelona wants to cut the salaries of its players as a result of the corona crisis by 70 percent. The two-time UEFA Cup finalist submitted an application to the Catalan authorities. Those affected, including the second team and the women’s team, had shown “understanding and respect”, Espanyol said. The Barcelona club is one of the Spanish clubs with the greatest financial difficulties. 

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The NFL  continues despite the coronavirus crisis at their limit for so-called  Draft  firmly. This was announced by league boss Roger Goodell to the teams. As planned, the 32 teams of the North American professional league in American Football will be able to choose players from April 23 to 25 who have previously played as amateurs primarily for universities. On the other hand, nothing will come of the actually planned big show in Las Vegas. A TV show without live audience and without the presence of the selected players and their families is now expected. In the draft, the worst teams are allowed to choose first and thus have access to the best players. This is how the NFL tries to maintain a balance.

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26th of March

The calls for solidarity of the large, financially strong German football clubs with the “smaller” ones have been heard in many places for weeks. Now the four German Champions League participants Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig have agreed to joint financial aid for the other clubs. A press release issued by Borussia Dortmund states: “As part of a solidarity campaign, the German Champions League participants from Dortmund, Munich, Leipzig and Leverkusen are making a total of 20 million euros available. The aim of the campaign is to Hardship cases triggered by the crisis, financial support for clubs in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga. “

“We have always said that we will show solidarity if, through no fault of their own, this absolute exceptional situation causes clubs to get into a situation that they can no longer master on their own. BVB is currently working deeply into society through a variety of campaigns. And of course we are also willing to help in professional football when it comes to dealing with the economic consequences of the pandemic to some extent. ” 

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The Tour de France as a “ghost tour” : France’s most important sporting event could take place without spectators this year in view of the corona crisis. The French Minister of Sport Roxana Maracineanu expressed this possibility on “France Bleu radio”. “Everything is imaginable,” said the former swimming world champion. Spectator exclusions have already existed in other competitions, “but it would not have the same impact on the tour, since their business model does not depend on ticket sales, unlike football or rugby,” said the 44-year-old: “Ultimately, it would not be bad because you could still watch TV. ” The tour is scheduled to start on June 27th in Nice, until the 19th

+++

The long-distance triathlon in Roth , for which the two Ironman world champions Jan Frodeno and Anne Haug had also registered, is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cult event of 3.86 kilometers swimming, 180.2 kilometers cycling and 42.2 kilometers running should have taken place on July 5th. “With a heavy heart we had to make the decision,” said a message from the organizing family Walchshöfer on Thursday: “After consulting the responsible authorities, we have no other choice.” 

+++ 

The Tokyo Olympic Games planned for the summer have been postponed to 2021 – professional football in Japan should be played again in May. The J-League, which has been suspended since the end of February, will resume play on May 9. League boss Mitsuru Murai announced the new date on Wednesday at a press conference after a special session. According to him, the second division will start again a week before, the third division season is scheduled to start on April 25th. The original J-League readmission date of April 3 was unsustainable due to security concerns related to the Corona pandemic. The game should now be played with a spectator restriction of half the stadium capacity or less.

+++ 

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike wants to ask the International Olympic Committee to share in the costs of moving the Summer Games to next year . The Japanese news agency Kyodo reported on Thursday. Governor Koido wanted to ask the IOC to “play a role,” it said. Tokyo, which was originally the venue from July 24 to August 9 for the Summer Olympics and subsequent Paralympics, will now make an estimate, reports Kyodo. It is currently expected to cost around $ 2.7 million to relocate the games. 

+++ 

At a crisis meeting in the coming week, the organizer of the tennis grand slam tournament in Wimbledon wants to decide whether the event may have to be postponed or even canceled due to the corona pandemic. Games excluding the public will not take place at the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, the organizer AELTC said. The games on the “sacred lawn” are supposed to start on June 29th. The tournament has never been canceled since the end of World War II.

+++ 

The former German national soccer player Max Kruse has tested positive for the corona virus. This was confirmed by his club Fenerbahce Istanbul. Kruse had said in an interview with TV broadcaster Sky on Wednesday that he wanted to provide active help: “In crisis situations, we rely on everyone to get help. We have a role model function, and I will comply.” The striker broke a ligament almost two weeks ago. Between 2013 and 2015, Kruse played 14 internationals. In the Bundesliga he played for Werder Bremen, FC Sankt Pauli, SC Freiburg and Borussia Mönchengladbach. In mid-2019, he moved from Bremen to Fenerbahce in the Turkish Süper Lig. 

