Coronavirus in Sport LIVE: Premier League return ‘as soon as possible’, Ligue 1 CANCELLED, UFC LATEST – The Sun

THE government has announced that it is working with the Premier League to get the football season up and running as soon as possible.

However, it is a very different story in France where the Ligue 1 and 2 season has been cancelled as the government has banned all professional sport until August.

Follow all the latest coronavirus in sport updates below…

  • MORE ON FRANCE

    Ligue 1 is set to confirm the CANCELLATION of the 2019/20 campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    French football bosses will reportedly meet in May to determine whether to enact promotion and relegation as well as which teams can qualify for next season's European competitions.

    But it has become increasingly clear that restarting sport anytime soon is seen as infeasible by the country's government.

    On Tuesday afternoon, French authorities are expected to announce that all football will be cancelled until August.

    And RMC report on Ligue 1 preparing to decide on the fate of clubs across the top tiers next month.

    Like several other European countries including the UK and Italy, French sides had hoped to return to training in May with a view to completing the season in June.

    However president Emmanuel Macron is set to ban any matches taking place, even behind closed doors.

  • BREAKING

    France have banned all sporting events until August.

    That means the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons are OVER

  • PUNCHING PADS

    Daniel Dubois has used his heavy hands to build a family home just in time for all the gang to hunker down for lockdown.

    The 22-year-old British heavyweight sensation raced to a 14-0 record before the COVID-19 virus shut down sport around the world.

    The mouthwatering April 11 clash with fellow Londoner Joe Joyce has been postponed until the government and British Boxing Board of Control relaunch the sport.

    DDD said: “Buying the house was good, there was the perfect space for a little gym we have now with two punchbags.

    “It’s a really nice house and it’s nice to always get a good night’s rest now.

    “Everyone is here together, to support each other and It’s great to accomplish this first part of the dream and now I hope there are many more to come.

    “It has happened at just the right time so we can all stay under one roof and the house is big enough that we don’t have to see each other all of the time!”

  • EXCLUSIVE

    West Ham stars Mark Noble and Jarrod Bowen left a young fan speechless with get well video messages during his painful battle with illness.

    Avid Hammers fan Dexter Langley, nine, has been in and out of hospital with a mystery condition over the past six weeks but the well wishes from his heroes left him “lost for words”, according to his overwhelmed parents.

    The promising goalkeeper celebrated his birthday on Saturday with the contact from his idols the best gift of all.

    And after doctors at various hospitals struggled to diagnose the condition, the brave lad is now under the care of Great Ormond Street (GOSH) in London as the debilitating pain spread to his shoulders and neck.

    Checking in after the youngster's weekend of appointments, Hammers captain Noble said on Monday: “Dexter, how are you little man?

    “Just a little message from me Mark Noble and all the boys at West Ham, stay strong, keep fighting my little friend.”

  • EFL RETURN

    The English Football League could resume as early as June 6 if conditions in the country permit, Forest Green chairman Dale Vince told the Press Association.

  • HAVE YOU IN STITCHES

    Conor McGregor’s tailor has turned the Irishman’s controversial “F*** You” suit into an incredible coronavirus mask.

    The Notorious memorably wore the customised attire during the first press conference in Las Vegas for his crossover boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather.

    Following its success, David August Heil –a close friend of McGregor – made the eye-catching pinstripe suit available to buy for a whopping £5,000.

    The A-List tailor has now revealed that he has turned part of the now iconic outfit into a face mask to battle coronavirus.

  • SPURS RETURN

    Tottenham began welcoming players back to training on Tuesday ahead of football’s return from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Harry Kane was among the stars seen entering the Enfield base as part of Spurs’ efforts to prepare for the Premier League’s resumption.

    Efforts to maintain social distancing are being made with stars turning up individually, ready to train, before returning home immediately after their session.

    Tottenham confirmed: “The club shall be making a limited number of pitches available at our Training Centre for members of our first team squad to use for individual running sessions on a strict rotational basis.

