The Latest: Cypriot soccer league called off amid virus
The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
The Cypriot soccer federation has called off the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision came after a team of medical experts rejected a set of health protocols drawn up by the federation and insisted that its own guidelines are followed.
The federation said it couldn’t overcome the expert group’s demand that an entire team be quarantined for two weeks if any player tests positive for the virus.
Omonia Nicosia, Anorthosis Famagusta, APOEL Nicosia and Apollon Limassol were the top four teams in the standings when the league was suspended and will represent Cyprus next season in European tournaments.
The federation also decided that the number of teams in the first division next season will increase by two to 14. There will be no relegation this year but two teams from the second division will move up.
The first division will revert to 12 teams the following season with four teams relegated and two teams promoted.
The Russian soccer league will restart on June 21 after a break of more than three months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The league intends to pack eight rounds of games into just over one month to finish on July 22. League president Sergei Pryadkin says all games will be held in empty stadiums.
The Russian Cup will also continue with the final on July 25. That means some clubs face up to 11 games to finish the season.
A planned promotion-relegation playoff has been dropped with only the bottom two clubs in the top division relegated automatically as usual.
The league has also adopted a rule change allowing up to five substitutions per match.
The German soccer federation has delayed the restart of the men’s third-division because it doesn’t have political approval.
The third division was scheduled to resume on May 26 amid the coronavirus pandemic but the federation says that can’t happen without the go-ahead from authorities around the country. Games in the first and second divisions will resume Saturday.
The third division still has 11 rounds of games to play.
The pandemic has put several third-division clubs under strain.
Leader MSV Duisburg has financial problems and second-place Waldhof Mannheim told local newspapers on Thursday that it stopped training because it doesn’t have coronavirus tests.
Two teams are barred from playing until May 27 by the state of Saxony-Anhalt and can train only in small groups.
World Rugby has postponed July test matches involving southern and northern hemisphere nations because of ongoing restrictions on international travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
The sport’s international governing body issued a statement Friday saying the mid-year test window will be rescheduled when cross-border travel and quarantine regulations are relaxed.
New Zealand had been scheduled to play Wales and Scotland, Australia was set to play Ireland and Fiji and South Africa had planned to host Scotland and Georgia. World Rugby said the postponement is due “to ongoing government and health agency COVID-19 directives.”
Aussie rules football will kick off again on June 11, with the second round of the Australian Football League to be played almost three months after the competition was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Australian Football League chief executive Gillon McLachlan on Friday announced the matches for the next four rounds of the condensed season would be released within 10 days. The AFL, Australia’s most-watched sports league in terms of attendance and TV audience, was suspended on March 22 after one round.
Quarantine requirements and travel restrictions from some states means players and staff from the four AFL clubs from Western Australia and South Australia — the West Coast Eagles, Fremantle Dockers, Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide — will be temporarily be relocated to hubs on the Gold Coast, an hour south of Brisbane.
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