+++

As the first player on the ATP tour, Brazil’s tennis hope Thiago Wild became infected with the corona virus. The 20-year-old said on Wednesday via social media. “I received the result of my COVID-19 disease today,” wrote Wild, “I’ve had symptoms, fever for about ten days. I felt weak. But I’m feeling better now.” Thiago Wild, the current number two in his country behind Thiago Monteiro, ranks 114th in the world rankings. This year he celebrated his first tour win at the clay court tournament in Santiago de Chile. In 2018 Wild won the junior competition at the US Open in New York.

+++

Despite the corona crisis, the head of the Italian football association FIGC wants to end the Serie A season in the summer. “We will do everything possible. If necessary, we will ask for the support of UEFA and FIFA so that we can still play in July and August,” said FIGC President Gabriele Gravina.

+++

The Turkish Boxing Association has accused the International Olympic Committee (IOC) of irresponsibility after two boxers and a trainer from Turkey tested positive for the corona virus after the Olympic qualification tournament in London in mid-March. “While the world was taking extreme measures to deal with the virus, I was amazed that an IOC task force and the British government allowed the tournament to start, although many of us were concerned and almost every other sport had stopped,” said Association President Eyup Gozgec of the newspaper “The Guardian”.

+++

In the “Bundesliga Home Challenge”, soccer clubs of the 1st and 2nd Bundesliga will compete against each other in FIFA 20 from the weekend . As announced by the German Football League (DFL), a total of 26 teams take part in the online tournament. The teams consist of two players: a football professional and another person from the club. This is a clear advantage for Bundesliga clubs with an e-sports department. Werder Bremen in particular should be among the favorites at the DFL tournament: As the Bremen team announced on Twitter, their team will consist of professional kicker Maxi Eggestein and the German Fifa-E-Sport single champion Michael “MegaBit” Bittner. 

25th March:

The National Basketball League (BBL) is due to the Corona pandemic its gaming operations again until April 30 from. The league and the 17 clubs agreed on this. After about three hours of video conferencing, those responsible decided by a clear majority to stop the season, as the German Ice Hockey League recently decided. “It remains the declared goal to finish the 2019/2020 season at a later date, possibly with a shortened or condensed mode,” said the BBL. Basketball has been in the league since March 12th.

+++ 

The CHIO in Aachen is being relocated due to the coronavirus pandemic, but should be held later this year. The most important horse show in the world will not take place from May 29th to June 7th as planned, the organizer said. “It makes no sense to stick to the planned date, the current and future health and safety of everyone involved in the tournament is our top priority,” said CHIO sports director Frank Kemperman. The primary goal is to organize the tournament at a later date in 2020.

+++ 

After two weeks in domestic quarantine, Hanover’s professional Timo Hübers is officially healthy again. The 23-year-old was the first soccer professional to be tested positive for the corona virus on March 11. Now he is allowed to leave the house after he has been tested negative for the virus after another swab, according to the club. By contrast, over teammates still remain in quarantine at home. They only had to go into isolation a day later after 96 professional Jannes Horn had also tested positive for the corona virus.

+++ 

In the corona crisis, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) and the 16 state sports confederations (LSB) demand that politicians provide a protective umbrella for sports clubs and associations . “The public welfare-oriented sports organizations are a strong pillar of Germany and stand for social cohesion and togetherness,” it says in the joint letter: “This pillar must not falter in these times, but without state support this will not succeed everywhere.” The consequences for living together, for mental and physical health, inclusion, integration and quality of life would be unforeseeable, the DOSB and the LSB argued: “The 90,000 sports clubs are the foundation of the entire sports system in Germany.”

+++ 

After the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo , the Olympic torch relay scheduled for Thursday was canceled. This was announced by the organizing committee in Tokyo on Wednesday. A new date for the ceremony will be announced when the dates for the rescheduling of the games are set. On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese hosts moved the Tokyo Games to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

+++

In the fight against the spread of the coronavirus, the US football league NFL has instructed its clubs to shut down all team facilities. The rules should ensure that “all clubs operate under the same conditions and that the NFL continues to behave responsibly during this period,” said Commissioner Roger Goodell. The measures will initially apply until April 8th. All NFL clubs had previously prohibited their players from entering the grounds unless medical treatment was required. Most teams, however, still had a limited number of employees in their offices.