    “No more than one player per pitch will be permitted at any one time to undertake on-pitch exercise, with only a restricted number of the squad coming to the Training Centre each day.

    “Each player will travel independently and arrive at the facilities already dressed in training wear before returning home immediately after they have concluded their session.”

    SEE ALL THE PICTURES AS SPURS RETURN TO TRAINING

  • DEADLINE ON THE TABLE

    Premier League chiefs have been handed a four-week Uefa deadline to produce their restart plans.

    The directive has come from Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin and general secretary Theodore Theodoridis.

    But the chances of any football in Europe getting the green light have suffered a blow.

    AGerman virus expert suggested players would still be at Covid-19 risk, despite the Bundesliga’s safety plans for resuming on May 9, while Italy’s resumption plans were deemed “insufficient”.

    SunSport reported Uefa’s revised August 2 deadline for seasons across the continent to be completed.

    But a new circular stated: “National Associations and/or Leagues should be in a position to communicate to Uefa by May 25, 2020, the planned restart of their domestic competitions — including the date of restart and thecompetition format.”

  • COVID SCARE FOR JENS

    Arsenal legend Jens Lehmann has beaten coronavirus – insisting the deadly bug troubled him less than a bout of flu.

    The 61-cap ace has now revealed he fell victim to Covid-19 last month.

    Lehmann said: “I became infected in the middle of March.I suffered from a cough and a mild fever for a day and a half.

    “After two weeks in quarantine, the authorities declared me to be healthy once more.

    “I found it less bad than when I have had the flu.

    “But at-risk people of course need to be careful.It probably helps as well to live a healthy life.”

  • BLADES STAY SHARP

    Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder is opening the door for his players to come back to work early, reports ALAN NIXON.

    The Blades were due to start their ‘pre season’ programme on May 9 – but now they are cutting their break short.

    United are inviting their squad to come to the training ground to work out while observing the social distancing.

    Blades plan to hit the ground running when the games began and news of rivals Arsenal beginning to go through their paces forced the change of plan.

  • SKY BLUE THINKING

    Coventry City have announced a 25 per cent pay deferral deal with their players.

    Another sign that EFL clubs are finding it difficult during the lockdown.

  • GIVE US THE SLIP

    England will be able to use emergency Covid-19 subs to try to prevent behind-closed-doors games being abandoned.

    As cricket continues to investigate staging matches in empty grounds, a fear has been raised that a Test might have to be called off halfway through if a player tests positive for the coronavirus.

    Organisers now believe an affected player, staff member or official could successfully be placed into isolation to prevent a spread of the disease.

    But that would mean ten players against 11. So the ICC, cricket’s global governing body, are expected to approve the use of subs.

    They would work in a similar way to the concussion subs rule brought in last year.

    Aussie batsman Marnus Labuschagne replaced Steve Smith, who was felled by a Jofra Archer bouncer at Lord’s, and took his chance so successfully that he now averages 63 in Test cricket.

  • FAB GESTURE

    Cesc Fabregas has offered to defer his entire £130,000-a-week wages for four months to help Monaco through the coronavirus crisis.

    The former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder has already accepted a 30 per cent pay cut for the next four months but has now gone one step further.

    The kind-hearted gesture from the highly-decorated Spaniard will save Monaco more than £2million.

    Fabregas, whose own great-grandmother, 95, contracted the virus, is also believed to have offered to top up the wages of Monaco’s training ground staff — who have seen their income slashed by nearly a third.

    His actions come after top European clubs have been locked in discussions with their players to take pay cuts during the pandemic.

  • EXCLUSIVE

    Keegan Brown hailed SunSport readers for their messages of support as he finally takes a night off from key hospital work.

    Last month we revealed darts’ world No 30 was taking on extra shifts as an NHS employee at the Carisbrooke base on the Isle of Wight.

    Brown, 27, works in a blood-science lab and has taken on additional hours to help during the Covid-19 crisis.

    He said: “The messages and comments I’ve had have been overwhelming.

    “The response on social media has been overwhelming and I’m genuinely taken aback by it.

