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The Latest: CFL postpones start of regular season over virus

first_imgThe Latest: CFL postpones start of regular season over virus Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Canadian Football League is the latest sports league to postpone play because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Track president Kevin Flanery said in a statement that Churchill Downs is following the lead of the governor and public health officials and added, “Our team will be ready to open under the relevant guidance we are given when the time is right.”___Two of the biggest meetings in the British horse racing calendar have been postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak, despite previous hopes that the sport could return by the start of May.The Jockey Club says the Guineas Festival at Newmarket on May 2-3 and the English Derby Festival at Epsom on June 5-6 will not be staged on those dates.Organizers are looking at alternative dates for the meetings “given the importance of (them) to the careers of that generation of horses, and the racing and bloodstock industries as a whole.” The country is expected to remain under lockdown until April 26.Javier Tebas says other scenarios are also being studied. They include having the European competitions restarting only by the end of June and not conflicting with the domestic leagues.Tebas says it is very likely the league will restart with games in empty stadiums and that matches in venues with reduced capacity will also eventually be an option.The league president says it has been “impossible” to reach a deal with players on the salary reductions needed to reduce the financial impact of the crisis but he expects the majority of the clubs to reach agreements with players.___ The motorcycling series has yet to start its season. Eight MotoGP races have now been called off because of the virus.The Italian Grand Prix was scheduled for May 31 at the Mugello Circuit and would have been followed the next weekend by the race at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.Organizers say new dates for those races “cannot be confirmed until it becomes clearer when exactly it will be possible to hold the events.”___The president of the Spanish soccer league says he is not contemplating returning to action before the end of May. The KBO announced last month that it was postponing the start of its season but that it still hoped to maintain a 144-game regular-season schedule. It then said it could ban spectators from games when infection risks were high.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The Derby is the most prestigious flat race in Britain, while the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas take place at the Newmarket meeting in early May.The Jockey Club said a decision needed to be made on postponing the meetings as trainers wanted to know whether to step up preparations for the races.Racing has officially been suspended until the end of April, and the British Horseracing Authority was hoping for a resumption on May 1.___The Italian and Catalan MotoGP races have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.center_img South Korea’s professional baseball league says it hopes to start practice games between teams on April 21 before possibly opening the season in early May.The Korea Baseball Organization says the plans are contingent on the country’s coronavirus caseload continuing to slow.The KBO will advise players to wear face masks in locker rooms and require them to download smartphone apps to report their daily health status to league officials.South Korea reported 47 new cases for the second consecutive day as infections continued to wane in the worst-hit city of Daegu. Those are the smallest daily jumps since Feb. 20. The country was reporting about 500 new cases per day in early March.But there’s still concern over infections linked to passengers arriving from overseas. Associated Press “While it is now clear that the 2020 CFL season won’t start before the beginning of July, we are committed to working with our teams, the Players’ Association, (The Sports Network and its French-language sister network) to play a full season or as close as we can come to one. We recognize this may require some creativity and we are preparing for multiple scenarios.”___Churchill Downs has delayed reopening stables at the track and training center to April 28 and postponed its spring meet that was scheduled to open April 25. The track last month postponed the 146th Kentucky Derby from May 2 to Sept. 5, the first time since 1945 the race will not be run on the first Saturday in May.Churchill Downs’ stables have been closed since Dec. 31 for winter renovations and were originally scheduled to open March 17 before being delayed in response to executive orders from Gov. Andy Beshear to contain and limit the spread of COVID-19. The CFL, which was scheduled to kick off the regular season on June 11, announced Tuesday that the season won’t start before the beginning of July.“Like our fellow Canadians, we in the CFL are striving to meet today’s challenges with both pragmatism and hope,” Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. “We are pragmatic enough to see our country still has sacrifice and hard work ahead of it.”The announcement follows comments by Mayor Naheed Nenshi that Calgary’s ban on public events until June 30 includes CFL and NHL games, should those leagues resume before then.Toronto Mayor John Tory announced last week that Canada’s largest city is canceling events through June 30 that require city permission. That ban did not extend to sporting events, although provincial gathering bans would factor in.“We respect the decisions being made by the federal government, provinces and municipalities on behalf of our safety and we will continue to follow their directives,” Ambrosie said. “These include indications from Canadian cities that they will not allow sporting events to take place before the end of June. April 7, 2020last_img read more