Coronavirus in sport LIVE: Premier League return LATEST, Olympics 2021 could be CANCELLED, update on UFC ‘Fight Island’ – The Sun

PREMIER LEAGUE action remains suspended due to the global coronavirus epidemic and there are fresh concerns over being able to finish the current season.

The Olympic Games may be cancelled altogether as it has been revealed chiefs are worried Tokyo event will not be able to go ahead even in 2021.

And UFC 249 has been cancelled after intervention from ESPN and Disney but we have the latest on fight plans from 'Fight Island'.

Follow all the latest news and updates as the sporting world deals with the threat of coronavirus…

  • GIANNI BE CAUTIOUS

    FIFA president Gianni Infantino has said it would be irresponsible for football to return while there is even the slightest risk to life.

    The Premier League are aiming for a return in mid-June, but the Bundesliga is ahead of the game with action set to come back by early May.

    But Infantino said: “Our first priority, our principle, the one we will use for our competitions and encourage everyone to follow is that health comes first.

    “I cannot stress this enough. No match, no competition, no league is worth risking a single human life. Everyone in the world should have this very clear in their mind.

    “It would be more than irresponsible to force competitions to resume if things are not 100 per cent safe. If we have to wait a little longer we must do so. It’s better to wait a little bit longer than to take any risks.”

  • MORNING SPORTS FANS

    The world continues to be in the grips of coronavirus – and now a leading virologist says Uefa are beginning to realise playing football again this season might be “impossible”.

    Marc Van Ranst has been a key consultant for the Belgian FA and played a key a part in their decision to immediately cancel the rest of their season last week.

    Speaking to Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, the Belgian said: “I have the impression that Uefa is starting to see that playing football is no longer possible this season.

    “No one can blame the Belgian clubs for making the decision to drop the line.

    “From the Pro League I understand that a minimum of three to four weeks of training is required before matches are possible again. Then it is unrealistic to finish the current competitions.”

    Formula One teams are voluntarily working through their 'summer break' to help make crucial ventilators for the NHS, SunSport can reveal.

    Staff at the seven UK-based F1 teams are supposed to be on their mandatory summer shut-down, normally held in August when their factories have to shut.

    F1 chiefs and team bosses agreed to move forward that period to Easter to clear the calendar for when racing is allowed to resume.

    But we can reveal that many staff have still gone to work – even those who have been placed on furlough – to help make the ventilators to help patients with the coronavirus.

    Staff at Mercedes, Red Bull, Renault, McLaren, Racing Point, Williams and Haas are part of “Project pitlane” to make the breathing apparatus.

    Meanwhile, Tottenham frontman Heung-min Son is asking fans to keep their distance when he attempts to complete his military duties in South Korea.

    Goal.com claims the Spurs star is urging supporters to follow social-distancing measures whilst he carries out his mandatory military service.

    Son, 27, is due to take part in a four-week training camp later this month.

    Restrictions have been put in place in a bid to stop the public accessing the site.

  • SUGAR: WE'RE GOING DOWN

    LORD SUGAR says English football’s finances have gone “nuts” and taken clubs to the brink of meltdown.

    And the ex-Spurs owner believes the coronavirus crisis could be a ‘devil in disguise’ because the days of ludicrous wage demands from players and agents are over.

    Sugar, 73, had ten years in charge of Spurs before selling to current owners ENIC and has long hated the way salaries and fees have sent the Premier League spiralling out of control.

    That’s why the billionaire tycoon believes the Covid-19 situation for top-flight football is dire.

    Sugar said: “I fear for some clubs. Football has just gone completely nuts as far as money is concerned. There’s a lot of problems ahead for the Premier League. The situation is dire.

    “Some clubs just simply can’t afford it. They work from hand to mouth.

    “I know it sounds ridiculous, but they spend every single penny they can on player transfers and player wages and rely upon the income coming in to pay their bills.

    “And if you stop the income coming in, then where are they going to get the money from?”

  • DAN AND OUT

    Dana White was willing to pull out all the stops to miraculously stage UFC 249 amid the coronavirus pandemic… until the highest powers at Disney got involved.

    White was due to host the event – initially set for Brooklyn – at the Tachi Palace Casino Resort in California to swerve coronavirus distancing guidelines, after New York's athletic commission banned combat sport.

    The promoter refused to cancel the show as he went to unprecedented measures to beat the odds.

    He did so despite widespread criticism including from boxing promoter Eddie Hearn who said pushing ahead with it was in “bad taste”.

    But a week out, the UFC president finally surrendered after Disney and their broadcasting company ESPN pulled the plug.

    White told ESPN: “Today we got a call from the highest level you could go at Disney and the highest level of ESPN.

    “The powers that be there asked me to stand down and not do this event.

    “It’s been an amazing partnership. ESPN has been very, very good to us and the powers that be there asked me to stand down and not do this event.”

  • EU MUST BELIEVE ME

    UEFA have turned to virologist Marc Van Ranst as they seek a way for European football to cope with the coronavirus crisis.

    Van Ranst is a key consultant for the Belgian FA – playing a part in their decision to immediately cancel the rest of their season last week.

    Club Brugge were subsequently named Pro League champions – despite the season not having finished.

    This move initially appeared to enrage Uefa and its president Aleksander Ceferin.

    The governing body threatened to ban nations from European competitions if they followed suit and voided their seasons.

    But their stance appears to have softened.

    They have now also been asking Van Ranst for his observations.

    And speaking to Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, the Belgian said: “I have the impression that UEFA is starting to see that playing football is no longer possible this season.

    “No one can blame the Belgian clubs for making the decision to drop the line.

    “From the Pro League I understand that a minimum of three to four weeks of training is required before matches are possible again. Then it is unrealistic to finish the current competitions.”

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