Update on the latest sports
NFL coaches could return to team facilities next week
UNDATED (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is hopeful that coaches will be able to return to their team facilities by next week.
Goodell said following a conference call with owners Thursday that the virtual offseason is being extended for two more weeks. In a memo sent to the 32 teams and obtained by The Associated Press, he outlined the next phase of reopening of club facilities, which can begin Monday.
Ticket offices, retail shops and other “customer-facing facilities” that comply with state and local regulation can open, with limited staff.
In other news related to the coronavirus pandemic:
— Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says racing will be allowed to resume in the state without spectators. The governor says NASCAR will race at Martinsville Speedway on June 10, and that other forms of auto racing and horse racing also are cleared to resume. NASCAR was originally scheduled to make its first of two stops at Martinsville in early May, but the event was postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
— NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league’s virtual offseason is being extended for two more weeks. Goodell said after a conference call with owners yesterday that he is hopeful that coaches will be able to return to their team facilities by next week. In a memo sent to the 32 teams and obtained by The Associated Press, Goodell outlined the next phase of reopening of club facilities, which can begin Monday. Ticket offices, retail shops and other “customer-facing facilities” that comply with state and local regulation can open, with limited staff.
— Williams is considering selling its storied Formula One team because of financial problems. The Williams Grand Prix Holdings group says it is looking at a range of options as part of a “new strategic direction.” That includes selling a minority or majority stake and even “a potential sale of the whole company.” The group is in preliminary discussions with some parties regarding a potential investment in the company. Williams was founded in 1966 and is the third most successful team in the sport with nine constructors’ titles and seven drivers’ titles.
— French car manufacturer Renault (reh-NOH’) says it will stay in Formula One despite planning a large number of job cuts. Renault plans to cut 15,000 jobs as part of its financial restructuring but says the company’s presence in F1 will not be affected.
— Fans will be allowed in the stadiums when the Russian soccer league restarts next month. Spectators will be allowed to attend matches if they don’t exceed 10% of the stadium’s capacity. The Russian league previously announced it would resume games on June 21. There’s no word on what regulations would apply to the fans allowed into Russian stadiums or how the limited number of tickets would be allocated.
— Poland will allow soccer fans to attend games in limited numbers starting on June 19. Fans will only be allowed to make up 25% of the stadium’s capacity and no away supporters will be allowed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Polish league will resume on Friday in empty stadiums. No games have been played since March 9. The return of fans will be governed by special sanitary regulations worked out with the health ministry and sanitary authorities.
— The Swiss soccer league will restart on June 20 in empty stadiums. The league says the 20 clubs in the top two divisions have voted 17-2 in favor of resuming. There was one abstention. The league has been shut down since February because of the coronavirus pandemic. There are 13 rounds left in the top division and the league wants to complete the season on Aug. 2.
— The Japanese soccer league will resume on July 4 in empty stadiums. The J-League suspended play on Feb. 26 because of the coronavirus outbreak. Both soccer and baseball were able begin play after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH’-bay) lifted a state of emergency earlier in the week.
— Spanish soccer matches could have the look of a video game when the competition resumes next month. The league is contemplating adding virtual crowds to the television broadcast of matches that will be played in empty stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic. Spanish league president Javier Tebas said Friday the league is working with the possibility of giving fans an option to watch the original feed from the empty stadiums or an alternative one with crowds superimposed on the stands, similar to those in video games.
— The Pan Pacific Swimming Championships won’t be held as planned in 2022 because of a crowded international sporting schedule brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Canada was scheduled to host the quadrennial event in 2022 but instead will host in 2026. Swimming Canada says charter nations Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States “agreed to defer” the event.
— Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios will play exhibition tennis matches in Berlin in July amid the coronavirus pandemic. One exhibition event will run from July 13-15 on grass and another on a hard court in a hangar in the city’s closed Tempelhof airport from July 17-19. Each tournament will feature six men and six women. Thiem, Zverev and Kyrgios will be joined by Jannik Sinner for the men’s events. Two more players will be announced later. Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic will be in the women’s events. Two places are still to be confirmed.