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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Ecclestone expects season to be cancelled

    Formula 1

    Bernie Ecclestone

    Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone holds little hope of Formula 1 racing this season because of the coronavirus pandemic and said he would have declared the campaign over already.

    The 89-year-old also sees no chance of the British Grand Prix going ahead at Silverstone in July.

    "Today what would I do? I think I’d have to say we’re going to close down talk of having any races this year," he told Reuters.

    "That's the only thing you could do safely for everybody so nobody starts making silly arrangements which may not be able to happen."

  2. Premier League's poetry plea


    With parents and children isolated at home during the coronavirus, the Premier League is encouraging families to produce poems on the theme of ambition.

    They want the family poems posted on Twitter using the hashtag #PLPrimaryStars.

  3. Fifpro step-up support during pandemic


    World Players' Union FifPro will "employ extra resources" to provide assistance to its members during the coronavirus and have warned "most football players outside the world’s biggest leagues" would be "severely affected by salary decreases."

    Their statement on Friday read: "In these turbulent times caused by the spread of coronavirus and shutdown of football, FifPro and our affiliated player associations are receiving a large volume of calls for assistance from professional footballers.

    "We are committed to doing our utmost to support player unions and professional footballers in this situation. During such an unprecedented period, Fifpro will employ extra resources in order to further step up our efforts to support players, and provide them with extra legal advice, mental health support and second-career planning.

    "While we are encouraged by football stakeholder co-operation at an international level, we are extremely concerned that a significant number of clubs, in more than half a dozen countries, have begun to immediately lay off players or unilaterally reduce their salaries.

    "We call on clubs with short-term financial difficulties to meet with national player unions to negotiate fair and proportionate arrangements which respect their legal obligations, and equally address the interests of both employer and employee.

    "At a time of such a significant social crisis, solutions must be found with everybody’s contribution. Most football players outside the world’s biggest leagues are earning at the same level or below average domestic income and would be severely affected by salary decreases."

  4. Dybala set to resume training after coronavirus

    Paulo Dybala

    Juventus forward Paulo Dybala says he feels "much better" and is ready to restart a training regime after his coronavirus diagnosis.

    The 26-year-old Argentina international announced last week that he and his girlfriend Oriana Sabatini had both tested positive for the virus.

    Although he said at the time both felt in “perfect condition” he suffered stronger symptoms during which his "body felt heavy" and "muscles hurt" which prevented him exercising, but he is now set to resume training.

  5. Dier: 'Coronavirus puts it all into perspective'

    Eric Dier

    Tottenham's Eric Dier says illness and injury problems over the last 16 months have been "put into perspective" by coronavirus.

    Having been hit by appendicitis in December 2018 and further illness in pre-season Dier, 26, had regained his place in the Spurs team when football was suspended.

    "Of course, I miss the game, miss the lads, but this is a very upsetting situation for everyone,” he told the club's website. "I thought I was in good place at the time. It’s crazy really. It’s been up and down, up and down, but this puts it all into perspective. It’s just about everyone’s health.

    "I’ve been training every day. I’ve a little gym and I’ve brought a few things in since we’ve been on shut down.

    "I’ve also a teqball table, which is great fun. I’m running every day, so running, gym, and the coaches and staff at the club are all in touch, so everyone is keeping their fitness ticking over."

  6. Chelsea squad donate to club foundation


    Chelsea's senior squad have made a "sizeable donation" to the club’s foundation supporting the community during the coronavirus.

    The foundation will work with local charities to support the vulnerable, initially across Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster.

    Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is already allowing NHS staff to use the Millennium Hotel at Stamford Bridge.

  7. BHA staff to take furlough or wage cuts

    Horse Racing

    Cornelius Lysaght

    BBC horse racing correspondent

    The British Horseracing Authority is furloughing a majority of its 260 staff during the pandemic while remaining staff are taking pay cuts in a move the Authority says will save the industry around £1m a month, a third of its usual operating costs.

    Those being stood down from their current roles include all race-day staff.

