Perhaps the day coronavirus broke out, nobody thought it could play such a huge havoc with sporting calendars. But that's for real; so far, not only coronavirus has infected footballers but also it has led to suspension of major leagues. Here is what it has done to football world so far.
Dear reader, the timeline is updated on a daily basis, but it’s in ascending format. To see the latest news, please scroll down to the bottom of the page.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced that the matches, which were due in February and March, would be rearranged for April and May, with only one exception: Chiangrai United vs Beijing FC since Beijing FC were in South Korea on a training camp and did not need quarantine measures.
According to Italian news agency ANSA, 88 amateur football matches including Serie C and Serie D matches were postponed as a preventive measure against coronavirus. AlsoSerie B
match between Ascoli and Cremonese was postponed after two people died in Lombardy and Veneto regions.
Inter Milan-Sampdoria plus two other fixtures in Italian Serie A, namely Verona-Cagliari and Atalanta-Sassuolo were postponed due to coronavirus worries. The measure was taken as a woman from the northern region of Lombardy became the second person in Italy to die from coronavirus.
Chairman, Mitsuru Murai, postponed all official matches until March 15 as a measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the league's governing board agreed to reschedule 94 matches in J-League in response to what a governmental panel of medical experts had predicted as critical, waiting to be happened in one or two weeks.
The Swiss football league on Monday suspended all Super League and second-division Challenge League matches until March 23 as a measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Following a decree issued by Italian government,Serie A
games and all other sporting events in Italy had to take place behind closed doors. The decree stated: “Sports events and competitions of all kinds and disciplines, held in every place, both public and private, are suspended.
FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, urged football authorities not to panic when it comes to taking measures against the spread of the coronavirus.
President Steven Zhang of Inter donated €100,000 to the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences at the Sacco Hospital in Milan for coronavirus researches. "Inter
has an indissoluble bond with the city of Milan and is proud of the dedication with which all the staff of the Sacco Hospital are dealing with the exceptional situation,” said Steven Zhang.
Coppa Italia semi-final match second leg between Inter and Napoli was another match in the Italian football calendar to be called off due to growing worries over the spread of coronavirus. PSG-Strasbourg in Ligue 1, which was to be played on March 7, was also called off on March 6 due to coronavirus fears.
told their assistant manager, Christian Poulsen, and two other members of training staff to stay away from the club for attending a birthday party with someone who had since tested positive for Covid-19.
Fifa and AFC agreed to postpone the Asian World Cup qualifying matches in March and June over coronavirus fears.
Paris Saint-Germain faced Borussia Dortmund at home in the second leg of the Champions League last-16 tie with no fans allowed to attend the match.
and Fondazione Milan jointly donated a sum of €250,000 to help AREU, the emergency arm of the Lombardy region's government, prevent the further spread of coronavirus in Italy.
French authorities restricted the number of people who could attend Ligue 1 games 1000. They also decided some of the games in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 to be played behind closed doors, until at least April 15.
Atalanta requested their fans not to celebrate theirChampions League
quarter-final qualification with public gatherings after Italy was put on a lockdown in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Although Marinakis had earlier revealed he had been diagnosed with coronavirus on Instagram, breaking news on him contracting the virus confirmed what he had already revealed.
A day after it was announced that Olympiacos owner, Evangelos Marinakis, had been infected with coronavirus, all players and staff members of the club went through coronavirus tests that revealed they were not infected as yet.
In Germany, the rescheduled Bundesliga match between Borussia Monchengladbach and Cologne, which was originally cancelled due to Storm Ciara, was played behind closed doors, with Monchengladbach beating Cologne 2-1.
City were scheduled to host Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday March 11, but the match did not take place as a precaution to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
In a statement released on the same day, Hannover said Hubers immediately had isolated himself after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The Coupe de la Ligue final between Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon was postponed due to growing concerns over the spread of coronavirus. The game was due to take place at the Stade de France on April 4.
The 70th FIFA Congress was due to take place on June 5 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but it was postponed to September 18 amid growing fears of coronavirus spread.
Travel restrictions due to coronavirus forced UEFA to call off the first legs of the Europa League ties between Sevilla and Roma, and Inter and Getafe.
PSG forwardKylian Mbappe
missed two days training with a throat infection, and took a test to see if he was COVID-19 positive, but his results came back negative.
The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed that the Copa del Rey final between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao had been postponed due to coronavirus worries.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who had travelled to his homeland earlier to spend time with his mother, could not leave for Italy to join Juventus training due to travel restrictions over the spread of coronavirus.
In a letter sent to FIFA on Wednesday, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) requested the governing body to postpone South America's 2022 World Cup qualifying round scheduled for March 26, 27 and 31, to a later date due to worries over coronavirus spread.
LaLiga games, set to be played behind closed doors, were postponed for two match days as a Real Madrid basketball team player was tested positive for coronavirus.
The Football Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (NFSBIH) wrote to UEFA on March 12, asking the governing body to postpone their Euro 2020 play-off against Northern Ireland due to coronavirus fears.
Gabbiadini is the second professional player in Serie A after Juventus and Italy defenderDaniele Rugani
to contract COVID-19. Although feeling well, he was isolated from his teammates.
Leicester City manager, Brendan Rodgers, confirmed three of his players had shown symptoms of coronavirus and had been isolated from their teammates.
The Italian club said on Twitter one day before their Europa League last-16 match against Sevilla that their plane from Italy was not authorized to land in Spain.
Juventus confirmed that their centre-back Rugani had contracted COVID-19, although he showed no signs of the disease.
Wolves' Europa League last-16 first-leg tie at Olympiacos was played behind closed doors. The first leg of Manchester United's Europa League tie against LASK was also played behind closed doors with Man Utd beating LASK 5-0.
Celtic told their stars to avoid interaction with fans, including giving autographs and taking selfies, lest they might contract COVID-19.
Mikel Arteta was tested positive for coronavirus and the Arsenal squad were expected to self-isolate. The club said in a statement on March 13, that its London Colney training centre had also been closed as a result of the diagnosis.
Everton placed their first-team squad and coaching staff on self-isolation after a first-team player showed symptoms suggesting of coronavirus.
UEFA postponed all Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Youth League matches scheduled to take place in the coming week to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.
Barcelona suspended all first-team activity until further notice as the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) recommended clubs cancel group training sessions in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
confirmed that four players in their first-team, plus one of the club's medical staff, were tested positive for COVID-19.
Bundesliga fixtures scheduled for this weekend were all postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The growing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 have led to Serie A, LaLiga, Ligue 1 and the Premier League suspension.
and English Football League matches have been postponed at least until April 3 after club officials met on Friday (March 13, 2020).
First, Leganes, in a bid to help keep people in their homes in Spain posted live updates of a fictitious match against Real Valladolid, who they were originally due to host this weekend. Inspired by their Spanish counterparts, Southampton also tried to get Norwich City – their scheduled Premier League opponents – involved in an online game of noughts and crosses.
After Ronaldo, Jurgen Klopp, Paul Pogba and other leading names from the football world spoke out to encourage the public to take precautions for their health, Messi followed suit with a post on his Instagram account.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady called for the Premier League and EFL seasons to be declared null and void, claiming the move would be "the only fair and reasonable thing to do" in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Italy's scheduled upcoming friendly in Germany has been cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic, the German Football Association (DFB) has confirmed.
Angelo Ogbonna has criticised English football's response to the coronavirus pandemic, insisting it is "unacceptable" West Ham's Premier League clash with Arsenal went ahead.
Jurgen Klopp, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba received a message of thanks from World Health Organisation director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for "promoting health and protecting people from coronavirus".
After isolating himself as a precaution earlier this week,Manchester City
left-back, Benjamin Mendy, finally revealed that those around him were tested negative for coronavirus.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady suggested that the Premier League should be 'voided' in a measure to combat coronavirus spread, but the former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher is against the idea as a resolution.
Major European leagues, namely the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1, have all been suspended due to fears over further spread of coronavirus.
River Plate's Copa Superliga clash with Atletico Tucuman was called off on Saturday, March 15, 2020 after the home side refused to open their stadium. Although domestic football in Argentina has remained largely unaffected, River insisted on Friday that, due to safety concerns over the spread of coronavirus, they would not face Atletico Tucuman.
The coronavirus pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the sporting calendar on Saturday, March 15, 2020 with more major events and competitions being called off or postponed. However, Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe, confident that the Olympic games will be staged without any problem, said his country still plan for the 2020 Olympic Games to go ahead in Tokyo, starting in late July.
's first-team have donated £40,000 to a charity initiative called Fans Supporting Foodbanks amid the growing fears of coronavirus spread.
Everton shut down their facilities, with their players and staff advised to self-isolate after a member of their staff, preferred to remain anonymous, showed symptoms of coronavirus. However, the 26-year-old goalkeeper, though insisting that he has not gone against advises, attended a charity boxing evening in Durham alongside his wife.
Marseille president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, and his Lyon counterpart, Jean-Michel Aulas, have been involved in a COVID-19 spat after the latter proposed the Ligue 1 season should be cancelled amid fears over coronavirus spread. "When his fever has come down, Jean-Michel Aulas will see the obscenity of his opportunism and will quickly return to the values that make him a great footballing operator," Eyraud told Le Journal du Dimanche.
Inter head coach, Antonio Conte, made a plea for people to stay at home and follow health instructions amid the coronavirus emergency in Italy. "Please stay home and respect the rules. It's difficult and tough moment but if we stick together, we'll get through it. Don't give up!" said Antonio Conte in a video message posted via Inter's official channels.
Fiorentina star, Dusan Vlahovic, is the latest man in Italy's football to be infected by COVID-19. He said his fever reached 39 degrees when he was diagnosed with the virus. his two other teammates, namely Patrick Cutrone and German Pezzella, are also tested positive for the virus. With more than 21,100 positive cases and 1400 deaths, after China, Italy has been the hardest hit by the virus.
