Coronavirus in Sport LIVE: Bundesliga can return on May 15, huge Premier League claim, boxing latest, McGregor ready – The Sun

THE Premier League is planning to return on June 12 at neutral venues – but only if it gets the green light from the government.

However, PFA chief Gordon Taylor has stunned fans by revealing that playing less than 90 minutes could be one of the rule changes considered.

Follow all the latest coronavirus in sport updates below, underneath our quick poll…


    Conor McGregoris “ready” to return after weeks of lockdown training and could make his comeback on the UFC's new “Fight Island”.

    Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Irishman has been forced to self-isolate with his next fight now up in the air.

    With several states banning professional sports, UFC president Dana White revealed he has acquired a private island to host events, which he hopes will be up and running by June.

    It could feature the return of McGregor, despite the UFC due to suffer a massive loss in ticket sales.

    White said: “Conor’s been ready to fight for a while. He’s in shape. He’s ready to go.

    “First of all, ‘Fight Island’ is going to be very important in any of these fights that are happening with people from outside the country. It kills me to do a fight with Conor without fans. Kills me. This guy’s doing almost $20million gates.”


    Frank Warren claims there is “no chance” of Tyson Fury fighting Deontay Wilder without fans.

    “There’s not going to be big-name fighters out there,” Warren told BBC Radio 5 Live.

    “There is no chance of Fury v Wilder behind closed doors.”

    “We’re talking British-title level and the undercard will be the kids, who I don’t want to go away from the sport because they can’t get a living from it.”


    Exclusive by Martin Lipton: The FA has the power to BLOCK any Premier League plans to axe relegation from the top flight.

    Some clubs have warned that they will only back Project Restart proposals if the threat of dropping into the Championship is taken off the table.

    But SunSport can reveal FA chairman Greg Clarke and the Wembley board have the right to demand promotion and relegation takes place — even if ALL 20 Prem clubs vote against it.

    The ability of the FA to interfere goes back to the original Premier League breakaway from the Football League.

    The resulting Founder Members Agreement, signed on July 17, 1991, gave the “Special Shareholder” — the FA — specific powers.

    Under the terms of the document, which remains in place today, rule variations can “be effective only with the consent in writing of the Special Shareholder and without such consent shall not be done or caused to be done”.


    Exclusive by Duncan Wright: Nine Premier League clubs are ready to let stars duck out of Project Restart over concerns they will infect vulnerable loved ones.

    The top flight is pushing ahead with plans to resume matches on June 12 in a bid to finish the season and avoid financial meltdown.

    But SunSport has discovered almost half of the 20 Prem sides now accept it is impossible to force stars back into action if they fear falling ill or infecting their family with Covid-19.

    The growing list includes teams fighting it out at both ends of the table — as club bosses finally start listening to players, who are scared about being rushed into scenarios they feel are unsafe.

    One source said: “If someone has a partner who’s pregnant, or close family who has cancer, how can we force them to play in those circumstances?”


    Football fans can watch Friday's K League opener live for free in English – as South Korea does its bit for sporting morale around the world during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors face two-time Asian club champs Suwon Samsung Bluewings at the Jeonju World Cup Stadium from 7pm, streaming on YouTube and Twitter.

    K-League chiefs say they want to “reach out” around the globe while most other countries are still in lockdown – promising online commentary remotely from Australia and “real time” English graphics.


    Exclusive by Rob Maul: Barry Hearn fears there will be no big-stadium fights involving Anthony Joshua or Tyson Fury until there is a Covid-19 vaccine.

    In an exclusive SunSport interview, the Matchroom boss says Government rules on social-distancing may prevent mass crowds assembling for big UK fights.

    Hearn said: “The only time we will defeat this virus properly is when we get a vaccine.

    “All the social-distancing in the world is really doing is postponing the potential of another outbreak.

    “So it comes down to when we will do big arena shows. My answer would be the moment we have a proper vaccine. That’s very unlikely to be this year.

