The Latest: Germany begins testing on soccer players

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

Germany is beginning to roll out coronavirus testing at soccer clubs in the top two men’s leagues in the hope of resuming the season next month.

The German league tells news agency DPA the tests will start immediately.

The Bundesliga’s plan to resume in May rests on regular testing for players. That is likely to be before they resume full-team training and before each game.

Thousands of tests will be needed to complete the season. That has fueled criticism that the plan wastes resources. The vice president of Germany’s public health institute said last week testing should be focused on people who have symptoms or were linked to an outbreak.

Paris Saint-Germain says there is »nothing official» but didn’t deny that it was about to be declared French league champion.

The French season ended early because of the coronavirus pandemic and sports daily L’Equipe says on its website that a decision on the league standings was expected to be ratified by the LFP’s board of directors.

The French government called off soccer and rugby leagues in the country on Tuesday and ended plans to resume.

The top two divisions in French soccer had 10 rounds of matches left to play. PSG led second-place Marseille by 12 points and played one game less. Marseille stands to qualify directly for the Champions League while third-place Rennes would enter the qualifying rounds.

The Diamond League track meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, won’t happen as scheduled on Aug. 20.

Organizers of the Athletissima say they are now looking at »alternative options and formats that could still be considered in order to offer athletes the possibility to compete.»

Switzerland’s government has prohibited gatherings of more than 1,000 people until the end of August.

Athletissima organizers say »it is currently impossible to allow a high number of people to gather in a confined area.»

The first eight track meets on the Diamond League circuit have been postponed. Lausanne was the fifth in order of the seven left on the calendar.

The Italian sports minister says the government will create an economic safety net if it orders the Serie A soccer season to be shut down.

Vincenzo Spadafora says if the season isn’t allowed to resume »we will assume responsibility so that soccer … has the least damage possible. Because it’s worth remembering that soccer is a big industry in our country.»

But Spadafora is still leaving open the possibility that teams can resume training if sports and government officials agree on a proper health protocol. He says resuming training »will have a positive effect on the possible resumption of the season.»

Spadafora adds that if the protocol can’t be agreed on »the government will declare the end of the season.»

The French soccer league has launched a lottery to help raise funds for hospitals and medical staff dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Fans have a chance to win a signed jersey in exchange for an online donation of 5 euros ($5.40) to the »Tous Unis contre le Virus» (All United against the Virus) campaign.

French champion Paris Saint-Germain’s jersey is co-signed by Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.

Dimitri Payet was one of France’s best players when the team reached the 2016 European Championship final and he has signed the Marseille jersey. Houssem Aouar signed Lyon’s jersey.

The French league says 2 million euros ($2.2 million) has already been raised through previous fundraising in French soccer.

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