The Latest: Raptors president worried about virus in Africa
The Latest on the effects of the new coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri is worried about the places currently hardest-hit by the pandemic, and especially worried about the places that haven’t been hit yet.
Ujiri told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that he’s been in contact with some leaders in Africa, plus has spoken with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about his talks with other African heads of state about their level of preparation for the new coronavirus .
“I think a lot of leaders are ahead of it, and the ones that aren’t are starting to pay attention because this is an unknown, this is an unseen enemy, and we have to really, really pay attention,” Ujiri said.
Ujiri is of Nigerian descent and founded Giants of Africa, a group that organizes camps and other events to use basketball as a way to promote education and growth for children on the continent. He says he’s unsure yet if his programs will go on this summer as planned.
“We’re just concerned about people, about health, about listening to what the directions are going to be moving forward,” Ujiri said.
When it comes to the NBA season, Ujiri said he’s hopeful play can resume. The Raptors won their first NBA title last season.
The NHL's Ottawa Senators say four more members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19.
The team announced the update Wednesday but did not specify if the people affected were players, coaches or staff. The Senators previously had two players test positive.
The four additional people who tested positive were all on the team's March road trip to California. The team said everyone on that trip self-isolated upon return March 13 and that all six members of the organization who got the novel coronavirus have recovered.
The Critérium du Dauphiné cycling race, one of the key warm-ups for the Tour de France, has been postponed.
The race had been scheduled for May 31-June 7 in southeastern France.
Race organizer Amaury Sport Organization said it still hopes to reschedule the event for later in the year.
ASO also owns the Tour de France, which is scheduled to start on June 27 from Nice. No decision has been made on whether to postpone or reschedule the Tour.
The Boston Marathon is offering refunds for the first time because of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Race organizers say anyone who was entered in the 124th edition of the race this month can still run on the rescheduled date, Sept. 14. But if they can’t make it, they can have their money back.
Those who have signed up for the Boston Athletic Association 5K the Saturday before the marathon can also get a refund.
More than 30,000 runners had signed up for the world’s most prestigious 26.2-mile run, which had been scheduled for April 18. It costs $205 for Americans and $255 for international residents.
French soccer club Bordeaux is making its team bus available so voluntary caregivers can reach hospitals in another city.
The eastern city of Mulhouse is eight hours from southwestern Bordeaux, which is near the Atlantic coast, but difficult to reach because of greatly restricted train travel.
Bordeaux says 18 nursing staff from its region will now be able to reach heavily-impacted Mulhouse and offer backup to tired medical teams who have been “strongly affected" in their efforts to cope.
Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks says the four players who tested positive for the new coronavirus have completed their two weeks of isolation and are now symptom-free.
The Nets announced on March 17 that four players had tested positive, with Kevin Durant telling The Athletic he was among them.
Marks said during a conference call Wednesday that all have now been cleared, along with the team’s entire traveling party. He said all are still practicing social distancing.
Brooklyn’s most recent game was March 10 in Los Angeles. All Nets players were then tested, and the team said one player showed symptoms and the other three were asymptomatic.
France's national institute of sport is helping with the needs of caregivers and homeless people during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Paris-based INSEP will lodge nursing staff coming far from their homes to assist medical teams in the city.
INSEP and other sporting establishments in France will also receive sick people who are no longer in serious condition but need their health monitored in an effort to free up hospital beds.
INSEP will receive about 100 people from homeless shelters.
Also, 69 rooms at INSEP are at the disposal of France Horizon, which helps families, homeless people, migrants, refugees and people who are isolated.
French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu says “the only way through this crisis is to stay united.”
Premier League club Bournemouth says manager Eddie Howe has taken a voluntary pay cut during the coronavirus outbreak.
It is the first top-flight team to announce such a measure by its coach.
Bournemouth said Howe’s pay cut was “significant,” without disclosing exact figures. Key members of his backroom staff as well as club chief executive Neill Blake will also have their salaries reduced.
Bournemouth says it has also advised a number of staff across all areas of the club that they will be furloughed “to safeguard the financial stability of the club during what is such an uncertain period.”
Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since World War II because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The All England Club announced after an emergency meeting that the oldest Grand Slam tournament in tennis would not be held in 2020.
Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12.
It now joins the growing list of sports events scrapped in 2020 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
That includes the Tokyo Olympics, the NCAA men's and women's college basketball tournaments and the European soccer championship.
The last time Wimbledon was called off was 1945.
Major League Baseball has canceled a two-game series in London between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The teams had been scheduled to play at Olympic Stadium on June 13 and 14.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement in a memorandum send to MLB employees. MLB said on March 19 that it had scrapped series in Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
MLB played in Europe for the first time last June when the New York Yankees swept a pair of games from the Boston Red Sox in London.
