The world of sport finaly bows to the Corona Virus as scheduled fixtures and competion postponed around the world.


Coronavirus live updates: Nottingham Forest players and staff test negative, Copa del Rey final postponed, Euro 2020 and Olympics suspended?

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Spain's Copa del Rey final between Athletic Bibao and Real Soceidad has been postponed.
The match was originally due to take place on April 18 at Seville's La Cartuja Stadium.
La Liga matches have already gone behind closed doors for at least the next two weeks.

Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, confirmed on Wednesday that the organisation has characterised coronavirus as a pandemic.
He said: “Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.
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“Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO's assessment of the threat posed by this coronavirus. It doesn't change what WHO is doing, and it doesn't change what countries should do.”
He added: “We have never before seen a pandemic sparked by a coronavirus. And we have never before seen a pandemic that can be controlled at the same time. WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases.
“We have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.”

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The European Club Association announced that its general assembly, due to take place in Budapest on March 30 and 31, had been cancelled as a precautionary measure.
The FIFA Council meeting due to take place in Zurich at the end of next week is also understood to be in serious doubt because of travel restrictions resulting from the outbreak.
An announcement regarding the meeting is expected within the next 24 hours.

Nottingham Forest have confirmed all players, staff and officers have been tested for the coronavirus and all results have come back negative.
A statement read: “Within hours of receiving the news that owner Evangelos Marinakis had tested positive for the virus, the club took swift action to arrange tests for the entire first-team players, staff and officers that came into contact with the owner last week.
The club will remain in close dialogue with the relevant governing bodies and football authorities to ensure the correct measures are taken.

The Professional Footballers' Association has issued guidance to its members and to clubs about measures they can take to help limit the spread of coronavirus.
The wide-ranging guidance covers personal hygiene and what players should do in the event that they or those close to them begin to display flu-like symptoms.

Clubs are advised to provide automatic dispensers for disinfectant in changing rooms and toilets, and to keep communal areas clean using disinfectant.
It is also suggested that the number of people accessing changing rooms and fields of play are kept to a minimum.
The PFA's deputy chief executive Bobby Barnes said: “Players will and should be taking medical advice from the appropriate medical staff at their individual clubs together with their respective government's national advice at this time.
“It is important to stress that this is a public health issue, not just for football, but the wider community – that should be on the forefront of everybody's minds when making decisions.”

West Ham say their clash with Wolves on Sunday is scheduled to go ahead as planned, although the club are monitoring the situation.
Last Saturday the Hammers played Arsenal, who have since had their match at Manchester City postponed due to coronavirus fears.
A statement from West Ham read: “West Ham United continues to closely monitor the situation regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
“All necessary measures are being taken and our medical staff, in line with guidance and advice from the relevant authorities, are constantly managing the club's position, with the safety and welfare of our players, staff and supporters being of paramount importance.
“After discussions with the Premier League and our medical team, Sunday's game against Wolverhampton Wanderers at London Stadium is scheduled to go ahead as planned.

There remains no immediate threat of England's friendly matches against Italy and Denmark being postponed, according to the Football Association.
The matches, both to be played at Wembley, are due to go ahead on March 27 and 31.
A tweet from the England team account read: “At present, and in line with current government advice, nothing has changed regarding the status of our games against Italy and Denmark later this month.
“We will be sure to inform fans should there be an update.”

World players' union FIFPRO has called on competition organisers across the globe to take 'transparent, reasonable and consistent' decisions based on government advice in relation to the outbreak.
“Professional footballers, like other workers, are concerned about themselves and their families and friends being exposed to the coronavirus during their daily lives,” the statement read.
“For players, their exposure could come during travel, training and match days. Any actions relating to these activities must be co-ordinated in close co-operation with players and their unions.
“We ask that employers and competition organisers respect the wishes of players to take short-term precautionary measures including suspending training or competitions. We support the players and their associations who have requested a suspension or postponement of football activities in their countries or regions.”
FIFPRO also called on the football industry to consider 'extraordinary solidarity payments' for clubs impacted by postponements or matches being played behind closed doors.
Gary Neville, co-owner of League Two club Salford, said on Tuesday that the EFL season should be delayed rather than matches continuing behind closed doors 'to protect the revenues for clubs that require this income to survive'.
The EFL is currently continuing as normal based on the latest government advice.