    “Do we honestly think before the end of this year we’ll be allowed90,000 crowds again?

    “I’m playing with someone’s career. Fighters need 12 weeks to prepare. I have to give a date.”


    Former FA director Heather Rabbatts has claimed that Women's sport will come back stronger after coronavirus.

    She told the Telegraph: “There have been a number of articles talking about the potential threat to women’s sport following the pandemic. When we hopefully all emerge from this, I think that actually the role of women’s sport will be even stronger.

    “I think that one of the things we’ve all missed is sport. Women’s sport was gathering momentum – particularly women’s football – before the pandemic. I think that momentum will quickly pick up once we are able to resume play.

    “I actually think that women’s sport – not only its momentum, but the values, the sense of passion but not necessarily tribalism that women’s football has, the fact that it’s a game that’s enjoyed by families and by huge audiences – will find even more resonance in the future.”


    Aston Villa boss Dean Smith admits he will be without two key players in their survival fight due to health concerns.

    He said: “There’s a certain risk attached to the return to training of all players and I think they’ll want to make sure we tick the boxes for them to make sure it’s safe to do so.

    “We’ve got a player who’s asthmatic, we’ve got a player whose mother in law is in remission and living with the family.

    “So you have to be very careful, certainly with the transmission, because this (pandemic) knows no boundaries.

    “Everybody wants to get back into training but they also want to see what the medical protocols are first.”


    The Premier League are reportedly set to ban shirt-swapping and team celebrations.

    The Telegraph claim that new safety measures will be brought in when football restarts.

    The proposals will also see players banned from sharing water bottles and could be in place for as long as a year.


    Conor McGregor is “ready” to return after weeks of lockdown training and could make his comeback on the UFC's new “Fight Island”.

    With several states banning professional sports, UFC president Dana White revealed he has acquired a private island to host events, which he hopes will be up and running by June.

    It could feature the return of Irish superstar McGregor, despite the UFC due to suffer a massive loss in ticket sales.

    White said: “Conor’s been ready to fight for a while. He’s in shape. He’s ready to go.”


    Football Federation Australia wants to resume the 2019-2020 A-League season towards the end of the summer.

    Adelaide United's director of football Bruce Djite said: “My understanding is they want the season completed by the end of August.

    “So mathematically, three games a week and all the rest you could knock it out in four or five weeks. Then you work back from that and say you need at least four, five weeks training, so you're looking at late June, early July.

    “But there's a lot of water to go under the bridge before that … There's still a lot of unknowns.”


    Juventus have announced that Paulo Dybala has finally recovered from coronavirus after the Argentinian ace tested positive for Covid-19 four times.

    The 26-year-old has been plagued by the illness for the last six weeks with the player one of the first Juve players to contract the deadly bug.

    And having been forced to remain in lockdown with his partner Oriana Sabatina, Dybala is now free to leave his house at long last.

    A statement from the Old Lady read: “The player underwent a double check, which saw him test negative.

    “Paulo Dybala performed, as per protocol, a double check with diagnostic tests (swabs) for coronavirus Covid-19, which came back with negative results.

    “The player has, therefore, recovered and will no longer be subjected to the home isolation regime.”


    Chief Executive of the League Managers Association Richard Bevan has warned that the 2019-20 Premier League season could be axed altogether if clubs don't agree to matches being held at neutral venues.

    Six teams are believed to be against surrendering their home advantage, however, including Brighton & Hove Albion.

    And Bevan has gloomily predicted that such a stance could see the season scrapped for good.

    Asked by BBC Radio 4's Today programme if that would be the case, he said: “Yes, I think that probably is correct.

    “The Government, if they haven't already, will be making it clear that home matches with densely populated stadia really puts into question whether social distancing rules can be adhered to and without doubt that will be on the voting next Monday with the clubs.”