In a statement, PFA (Professional Footballers Australia) noted Melbourne Victory's players and staff would have to undergo a compulsory 14-day self-quarantine period when they return home. "While we acknowledge that the response to coronavirus is constantly evolving, the government’s reactionary behaviour and ad-hoc decision-making on travel and sporting events has placed the players in a challenging personal position," PFA chief executive John Didulica said.
Valencia defender, Ezequiel Garay, is the first LaLiga player to confirm he has contracted coronavirus. "I have tested positive for coronavirus but feel very well. Now it only remains to pay attention to the health authorities and, for now, be isolated,” said Garay on Instagram.
According to Hugo Lopez Gattel, Deputy Health Minister of Mexico, matches between topflight teams in Mexican football will be played behind closed doors as a countermeasure against the further spread of coronavirus.
Not only Garay but also four other players and staff of Valencia including Mangala have been tested positive for coronavirus so far. The club say they are in good health and quarantined.
The West Ham vice-chairman was accused of putting her own club's interests first in her previous comments concerning coronavirus and shutting down of the Premier League. However, she has hit back saying she was merely thinking of players and fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
used his 27th birthday to launch a campaign to raise funds for Unicef's coronavirus operations, saying: "At times like this, we need to come together." The Manchester United midfielder said he hoped to raise £27,000 for the charity and promised to double the amount if the target is reached.
Dominique Blanc, the president of the Swiss FA (SFV) has tested positive for coronavirus less than two weeks after attending a UEFA meeting of European football leaders. The 70-year-old received his diagnosis on Sunday and went into quarantine at his home, while the SFV headquarters were closed until further notice. "I'm feeling reasonably comfortable at the moment. I only feel mild flu symptoms," Blanc said in a statement on the SFV's official website.
LaLiga president Javier Tebas is determined to finish the current LaLiga season amid growing fears of coronvirus pandemic. "I am convinced that we are going to end the season. We are working with other leagues to match dates," said Tebas in an interview with radio station Cadena COPE.
Del Piero posted a message on Instagram announcing the fundraiser campaign involving stars such as
Francesco Totti, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon
from Italy's 2006 World Cup winners. Del Piero is actually spearheading the campaign to raise funds for the Italian Red Cross to help the organization fight coronavirus. The formerJuventus
attacker told his 3.7million followers: "You are part of our team too."
Although Brazilian football clubs continue to play with state football federations autonomy over competitions in Brazil, the Brazilian national team competitions, governed by CBF, have all been suspended for an indefinite time.
As long as football competitions don’t draw a significant crowd to stadiums, Argentinian president, Alberto Fernandez sees nothing wrong with them played behind closed doors. "No kind of spectacles will be allowed. Theatre, cinema, sports, music... we are trying to avoid the spread of the virus. In the case of football, if it's played behind closed doors, I don't see a problem with that," said Argentinian president, Alberto Fernandez.
According to Football Federation Australia (FFA), the remainder of the Australian A-League season will be played behind closed doors, with only some matches rescheduled. "Our advice and our position is that football may continue to be played across Australia, at the moment ... they will go ahead behind closed doors, with no fans permitted to attend the stadiums," said FFA CEO, James Johnson.
According to Italian Footballers Association (AIC) president, Damiano Tommasi, Serie A suspension due to coronavirus threat will probably end in May or June if things go according to plan. "It's clearly impossible to start playing at the beginning of April. If all goes well, we can resume in May or June. When we talk about football, people think we are only ensuring the safety of players, but there's a whole world behind the team,” said Tommasi to Che Tempo Che Fa.
The Deutsche Fussball Liga (DFL) confirmed its hiatus would take in the forthcoming round of fixtures in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga before making a further call over whether to reconvene after what was supposed to be the March international break at the end of this month. The move brings the Bundesliga into line with the Premier League, LaLiga, Ligue 1 and Serie A, which have all announced suspensions up until the first weekend of April at this stage.
After Midfielder, Mason Mount, was pictured playing football in public with his close friend - West Ham midfielder - Declan Rice when he should have abided by the orders to self-isolate, Chelsea have put more stress on preventive measures they must take in the face of coronavirus pandemic. However, Mason Mount could be fined after seemingly ignoring the club’s self-isolation policy.
The Brazilian Serie A champions announced that their head coach, Jorge Jesus, 65, tested positive for COVID-19, although he didn't show any symptoms. In a message posted on Instagram, Jesus said: “Hello. Good afternoon in Brazil, good night in Portugal. True, my test was positive. It is also true that I feel normal, I am feeling exactly as I felt a month ago, a year ago, two, three, four ... I am normal. I don't feel any symptoms.”
chief executive, Christian Seifert, calls for solidarity in german football as more games in the league are postponed due to coronavirus pandemic. "It was important for all participants today to emphasize that in the near future we must show not only financial solidarity, but also moral and emotional solidarity. This means that one club can't do something and be in a position where they put pressure on others," said Bundesliga CEO, Christian Seifert.
Wellington Phoenix trained in isolation to steer clear of coronavirus, but this doesn't mean they don't travel to Sydney to finish A-League season on Wednesday. “The decision to travel to Sydney in an attempt to complete this season was made as a club. We have discussed this amongst ourselves, consulted with health professionals and government bodies in Australia and New Zealand and taken all possible precautions to ensure those travelling are given the best protection possible,” said Phoenix general manager, David Dome, in a statement.
As of Sunday, March 15, there were five positive cases in Valencia first-team squad and staff including Ezequiel Garay, Jose Gaya and Eliaquim Mangala as acknowledged by the LaLiga club. However, further testing showed that there were even more positive cases which actually amounts to 35% of all the club members.
Manchester United first-team squad was due to have a training session today at United's Carrington training base, but the club changed their minds and decided not to go with the training session after UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, advised people to avoid unnecessary travels and social contact amid growing fears of coronavirus pandemic. The number of positive cases of coronavirus in England has reached 1543 with 55 deaths.
Chelsea have posted a video of their winger, Callum Hudson-Odoi, on an intense cycling workout though already being tested positive for coronavirus. On the 16-second video, the shirtless winger, cycles to music and smiles to camera. Chelsea added a comment to this video praising the 19-year-old, saying he was looking strong. Hudson-Odoi, who showed symptoms suggesting of flu on March 9, is actually the first Premier League player to test positive for COVID-19 as was revealed in a medical diagnosis last Friday.
Euro 2020 has been postponed, as it seems, to almost a year later - from June 12, 2020 to June 11, 2021. The European competition was previously scheduled to kick off in Rome and continue in 11 other cities across Europe, of course, until it was claimed by the NFF that the tournament has been pushed forward to June 11, 2021. An NFF post on Twitter read: "UEFA has decided that the European Championship is postponed to 2021. It will be played from June 11 to July 11 next year. More information to come."
Russia is the next country to halt all its football competitions due to coronavirus pandemic. Following an executive committee meeting on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Russian Football Union (RFU) announced in a statement that all football competitions under the control of the union between March 17 and April 10 are halted.
As confirmed by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), Copa America 2020 which was due to be hosted in Argentina and Columbia has been postponed to 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic. It seems CONMEBOL has followed UEFA's steps in postponing the event to 2021. In fact, the two federations had already acknowledged that they had made the decision in coordination with one another.
Coronavirus pandemic continues to play havoc with sporting calendars, as the rescheduling of Euro 2020 for 2021 will now mean an overlapping with Women's Euro 2021 finals. According to German Football Association (DFB), UEFA will have to reschedule Women's Euro 2021 finals, already scheduled to take place between July 7 and August 1, as it overlaps with the postponed Euro 2020.
Although FIFA backs more football activity to be postponed, it remains to be discussed how to rearrange 2021 schedules so that the postponed events from 2020 could fit in 2021 calendars with no problem. FIFA held a conference with Council members today in which the definite dates Euro and Copa America 2020 will be held in 2021 were determined. Members also discussed plans to reschedule the revised 2021 Club World Cup, which is due to be held from June 17 until July 4 next year.
As UEFA announced earlier, all European club competitions must end by the end of June. During a video conference held by FIFA, it was decided that Euro 2020 would be postponed to a year later as a countermeasure against the coronavirus pandemic. This actually frees up some space in the calendar for clubs to end all their activity for this season until June 30 which is also the date of contract expiry for some players.
Almost a week from the time Juventus defender, Daniele Rugani, was tested positive for coronavirus, it's now Matuidi's turn to be diagonsed positive for the virus. Matuidi showed no symptoms suggestig of coronavirus plus that he had been in self-isolation since his teammate tested positive for coronavirus, but despite all this, Matuidi's test for coronavirus returned positive.
Turkish Super Lig season continuing in the face of coronavirus further spread made the former Chelsea midfielder, John Obi Mikel, so worried that he left his club,Trabzonspor, for good. Obi Mikel said via Instagram that he did not feel comfortable playing football in Turkish Super Lig while all major European leagues have put on hold due to coronavirus pandemic.
Chelsea made their contribution to global combat against coronavirus pandemic by providing National Health Service (NHS) workers with their Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge free of charge for a period of two months. According to Chelsea officials, medical staff of hospitals in north-west London are allowed to use Chelsea's Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge for free in the next two months, with the period extendable to more months.
While all the major European leagues have been suspended at least until April due to coronavirus pandemic, FIFA hosted a video conference on Tuesday and set a date – June 30, 2020 – for all European leagues to end. However, French football authorities say that they may not meet the deadline, but they are determined to finish the Ligue 1 in any time even after June 30.
Deportivo Alaves confirmed that 15 people from among their players and staff have tested positive for coronavirus. A statement on Alaves' website read: “A total of 15 people have tested positive, three of them belonging to the Deportivo Alaves first team, seven more to the coaching staff and none to the basketball team. Five workers have also been affected. The club made the decision to carry out the tests with respect to the responsibility policy with the people who are part of our family and the results have shown that it was the best way to urgently locate the cases and implement preventive measures to reduce, as far as possible, more infections.”
FIFA has set up a work group to assess the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic on transfer windows and players’ contracts. The 2019-20 season will probably continue until the opening of the transfer window for European leagues in June. FIFA work group will be responsible for "assessing the need for amendments or temporary dispensations to the FIFA regulations on the status and transfer of players to protect contracts for both players and clubs and adjusting player registration periods,” as stated on FIFA official website.
