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When will I see you again? Sport bids to step out of virus shadow

The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo have been postponed until next year
The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo have been postponed until next year Philip FONG AFP/File
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Paris (AFP)

Sports' big ticket events, the 2020 Olympics, European football championships, Wimbledon and the British Open golf tournament have been driven to the wall by the coronavirus.

However, there are some shoots of recovery as sports worldwide make tentative plans to return to action:

FOOTBALL

-- On Monday, the English Premier League meets with clubs expected to debate a plan to complete the season behind closed doors at neutral venues.

They would like to restart the season in June and play the remaining 92 fixtures by August.

However, on Sunday, Brighton chief executive Paul Barber revealed a third player at the club had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Two other Brighton players, who were not named, contracted the virus several weeks ago and have reportedly recovered.

Liverpool have a 25-point lead at the top of the table.

-- The German Bundesliga is set to be the first major European league to resume on May 16.

The Bundesliga wants to complete the last nine rounds of matches before June 30 to secure around 300 million euros ($325 million) in television money.

Plans suffered a setback on Saturday when second division Dynamo Dresden reported two players had tested positive for the virus, prompting the club to place their entire squad into a 14-day quarantine.

-- In Spain, La Liga is hoping to restart in mid-June but on Sunday announced that five players from the top two leagues had tested positive.

-- Italy's footballers are taking part in individual training, with team groups starting on May 18. However, Fiorentina and Sampdoria announced ten positive tests last week. In addition, a Torino player tested positive.

-- In France, Paris Saint-Germain have been declared Ligue 1 champions.

-- South Korea had the honour of being the first league back in action on Friday but there were no crowds or wild goal celebrations -- even talking was discouraged.

-- The first official football to be played in western Europe since March took place on Saturday, behind closed doors in the Faroe Islands.

CRICKET

-- The English season will not start until July 1 at the earliest and likely behind closed doors. The new Hundred tournament has been scrapped until 2021. However, England could begin their rescheduled three-Test series against the West Indies on July 8.

The series was originally due to start on June 4. Australia and Pakistan are still due to tour later in the summer.

-- The money-spinning IPL, which should have started on March 29, was postponed but media reports said the BCCI may aim for a tournament in September-October, ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia.

TENNIS

-- The ATP and WTA will not resume tournament play until July 13 at the earliest.

-- The French Open at Roland Garros has already been moved to Sept 20-Oct 4 although there are suggestions that it may be put back by a further week.

It could also be played behind closed doors.

-- The United States Tennis Association will decide in mid-June on the US Open in New York.

MOTOR SPORT

-- After 10 races were either cancelled or postponed, Formula One hopes to open its season in Austria with back-to-back races on July 5 and 12.

F1 boss Chase Carey insists that a 15-18 race season is still possible and that new venues could be used.

Liberty Media, the company which runs the sport, reported a collapse in revenues of more than $200 million (184.7 million euros) in the first quarter of the year.

-- NASCAR will return on May 17 at Darlington Raceway, South Carolina.

-- MotoGP hopes to start with back-to-back races at Jerez, Spain, on July 19 and 26.

BASKETBALL

-- NBA chief Adam Silver says a decision on when the NBA can restart could come sometime in June with the league looking to play out of one or two hubs with Orlando and Las Vegas the lead contenders.

BASEBALL

-- MLB postponed its scheduled March start and various ideas on staging a campaign have been floated.

ICE HOCKEY

-- The National Hockey League shut down on March 12 and Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league is not in a race to resume.

GOLF

-- After the cancellation of the British Open, the remaining majors are the PGA Championship from August 6-9 in San Francisco and the rescheduled US Open from Sept 17-20 at Winged Foot, New York, with the Masters, usually played in April, scheduled for November 12-15.

-- The Ryder Cup, at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, from September 25-27, could take place without fans.

-- The USPGA hopes its season can resume at the Charles Schwab Challenge from June 11 in Fort Worth, Texas.

-- The LPGA Tour is due to resume on July 15 at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational tournament in Michigan.

-- The European Tour is set to return at the British Masters from July 30.

CYCLING

-- The Tour de France has been rescheduled for August 29 from its original June 27 start date.

-- The Giro d'Italia will take place from October 3-25 with a six-day overlap with the Vuelta a Espana and will be raced at the same time as three 'Monument' classics.

ATHLETICS

-- The Diamond League, which was to have started in Doha on April 17, should now kick off in London on July 4.

RACING

-- The Aintree Grand National was called off, and the first four English classics, the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas due to have been staged last weekend, and the Oaks and Epsom Derby on June 5/6, have been postponed with new dates yet to be decided.

-- If the June 16-20 Royal Ascot festival gets the go-ahead it will be staged in front of an empty grandstand with racegoers banned.

-- In the United States, the May 5 Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the US Triple Crown, will now be run on September 5.

RUGBY

-- The NRL season in Australia will start on May 28.

-- In union, the French Top 14 was abandoned but, in the southern hemisphere, the Super Rugby season, scheduled to end in June, could be played at same time as the four-nation international Rugby Championship in August and September.

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