Sunday April 5th, 2020 4:22PM

The Latest: All Power 5 conferences scrap spring competition

By The Associated Press
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The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic's effect on sports around the world (all times local):


3:35 p.m.

The Southeastern Conference has canceled sporting events for the rest of the season.

The events had been suspended. The league announced the decision Tuesday, becoming the last of the Power Five conferences to cancel all competition.

The decision includes championship, spring football games and pro day workouts for NFL teams run by SEC schools.

Team and individual practices and meetings remain suspended through at least April 15.

Earlier in the day, the Atlantic Coast Conference canceled all spring competition, plus all athletic-related activities, including practices.


12:30 p.m.

Oakland Athletics president Dave Kaval has invited a 39-year-old A's fan named Justin, who posted on Twitter he is a "very healthy" Type 1 diabetic with the coronavirus, to throw out the first pitch on opening day — whenever that is.

Kaval wrote on Twitter: “Get well soon! The whole (at)Athletics nation is sending you positive thoughts. How is your arm? Would be honored to have you throw out the first pitch opening day!”


8:05 p.m.

The president of the Spanish soccer federation has dismissed the idea of crowning Barcelona as league champion if the competition can’t resume because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Luis Rubiales says the federation is not contemplating calling off the rest of the season and awarding the title to Barcelona, which was leading the league when it was suspended. Rubiales says the goal is to finish all competition by June 30, but they may be extended beyond that if necessary.

He says he would prefer altering the calendar next season instead of making changes that could keep this one from finishing fairly.


2:40 p.m.

National Letter of Intent signings for college athletes have been suspended until April 15.

The Collegiate Commissioner's Association, which administers the letter of intent used by NCAA Division I and II athletes, says the suspension will be re-evaluated on or before April 15.

The Division I football signing period began Feb. 5 and was scheduled to end April 1. It will be extended 30 days after it resumes. Most FBS schools have filled their 2020 classes.

The Division I basketball signing period was scheduled to begin April 15 and end May 20.


2:30 p.m.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and his wife, Sarah, are donating $100,000 to help provide assistance in Atlanta during the coronavirus outbreak.

The donation will be split between two charitable organizations: Atlanta Community Food Bank, which provides food to the needy, and Giving Kitchen, which offers emergency assistance to food service workers.

Ryan says he and his wife have a lot of friends in the restaurant industry and want to “create awareness for one of the industries that’s going to struggle during this time.”

The Falcons' starting quarterback for the past 12 years, Ryan has been heavily involved in the community through the Boys and Girls clubs and raising money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

1:55 p.m.

The NCAA is suspending normal building operations at its main office in Indianapolis, starting Wednesday through at least April 3. The NCAA national office staff will work remotely and continue normal operations. The NCAA says employees will continue to be accessible. The length of the suspension will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.


1:50 p.m.

International Ice Hockey Federation chief René Fasel says it’s only a matter of time before the executive council is left with no choice but to cancel the men’s world championships because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fasel spoke to The Associated Press shortly after the IIHF canceled the Division I Group A and B world championships, which were to be held in Europe in late April.

The 16-team world championships are scheduled for Switzerland starting May 8. But Fasel says, if he had to make the decision today, “there is no chance we can skate.”

Fasel says the IIHF is consulting with its host and marketing partners and insurance carrier to determine what contractual obligations must be met before deciding to cancel the tournament.

The challenges to go ahead with hosting the tournament are many, Fasel said, ranging from health directives in place limiting attendance to travel bans making it difficult for nations to send their teams.

Another issue is players lacking practice time, with most of world’s hockey leagues having either indefinitely suspended or canceled their seasons. On Monday, the NHL announced it will wait 45 days before it can provide guidance on when teams can potentially reopen practice.


1 p.m.

The European Tour is postponing the Andalucia Masters that was schedule for April 30 to May 3 at Valderrama in southern Spain.

That makes six regular European Tour golf tournaments have been postponed because of the new coronavirus. A total of eight events on the tour's worldwide schedule have been postponed, including the Match Play and the Masters.

The tournament is hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation. The tour said it would try to reschedule.

Europe's last event was on March 8 at the Qatar Masters. Next on the schedule would be the GolfSixes in Portugal on May 10-11.


12:40 p.m.

The Los Angeles Chargers have donated $250,000 to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank to make sure hunger relief services continue uninterrupted in Los Angeles County during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Food Bank says the money will be able to help children and their families as children stay home from school, as well as seniors who are self-isolating and hourly workers who are experiencing interruptions to their schedules and paychecks.


