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Thursday October 21st, 2021 1:58AM

The Latest: Pitino calls for delayed start to basketball

By The Associated Press

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

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Iona coach Rick Pitino is calling for a delayed start to the college basketball season as COVID-19 cases rise across the country.

“Save the Season,” Pitino tweeted on Saturday. “Move the start back. Play league schedule and have May Madness. Spiking and protocols make it impossible to play right now.”

NCAA vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said this week that he’s fully confident there will be a season, but an increase in coronavirus cases have led to multiple cancelations in football and caused uncertainty about basketball.

Many schools are still trying to fill out schedules with the season set to start on Nov. 25.

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Germany’s game against Ukraine in the Nations League has been given the go-ahead to proceed by local health authorities.

Saturday's game in Leipzig had been in doubt after four Ukraine players and one staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.

But further tests among the rest of the squad all produced negative results a few hours before kickoff.

Germany team doctor Tim Meyer said, “We trust the health authorities’ thorough work." He said the risk of infection is “much lower” during the game than around it.

The doctor also cited the security of the “double negative test results.”

Tests among the Germany team on Saturday also produced negative results.

Ukraine can call on 17 outfield players and four goalkeepers for the game. UEFA’s protocols allow a game to go ahead as long as both teams have at least 12 outfield players and one goalkeeper available.

No fans will be in attendance.

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AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Milan says Pioli is showing no symptoms and that the 55-year-old coach has gone into isolation at home.

The Serie A leaders canceled training and will resume Monday “subject to the checks set out in the federal protocol.”

The club says tests on the rest of the team and staff have come back negative.

Milan is scheduled to play Napoli on Nov. 22 in its first match after the international break.

Pioli’s side has two more points than second-placed Sassuolo.

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The Croatian soccer federation says midfielder Marcelo Brozovic has tested positive for the coronavirus.

It says Brozovic has been isolated from the rest of the team which is to play Sweden in Stockholm on Saturday in a Nations League game.

The 27-year-old Brozovic plays for Inter Milan.

Defender Domagoj Vida was pulled out of Croatia’s friendly match against Turkey on Wednesday after a positive test.

Earlier, the Swedish soccer federation said defender Carl Starfelt had been isolated after testing positive for COVID-19.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
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