The Australian Grand Prix is going ahead this weekend but there have been calls for Formula 1's season opener to be postponed.
Skywriting in Sydney appeared on Wednesday urging 'STOP F1', with the race planned to take place at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne on Sunday.
Though the Bahrain GP will be raced behind closed doors and the Chinese GP has already been postponed, spectators are still allowed to attend in Australia this weekend.

A sport-by-sport look at the impact of the coronavirus
Wednesday's Premier League clash between Manchester City and Arsenal was postponed as a “precautionary measure” after Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis tested positive for coronavirus. Marinakis, who is also the majority owner of Nottingham Forest, met Arsenal staff and players after the Europa League tie at the Emirates Stadium on February 27. Arsenal said none of their personnel who had met Marinakis had reported symptoms, with “a number of players” understood to be in self-isolation for 14 days. They will return to training on Friday if they remain symptom-free, with the league trip to Brighton on Saturday scheduled to go ahead.
The English Football League says there is no immediate plans to postpone any of its fixtures. All domestic sporting action in Italy – including Serie A matches – has been suspended until April 3, although that does not cover Italian clubs involved in the Champions and Europe Leagues.
French Ligue 1 games will be held behind closed doors or in front of no more than 1,000 spectators, while the top two divisions in Spanish football will be played without spectators until at least March 22.
All matches in the German Bundesliga this weekend will be played behind closed doors, except RB Leipzig's home clash with Freiburg which does not have any restrictions. Other matches being played behind closed doors include Barcelona's match at home to Napoli and Chelsea's trip to Bayern Munich in the Champions League next week, as well as the Europa League games between Olympiacos and Wolves and LASK and Manchester United on Thursday and Rangers' match at Bayer Leverkusen the following week.
Republic of Ireland's Euro 2020 play-off semi-final in Slovakia on March 26, will also take place in an empty stadium, while the Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Federation has suspended ticket sales for their play-off match with Northern Ireland.
UEFA, however, says it has received no requests to postpone this summer's Euro 2020, which is scheduled to be held in 12 cities across the continent, beginning in Rome.
Olympics and Paralympics
The International Olympic Committee remains fully committed to staging the Tokyo 2020 Games as scheduled this summer, despite Japan's Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto suggesting it could be postponed until later in the year. The British Olympic Association still plans to send a delegation of around 55 people to Tokyo this month for a “detailed operational recce”.
Rugby Union
The France v Ireland and Italy v England games in the final round of the Guinness Six Nations have been postponed, with Wales v Scotland the only game due to go ahead as scheduled. PRO 14 matches involving Italian sides Benetton and Zebre have been postponed, but the organisers of rugby union's European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup competitions have said the quarter-final ties scheduled for April 3-5 are still set to go ahead.
Formula 1
A member of McLaren's Formula One team is in self-isolation after being tested for coronavirus at the Australian Grand Prix. It is understood the team member reported symptoms associated with the virus in the Albert Park paddock on Wednesday morning. They were tested at the circuit's medical centre before returning to the team's hotel in downtown Melbourne. Two personnel from American outfit Haas were tested and are also in self-isolation. Organisers insist the opening round of the season in Australia on March 13-15 will go ahead as planned, but this month's Bahrain Grand Prix – from March 20-22 – will take place behind closed doors. F1 personnel who have visited high-risk countries within 14 days of their arrival in the Gulf Kingdom will be subjected to an extensive screening process. Italian team Ferrari remain in close contact with the authorities in light of the increasing restrictions on movement in the country. The FIA is monitoring the situation, having already called off the Chinese Grand Prix.
Formula E
The Formula E calendar suffered a third postponement after the Jakarta E-Prix, set for June 6, was called off. Formula E had already postponed the Sanya E-Prix – scheduled for March 21 – on February 2, with the view of rescheduling both races later in the calendar, while the Rome E-Prix on April 4 was shelved last week due to Italy's ban on domestic sporting action.
The opening two races of the MotoGP season in Qatar and Thailand were postponed. Organisers moved the Thai event to October 2-4, bringing the Aragon GP forward one week to September 25-27.
Several events in Asia have already been postponed, as has the European Tour golf event scheduled to start in Nairobi on March 12. Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley still expects the Masters to go ahead as planned next month.
Fears of two cases of coronavirus at the UAE Tour saw the race cancelled with two stages left. Team INEOS are among a host of teams who have decided to withdraw their teams from all racing until the Volta a Catalunya on March 23. The Strade Bianchi, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo and the Giro di Sicilia races in Italy have been postponed.
The high-profile BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, where the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were due to compete, was called off. Organisers of the Miami Open, due to start on March 23, are monitoring the situation closely but preparations are continuing. The WTA said the Xi'an Open (April 13-19) and Kunming Open (April 27-May 3) – both set to be held in China – were cancelled.
Racegoers planning to attend this week's Cheltenham Festival have been told not to if they have any of the symptoms of coronavirus or they have been to or transited through the high-risk countries, or been in contact with anyone that has, in the last 14 days.
The World Indoor Championships, which had been due to take place in Nanjing in China this month, have been called off. Organisers of the London Marathon are monitoring the situation but the April 26 event is scheduled to go ahead. The Paris Marathon, which was due to take place on April 5, has been postponed until October 18 and the Rome Marathon, scheduled for March 29, has been cancelled.
Rugby league
The Super League match between Catalans Dragons and Leeds in Perpignan on Saturday will go ahead behind closed doors.
All events scheduled for March in Japan have been cancelled.
The £1million China Open, scheduled to start in Beijing at the end of March, has been cancelled. The attendance in the arena for this week's Gibraltar Open has been limited to 100 people.
Ice skating
The World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, scheduled for March 13-15, were called off.
The International Judo Federation has cancelled all Olympic qualification events on the calendar until April 30.

