The Latest: Serena, Venus, Sharapova in tennis gaming event
The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
Serena and Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova are scheduled to compete in a video game tennis tournament for charity called the “Stay at Home Slam.”
The IMG agency says Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori are also among the tennis players participating Sunday.
Other competitors include Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, model Gigi Hadid and singer Seal.
Participants will each pick a charity to receive a $25,000 donation. The winner of the tournament will choose who gets an additional $1 million donation.
The event will be streamed on Facebook.
The Madrid Open set up a video game tournament for this week, with Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber among the entrants.
All professional tennis tournaments have been postponed or canceled until at least mid-July.
Switzerland’s federal government says professional sports teams can resume training on May 11, with a view to playing games in empty stadiums four weeks later.
The government is set to make a final decision on May 27 as to whether games can resume in June. That will depend on the coronavirus pandemic. Games will have to be played in empty stadiums because of a federal order banning gatherings of more than 1,000 people through August.
The Swiss top-tier soccer league was paused in February with 13 rounds left. St. Gallen leads defending champion Young Boys on goal difference.
It is still unclear whether the Aug. 20 Diamond League track meet in Lausanne or the European Masters golf tournament at the end of August at Crans-Montana in the heart of the Swiss Alps can be staged.
A leading medical official at UEFA says soccer competitions should be able to resume this season.
Soccer has been brought to a halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, with some leagues — including France and the Netherlands — canceling their 2019-20 seasons following government orders. FIFA’s medical committee chair has also expressed doubts about completing this season.
Tim Meyer, chairman of UEFA’s medical committee, says all soccer organizations planning for resumptions need to produce “comprehensive protocols dictating sanitary and operational conditions” to ensure the health of those involved in the games is protected.
Meyer says “it is definitely possible to plan the restart of competitions suspended during the 2019-20 season” under these conditions and if local legislation is respected.
Meyer also is chairing the newly established UEFA medical sub group which is examining the health issues surrounding a return to football.
The Women’s PGA Championship has been rescheduled for Oct. 6-11 because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The major championship was to be played from June 23-28 at Aronimink Golf Club in Pennsylvania.
The ANA Inspiration and the U.S. Women’s Open are the other U.S.-based majors in the women’s game. They have already been rescheduled.
There are five women’s majors. The Evian Championship and the Women’s British Open are both scheduled for August and have yet to be postponed.
Sebastian Coe says he is “genuinely hoping that the pandemic will have been curtailed” by next year so the Tokyo Olympics can open in July 2021.
Coe is the president of World Athletics. He says “it’s pretty clear though that you couldn’t go on forever postponing an Olympic Games. There comes a point where you do have to start posing questions. I hope we’re a little way off that yet.”
IOC President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said last month when the delay was announced that the Tokyo Games would not be held beyond the summer of 2021.
Coe also says he doesn’t “know enough to even speculate about vaccines.”
Japan Medical Association president Yoshitake Yokokura said Tuesday it would be difficult to hold the Olympics unless effective vaccines are developed.
IOC President Thomas Bach says the future of sports after the coronavirus pandemic might mean fewer international events.
Bach cited “financial pressure” on organizers and the need to address climate change and says “we may also have to look more closely into the proliferation of sports events.”
The IOC president cautions in a letter to Olympic officials and athletes worldwide “the current health crisis will lead to a long and deep economic crisis” which will affect sports.
Bach says “governments must include sport in their economic support programs” so it can be part of a worldwide recovery.
The IOC has proposed saving money on staging the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 to help offset the Olympic body’s extra costs of hundreds of millions of dollars because of the postponement.
The Italian sports minister says it is increasingly unlikely the soccer season will resume.
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte announced Sunday that professional sports teams can resume training on May 18. That means Serie A could resume playing games in June.
But Vincenzo Spadafora tells Italian television channel LA7 that “resuming training absolutely does not mean resuming the season.”
He adds that he sees “the path to restarting Serie A getting ever narrower” and that if he was among the presidents of soccer teams “I would be thinking about next season.”
The French government called off the season in that country on Tuesday and Spadafora says that could push Italy to do the same.
The Spanish Vuelta cycling race will not start in the Netherlands as originally planned.
This year’s race was set to begin in the Dutch regions of Utrecht and North Brabant but the changes in the cycling calendar because of the coronavirus pandemic forced organizers in the Netherlands to cancel the country’s participation.
Dutch organizers say the project “had been designed as a big summer party” which would not be able to happen because of the changes in the Vuelta’s original dates. They say they “preferred to request the official departure’s cancellation.”
Spanish organizers say they hope to plan a new start in the Netherlands “in the very near future.”
This year’s Vuelta was set to start on Aug. 14. New dates have not been announced.
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