Elsewhere, Mike Tyson has urged Dana White to go ahead with his plans to host UFC 249 as planned on April 18 despite most of the world in lockdown due to coronavirus.
While Wimbledon have joined the growing number of iconic English sport venues to open their gates to the NHS in Britain's desperate fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Follow all the latest news and updates as the sporting world deals with the threat of coronavirus…
Anthony Yarde's dad has died from coronavirus despite having no pre-existing medical conditions, the boxing star has confirmed.
The British lightweight boxer, 28, revealed the tragic news in the early hours of morning. Yarde claimed his “fit” father had no prior health concerns and has now urged everyone to stay indoors to limit the spread of the killer bug.
In a statement released on Instagram, Yarde wrote: “I’m a very private person and TBH I’m still in shock but maybe this can help people stay home.
“My Dad passed away from this virus yesterday and he was fit with no health issues. “The more people go out and mingle the longer this isolation will last and the more it will spread. I’m not a doctor but I do know if you stay home you are less likely to catch it or pass it on.
“It’s seriously not worth the risk.”
Rio Ferdinand has called for the season to be null and void due to the coronavirus crisis.
English football has been suspended until April 30 but a return to action is expected to be delayed even further with the death toll in the country rising.
And ex-England and Manchester United defender Ferdinand says the health of the public must come before any personal gain amid talk of a season restart.
Ferdinand said: “Times like this do push it home how important sport, contact and communication is when you are isolated and alone with your immediate family.
“But we have to take into consideration football is just a game. As seriously as we all take it, the bigger picture is what is going on out in society.
“I’m sure in my own mind that if it’s not going to be an immediate fix in the next few weeks then the season needs to be voided and started again next season afresh.”
NOT LAUGHING NOW
West Ham star Angelo Ogbonna claims Britain “laughed” at Italy and underestimated the impact of the coronavirus.
Italy international Ogbonna told Tuttomercatoweb about the UK reaction, saying: “Initially there was scepticism, the emergency was handled superficially.
“I think there was also an intention to try to protect the country economically after Brexit. “They underestimated a very serious, global issue. Initially they laughed at us [Italy], they thought we were exaggerating the issue.
“I live in London, but I was immediately worried about us and my family in Italy.
“I have to tell you the truth, at least in London there was concern. Empty supermarkets, fewer people around. But London is not England.”
HANG YOUR HATT-ON
Boxer-turned-Instagram comedian Ricky Hatton has once again had his fans in stitches with his latest social media post.
In what has been a dark time for the nation amid the coronavirus pandemic, Hatton, 41, has offered some light relief with his jokes online.
And in his latest, the Hitman posted a picture of himself as Del Boy from the classic British comedy Only Fools and Horses.
Hatton's head is edited onto a picture of the iconic character, played by David Jason, wearing a trademark fur coat and red jumper combo.
And the look is of course topped off with Del's classic flat cap and cigar.
TIME'S RUNNING OUT
UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin claims the 2019-20 season “is probably lost” — unless football returns by the end of June.
He is working with authorities across Europe to find a way to complete the campaign that has been halted by the coronavirus outbreak.
Ceferin told Italian newspaper La Repubblica leagues across Europe could “start again in mid-May, in mid-June or at the end of June”, adding: “Then, if we don’t succeed, the season is probably lost.”
The Slovenian said that if it took until August to complete the fixtures then the start of the 2020-21 campaign could be pushed back into the autumn.
But any long delay would require agreement about extending the contracts of players whose current deals are due to end on June 30, and about how the transfer window would work.
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