Daily Briefing

Sport shorts: Premier League Hall of Fame ceremony is cancelled and coronavirus concerns continue for Olympics and Euro 2020

Ten things from the world of sport on Monday 16 March

1. Hall of Fame event is off 

The Premier League’s inaugural Hall of Fame ceremony on Thursday is the latest sporting event to be cancelled because of coronavirus. 

It was revealed last month that English football’s top-flight would induct the first two players to the Hall of Fame and also announce a shortlist of nominees. 

2. Prem clubs to discuss season options

The Daily Mail claims that a “growing number of Premier League clubs are ready to abandon this season” because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The paper says that executives from all 20 clubs will hold talks via a conference call on Thursday to discuss the situation. 

English football has been suspended until 3 April and although that ban could be extended, there is also the possibility the season could be scrapped altogether.

Premier League in peril: abandon season and take ‘seismic’ financial hit?

3. Mount defies ban 

The Daily Mirror is indignant to see that Mason Mount broke Chelsea’s self-isolation ban “for a park kickabout with Declan Rice”. 

Mount had been instructed to steer clear of people following Callum Hudson-Odoi’s positive test for coronavirus last week, but the young frontman defied the Blues’s ban for a Sunday kickabout. 

The Mirror predicts that Mount will receive “a major dressing down from Stamford Bridge chiefs”, while West Ham may also take a dim view of Rice - who hasn’t been told to self-isolate - for putting himself at risk.

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4. Rugby league plays on 

It was “business as usual” for rugby league at the weekend. In contrast to practically every other professional sport in the UK, Super League fulfilled its fixtures although Leeds postponed their match against the Catalans on Saturday after a player was tested for coronavirus - a test which came back negative. 

Castleford beat St Helens 28-14 in the Super League and there’s some unintentional humour to be found in The Guardian’s report of the match. 

“We shouldn’t be playing,” a St Helens fan called Dave tells the paper. “There’s a social responsibility to protect fans and help public health.” 

Dave can’t have been that concerned as he and hundreds of Saints supporters travelled across the M62 to watch the match.

5. Italy calls for Uefa to postpone Euro 2020

Italian Football Federation president Gabriele Gravina will table a motion for the postponement of Euro 2020 at an emergency meeting of Uefa tomorrow. 

BBC Sport reports that the Italian federation would prefer to prioritise the completion of its domestic season over the European Championships, which are scheduled to begin on 12 June and run until 12 July. 

6. Mini-tournaments to decide UCL and UEL?

Uefa’s meeting tomorrow could also decide the fate of this season’s Champions League and Europa League competitions.

BBC Sport and Sky Sports both report that one option to be put forward will be mini-tournaments to ease fixture congestion because of coronavirus.

7. Learmonth: Olympics need to be postponed 

British athlete Guy Learmonth believes the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games should be postponed and has called for clarity on the coronavirus situation. 

The 800m runner told The Guardian: “Purely from an athlete’s point of view here, we need some clarity, transparency and flexibility. I’d be happy if they postponed until at least October - or maybe later to 2021 or 2022. 

“At least that would give the athletes time to now plan, train, and more importantly, time for this virus to settle down.”

IOC set for crisis talks over Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

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8. Racing goes behind closed doors

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has confirmed that all race meetings in England, Wales and Scotland will be held behind closed doors initially until the end of March.

BHA chief executive Nick Rust said: “Racecourses and racing yards are embedded in their local communities and we are acutely aware of our responsibilities to protect public health.

“We are following the government’s advice to strike a balance between protecting public health and maintaining business activity and will continue to do so.”

9. Juve prepare mega deals for Kane and Ronaldo

According to reports in Italy Juventus are ready to offer Christian Ronaldo a new two-year contract extension

In 32 games for Juventus this season Ronaldo has scored 25 goals in all competitions. And since joining from Real Madrid in 2018 the Portugal skipper has scored 53 goals in 73 games for the Turin club.

Meanwhile, it’s also reported that the Serie A champions are lining up a €200m (£181.6m) deal to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham.

10. Back pages: Fury and the farmer 

UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) has launched an investigation into Tyson Fury over an allegation that false evidence was submitted in his defence after a failed drugs test in 2015. 

The story was first broken in the Mail on Sunday in which Martin Carefoot, a Lancashire farmer, alleged he was offered £25,000 by “someone linked to the world heavyweight champion to falsely claim that he sold wild boar to the Furys”.

Today’s back pages

Tyson Fury faces fresh probe over farmer’s claim

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