The Olympics could be delayed by a year or two if the event is not able to take place this summer.
This is according to one of the members of the Tokyo Olympic Committee, Haruyuki Takahashi, who said any cancellation of Tokyo 2020 is unlikely.
“I don’t think the Games could be cancelled – it’d be a delay,” said Takahashi. “The International Olympic Committee would be in trouble if there’s a cancellation. American TV rights alone provide them with a huge amount.”
The 2020 Olympics are due to begin on Friday, July 27 and finish on Sunday, August 9.

England's cricketers have been instructed not to sign autographs or pose for selfies with fans during their Test tour of Sri Lanka in a bid to insulate the squad from the virus.
The England team have been on the island – which recorded its second confirmed case overnight – for just over a week and have stepped up existing precautions ahead of the first Test in Galle on March 19.
Between 3,000 and 5,000 supporters, many of them retired, are due to fly to Sri Lanka and they have been warned the usual level of interaction they have come to expect from their heroes has been affected by medical advice.
Joe Root's side are typically happy to sign shirts and bats as well as appearing in photographs but have been instructed to keep their distance from those arriving from the United Kingdom.
Interactions with the media have already been impacted, with a two-metre buffer zone implemented for any group interviews.
Handshakes between squad members, officials and opposition were already banned, with 'fist bumps' the new preferred greeting.

Chelsea’s Champions League clash at Bayern Munich and Manchester United’s Europa League match at LASK will take place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Blues travel to Germany next Wednesday for the second leg of their last 16 tie, while Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s side are in Austria this Thursday for the first leg of their last 16 match.
Meanwhile, Rangers will also play in an empty stadium this week as they head to Germany to face Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League.
UEFA rejected Wolves’ appeal to have their match at Olympiakos postponed despite the Greek side’s owner Evangelos Marinakis testing positive for coronavirus.