March 24th

The compulsory break in the Bundesliga and 2nd division due to the corona pandemic extends at least until April 30th. The Presidium of the German Football League (DFL) submitted a corresponding proposal. At the beginning of next week, the 36 clubs of the two leagues will have to approve the recommendation at an extraordinary DFL general meeting – but that should only be a matter of form. According to the DFL, they are working on “concepts to play games at a given time – due to the situation – even without stadium spectators and with a minimal use of workers in the areas of sport, general organization and the media”.

+++ 

The Borussia Dortmund football professionals voluntarily waive part of their salaries in the Corona crisis. The BVB confirmed corresponding media reports. Managing Director Hans-Joachim Watzke rated the accommodating attitude of the team as “a valuable sign of solidarity”. Watzke, other managers such as sports director Michael Zorc or license player boss Sebastian Kehl and also trainer Lucien Favre also cut back on salary. Overall, a double-digit million amount should be saved. According to the “Bild” newspaper, the players as well as the board and supervisory board of the record champion FC Bayern Munich waive 20 percent of their earnings.

+++

There will be no football games with spectators in the Netherlands until June 1st . This was decided by the Dutch soccer association KNVB. It is not yet clear whether the currently interrupted division of honor will continue with so-called “ghost games”. Game operations are currently suspended until April 6th. Until then, the KNVB and the league want to clarify how to proceed. 

+++ 

Also in the first Australian football league , the A-League, is no longer played because of the Corona pandemic. The situation will be reassessed on April 22, the Australian football association FFA said. The A-League is the last Australian competition to be suspended due to the corona crisis. The National Rugby League and Australian Football League had suspended their season indefinitely on Monday.

+++

Ingo Weiss, President of the German Basketball Association (DBB), expects the Bundesliga season to be finally abandoned. “Otherwise there would be a distortion of the competition. Some clubs have sent their players home, some have long since canceled contracts,” said the DBB boss of the German Press Agency. “I don’t think we will choose a basketball champion this season. My hope is that we can start the new basketball season in October as planned and then start it all up again.” The basketball Bundesliga is currently suspended until further notice.

March 23:

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the European Football Union UEFA has postponed the Champions League and Europa League finals indefinitely. This was announced by the Continental Association on Monday. The Champions League final was scheduled for May 30 in Istanbul, the Europa League final on May 27 in Gdansk. The women’s finals on May 24th in Vienna were also postponed until further notice.

“The working group that was set up last week as a result of the European football stakeholder conference call chaired by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin will analyze the options available,” said UEFA: “The group has already been reviewing the calendar announcements will be made in due course. “

+++

The start of the season in Formula 1 is postponed because of the Corona crisis. Now the organizers of the race in Baku in Azerbaijan have announced that they are looking for a new date. The Grand Prix was originally scheduled for June 7th. The season in the premier class of motorsport 2020 will open in Canada in mid-June at the earliest. The races in Australia (March 15), Bahrain (March 22), Vietnam (April 5), China (April 19), the Netherlands (May 3) and Spain (May 10) had been provisionally canceled been.

+++

There are also increasing voices in Japan, which, in view of the corona pandemic, advocate postponing the Tokyo Summer Olympics . “We are not stupid to host the Olympic Games as planned,” said Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee, at a press conference Monday. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also no longer ruled out a postponement. “It is difficult to hold games in these circumstances, we have to decide on a postponement, with the health of the athletes being the top priority,” said Abe. The final decision, however, rests with the International Olympic Committee. More here:

The German Disabled Sports Association (DBS) appeals to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to postpone the Tokyo Paralympic Games . “After the global corona crisis escalated again, we believe that there is no alternative to relocating the Paralympic Games,” said DBS President Friedhelm Julius Beucher. “A decision on this must be made immediately. We all need planning security, both our athletes and us as an association.”

Link to DW article

+++

In Australia , the National Rugby League (NRL) season has been stopped due to the Corona crisis . The decision whether to suspend the A-League, the first Australian football league, should be made on Tuesday.

+++ 

The game operations in Spain ‘s elite football league  , La Liga, will remain indefinitely due to the corona pandemic. This was announced by the Spanish football association RFEF and the league association. In Spain the ball has been at rest since March 12th. Initially, La Liga had stopped playing for 14 days.

+++

The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) prefers to host the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year. Since an appointment this autumn would not be a safe alternative given the Corona crisis, “we prefer to move it at least to next year,” said DOSB President Alfons Hörmann.