    Manchester City could have two huge matches scheduled for the SAME weekend if football is allowed to return.

    Prem resumption plans set to be voted on by the clubs next Monday must see the League season end by August 2.

    League chiefs will play out the season over seven weekends, with two midweek dates, allowing room in the calendar for the remaining FA Cup ties.

    That would allow the FA Cup Final to be played at Wembley, behind closed doors, on August 8.

    Uefa plan to resume European club competitions on August 7, allowing the rest of the campaign to be played out during the month and with the Final on August 29.

    City could be scheduled to play their last 16 second leg with Real Madrid, where they will seek to convert the 2-1 win in the Bernabeu secured on February 26 into a place in the quarter-finals, for the same weekend.


    Doctors from four Premier League clubs have told football chiefs the proposed season restart is NOT safe in a 100-point letter.

    Medics put together a long letter to PL medical advisor Mark Gillett and director of football Richard Garlick listing 100 questions and potential problems.

    The letter – split into ten different sections – revealed multiple Covid-19 concerns they believe have not yet been addressed.

    The concerns include:

    • “Approving guidelines that still carry risk of death.”
    • “Liability, insurance and testing for players, staff and their families.”
    • “Possible transmission via sweat and goalkeeper gloves.”
    • “Suspicions that some clubs are already ignoring guidelines.”
    • “Increased risk for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups.”
    • “Ability of emergency services to attend training ground incidents.”


    UEFA have reportedly began compiling a calendar to complete the Champions League season with Juventus’ clash against Lyon set to take place on August 8.

    According to French news outlet RMC Sport, Uefa officials held a video meeting on Wednesday morning with relevant club presidents to reaffirm their desire to conclude the campaign.

    In that meeting, they declared that all domestic divisions must be completed by the end of July in order for the Champions League and Europa League to be played out.


    Joe Wicks' dedication to keeping the nation fit during the coronavirus lockdown has urged punters to back him for a New Year's Honour.

    The Queen's annual list rewards those who have made an outstanding contribution to society in the past 12 months and bookies believe Wicks is a prime candidate.

    Translating his success on YouTube and as an author, the 33-year-old is now a household name and the face of staying active in the pandemic.

    Millions of people have tuned into his daily PE workouts with wife Rosie Jones joining in on the live clips.

    The former model has even taken over from her Body Coach hubbie as he recovers from hand surgery.

    Now back in the game of uploading his workouts, Wicks is considered ODDS-ON for an honour at the end of the year.


    Bundesliga action could return as soon as May 15 after being given the green light by chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The German top-flight has been suspended like every other major league because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    But with the country having been better placed than most to deal with the crisis, the situation has improved in recent weeks.

    So much so that its lockdown was eased on Monday, with plans to do so further in the works.

    And according to Bild, the government have now told the Bundesliga to pick a date to resume playing, with May 15 the earliest possible.


    Damien Comolli believes the coronavirus crunch will spell the end of football’s big-money transfers – with the swap deal making a comeback.

    The former Liverpool and Tottenham director of football is also predicting a cut in agents’ fees and Premier League squad sizes.

    And he has warned stars coming to the end of their contracts they may have to slash their salaries if they want to continue playing.

    He said: “Everything will change. I think we are going to be in a situation we’ve never seen before.

    “The whole business model of football will be changing. There will be a situation where clubs will have a little bit of cash and be able to sweep the market by investing in young players. And there will be clubs which have no money at all.

    “For the first time we will see something on a global scale that we have only seen recently in Italy – where clubs will swap players with maybe a little bit of cash going one way.”


    Crowd noises could be broadcast inside stadiums via fans sat on their sofas when football returns from the coronavirus pandemic.

    German tech company hack-CARE have developed a mobile phone app, MyApplause, that is reportedly under consideration by Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool.

    It works by giving fans four options to transmit a noise that will resonate across the stadium as the game pans out.