Former Manchester United star, Gary Neville, announced that the two hotels he owns in partnership with Ryan Giggs in Manchester – Hotel Football and Stock Exchange - will be provided to National Health Service (NHS) workers for free as long as the coronavirus pandemic lasts. As Neville said, the hotels will be closed to the public but their staff remain and will be paid for the service they provide to doctors, nurses and other medical staff.
According to Flamengo club, their head coach, Jorge Jesus, who was already tested positive for coronavirus, is cured, with his repeated test returning negative. The 65-year-old coach tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, but he didn’t show any intense symptom and as he said he felt almost well. "Flamengo inform the new exam carried out by coach Jorge Jesus confirmed a negative result for COVID-19," the club said via Twitter.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has launched a fundraiser campaign to raise money for Humanitas hospital in an attempt to help the hospital combat COVID-19. The funds already collected have passed €150,000 but as Ibrahimovic said he aims for €1million. “Hi, I'm Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Italy has always given me so much and in this dramatic moment, I want to give back even more to this country that I love. I decided together with the people who are working with me to create a fundraiser for Humanitas hospitals and to use my communication power to spread the message wider,” said Ibrahimovic in a video posted on Twitter.
According to an Italian epidemiologist, UEFA should have done better regarding the prevention of coronavirus spread, rather than letting Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid to go ahead. "… More than 10,000 Spanish supporters went to the Champion League match at Liverpool. Hundreds of cases had already been detected in Madrid. It's possible the problem has been exported to England… Many things didn't work. UEFA could have done it better and in a different way," said the epidemiologist in an online talk.
The Germany national team have made a €2.5million donation to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. “The world of football has come to a stop - people's health and tackling this virus is without question the number one priority right now… We have all seen the effort and the commitment that you have shown… This showing of solidarity has never been more important, and we as a team want to do our bit to help. That is why we have decided to donate 2.5 million euros to the cause to help out immediately,” said the team in a statement.
While most European nations have paused the season due to the spread of the virus, the Turkish Super Lig continued this week behind closed doors. FIFPro says players have expressed their deep concern about the matter. In a statement posted on Twitter, FIFPro said: “FIFPRO has written to the Turkish SuperLig and federation asking them to urgently reconsider the decision to continue matches and training during the coronavirus outbreak.”
In a bid to ensure the club can continue to pay its staff, Monchengladbach's players have offered to forego their salaries. "The players know what's going on. It's their job, they have already informed themselves and thought about it. The team has offered to forego salary if it can help the club and its employees,” said Monchengladbach's sporting director Max Eberl.
The Football Association has agreed to extend the 2019-2020 season, as the suspension of all its leagues stretches until at least April 30. Last week, the FA halted the Premier League, the English Football League, domestic cup competitions and the women's professional game in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Although according to FA rules, seasons in the leagues under the control of the governing body “shall terminate not later than June 1”, the FA's board have extended the date in the face of coronavirus emergency.
Mikel Arteta, tested positive for coronavirus last week, is now feeling better and in contact with Arsenal's players and coaching staff. Arsenal were forced to close their London Colney and Hale End training grounds for deep cleaning last week after it was confirmed Arteta had been diagnosed positive for COVID-19, but these bases are now reopened with a small workforce to maintain the facilities and training pitches.
United have confirmed all of their casual workers will be paid as normal during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure financial certainty for them. “United will pay all its loyal matchday and non-matchday casual workers, should Premier League games be cancelled or played behind closed doors for the remainder of this season. This goodwill gesture reflects the club's desire to reduce the financial uncertainty facing its casual workforce, and is in recognition of the crucial role they play in delivering services to supporters,” the club said in a statement on their official website.
Cologne coach, Markus Gisdol, says self-isolation has not affected his players' busy training schedules. “We’ve decided to let players spend the next 10 days in individual training. That means every player gets an individual training schedule. As a professional athlete, a professional coach, you have to try to concentrate on your job and your tasks, especially to maintain your fitness level,” said Gisdol in an interview.
As part of Spain's “I'm staying at home” social media campaign to limit all unnecessary travel, Leganes are now streaming their daily fitness sessions with coach Pol Lorente via the Twitch channel, harrypottercdleganes, which everyone can opt to join. Each morning, the LaLiga club post a reminder about the session start time - usually 11:00 local time (10:00 GMT) - and the basic equipment you need to take part.
The Turkish Super Lig has been postponed until further notice in response to the coronavirus pandemic. While all European nations called a halt on their domestic competitions, Turkish Super Lig continued behind closed doors until lately that FIFPro urged Turkish football authorities to suspend the Turkish Super Lig to join the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. In response, the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) confirmed that the four tiers of Turkish professional football including Turkish Super Lig would be suspended until “a later date”.
The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) who had already asked FIFA to postpone the South American World Cup qualifiers to a later date, now sees September as a proper date for the postponement. "By doing this [postponing South American World Cup qualifiers to September], the confederation ensures all precautions are taken against the global and regional spread of the coronavirus, in line with the recommendations of international health authorities," CONMEBOL said in a statement following a meeting of its executive board with FIFA authorities via a video conference.
Belarusian Premier League starts not even behind closed doors although almost all major European leagues have been put on hold and Euro 2020 and Copa America 2020 have been pushed back to a year later due to coronavirus pandemic. With 51 positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Belarus, Football Federation of Belarus (BFF) chairman, Vladimir Bazanov, said: “For what reason should we not start it? Is a state of emergency declared in our country? There is no critical situation. So we decided that we are starting the championship in a timely manner. Today.”
Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star Neymar, thanked health workers combatting coronavirus, by posting a video on social media showing him clapping for them. The video caption read: "A big round of applause to all health professionals. Thank you for risking your lives #StayHome." The StayHome campaign involves not only ordinary people but also stars like Neymar.
England head coach, Gareth Southgate, called medical staff fighting the coronavirus pandemic “heroes”. Southgate, whose team have seen friendlies against Italy and Denmark this month cancelled, wrote in a letter to England fans: “For everyone in our country, the primary focus of the present - and the coming months - is undoubtedly to look after our families, support our communities and work together… The heroes will be the men and women who continue working tirelessly in our hospitals and medical centres to look after our friends and families. They won't receive the individual acclaim, but we all know their importance is beyond anything we do on the pitch.”
It was announced earlier this year that the latest instalment of Euro 2020 will be pushed back to 2021, with the competition set to take place between June 11 and July 11 next year. However, UEFA has insisted that it won’t rename Euro 2020 to Euro 2021. A reply on a frequently asked questions page on UEFA's website read: “We trust that all of our venues will remain the same, ensuring the tournament remains true to its original vision: staging a truly Europe-wide event that befits the EURO's 60th birthday. The tournament will still be known as UEFA EURO 2020.”
Zaha and Obi Williams, who co-own ZO Properties with around 50 apartments in London, have provided National Health Service workers with their needed accommodation in combatting coronavirus pandemic. “… Anyone who has empty rooms at all in London, they need to do something. They can't just leave their rooms empty whilst people are in huge predicaments as the whole country is right now. If you have any kind of accommodation available and empty for whatever reason, everyone should put their rooms up for key workers at this moment.” said Williams to the Standard.
Napoli and Cagliari will return to training next week despite being warned it would be dangerous with Italy being in a lockdown state due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite Damiano Tommasi, president of the Italian Players' Union (AIC), had already stated it would be dangerous for players to return to work with the lockdown state still on in Italy, Cagliari will train with their players in separated groups on Monday with Napoli coming back to training field two days later.
Real Madrid forward, Luka Jovic, is prepared to accept any consequences of him breaching self-isolation measures in Serbia. Jovic returned to Serbia after the LaLiga season was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic. The 22-year-old forward apologized for breaching self-isolation measures, putting the blame on the fact that he was given poor instructions. However, he is ready to accept whatever punishment given to him, if any.
In a joint initiative, Manchester United and Manchester City have donated £100,000 to local food banks in Greater Manchester to lessen the threat of coronavirus for those more vulnerable. “We are proud of the role our supporters play in helping local food banks and recognise the increased strain likely to be placed on these charities by the impact of coronavirus. We are pleased to come together with our fans to help vulnerable members of society in a City United,” said the two clubs in a joint statement.
After Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich, the next Bayern Munich player to make a significant donation to help combat coronavirus pandemic is Robert Lewandowski. “We are all aware of the difficult situation around us. Today we are all playing on one team. Let’s be strong in this fight. If we can help someone, let’s do it. This situation affects every one of us. That’s why we’re asking: follow instructions and listen to the people who know best. Show responsibility!” said Robert Lewandowski and his wife, Anna, on Instagram.
Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata called upon the football world to remain calm and trust the experts while play is suspended during the coronavirus pandemic, and said he is doing all he can to stay fit. “Being patient and calm is the only thing we can do now. We have to wait and trust the experts until we can play football again. We are coping okay. We are obviously in the house trying to get fit and training however we can by doing some exercises in the house and the garden,” Said Mata.
Paulo Dybala is the third Juventus player to test positive for coronavirus after Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi. The Argentina international posted a picture on Twitter, with his girlfriend Oriana, confirming that both of them had contracted coronavirus. “Hi everyone, I just wanted to inform you that we have received the results for the COVID-19 test, and both Oriana and I have tested positive, Luckily, we are in perfect conditions. Thanks for your messages” said Dybala on Twitter.
Former AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini and his son Daniel, a current player for the same club, have both tested positive for coronavirus. “Paolo Maldini learned that he had contact with a person who tested positive and was suffering from symptoms of the virus. He was tested yesterday and found positive for the coronavirus. The same goes for his son Daniel. Paolo and Daniel are in good condition and, have already spent more than two weeks at home without outside contact, as required by medical and health protocols,” said AC Milan officials in a statement.
Southampton chief executive, Martin Semmens, controversially called for the Premier League resumption despite social distancing measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying televised matches would show that we're fighting back. Semmens told BBC Radio Solent that he feels the nation would benefit from Premier League games being played and televised daily, given that people are spending an increased amount of time in their homes.