March 22:

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has a deadline for the first time in the discussion about the relocation of the Summer Games in Tokyo  called. A decision should be made within the next four weeks, the IOC said in an open letter to the athletes after a meeting of the Executive Committee on Sunday. The IOC ruled out a cancellation. This would “not solve any of the problems or help anyone,” the IOC said, referring to “significant improvements in Japan.” At the same time, however, one has to take into account the “dramatic increase in cases and new outbreaks of COVID-19” on different continents. Previously, athletes and associations around the world had called for a new date for the games planned from July 24th to August 9th and threatened by the corona pandemic.

+++

After the extensive reduction of social contacts ordered by the federal and state governments to combat the spread of the corona virus, a quick restart of the soccer Bundesliga is actually off the table. The restrictions on social life announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday due to a new ban on contacts also make it so practically impossible to play so-called ghost games without a spectator for at least two weeks. Meetings of more than two people in public are no longer permitted as of Monday (March 23rd, 2020). Core families and people living in a household are excluded.

The Presidium of the German Football League (DFL) meets on Tuesday to prepare another general meeting on March 31, at which the future course of action is to be decided. So far, the 36 professional clubs had agreed to a compulsory break until April 2, but at the same time announced that they would not assume “that the game would be possible again on the first weekend in April”.

Other top European leagues have already decided to stop football by the end of April. According to media reports, the English Premier League does not plan to resume the remaining match days until June 1. The goal of the Bundesliga clubs is to complete the nine remaining game days to avoid serious loss of revenue of up to 750 million euros. DFL boss Seifert had predicted that if the money from TV and sponsorship contracts would cease to exist, several clubs would face bankruptcy. So far, June 30th is the latest time for the end of the season, since many player contracts then end. In England, however, a scenario is already being considered until mid-July.

+++

Fencer Max Hartung has canceled his participation in the Olympic Games in Tokyo and has increased the pressure on the hesitant International Olympic Committee (IOC) with President Bach. “I am thinking about how I as an athlete can help us to get through the crisis as well as possible. It quickly became clear to me that this means staying at home,” said Hartung, who is also President of the Vereinigung Athleten Deutschland is.

There may even be a historic boycott of the entire German team. The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) decided on Sunday afternoon at its presidium meeting to get a picture of the mood of its athletes to host the Olympic Games in Tokyo (July 24 to August 9). The results of the survey will also determine the DOSB’s attitude towards the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Such a survey takes place for the first time in DOSB history.

“We will also intensify the dialogue with the federal government,” said DOSB President Alfons Hörmann. “After the various positions have been made available, we will be able to formulate a clear and holistically balanced position of the DOSB and represent them vis-à-vis the IOC.”

+++

A corresponding survey of the athletes by the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) gave a clear picture: Almost three quarters of the 300 US athletes who took part in the survey were clearly in favor of moving the Summer Olympics. This was reported by the newspaper “USA Today” on Sunday. Overall, 70 percent of the athletes were in favor of a postponement. Almost a quarter would like a decision by April 15 at the latest, and 18 percent even preferred an immediate decision.

March 21st:

Lorenzo Sanz , the former president of Real Madrid, the Spanish football record champion, has died of a corona infection. He was 76 years old. In addition to being infected with the new virus, Sanz also had kidney disease, the treating doctors announced on request. Nothing was initially communicated about the cause of death. Sanz had tested positive for the new Sars-CoV-2 virus a few days ago and had been in the intensive care unit of a Madrid hospital since Tuesday. 

+++

The Ice Hockey World Cup, which was due to take place in Switzerland from May 8th to 24th, has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decision was made by the World Association IIHF. The Swiss top leagues NLA and NLB had already ended their season prematurely like the German Ice Hockey League (DEL). This is the first time since 1946 that the annual World Cup has been canceled. The tournament was to be held in Zurich and Lausanne. IIHF President Rene Fasel had already indicated a cancellation in advance. “With the current facts, it is hard to imagine that the World Cup will be held. We have a responsibility towards the people of the country,” Fasel told the Swiss TV station SRF. The World Cup tournament was budgeted for more than 30 million euros. More than 300,000 tickets had already been sold.

