Monday, 30th October 2017

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South African cricketers’ no to handshakes in the wake of coronavirus outbreak

Indian wells tennis cancelled, Fifa postpones qualifiers

By Agencies in New Delhi
  • Published 10.03.20, 12:04 AM
  • Updated 10.03.20, 12:04 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
Atalanta players arrive in Valencia on Monday, the eve of their Champions League match against Valencia which will be played behind closed doors. (AFP)

South African cricketers could avoid the customary handshakes during their stay in India, head coach Mark Boucher has said as the number of reported positive coronavirus cases in the country crossed 40 on Monday.

The number of positive cases in India stands at 43 at the moment and the South African team that landed in the national capital for three ODIs in the wee hours of Monday, will “strictly adhere” to the healthcare protocols.

“I think it’s a way to stop anything from happening to our guys,” Boucher told the media during his pre-departure press conference when asked about shaking hands with the opposition team’s players.

“I think it’s out of respect for players around you and not to pass on something that you might have,” the former Proteas stumper added.

However, Australia’s cricketers will continue to shake hands, coach Justin Langer said in Melbourne. Australia’s three-game one-day series against New Zealand begins Friday.

Cancelled

The ATP and WTA tennis tournament in Indian Wells, California, has been cancelled, making it the first major sports event in the US to be scrubbed due to health concerns.

The tournament, one of the biggest outside the four tennis Grand Slams, was cancelled just days before it was due to begin.

Fifa decision

Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have agreed to postpone the Asian World Cup qualifying matches in March and June, the world soccer body said on Monday. China’s matches against Maldives at home and Guam away were already moved to Buriram, Thailand, and were set to be played in an empty stadium, but more than two dozen other matches were scheduled around the continent on two match days on March 26 and 31.

No spectators

Paris Saint-Germain were ordered to play Wednesday’s home Champions League tie against German club Borussia Dortmund behind closed doors, police said in Paris.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia will be the first in more 35 years to be held without spectators after organisers on Monday introduced tighter measures to protect against the coronavirus, a report from Athens said.

However, in Melbourne, Australian F1 chiefs ruled out any chance of the opening Grand Prix of the year following the lead of Bahrain and barring spectators because of the coronavirus.

In Milan, Aaron Ramsey starred as Juventus beat title rivals Inter Milan 2-0 on Sunday to reclaim top spot in Serie A in a game played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak. Agencies