Former president of Real Madrid, Lorenzo Sanz, dies at the age of 76 after being diagnosed positive for coronavirus. Sanz had initially chosen to stay home although feeling sick so as not to further overwhelm Spain's medical service, but in the end he had no option but to go to the hospital on Tuesday last week as his fever had not lowered for eight days. Already tested positive for coronavirus, Sanz died of a kidney failure last night at the age of 76.
Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, says new travel bans in some Australian states due to coronavirus pandemic, should not bring a force halt to the NRL and A-League seasons, there is still doubt about the future run of these seasons. It is worth mentioning that while many sporting events across the globe including major football leagues especially in Europe have come to a halt due to coronavirus pandemic, both Australian professional leagues, namely A-league and NRL, have continued though behind closed doors.
Former Real Madrid forward, Predrag Mijatovic, described the death of Lorenzo Sanz as "one of the saddest nights" in his life, after the former Real president fell victim to coronavirus at the age of 76. “Leaving like this, without being able to say farewell, without being able to say a final goodbye, is very hard, very sad. It's one of the saddest nights of my life,” said Mijatovic to Spanish newspaper, Marca.
Former Real Madrid forward, Predrag Mijatovic, described the death of Lorenzo Sanz as "one of the saddest nights" in his life, after the former Real president fell victim to coronavirus at the age of 76. “Leaving like this, without being able to say farewell, without being able to say a final goodbye, is very hard, very sad. It's one of the saddest nights of my life,” said Mijatovic to Spanish newspaper, Marca.
Manchester City are appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to have their two-year ban from the Champions League lifted, but their case is delayed as the CAS is dealing with the impacts of coronavirus. City had hoped for a hearing by early summer but that now looks unrealistic given the court in Lausanne has already postponed three hearings and has 16 cases already scheduled until 18 May, with the City case not yet listed.
Torino president Urbano Cairo says it is foolish for Serie A clubs to be considering returning to training given the ever-changing circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic. “"If I think back to the Lega meeting on March 10, there were still those who talked about training and returning to play. Those speeches, to be heard now, seem from another planet. I said If we do not take drastic action, moving fans will also contribute to increasing the infection of others. It seems foolish to me to argue a thesis on the basis of contagion data,” said Cairo.
Tottenham defender, Toby Alderweireld, plans to make it possible for patients in hospitals and nursing homes to video chat with their families and friends by providing them with tablets. “I hope everyone is following the government measures to stop the further spread of the coronavirus. The virus creates many needs, especially the lack of personal contact. If people are sick they can't see their friends, they can't see their family. So my plan is to buy dozens of tablets to give to the hospitals and nursing homes so people can video chat with their loved ones and their friends to get through this tough period,” said Alderweireld in a post on Twitter.
Italian national team manager, Roberto Mancini, is disappointed Euro 2020 was postponed and described the recent scenes in his country as a punch in the face. “The film of that military convoy that took the coffins away from Bergamo was a punch in the face, the hardest and most striking image. No one was ready for this hell. To think that people are dying because there's a lack of beds and respirators,” said Mancini.
Wolfsburg announced their first-team will return to training on Monday despite Germany's social-distancing measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. “VfL Wolfsburg will return to training as planned on Monday 23 March, albeit under special conditions and adhering to strict hygiene measures. Starting early in the morning, head coach Oliver Glasner's side will work in small groups at staggered intervals at the Volkswagen Arena, exclusively using the gym until further notice,” read a statement on Wolfsburg official website.
Although coronavirus pandemic has brought a halt on sporting events around the world, LaLiga continued to go ahead over the weekend, though virtually. A single player was invited by Spanish video game streamer, Ibai Llanos, to represent their team in a 20-club FIFA 20 tournament. Marco Asensio who has been sidelined for the entire 2019-20 season due to a serious knee injury took the challenge and beat Leganes' Aitor Ruibal 4-2 in the final, raising over €140,000 which goes to UNICEF as a contribution to help in combatting coronavirus.
Suspended earlier this month due to coronavirus, Ligue 1 will not resume until at least mid-June according to Premiere Ligue president Bernard Caiazzo. “It is necessary to finish the championship at all costs, even if it means ending it in July-August and resuming in stride. Currently, all the clubs are losing around €250million a month and we cannot play until the curve is reversed. That is to say in July-August, at best on June 15. I am very, very, very worried about all the clubs. Without state aid, within six months half of the pro clubs will file for bankruptcy,” said Caiazzo to France Bleu.
According to Eintracht Frankfurt sporting director, Fredi Bobic, premature ending of Bundesliga due to coronavirus pandemic means major economic loss for all clubs. “A premature end of the season would of course not be a positive thing. It would be a major economic loss for all clubs and also for Eintracht Frankfurt. We will do everything we can to ensure that we can continue to play football. It's not just about the money, but also about jobs in the club and around it. Many people are directly and indirectly involved with football and live on it,” said Bobic.
Both the Champions League and Europa League finals scheduled to take place on May 30 and May 27 respectively - the former in Istanbul and the latter in Gdansk - have been postponed by UEFA due to coronavirus pandemic, along with Women's Champions League final which was orignially to take place on May 24 in Vienna. With the majority of major leagues in Europe to have been postponed as the fears over the coronavirus pandemic grow, it's no surprise that such a decision has come.
Tottenham head coach, Jose Mourinho, has volunteered to help the elderly quarantined in Enfield due to coronavirus concerns. Age UK and Love Your DoorStep – a business putting local people in touch with local products and services – have actually received food parcels and other essentials from Mourinho to be delivered to the the people in need in the current crisis. The Spurs boss said in a video posted on the Love Your DoorStep account: "I am here to help Age UK Enfield, Love Your DoorStep Enfield and of course you can donate food, money or be a volunteer."
In a video released by FIFA, current and former footballers encourage people of the world in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic. For the first time ever, we, the entire world, are all playing on the same team. Our opponent is a disease! say the footballers.
It was already scheduled for Napoli to resume training on Wednesday despite the coronavirus pandemic, but the club have decided to call it off as the situation gets worse with the coronavirus death toll reaching 6000. “Napoli announces that sporting activity has been suspended until further notice. The date when training will be resumed will be established in due course depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 emergency situation,” said the club on Twitter.
Despite the growing fears over the coronavirus pandemic and Germany's social-distancing measures, Bundesliga club, Wolfsburg resumed training though in four small groups in two-hour intervals to lessen the contact between players as much as possible. “Obviously we'd all prefer to be playing football but we're aware we need to adapt to the way things are. It's our job to keep ourselves fit, whether that's at home or in small groups like today. Every group had a session in the gym at different times and we worked on the legs and torso,” said striker Daniel Ginczek.
As announced by Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO, James Johnson, A-league has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. "We alluded in a public statement on Sunday that we were prepared if necessary to take tough difficult decisions. This is precisely what we have done today. The decision which was taken last night and announced this morning was a result of the increased state and national requirements now," said Johnson in an interview.
Sevilla head coach, Julen Lopetegui, has urged Sevilla's fans to stay home to steer clear of coronavirus. "We are now in trenches and we can't see the other side. We all have our responsibility and we must fight for this to go away as fast as possible. Our responsibility to stay home is very important. This is not a game," said Lopetegui to Sevilla's fans.
Paolo Maldini expects to recover from coronavirus within a week after he and his son Daniel Maldini - a current Milan player – were diagnosed with COVID-19 last weekend. However, Maldini, who seems to be in good spirits to recover from the disease, said in a video posted on Instagram: “With this video I wanted to thank all those people who expressed on social media their love and concern for my and my son's health. We're fine. We should be able to get rid of this virus within a week. Thanks for your continuing affection.”
The Netherlands government has taken stricter countermeasures against the coronavirus pandemic by banning all gatherings until June 1. In the face of such strict measures it doesn't seem that professional football in Holland will resume soon. However, in a meeting on Tuesday, Dutch football authorities discussed the future of Eredivisie and Eerste Divisie in concern with the coronavirus and new measures taken by the government. It is not yet decided, however, that if the Netherlands professional football leagues should finish their already-postponed seasons or choose to void the 2019-20 season altogether.
Having already been suspended until April 2 due to coronavirus pandemic, Bundesliga suspension extends until April 30. German Football League (DFL) authorities have decided to extend the suspension of Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga until April 30 amid the growing fears of coronavirus pandemic. “The is aware that all scenarios and options for action also depend on external factors, on the development of which the DFL and clubs have only limited or no influence at all: among other things, the further spread of the virus and the assessment of the situation by politics. Against this background, the presidium of the General Assembly will recommend a further suspension of game operations in the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga until at least April 30,” said DFL in a statement.
Lopetegui, believes LaLiga suspension could continue to the extent of whole season being voided, but it is not yet decided or clear. “Everything that we have done before, in terms of physical preparation doesn't matter now. It's a scenario that you can't compare to any other. I don't know what's going to happen. I believe this suspension last for a while until we can play with no risk at all. The ones who have to make decisions will decide whether it will be best to modify two seasons or just void the current one," said Lopetegui in a video.
The Angel Soler Daniel Foundation which is among the organizations tackling the coronavirus pandemic, received €1million from the Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, as donation which will be used in the supplement of medical supplies and equipment. “Former football player and former FC Barcelona coach and current Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has made a donation of one million euros to the Angel Soler Daniel Foundation for the purchase and supply of medical equipment in the face of a health emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic” said the organization in a statement.
As confirmed by Barcelona Hospital Clinic, Lionel Messi has made a personal donation to the facility to help it in purchasing or production of medical supplies and equipment needed to combat coronavirus. The hospital has thanked Messi in a tweet that reads: “Leo Messi made a donation to fight against COVID-19 in the clinic. "Thank you very much, Leo, for your support and your commitment.”
Former Italy, Juventus and Real Madrid defender Cannavaro , Fabio Cannavaro, believes European football may not resume until the end of the current season in May as the coronavirus rages across the globe. "In less than a month it is not known what is going to happen in the world. I think it will take a long time for this to end in Italy and Spain. It will be difficult for European football to return before the season ends,” said 43-year-old Cannavaro to COPE.
