The Latest: Serbian soccer league to scrap relegation
The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
Serbia’s top soccer league has decided that no teams will be relegated this season as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, four teams will still be promoted from the second tier, making for an expanded 20-team league next season.
The league says the Serbian soccer federation accepted its proposal to adapt to the shutdown forced by the pandemic.
Games are set to resume Friday to complete the final four rounds of the regular season and decide a champion and qualifying places for UEFA competitions. Red Star Belgrade has an 11-point lead ahead of Partizan.
However, the league’s normal eight-team groups that were to decide the postseason championship and relegation spots have been scrapped.
The Premier League’s official broadcasters say the competition will restart on June 17.
The BBC and Sky Sports say there will be a doubleheader on that day with Manchester City playing Arsenal and Aston Villa hosting Sheffield United.
Playing those make-up games on a Wednesday will ensure the 30th round can be contested the following weekend.
The last match was played on March 9 before the competition was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Squads were only allowed to restart practice sessions in small groups last week but contact and tackling is now allowed between players.
The head of English cricket says “unorthodox” measures could be explored to ensure at least part of the domestic season is played this year.
The England and Wales Cricket Board says there will be no professional domestic cricket before Aug. 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The governing body says its ambition remains to stage domestic competitions some time over the upcoming summer and that talks will continue with the government and health experts.
The ECB has outlined a slew of proposals for play in both red ball and limited-overs cricket. They include opening up all grounds or using regional grouping for matches. Matches could yet be played before a limited number of supporters.
England is looking to play international cricket from July.
The European Tour plans to resume its season in July starting with a six-week stretch of golf tournaments in Britain and running through to the World Tour Championship in Dubai in December.
The tour says its events initially will be held without spectators and will be subject to strict testing protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The season has been suspended since March 8. It will resume with the British Masters in northern England from July 22-25 before five further events in the “UK Swing” across England and Wales.
Four Rolex Series events have been rescheduled for October to December. They are the Scottish Open, the BMW PGA Championship, the Nedbank Golf Challenge and then the season-ending World Tour Championship from Dec. 10-13.
The tour says details of other tournaments from September to November will be announced later.
European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley says the Ryder Cup is still on schedule for Sept. 25-27 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin pending more discussions with the PGA Tour.
Three players from English soccer clubs Blackburn and Fulham have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Blackburn says captain Elliott Bennett was found to be infected with COVID-19 after testing negative last Friday.
Bennett says he doesn’t “feel unwell” and doesn’t have any symptoms.
Fulham says two players tested positive but did not name them.
The positive cases at the second-division clubs came after tests on 1,030 players and staff from Monday to Wednesday.
The three players will have to self-isolate for seven days before returning to training ahead of a potential resumption of the competition.
The Hungarian soccer federation says matches in the country can once again be held with spectators in the stadiums.
The announcement comes on the back of a government decree allowing the option amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Organizers are obliged to keep three seats empty between each occupied seat and no fan may sit directly behind or in front of another. Players and essential personnel on or near the field during matches must recently have tested negative for the coronavirus.
The federation says clubs can decide on their own whether they want to play in front or fans again.
Tickets for next Wednesday’s Hungarian Cup final between Budapest Honved and Mezokovesd-Zsory at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium in Budapest will soon be sold online.
Elite sports made a comeback in Australia for the first time since March 22 with the Brisbane Broncos hosting Parramatta in the National Rugby League.
Two rounds of matches were played in the NRL in March before Australia and New Zealand went into lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
No fans were allowed into the 52,500-seat stadium in Brisbane because of strict social distancing rules. But at a bone-jarring collision between burly rugby players was broadcast across Australia to signal the return of contact teams sports in the country.
Players and all staff and officials had to undergo heat checks before entering the stadium and strict health protocols were put in place on the field.
Bologna says a test carried out on a member of its staff who was suspected of having coronavirus has come back negative.
The club says that a “further, definitive test” will be carried out in the next few hours.
The players will nevertheless train individually as a precaution.
It would be the first positive case in Serie A since the teams started training in groups if it is confirmed. The entire squad would have to go into quarantine.
Serie A has been suspended since March 9 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league is hoping to restart on June 13.
The Dutch Grand Prix has become the fourth Formula One race to be canceled this season.
Organizers of the first Dutch GP in 35 years preferred to wait until next year in hope fans will be able to attend, rather than hold the race without them this time.
The race in Zandvoort was set for May 3 and initially postponed.
Race director Jan Lammers says “we would like to celebrate this moment, the return of Formula 1 in Zandvoort, together with our racing fans in the Netherlands.”
The other races canceled were the season-opening Australian GP on March 15; the Monaco GP on May 24; and the French GP on June 28.
Another six remain postponed.
F1 organizers still hope to reschedule those and hold 15-18 races this season, starting with back-to-back races at the Austrian GP in July.
The postponed Belgian Cup final has been rescheduled for Aug. 1. That is one week before the start of the league’s next season.
Belgian soccer authorities say the match between Club Brugge and Antwerp will take place in an empty King Baudouin Stadium.
Club Brugge has the opportunity to secure a league-cup double after it was awarded its 16th Belgian title this month following a decision to end the current season prematurely because of the coronavirus pandemic.
All sporting competitions in Belgium have been suspended until July 31. The new season is set to start on Aug. 7.
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