Euro 2020 could be postponed with national federations pleading with UEFA to suspend this summer's tournament, reports say.
Tuttosport claim the idea of playing Euro 2020 behind closed doors will not be taken into consideration, and postponing the finals by a year could be an option.
Aleksander Ceferin, the UEFA president, so far opposes such an idea, however.

A member of McLaren's Formula One team is in self-isolation after being tested for coronavirus at the Australian Grand Prix.
It is understood that the team member reported symptoms associated with the disease in the Albert Park paddock on Wednesday morning.
They were tested at the circuit's medical centre before returning to the team's hotel in downtown Melbourne. Two personnel from American outfit Haas were tested and are also in self-isolation.
A spokesperson for McLaren said: “We can confirm that one team member has self-isolated in the hotel as a precaution, in line with our policy, after showing symptoms similar to coronavirus.
“We are awaiting test results and currently do not have a definitive timeframe for these. The team is operating as per our normal schedule.”
The news comes with Formula One's bosses facing criticism for ploughing ahead with the opening race of the new season despite sporting events being postponed across the world following the outbreak of the virus which has claimed more than 4,000 lives.
Drivers are under instruction not to take selfies with fans, while a two-metre exclusion zone will be in place when they conduct their media duties on Thursday.
Staff from Ferrari, Red Bull's junior team AlphaTauri and tyre supplier Pirelli, who are all based in Italy, had their temperatures taken upon their arrival in Melbourne.
Next week's race in Bahrain will take place behind closed doors owing to fears about the coronavirus. The Chinese Grand Prix, which had been due to take place on April 19, has been postponed.

Olympiacos say none of their players or staff have tested positive for the virus.
A club statement read: “Olympiacos FC informs that after the necessary medical examinations of all members of the football department, managers and staff, the tests came out all negative for the COVID-19 virus.”
The Greek side face Wolves in the Europa League behind closed doors in Athens on Thursday night.
The club's owner Evangelos Marinakis has been diagnosed with the virus. He also owns Nottingham Forest.

Brighton say their Premier League match against Arsenal this Saturday remains scheduled to go ahead as planned.
Arsenal's fixture at Manchester City, due to take place at the Etihad Stadium tonight, was postponed as a precaution due to the coronavirus.
The move came after a positive test to Covid-19 was returned by Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis – whose side played at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium on February 27.
However, Brighton say the risk is considered extremely low and Saturday's match at the Amex Stadium will take place.
A Brighton statement read: “Albion's match against Arsenal this Saturday remains scheduled to go ahead as planned, in line with government advice, and following consultation with the Premier League and medical advisors.”
Arsenal said: “Everyone at Arsenal Football Club wishes Mr Marinakis a swift recovery and we look forward to the players and staff returning to work on Friday in preparation for our match at Brighton.”

Manchester City's Premier League clash with Arsenal has been postponed as a 'precautionary measure' over coronavirus fears.
Nottingham Forest and Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who announced on Tuesday that he had contracted the virus, met Arsenal staff and players during the February 27 Europa League tie at the Emirates Stadium.
The Premier League issued a statement in the early hours of Wednesday confirming the postponement.
It read: “Tonight's game between Manchester City and Arsenal has been postponed as a precautionary measure following the announcement yesterday that Evangelos Marinakis has contracted COVID-19.
“Thirteen days ago, Olympiakos played at the Emirates Stadium in the Europa League and Mr Marinakis, the Greek club's owner, met with several Arsenal squad members and staff.

“Following medical advice, Arsenal FC and Manchester City FC consider it is necessary to postpone their fixture due to be played this evening to give time to fully assess the situation.
“The Premier League has therefore agreed that tonight's game will be rearranged.
“We understand this will cause inconvenience and cost to fans planning to attend the game but Arsenal, Manchester City and the Premier League have agreed that the short notice of Mr Marinakis' infection means there is no alternative but to take the time to complete a proper assessment of risk.
“All necessary measures are being taken and the Premier League currently has no plans to postpone any other matches.”

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