Captains of all 18 Eredivisie clubs have asked fans online to stay home to support the fight against the coronavirus. “… we are facing an enormous challenge, not just me or our sport but the world as a whole. Just like us, you are no longer able to live a normal life. That is why we, along with all Eredivisie captains, want to give you some extra support… stay at home as much as you can. Stay positive and think of those around you,” said the captains in a video.
FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, asks football fans around the world to remain united in the face of coronavirus pandemic. "We have to show we are working together as one big team," says FiFA president, Gianni Infantino, to football fans in a video.
Although Eredivisie general manager, Mattijs Manders, says they are trying to end the season by June 30, still there are two other options available to determine the fate of the professional league: to prolong the current season until July or to void it altogether.
Tested positive for coronavirus on Monday, Galatasaray head coach, Fatih Terim, says he's feeling fine now and hopes to recover soon from the disease. The 66-year-old manager, mostly in charge of Turkish national team and Super Lig giants, Galatasaray, during his career, tweeted on Wednesday: "I feel so beautiful and special that I feel every prayer in my heart. This is a test for all of us and we will pass this test with your prayers and your good wishes. I'm fine, and I hope I'm going to get better. I thank every one of you in my heart."
Four Bundesliga clubs also present in the Champions League, namely Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen, have created a support fund of €20million to be given out to German clubs struggling with financial difficulties due to coronavirus pandemic. Clubs have not been immune to financial problems caused by the suspension of major leagues in Germany. The situation has actually forced some to cut salaries or take similar measures.
Real Madrid's Bernabeu will be used as a storage space for medical equipment and supplies during the coronavirus pandemic. According to a statement from the 13-time European champions, they are working with Spanish National Sports Council to supply and distribute strategic medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic. Not only Real will facilitate donations to the Spanish Ministry of Health, but also their 81,000-seater stadium, Santiago Bernabeu, will be used as a storage space for medical equipment.
Barcelona have filed an ERTE that will see the wages of both players and club staff cut during the coronavirus crisis. It was reported on Wednesday that Barca's squad refused to take a 70 per cent pay cut and the club, after a meeting of the board, have now confirmed they have filed a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) process. The ERTE will impact both sports staff – including the men's senior squad and all professional teams – and non-sports staff.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and former Manchester United star David Beckham expressed their gratitude towards healthcare workers in the United Kingdom amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Myself, the staff and all the players of LFC would like to take this opportunity to deliver a message to say thank you to all the incredible people who work in the health services, all the health workers, if you want, out there,” Klopp said, and Beckham also showed his gratitude on social media by saying: “It's unbelievable what you are doing and on behalf of all of us from LFC, I would like to say thank you. Or, how we would say in Germany, vielen dank.”
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has laid off approximately 70 per cent of its staff in a bid to save money amid the coronavirus pandemic. “This has been an extremely difficult decision to make, but necessary to stabilise the organisation so that it can continue to service the game, albeit in a vastly different landscape," FFA chief executive, James Johnson, said in a statement.
Juventus forward, Paulo Dybala, is feeling "much better" after experiencing strong symptoms of coronavirus over the past week. “oday I feel much better, without any symptoms and I can move much better, so I will try to train again. After having attempted to in the days where the symptoms were strong, I felt uncomfortable very quickly and I couldn't get any air so I couldn't do anything. After about five minutes I felt really tired and my body felt heavy, my muscles hurt and I had to stop. But luckily both me and my girlfriend feel much better now,” twitted Dybala.
Kylian Mbappe has made a generous donation to the Paris-based charity Abbe Pierre Foundation as France continues to fight the coronavirus pandemic. “Concerned about the consequences of the serious health crisis which strikes our country, but also of all the consequences which it can generate on the most fragile people, Kylian Mbappe has just made a very large donation to support the work of the Abbe Pierre Foundation,” the charity said in a statement.
Although major leagues in Europe have been suspended due to coronavirus pandemic, Belarus Premier League continues with fans present at stadiums. “In Belarus, it's like no one cares. Everybody here knows what's happened to Italy and Spain. It doesn't look good. But in our country, people in the presidential administration believe it's not as extreme as the news says." former Bundesliga player Aleksandr Hleb told the English newspaper The Sun earlier.
Finally, an Australian footballer to test positive for coronavirus; a Newcastle Jets player tested positive for coronavirus within a week A-League was suspended. In a statement on Saturday, Newcastle confirmed a player of them had tested positive for COVID-19, but was feeling fine. Part of the statement read: “In accordance with relevant protocols, NSW Health has been notified of the case by the club and the correct procedures have been followed throughout. The player and his family are in good health, and currently in quarantine.”
The Wellington Phoenix confirmed a member of their football operations staff had tested positive for coronavirus. In a statement on Saturday, the A-League club said: “The Wellington Phoenix advise that a member of the club's football operations staff has tested positive for COVID-19. The club is cooperating fully with all the relevant health authorities and is focused on supporting staff, as well as ensuring that all government protocols are being closely adhered to.”
Celtic manager Neil Lennon says his players are like caged animals as they wait for the green light to return to training amid the coronavirus pandemic. “They're like caged animals. These are young, fit men who're used to an almost regimented way of living. Their routine is training and playing. All of that is gone. Some of them will be cooking for themselves for the first time in their lives. Mentally, the change can put a strain on them. They're used to intensity and suddenly it's not there. We're very aware of the mental [health] side of this. We all need to keep our wellbeing in order” he said to BBC Sport.
Although several nations are in a lockdown state and citizens are not allowed to leave their homes except when it's necessary, the Premier League stars managed to spread the word "stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives" to people around the world in the face of coronavirus pandemic. Among them is Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling who said in a video shared on Instagram and Twitter: “We need to stay at home, let's help our NHS by staying home, only leave if you need food, medicine or exercise," Sterling said. "The NHS have been doing a fantastic job so let's help them continue doing their wonderful work."
Roma have decided to give out 5000 free tickets to medical staff and frontline workers fighting with coronavirus pandemic for their next match after the virus crisis has ended. The Serie A side said they will dedicate their first home match in front of fans after football returns to honouring and celebrating the medical workers who have been on the frontline of the battle against COVID-19.
As the coronavirus rages across the globe, Juventus and their first-team players including Cristiano Ronaldo have agreed upon a temporary salary cut so that the club can save money in these dire straits. The agreement between Juventus and their first-team players will save the club around €90million which will be a boost for the club amid the coronavirus crisis. Juventus are coping with financial issues coming from the fact that they have not played since their match against Inter on March 8.
Normally Saturday nights, there were fixtures in LaLiga to be played and entertain people, but in the face of the growing coronavirus pandemic, that entertainment has been limited to an online festival of music with LaLiga musicians performing and LaLiga stars, particularly Barcelona defender, Gerard Pique, speaking of the need to unite in these dire straits as the coronvirus pandemic continues spreading unrestrained. The fest raised funds to buy medical equipment and supplies in the fight against coronavirus to €625,000 through donations by fans who were encouraged to donate to Banco Santander Foundation.
European football has been on a halt for a time due to coroanvirus, with Euro 2020 postponed to a year later. If the situation continues and European leagues cannot resume some time between the end of April and the beginning of June, it is possible that 2019-20 season is announced null by UEFA as the president, Ceferin, says. “If we don't succeed in restarting, the season will probably be lost. There is a plan A, B and C. The three options are to start again in mid-May, in June or at the end of June. There is also the possibility of starting again at the beginning of the next season, starting the following one later. We will see the best solution for leagues and clubs,” said Ceferin to La Repubblica Publications.
As revealed by his wife Isil, Rustu Recber, the great Turkish goalkeeper who has played for Barcelona and Fenerbahce during his club career, has tested positive for coronavirus and hospitalized in a Turkish hospital. “I would like to give you more positive news while sharing the truth in the most transparent way, but I'm sorry to say that my husband Rustu is hospitalised with the diagnosis of COVID-19. We are shocked by the rapid symptoms that developed suddenly when everything was normal. These are critical and difficult times,” said Rustu’s wife on social media.
The A-League was the last competition in Australia to be suspended on Tuesday only after two positive cases of coronavirus were reported at the league, namely a Newcastle Jets player and a staff member of Wellington Phoenix. However, FFA chief, Johnson, believes there was nothing wrong with the A-league suspension time, saying to Fox Sports on Sunday: “… This decision to close the A-League, or to suspend the A-League, was made with the unanimous support of all the A-League clubs and was made in close consultation with the players' union on behalf of the players. We did have a very unified decision and we had unity in the sport which we've not really seen for a long time. I think the timing to close the league, to suspend the league, was right, I think we arrived at the right time.”
Although Seria A has been put on hold for some time due to coronavirus pandemic, but as Inter defender, Diego Godin, discussed it continued until the last moment in the face of the growing pandemic. “We were exposed until the last moment. They kept pulling the rope to see if you could continue playing, until the situation was unsustainable. The health system collapsed, there are no intensive care beds to attend so many critically ill people and people who may have another illness, they cannot attend to them, so many professional doctors,” said Godin to ESPN.
Philipp Lahm has warned football is in an "existential crisis" where players' attitude toward coronavirus crisis is closely watched by the public. He also believes that German football, in particular, must protect its dignity and strengths during the suspension time. In an interview with German newspaper Welt on Sunday, Lahm said: “Football can even emerge stronger from the crisis under one condition: if players and officials act as role models in public through their social behavior. The fundraisers of coaches and players show they have a sense of responsibility. It's a good time to give something back to the society that carries our sport and the people who love football.”
Expressing his dismay, former Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, has taken his complaint to FIFA for being sacked by the Swiss club, FC Sion. Like many other clubs, FC Sion have cut their players' salaries as a measure against financial problems caused by coronavirus pandemic, but according to the club, Song and eight other players refused to accept the new terms and therefore were immediately sacked. According to Sion president, Christian Constantin, Sion have acted responsibly in proposing new salaries with the club's income severely reduced due to the suspension of Swiss Super League forced by the coronavirus pandemic.
