SPORTS NEWS: BUNDESLIGA READY TO RETURN ON MAY 9.Despite football being halted across the globe by the coronavirus pandemic with all major leagues and competitions suspended, the Bundesliga is now eager to return to action with plans to play spectator-free games in May. Germany has led the way in its approach to combating the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s intense programme of consistent testing from early on has resulted in far fewer deaths than the worst-affected countries. The German Football League (DFL), responsible for operating the Bundesliga and the second division, is determined to finish the current season. Its 36 professional clubs met on Thursday to discuss a restart of the season next month. However, Germany’s football authorities still face some huge questions before they get the green light to resume football in the country behind closed doors. “If we start on 9 May, we are ready. If it is later, we will be ready again,” DFL chief executive Christian Seifert said on Thursday. “For us, what is decisive is what the politicians will decide. It is not for us to decide when.
MOYES AND MOURINHO DELIVER FRUITS AND VEGETABLES AS VOLUNTEERS.
David Moyes and Jose Mourinho have swapped delivering team talks for delivering vegetables to help those in need during the coronavirus lockdown. West Ham United boss Moyes became a volunteer delivery driver after noticing an advert in his local grocer. His Tottenham Hotspur counterpart Mourinho is helping to grow food at the club’s training ground before it is distributed to those in the local area. “We fight this pandemic together,” said the Spurs boss.With football suspended indefinitely, Spurs have converted their Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for use by the NHS and as a food distribution centre. Fresh fruit and vegetables grown at the Premier League side’s training ground, which would usually be eaten by the players, is now being donated to the local community. Mourinho has volunteered to work at the club’s Enfield training base before transporting the food to the stadium ready for distribution.
DIAMOND LEAGUE TO HOLD NORWAY EXHIBITION BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.
The Diamond League plans to stage a behind-closed doors exhibition event in June after two meetings were called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. An event named ‘The Impossible Games’ is set to take place in Oslo on 11 June and will be televised by Norway’s public broadcaster NRK. Norway’s double world champion Karsten Warholm will attempt to break the world 400m hurdles record. Organisers said the event would conform with pandemic guidelines in Norway.
World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said: “This is really positive news for athletes and fans and promises, even in this early stage, to be another great night of athletics from the Bislett stadium.”The event will also see a pole-vault contest between world-record holder Mondo Duplantis and multiple Diamond League champion Renaud Lavillenie, though organisers stressed a full programme of competition has not yet been confirmed.
SPORTS NEWS: FERARRI LIVING IN DENIAL OVER BUDGET SAY MCLAREN.
McLaren say Ferrari are “living in denial” over their opposition to plans to lower Formula 1’s budget cap. McLaren Racing chief executive Zak Brown rejected claims by Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto that F1 should not “react in a hurry” to the coronavirus crisis. “I’m almost at a loss as to what to say to that,” Brown said. “We are going through the biggest crisis the world has seen. You have countries and industries shut down.” He added: “To not hurry to address what is going on is a critical mistake.”F1 bosses are in the middle of intense negotiations over the level at which to set the spending restriction for teams when it comes into force in 2021. A cap of $175m (£137.9m) was agreed last October and is in the rules, but teams have already agreed informally to lower that figure to $150m in 2021 and are now debating whether to reduce it further. McLaren say they would be happy with a cap of $100m, pointing out that there are a number of major exemptions to the cap, such as driver and top executive salaries and engine costs that push it many millions higher.
AUSTRIALIA RUGBY CHIEF EXECUTIVE RESIGNS.
Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle has resigned after 10 former Wallabies captains signed a letter demanding a change in leadership. Castle said she believes the board no longer wanted her in the role. She steps down amid a financial crisis in Australian rugby union that has been compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. “It has been made clear to me that the board believes my no longer being the CEO would help give them the clear air they believe they need,” Castle said. “The game is bigger than any one individual — so I told the chair (Paul McLean) that I would resign from the role.”
SPORTS NEWS: PLANNING FOR MEN AND WOMEN CRICKET WORLD CUP STILL ONGOING.
Plans to stage the men’s T20 World Cup and women’s 50-over World Cup are going ahead as scheduled according the International Cricket Council (ICC). Australia is set to host the men in October and November, with the women’s event in New Zealand in February 2021. Both countries are in lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. Cricket Australia says it is “jointly exploring all other options” in staging the T20 World Cup, but will “take the right decisions at the right time”. An ICC statement confirmed: “Planning for both events as currently scheduled is ongoing.”