Gary Lineker blasts Matt Hancock demand for footballers to rush into coronavirus pay cuts


Gary Lineker has warned against a ‘judgemental pile-on’ on footballers who have not taken a pay cut during the coronavirus crisis after Matt Hancock urged them to ‘play their part’ and use their wealth to support club staff being furloughed.

The former England striker and Match of the Day host believes that Premier League stars should not be vilified yet and said: ”I think a lot of footballers will do something’.

But he did blast his former club Spurs – one of four clubs who have furloughed non-playing staff, who will now be paid 80 per cent of their salary up to £2,500-a-month by the taxpayer when their stars remain on lucrative deals worth millions of pounds a year.

Mr Lineker said: ‘The way Tottenham have handled it I don’t think has been very good But that is a separate issue to what the players do. My inkling is that footballers will take pay cuts, they will help out in communities, they will make donations in whatever way they can, and I think we need to be a little bit patient with them.’ 

He spoke out Gary Neville has accused Matt Hancock of having a ‘f***ing cheek’ after the Health Secretary said Premier League footballers should give up some of their pay packets. 

And Tottenham MP David Lammy said: ‘It’s criminal that Premier League footballers haven’t moved more quickly to take pay cuts and deferrals. And completely wrong that taxpayers are now being asked to subsidise cleaners, caterers and security guards at these clubs instead’.

Gary Lineker has warned against a ‘judgemental pile-on’ on footballers who have not taken a pay cut during the coronavirus crisis – because he believes they will

Health minister Matt Hancock suggested Premier League footballers should take a pay cut

However, Gary Neville responded on Twitter, calling Hancock's statement 'a f****** cheek'

Health minister Matt Hancock suggested Premier League footballers should take a pay cut. However, Gary Neville responded on Twitter, calling Hancock’s statement ‘a f****** cheek’

I’ve been furloughed: What does it mean, why are companies doing this and what happens next? 

Until a fortnight ago, it’s unlikely many British workers had ever encountered the term ‘furloughed’, but now it is a concept that has been thrust into the spotlight by the coronavirus crisis.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a series of measures to cover the wages of millions of people suddenly left without work and prevent businesses going bankrupt due to the coronavirus crisis – and furloughing staff lays at the heart of it. 

Sunak said the Government will cover 80 per cent of salaries up to a ceiling of £2,500 a month – equivalent to the UK average wage of £30,000 a year.

The scheme, open to all firms with employees, will be up and running by the end of April and backdated to March 1. 

But in order to access it, businesses will have to ‘furlough’ their employees who they can no longer afford to pay. 

This term, until now more or less unknown in the UK, is suddenly popping up everywhere, with easyJet just one among the many companies announcing a two-month furlough for its cabin crew who can’t work after the company grounded all of its flights.

Here we explain what furlough means and what it entails for workers and businesses. 

What does it mean to be ‘furloughed’? 

Essentially, if you’re being furloughed by your employer, it means you’re being sent home, but will still receive 80 per cent of your salary by the Government, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

This Government job retention scheme is only for employed people, it does not apply if you are self-employed.  

However, you first need to agree to be put on furlough by your employer, who can then apply for the money to the Government. You cannot apply for it yourself.

Your employer can choose to pay the remaining 20 per cent of your wages, although it is not obliged to do so. 

If you earn more than £2,500 a month, your employer can choose to ‘top up’ your salary, but again it is not forced to do so. 

You will still continue to pay income tax and national insurance contributions while on furlough.  

Can I be furloughed if I’m on a zero-hour contract? 

Yes. Also if you’re on a flexible contract or are employed by an agency.

If you are on a zero-hour contract, which means you don’t necessarily earn the same amount each month, your employer should give you the 80 per cent of your average monthly salary since you started working.

That also applies to workers who have been employed for less than a year.

If you’ve worked for your employer for a year or more, you should receive 80 per cent of your average monthly salary, or 80 per cent of what you earned in the same month during the previous year – whichever is highest.

If you started work only in February, your employer will pro-rata your earnings from that month. But if you’ve started working on 28 February or after, you are not eligible. 

If you have been made redundant after February 28, or even if you left a job after that date, you could be reemployed under furlough if your employer is willing to do so.  Otherwise you will have to claim unemployment.  

Can I be forloughed if I’m sick? 

If you’re fallen ill and in the meantime your employer has had to shut down, you should first get statutory sick pay first, but can be furloughed after this. 

Those who are self-isolating because of coronavirus can also be placed on furlough. 

People who are ‘shielding’ and are vulnerable to potential severe illness caused by the coronavirus, can also be placed on furlough. 

At the moment, employees can be furloughed from a minimum of three weeks up to three months, although the Government may look to extend that if needed. 

Which businesses can apply?

Any company with employees can apply, including charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.  

However, the Government does not expect many public sector organisations to apply, as ‘the majority of public sector employees are continuing to provide essential public services or contribute to the response to the coronavirus outbreak’.  

Organisations who are receiving public funding specifically to provide services necessary to respond to the coronavirus outbreak are not expected to furlough staff. 

Employers can furlough staff for a minimum of three weeks and are not allowed to rotate employees on furlough. 

In order to access the scheme, businesses need to change the status of their employees to furlough workers and submit the information to HMRC.  

HMRC are currently working to set up a system for reimbursing companies. 

Mr Hancock said top-flight footballers needed to ‘make a contribution and take a pay cut,’ with many clubs facing financial difficulties due to matches being suspended, saying the stars  must: ‘Take a pay cut, play your part’. 

He said that ‘given NHS staff making the ultimate sacrifice getting into work and have caught the diseases and sadly died, I think the first thing Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution’. 

However, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said his statement was ‘a f***ing cheek, adding: ‘I wish I was a player for 10 more mins. The PL players are more than likely working on a proposal to help clubs, communities and the NHS. It takes longer than 2 weeks to put together. 

‘Matt Hancock calling them out when he can’t get tests in place for NHS staff is a [email protected]@@@@g cheek!’

Piers Morgan also piled in last night and said: ‘Will Mr Hancock & his cabinet colleagues also be taking a pay cut – or is the intention here just to shame footballers who haven’t said they won’t?’

A major row is brewing over footballers’ pay, but Gary Lineker has said that players should be given a chance to support non-playing staff before a ‘judgemental pile-on’ begins. 

Lineker told BBC Radio 4’s ‘World at One’: ‘The way Tottenham have handled it I don’t think has been very good – what they are doing to their staff I don’t agree with whatsoever.

‘But that is a separate issue to what the players do. It’s the club that has said that the players are going to carry on with their wages, but let’s see how the players react to it.’

But PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor defied the government and the Premier League last night by insisting that top-flight players would not take pay cuts to ease the financial pressure on clubs caused by the coronavirus crisis. In a strongly-worded statement that followed lengthy talks with the Premier League, EFL and League Managers Association that broke up without agreement the PFA also criticised big clubs such as Tottenham and Newcastle, who have taken advantage of the government’s job retention scheme to furlough non-playing staff at the expense of the tax payer.

The Premier League and EFL had spent the afternoon attempting to persuade the PFA to endorse a universal financial settlement package for players involving deferrals and potentially cuts ahead of today’s crucial conference call of the 20 top-flight clubs, who had hoped to rubberstamp that agreement. Sportsmail has learnt that the proposal put to the PFA involved players accepting a deferral of a fixed percentage of their salary for three months followed by a cut if football has not resumed by the middle of the summer.

The PFA have not ruled out advising players to accept deferrals, although the percentage has yet to be agreed with the figures mooted by both sides ranging from between 25 and 50 per cent, but made it clear they would not accept wage cuts. In an incendiary statement released less than an hour after health secretary Matt Hancock had called on players to ‘take a pay cut and play their part’ the PFA dismissed that suggestion out of hand.

‘Each club’s financial standing will vary,’ the statement read. ‘We are aware of the public sentiment that the players should pay non-playing staff’s salaries. However, our current position is that – as businesses – if clubs can afford to pay their players and staff, they should.’

Taylor is the highest-paid union official in the country with a salary of £2.2million and has developed a reputation as a hard-nosed negotiator, which he has had no qualms about displaying despite the country facing a national emergency and unprecedented public health crisis. In addition to refusing to bow to the increasing public pressure for pay cuts the PFA also accused clubs who have furloughed staff of damaging society simply to protect the wealth of their shareholders.

‘The players we have spoken recognise that the non-playing staff are a vital part of their club and they do not want to see club staff furloughed unfairly,’ the statement read. ‘Any use of the government’s support schemes without genuine financial need is detrimental to the wider society. In instances where clubs have the resources to pay all staff, the benefit of players paying non-playing staff salaries will only serve the business of the club’s shareholders.’

The PFA’s statement followed a day of mounting political pressure, which culminated in Hancock using part of the government’s daily press briefing to publicly call players to take a pay cut.

‘Given the sacrifices that many people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS, who have made the ultimate sacrifice getting into work and have caught the diseases and sadly died, I think the first thing Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part,’ he said.

Earlier in the day the chair of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee, Julian Knight, called on the government to impose a windfall tax on clubs who refused to cut wages.

‘We are facing an obscene situation where top players who aren’t working are continuing to see hundreds of thousands of pounds roll in each week while the staff who keep the clubs going are losing wages,’ ‘Knight said. ‘If the Premier League isn’t going to act to resolve this crisis then the government must step in by imposing a significant financial penalty on clubs to reimburse those hit hardest in the pocket. That’s why I have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak today demanding that Premier League clubs do the right thing by Tuesday next week or face the consequences.’

Tottenham MP David Lammy says it's 'criminal' that footballers aren't already supporting non-playing staff

Tottenham MP David Lammy says it’s ‘criminal’ that footballers aren’t already supporting non-playing staff

Piers Morgan is among those who believe footballers will play their part - and are being unfairly shamed before they have the chance to take a cut

Piers Morgan is among those who believe footballers will play their part – and are being unfairly shamed before they have the chance to take a cut

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust has called on Levy to make a bigger financial contribution to help the club cover non-playing staff’s wages.

It said in a statement: ‘We are aware that no football club can impose contract changes on its playing or coaching staff without agreement with the respective unions, the PFA and LMA (League Managers’ Association).

‘So the comment that THFC has chosen to cut non-playing staff wages while choosing not to cut playing staff wages is inaccurate.

‘But there is nothing to stop the club’s players making a voluntary contribution to ensure that the most vulnerable do not bear too great a burden.

‘And there is nothing to stop the club’s directors, including the chairman, making a further personal contribution on top of their 20 per cent wage cuts. Points we have made directly to the club board and will continue to do so.

‘We have made it clear that this is a course of action fans would overwhelmingly support.’

Players across Spain and Italy have agreed voluntary pay-cuts with the entire Barcelona squad, led by Lionel Messi, agreeing to 70% reductions while the coronavirus crisis continues. 

Gary Lineker blasts Matt Hancock demand for footballers to rush into coronavirus pay cuts


Gary Lineker has warned against a ‘judgemental pile-on’ on footballers who have not taken a pay cut during the coronavirus crisis after Matt Hancock urged them to ‘play their part’.

The former England striker and Match of the Day host believes that Premier League stars should not be vilified yet and said: ”I think a lot of footballers will do something’.

But he did blast his former club Spurs – one of four clubs who have furloughed non-playing staff, who will now be paid 80 per cent of their salary up to £2,500-a-month by the taxpayer when their stars remain on lucrative deals worth millions of pounds a year.

Mr Lineker said: ‘The way Tottenham have handled it I don’t think has been very good But that is a separate issue to what the players do. My inkling is that footballers will take pay cuts, they will help out in communities, they will make donations in whatever way they can, and I think we need to be a little bit patient with them.’ 

He spoke out Gary Neville has accused Matt Hancock of having a ‘f***ing cheek’ after the Health Secretary said Premier League footballers should give up some of their pay packets. 

And Tottenham MP David Lammy said: ‘It’s criminal that Premier League footballers haven’t moved more quickly to take pay cuts and deferrals. And completely wrong that taxpayers are now being asked to subsidise cleaners, caterers and security guards at these clubs instead’.

