“As a league that organises public gatherings, we are also extremely conscious of our social responsibility not to enable and accelerate the spread of the virus.”
While the Gold Coast leg has been cancelled, Logan said his team were “re-imagining” what a re-jigged season might look like to still include the other two Australian stops.
NFL draft to be closed to public
The NFL draft will go on, but with a much different look.
The league has announced it will cancel all public events that had been scheduled in Las Vegas for the 2020 NFL draft to try to curb the rapid spread of the coronavirus. The actual draft will proceed as scheduled on April 23-25, though the league said it “is exploring innovative options for how the process will be conducted”.
The selection process will be televised.
The NFL said it took in consideration guidance from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention as well as officials from Nevada and the City of Las Vegas in making the announcement.
Baseball season postponed again
Major League Baseball has pushed back opening day until mid-May at the earliest due to the US government’s latest recommendations on gatherings.
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement after a conference call with executives of the 30 teams.
“The clubs remain committed to playing as many games as possible when the season begins,” the commissioner’s office said in a statement.
“We’re not going to announce an alternate opening day at this point. We’re going to have to see how things develop,” Manfred told the St Louis Post-Dispatch at Cardinals camp in Florida.
He didn’t want to speculate about the possibility of playing in empty stadiums, saying part of that decision would depend on timing.
The All-Star game, due to be played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on July 14, could be in jeopardy.
Kentucky Derby postponed: reports
The Kentucky Derby, the first jewel in North American horse racing’s Triple Crown, will be postponed to September from May, local media reported on Monday.
The Louisville Courier Journal, citing sources close to the race, and television station WDRB said the race would take place on September 5 instead of May 2 as scheduled.
Churchill Downs, which hosts the annual race, is set to hold a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, local time. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the reports.
Only once before was the ‘Run for the Roses’ postponed and not contested on its traditional first Saturday in May slot when it was delayed a month in 1945 because of World War II.
The Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown run at Pimlico on May 16, could also be in jeopardy with the third leg, the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York, set for June 6.
Britain’s most iconic steeplechase, the Grand National, has also been cancelled. The festival, first staged in 1839, was due to take place from April 2-4 at Aintree.
Bundesliga extends postponement
Germany’s Bundesliga and second division will pause all soccer matches least until April 2 and possibly beyond, DFL CEO Christian Seifert says.
Germany’s top two divisions did not play this weekend after matches were suspended due to the outbreak and Seifert said any decision on the season would be taken in the week of March 30.
“I want to stress that we do not expect to play on April 3,” Seifert told a news conference.
“This is the most difficult period of our professional life.
“There are more questions than answers. We have to learn to understand that whatever yesterday was seen as normal at the moment is not so normal any more and we don’t know what to expect after today.”
He said the league would continue to put the health of people as its highest priority but the longer the pause, the greater the pressure on the entire soccer industry.
“Closed door games could be the only way to survive. But if now people say they reject such games then they should not think about 18 or 20 professional clubs because there will be not be 18 or 20 clubs,” Seifert said.
UFC suspends upcoming events
The UFC has finally joined virtually every other professional sports organisation in suspending its upcoming events because of the coronavirus outbreak. UFC president Dana White cited new recommendations announced by the White House, particularly one urging people to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, in explaining his abrupt shift from what had been a dogged determined stance to keep staging fights.
Citing an address to the nation from US President Donald Trump, White said on ESPN that the UFC had managed to stage a mixed martial arts event with less than 50 people and no fans present, but “now they’re saying there should be no more than 10 in a room, and that’s just impossible”.
“We can’t do it,” he continued, “and we’ve complied with everything that the government and these doctors have said to do, and we have no choice now but to postpone these fights.”
White said his company was calling off its next three events, which had been scheduled for March 28 and April 11, but he insisted that UFC 249 would take place on April 18. That event, featuring a much-anticipated lightweight title showdown between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson, might not unfold as planned, however, at Barclays Centre in Brooklyn.
Olympic boxing qualifiers called off
The European, Americas and final world qualifying boxing tournaments for the Tokyo Olympic Games have also been suspended.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), whose Boxing Task Force is organising the events after the suspension last year of world body AIBA, acted as countries went into lockdown and sport ground to a halt.
The Americas and final world tournaments have yet to happen but the 10-day European event at London’s Copper Box, on the site of the 2012 Olympics, was already into its third day of competition.
Sixteen male boxers, flyweights and featherweights, still managed to secure their tickets to Tokyo before the shutdown came into force at the end of Monday’s evening session, local time.
The BTF had already closed the doors to spectators after Sunday’s sessions.
Africa, Asia and Oceania have held their qualifying tournaments while the America’s one, scheduled for Buenos Aires on March 26-April 3, was postponed last week. The final worlds were due in Paris on May 13-20.