Sports

Coronavirus: Here's what happened in the sports world on Monday

Stay up to date on the latest on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting sports around the globe.

Swimming world championships rescheduled for next May in Fukuoka, Japan

(Illustration by Steve Tzemis/CBC)

The latest on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting sports around the globe:

  • World swim championships moved to next May
  • Novak Djokovic appears to break confinement rules by going to tennis court
  • Search on for new Euro gymnastics championships host
  • 15 leagues join forces to recognize health care workers
  • McIlroy, Johnson front charity golf match for virus relief
  • 10 positive tests in top 2 German soccer divisions

Swimming worlds rescheduled for next May

The postponed world swimming championships will be held in Fukuoka, Japan, on May 13-29, 2022, the governing body of world swimming said on Monday.

The date was moved back a year after the Tokyo Olympics were postponed from 2020 until 2021.

The swimming championships had been scheduled for July 16-Aug. 1, 2021, which clashed with the new Olympics dates.

The Tokyo Olympics open on July 23, 2021. They are followed by the Paralympic Games opening on Aug. 24.

Novak Djokovic appears to break self-isolation rules

Novak Djokovic apparently broke confinement rules in Spain by going back to a tennis court on Monday.

Djokovic posted a video on Instagram showing him exchanging shots with another man at a tennis club in the coastal city of Marbella, where the Serb has reportedly stayed.

Djokovic filmed the video while hitting shots and wrote he was "so happy to play on clay .. well, just for a bit with my phone in the hands."

Spain on Monday loosened some of the lockdown measures that had been in place since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, allowing professional athletes to return to practice. But sports facilities are supposed to remain closed at least until next week in most parts of the country, with the exception of training centres for teams in professional leagues in sports such as soccer.

The Spanish tennis federation said in a statement on Monday that professional players in Spain were allowed to exercise by themselves or with a coach, but not yet on a tennis court. It said it would work on a set of guidelines to inform players and clubs about what they would be permitted to do beginning next week.

Euro gymnastics championships won't be held in France

The search is on for a new host for the women's European gymnastics championships.

European Gymnastics, the continental governing body, says that France isn't able to host the championships if they're rescheduled to the fall of 2020, so the "call for a new host is open."

The championships were meant to take place in Paris from April 29 through May 3 as a tune-up ahead of the Olympics but were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. European Gymnastics is still hoping to stage them on a new date.

European Gymnastics says the men's European championships will remain in host nation Azerbaijan on rescheduled dates later this year, and the rhythmic gymnastics championships will stay in Ukraine.

It's looking for a new host for the European trampoline championships to replace Sweden. That event has been moved from this month to spring 2021.

Tennis Canada angling for return to recreational play

Tennis Canada is hoping to see recreational tennis make a return as parts of the country prepare to ease restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Downey, president and chief executive officer of Tennis Canada, sent a letter to all provincial governments and over 100 municipalities on Monday requesting the reinstatement of the sport in areas that are planning to reopen parks or outdoor facilities.

Downey said in the letter that tennis can be played while still adhering to physical distancing measures recommended by Canada's public health officials.

The letter included a list of recommendations for facility administrators on how to gradually implement recreational tennis, and another for players.

The recommendations include standard guidelines for physical distancing and hygiene, as well as limiting access to locker rooms and exercising caution when touching tennis balls.

Leagues unite to recognize health care workers

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky and U.S. women's soccer star Carli Lloyd are among the athletes who are participating in a project which will recognize and celebrate health care workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

"The Real Heroes Project" was announced on Monday. It is a collaborative initiative among 15 leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer.

Participating athletes will share a personal thank you message on social media utilizing .TheRealHeroes from Monday. Athletes will cover their name on their jerseys or uniforms and replace it with the name of the health care worker they are honouring.

Public service announcements will debut on Wednesday across league and team platforms. The other leagues participating are the ATP, NASCAR, NWSL, USGA, WNBA, WTA as well as the WWE and esports Overwatch League, Call of Duty League and Electronic Arts.

Among other athletes participating are New York Yankees all-star outfielder Aaron Judge and Milwaukee Brewers slugger Christian Yelich, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Hockey Hall of Famer Hayley Wickenheiser as well as Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore.

McIlroy, Johnson headline charity golf match

Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson headline a $3 million US charity match for COVID-19 relief that will mark the first live golf on television since the pandemic shut down sports worldwide.

The May 17 match will be played at Seminole Golf Club in South Florida, a fabled course along the ocean where Ben Hogan once prepared for the Masters. It is to be televised by NBC networks, including Golf Channel, Sky Sports and the PGA Tour's global TV partners.

It will be the first golf event at Seminole shown on television.

McIlroy and Johnson, major champions who have reached No. 1 in the world, will be partners in a Skins match against Oklahoma State alumni Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff.

Johnson and McIlroy, the world No. 1 and reigning PGA Tour player of the year, are playing for the American Nurses Foundation, while Fowler and Wolff are playing for the CDC Foundation. The match is titled, "TaylorMade Driving Relief." All four players have endorsement deals with TaylorMade.

10 positive tests in top 2 German soccer divisions

The German soccer league says there were 10 positive tests for the new coronavirus among 36 clubs in the Bundesliga and second division.

The DFL says 1,724 tests for COVID-19 were carried out over two rounds among players and staff.

Cologne previously reported three positive cases, while second-division Stuttgart had reported one "inconclusive result" from a person.

The tests were part of the DFL's hygiene concept as it bids to restart the leagues sometime in May. It says teams will also undertake "a mandatory training camp under quarantine conditions before a possible continuation."

Testing will continue regardless of whether competitive games restart or not.

Sassuolo players 1st on pitch as Serie A training resumes

Sassuolo on Monday became the first Italian top-flight club to resume training following the coronavirus stoppage although it was still a long way from normality with only a handful of players running up and down empty pitches.

The Serie A club posted a video on Twitter showing players exercising individually, with each having half a pitch to himself. The club has limited the number of players who can train to six at a time divided into three pitches and says training is optional.

The government on Sunday gave players permission to start training individually on club premises but no team exercises will be allowed until May 18 and it is still far from certain that Serie A will be allowed to resume this season.

Italy, among the world's hardest-hit countries, started to relax the longest lockdown in Europe on Monday, allowing about 4.5 million people to return to work after nearly two months at home.

Other Serie A teams were expected to resume training over the course of the week.

La Liga ready to begin testing players before training

Professional soccer players in Spain will be tested this week so they can start training again for the first time in nearly two months.

Basic training has been allowed to resume in Spain on Monday after the government eased some of the lockdown measures that had been in place since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spanish league players are expected to get back on the field later in the week after they are tested for COVID-19 and after the clubs' training facilities are properly prepared and disinfected. The facilities will have to be inspected to make sure they comply to the cleaning protocols established by local authorities.

All players, coaches and club employees who are going to be involved in the initial training phase will have to be tested two days before the individual practices can begin.

The tests will reportedly begin as early as Tuesday, and the league wants them to be conducted daily after the individual training sessions begin.

Fans not expected in near future in Premier League

The head of English soccer says he does not expect crowds to be allowed back into matches "any time soon."

The Premier League and other soccer competitions in England have been suspended two months during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to the FA Council, chairman Greg Clarke says "it's hard to foresee crowds of fans — who are the lifeblood of the game — returning to matches any time soon."

The English Football League, which operates the three professional divisions below the Premier League, has told clubs games might be played without fans until 2021.

With files from The Canadian Press and Reuters

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