Gary Lineker has warned against a ‘judgemental pile-on’ on footballers who have not taken a pay cut during the coronavirus crisis – because he believes they will

Health minister Matt Hancock suggested Premier League footballers should take a pay cut

However, Gary Neville responded on Twitter, calling Hancock's statement 'a f****** cheek'

Health minister Matt Hancock suggested Premier League footballers should take a pay cut. However, Gary Neville responded on Twitter, calling Hancock’s statement ‘a f****** cheek’

I’ve been furloughed: What does it mean, why are companies doing this and what happens next? 

Until a fortnight ago, it’s unlikely many British workers had ever encountered the term ‘furloughed’, but now it is a concept that has been thrust into the spotlight by the coronavirus crisis.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a series of measures to cover the wages of millions of people suddenly left without work and prevent businesses going bankrupt due to the coronavirus crisis – and furloughing staff lays at the heart of it. 

Sunak said the Government will cover 80 per cent of salaries up to a ceiling of £2,500 a month – equivalent to the UK average wage of £30,000 a year.

The scheme, open to all firms with employees, will be up and running by the end of April and backdated to March 1. 

But in order to access it, businesses will have to ‘furlough’ their employees who they can no longer afford to pay. 

This term, until now more or less unknown in the UK, is suddenly popping up everywhere, with easyJet just one among the many companies announcing a two-month furlough for its cabin crew who can’t work after the company grounded all of its flights.

Here we explain what furlough means and what it entails for workers and businesses. 

What does it mean to be ‘furloughed’? 

Essentially, if you’re being furloughed by your employer, it means you’re being sent home, but will still receive 80 per cent of your salary by the Government, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

This Government job retention scheme is only for employed people, it does not apply if you are self-employed.  

However, you first need to agree to be put on furlough by your employer, who can then apply for the money to the Government. You cannot apply for it yourself.

Your employer can choose to pay the remaining 20 per cent of your wages, although it is not obliged to do so. 

If you earn more than £2,500 a month, your employer can choose to ‘top up’ your salary, but again it is not forced to do so. 

You will still continue to pay income tax and national insurance contributions while on furlough.  

Can I be furloughed if I’m on a zero-hour contract? 

Yes. Also if you’re on a flexible contract or are employed by an agency.

If you are on a zero-hour contract, which means you don’t necessarily earn the same amount each month, your employer should give you the 80 per cent of your average monthly salary since you started working.

That also applies to workers who have been employed for less than a year.

If you’ve worked for your employer for a year or more, you should receive 80 per cent of your average monthly salary, or 80 per cent of what you earned in the same month during the previous year – whichever is highest.

If you started work only in February, your employer will pro-rata your earnings from that month. But if you’ve started working on 28 February or after, you are not eligible. 

If you have been made redundant after February 28, or even if you left a job after that date, you could be reemployed under furlough if your employer is willing to do so.  Otherwise you will have to claim unemployment.  

Can I be forloughed if I’m sick? 

If you’re fallen ill and in the meantime your employer has had to shut down, you should first get statutory sick pay first, but can be furloughed after this. 

Those who are self-isolating because of coronavirus can also be placed on furlough. 

People who are ‘shielding’ and are vulnerable to potential severe illness caused by the coronavirus, can also be placed on furlough. 

At the moment, employees can be furloughed from a minimum of three weeks up to three months, although the Government may look to extend that if needed. 

Which businesses can apply?

Any company with employees can apply, including charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.  

However, the Government does not expect many public sector organisations to apply, as ‘the majority of public sector employees are continuing to provide essential public services or contribute to the response to the coronavirus outbreak’.  

Organisations who are receiving public funding specifically to provide services necessary to respond to the coronavirus outbreak are not expected to furlough staff. 

Employers can furlough staff for a minimum of three weeks and are not allowed to rotate employees on furlough. 

In order to access the scheme, businesses need to change the status of their employees to furlough workers and submit the information to HMRC.  

HMRC are currently working to set up a system for reimbursing companies. 

Mr Hancock said top-flight footballers needed to ‘make a contribution and take a pay cut,’ with many clubs facing financial difficulties due to matches being suspended, saying the stars  must: ‘Take a pay cut, play your part’. 

He said that ‘given NHS staff making the ultimate sacrifice getting into work and have caught the diseases and sadly died, I think the first thing Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution’. 

However, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said his statement was ‘a f***ing cheek, adding: ‘I wish I was a player for 10 more mins. The PL players are more than likely working on a proposal to help clubs, communities and the NHS. It takes longer than 2 weeks to put together. 

‘Matt Hancock calling them out when he can’t get tests in place for NHS staff is a [email protected]@@@@g cheek!’

Piers Morgan also piled in last night and said: ‘Will Mr Hancock & his cabinet colleagues also be taking a pay cut – or is the intention here just to shame footballers who haven’t said they won’t?’

A major row is brewing over footballers’ pay, but Gary Lineker has said that players should be given a chance to support non-playing staff before a ‘judgemental pile-on’ begins. 

Lineker told BBC Radio 4’s ‘World at One’: ‘The way Tottenham have handled it I don’t think has been very good – what they are doing to their staff I don’t agree with whatsoever.

‘But that is a separate issue to what the players do. It’s the club that has said that the players are going to carry on with their wages, but let’s see how the players react to it.’

But PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor defied the government and the Premier League last night by insisting that top-flight players would not take pay cuts to ease the financial pressure on clubs caused by the coronavirus crisis. In a strongly-worded statement that followed lengthy talks with the Premier League, EFL and League Managers Association that broke up without agreement the PFA also criticised big clubs such as Tottenham and Newcastle, who have taken advantage of the government’s job retention scheme to furlough non-playing staff at the expense of the tax payer.

The Premier League and EFL had spent the afternoon attempting to persuade the PFA to endorse a universal financial settlement package for players involving deferrals and potentially cuts ahead of today’s crucial conference call of the 20 top-flight clubs, who had hoped to rubberstamp that agreement. Sportsmail has learnt that the proposal put to the PFA involved players accepting a deferral of a fixed percentage of their salary for three months followed by a cut if football has not resumed by the middle of the summer.

The PFA have not ruled out advising players to accept deferrals, although the percentage has yet to be agreed with the figures mooted by both sides ranging from between 25 and 50 per cent, but made it clear they would not accept wage cuts. In an incendiary statement released less than an hour after health secretary Matt Hancock had called on players to ‘take a pay cut and play their part’ the PFA dismissed that suggestion out of hand.

‘Each club’s financial standing will vary,’ the statement read. ‘We are aware of the public sentiment that the players should pay non-playing staff’s salaries. However, our current position is that – as businesses – if clubs can afford to pay their players and staff, they should.’

Taylor is the highest-paid union official in the country with a salary of £2.2million and has developed a reputation as a hard-nosed negotiator, which he has had no qualms about displaying despite the country facing a national emergency and unprecedented public health crisis. In addition to refusing to bow to the increasing public pressure for pay cuts the PFA also accused clubs who have furloughed staff of damaging society simply to protect the wealth of their shareholders.

‘The players we have spoken recognise that the non-playing staff are a vital part of their club and they do not want to see club staff furloughed unfairly,’ the statement read. ‘Any use of the government’s support schemes without genuine financial need is detrimental to the wider society. In instances where clubs have the resources to pay all staff, the benefit of players paying non-playing staff salaries will only serve the business of the club’s shareholders.’

The PFA’s statement followed a day of mounting political pressure, which culminated in Hancock using part of the government’s daily press briefing to publicly call players to take a pay cut.

‘Given the sacrifices that many people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS, who have made the ultimate sacrifice getting into work and have caught the diseases and sadly died, I think the first thing Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part,’ he said.

Earlier in the day the chair of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee, Julian Knight, called on the government to impose a windfall tax on clubs who refused to cut wages.

‘We are facing an obscene situation where top players who aren’t working are continuing to see hundreds of thousands of pounds roll in each week while the staff who keep the clubs going are losing wages,’ ‘Knight said. ‘If the Premier League isn’t going to act to resolve this crisis then the government must step in by imposing a significant financial penalty on clubs to reimburse those hit hardest in the pocket. That’s why I have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak today demanding that Premier League clubs do the right thing by Tuesday next week or face the consequences.’

Tottenham MP David Lammy says it's 'criminal' that footballers aren't already supporting non-playing staff

Tottenham MP David Lammy says it’s ‘criminal’ that footballers aren’t already supporting non-playing staff

Piers Morgan is among those

Piers Morgan is among those 

Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust has called on Levy to make a bigger financial contribution to help the club cover non-playing staff’s wages.

It said in a statement: ‘We are aware that no football club can impose contract changes on its playing or coaching staff without agreement with the respective unions, the PFA and LMA (League Managers’ Association).

‘So the comment that THFC has chosen to cut non-playing staff wages while choosing not to cut playing staff wages is inaccurate.

‘But there is nothing to stop the club’s players making a voluntary contribution to ensure that the most vulnerable do not bear too great a burden.

‘And there is nothing to stop the club’s directors, including the chairman, making a further personal contribution on top of their 20 per cent wage cuts. Points we have made directly to the club board and will continue to do so.

‘We have made it clear that this is a course of action fans would overwhelmingly support.’

Players across Spain and Italy have agreed voluntary pay-cuts with the entire Barcelona squad, led by Lionel Messi, agreeing to 70% reductions while the coronavirus crisis continues. 

Premier League club suggests possibility of finishing current season in China 


2020 OLYMPIC GAMES  

The 2020 Olympic Games has been postponed until 2021 on March 24 – becoming one of the last major sporting events this summer to fall victim to the coronavirus.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe held a crucial conference call with Olympics chief Thomas Bach on Tuesday to formally decide a plan and they have chosen to postpone for 12 months.

The decision also means the Tokyo Paralympic Games will be subject to a one-year delay.

Despite the delay, the name of the delayed Games will still be Tokyo 2020, the city’s governor Yuriko Koike revealed.

A joint statement from the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organising committee read: ‘In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

‘The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. 

‘Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.’ 

There was plenty of scepticism whether the Olympics would pull through and continue as scheduled while events linked to the games were called off. The Olympic torch relay in Greece was cancelled on Friday March 13 – just a day after the flame was lit in Olympia.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed by one year due to the coronavirus

Large crowds mobbed Hollywood actor Gerard Butler as he lit the cauldron in the Greek city of Sparta despite repeated warnings for spectators not to attend because of coronavirus.

That forced the decision by the Greek Olympic Committee to halt the torch relay on Greek soil on just the second day of its scheduled eight-day journey. It is the only the third time that a relay to Athens for the summer Games has not been completed.

The Olympic flame will still be handed over to the Tokyo 2020 organising committee at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Thursday March 19, but without fans present. 

Athletes were told to keep training but many struggled considering the government lock-down measures put in place. 

On Friday March 13 US president Donald Trump’s suggestion to postpone the Tokyo Olympics for a year because of the coronavirus was immediately shot down by Japan’s Olympic minister.

‘The IOC and the organising committee are not considering cancellation or a postponement – absolutely not at all,’ Seiko Hashimoto, an Olympic bronze medalist, told a news conference in Tokyo.

On Tuesday March 17, Kozo Tashima, one of the Japanese Olympic Committee’s vice presidents and president of the Japanese Football Association, tested positive for coronavirus.  

The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organisers have stayed on message since the viral outbreak in China three months ago spread across Asia and then the globe: The games will open as scheduled on July 24. 

Tokyo 2020 organisers received the Olympic flame in a scaled-down handover ceremony in the Greek capital on March 19. 

ATHLETICS 

The World Athletics Indoor Championships, which was due to be held from March 13-15 in Nanjing, is postponed until March 2021.

The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China, has been postponed due to concerns over the danger of the coronavirus and its ability to spread

The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China, has been postponed due to concerns over the danger of the coronavirus and its ability to spread

North Korea cancelled the Pyongyang Marathon scheduled for April after imposing a border lockdown due to the level of outbreak in South Korea, where the Seoul Marathon is cancelled in a bid to protect runners.