UEFA has postponed the Euro 2020 playoffs for the second time because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The games were originally scheduled for March 26-31 and have now lost their June 4-9 dates.
The playoffs will decide the last four places in the 24-nation lineup for the postponed European Championship.
The decision was made in a conference call with officials from the 55 UEFA member federations.
UEFA says “all other UEFA competition matches, including the centralized international friendly matches, remain postponed until further notice.”
A German soccer club is raising funds amid the coronavirus pandemic by selling tickets for a fictional game.
Third-division club Uerdingen hopes to virtually sell out its 34,500-capacity Grotenburg Stadium in Krefeld with the offer of souvenir tickets for fans.
Tickets start at 5 euros ($5.46) and go all the way to 19.05 euros ($20.80) for VIP tickets. The club says “panic buying for friends and family is definitely allowed.”
It’s the only time that Uerdingen will sell tickets for the Grotenburg Stadium this season. Its home arena is being rebuilt so the club has been playing home matches at the ground of nearby Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Uerdingen was one of the powerhouses of German soccer in the 1980s with a best finish of third place in the Bundesliga and a run to the semifinals of the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1986. More recently it has dropped as low as the sixth division.
The club hasn’t played a game since March 8 because of the virus outbreak.
The R&A is postponing three amateur golf championships scheduled for June, including the Curtis Cup.
The Curtis Cup was to be played June 12-14 at Conwy Golf Club in Wales. The R&A and USGA say the matches for female amateurs from the U.S. against a team from Britain and Ireland will move to 2021. The dates were not decided.
The R&A says the British Amateur and the British Women's Amateur will move from June to August, but that depends on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.K.
The British Amateur had been scheduled for June 15-20 at Royal Birkdale. The British Women's Amateur was to be played June 23-27 at Kilmarnock on the west coast of Scotland.
The Curtis Cup captains, Sarah Ingram of the U.S. and Elaine Ratcliffe for GB&I, will remain for the 2021 matches. The teams had not been decided. Players were to have been selected later this month.
Soccer fans from two clubs in Belarus say they will stop going to games because of the coronavirus.
A leading fan group at Neman Grodno says its members will stop attending games and they have urged supporters for other teams to do the same.
The fans have called on the national soccer federation to “draw on some courage and stop the Belarusian championship, as the rest of the world has done.”
Fans of Shakhter Soligorsk have also said they will stop going to games “until the epidemiological situation allows us to return to the stands.” But they stopped short of calling for the season to be suspended.
Belarus is the only nation in Europe still hosting professional soccer games with fans in the stadium.
International players’ union FIFPro says players in Belarus have reached out with concerns about playing during the coronavirus pandemic.
English soccer authorities say there are “no quick answers” to the question of when play can resume following the coronavirus outbreak.
The Premier League, English Football League and Football Association say in a joint statement there will be play “only when it is safe to do so.”
They say clubs and supporters have a role to play in the meantime “in supporting the government’s guidance and ensuring community strength and solidarity.”
The most recent update from soccer authorities said there will be no play until April 30 at the earliest.
A hockey team and a soccer club in Russia face being removed from their leagues after government financial support was diverted to fight the coronavirus.
The sports ministry in the far eastern region of Primorsky Krai says it sees no point in funding player contracts for another season if it’s not clear when competitions will resume. It wants the Admiral Vladivostok hockey club to drop out of the Kontinental Hockey League and the Luch Vladivostok soccer team to drop down two divisions into the amateur leagues.
The ministry says regional funding earmarked for professional sports will instead go into an anti-coronavirus fund.
Many Russian sports team rely heavily on regional governments and state-owned companies for much of their funding. Primorsky Krai is the first region to impose such drastic cuts.
All major sporting events in Russia are currently suspended.
The Olympic flame will be on display until the end of April in Japan's northeastern prefecture of Fukushima.
Tokyo Olympic and prefecture officials held an official “handover ceremony”on Wednesday at the J-Village National Training Center in Fukushima.
The public will have limited access to view the flame, and organizers hope to limit the crowd size because of restrictions in place for the coronavirus.
The flame arrived in Japan from Greece on March 20 and the torch relay was to have started last week from Fukushima. The flame has remained in the prefecture with Wednesday's event merely ceremonial.
The Fukushima prefecture is the region of Japan that was devastated in 2011 by an earthquake, tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown of three nuclear reactors.
Olympic officials have postponed the Tokyo Games until next year with the opening now set for July 23, 2021.