The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants baseball and football to get on the field, and he says big league opening day could take place around the start of July.
“I think there will be a college football season. They may have nobody in the stands or reduced attendance, but my understanding is, particularly in the ACC, which I follow, that they’re anticipating having a season,” the Kentucky Republican said during an interview Thursday on Louisville radio station WLCL.
“More immediately, I called the commissioner of baseball a couple of weeks ago and I said, ‘America needs baseball. It’s the sign of getting back to normal. Any chance?’ And you may have heard, there is discussion about having an abbreviated season beginning around the Fourth of July, where the teams would either play at their spring training sites in Arizona or Florida or play at home to largely empty stadiums.”
Big league opening day had been scheduled for March 26. The start has been pushed back indefinitely due the new coronavirus pandemic.
“I think there’s an active discussion under way to salvage part of baseball season, and if we can salvage part of baseball, surely we can salvage football, as well. There would still be at the bigger schools, like U of L (Louisville) and UK, (Kentucky) television revenue, which would help.
"But I think the country needs sports. We’ve all missed that during the pandemic, and the sooner we can get at least some of our sports, and I think the one eligible to begin first would be baseball. It would be a great morale booster for the country and an indication that we’re going to begin to get back to normal.”
The Premier League is still hoping to restart its season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The 20 clubs discussed the latest planning under “Project Restart” on a conference call.
The league says it is “considering the first tentative moves forward and will only return to training and playing with government guidance.”
But the league says the “clubs reconfirmed their commitment to finishing the 2019-20 season.”
The British government also held talks with sports bodies about when athletes can start to train again.
Decisions by the Dutch and French governments led to their soccer seasons ending. Lower-league professional soccer clubs in England have been told they might not be allowed to have fans at their matches until 2021.
AC Milan and Roc Nation have partnered to create a virtual live event on Sunday headlined by Alicia Keys “to honor and pay tribute to key workers fighting on the front line in Italy and around the world.”
Funds raised through the event will benefit Direct Relief and Milan’s philanthropic foundation.
Viewers will be able to donate via the “From Milan with Love” official fundraising page and AC Milan’s Facebook page.
The hour-long tribute is scheduled for Sunday at 9 p.m. (1900 GMT) and will be hosted by Grammy-award winning producer DJ Khaled and Italian TV presenter Diletta Leotta.
Other performers will include Kelly Rowland, Robin Thicke, Gavin Rossdale and Chris Traynor of Bush, Jay Buchanan of Rival Sons, and Lola Ponce.
The Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta is moving to Thanksgiving from its traditional Fourth of July date because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The event is the world’s largest 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) race with about 60,000 participants. The first race was held in 1970.
The Atlanta Track Club says the Nov. 26 date was selected because families gather for Thanksgiving. It will also minimize the impact on retailers in downtown Atlanta because most businesses will be closed for the holiday.
Rhonex Kipruto of Kenya ran last year’s race in 27 minutes, 1 second to break the U.S. record in the event.
The 2021 badminton world championships will now start in November to avoid clashing with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.
The Badminton World Federation says the event will remain in Huelva, Spain, and be held Nov. 29-Dec. 5.
BWF president Poul-Erik Høyer says the two main events can now go ahead “with equal fairness for everyone.”
The Swiss hockey federation says it won’t seek to host the 2021 men’s world championship after losing this year’s event because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 2020 championship had been due to start next week in Zurich and Lausanne. It was canceled in March.
Swiss officials say they had talks with the International Ice Hockey Federation and 2021 worlds co-hosts Belarus and Latvia about Switzerland taking its turn next year.
That has now been ruled out.
The Swiss federation says the financial risks were too great and there is no guarantee the coronavirus outbreak will allow the next championship in May 2021.
Switzerland hopes to host again in the coming years but the IIHF has already allocated world championships through 2025.
The 20 clubs in Serie A are in agreement that they want to finish the season if they can do so in accordance with government guidelines and by respecting health regulations and protocols.
The Italian clubs met by video conference and all supported a statement issued a day earlier by league president Paolo Dal Pino.
Dal Pino said it was “only natural that the Serie A league wants to play soccer. It would be against our nature to say the contrary.”
Hungarian Grand Prix organizers say spectators won’t be allowed at this year’s Formula One race if it goes ahead.
The race is planned for Aug. 2 but Formula One officials are rewriting the 2020 schedule after the coronavirus pandemic forced cancellations and postponements.
Hungarian race officials announced their plan after the government banned large gatherings through Aug. 15.
F1 chairman Chase Carey says the season could start July 5 with the Austrian GP. He hopes 15-18 races can take place beginning in Europe before moving to Eurasia, Asia and the Americas.
The European Masters golf tournament scheduled for August in Switzerland has been canceled.
Organizers say the decision came after the Swiss government extended a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people through August.
The tournament in the Swiss Alps was scheduled for Aug. 27-30.
Organizers say the course at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club will open to the public on May 11 as part of the easing of social restrictions.
The three biggest names in men’s pole vault will compete against each other in a rare sporting event during the coronavirus pandemic. And they’ll do it from their own backyards.
Video links will connect world record holder Armand Duplantis, world champion Sam Kendricks and former Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie.
World Athletics calls it “The Ultimate Garden Clash” and will stream it on social media.
Duplantis will be in Louisiana, Kendricks in Mississippi and Lavillenie in France.
Their challenge is to clear the most 5-meter jumps within 30 minutes. The athletes agreed on the format because adjusting the bar is not practical without officials in place.
Duplantis broke Lavillenie’s world record in February. He cleared 6.17 meters and then 6.18 on consecutive weekends.
World Athletics says it’s looking to hold Ultimate Garden Clash competitions in other events.
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