The Paris half-marathon is cancelled and the French government also decided to ban all public gatherings of more than 100 people, before ordering people to stay at home from March 15 for at least 15 days. The race involving some 44,000 competitors was scheduled for Sunday March 1. Organisers said the race will be postponed to a date yet to be determined.

The London Marathon, which had been scheduled to take place on April 26, has been postponed until October 4. Over 40,000 runners were due to take part. 

The Barcelona marathon scheduled for March 15 has been postponed until October.

BOXING 

Olympic boxing qualifiers to be staged in Wuhan were cancelled by the International Olympic Committee, but went ahead in Amman from March 3-11.

The IBF title fight between Daniele Scardina and Andrew Francillette in Milan on February 28 was postponed by Matchroom due to restrictions in Italy following the outbreak.

The Japanese boxing commission cancelled all fight cards scheduled for March on government advice to suspend all pending sporting fixtures. They will not be rescheduled.

Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce's Battle of Britain has been pushed back from April to July

Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce’s Battle of Britain has been pushed back from April to July

The British Boxing Board of Control announced on Tuesday March 17 that all boxing events under their jurisdiction for March will be postponed due to the coronavirus.

That decision has lead to the heavyweight clash between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce being postponed. That fight, which had been penciled in for April 11, has been rescheduled for July 11 at the O2 Arena. 

Anthony Yarde, who was due to fight Lyndon Arthur on the undercard of the all-British clash, announced on March 29 that his father had died as a result of contracting the coronavirus. 

He revealed in an Instagram post that he had no underlying health issues and urged everyone to stay at home.  

Matchroom Boxing has also postponed all events scheduled for March and April, including Josh Kelly’s European title fight against Russia’s David Avanesyan (scheduled for March 28). 

The European Olympic boxing qualification tournament in London has been suspended. It was due to secure qualification for Tokyo 2020 for 77 male and female boxers, with 322 taking part. 

Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn has said Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev, which is scheduled for June 20, could be rearranged for July. All Matchroom promoted fights in March and April have been postponed. 

Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders, earmarked for May in Las Vegas, was postponed before even being announced, however the Mexican is reportedly still planning to make the bout happen in June. 

CRICKET 

England’s tour of Sri Lanka was postponed on March 13, with the England and Wales Cricket Board citing ‘completely unprecedented times’.

The decision was confirmed while Joe Root’s side were in the field at Colombo’s P Sara Oval, contesting a warm-up game for a two-Test series.

On March 18, the West Indies offered to host England’s upcoming home Tests against them in the Caribbean instead of in the UK – should the coronavirus outbreak not have improved by then. England are due to face the Windies in a a three-Test series, which is due to start at the Oval on June 4 but could be delayed until September. If playing the series in England proves unworkable, CWI have offered to step in for this series, and also for England’s three Tests against Pakistan, due to start on July 30. Although there are Covid-19 cases in the Caribbean, its impact there has been limited so far. 

The start of the Indian Premier League season has also been delayed until April 15. The 2020 campaign had been set to start on March 29. The IPL franchises are also ready to quarantine their foreign players for a period of 14 days, if travel restrictions are lifted to allow them to arrive.

On March 13, India’s ongoing one-day international series against South Africa was postponed, while Australia’s one-day internationals against New Zealand will be played behind closed doors.

Scotland’s one-day series against the United States and UAE have been postponed. The games were scheduled to be played in Florida in April. 

England’s cricketers would not play any rescheduled Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean until December at the earliest, it emerged on March 19.

CYCLING 

Cycling’s Giro d’Italia has been called off, with the race scheduled to start in Hungary in May. 

The final two stages of the UAE Tour were cancelled after two members of staff on the race were suspected of having the disease. 

Danish cyclist Michael Morkov was tested for coronavirus after being put in isolation

Danish cyclist Michael Morkov was tested for coronavirus after being put in isolation

The Tour de France is under threat of cancellation, with the scheduled start in Nice taking place in just over three months, on June 27. With British and French governments anticipating that the pandemic will last until the summer, race organizers are studying alternative scheduling. 

The Paris-Roubaix cycling race, another major event on the French sports calendar, was postponed due to the pandemic, while the April 5 Tour of Flanders, only previously cancelled during World War I, was also postponed in a further sign that Le Tour is under grave threat.

FOOTBALL 

This summer’s Euro 2020 tournament has been moved to next summer (2021) following a UEFA conference held on March 17. The postponement provides a chance for European club competitions to be completed.

All football in England is suspended until at least April 30 – but the 2019-20 season should eventually be completed after the FA bend their own rules to extend the campaign INDEFINITELY after holding crisis talks on March 19.

The decisions to suspend follows players and staff becoming affected by the virus, or individuals self-isolating as a precaution after reporting symptoms consistent with Covid-19.

The Premier League has moved to cancel games following the global outbreak of coronavius

The Premier League has moved to cancel games following the global outbreak of coronavius

The Premier League clash between Manchester City and Arsenal, scheduled for March 11, had already been postponed as a ‘precautionary measure’ after Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis tested positive for coronavirus weeks after watching his Greek team play at the Emirates Stadium. 

On March 13, UEFA announced all Champions League and Europa League fixtures scheduled are postponed, as well as the quarter-final draws for both competitions. UEFA hope to conclude the competitions in the summer but no dates are yet set. 

Birmingham City become the first Championship side to see players take temporary 50 per cent wage cuts to ease financial pressure.  Leeds United soon followed in a bid to keep paying all of their non-football staff. 

All Chinese domestic fixtures at all levels were postponed and the season pushed back, the first football to be affected by the outbreak in the country of its origin. However, reports suggest that the league could resume on April 18 as China gets to grip with the virus.

Asian Champions League matches involving Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG are postponed until April.

The start of the Korean K-League season is postponed. The four teams in the AFC Champions League are playing their matches behind closed doors.

Japan’s J-League postponed all domestic games until the middle of March, but further delays are inevitable. 

Ludogorets players were taking no chances after the coronavirus outbreak in Italy

Ludogorets players were taking no chances after the coronavirus outbreak in Italy

Italy, the country worst hit by the virus outside China, suffered a spate of cancellations before the government put the population on lockdown. All sport, including Serie A games, were suspended until at least April 3 to contain the virus.

In France, it was announced on Friday 13 March that there will be no top-flight football in France for the immediate future after their governing body postponed all matches.  

In Spain, April 18’s Copa del Rey final between between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad has been postponed. LaLiga is also postponed until the end of March at least.

Germany’s Bundesliga, the other major European league, is also suspended until April 3 at least. 

The Dutch Eredivisie and Portugal’s Primeira Liga are also suspended.

The Football Association of Ireland announced that all football under its jurisdiction will cease until March 29. 

Major League Soccer has been suspended for 30 days until mid-April with David Beckham’s first Inter Miami home game delayed.  

The South American Football Confederation postponed this year’s Copa America, due to take place from 12 June to 12 July, until 2021.

FIFA said that the newly-expanded Club World Cup, originally scheduled to take place in China in June 2021, will be postponed and a new date announced when ‘there is more clarity on the situation’.

On March 13, the FA announced that all of England’s games scheduled for the month would be postponed, including those of development teams. It means that England’s friendlies with Italy and Denmark have been called off.    

Euro 2020 play-off matches due to be held on March 26, including Scotland v Israel have been put off until June. 

Olympiakos' owner Evangelos Marinakis has tested positive for the coronavirus

Olympiakos’ owner Evangelos Marinakis has tested positive for the coronavirus

Manchester United clash at Austrian side Lask was behind closed doors, with United handing out £350 to each fan to help with travel and accommodation after they sold 900 tickets for the Europa League game. 

Newcastle United banned their players from shaking hands with each other amid coronavirus fears. 

Cristiano Ronaldo went into isolation in Madeira after it emerged that his Juventus team-mate, Daniele Rugani, has coronavirus. Squad members Blaise Matuidi and Paolo Dybala also tested positive. 

Elsewhere in Italy, Fiorentina striker Patrick Cutrone, who is on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, tested positive for coronavirus.

In Spain, 35% of Valencia’s squad staff tested positive for coronavirus, with all cases being asymptomatic. 

Real Madrid’s first-team squad were in quarantine after a member of the basketball team tested positive for Covid-19. The two teams share the same training facility.   

Liverpool have announced a charity match between a Reds Legends side and Barcelona Legends, due to be played at Anfield on March 28, has been postponed.

FIFA says it will postpone South American World Cup qualifying matches due to take place in March. 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus on March 12 with the entire first-team squad being put into isolation. The Gunners’ game against Brighton, scheduled for Saturday March 14, has been postponed.

In the early hours of Friday, March 13, Chelsea announced that winger Callum Hudson-Odoi had been diagnosed with the illness.

The club’s first team went into self-isolation, while two buildings at their training ground in Cobham were closed. 

Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Manchester City, have sent players home to train alone following the British government’s increasing crackdown on mass gatherings and unnecessary social contact.   

West Ham chief Karren Brady called for the season to be null and void while Aston Villa believe no team should be relegated. In this situation Liverpool, the runaway league leaders, could face the horror of being denied the title despite being on the brink of securing their first league trophy in nearly 30 years.

Reports suggest football bodies across England and the rest of Europe are bracing themselves for a reported total shutdown of every league until September.

Top-level English and Scottish football was initially suspended until April 3 at the earliest. The Football Association, the Premier League, the English Football League, FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship all agreed to call a halt to competitive action with immediate effect. 

All levels of English football below the National League North and South have been called off and voided with no promotion and relegation due to the calendar being decimated by the coronavirus outbreak.  

FORMULA ONE 

The season-opening Australian Grand Prix was called off after a McLaren team member came down with Covid-19, leading to the British team pulling out prior to a decision being made on whether the race would still go ahead. 

The announcement came hours after Lewis Hamilton said it was ‘shocking’ that the race was going ahead. 

The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 19 was the first race to be postponed, with no decision over whether it will be reinserted into the 2020 calendar for later in the season. 

The Bahrain Grand Prix, scheduled for March 20-22, is also called off, as is the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix, which was scheduled to take place in Hanoi on April 5. 

It was hoped that the Dutch Grand Prix on May 3 would be the first race of the new season but that has also been postponed due to Covid-19. 

The iconic Monaco Grand Prix on May 24 was cancelled for the first time in 66 years before Formula One announced their race in Azerbaijan had been postponed. 

The Chinese GP was first to be cancelled and other races could yet follow that lead

The Chinese GP was first to be cancelled and other races could yet follow that lead

GOLF 

On March 13, the Masters was postponed. In a statement released online, Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, emphasised that the decision makers hope to hold the championship ‘at some later date’. The first men’s major of the year was due to begin on April 9.

The US PGA Championship, the second major of the year, has now joined the  Masters in being postponed. It had been due to take place at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco from May 11-17, but has been rescheduled for later this summer.

After deciding to play with no spectators from the second round of the Players Championship onwards, the PGA Tour cancelled the event entirely after the first round on March 12. 

They also scrapped the following three events leading up to the Masters, but after that was cancelled four further events in April and May – the RBC Heritage, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Wells Fargo Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson – also bit the dust. It is hoped that the season can be resumed in late May.

The European Tour have cancelled all tournaments until the popular Made in Denmark event on May 21. Many of them were due to be held in China or east Asia in countries badly hit by the outbreak.

The women’s game has also been hit by postponements and cancellations, with the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration, the highest profile casualty.

The Masters has been postponed for the first time since the Second World War

The Masters has been postponed for the first time since the Second World War

Lorenzo Gagli and Edoardo Molinari were withdrawn from the Oman Open on medical grounds after Gagli showed symptoms of the virus. He shared a hotel room with Molinari and he was told to self-isolate. They were later reinstated to the tournament after testing negative for the virus. 

HORSE RACING 

The Grand National was called off following new British government restrictions to fight the spread of coronavirus made it impossible to stage the Aintree showpiece on April 4. The Cheltenham Festival went ahead amid some criticism before the social distancing measures were tightened. 