4:50 p.m.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino says he is ready to ask China to postpone next year's 24-team Club World Cup to make space for the European Championship and Copa America.

Infantino says he will propose talks with the Chinese government and the country's soccer officials in a call Wednesday with a panel of FIFA vice presidents.

That group will include the leaders of European and South American soccer who pushed their marquee championships back one year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The inaugural 24-team Club World Cup was set to open on June 17, 2021, in China as a signature project of Infantino. The FIFA president suggests rescheduling the club tournament to later in 2021, or in either 2022 or 2023.

FIFA also plans to donate $10 million to the World Health Organization for tackling the new coronavirus.


4:35 p.m.

Three major one-day classic bike races in France and Belgium have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Race organizer Amaury Sport Organisation says Paris-Roubaix, the Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege will be postponed.

The cycling season has been turned upside down by the outbreak. Prestigious events like the Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and some early Belgian classics have been canceled or postponed. The Giro d'Italia also won't start at its scheduled May date.

ASO has yet to make a decision on the Tour de France. That race is scheduled to start in Nice on June 27.



The Atlantic Coast Conference has canceled all athletics competition and practices through the rest of the 2019-20 academic year amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

The league announced the move Tuesday. The ACC had previously suspended those activities “until further notice.”

The ACC’s statement said the cancellations came after a unanimous decision among league member schools, with Commissioner John Swofford saying league officials are “particularly disappointed for our student-athletes.”


11:50 a.m.

The French Open has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The French Tennis Federation announced Tuesday that the clay-court event will run from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4. It is the first Grand Slam tennis tournament affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Main-draw competition was supposed to start in Paris on May 24.


3:20 p.m.

The IOC says there is “no need for any drastic decisions at this stage” about staging the Tokyo Olympics with more than four months until the opening ceremony.

After consulting with sports bodies about the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, the IOC says “any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.”

The International Olympic Committee says financial interests will not dictate its decisions “thanks to its risk management policies and insurance.”

The IOC says 43% of places at the games have yet to be confirmed.


2:25 p.m.

This year's European Championship has been postponed for one year.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says the spreading coronavirus “makes football and all life in Europe quite impossible.”

UEFA plans to play the tournament next year from June 11 to July 11. The 24-team competition is being hosted in 12 different countries.

The postponement clears space to give national leagues and the Champions League and Europa League a chance to finish their seasons by June 30.

European soccer is in a shutdown and it is unclear when games can resume.


2:15 p.m.

The Copa America has been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

South American soccer body CONMEBOL says the tournament in Colombia and Argentina will be played between June 11 and July 11.

CONMEBOL President Alejandro Domínguez says “it is an extraordinary measure for an unexpected situation, and it answers the fundamental need to avoid an exponential development of the virus."


10 a.m.

The Kentucky Derby has been postponed from May to September because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Churchill Downs officials said Tuesday the race will move from May 2 to Sept. 5, marking the first time in 75 years it won't be run on the first Saturday in May.

The last time the first leg of the Triple Crown wasn’t held on the first Saturday in May was in 1945, when the federal government issued a ban on horse racing because of World War II. The ban was lifted on May 8, and the Derby was held on June 9. The only other year the Derby wasn’t held in May was in 1901, when it was raced on April 29.

The date change still must be approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission at its meeting Thursday.


1:45 p.m.

UK Athletics says all clubs and groups should not be training or taking part in competitive races amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance follows directives outlined by the British government about limiting social contact.

UKA said the suspension also applies to coaching and officiating.


1:40 p.m.

The Kontinental Hockey League and the VTB United League in basketball have suspended play.

Both leagues say they will stop until at least April 10.

The KHL is widely considered to be the strongest hockey league outside the NHL. It had previously said it would pause for a week to draw up a new playoff format. It’s been left with six Russian teams in an eight-team bracket after Finnish team Jokerit and Kazakh team Barys withdrew.


1:10 p.m.

The Spanish soccer league has offered about 500 coronavirus tests for its clubs.

The tests have been distributed prioritizing teams that traveled to risk areas or already have players infected.

Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay on Sunday became the first Spanish league player infected with the virus.

The distribution of tests began last Thursday as part of the league’s actions to support its clubs during the pandemic.


1:05 p.m.

All horse racing in Britain will be suspended starting Wednesday.