    A cheer, jeer, applause or whistle noise can be made with the app claiming it has the capacity for up to one million viewers.

    And they reckon a minimal delay of only a tenth of a second comes between the button being pressed and the noise being transmitted, making for instant reactions akin to a real game.

    Jurgen Kreuz of hack-CARE told Sportsmail that the company wants to generate tangible interest from major teams before pitching their idea to the Premier League.


    Gareth Bale and his Real Madrid team-mates have arrived back at training as LaLiga prepares to resume its season.

    Former Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois and club legend Marcelo turned up with masks covering their faces, as did James Rodriguez.

    But a number of others including Bale, Eden Hazard and Dani Carvajal saw no reason to cover up despite the pandemic.

    Real and arch rivals Barcelona are returning to their respective clubs today for testing.

    Lockdown measures have been relaxed in Spain and teams have been given permission to resume activity on an individual basis.

    League bosses are planning to have games played again in June.


    Boxing judges could score fights from home to help stop the spread of coronavirus in drastic new changes suggested by the WBC.

    With major events facing the axe due to the Covid-19 crisis, promoters, commissions and governing bodies are imposing ways to have boxing return as quick as possible.

    Fights behind closed doors are already being discussed, but handlers must comply with the current strict health guidelines including a max of 50 people at each event – which includes each fighters team, ring officials, the commission and production.

    The WBC, one of the four major organisations, have been exploring the idea of judges scoring fights from home or a designated place in order to cut the number of people at a show.

    The WBC president, Mauricio Sulaiman, told BoxingScene: “We have been working for several years on the evaluation of remote online ring officials.

    “This platform is ready to be used in case it will help to reduce the number of persons [at] a boxing card.”


    Former Real Madrid vice-president Amador Suarez has become the second ex-executive of the Spanish giants to die from coronavirus.

    At the age of 76, the fisheries mogul lost his 41-day fight with the illness on Tuesday.

    A Real statement released following Suarez’s death led the tributes to the life of a businessman who first signed up for Los Blancos in 1964.

    It read: “Real Madrid and its Board of Directors deeply regrets the death of Amador Suarez, a club executive from 2006 and vice-president between 2007 and 2009.

    “The club expresses its condolences and its affection for his family and loved ones.

    “While he was a Real Madrid executive, the club won two football leagues, a Supercopa de Espana, a basketball league and a ULBE Cup.

    “Amador Suarez had been a Real Madrid member for the past 33 years and he died aged 76 as a result of coronavirus.”


    Derek Chisora is selling iconic “War” coronavirus protection masks ahead of his fight against Oleksandr Usyk.

    The 36-year-old British heavyweight saw his main-event headliner against Usyk postponed amid the Covid-19 crisis.

    As Chisora awaits the fait of his pay-per-view clash, he is attempting to keep fans safe from the deadly bug by selling protective masks.

    The Londoner regularly walks to the ring with a British bandana covering his face, and has recently taken inspiration from middleweight legend Marvin Hagler, who famously wore a hat with War written on it.

    He said: “I can still deliver behind closed doors, we just need to get a recording of the fans singing and shouting in the arena so I can hear them chanting.

    “I think we can get that working but I don't really care, if I am honest. I just like to fight.

    “I am not getting any younger so if I can squeeze in two fights this year, I will be up for that, I just love fighting.”


    Tony Ferguson has shared the moment he had an eight-inch coronavirus swab shoved up his nose in a brutal test before UFC 249.

    The 36-year-old American faces Justin Gaethje, 31,for the interim lightweight title on Saturday night, the UFC's second event during the Covid-19 crisis.

    Fighters were assured by the promotion that both swab and antibody tests will be carried out on athletes with results available before Fight Night.

    Swab tests can detect if a person currently has Covid-19, while the antibody is conducted via a blood sample and tells you if you have had it.

    ESPN report that daily checks will include testing for temperatures and questions about coronavirus symptoms.

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