The Japan Racing Association revealed that ‘government-sanctioned races’ will go ahead behind closed doors.  

Racing in Ireland attempted to take place behind closed doors starting on March 29 – but that decision was changed after government cancelled all sporting events.  

The Dubai World Cup meeting will go ahead on March 28 ‘without paid hospitality spectators’. 

Racing Post forced to temporarily suspend publication of the flagship daily racing newspaper for the first time since their inception in 1986 due to all action in UK and Ireland being suspended.  

The Cheltenham Festival went ahead despite travel disruption caused by the virus

The Cheltenham Festival went ahead despite travel disruption caused by the virus

RUGBY 

This year’s Six Nations will have to wait for its conclusion with all remaining games postponed.

England’s game with Italy and Ireland’s trip to France had already been called off with Wales and Scotland leaving it until the day before before calling off their game. 

Saturday, 31 October is a possible date for the final weekend of matches. 

The Women’s Six Nations has also been hit by postponements.

Ireland's Six Nations encounter with Italy on March 7 has been postponed

Ireland’s Six Nations encounter with Italy on March 7 has been postponed

The RFU has suspended all levels of rugby in England until April 14, with the announcement coming shortly after the Premiership was halted for five weeks. 

The quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have also been postponed. Those games were scheduled for April 3, 4 and 5.   

The RFL and rugby league’s Super League have now followed suit and postponed all fixtures for at least three weeks. Eight Leeds Rhinos players had been confirmed to be self-isolating.  

TENNIS

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II as All England Club chiefs called the tournament off at an emergency meeting.

It was considered impossible for the tournament to be moved back to later in the year, or to be played without fans, and so chiefs have pulled the plug entirely.

This is the first time that Wimbledon will not be staged since 1945. Only one Grand Slam has missed a year since the war, the 1986 Australian Open, and that was for the technical reason of the date shifting forward from December into January. 

The French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, is postponed until September amid a wide lockdown in France.

The clay-court major was scheduled for May 24 to June 7, but that has shifted to September 20 to October 4, after the US Open, which was due to be the final major of the year. 

Players have been quick to criticise the move, which has created a conflict with the Laver Cup men’s team event spearheaded by Roger Federer, and a women’s tournament in China.

All events on the ATP Tour have been suspended for six weeks. 

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in California, set to start on March 9, was postponed at the eleventh hour.  It came after a confirmed case of the coronavirus in the nearby Coachella Valley.

The final of an ATP Challenger event in Bergamo, Italy, between Enzo Couacaud and Illya Marchenko of Ukraine was cancelled. Both players received ranking points and prize money for getting to the final. They were denied the opportunity to play behind closed doors.

China forfeited a Davis Cup tie because the men’s team were unable to travel to Romania for the March 6-7 play-off.

WTA events have also been cancelled. The WTA announced they are assessing their schedule with a number of events set for China in the second half of the season.

The International Tennis Federation has announced that the Fed Cup finals have been postponed. The event was due to be held in Budapest in April and the competition’s play-offs, which were set to take place in eight different locations, have also been placed on hold.

The WTA also announced no tournaments will be staged for at least five weeks.   

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II

OTHER SPORTS 

The NBA has been suspended indefinitely after two Utah Jazz players contracted the virus. On March 17 Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant confirmed he had tested positive for the virus alongside three unnamed team-mates.

In an aid to decrease risks of exposure to the virus, the NBA had told players to avoid taking items such as pens, markers, balls and jerseys from autograph seekers. 

The NHL has announced it has paused the 2019-20 season with no date confirmed for when it will resume. 

The UFC has cancelled its next three events, although president Dana White is still pushing ahead for the highly-anticipated lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. 

MotoGP have cancelled their first two races of the season in Qatar and Thailand. 

South Korea’s baseball league cancelled all 50 pre-season game which were slated to take place from March 14-24. It is the first time since the leagues inception in 1982 that an entire set of exhibition matches are off. 

The first-stage draw for the Table Tennis World Championships, scheduled for South Korea from March 22-29, is postponed.

A beach volleyball tournament, due to be held in Yangzhou from April 22-26, is postponed until after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

World Short track speed skating championship in Seoul is cancelled.

The World Triathlon Series event in Abu Dhabi was postponed as a precautionary measure.  

The Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships in Canada have been cancelled.   

All 72 pre-season baseball games in Japan are to take place behind closed doors

All 72 pre-season baseball games in Japan are to take place behind closed doors

In badminton, the German Open (March 3-8), Vietnam Open (March 24-29) and Polish Open (March 26-29), all Olympic qualifying events, are cancelled due to ‘strict health protection’. 

The Japanese professional baseball league made the decision to play their 72 pre-season games behind closed doors until March 15. Baseball is among the most popular sports in Japan.  

Doubts remain as the Asian weightlifting championships, scheduled for March, are relocated from Kazakhstan to neighbouring Uzbekistan. They could still be postponed. 

Coronavirus UK: Gary Neville slams Matt Hancock for calling for footballer pay cuts


2020 OLYMPIC GAMES  

The 2020 Olympic Games has been postponed until 2021 on March 24 – becoming one of the last major sporting events this summer to fall victim to the coronavirus.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe held a crucial conference call with Olympics chief Thomas Bach on Tuesday to formally decide a plan and they have chosen to postpone for 12 months.

The decision also means the Tokyo Paralympic Games will be subject to a one-year delay.

Despite the delay, the name of the delayed Games will still be Tokyo 2020, the city’s governor Yuriko Koike revealed.

A joint statement from the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organising committee read: ‘In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

‘The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. 

‘Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.’ 

There was plenty of scepticism whether the Olympics would pull through and continue as scheduled while events linked to the games were called off. The Olympic torch relay in Greece was cancelled on Friday March 13 – just a day after the flame was lit in Olympia.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed by one year due to the coronavirus

Large crowds mobbed Hollywood actor Gerard Butler as he lit the cauldron in the Greek city of Sparta despite repeated warnings for spectators not to attend because of coronavirus.

That forced the decision by the Greek Olympic Committee to halt the torch relay on Greek soil on just the second day of its scheduled eight-day journey. It is the only the third time that a relay to Athens for the summer Games has not been completed.

The Olympic flame will still be handed over to the Tokyo 2020 organising committee at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Thursday March 19, but without fans present. 

Athletes were told to keep training but many struggled considering the government lock-down measures put in place. 

On Friday March 13 US president Donald Trump’s suggestion to postpone the Tokyo Olympics for a year because of the coronavirus was immediately shot down by Japan’s Olympic minister.

‘The IOC and the organising committee are not considering cancellation or a postponement – absolutely not at all,’ Seiko Hashimoto, an Olympic bronze medalist, told a news conference in Tokyo.

On Tuesday March 17, Kozo Tashima, one of the Japanese Olympic Committee’s vice presidents and president of the Japanese Football Association, tested positive for coronavirus.  

The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organisers have stayed on message since the viral outbreak in China three months ago spread across Asia and then the globe: The games will open as scheduled on July 24. 

Tokyo 2020 organisers received the Olympic flame in a scaled-down handover ceremony in the Greek capital on March 19. 

ATHLETICS 

The World Athletics Indoor Championships, which was due to be held from March 13-15 in Nanjing, is postponed until March 2021.

The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China, has been postponed due to concerns over the danger of the coronavirus and its ability to spread

The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China, has been postponed due to concerns over the danger of the coronavirus and its ability to spread

North Korea cancelled the Pyongyang Marathon scheduled for April after imposing a border lockdown due to the level of outbreak in South Korea, where the Seoul Marathon is cancelled in a bid to protect runners.

The Paris half-marathon is cancelled and the French government also decided to ban all public gatherings of more than 100 people, before ordering people to stay at home from March 15 for at least 15 days. The race involving some 44,000 competitors was scheduled for Sunday March 1. Organisers said the race will be postponed to a date yet to be determined.

The London Marathon, which had been scheduled to take place on April 26, has been postponed until October 4. Over 40,000 runners were due to take part. 

The Barcelona marathon scheduled for March 15 has been postponed until October.

BOXING 

Olympic boxing qualifiers to be staged in Wuhan were cancelled by the International Olympic Committee, but went ahead in Amman from March 3-11.

The IBF title fight between Daniele Scardina and Andrew Francillette in Milan on February 28 was postponed by Matchroom due to restrictions in Italy following the outbreak.

The Japanese boxing commission cancelled all fight cards scheduled for March on government advice to suspend all pending sporting fixtures. They will not be rescheduled.

Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce's Battle of Britain has been pushed back from April to July

Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce’s Battle of Britain has been pushed back from April to July

The British Boxing Board of Control announced on Tuesday March 17 that all boxing events under their jurisdiction for March will be postponed due to the coronavirus.

That decision has lead to the heavyweight clash between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce being postponed. That fight, which had been penciled in for April 11, has been rescheduled for July 11 at the O2 Arena. 

Anthony Yarde, who was due to fight Lyndon Arthur on the undercard of the all-British clash, announced on March 29 that his father had died as a result of contracting the coronavirus. 

He revealed in an Instagram post that he had no underlying health issues and urged everyone to stay at home.  

Matchroom Boxing has also postponed all events scheduled for March and April, including Josh Kelly’s European title fight against Russia’s David Avanesyan (scheduled for March 28). 

The European Olympic boxing qualification tournament in London has been suspended. It was due to secure qualification for Tokyo 2020 for 77 male and female boxers, with 322 taking part. 

Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn has said Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev, which is scheduled for June 20, could be rearranged for July. All Matchroom promoted fights in March and April have been postponed. 

Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders, earmarked for May in Las Vegas, was postponed before even being announced, however the Mexican is reportedly still planning to make the bout happen in June. 

CRICKET 

England’s tour of Sri Lanka was postponed on March 13, with the England and Wales Cricket Board citing ‘completely unprecedented times’.

The decision was confirmed while Joe Root’s side were in the field at Colombo’s P Sara Oval, contesting a warm-up game for a two-Test series.

On March 18, the West Indies offered to host England’s upcoming home Tests against them in the Caribbean instead of in the UK – should the coronavirus outbreak not have improved by then. England are due to face the Windies in a a three-Test series, which is due to start at the Oval on June 4 but could be delayed until September. If playing the series in England proves unworkable, CWI have offered to step in for this series, and also for England’s three Tests against Pakistan, due to start on July 30. Although there are Covid-19 cases in the Caribbean, its impact there has been limited so far. 

The start of the Indian Premier League season has also been delayed until April 15. The 2020 campaign had been set to start on March 29. The IPL franchises are also ready to quarantine their foreign players for a period of 14 days, if travel restrictions are lifted to allow them to arrive.

On March 13, India’s ongoing one-day international series against South Africa was postponed, while Australia’s one-day internationals against New Zealand will be played behind closed doors.

Scotland’s one-day series against the United States and UAE have been postponed. The games were scheduled to be played in Florida in April. 

England’s cricketers would not play any rescheduled Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean until December at the earliest, it emerged on March 19.

CYCLING 

Cycling’s Giro d’Italia has been called off, with the race scheduled to start in Hungary in May. 

The final two stages of the UAE Tour were cancelled after two members of staff on the race were suspected of having the disease. 

Danish cyclist Michael Morkov was tested for coronavirus after being put in isolation

Danish cyclist Michael Morkov was tested for coronavirus after being put in isolation

The Tour de France is under threat of cancellation, with the scheduled start in Nice taking place in just over three months, on June 27. With British and French governments anticipating that the pandemic will last until the summer, race organizers are studying alternative scheduling. 

The Paris-Roubaix cycling race, another major event on the French sports calendar, was postponed due to the pandemic, while the April 5 Tour of Flanders, only previously cancelled during World War I, was also postponed in a further sign that Le Tour is under grave threat.

FOOTBALL 

This summer’s Euro 2020 tournament has been moved to next summer (2021) following a UEFA conference held on March 17. The postponement provides a chance for European club competitions to be completed.

All football in England is suspended until at least April 30 – but the 2019-20 season should eventually be completed after the FA bend their own rules to extend the campaign INDEFINITELY after holding crisis talks on March 19.