With most major leagues put on hold in Europe, Belaruisan football continues, however, fans are not allowed anymore at the stadium. They have to watch the games from home, instead. "We can see it on social media, especially on Twitter and Facebook, where we see a significant growth of the English-speaking audience," said a Belarusian fan.
Warning that the undecided ending of the current season could lead to the disbandment of some clubs, former Juventus and Milan striker, Flippo Inzaghi, says Italian sides are ready to play even in August to finish the current season in Serie A. All domestic sport in Italy has been suspended by the Italian government until at least April 3, as the country takes heavy casualties - more than 10,000 deaths till now - due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Already suspended until April 3, Serie A does not look like to resume action even at that date, meaning that it will probably be pushed back further on the calendar, with the Italian Footballers' Association (AIC) president, Damiano Tommasi, suggesting that even the whole event could be terminated due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. “Tomorrow [Monday], they have one more element on the table than in the past weeks. Because, after the words of minister Spadafora, the concern is the championship will end here,” said Tommasi to ANSA.
As the coronavirus pandemic rages across the globe, Man Utd star, Paul Pogba, sent a message to fans to encourage them to do their part in the fight against coronavirus by staying at home. In a message sent to Man Utd fans amid the lockdown state in UK, The former Juventus and Madrid midfielder, Pogba, said: “Stay at home, stay safe. Keep supporting United. Hopefully things will get better very soon and we will get back to the game. Hopefully we can show you guys we are ready and we want to go back to win trophies.”
March 29, 2020
'Stay home stay safe' says Pogba to Man Utd fans amid coronavirus crisis
As the coronavirus pandemic rages across the globe, Man Utd star, Paul Pogba, sent a message to fans to encourage them to do their part in the fight against coronavirus by staying at home. In a message sent to Man Utd fans amid the lockdown state in UK, The former Juventus and Madrid midfielder, Pogba, said: “Stay at home, stay safe. Keep supporting United. Hopefully things will get better very soon and we will get back to the game. Hopefully we can show you guys we are ready and we want to go back to win trophies.”
Barcelona players have agreed to a significant pay cut during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the club have confirmed. The Barca board, players across the club's respective professional sports teams and "most" of the basketball team have agreed to salary reductions for the duration of Spain's state of emergency. The senior football team has accepted a pay cut worth more than the 70 per cent initially proposed by the club, according to a Barca statement.
Dressed down in a tan hooded jacket, with black shorts, white trainers and a black sports cap worn backwards, Cristiano Ronaldo, who was advised to self-isolate after his teammate, Daniele Rugani, tested positive for coronavirus, came out for fresh air along with his girlfriend and two children after forty days in self-quarantine. This came actually two days after Georgina had paid tribute to her husband, 35, calling him a hero, in an Instagram massage in her native language as she had marked Spain and Portugal’s Father’s Day.
Jack Grealish has issued an apology and said he is "deeply embarrassed" after ignoring coronavirus lockdown measures to attend a party over the weekend. West Midlands Police launched an investigation after they were called to the Dickens Heath area of Solihull, where two parked cars suffered minor damage. Aston Villa captain Grealish appeared to be pictured at the scene on social media following the incident. Grealish had urged the public to stay at home just a day earlier after the Government last week enforced a lockdown and the midfielder has expressed his regret over failing to heed his own warning.
The Italian Footballers' Association (AIC) said the most vulnerable clubs and leagues must be protected amid the coronavirus pandemic. “The weekly meeting of the AIC board was held today [Monday] and, therefore, with the representatives and captains of Serie A… In the unfortunate event of the season ending early, that scenario will certainly see us participate. That's why footballers know they have a part to play. In this sense, it was highlighted that needs differed between the various categories, but everyone agreed on the objective of protecting the positions of the categories most in difficulty,” said AIC in a statement.
The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has demanded Central Coast Mariners immediately reinstate players after they were issued with stand-down notices amid the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, the PFA threatened to initiate legal proceedings against Perth Glory owner Tony Sage following his decision to stand down players, with the A-League season on hiatus due to COVID-19. The Mariners also issued stand-down notices as the league's postponement impacts clubs financially, prompting the PFA to serve Central Coast owner Mike Charlesworth with a letter of demand.
Tottenham have cut the pay of their 550 non-playing staff for April and May by 20 per cent because of the coronavirus pandemic, chairman Daniel Levy announced on Tuesday. Spurs became the second Premier League team after Newcastle United to make use of the United Kingdom government's furlough scheme, which allows employees to claim 80 per cent of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
Pape Diouf, 68, who served as Marseille president from 2005 to 2009, died from coronavirus. “Olympique de Marseille learned with great sadness of the death of Pape Diouf. Pape will remain forever in the hearts of Marseillais as one of the great craftsmen in the history of the club. Our condolences to his family and loved ones,” Marseille twitted following his death.
The decision to suspend the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga seasons until at least April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic has been ratified, with a task force established to aid the campaign's eventual continuation. The German Football League (DFL) announced an extension to the hiatus a week ago and, during a video conference on Tuesday, the proposal was unanimously approved by all relevant parties. Further measures were also agreed during the meeting, including the formation of a task force to oversee planning for "continuation of gaming and training operations", and temporary alterations to sanctions implemented for financial problems.
UEFA has postponed all national team matches scheduled to be played under its auspices in June, including the play-offs for the delayed Euro 2020 finals. “The deadlines related to all 2020-21 UEFA club competitions are postponed until further notice, in particular as regards the admission process and the registration of players,” a press release read. “UEFA will set new deadlines in due course.”
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has taken a "significant" pay cut as the Premier League club guard against financial trouble during the coronavirus pandemic. Cherries manager Howe has been joined by assistant Jason Tindall, technical director Richard Hughes and chief executive Neill Blake in accepting a reduced salary. The club announced a number of staff have been placed on furlough - the UK Government scheme that will pay employees 80 per cent of wages, up to £2,500 per month.
The Premier League and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) are discussing player wages as part of talks over how football in England should respond to the coronavirus pandemic. A statement issued by the PFA read: “Senior representatives from the PFA, Premier League, EFL and LMA met today and shared a constructive meeting regarding the challenges facing the game as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. No decisions were taken today with discussions set to continue in the next 48 hours with a focus on several high-profile matters, including player wages and the resumption of the 2019-20 season.”
Chelsea winger, Callum Hudson-Odoi, is feeling perfect after recovering from the coronavirus. “I am feeling perfect," he told Chelsea's official website. "I had the virus, which has cleared now. I fully feel good, I feel fit, so I am feeling back to myself so it is all good. "I had it [the illness] three weeks ago now I think, on a Monday when I felt a bit hot and I was thinking this is a bit unusual, why do I feel this hot,” said Hudson-Odoi.
Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has banned Serie A clubs from returning to team training until at least April 13. “Actual measures are extended until April 13. We know we are asking another effort, another sacrifice. We have to understand one thing – if we stop following the rules or reduce these measures, we will waste our efforts… training sessions are not allowed in clubs' headquarters. It doesn't mean athletes cannot train themselves, they can do it individually,” said the prime minister.
Norwich City's squad, head coach Daniel Farke and executive committee will donate a percentage of their salaries to support people during the coronavirus crisis. Grant Hanley, Norwich's club captain, told the side's official website: “There are clearly a lot of complexities and discussions happening at this time, but right now this absolutely is the best thing we can do for our community. As a group of players, we wanted to stand up and do our bit. The lads have heard at first-hand stories and challenges that some of our supporters are currently facing. We need to make sure were reaching out and helping those who have been hit hard and are struggling at this time.”
Manchester City midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne, believes Premier League teams would be hit by an instant injury crisis if the 2019-20 campaign is swiftly resumed and feels cancelling the season might be a better option. “I have no idea when we will be playing again. We haven't played for six weeks. Normally you'd need a preparation of three to four weeks. If we restart immediately then everybody will be injured after a few games,” said De Bruyne to HLN.
Following the example of LaLiga giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid have also cut their players' pay by 70% to be able to pay the non-playing members of the club. A club statement on Thursday confirmed they would present a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) to enshrine a 70 per cent decrease in wages for players with Atletico Madrid B and Atletico Madrid Women, along with Diego Simeone's squad. The statement read: “The filing will mean a 70 per cent reduction in the salaries of technicians and players of the men's first team, the women's first team and Atletico de Madrid B, while the declaration of the State of Emergency lasts.”
Belgium's Pro League has recommended calling an end to its 2019-20 season and accepting current positions as the final standings. Brugge, who finished second in 2018-19, are 15 points clear and look set to benefit from Thursday's directive, while Waasland-Beveren – two points from safety at the foot of the table – are facing relegation.
The Professional Footballers' Association has denied reports that it will block all wage deferrals at clubs as English football's response to the coronavirus pandemic attracted governmental criticism. On Wednesday, the PFA reported that talks with the Premier League, the English Football League and the League Manager's Association over the appropriate financial response to the crisis were on-going. “Each club's financial standing will vary. We are aware of the public sentiment that the players should pay non-playing staff's salaries. However, our current position is that – as businesses - if clubs can afford to pay their players and staff, they should,” said PFA in a statement.
In a joint venture with the local charity organization, Fondazione Milan, The Serie A club has set up a GoFundMe page where it can collect donations - already reached €500,000 - for the Azienda Regionale Emergenza Urgenza (AREU), the emergency arm for the government in the Lombardy region. Milan and Fondazione Milan got the ball rolling with an initial donation of €250,000, which paid for six AREU medical cars, before asking others to pledge to the cause as they set a €500,000 target.