    “I’m just doing my job, but to have had such support made me feel it was the right decision.

    “I really do appreciate it. I actually arrived back from a shift one evening while they were clapping and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so proud to work for the NHS.”

    CLICK HERE TO READ SUNSPORT'S EXCLUSIVE CHAT WITH BROWN

  • CASH TO FIGHT COVID

    Uefa has handed each of its 55 member associations £3.75m to help the fight against Covid-19.

    The £206m total will come from Uefa’s HatTrick project which normally helps cover running costs.

    But with the impacts if the coronavirus huge across European football, Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin has agreed to hand out next season’s money now.

    Ceferin said: “This money will help rebuild the football community.

    “This is a responsible decision to help as much as we can and I am proud of the unity that football is showing throughout this crisis.

    “Without doubt, football will be at the heart of life returning to normal. When that time comes, football must be ready to answer that call.”

  • TO-K-O 2020

    The postponed 2020 Olympics will be cancelled altogether if coronavirus is not brought under control by next year, the Games' chief has warned.

    The pandemic has already forced a year-long delay of Tokyo 2020, which will now start on July 23 next year.

    Games president Yoshiro Mori has said any further postponement is simply impossible.

    Asked by a Japanese newspaper if postponing the Games – worth £10billion – another year could be done, Mori replied: “No. In that case it is cancelled.”

    The boss said “mankind is betting” on Covid-19 being under control by then, and said if it is then “we'll hold the Olympics in peace next summer”.

  • GOOD MORNING SPORTS FANS

    Yesterday was a busy day as Premier League stars abroad face a two-week quarantine headache with clubs set to recall stars for training restart.

    Prem chiefs have also been given a four week deadline by Uefa to produce restart plans for the season plan to resume in June before mid-July finish and start next season in August after coronavirus delay.

    And the House of Commons was told the government is in talks with England’s top flight to return ASAP to boost bored fans and to 'support whole football community'.

    In F1, Silverstone is to be behind closed doors as the French GP was AXED as the race calendar takes another coronavirus hit.

    Champ Lewis Hamilton said the lack of racing has left a 'big void' in his life as bosses prepare for June return.

    In tennis, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer's favourite TV shows and films were revealed including Game of Thrones and Gladiator.

    And Andy Murray reckons he might have had coronavirus BEFORE lockdown… but is aiming to be fit for French Open.

    Cricket will introduce emergency coronavirus subs to prevent behind-closed-doors games being abandoned.

    And in golf, Jordan Spieth and other PGA Tour pros will play a tournament this week in a dry-run of June golf return after coronavirus lockdown.

    Brooks Koepka's girlfriend Jena Sims also gave the golf star a botched lockdown haircut as he joked 'bowl cuts are back'.

    Tyson Fury’s Instagram workout turned into chaos after wife Paris stormed out calling her husband an 'a***hole' following row.

    And in football, Gabriel Jesus donated three tonnes of food to Brazilian favelas and sang with a popstar to help raise coronavirus funds.

    And Liverpool put their £60MILLION expansion of Anfield Road End on hold because of coronavirus crisis.

  • F1 PLAN '15-18 RACES'

    Formula One chiefs are lining up on the grid waiting for the green lights.

    Incredibly, the sport’s CEO Chase Carey reckons they can put on “between 15 and 18 races” despite the Covid-19 lockdown.

    But F1 must be mad to think their 200mph approach will work — with their idea for behind-closed-doors races still stuck in the pits.

    F1’s bold statement came off the back of confirmation that the French GP was being scrapped.

    And British GP chiefs confirmed that no spectators would be allowed in, providing they can host their race in the first place.

    After the double blow, a statement from Carey, who runs F1 for the sport’s owner, Liberty Media, said: “We are now increasingly confident with the progress of our plans to begin our season this summer.

    “We’re targeting a start to racing in Europe through July, August and start of September, with the first race taking place in Austria on 3-5 July weekend.

    “September, October and November, would see us race in Eurasia, Asia and the Americas, finishing the season in the Gulf in December with Bahrain before the traditional finale in Abu Dhabi, having completed between 15-18 races.”