The decisions to suspend follows players and staff becoming affected by the virus, or individuals self-isolating as a precaution after reporting symptoms consistent with Covid-19.

The Premier League has moved to cancel games following the global outbreak of coronavius

The Premier League has moved to cancel games following the global outbreak of coronavius

The Premier League clash between Manchester City and Arsenal, scheduled for March 11, had already been postponed as a ‘precautionary measure’ after Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis tested positive for coronavirus weeks after watching his Greek team play at the Emirates Stadium. 

On March 13, UEFA announced all Champions League and Europa League fixtures scheduled are postponed, as well as the quarter-final draws for both competitions. UEFA hope to conclude the competitions in the summer but no dates are yet set. 

Birmingham City become the first Championship side to see players take temporary 50 per cent wage cuts to ease financial pressure.  Leeds United soon followed in a bid to keep paying all of their non-football staff. 

All Chinese domestic fixtures at all levels were postponed and the season pushed back, the first football to be affected by the outbreak in the country of its origin. However, reports suggest that the league could resume on April 18 as China gets to grip with the virus.

Asian Champions League matches involving Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG are postponed until April.

The start of the Korean K-League season is postponed. The four teams in the AFC Champions League are playing their matches behind closed doors.

Japan’s J-League postponed all domestic games until the middle of March, but further delays are inevitable. 

Ludogorets players were taking no chances after the coronavirus outbreak in Italy

Ludogorets players were taking no chances after the coronavirus outbreak in Italy

Italy, the country worst hit by the virus outside China, suffered a spate of cancellations before the government put the population on lockdown. All sport, including Serie A games, were suspended until at least April 3 to contain the virus.

In France, it was announced on Friday 13 March that there will be no top-flight football in France for the immediate future after their governing body postponed all matches.  

In Spain, April 18’s Copa del Rey final between between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad has been postponed. LaLiga is also postponed until the end of March at least.

Germany’s Bundesliga, the other major European league, is also suspended until April 3 at least. 

The Dutch Eredivisie and Portugal’s Primeira Liga are also suspended.

The Football Association of Ireland announced that all football under its jurisdiction will cease until March 29. 

Major League Soccer has been suspended for 30 days until mid-April with David Beckham’s first Inter Miami home game delayed.  

The South American Football Confederation postponed this year’s Copa America, due to take place from 12 June to 12 July, until 2021.

FIFA said that the newly-expanded Club World Cup, originally scheduled to take place in China in June 2021, will be postponed and a new date announced when ‘there is more clarity on the situation’.

On March 13, the FA announced that all of England’s games scheduled for the month would be postponed, including those of development teams. It means that England’s friendlies with Italy and Denmark have been called off.    

Euro 2020 play-off matches due to be held on March 26, including Scotland v Israel have been put off until June. 

Olympiakos' owner Evangelos Marinakis has tested positive for the coronavirus

Olympiakos’ owner Evangelos Marinakis has tested positive for the coronavirus

Manchester United clash at Austrian side Lask was behind closed doors, with United handing out £350 to each fan to help with travel and accommodation after they sold 900 tickets for the Europa League game. 

Newcastle United banned their players from shaking hands with each other amid coronavirus fears. 

Cristiano Ronaldo went into isolation in Madeira after it emerged that his Juventus team-mate, Daniele Rugani, has coronavirus. Squad members Blaise Matuidi and Paolo Dybala also tested positive. 

Elsewhere in Italy, Fiorentina striker Patrick Cutrone, who is on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, tested positive for coronavirus.

In Spain, 35% of Valencia’s squad staff tested positive for coronavirus, with all cases being asymptomatic. 

Real Madrid’s first-team squad were in quarantine after a member of the basketball team tested positive for Covid-19. The two teams share the same training facility.   

Liverpool have announced a charity match between a Reds Legends side and Barcelona Legends, due to be played at Anfield on March 28, has been postponed.

FIFA says it will postpone South American World Cup qualifying matches due to take place in March. 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus on March 12 with the entire first-team squad being put into isolation. The Gunners’ game against Brighton, scheduled for Saturday March 14, has been postponed.

In the early hours of Friday, March 13, Chelsea announced that winger Callum Hudson-Odoi had been diagnosed with the illness.

The club’s first team went into self-isolation, while two buildings at their training ground in Cobham were closed. 

Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Manchester City, have sent players home to train alone following the British government’s increasing crackdown on mass gatherings and unnecessary social contact.   

West Ham chief Karren Brady called for the season to be null and void while Aston Villa believe no team should be relegated. In this situation Liverpool, the runaway league leaders, could face the horror of being denied the title despite being on the brink of securing their first league trophy in nearly 30 years.

Reports suggest football bodies across England and the rest of Europe are bracing themselves for a reported total shutdown of every league until September.

Top-level English and Scottish football was initially suspended until April 3 at the earliest. The Football Association, the Premier League, the English Football League, FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship all agreed to call a halt to competitive action with immediate effect. 

All levels of English football below the National League North and South have been called off and voided with no promotion and relegation due to the calendar being decimated by the coronavirus outbreak.  

FORMULA ONE 

The season-opening Australian Grand Prix was called off after a McLaren team member came down with Covid-19, leading to the British team pulling out prior to a decision being made on whether the race would still go ahead. 

The announcement came hours after Lewis Hamilton said it was ‘shocking’ that the race was going ahead. 

The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 19 was the first race to be postponed, with no decision over whether it will be reinserted into the 2020 calendar for later in the season. 

The Bahrain Grand Prix, scheduled for March 20-22, is also called off, as is the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix, which was scheduled to take place in Hanoi on April 5. 

It was hoped that the Dutch Grand Prix on May 3 would be the first race of the new season but that has also been postponed due to Covid-19. 

The iconic Monaco Grand Prix on May 24 was cancelled for the first time in 66 years before Formula One announced their race in Azerbaijan had been postponed. 

The Chinese GP was first to be cancelled and other races could yet follow that lead

The Chinese GP was first to be cancelled and other races could yet follow that lead

GOLF 

On March 13, the Masters was postponed. In a statement released online, Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, emphasised that the decision makers hope to hold the championship ‘at some later date’. The first men’s major of the year was due to begin on April 9.

The US PGA Championship, the second major of the year, has now joined the  Masters in being postponed. It had been due to take place at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco from May 11-17, but has been rescheduled for later this summer.

After deciding to play with no spectators from the second round of the Players Championship onwards, the PGA Tour cancelled the event entirely after the first round on March 12. 

They also scrapped the following three events leading up to the Masters, but after that was cancelled four further events in April and May – the RBC Heritage, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Wells Fargo Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson – also bit the dust. It is hoped that the season can be resumed in late May.

The European Tour have cancelled all tournaments until the popular Made in Denmark event on May 21. Many of them were due to be held in China or east Asia in countries badly hit by the outbreak.

The women’s game has also been hit by postponements and cancellations, with the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration, the highest profile casualty.

The Masters has been postponed for the first time since the Second World War

The Masters has been postponed for the first time since the Second World War

Lorenzo Gagli and Edoardo Molinari were withdrawn from the Oman Open on medical grounds after Gagli showed symptoms of the virus. He shared a hotel room with Molinari and he was told to self-isolate. They were later reinstated to the tournament after testing negative for the virus. 

HORSE RACING 

The Grand National was called off following new British government restrictions to fight the spread of coronavirus made it impossible to stage the Aintree showpiece on April 4. The Cheltenham Festival went ahead amid some criticism before the social distancing measures were tightened. 

The Japan Racing Association revealed that ‘government-sanctioned races’ will go ahead behind closed doors.  

Racing in Ireland attempted to take place behind closed doors starting on March 29 – but that decision was changed after government cancelled all sporting events.  

The Dubai World Cup meeting will go ahead on March 28 ‘without paid hospitality spectators’. 

Racing Post forced to temporarily suspend publication of the flagship daily racing newspaper for the first time since their inception in 1986 due to all action in UK and Ireland being suspended.  

The Cheltenham Festival went ahead despite travel disruption caused by the virus

The Cheltenham Festival went ahead despite travel disruption caused by the virus

RUGBY 

This year’s Six Nations will have to wait for its conclusion with all remaining games postponed.

England’s game with Italy and Ireland’s trip to France had already been called off with Wales and Scotland leaving it until the day before before calling off their game. 

Saturday, 31 October is a possible date for the final weekend of matches. 

The Women’s Six Nations has also been hit by postponements.

Ireland's Six Nations encounter with Italy on March 7 has been postponed

Ireland’s Six Nations encounter with Italy on March 7 has been postponed

The RFU has suspended all levels of rugby in England until April 14, with the announcement coming shortly after the Premiership was halted for five weeks. 

The quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have also been postponed. Those games were scheduled for April 3, 4 and 5.   

The RFL and rugby league’s Super League have now followed suit and postponed all fixtures for at least three weeks. Eight Leeds Rhinos players had been confirmed to be self-isolating.  

TENNIS

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II as All England Club chiefs called the tournament off at an emergency meeting.

It was considered impossible for the tournament to be moved back to later in the year, or to be played without fans, and so chiefs have pulled the plug entirely.

This is the first time that Wimbledon will not be staged since 1945. Only one Grand Slam has missed a year since the war, the 1986 Australian Open, and that was for the technical reason of the date shifting forward from December into January. 

The French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, is postponed until September amid a wide lockdown in France.

The clay-court major was scheduled for May 24 to June 7, but that has shifted to September 20 to October 4, after the US Open, which was due to be the final major of the year. 

Players have been quick to criticise the move, which has created a conflict with the Laver Cup men’s team event spearheaded by Roger Federer, and a women’s tournament in China.

All events on the ATP Tour have been suspended for six weeks. 

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in California, set to start on March 9, was postponed at the eleventh hour.  It came after a confirmed case of the coronavirus in the nearby Coachella Valley.

The final of an ATP Challenger event in Bergamo, Italy, between Enzo Couacaud and Illya Marchenko of Ukraine was cancelled. Both players received ranking points and prize money for getting to the final. They were denied the opportunity to play behind closed doors.

China forfeited a Davis Cup tie because the men’s team were unable to travel to Romania for the March 6-7 play-off.

WTA events have also been cancelled. The WTA announced they are assessing their schedule with a number of events set for China in the second half of the season.

The International Tennis Federation has announced that the Fed Cup finals have been postponed. The event was due to be held in Budapest in April and the competition’s play-offs, which were set to take place in eight different locations, have also been placed on hold.

The WTA also announced no tournaments will be staged for at least five weeks.   

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II

OTHER SPORTS 

The NBA has been suspended indefinitely after two Utah Jazz players contracted the virus. On March 17 Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant confirmed he had tested positive for the virus alongside three unnamed team-mates.

In an aid to decrease risks of exposure to the virus, the NBA had told players to avoid taking items such as pens, markers, balls and jerseys from autograph seekers. 

The NHL has announced it has paused the 2019-20 season with no date confirmed for when it will resume. 

The UFC has cancelled its next three events, although president Dana White is still pushing ahead for the highly-anticipated lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. 

MotoGP have cancelled their first two races of the season in Qatar and Thailand. 

South Korea’s baseball league cancelled all 50 pre-season game which were slated to take place from March 14-24. It is the first time since the leagues inception in 1982 that an entire set of exhibition matches are off. 

The first-stage draw for the Table Tennis World Championships, scheduled for South Korea from March 22-29, is postponed.

A beach volleyball tournament, due to be held in Yangzhou from April 22-26, is postponed until after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

World Short track speed skating championship in Seoul is cancelled.

The World Triathlon Series event in Abu Dhabi was postponed as a precautionary measure.  

The Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships in Canada have been cancelled.   

All 72 pre-season baseball games in Japan are to take place behind closed doors

All 72 pre-season baseball games in Japan are to take place behind closed doors

In badminton, the German Open (March 3-8), Vietnam Open (March 24-29) and Polish Open (March 26-29), all Olympic qualifying events, are cancelled due to ‘strict health protection’. 