Andros Townsend has accused British politicians of "deflecting blame" on to footballers after they were urged by government officials to take a pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic. “Football is trying to do a lot of good. To wake up yesterday and see footballers being painted as villains was a bit of a surprise to be honest. I have never been more proud to be a footballer. Since this crisis started to see the work that the players and clubs have done in the community. At Palace, we have helped out the homeless, donated to local charities. The health secretary, deflecting blame onto footballers, I don't think that is right. His job is the responsibility of NHS workers. He is coming out and deflecting onto the easy targets, the footballers, and that doesn't sit right with me” said Townsend to talkSPORT.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to claim more lives, its impact on the major leagues becomes larger and larger. Now, the Premier League is not able to resume even at the start of May. Although the Premier League officials are committed to end the current season, it has been pushed back further from April 3 to April 30, and now it doesn't even seem to be able to resume at the start of May. “It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May – and that the 2019-20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so. The restart date is under constant review with all stakeholders, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time,” read a statement from Premier League.
Amid increasing pressure on Premier League players to take pay cuts, clubs have agreed to approach them about reducing their salaries. “The sporting and financial implications for Premier League clubs as well as for the FA, EFL and National League were considered at today's meeting. In the face of substantial and continuing losses for the 2019- 20 season since the suspension of matches began, and to protect employment throughout the professional game, Premier League clubs unanimously agreed to consult their players regarding a combination of conditional reductions and deferrals amounting to 30 per cent of total annual remuneration,” read a statement from the Premier League.
According to the French Football Federation (FFF), any decision over the outcome of French football leagues depends on when countermeasures against coronavirus pandemic would have lifted in France. FFF informed that there won't be any voiding to the campaign as a season without promotion or relegation would defy 'sporting logic' altogether. “A resumption of competitions would not mean playing all the days that remain to be played to go to the end of the championships. It is out of the question to impose an unrealistic pace of recovery, depending on the level of the championships, to make them go to completion. Partial completion of the season will be considered,” read a statement from FFF.
The current season in Serie A can only resume when health conditions get back to normal, according to Lega Serie A and the Italian Players' Association (AIC) officials. There was talk that it might be appropriate for the professional league to resume in May, but it has also been discarded by Lega Serie A and the Italian Players' Association (AIC) authorities as the situation gets no better. With regards to the possible completion of the remaining Serie A and Coppa Italia matches, Lega Serie A will only consider the resumption of sporting activity when health conditions allow it, adhering, as it has always done, to government decrees and taking into primary consideration the protection of the health of the players and all those involved,” read a statement from Lega Serie A.
Part of Borussia Dortmund's stadium has been converted into a medical center to take care of coronavirus patients. Borussia Dortmund say they have transformed the north stand of the stadium into a treatment centre in collaboration with a local medical association. "Our stadium is a symbol of the city... its technical, infrastructural and spatial set-up make it the ideal place to help people who are potentially infected," said club directors Hans-Joachim Watzke and Carsten Cramer in a statement.
Sheffield United manager, Chris Wilder, thinks footballers have been the target of 'distasteful' criticism although they have already taken pay cuts. “They're conscious people. These boys are from working-class cities, very few of our players are privately educated. They've got brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, mums and dads working at the NHS and not getting paid. They'll do the right thing through the PFA [Professional Footballers' Association]. Straight away everyone was onto footballers, pointing the finger, and I thought it was very poor and distasteful,” said Wilder to talkSPORT.
While a number of footballers including Anthony Martial, Hector Bellerin and Paul Pogba have shaved their heads to reduce the need for haircut in coronavirus crisis, Cristiano Ronaldo has another solution: do it at home! of course if you have a partner like Georgina Rodriguez who could act as a barber too! However, what is clear is that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, Ronaldo, doesn't want to say goodbye to his recently developed top knot.
The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) says if the Premier League players' pay is cut by 30%, as proposed by the Premier League clubs officials, 'essential public services' would be hurt in UK. In a meeting on Friday, Premier League clubs agreed to propose wage cuts to their players, while Health secretary, Matt Hancock, called on footballers to play their part in these dire straits. However, the PFA did not agree with the decision, claiming that wage cuts could financially hurt essential public services such as the services delivered by the National Health Service (NHS).
Liverpool have granted a number of their staff leave of absence as the Premier League does not look like to resume action even at the start of May because of the coronavirus pandemic. Staff affected will receive 80% of their salary through the government's job retention scheme and the club will make up the difference. "Even prior to the decision on staff furloughing, there was a collective commitment at senior levels of the club - on and off the pitch - with everyone working towards a solution that secures jobs for employees of the club during this unprecedented crisis,” read a statement from Liverpool.
April 4, 2020
August 3, Champions League deadline as declared by UEFA president
As UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, confrimed, August 3 is the latest affordable date for Champions League and Europa League 2019-20 finals. The current season is set to conclude by the end of June, but many think that date is not realistic as there can be seen no sign of easing in the current coronavirus crisis. However, one thing is for sure: Champions League and Europa League campaigns cannot continue beyond August 3, as declared by UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, meaning that they will probably be voided if they cannot conclude by this date.
Trump spoke with leaders of the USA's leagues and organisations via a call on Saturday, saying that he hoped sports was back in USA 'sooner rather than later', as the suspension in major sporting leagues in the country continues. NBA, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour and NASCAR seasons have so far been suspended, with the start of the MLB campaign pushed back furthuer and more concerns over the NFL. Trump hopes to see sport resume shortly, telling a media conference: "I want fans back in the arenas. Whenever we're ready, as soon as we can obviously and the fans want to be back too, they want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey, they want to see their sports.”
With no football to play, PSG players have been keeping themselves busy training at home and sharing their trainings on social media during France's lockdown.
Former Liverpool midfielder, Danny Murphy, has slammed his former club's decision to put some staff on furlough due to financial problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The suspension of the Premier League caused by the coronavirus pandemic has brought financial problems for many clubs including Liverpool and Tottenham forcing them to lay off or furlough some of their staff. However, the former Liverpool midfielder, Danny Murphy, who made more than 200 appearances for his former club, called the club's furlough decision 'grotesque'. “It is grotesque because it wasn't introduced for Premier League clubs who have more than enough money to look after their own,” he said.
Eintracht Frankfurt have resumed training with specific restrictions in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus contraction as much as possible. “We have to stick to the guidelines, which is why we only train in very small groups with a maximum of three players. I am pleased that we have the time and the opportunity to talk to the boys and train individually. The boys are looking forward to finally being able to stand on the court again after the home training with the bike and the stabilization exercises, and to kick the ball,” said Eintracht Frankfurt coach, Hütter.
Wane Rooney called the pressure put on Premier League players by the public amid the coronavirus pandemic as a 'disgrace', adding that players have been left in a 'no-win situation'. “First the health secretary, Matt Hancock, said that Premier League players should take a pay cut. He was supposed to be giving the nation the latest on the biggest crisis we've faced in our lifetimes. Why was the pay of footballers even in his head? Was he desperate to divert attention from his government's handling of this pandemic? In my opinion it is now a no-win situation. Whatever way you look at it, we're easy targets,” said Rooney.
Patrick Cutrone, German Pezzella and Dusan Vlahovic are the three Fiorentina players who had tested positive for coronavirus, but they are now in good health conditions after a full recovery. The first Fiorentina player to contract the virus was Dusan Vlahovic, who, in an Instagram post, revealed that his fever had reached 39 degrees at some stage after contracting the virus. Then it was Cutrone and Pezzella to contract the virus, however and despite all difficulties they have experienced, the trio are now in good health conditions with negative results for their coronavirus tests.
UEFA has denied that its President, Aleksander Ceferin, has set August 3 as the deadline for the Champions League and Europa League finals. “It has been reported that UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, told ZDF in Germany that the UEFA Champions League must finish by August 3. This is not true. The president was very clear not to set exact dates for the end of the season. UEFA is currently analysing all options to complete domestic and European seasons with the European Club Association and the European Leagues in the working group set up on March 17. The primary priority of all the members of the working group is to preserve public health,” read a statement from UEFA.
Although the league leaders, Liverpool, along with Tottenham and Bournemouth furloughed their non-playing staff due to the financial problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Manchester City confirmed that they are not going to follow suit. “We can confirm, following a decision by the chairman and board last week, that Manchester City will not be utilising the UK Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (government funded furloughing). We remain determined to protect our people, their jobs and our business, whilst at the same time doing what we can to support our wider community at this most challenging time for everybody,” read a statement from Man City.
West Brom chief, Mark Jenkins, says he will forego his salary for the duration the English football is on hold. And this does not end here; several other managerial members of the club have opted to take significant cuts on their salaries. West Brom have also promised to pay the remaining 20% of their staff salaries in case the club are forced to comply with governmental furlough plans that guarantees 80% of personnel salaries up to £2,500 a month if businesses go unstable due to financial issues caused by coronavirus pandemic.
According to Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president, Gabriele Gravina, Serie A could even be pushed back later than the already proposed restart date of May 17. In Gravina's opinion, that's much better for the current season in Serie A to conclude in 2020, no matter how late, rather than letting it be voided. “At the moment, a possible date to restart could be May 17, but I want to clarify that this is only a hypothesis. Finishing the season would be the best way not only so the 2019-20 season is not compromised, but also to avoid compromising the 2020-21 season in any way,” said Gravina to RAI.
The country's domestic league's new season started as scheduled behind closed doors despite all major football divisions and sports events around the globe were either suspended or canceled due to coronavirus. Tajikistan in among few countries in the world to have not been hit by coronavirus, and it seems their footballing authorities are doing their part to keep it that way.
According to a report by French newspaper, Le Parisien, Reims club doctor, Bernard Gonzalez, has committed suicide after contracting coronavirus. The report was then confirmed by the Ligue 1 side president, Jean-Pierre Caillot, who said the coronavirus had hit them 'in the heart'. “Words fail me, I am stunned, prostrate before this news. This pandemic affects Stade de Reims in the heart. This is a personality of Reims and a great professional of the sport who left us. His mission to the club of more than 20 years has been carried out with the utmost professionalism, in a passionate and even selfless manner,” said Caillot on Reims' official website.
Bayern Munich first-team training resumes on Monday with the restrictions suggested by the German government to avoid any possible contraction of coronavirus. A statement on Bayern's official website on Sunday urged supporters to stay away from the training ground as the players return to work. The FC Bayern Munich first team will return to training at Sabener Strasse in small groups from Monday, 6 April… Training will take place with no members of the public present. In order to further slow the spread of the coronavirus, FC Bayern asks fans to continue to follow the instructions of the authorities and therefore please do not come to the FC Bayern training ground,” read the statement.