    Racing was one of the last British sports to shut up shop because of the coronavirus - with the final fixtures held, behind closed doors, on 17 March - and it faced criticism over the decision to stage the whole of the Cheltenham Festival the previous week.

    Meetings are suspended until 30 April at the earliest, but the Authority says despite the announced measures it’ll be ready for a potential resumption from any date afterwards, when permitted.

  8. F1's progress with ventilators to aid coronavirus patients


    Andrew Benson

    BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer

    Formula 1 says "significant progress" has been made with plans for teams to help boost the UK's supply of ventilators to help coronavirus patients.

    McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams, Renault, Racing Point and Haas are involved in three separate projects as part of a UK industry-wide effort to increase capacity.

    There are three workstreams: reverse engineering existing devices so they can help boost patients' oxygen supply; scaling up the production of existing ventilator designs; and rapid design and prototyping of a new device for certification and production.

    A statement from F1 said teams' "unique ability to rapidly respond to engineering and technological challenges allows the group to add value to the wider engineering industry’s response".

    The statement added: "The seven teams remain ready to support in other areas requiring rapid, innovative technology responses to the unique challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic."

  9. Saints to help with meals across community

    Southampton Football Club and their Saints Foundation have joined forces with charitable food re-distributors FareShare to cook and deliver a range of 1,000 meals each week for people in need across Southampton and the surrounding community during the pandemic.

    Saints Foundation will also provide volunteers to FareShare each day, to support across their entire operation.

    The project, which forms part of the club’s new Saints As One campaign, will initially cover the next 12 weeks, to align with the suggested period of isolation for the most at-risk members of society.

  10. Judging training methods a concern for Lampard


    Chelsea manager Frank Lampard

    Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admits planning training regimes is a concern with no definitive date for football to return.

    "It is very difficult at the moment because we have got nothing concrete in front of us,” Lampard said in a Face Time interview with Chelsea’s official club app.

    "We have seen that things can change very quickly, so we can only go by the dates we have been given, at the moment it looks like 1 May or the end of April.

    "The last thing I want to do at this moment when the players are in this position when we don’t know when the games are going to be is to try and push and push and push (them) for no reason."

  11. Tottenham set for live video training


    Harry Winks has revealed that Tottenham players have been given an individual fitness schedule in order to remain in shape while staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

    "It’s a bit strange for all of us, but I’ve got my head around it," Winks explained.

    Spurs have been providing players with any equipment they need to complete their own exercise programmes, including weights, rollers and exercise bikes.

    Manager Jose Mourinho has also been contacting members of the squad and every player was assigned a coach to oversee their individual programmes, with live video training sessions set to start on Monday.

    Tottenham and England midfielder Harry Winks
  12. Atleti players take a cut

    Alvaro Morata

    Atletico Madrid have taken the decision to cut the wages of their staff, including the players, to ease the financial burden on the club as they struggle with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Atletico join rivals Barcelona, who imposed a compulsory wage reduction on their players during the period of lockdown after Spain became the second-most impacted country in Europe behind Italy.

    Spain has nearly 57,800 confirmed cases with 4,36 deaths due to the pandemic and the country has been in lockdown since March 14 with the period extended by a further 15 days to April 12.

    Atletico CEO Miguel Angel Gil said wage cut was necessary to guarantee the "survival of the club" with the staff being paid despite the season being suspended indefinitely, which has impacted revenues of clubs across Europe.

  13. Premier League football is a powerful thing - Dyche

    More from Burnley manager Sean Dyche on Radio 4's Today programme on the power of football.

    "The Premier League's a very, very powerful vehicle - not just for the finance, the finance it brings into the country through tax etc. But also for the feelgood factor," he said.

    "I think people forget sometimes how powerful football is at all levels by the way, but particularly the Premier League, is a bit of a showcase for football. And I think they do forget how powerful it is.

    "And it is something that families, even at the moment we're in this period of looking after yourself and staying in your own situations, you know, if it can be done, and I think it's good for all to have sports on TV, not just football or sports, of course but Premier League football is a powerful thing."

  14. Ajax player home with family after 2017 heart attack


    Here's a positive story in these uncertain times...