The Japanese professional baseball league made the decision to play their 72 pre-season games behind closed doors until March 15. Baseball is among the most popular sports in Japan.  

Doubts remain as the Asian weightlifting championships, scheduled for March, are relocated from Kazakhstan to neighbouring Uzbekistan. They could still be postponed. 

Coronavirus UK: Gary Neville slams Matt Hancock for calling for footballer pay cuts


2020 OLYMPIC GAMES  

The 2020 Olympic Games has been postponed until 2021 on March 24 – becoming one of the last major sporting events this summer to fall victim to the coronavirus.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe held a crucial conference call with Olympics chief Thomas Bach on Tuesday to formally decide a plan and they have chosen to postpone for 12 months.

The decision also means the Tokyo Paralympic Games will be subject to a one-year delay.

Despite the delay, the name of the delayed Games will still be Tokyo 2020, the city’s governor Yuriko Koike revealed.

A joint statement from the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organising committee read: ‘In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

‘The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. 

‘Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.’ 

There was plenty of scepticism whether the Olympics would pull through and continue as scheduled while events linked to the games were called off. The Olympic torch relay in Greece was cancelled on Friday March 13 – just a day after the flame was lit in Olympia.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed by one year due to the coronavirus

Large crowds mobbed Hollywood actor Gerard Butler as he lit the cauldron in the Greek city of Sparta despite repeated warnings for spectators not to attend because of coronavirus.

That forced the decision by the Greek Olympic Committee to halt the torch relay on Greek soil on just the second day of its scheduled eight-day journey. It is the only the third time that a relay to Athens for the summer Games has not been completed.

The Olympic flame will still be handed over to the Tokyo 2020 organising committee at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens on Thursday March 19, but without fans present. 

Athletes were told to keep training but many struggled considering the government lock-down measures put in place. 

On Friday March 13 US president Donald Trump’s suggestion to postpone the Tokyo Olympics for a year because of the coronavirus was immediately shot down by Japan’s Olympic minister.

‘The IOC and the organising committee are not considering cancellation or a postponement – absolutely not at all,’ Seiko Hashimoto, an Olympic bronze medalist, told a news conference in Tokyo.

On Tuesday March 17, Kozo Tashima, one of the Japanese Olympic Committee’s vice presidents and president of the Japanese Football Association, tested positive for coronavirus.  

The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organisers have stayed on message since the viral outbreak in China three months ago spread across Asia and then the globe: The games will open as scheduled on July 24. 

Tokyo 2020 organisers received the Olympic flame in a scaled-down handover ceremony in the Greek capital on March 19. 

ATHLETICS 

The World Athletics Indoor Championships, which was due to be held from March 13-15 in Nanjing, is postponed until March 2021.

The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China, has been postponed due to concerns over the danger of the coronavirus and its ability to spread

The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China, has been postponed due to concerns over the danger of the coronavirus and its ability to spread

North Korea cancelled the Pyongyang Marathon scheduled for April after imposing a border lockdown due to the level of outbreak in South Korea, where the Seoul Marathon is cancelled in a bid to protect runners.

The Paris half-marathon is cancelled and the French government also decided to ban all public gatherings of more than 100 people, before ordering people to stay at home from March 15 for at least 15 days. The race involving some 44,000 competitors was scheduled for Sunday March 1. Organisers said the race will be postponed to a date yet to be determined.

The London Marathon, which had been scheduled to take place on April 26, has been postponed until October 4. Over 40,000 runners were due to take part. 

The Barcelona marathon scheduled for March 15 has been postponed until October.

BOXING 

Olympic boxing qualifiers to be staged in Wuhan were cancelled by the International Olympic Committee, but went ahead in Amman from March 3-11.

The IBF title fight between Daniele Scardina and Andrew Francillette in Milan on February 28 was postponed by Matchroom due to restrictions in Italy following the outbreak.

The Japanese boxing commission cancelled all fight cards scheduled for March on government advice to suspend all pending sporting fixtures. They will not be rescheduled.

Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce's Battle of Britain has been pushed back from April to July

Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce’s Battle of Britain has been pushed back from April to July

The British Boxing Board of Control announced on Tuesday March 17 that all boxing events under their jurisdiction for March will be postponed due to the coronavirus.

That decision has lead to the heavyweight clash between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce being postponed. That fight, which had been penciled in for April 11, has been rescheduled for July 11 at the O2 Arena. 

Anthony Yarde, who was due to fight Lyndon Arthur on the undercard of the all-British clash, announced on March 29 that his father had died as a result of contracting the coronavirus. 

He revealed in an Instagram post that he had no underlying health issues and urged everyone to stay at home.  

Matchroom Boxing has also postponed all events scheduled for March and April, including Josh Kelly’s European title fight against Russia’s David Avanesyan (scheduled for March 28). 

The European Olympic boxing qualification tournament in London has been suspended. It was due to secure qualification for Tokyo 2020 for 77 male and female boxers, with 322 taking part. 

Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn has said Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title defence against Kubrat Pulev, which is scheduled for June 20, could be rearranged for July. All Matchroom promoted fights in March and April have been postponed. 

Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders, earmarked for May in Las Vegas, was postponed before even being announced, however the Mexican is reportedly still planning to make the bout happen in June. 

CRICKET 

England’s tour of Sri Lanka was postponed on March 13, with the England and Wales Cricket Board citing ‘completely unprecedented times’.

The decision was confirmed while Joe Root’s side were in the field at Colombo’s P Sara Oval, contesting a warm-up game for a two-Test series.

On March 18, the West Indies offered to host England’s upcoming home Tests against them in the Caribbean instead of in the UK – should the coronavirus outbreak not have improved by then. England are due to face the Windies in a a three-Test series, which is due to start at the Oval on June 4 but could be delayed until September. If playing the series in England proves unworkable, CWI have offered to step in for this series, and also for England’s three Tests against Pakistan, due to start on July 30. Although there are Covid-19 cases in the Caribbean, its impact there has been limited so far. 

The start of the Indian Premier League season has also been delayed until April 15. The 2020 campaign had been set to start on March 29. The IPL franchises are also ready to quarantine their foreign players for a period of 14 days, if travel restrictions are lifted to allow them to arrive.

On March 13, India’s ongoing one-day international series against South Africa was postponed, while Australia’s one-day internationals against New Zealand will be played behind closed doors.

Scotland’s one-day series against the United States and UAE have been postponed. The games were scheduled to be played in Florida in April. 

England’s cricketers would not play any rescheduled Test series against West Indies in the Caribbean until December at the earliest, it emerged on March 19.

CYCLING 

Cycling’s Giro d’Italia has been called off, with the race scheduled to start in Hungary in May. 

The final two stages of the UAE Tour were cancelled after two members of staff on the race were suspected of having the disease. 

Danish cyclist Michael Morkov was tested for coronavirus after being put in isolation

Danish cyclist Michael Morkov was tested for coronavirus after being put in isolation

The Tour de France is under threat of cancellation, with the scheduled start in Nice taking place in just over three months, on June 27. With British and French governments anticipating that the pandemic will last until the summer, race organizers are studying alternative scheduling. 

The Paris-Roubaix cycling race, another major event on the French sports calendar, was postponed due to the pandemic, while the April 5 Tour of Flanders, only previously cancelled during World War I, was also postponed in a further sign that Le Tour is under grave threat.

FOOTBALL 

This summer’s Euro 2020 tournament has been moved to next summer (2021) following a UEFA conference held on March 17. The postponement provides a chance for European club competitions to be completed.

All football in England is suspended until at least April 30 – but the 2019-20 season should eventually be completed after the FA bend their own rules to extend the campaign INDEFINITELY after holding crisis talks on March 19.

The decisions to suspend follows players and staff becoming affected by the virus, or individuals self-isolating as a precaution after reporting symptoms consistent with Covid-19.

The Premier League has moved to cancel games following the global outbreak of coronavius

The Premier League has moved to cancel games following the global outbreak of coronavius

The Premier League clash between Manchester City and Arsenal, scheduled for March 11, had already been postponed as a ‘precautionary measure’ after Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis tested positive for coronavirus weeks after watching his Greek team play at the Emirates Stadium. 

On March 13, UEFA announced all Champions League and Europa League fixtures scheduled are postponed, as well as the quarter-final draws for both competitions. UEFA hope to conclude the competitions in the summer but no dates are yet set. 

Birmingham City become the first Championship side to see players take temporary 50 per cent wage cuts to ease financial pressure.  Leeds United soon followed in a bid to keep paying all of their non-football staff. 

All Chinese domestic fixtures at all levels were postponed and the season pushed back, the first football to be affected by the outbreak in the country of its origin. However, reports suggest that the league could resume on April 18 as China gets to grip with the virus.

Asian Champions League matches involving Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG are postponed until April.

The start of the Korean K-League season is postponed. The four teams in the AFC Champions League are playing their matches behind closed doors.

Japan’s J-League postponed all domestic games until the middle of March, but further delays are inevitable. 

Ludogorets players were taking no chances after the coronavirus outbreak in Italy

Ludogorets players were taking no chances after the coronavirus outbreak in Italy

Italy, the country worst hit by the virus outside China, suffered a spate of cancellations before the government put the population on lockdown. All sport, including Serie A games, were suspended until at least April 3 to contain the virus.

In France, it was announced on Friday 13 March that there will be no top-flight football in France for the immediate future after their governing body postponed all matches.  

In Spain, April 18’s Copa del Rey final between between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad has been postponed. LaLiga is also postponed until the end of March at least.

Germany’s Bundesliga, the other major European league, is also suspended until April 3 at least. 

The Dutch Eredivisie and Portugal’s Primeira Liga are also suspended.

The Football Association of Ireland announced that all football under its jurisdiction will cease until March 29. 

Major League Soccer has been suspended for 30 days until mid-April with David Beckham’s first Inter Miami home game delayed.  

The South American Football Confederation postponed this year’s Copa America, due to take place from 12 June to 12 July, until 2021.

FIFA said that the newly-expanded Club World Cup, originally scheduled to take place in China in June 2021, will be postponed and a new date announced when ‘there is more clarity on the situation’.

On March 13, the FA announced that all of England’s games scheduled for the month would be postponed, including those of development teams. It means that England’s friendlies with Italy and Denmark have been called off.    

Euro 2020 play-off matches due to be held on March 26, including Scotland v Israel have been put off until June. 

Olympiakos' owner Evangelos Marinakis has tested positive for the coronavirus

Olympiakos’ owner Evangelos Marinakis has tested positive for the coronavirus

Manchester United clash at Austrian side Lask was behind closed doors, with United handing out £350 to each fan to help with travel and accommodation after they sold 900 tickets for the Europa League game. 

Newcastle United banned their players from shaking hands with each other amid coronavirus fears. 

Cristiano Ronaldo went into isolation in Madeira after it emerged that his Juventus team-mate, Daniele Rugani, has coronavirus. Squad members Blaise Matuidi and Paolo Dybala also tested positive. 

Elsewhere in Italy, Fiorentina striker Patrick Cutrone, who is on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, tested positive for coronavirus.

In Spain, 35% of Valencia’s squad staff tested positive for coronavirus, with all cases being asymptomatic. 

Real Madrid’s first-team squad were in quarantine after a member of the basketball team tested positive for Covid-19. The two teams share the same training facility.   

Liverpool have announced a charity match between a Reds Legends side and Barcelona Legends, due to be played at Anfield on March 28, has been postponed.

FIFA says it will postpone South American World Cup qualifying matches due to take place in March. 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus on March 12 with the entire first-team squad being put into isolation. The Gunners’ game against Brighton, scheduled for Saturday March 14, has been postponed.

In the early hours of Friday, March 13, Chelsea announced that winger Callum Hudson-Odoi had been diagnosed with the illness.

The club’s first team went into self-isolation, while two buildings at their training ground in Cobham were closed. 

Premier League clubs, including Manchester United and Manchester City, have sent players home to train alone following the British government’s increasing crackdown on mass gatherings and unnecessary social contact.   

