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Coronavirus: News, views and insights during the Covid-19 pandemic

Stay up to date with all the latest developments impacting the global sports industry.

29 May 2020 SportsPro

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Latest updates: Friday 29th May

SOCCER: La Liga will resume on 11th June with the Sevilla v Real Betis derby, the Spanish government's department for sport has confirmed.

SOCCER: Up to six Premier League games are set to take place at neutral venues at the request of local police forces. Those matches include; Manchester City v Liverpool; Manchester City v Newcastle; Manchester United v Sheffield United; Newcastle v Liverpool; Everton v Liverpool; and the game in which Liverpool could win the league.

CRICKET: Cricket Australia (CA) has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to postpone this year's men's Twenty20 World Cup for 12 months, according to an email leaked to the Times of India.

SOCCER: Japan’s top-flight J.League will resume on 4th July. Clubs will initially play nearby opponents in order to minimise travel, while other countermeasures will be put in place in order to reduce the risk of infections.

HORSE RACING: Newcastle will be the first British racecourse to host fixtures when racing resumes, pending official confirmation from the UK Government, on 1st June. 

SOCCER: The quarter-finals of the FA Cup, English club soccer’s top knockout cup competition, have been rescheduled for the weekend of 27th-28th June, with the semi-finals now set for 18th-19th July. The final will be held on 1st August.    

SOCCER: Italy’s top-flight Serie A will resume on 20th June following approval from the Italian government. The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) will now decide on the time frames for league games, but it is expected that teams will play every three days across three different time slots.

CRICKET: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has extended the shutdown on domestic cricket until at least 1st August. Options for playing domestic first-class and limited-overs competitions later this summer will be presented to the national governing body in June.

MOTORSPORT: MotoGP’s British and Australian races have been cancelled, bringing the total number of races called off in 2020 up to five. The two events had been scheduled for 30th August and 25th October respectively.

ATHLETICS: The Boston Marathon has been cancelled for the first time in its 124-year history, having initially been postponed from 20th April to 14th September.

GOLF: The John Deere Classic has become the first event on the PGA Tour's revised schedule to be cancelled due to coronavirus. The tournament had been due to take place at Illinois’ TPC Deere Run from 9th to 12th July, but restrictions in the state currently ban gatherings of more than 50 people and are expected to remain in place in July. The PGA Tour is looking to fill the now vacant slot with a new event.

HORSE RACING: Scottish Racing is in talks with the Scottish government about resuming the sport behind closed doors in June. The first event set to return is a meeting at Ayr on 22nd June, followed by two at Hamilton on 24th and 28th June.

What happened yesterday?

SOCCER: The organising body for Italy's top tier, Serie A, has filed an injunction against pay-TV broadcaster Sky Italia. Serie A is insisting its broadcast partners must meet payment deadlines, despite play having been suspended for more than two months.

Sky Italia, over-the-top (OTT) platform DAZN and the league’s international rights agency IMG have all been seeking to negotiate their payments. The league is reportedly considering proposals from the latter two parties, but with Sky Italia seeking a 15 to 18 per cent discount, even if play does resume, Serie A is taking legal action. Sky Italia, DAZN and IMG were due to make their latest rights free payments on 1st May as part of their deals running through 2020/21. 

AGENCIES: Japanese marketing giant Dentsu Group has withdrawn its earnings guidance for 2020 and is looking to make a seven per cent cut in global costs this year.

BOXING and MMA: Boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA) bouts will return to Las Vegas from this weekend after the Nevada state authorities lifted a combat sports ban. The first MMA event will be the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) card at the Apex facility. The first boxing show is expected to be a Top Rank promotion on 9th June. All events will be held behind closed doors.

MOTORSPORT: The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has approved Formula One’s cost-cutting measures. It comes after teams agreed on a spending cap which will be set at US$145 million in 2021, falling to US$140 million in 2022, and then US$135 million for 2023 to 2025.

CRICKET: Surrey County Cricket Club hope to stage cricket in front of a reduced-capacity crowd at the Oval later this summer, according to their chief executive Richard Gould. Plans include allowing up to 6,000 fans to the ground, which can normally hold 25,500 spectators.

MOTORSPORT: Formula One's Dutch Grand Prix has been put back until 2021 due to coronavirus. After its original 3rd May date was postponed and with the Netherland's tight public health restrictions, the decision has been made to move it to next year.

RUGBY UNION: The executive committee of World Rugby, the game's global governing body, has approved ten optional law trials that provide member unions with measures to help reduce the risk of Covid-19 tranmission.

Unions can apply to implement one or more of the temporary law amendments as domestic trials in line with the world governing body’s return to play guidance.

A World Rugby statement said the trials 'provide limits to scrum options with no scrum resets, limits for players joining rucks and mauls, time to play the ball at the base of scrums and rucks reduced from five to three seconds and only one movement permitted for a maul.'

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