  • MAIN PRIORITY

    Watford chairman Scott Duxbury fears football is in danger of rushing back.

    Duxbury, whose club yesterday opened its doors for staff from the nearby Watford General Hospital, said: “There is a pandemic — there are immediate needs.

    “The running of the football club is secondary to what we are currently doing with the  hospital. There is a greater need and a greater good that needs to be addressed.

    “Football needs to be put to one side. I feel a bit uncomfortable talking about football when we are in this position.

    “Do I want to resume football? Absolutely. At the moment all effort and all  concentration has to be on beating this pandemic.

    “It is absolutely clear, everyone can see what we are facing and it is a war and it is a war that we need to win.

    “Football plays an important part in society. Everyone understands where our priorities need to lie. I will be led by the Government.

    “We just have to be led and make sure we are not rushing.”

  • FOUR YOU TO SORT IT

    Premier League chiefs have been handed a four-week Uefa deadline to produce their restart plans.

    The directive has come from Uefa president  Aleksander Ceferin and general secretary Theodore Theodoridis.

    But the chances of any football in Europe getting the green light have suffered a blow.

    A new circular stated: “National Associations and/or Leagues should be in a position to communicate to Uefa by May 25, 2020, the planned restart of their domestic competitions — including the date of restart and the  competition format.”

  • EXCLUSIVE!

    England will be able to use emergency Covid-19 subs to try to prevent behind-closed-doors games being abandoned.

    As cricket continues to investigate staging matches in empty grounds, a fear has been raised that a Test might have to be called off halfway through if a player tests positive for the coronavirus.

    Organisers now believe an affected player, staff member or official could successfully be placed into isolation to prevent a spread of the disease.

    But that would mean ten players against 11. So the ICC, cricket’s global governing body, are expected to approve the use of subs.

    They would work in a similar way to the concussion subs rule brought in last year.

  • 'MISS RACING'

    Formula One bosses are gearing up to finally launch the new season — as Lewis Hamilton said it left a “big void” in his life.

    Six-time world champ Hamilton said on Instagram: “I miss racing every day. When you live and breathe something you love, when it’s gone then there is definitely a big void.

    “This is the first time since I was eight that I haven’t started a season.”

  • FAB MOVE

    Cesc Fabregas has offered to defer his entire £130,000-a-week wages for four months to help Monaco through the coronavirus crisis.

    The former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder has already accepted a 30 per cent pay cut for the next four months but has now gone one step further.

    The kind-hearted gesture from the highly- decorated Spaniard will save Monaco more than £2million.Fabregas, whose own great-grandmother, 95, contracted the virus, is also believed to have offered to top up the wages of Monaco’s training ground staff — who have seen their income slashed by nearly a third.His actions come after top European clubs have been locked in discussions with their players to take pay cuts during the pandemic.

  • STOPPED AT A RED LIGHT

    Liverpool have put the £60million expansion of the Anfield Road End on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The earliest completion for the project that was supposed to add a further 7,000 seats will now not BE until the summer of 2023 – 12 months behind schedule.

    The red light comes after work stopped last month on finishing off the club’s new £50m training complex at Kirkby.

    Boss Jurgen Klopp and his players may well now spend a further season working out every day at Melwood.

    The re-designed Anfield Road stand will take the ground’s capacity up to over 61,000 and planning permission was scheduled for November of this year.

    But a club statement said delay was due to the uncertainty in the construction industry.

  • PAINT THE TOWN RED

    Ronny Rosenthal reflects on the last time Liverpool won the League title — 30 years ago tomorrow.

    Now the 56-year-old is hoping Reds fans will enjoy that feeling again this year and that celebrations aren't KO'd by coronavirus.

    “The moment I hear the haunting You’ll Never Walk Alone anthem I’m transported back to one of the most memorable moments of my career.

    “To share a title-winning success with the amazing Liverpool fans 30 years ago — and helping them land the championship is a time I look back on fondly.”

    Read the full interview here.

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