West Ham chief Karren Brady called for the season to be null and void while Aston Villa believe no team should be relegated. In this situation Liverpool, the runaway league leaders, could face the horror of being denied the title despite being on the brink of securing their first league trophy in nearly 30 years.

Reports suggest football bodies across England and the rest of Europe are bracing themselves for a reported total shutdown of every league until September.

Top-level English and Scottish football was initially suspended until April 3 at the earliest. The Football Association, the Premier League, the English Football League, FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship all agreed to call a halt to competitive action with immediate effect. 

All levels of English football below the National League North and South have been called off and voided with no promotion and relegation due to the calendar being decimated by the coronavirus outbreak.  

FORMULA ONE 

The season-opening Australian Grand Prix was called off after a McLaren team member came down with Covid-19, leading to the British team pulling out prior to a decision being made on whether the race would still go ahead. 

The announcement came hours after Lewis Hamilton said it was ‘shocking’ that the race was going ahead. 

The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 19 was the first race to be postponed, with no decision over whether it will be reinserted into the 2020 calendar for later in the season. 

The Bahrain Grand Prix, scheduled for March 20-22, is also called off, as is the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix, which was scheduled to take place in Hanoi on April 5. 

It was hoped that the Dutch Grand Prix on May 3 would be the first race of the new season but that has also been postponed due to Covid-19. 

The iconic Monaco Grand Prix on May 24 was cancelled for the first time in 66 years before Formula One announced their race in Azerbaijan had been postponed. 

The Chinese GP was first to be cancelled and other races could yet follow that lead

The Chinese GP was first to be cancelled and other races could yet follow that lead

GOLF 

On March 13, the Masters was postponed. In a statement released online, Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, emphasised that the decision makers hope to hold the championship ‘at some later date’. The first men’s major of the year was due to begin on April 9.

The US PGA Championship, the second major of the year, has now joined the  Masters in being postponed. It had been due to take place at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco from May 11-17, but has been rescheduled for later this summer.

After deciding to play with no spectators from the second round of the Players Championship onwards, the PGA Tour cancelled the event entirely after the first round on March 12. 

They also scrapped the following three events leading up to the Masters, but after that was cancelled four further events in April and May – the RBC Heritage, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Wells Fargo Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson – also bit the dust. It is hoped that the season can be resumed in late May.

The European Tour have cancelled all tournaments until the popular Made in Denmark event on May 21. Many of them were due to be held in China or east Asia in countries badly hit by the outbreak.

The women’s game has also been hit by postponements and cancellations, with the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration, the highest profile casualty.

The Masters has been postponed for the first time since the Second World War

The Masters has been postponed for the first time since the Second World War

Lorenzo Gagli and Edoardo Molinari were withdrawn from the Oman Open on medical grounds after Gagli showed symptoms of the virus. He shared a hotel room with Molinari and he was told to self-isolate. They were later reinstated to the tournament after testing negative for the virus. 

HORSE RACING 

The Grand National was called off following new British government restrictions to fight the spread of coronavirus made it impossible to stage the Aintree showpiece on April 4. The Cheltenham Festival went ahead amid some criticism before the social distancing measures were tightened. 

The Japan Racing Association revealed that ‘government-sanctioned races’ will go ahead behind closed doors.  

Racing in Ireland attempted to take place behind closed doors starting on March 29 – but that decision was changed after government cancelled all sporting events.  

The Dubai World Cup meeting will go ahead on March 28 ‘without paid hospitality spectators’. 

Racing Post forced to temporarily suspend publication of the flagship daily racing newspaper for the first time since their inception in 1986 due to all action in UK and Ireland being suspended.  

The Cheltenham Festival went ahead despite travel disruption caused by the virus

The Cheltenham Festival went ahead despite travel disruption caused by the virus

RUGBY 

This year’s Six Nations will have to wait for its conclusion with all remaining games postponed.

England’s game with Italy and Ireland’s trip to France had already been called off with Wales and Scotland leaving it until the day before before calling off their game. 

Saturday, 31 October is a possible date for the final weekend of matches. 

The Women’s Six Nations has also been hit by postponements.

Ireland's Six Nations encounter with Italy on March 7 has been postponed

Ireland’s Six Nations encounter with Italy on March 7 has been postponed

The RFU has suspended all levels of rugby in England until April 14, with the announcement coming shortly after the Premiership was halted for five weeks. 

The quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have also been postponed. Those games were scheduled for April 3, 4 and 5.   

The RFL and rugby league’s Super League have now followed suit and postponed all fixtures for at least three weeks. Eight Leeds Rhinos players had been confirmed to be self-isolating.  

TENNIS

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II as All England Club chiefs called the tournament off at an emergency meeting.

It was considered impossible for the tournament to be moved back to later in the year, or to be played without fans, and so chiefs have pulled the plug entirely.

This is the first time that Wimbledon will not be staged since 1945. Only one Grand Slam has missed a year since the war, the 1986 Australian Open, and that was for the technical reason of the date shifting forward from December into January. 

The French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, is postponed until September amid a wide lockdown in France.

The clay-court major was scheduled for May 24 to June 7, but that has shifted to September 20 to October 4, after the US Open, which was due to be the final major of the year. 

Players have been quick to criticise the move, which has created a conflict with the Laver Cup men’s team event spearheaded by Roger Federer, and a women’s tournament in China.

All events on the ATP Tour have been suspended for six weeks. 

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in California, set to start on March 9, was postponed at the eleventh hour.  It came after a confirmed case of the coronavirus in the nearby Coachella Valley.

The final of an ATP Challenger event in Bergamo, Italy, between Enzo Couacaud and Illya Marchenko of Ukraine was cancelled. Both players received ranking points and prize money for getting to the final. They were denied the opportunity to play behind closed doors.

China forfeited a Davis Cup tie because the men’s team were unable to travel to Romania for the March 6-7 play-off.

WTA events have also been cancelled. The WTA announced they are assessing their schedule with a number of events set for China in the second half of the season.

The International Tennis Federation has announced that the Fed Cup finals have been postponed. The event was due to be held in Budapest in April and the competition’s play-offs, which were set to take place in eight different locations, have also been placed on hold.

The WTA also announced no tournaments will be staged for at least five weeks.   

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II

Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II

OTHER SPORTS 

The NBA has been suspended indefinitely after two Utah Jazz players contracted the virus. On March 17 Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant confirmed he had tested positive for the virus alongside three unnamed team-mates.

In an aid to decrease risks of exposure to the virus, the NBA had told players to avoid taking items such as pens, markers, balls and jerseys from autograph seekers. 

The NHL has announced it has paused the 2019-20 season with no date confirmed for when it will resume. 

The UFC has cancelled its next three events, although president Dana White is still pushing ahead for the highly-anticipated lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. 

MotoGP have cancelled their first two races of the season in Qatar and Thailand. 

South Korea’s baseball league cancelled all 50 pre-season game which were slated to take place from March 14-24. It is the first time since the leagues inception in 1982 that an entire set of exhibition matches are off. 

The first-stage draw for the Table Tennis World Championships, scheduled for South Korea from March 22-29, is postponed.

A beach volleyball tournament, due to be held in Yangzhou from April 22-26, is postponed until after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

World Short track speed skating championship in Seoul is cancelled.

The World Triathlon Series event in Abu Dhabi was postponed as a precautionary measure.  

The Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships in Canada have been cancelled.   

All 72 pre-season baseball games in Japan are to take place behind closed doors

All 72 pre-season baseball games in Japan are to take place behind closed doors

In badminton, the German Open (March 3-8), Vietnam Open (March 24-29) and Polish Open (March 26-29), all Olympic qualifying events, are cancelled due to ‘strict health protection’. 

The Japanese professional baseball league made the decision to play their 72 pre-season games behind closed doors until March 15. Baseball is among the most popular sports in Japan.  

Doubts remain as the Asian weightlifting championships, scheduled for March, are relocated from Kazakhstan to neighbouring Uzbekistan. They could still be postponed. 

Coronavirus: Health Secretary Matt Hancock tells Premier League footballers to ‘take a pay cut’


Health Secretary Matt Hancock demands Premier League footballers ‘play their part’ in tackling coronavirus crisis as he tells them: ‘Take a pay cut’

  • Matt Hancock said ‘everybody needs to play their part’ in fighting coronavirus
  • He said given the ‘sacrifices’ others are making, footballers should take pay cut 
  • Comes amid growing pressure on star players after clubs put staff on furlough 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tonight demanded Premier League footballers ‘play their part’ in the fight against coronavirus as he told them: ‘Take a pay cut’. 

There is growing pressure on star players to agree to lower wages after clubs decided to put non-playing staff on furlough, which means they will only get 80 per cent of their salary, while still handing over full pay cheques to footballers. 

Mr Hancock said other people across the nation were making ‘sacrifices’ and that included the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ made by doctors and nurses who have lost their lives because of the deadly disease. 

The Cabinet Minister said in such circumstances the ‘first thing’ footballers could do is to ‘make a contribution’ in the form of a pay cut. 

Premier League clubs will gather via conference call for a shareholders’ meeting tomorrow morning. 

It is expected they will be briefed on discussions between the league, the English Football League and the players’ union, the Professional Footballers’ Association, concerning player wage cuts or deferrals to mitigate the financial impact of the outbreak. 

Consideration is expected to be given to an indefinite suspension of the professional game in England with the landscape having shifted significantly since March 19 when the decision was taken to suspend play until at least April 30. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tonight urged Premier League footballers to ‘take a pay cut’ during the coronavirus crisis

Clubs from the Premier League to League Two have already placed non-playing staff on furlough leave under the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme. 

That scheme sees the government pay 80 per cent of an employee’s monthly salary up to a maximum of £2,500.

But pressure is mounting on the PFA from the Premier League and the EFL to agree to measures under which players make some form of sacrifice.

Mr Hancock backed calls for footballers to take a pay cut as he addressed the nation at the daily Downing Street coronavirus press conference. 

He said: ‘I think that everybody needs to play their part in this national effort and that means Premier League footballers too. 

‘Given the sacrifices that many people are making including some of my colleagues in the NHS who have made the ultimate sacrifice of going into work and have caught the disease and have sadly died, I think the first thing that Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part.’   

Tranmere chairman and former Football Association chief executive Mark Palios has said a collective agreement on pay is ‘absolutely essential’. 

The sport is also facing external pressure, with the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee Julian Knight having written to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters calling for action on player wages. 

Mr Knight said that clubs which furlough non-playing staff but do not impose cuts on player wages should be subjected to a windfall tax if they do not change approach by next Tuesday, April 7. 

The DCMS select committee chairman Julian Knight has written to the Premier League to express his 'strong dismay' at the decision of clubs to furlough staff while still paying players

The DCMS select committee chairman Julian Knight has written to the Premier League to express his ‘strong dismay’ at the decision of clubs to furlough staff while still paying players 

‘The purpose of the coronavirus job retention scheme is not to support the economics of Premier League clubs,’ he wrote.

“Your organisation should be role modelling a responsible approach rather than tolerating divisive practices.’

Numerous prominent European clubs such as Bayern Munich, Juventus and Barcelona have already taken steps to reduce player wages.  

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and his Brighton counterpart Graham Potter have agreed to wage cuts in the last two days, along with other senior staff at those clubs, but the PFA is under pressure to advise its members to do the same.  

Coronavirus: Health Secretary Matt Hancock tells Premier League footballers to ‘take a pay cut’


Health Secretary Matt Hancock demands Premier League footballers ‘play their part’ in tackling coronavirus crisis as he tells them: ‘Take a pay cut’

  • Matt Hancock said ‘everybody needs to play their part’ in fighting coronavirus
  • He said given the ‘sacrifices’ others are making, footballers should take pay cut 
  • Comes amid growing pressure on star players after clubs put staff on furlough 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tonight demanded Premier League footballers ‘play their part’ in the fight against coronavirus as he told them: ‘Take a pay cut’. 

There is growing pressure on star players to agree to lower wages after clubs decided to put non-playing staff on furlough, which means they will only get 80 per cent of their salary, while still handing over full pay cheques to footballers. 