+++

Also in the women’s game there is the first fundraising campaign to address the Corona crisis. Norwegian international Ingrid Engen from German champions VfL Wolfsburg announced on Instagram that she asked the club to donate ten percent of their salary “to help people who really need financial support these days”. Under the hashtag #SocialResponsibility (social responsibility), former Wolfsburg’s Caroline Hansen (Norway / FC Barcelona) also joined the initiative. “Hopefully more will do and take action,” wrote midfielder Engen.

March 20 : 

The positive corona cases are piling up in the North American professional basketball league NBA . The Los Angeles Lakers led by superstar LeBron James announced two positive tests for COVID-19 on Thursday (local time), the Philadelphia 76ers confirmed three cases. The Boston Celtics , with international Daniel Theis under contract, and the Denver Nuggets reported corona diseases. No victim was named. Celtics guard Marcus Smart himself reported his illness on social media. The NBA had suspended its game operations until further notice after Rudy Gobert’s illness was confirmed by the Utah Jazz on March 12.

19th March:

Formula 1 Grand Prix in Spain pit stop Vettel (Imago Images / Motorsport Images / J. Andre)

The coronavirus pandemic continues to shake up the Formula 1 calendar . As the motorsport premier class announced, the planned races in the Netherlands (May 3), Spain (May 10) and Monaco (May 24) will be postponed. The season opener will take place on June 7th in Azerbaijan at the earliest. Never in history has a season started. After the planned start of the season in Australia last week, the races in Bahrain (March 22), the debut in Vietnam (April 5) and the China GP (April 19) were canceled due to the Corona crisis. As Formula 1 also announced, options are being considered to make up for the races later in the year if possible.

+++

Now Turkey has also postponed league games due to the Corona crisis. The relevant football, basketball and volleyball, said youth and sports minister Mehmet Kasapoglu in Ankara. This affects, among others, Lukas Podolski, the 2014 German soccer world champion who plays for Antalya. The Turkish leadership had already ordered a sports event to be held without a spectator a week ago. Players had criticized Turkey’s decision. They pleaded for an immediate cancellation of the games.

+++

The English Football Premier League is extending its mandatory break due to the corona pandemic until at least April 30. The league announced this decision with leaders Liverpool after a conference this Thursday. Initially, the richest football league in the world only wanted to be suspended until April 3. The lower professional leagues, women’s football and the leagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also affected by the temporary cessation of play.

+++

Borussia Monchengladbachis the first professional football club in Germany where players voluntarily forego part of their salary. “The coaching staff joined in, just like our directors and managing directors,” said sports director Max Eberl. According to information from the “Rheinische Post”, the club should save significantly more than one million euros per month. In view of the Corona crisis and the break in the game, players and leading employees want to secure jobs and income for other club employees in the Bundesliga. “I’m very proud of the boys,” said Eberl. “We stand together for Borussia, in good and bad times. They want to give something back to Borussia and thus to all the fans who support us.” The goal is Stephan Schippers, CFO, emphasized that there were no operational layoffs. In this context, it is also conceivable to apply for short-time work. “We’re going to check that out.”

+++

The all-clear in East Westphalia: At the Bundesliga soccer club SC Paderborn , after defender Luca Kilian, no other player or employee was infected with the corona virus. All 45 tests that the club had carried out on parts of its team and various employees after the knowledge of Kilian’s infection had been negative. Kilian was the first Bundesliga professional last week to be proven to have COVID-19. So far, another case is known in the German upper house, a player from Hertha BSC is said to have also been infected.

+++

A season break due to the Corona crisis would be the top European football leaguesto be expensive. According to a study by the auditing and consulting company KPMG, the loss of the five major elite classes if the season ended prematurely would total 3.4 to 3.95 billion euros. According to these calculations, the hardest hit would be the English Premier League, which lost 1.15 to 1.25 billion euros in 92 games remaining. With a possible loss of 650 to 750 million euros, the Bundesliga is in third place behind the Spanish Primera Division. The Italian Serie A and the French Ligue 1 would have to calculate with slightly less losses. The ball is currently at rest in all top European leagues.

+++

The English League Association has presented a short-term aid package of £ 50m (just under € 55m) to help clubs in the football divisions below the Premier League during the Corona crisis.

+++

Scottish football club Heart of Midlothian has announced it will cut salaries as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In an open letter, club owner Ann Budge asked the players, the coaching team and other employees to waive half of their wages until further notice due to the now sluggish income. The team is looked after by former Bundesliga coach Daniel Stendel.

