The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was postponed on Monday because of the coronavirus outbreak, delaying the start of the Formula One season until the middle of June at the earliest. The first eight races of the 2020 season have now been either postponed or cancelled because of the virus. The race at the Baku City Circuit was scheduled for June 7 but has been called off after discussions between governing body FIA and the local government.
Arsenal have advised their players, who were to resume training on Tuesday, to stay at home even though they completed their 14-day isolation period after manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the coronavirus. Arteta’s positive test forced the team to go into self-isolation, while the Premier League has suspend the soccer season until April 30. “As a result of the current situation, we are clear it would be inappropriate and irresponsible to ask players to come back at this time,” Arsenal said in a statement on Monday.
Japan’s Olympic organising committee plans to dramatically scale back the torch relay until a formal decision on the Games is made, public broadcaster NHK said on Monday. The event, which was due to start on March 26 will now use lanterns in to carry the Olympic flame and will be more of a “tour” than a relay, NHK said.
Brazil’s top football clubs are handing over their stadiums to allow health authorities to turn them into field hospitals and clinics to fight the pandemic. With football in the country suspended until further notice, more than half the clubs in Brazil’s Serie A have given up their stadiums as authorities in densely populated Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro seek to expand hospital capacity to deal with the crisis.
Current South American champions Flamengo are giving control of their famous Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro to health authorities, said club president Rodolfo Landim.
Half of France’s professional football clubs could go bankrupt due to the coronavirus crisis, a top official insisted on Sunday. Bernard Caiazzo, president of the group which represents clubs in the French top flight, also said that the season will not resume until “at best on June 15”. “Without state aid, within six months, half of the professional clubs will file for bankruptcy,” Caiazzo, who also sits on the board of St Etienne, told France Bleu Loire.
Olympic champion swimmer Cameron van der Burgh said that he had contracted Covid-19, offering insight into how the infection could affect 2020 Olympic hopefuls. “I have been struggling with Covid-19 for 14 days today,” South Africa’s van der Burgh wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “By far the worst virus I have ever endured despite being a healthy individual with strong lungs (no smoking/ sport), living a healthy lifestyle and being young (least at risk demographic).” Van der Burgh, the 2012 Olympic 100m breaststroke world champion and former world record-holder, retired from the sport in 2018.