Mr Hancock said other people across the nation were making ‘sacrifices’ and that included the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ made by doctors and nurses who have lost their lives because of the deadly disease. 

The Cabinet Minister said in such circumstances the ‘first thing’ footballers could do is to ‘make a contribution’ in the form of a pay cut. 

Premier League clubs will gather via conference call for a shareholders’ meeting tomorrow morning. 

It is expected they will be briefed on discussions between the league, the English Football League and the players’ union, the Professional Footballers’ Association, concerning player wage cuts or deferrals to mitigate the financial impact of the outbreak. 

Consideration is expected to be given to an indefinite suspension of the professional game in England with the landscape having shifted significantly since March 19 when the decision was taken to suspend play until at least April 30. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tonight urged Premier League footballers to ‘take a pay cut’ during the coronavirus crisis

Clubs from the Premier League to League Two have already placed non-playing staff on furlough leave under the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme. 

That scheme sees the government pay 80 per cent of an employee’s monthly salary up to a maximum of £2,500.

But pressure is mounting on the PFA from the Premier League and the EFL to agree to measures under which players make some form of sacrifice.

Mr Hancock backed calls for footballers to take a pay cut as he addressed the nation at the daily Downing Street coronavirus press conference. 

He said: ‘I think that everybody needs to play their part in this national effort and that means Premier League footballers too. 

‘Given the sacrifices that many people are making including some of my colleagues in the NHS who have made the ultimate sacrifice of going into work and have caught the disease and have sadly died, I think the first thing that Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part.’   

Tranmere chairman and former Football Association chief executive Mark Palios has said a collective agreement on pay is ‘absolutely essential’. 

The sport is also facing external pressure, with the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee Julian Knight having written to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters calling for action on player wages. 

Mr Knight said that clubs which furlough non-playing staff but do not impose cuts on player wages should be subjected to a windfall tax if they do not change approach by next Tuesday, April 7. 

The DCMS select committee chairman Julian Knight has written to the Premier League to express his 'strong dismay' at the decision of clubs to furlough staff while still paying players

The DCMS select committee chairman Julian Knight has written to the Premier League to express his ‘strong dismay’ at the decision of clubs to furlough staff while still paying players 

‘The purpose of the coronavirus job retention scheme is not to support the economics of Premier League clubs,’ he wrote.

“Your organisation should be role modelling a responsible approach rather than tolerating divisive practices.’

Numerous prominent European clubs such as Bayern Munich, Juventus and Barcelona have already taken steps to reduce player wages.  

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe and his Brighton counterpart Graham Potter have agreed to wage cuts in the last two days, along with other senior staff at those clubs, but the PFA is under pressure to advise its members to do the same.  

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe becomes first Premier League figure to take voluntary pay cut


EXCLUSIVE: Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe becomes the first Premier League figure to break rank and take a voluntary pay-cut to his £4m per year wages… but stars keep their full salaries for now

  • Eddie Howe has decided to take a voluntary pay cut amid coronavirus crisis
  • The Bournemouth boss becomes the first Premier League figure to break ranks
  • Howe earns around £4m per year but will take home less during Covid-19 crisis
  • Chief executive, technical director and Howe’s assistant have also taken big cuts 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has become the first Premier League figure to take a voluntary pay cut from his £4million-a-year wages amid the coronavirus crisis.

The League Managers Association, Professional Footballers Association, the Premier League and EFL have been locked in talks with a view to reaching a united agreement over pay reductions.

But Howe, together with chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes and assistant boss Jason Tindall have broken ranks to take significant pay cuts for the period of time Covid-19 continues to rip through the football calendar.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has become the first Premier League figure to take a pay cut

The Cherries manager has decided to take a voluntary cut amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis

The Cherries manager has decided to take a voluntary cut amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis

Sportsmail can also reveal that at least 50 non-playing employees have been furloughed in recent days.

However, the Cherries will continue to pay the remaining 20 per cent of salaries to those who have been furloughed to ensure employees still receive 100 per cent of their wages.

The Cherries want to ensure that every employee still has a job once the disruption to English football is over.

People who have been furloughed are those who cannot perform their jobs during the football suspension, for instance club shop workers.

In a statement released to Sportsmail, Bournemouth’s board of directors confirmed: ‘As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to gather pace, there are far more questions than answers regarding its effects.

‘One thing is for certain, however; the wellbeing of our employees, supporters, local communities and everyone around the world is of far greater significance than football matches.

There is no football being played and Bournemouth have become first club to make their move

There is no football being played and Bournemouth have become first club to make their move

‘There is no script for moments like this. No tactics and no set plays to find a winning formula.

‘But as a board we are continually looking at ways to ensure the future of the club and our employees is protected when the season returns.

‘With this in mind, the club’s chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes, manager Eddie Howe and assistant manager Jason Tindall have all taken significant, voluntary pay cuts for the entirety of this uncertain time.

‘We have also advised a number of staff across all areas of the club that they will be temporarily furloughed, as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

‘These measures have been taken to safeguard the financial stability of the club during what is such an uncertain period, not only in football but for businesses in all industries across the world.

A further 50 members of non-playing staff at Bournemouth have been furloughed

A further 50 members of non-playing staff at Bournemouth have been furloughed

‘Furloughed employees – all of whose roles have been affected by the closure of Vitality Stadium and the club’s other sites – will be on leave for a minimum of three weeks under the UK government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, which is currently set to run until Sunday, May 31.

What does ‘furlough’ mean?  

When an employee is placed on furlough they are temporarily put on a leave of absence and not paid, although they remain on the payroll, meaning that they do not lose their job.

This could be because there is no work for these employees, or that the company is not able to afford to pay them, because of the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

In the United Kingdom, the Government is offering to pay 80 per cent of a furloughed employee’s wages, up to £2,500 per month, until they are able to resume their job full time. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will last for at least three months from March 1.

More information can be found HERE 

‘Affected staff can be recalled to work after a short notice period, if necessary.

‘Throughout the entirety of this time, they will continue to receive their full salary, with the club committing to topping up each furloughed employee’s wages to 100 per cent of their normal pay, while claiming back 80 per cent of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, as per government guidelines.

‘Furloughed staff will continue to have their benefits – including pension contributions – paid by the club, and holiday entitlement will accrue during this period.

‘We are also offering training schemes to allow furloughed staff to continue their development while on leave, and we look forward to welcoming these employees back to their roles as soon it is possible for the club to fully function again.

‘In this time of great uncertainty, our thoughts are with those who are affected by this virus and those who are caring for them.’ 

Tottenham, Newcastle and Norwich have all put non-playing staff on furlough, with more clubs certain to follow.

But there is no sign yet that Premier League players will follow the likes of Lionel Messi and his Barcelona team-mates, who have taken 70 per cent pay cuts to last for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, and other clubs across Eurpoe. 

Fans notice Norwich City’s Timm Klose browsing Pornhub in his Instagram story


Klose inspection! Eagle-eyed fans catch Timm Klose browsing Pornhub as Norwich defender shares Instagram story with tab accidentally in view

  • Timm Klose took to Instagram update his followers with a picture on his story
  • The Norwich ace shared footage of himself watching Netflix on his MacBook
  • However, viewers spotted that the 31-year-old also had a tab open to Pornhub
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to take its toll, footballers are looking to interact with their fanbases more and more through social media. However, one professional appears to have shared a bit too much information…

Timm Klose took to Instagram to update his followers with his movements by posting a picture on his story of himself watching a programme on Netflix.

However, eagle-eyed viewers noticed that the Norwich City defender had two tabs up on his MacBook – with the latter of the X-rated variety.

Klose was updating his fans with a post about Netflix but he inadvertently shared something else

Norwich City defender Timm Klose has been caught on Instagram with a tab open on Pornhub

Eagle-eyed followers noticed the second tab on Klose's screen as he shared an Instagram story

Eagle-eyed followers noticed the second tab on Klose’s screen as he shared an Instagram story

Alongside Netflix, it appears that the centre-back had a tab linking to Pornhub open too.

Fans were quick to notice and made light-hearted references to the 31-year-old’s personal viewing.

‘Timm Klose keeping himself busy with no football,’ joked @DoodyBCFC, while @CastCanary wrote ‘Looks like Timm Klose is enjoying lockdown’ accompanied with a laughing emoji.

@DaleAC231 was in a fit of hysterics and said: ‘Always remember to close your tabs Timm Klose’ alongside several laughing emojis.

Klose has played an integral role in Norwich’s return to the Premier League this season – featuring in 36 games in all competitions to date. 

The 31-year-old's over-sharing was quickly laughed at by football supporters on Twitter

The 31-year-old’s over-sharing was quickly laughed at by football supporters on Twitter

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe becomes first Premier League figure to take voluntary pay cut


EXCLUSIVE: Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe becomes the first Premier League figure to break rank and take a voluntary pay-cut to his £4m per year wages… but stars keep their full salaries for now

  • Eddie Howe has decided to take a voluntary pay cut amid coronavirus crisis
  • The Bournemouth boss becomes the first Premier League figure to break ranks
  • Howe earns around £4m a year but will take home less during Covid-19 outbreak
  • Chief executive, technical director and Howe’s assistant have also taken big cuts 
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has become the first Premier League figure to take a voluntary pay cut from his £4million-a-year wages amid the coronavirus crisis.

The League Managers Association, Professional Footballers Association, the Premier League and EFL have been locked in talks with a view to reaching a united agreement over pay reductions.

But Howe, together with chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes and assistant boss Jason Tindall have broken ranks to take significant pay cuts for the period of time Covid-19 continues to rip through the football calendar.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has become the first Premier League figure to take a pay cut

The Cherries manager has decided to take a voluntary cut amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis

The Cherries manager has decided to take a voluntary cut amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis

Sportsmail can also reveal that at least 50 non-playing employees have been furloughed in recent days.

However, the Cherries will continue to pay the remaining 20 percent of salaries to those who have been furloughed to ensure employees still receive 100 percent of their wages.

The Cherries want to ensure that every employee still has a job once the disruption to English football is over.

People who have been furloughed are those who cannot complete their jobs during the football suspension, for instance club shop workers.

In a statement released to Sportsmail, Bournemouth’s board of directors confirmed: ‘As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to gather pace, there are far more questions than answers regarding its effects.

‘One thing is for certain, however; the wellbeing of our employees, supporters, local communities and everyone around the world is of far greater significance than football matches.

There is no football being played and Bournemouth have become first club to make their move

There is no football being played and Bournemouth have become first club to make their move

There is no script for moments like this. No tactics and no set plays to find a winning formula.

‘But as a board we are continually looking at ways to ensure the future of the club and our employees is protected when the season returns.

‘With this in mind, the club’s chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes, manager Eddie Howe and assistant manager Jason Tindall have all taken significant, voluntary pay cuts for the entirety of this uncertain time.

‘We have also advised a number of staff across all areas of the club that they will be temporarily furloughed, as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

‘These measures have been taken to safeguard the financial stability of the club during what is such an uncertain period, not only in football but for businesses in all industries across the world.

A further 50 members of non-playing staff at Bournemouth have been furloughed

A further 50 members of non-playing staff at Bournemouth have been furloughed

‘Furloughed employees – all of whose roles have been affected by the closure of Vitality Stadium and the club’s other sites – will be on leave for a minimum of three weeks under the UK government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, which is currently set to run until Sunday, May 31.

Affected staff can be recalled to work after a short notice period, if necessary.

Throughout the entirety of this time, they will continue to receive their full salary, with the club committing to topping up each furloughed employee’s wages to 100 per cent of their normal pay, while claiming back 80 per cent of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, as per government guidelines.

‘Furloughed staff will continue to have their benefits – including pension contributions – paid by the club, and holiday entitlement will accrue during this period.

‘We are also offering training schemes to allow furloughed staff to continue their development while on leave, and we look forward to welcoming these employees back to their roles as soon it is possible for the club to fully function again.

‘In this time of great uncertainty, our thoughts are with those who are affected by this virus and those who are caring for them.’