March 18:

In view of the Corona crisis, the German national football team has launched a call for donations and is setting a good example: the national team around captain Manuel Neuer donates 2.5 million euros for social purposes. Via the “wirhelfen.eu” platform, every fan can take part in the campaign, which the professionals announced on Instagram on Wednesday. “We have to look at each other at such times,” said Neuer, who, like several of his colleagues, addressed the fans in a video message.

There is now a proven corona case among players in professional Chinese football too. According to the Chinese health authorities, a 30-year-old Brazilian professional became infected with the virus. Allegedly, the sufferer is Dorielton , an offensive player of the second division Meizhou Hakka. Nothing is known about the health of the striker, who is said to be in a hospital near Guangzhou. It was recently speculated that the Super League, the top Chinese division, could resume operations in April.

+++

Corona case in the German national handball team : Kreisläufer Jannik Kohlbacher from the Rhein-Neckar Löwen has been infected with the virus after corresponding media reports. Result: The national team around national coach Alfred Gislason goes into domestic quarantine. “A test for the corona virus carried out by a national player on Monday, March 16, gave a positive result,” confirmed the German Handball Association (DHB). The association did not name the name Kohlbacher. The national team met from March 9th to 13th for a course in Aschersleben in Saxony-Anhalt.

+++

The North American professional ice hockey league NHL also has its first Corona case. A player from the Ottawa Senators tested positive. The Canadian team did not say which professional was affected. According to the club, the player has mild symptoms and is in quarantine, and his teammates have also been isolated. The NHL game is currently suspended due to the pandemic.

+++

Italian football record champions Juventus Turin have another prominent Corona case. French world champion Blaise Matuidi has become infected and is currently in a voluntary quarantine at home. The 32-year-old showed no symptoms of the lung disease Covid-19, said Juve. The case of Juventus defender Daniele Rugani became known as the first infection in top Italian football last week. The corona virus has been detected in a total of 13 Serie A professionals, including seven players from Sampdoria Genoa and three from AC Florence.

17. March:

After a positive finding on the corona virus, Hertha BSC put the team, coach and functional team under a two-week domestic quarantine. The Berlin soccer Bundesliga club announced on Tuesday. The first training after a break scheduled for this Tuesday was canceled accordingly. The player, whose name the Berliners did not disclose, complained about the usual symptoms. He was then immediately separated from the group. 

+++

The planned this year Football Championship is postponed because of the corona crisis in 2021 . The European football association UEFA announced this decision on Tuesday . The European Championship was supposed to take place from June 12th to July 12th in several European countries, including Germany. UEFA has proposed the period from June 11 to July 11, 2021 as the new host date. 

The Copa América , which was to take place in Argentina and Colombia from June 12 to July 11, parallel to the European Championship, will be moved to the coming year. This was announced by the South American football association Conmebol.

+++

Russia is one of the last European countries to temporarily suspend its top football league. This is reported by several sources from the Russian sports media. The break should last at least until April 10th. The decision will be officially announced later today.

Most recently, football was played in Russia on Monday – sometimes without spectators. In addition to the Premier League, all other professional football leagues as well as ice hockey and basketball leagues are now being stopped. The current decision is not unexpected, after the Russian Ministry of Sports recommended a break for all competitions in the country on Monday evening.

+++

March 16:

The most important tennis tournament for women is also canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organizers in Stuttgart canceled the tournament. The high-class clay court event was supposed to take place from April 20 to 26.

+++

The German Football Association (DFB) has suspended game operations for the Women’s Bundesliga , the 2nd Women’s Bundesliga and the DFB Cup for women until April 19 inclusive. The DFB announced. How to proceed after this date is still open. 

+++

First division football club FC Wuhan Zall is returning to China . “We will feel safer in China than in Spain,” coach Jose Gonzalez told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. His team had last trained in Spain. However, since the number of Corona cases in China is expected to decrease, the Chinese Super League wants to start the new season in May – possibly initially with ghost games. The start of the season was originally planned for February 22, but had to be postponed “until further notice” due to the corona virus.

Meanwhile, many of the clubs, some of which kept fit in Dubai like the Chinese national team, have returned or are on their way. “Once we arrive, we are in quarantine. As for everyone who arrives in Beijing,” said Wuhan coach Gonzalez, whose team, however, had not had a single corona case, as he emphasized.

The Chinese metropolis of Wuhan is considered the origin of the corona crisis. The local soccer team had already left the city on January 3, and had been in Spain since the end of January.

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