Coronavirus in sport LIVE: Wimbledon LATEST, Fury vs Wilder 3 gets new date, Olympics POSTPONED, and Allen has virus – The Sun
The Games were postponed till 2021 this week after the Japanese organisers bizarrely planned to plough on.
Meanwhile Tyson Fury's second rematch with Deontay Wilder has been pushed back and former Spurs striker Clive Allen has tested POSITIVE for coronavirus, he has confirmed.
And Wimbledon's fate this year is expected to be revealed next week, with the tennis tournament possibly being cancelled.
Follow all the latest news and updates as the sporting world deals with the threat of coronavirus…
MORNING, SPORTS FANS
Rarely has the reach of coronavirus across all sports and levels been more stark than in the past 24 hours.
As Premier League chiefs ponder delaying the season until perhaps July, with the FA Cup and Carabao Cup possibly ditched next term, a row has erupted in the National League.
Fifth-tier chiefs say most of their clubs want to make the current campaign null and void – which has angered Barrow boss Ian Evatt, whose stylish side have recovered from a poor start to sit nine points clear at the top.
Meanwhile, the Rugby Football Union expects to lose up to £50million in the next 18 months.
Chief executive Bill Sweeney says closing Twickenham will will have a “significant impact on revenues” – and the RFU is also spending £7m to help ailing community clubs.
Wimbledon bosses say they will decide next week whether to call off the world's top tennis tournament for the first time since World War Two.
But they have ruled out playing the Grand Slam, scheduled for June 29 to July 12, behind closed doors.
And WBC heavyweight champ Tyson Fury's third bout with dethroned yank Deontay Wilder could be delayed until in October, according to Frank Warren.
But the promoter said: “Tyson’s got Deontay’s number, even if they fought in 10 years.”
As for the Olympics being put off until next year, legend Tanni Grey-Thompson has warned Tokyo 2020 chiefs not to forget or neglect the Paralympics
And in cricket, England all-rounder Ben Stokes claims he is still gearing up for the Indian Premier League next month, which so far has been delayed only until April 15.
Yet India is in an even stricter three-week “lockdown” due to the Covid-19 pandemic than Britain.
Lou Macari believes it is Premier League stars' moral duty to start emptying out their vast pockets to help the nation’s battle against the coronavirus.
Macari, 70, continues to put himself in harm’s way to run the Lou Macari Centre for the homeless in the Hanley area of Stoke.
And he told SunSport: “Once more we are seeing typical thought and generosity from people who have always tried to help us here.
“We often get donations, like we did this week from the local Starbucks, Costa Coffee and Nando’s.
“But what I’m not seeing is Premier League footballers doing much of anything to help the coronavirus cause. I noticed the other day one player had donated something like £40,000 and that was a nice gesture.
“But they should ALL be doing it. A figure of £40,000 or £50,000 would be nothing to players earning vast sums of money. Nothing. They wouldn’t even feel it.”
Football's bid to resume the season could face legal challenges on health grounds from players and clubs.
As it stands, it is even unclear when it will be LEGAL for players to train, let alone play matches.
Sports lawyer Nick De Marco QC believes individual players or whole clubs could refuse to return, in disputes that may end up in court.
De Marco, who has represented high-profile clients such as Harry Kane, Tyson Fury and a number of Premier League clubs, said: “I think it’s quite likely to happen.
“We’ve seen a great divergence of opinion when and if you should have a lockdown, and its extent.
“There are decisions being made for political and commercial reasons, and there are different medical opinions. So the likelihood of some people thinking it’s safe to return back to work earlier than others must be quite high.”
Manchester City have promised to pay the wages of 1,000 matchday staff until the end of the season.
The coronavirus pandemic has decimated the sporting calendar, with Premier League football put on hold until April 30 at the earliest.
But Etihad chiefs have vowed to do their bit for stewards, front of house workers and likewise with their payment pledge.
A club statement read: “Manchester City's directly engaged match day casual workers play a vital role to support club operations throughout the season and we recognise that this is, and will continue to be, an uncertain time for all of them.
“We hope that this income will provide a level of financial stability over the coming weeks, and we look forward to welcoming them back to the club when the season resumes.”
Manchester United are ready to pay out £6million to season ticket holders if their final four Premier League games are cancelled or played behind closed doors.
The club have been in discussions with the Manchester United Supporters Trust about the best way to reimburse supporters if this was to occur.
A club spokesman said: “In light of the disruption caused by coronavirus, the club is reviewing dates, policies and procedures around season ticket renewals for next season, along with the administrative processes should games that are currently postponed, be either cancelled or played behind closed doors. We are consulting with MUST as part of that review.
“We look forward to the resumption of football when we are advised it is safe and appropriate. In the meantime our priority remains the health of fans, players, staff, and our wider communities.
“Our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19, as well as those fighting in the front line against this virus on behalf of all of us, and we urge all our fans to continue following Government advice.”
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