The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
It’s still not clear when baseball or soccer will resume in Japan but it will likely be without fans when it does.
That was the decision when the heads of Japanese professional baseball and soccer met in online meetings.
Japanese baseball commissioner Atsushi Saito says »my feelings that I want to start the season without spectators haven’t changed.»
Baseball and soccer officials both agreed nothing could begin until a state of emergency was lifted in Japan. The earliest that can happen is May 6. They are expected to wait until that date before moving forward.
The J-League’s top two soccer divisions were suspended in February. Japanese baseball played some preseason games without fans before all play was stopped.
Three more Diamond League meetings will not go ahead as scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon, on June 7 and the meet in Paris on June 13 have both postponed with no new dates set. The Bislett Games in Oslo on June 11 will be rebranded as the Impossible Games and turned into an exhibition event.
The first nine scheduled events of the 15-meet season have all now either been postponed, rescheduled or downgraded. The Anniversary Games in London on July 4 are now the earliest scheduled competition of the season.
There is a larger window to reschedule meets in the second half of the year because the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to 2021.
Organizers said the meet in Oslo would still offer prize money from a $50,000 contribution by World Athletics. It will feature 400-meter hurdles world champion Karsten Warholm attempting a world record in the rarely raced 300 hurdles.
French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu says the resumption of sporting events in the country is not among the government’s priorities.
France is locked down until May 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic and speculation has increased recently as to whether the country’s soccer league could resume in late June.
Maracineanu says »what’s certain is that sports won’t take priority in our society.»
The Tour de France cycling race has been rescheduled to start Aug. 29 and end Sept. 20. The final day coincides with the same day the rescheduled French Open tennis tournament is to begin.
Maracineanu was speaking in an interview with Eurosport television on Wednesday night. She says leagues could potentially start in September or have their remaining games canceled altogether. There are 10 league games left to play in France’s top two soccer leagues. Rugby’s Top 14 league has reached the semifinal stage.
Public gatherings are banned in France until at least mid-July but Maracineanu says they could be extended until »at least September.»
Maracineanu is a former Olympic swimmer. She says »it wouldn’t be the end of the world» if the Tour de France has to be canceled.
UEFA has postponed next year’s women’s European Championship soccer tournament to July 2022.
The UEFA executive committee decided the new dates for the 16-nation tournament in England will be July 6-31.
The switch was made after UEFA and the IOC decided last month on one-year postponements for Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics. Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden will play in the women’s soccer tournament at the Olympics.
Wembley Stadium in London will stage both the men’s and women’s European finals.
UEFA says the rescheduled women’s tournament will retain the same 10 stadiums. It opens with England playing at Old Trafford in Manchester.
A decree issued by the Hungarian government allows most professional sports clubs and soccer teams to cut the salaries of players and other personnel like managers and trainers by up to 70%.
The decree signed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban says the wage cuts can be implemented for as long as the state of emergency declared because of the coronavirus pandemic remains in effect.
Hungarian lawmakers approved a state of emergency on March 30 without an end-date. That gave the government the right to rule by decree on issues related to the pandemic for as long as it considers it necessary.
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