In Brief

Sport shorts: F1 targets Austrian Grand Prix on 5 July for start of the 2020 season

Ten things from the world of sport on Monday 27 April

1. F1 eyes 2020 season start in Austria

It’s been a busy news day in Formula 1 with the French Grand Prix becoming the tenth race in 2020 to be called off and the British Grand Prix announcing that if the 19 July event does go ahead it will be behind closed doors. 

However, it’s not all doom and gloom with F1 CEO Chase Carey revealing plans to start the 2020 season at the Austrian GP on 5 July. 

Carey said: “We’re targeting a start to racing in Europe through July, August and beginning of September, with the first race taking place in Austria on 3-5 July weekend. 

“September, October and November, would see us race in Eurasia, Asia and the Americas, finishing the season in the Gulf in December with Bahrain before the traditional finale in Abu Dhabi, having completed between 15-18 races. We will publish our finalised calendar as soon as we possibly can.” 

2. Prem launches ‘Project Restart’

The English Premier League is putting plans in place to restart the 2019-20 season with “Project Restart” citing 8 June as the date to relaunch the campaign. The Times reports that matches could be played only at “approved stadiums”, while squads would stay at hotels that had also been carefully selected and screened by health officials. 

3. Jota confident EPL season will finish

Wolves forward Diogo Jota believes the Premier League season will be completed. The Portugal international told BBC Sport: “I know almost every country in the world has the Premier League as one of the leagues to watch so it is major that we can finish the season. Obviously health is first and when everything is ready to go we can finish the season.”

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4. Supplementary subs 

The Sun says Fifa is drawing up plans to allow clubs to field two more substitutes in order to protect stars from burn-out and injuries as football prepares to restart after what in most cases will be a three month lay-off. With that in mind five subs will be allowed instead of the customary three.

5. Nadal and Murray play virtual tennis in Madrid 

Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are among the players taking part in the Mutua Madrid Open Virtual Pro starting today. Thirty-two of the world’s top ATP and WTA stars will compete in the charity esports tennis tournament and all matches will be streamed on the Mutua Madrid Open’s Facebook page.

6. Where will Coutinho go next?

The future of Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho continues to make headlines. According to the Daily Mirror Liverpool turned down the chance to re-sign the Brazilian while the Daily Express says that Newcastle are set to enter the race for the 27-year-old. Other Premier League clubs reportedly interested in Coutinho include Chelsea, Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham.

7. Gunners linked with Willian

Another Brazilian who is set for a summer move is Willian. His Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season and according to reports Liverpool were in talks about taking the winger to Anfield on a free transfer. However, the Daily Mail says that Arsenal are now front-runners to sign the 31-year-old.

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8. Kean fined for lockdown party

The Daily Mail doesn’t beat around the bush in its “Covidiot Kean” back page headline. The paper says there is “fury” within the Everton ranks at the antics of striker Moise Kean, who has been caught flouting lockdown rules by throwing a party in his flat. As a result he faces a “fine of £100,000-plus and the wrath of manager Carlo Ancelotti”.

9. Women’s Six Nations to move in calendar 

Rugby union’s Six Nations is set for a radical overhaul, says The Guardian, with organisers considering creating a new window for the women’s competition. In a bid to avoid a clash with the men’s tournament, the Women’s Six Nations may “move away from the traditional February-March slot in an effort to increase exposure”. 

10. Pichot: rugby faces its ‘biggest day’ 

Argentine rugby union legend Agustin Pichot has told The Daily Telegraph that now is the time for the sport to change.

Pichot, who is running to become chairman of World Rugby, said: “Rugby was facing a crisis before Covid-19 struck and the pandemic has only served to exacerbate so many of the issues in the game.

“We have an opportunity before us, no matter how it has come about. It is time for change. These are grave times for everyone but a crisis should not be allowed to bring us to our knees. Rather it is an opportunity.”

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