It was the last remaining major sport to be continuing in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.

But the British Horseracing Authority says the race meetings in Wetherby and Taunton — being staged without fans on Tuesday — will be last until the end of April.

The BHA says the decision was taken “to protect essential emergency services and the health and welfare of staff working in the racing industry.”

BHA chief executive Nick Rust says its “first duty is to the health of the public, our customers and to racing industry participants and staff,” while saying it will do its best to support those whose livelihoods depend on what Rust said is a “4 billion pound industry.”


1 p.m.

The men’s and women’s European gymnastics championships have been canceled.

The European Gymnastics Union says it tried to find ways to keep its events going despite the spread of the coronavirus but found it impossible because of government restrictions and travel bans.

The events offered Olympic qualifying spots.

The women’s championships were due to be held in Paris from April 30-May 3, and the men’s championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, from May 27-31.

Also called off are European rhythmic gymnastics championships in Ukraine and the European trampoline championship in Sweden, both in May.

The UEG says it hopes the events can be rescheduled for the second half of the year.


12:10 p.m.

Formula One CEO Chase Carey has apologized to fans for the early part of the series being called of by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne wasn’t canceled last week until teams and drivers forced it. A McLaren team member had tested positive and some drivers had already flown home, but F1 still waited to cancel until just before practices were scheduled to start.

The following three races in Bahrain, Vietnam and China have all been postponed.

In an open letter on the F1 website, Carey wrote: “We apologize to those fans affected by the cancellation in Australia, as well as the postponement of the other races to date. These decisions are being made ... in rapidly changing and evolving circumstances, but we believe they are the right and necessary ones. We also want to extend our thoughts to those already affected, including those in the Formula 1 family.”

On Monday, tire provider Pirelli said one of its staff tested positive for the virus and was undergoing treatment in Melbourne.


11:45 a.m.

Soccer in Russia has been suspended until April 10.

The Russian league was the best attended sports competition still operating in Europe last weekend with more than 33,000 fans at one of its games.

The Russian Football Union says its board agreed to immediately suspend all competitions at a meeting Tuesday.

That follows a wave of tighter restrictions on public gatherings and events across Russia and a decision by CSKA Moscow to cancel its upcoming game against Zenit St. Petersburg.

Fans made ironic references to the virus outbreak at games last week. Fans of Zenit chanted "we’re all going to die” on Saturday and CSKA supporters displayed a banner on Sunday with the club crest and the message: “This virus is inside me. I’m its carrier.”


10:35 a.m.

Hertha Berlin’s players and coaching staff are going into quarantine for 14 days after one of the players tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Bundesliga club doesn’t say which player was affected.

The team had been due to return to training on Tuesday after three days of individual exercise.

Hertha doctor Uli Schleicher says “the player complained about the usual symptoms and we immediately separated him from the group. A test then produced a positive result for the virus. All players in our squad must now stay at home for the next two weeks.”

Hertha general manager Michael Preetz says “it was to be expected that the virus would reach the team sooner or later. The most important thing now is that everyone sticks to the rules.”


10:10 a.m.

The Kosovo judo team has been self-isolating as it prepares for the Tokyo Olympics.

Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi, four other judokas and five staff members have closed themselves in at a training center in Peja, 85 kilometers (50 miles) west of Pristina.

Kelmendi is the first athlete from Kosovo to win an Olympic gold medal.

Coach Driton Kuka is among the group. None of them has been infected by the virus.

Kosovo has had 16 coronavirus cases. All sports and other entertainment or cultural activities have been suspended in the country and schools, cafes, restaurants, gyms and pools have been closed.


9:55 a.m.

The Diamond League has called off its first three track meets of the season.

The Diamond League was scheduled to start in Qatar next month. Two meets in China in May were to follow. The Diamond League says travel restrictions and disrupted preparations caused by the coronavirus outbreak have made it impossible to stage those competitions on time.

The season is now tentatively set to begin in Stockholm on May 24.

Only one of the three canceled meets has been rescheduled. The event in Shanghai is now set for Aug. 13. The meet in Qatar and the second Chinese meet have been postponed indefinitely but could be restaged after the Diamond League final in September.

The 2020 season was supposed to see a shift in how the Diamond League is run with an extended 15-meet season and fewer events at each.

China has already resumed a partial track and field schedule after the virus outbreak subsided. It was supposed to host the world indoor championships this month in Nanjing but that event was moved to 2021.


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