The Latest: Swiss federal loans for soccer, hockey teams

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:


The Swiss federal government says professional soccer and hockey leagues can get loans totaling 350 million Swiss francs ($360 million) to help teams through loss of revenue during the coronavirus pandemic.

Both leagues were shut down in February by federal rulings prohibiting mass gatherings. The Swiss hockey league canceled its season and the two top soccer divisions could restart next month in empty stadiums.

Federal loans are also being made available to up to 60 international sports organizations based in Switzerland. The repayable aid is not available to wealthy soccer bodies FIFA and UEFA or the International Olympic Committee.


The Italian soccer league is hoping to resume competition on June 13.

The date was agreed to during a video conference with all 20 Serie A clubs. It is subject to approval by the Italian government.

Full team training will restart on May 18 after a revised medical protocol was approved. The clubs have already resumed training on an individual basis.

There are 12 rounds remaining in Serie A along with four matches that were postponed from the 25th round. The Italian Cup is in the semifinal stage.


Beach volleyball teams will have an extra year to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.

The system will otherwise remain the same.

Most teams qualify by earning points on the international tour. The deadline for Tokyo had been this June but now it will be June 13, 2021. Additional spots in the Olympic tournament will be decided at continental tournaments that will be held until June 27 of next year.

The FIVB world tour is currently on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.


Ferrari says it has developed a ventilator for hospitals dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Formula One team says it created a device that is easy to use and assemble in conjunction with the Italian Institute of Technology. Ferrari says it was designed in only five weeks and can be produced using easily available materials at a lower cost than normal ventilators.

The ventilator has been designed to meet the typical demands of medium intensive care and the technical specifications are available as an open source project.


Players from Spanish soccer club Elche have not practiced as a protest against reduced salaries.

The players for the second-division club were supposed to practice at the team’s stadium but decided to keep training at home to show their discontentment with the team’s decision not to lift the furloughs that had been put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Players want to resume earning full salaries now that they are back to training.

The players practiced normally on Tuesday. The club says it is negotiating with them.

The club used government furloughs to reduce its labor costs during the pandemic. Players had their salaries and working hours reduced by 70%.

Elche was sixth in the 22-team second-division standings when the competition was suspended after 31 matches.


The Portuguese soccer league says it will delay its restart until June 4.

The league was expected to resume at the end of May but will wait another week so there is time to “rigorously inspect stadiums and conduct medical tests on all professionals involved” in the matches.

The league says it hopes to serve as an example of “good practices” for the rest of the Portuguese society during the coronavirus pandemic.

The league was stopped with Porto leading Benfica by one point with 10 rounds to go.


The players at French rugby club Toulouse have offered to take a pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The players at the 20-time French champions say they told club president Bernard Lemaitre they are willing to accept “a significant decrease” in earnings. They did not give any figures regarding the amount of the proposed decrease.

Lemaitre praised his players for their “spontaneous and unanimous” offer amid challenging economic times.

He says it “further reinforces our motivation and our desire to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”

The French league was canceled after the government called it off late last month. The semifinals of the Top 14 league will not be played.


More AP sports: and

Bg pattern light


Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?