Hellas Verona president Maurizio Setti says Italy is in a "war-like situation" as the coronavirus continues to claim lives in the country. “We are in a war-like situation, so we need to sit around a table with calm, intelligence and openness, finding a solution that satisfies both parties. What's happening is immensely damaging for the whole world of football, so I trust there will be no problems finding a deal with my players, who are good people,” said Setti to Sky Sport Italia.
Hristo Stoichkov believes it's much better for the LaLiga to conclude now, with the teams in the promotion zone to be promoted without the rest of the fixtures in the league to be played, and of course no relegations. “If we see how the situation is, with the matches which have been played, it would be fairer to end the La Liga season as it is now. Many teams could stay up at the bottom, there are a lot of matches left. They could leave the league as it is, have no relegation and the top two from Segunda could get promoted to have a 22 team league. Because they have also done a lot of work to win many matches,” said Stoichkov in COPE program, Tiempo de Juego.
This is 'a kind of racism I could never imagine', says Bayern Munich defender, David Alaba, in response to the proposal of two doctors that COVID-19 vaccine should be first trialed in Africa. In a debate on television channel LCI last Wednesday there were talks of testing tuberculosis vaccine against coronavirus to see if it was effective against the virus or not, and the two continents of Europe and Australia were proposed as test targets, but two French doctors were against the idea. Actually not the whole idea, but where it should be implemented. The tests should be carried out first in Africa, say Jean-Paul Mira, head of intensive care at the Cochin hospital in Paris, and Camille Locht, head of research at the Inserm health research group.
In order to reduce the effect of financial setbacks caused by the coronavirus pandemic, England's Football Association (FA) has cut up to 30% of their highest-paid staff and proposed its other staff paid more than £50,000 a year to accept a reduction in their wages, of course temporarily. “We are proposing that all employees earning £50,000 or more per annum will take a temporary pay reduction of 7.5 per cent. In the spirit of those on higher salaries taking the greater responsibility, the senior management team have agreed to cut their pay by 15 per cent with the highest earners in the organisation agreeing to reduce their pay by up to 30 per cent,” said FA in a statement.
Like other major European leagues, the Premier League have come to a halt for some time due to coronavirus pandemic with Liverpool at the top with 25 points ahead of the second position and indeed on route to claim the championship after 30 years. But in Luke Shaw's opinion, if the remaining games in the Premier League have no chance to be played some time, it'd better the Premier League be voided. “Start it again. If we can't carry it on, it's got to be void,” said the Manchester United defender, speaking on a Twitch stream of a FIFA 20 competition for Unicef's Combat Corona fundraiser.
Temporary wage cuts - in specific players' wages - could also be a solution for Serie A clubs, as they don't remain unaffected by the financial strains caused by the coronavirus like many other clubs in Europe. As it has already been implemented by Juventus within their own club last week, pay cuts is a solution that now more Serie A clubs are inclined toward. “Coherently with all the actions undertaken at national and international level, Lega Serie A has decided unanimously, excluding Juventus - who have already agreed such salary cut with their own players - a common line to reduce the impact of wages of players and managers of the first-team squads,” read a statement from Serie A officials.
Tottenham forward, Son Heung-min, has decided to go for his military service as the Premier League suspension continues and there seems to be no definite date for the professional league's return. Although exempted from mandatory military service in South Korea for winning a gold medal at the Asian Games with the South Korean football team in September 2018, Son still has to complete a four-week military program before the start of the 2020-21 season.
Pep Guardiola's mother, Dolors Sala Carrio, aged 82, passed away in Barcelona on Monday due to coronavirus contraction, confirmed Man City. Following her death, Man City twitted on their official Twitter account: "The Manchester City family are devastated to report the death today of Pep's mother Dolors Sala Carrio in Manresa, Barcelona after contracting coronavirus. She was 82 years old. Everyone associated with the club sends their most heartfelt sympathy at this most distressing time to Pep, his family and all their friends.”
Pep Guardiola’s mother, Dolors Sala Carrió, has died aged 82 from coronavirus, news greeted by an outpouring of condolences from across the football world for the Manchester City manager and his family. The Premier League champions, Liverpool, said in a statement: “The Manchester City family are devastated to report the death today of Pep’s mother, Dolors Sala Carrió, in Manresa, Barcelona, after contracting Corona Virus… Everyone associated with the club sends their most heartfelt sympathy at this most distressing time to Pep, his family and all their friends.”
As been confirmed by Liverpool CEO, Peter Moore, the club have reversed on their decision of furloughing their non-playing staff made in response to financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Following Tottenham and Newcastle United, Liverpool also took the advantage of the United Kingdom government's job retention scheme that promised 80 per cent of some staff wages would be paid by the state. However, the move was heavily criticized by the public and even former Liverpool figures like Jamie Carragher, Danny Murphy and Dietmar Hamann, since the club had announced £42million pre-tax profits in less than two months ago.
Although, on Monday, Serie A clubs agreed somehow or other on a 30% temporary wage cut for Serie A players to ease the financial strains cuased by the coronavirus pandemic, the Italian Footballers' Association (AIC) is thoroughly against the idea. “If the Serie A clubs have to meet at an assembly meeting to say they won't pay wages when in reality, face to face with the players, individual clubs are looking for common-sense agreements, it's very worrying. I can't understand the business logic behind this behaviour: putting the players, the main protagonists, in a bad light, when almost everyone else is already discussing with clubs how to get out of this crisis together. It seems crazy to me,” said AIC president, Damiano Tommasi.
After such a long suspension, Eintracht Frankfurt head coach, Adi Hutter, hopes football will resume in May, no matter if it would be behind closed doors. “We all hope that we can start playing football again in May. I think it would be very important and valuable for society if we can watch some football at home on TV again, even though we will have to get used to watching games without fans, without emotions,” said Hutter to journalists.
According to LaLiga president, Javier Tebas, Cancelling the current season in LaLiga will bring an accumulative loss of €1billion to the professional league. “We are considering the idea of playing again, in Spain and other European countries, on May 29 or, alternatively, on June 6 or June 28. If we start LaLiga on May 28, the Champions League would be in July; if we start on June 6, all the competitions would be played together until July 31… Not finishing the 2019-20 season would bring a measurable loss of €1bn. If we finish behind closed doors, the economic damage will be €350million,” said Tebas to reporters in a teleconference on Tuesday.
As financial problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic are affecting everyone, Javier Tebas, president of LaLiga, believes Spanish clubs should show conscience and go about wage cuts. “We are in a moment of exceptional, unpredictable, and enormous-impact crisis. Everyone loses money, it seems normal to me that players' salaries are also reduced. In Spain we did not find an agreement with the union, our negotiations ran aground yesterday. At the moment, eight LaLiga clubs [across the first and second divisions] have requested ERTE [Temporary Employment Regulation File], but in the next few days all our teams will activate salary reduction protocols, either through ERTE or with individual agreements with their players,” said Tebas in a teleconference with foreign media on Tuesday.
FA boss, Greg Clrakre, has warned that financial chaos in English football may even lead to the disbandment of clubs and termination of leagues in English football, what even those who run them may not imagine. In a meeting the FA council on Tuesday, Clarke said that the impacts of coronavirus will hurt clubs in every aspect from the Premier League to grassroots, and demanded those with more resources to come to the rescue.
In a bid to help against the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic in football calendars, FIFA has suggested that players' contracts be extended and transfer window pushed further back. “Expiring player contracts usually end when the season ends, with a termination date that coincides with the end of the season. With the current suspension of play in most countries, it is now obvious that the current season will not end when people thought it would. Therefore, it is proposed that contracts be extended until such time that the season does actually end,” read a statement from FIFA.
Man Utd boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, says it is unjust to make footballers easy targets of criticism amid the financial strains caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Solskjaer's remarks come after United Kingdom health secretary Matt Hancock urged Premier League footballers last week to play their part in the coronavirus crisis by taking pay cuts, suggesting that well-paid players have not cooperated enough to ease the financial issues caused by the virus. Noteworthy to mention is that But before Hancock commented on the matter, captains of the Premier League clubs had discussed how players could help during these hard times.
Coronavirus has brought a standstill to several leagues across Europe, with the Belgian Pro league set to cancel the rest of the season and crown league leaders, Club Brugge, champions. And now, it looks to Udinese sporting director, Pierpaolo Marino, that the same will occur to the Premier League which has been suspended for a month, with Liverpool 25 points ahead at the top of the table and by high chances the league champions. “The Belgian federation has sanctioned the end of the championship, despite the threat of UEFA sanctions. England is about to issue the same measure because the situation is becoming very serious. I speak of the Premier League,” said Marino.
A month ago, a Wellington Phoenix staff member tested positive for coronavirus, but as confirmed by the club he has recovered from the disease and is now in good health conditions. “The Wellington Phoenix advises that a member of its staff who tested positive for COVID-19 last month has now fully recovered and been reunited with their family. The person was tested following their return to New Zealand as a precaution after showing minor symptoms. Following strict Ministry of Health advice, they immediately quarantined themselves from the public and their bubble,” said the club in a statement.
After conference calls on Tuesday, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) showed its hopes for the Eredivisie to start on June 19 and conclude either in June or July, saying that things will be more clear as of April 24. “Many things are still open, due to external factors, circumstances and conditions from government, UEFA and FIFA. These developments will be anticipated as soon as possible. We will do this in consultation with the people and bodies with whom we have been in close consultation today. And even then the focus will be on completing the competitions, although we are well aware that this will be a different task,” a KNVB statement read.
Not only Mexico national team manager, Tata Martino, is willing to take pay cuts offered to him, but also he thinks that other coaches and players should follow his example. According to Martino, he has received his full salary for March and has not been yet contacted by the Mexico Football Federation concerning the financial measures against the coronavirus pandemic. However, the former Barcelona head coach – who has been in charge of Mexico since January 2019 – will have no complaints if he is asked to lower his pay.
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