    Ajax's Abdelhak Nouri, who suffered brain damage after an on-pitch heart attack in 2017, is out of hospital and communicating with his family at home, his brother has told Dutch television.

    The midfielder, 22, was placed in an induced coma after the incident in a pre-season game in Austria in 2017.

    "He sleeps, eats, sneezes and burps but is very dependent," his brother Abderrahim told De Wereld Draait Door.

    "Some communication is possible, for example raising eyebrows."

    Read more here.

  15. Virtual Grand National set for 4 April

    Horse racing

    The actual Grand National may be off but next weekend will still feature a televised Virtual Grand National.

    Forty runners who would have been most likely to line up will take part, using CGI technology and special algorithms.

    Tiger Roll had been due to seek an unprecedented third consecutive win in the big race on Saturday, 4 April before it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The virtual race will be broadcast by ITV at 17:00 BST the same day.

    Executive producer Rob McLoughlin said: "We use the latest CGI technology and algorithms and were ready to go ahead as a forerunner to the big race, but now we want to cheer the nation up and ask the computer if history could have been made."

  16. Sunderland non-playing staff on furlough


    League One Sunderland have announced they have placed members of their non-playing staff on furlough - a temporary leave of absence - as they attempt to protect jobs in the long-term.

    A club statement said: "Due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Sunderland AFC have recently placed a number of the club’s non-playing staff on furlough leave.

    "With football suspended until at least 30 April and many members of staff unable to carry out their roles as a result, the club has taken the decision to utilise the government’s newly-announced wage support system.

    "The decision will not only ensure staff continue to be paid, but but also help to ensure that as many jobs as possible remain protected throughout the ongoing lockdown."

  17. Lopez backs French Open despite date switch


    Feliciano Lopez does not expect many players to skip the French Open after its controversial move from spring to autumn.

    The tournament is now due to begin only a week after the US Open and clashes with a number of events, including Roger Federer’s Laver Cup.

    The Laver Cup, a Ryder Cup-style tournament between Europe and the rest of the world that has attracted star-studded fields, responded with a statement saying it would go ahead as planned.

    Spaniard Lopez, ranked 56th, said: "It is an emergency situation. If it finally turns out that way, I imagine that tennis players will want to play and few people will skip it."

  18. Bath announce pay cuts for players and staff

    Rugby Union

    Bath have become the latest Premiership club to announce pay cuts for players and staff.

    Bath chief executive Tarquin McDonald said: "While the clear intention of the league and the clubs is to get back to playing rugby as soon as possible, the financial impact on all clubs in the league is significant and immediate.

    "In this unprecedented landscape, I can confirm that we have taken the difficult decision to ask all players and staff to support the club by agreeing a 25% reduction of salary, effective from 1 April 2020.

    "This reduction will not apply to our lower-earning members of staff and players, and we will ensure that we support our people where they are facing serious financial difficulty.

    "The decision will remain under constant review, whilst we wait to start playing rugby again.

    "The response of everyone at the club has been amazing. There is a deep desire to come through this period of uncertainty together and to emerge stronger as a club, which we will."

  19. Evian Championship switched


    The Evian Championship, one of five majors in the women’s game, will move into the week vacated by the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics.

    Originally scheduled for 23-26 July at Evian-les-Bains, the Championship, won last year by South Korea's Ko Jin-young, will move to 6-9 August, the LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and tournament officials announced on Friday.

    The 2019 Evian Championship
  20. Lampard admits difficulties with no set return date


    Chelsea boss Frank Lampard accepts clubs cannot expect players to "push and push" themselves during the coronavirus pandemic – with no concrete timetable as to when football will return.

    The Blues squad continue to train at home during the lockdown initiated by the government.

    Given the current situation, the target date for a resumption of games from 30 April appears very optimistic. Lampard, though, feels there is little else everyone at the club can do but try to stay focused on the bigger picture.

    "It is very difficult at the moment because we have got nothing concrete in front of us,” said Lampard.

    “We have seen that things can change very quickly, so we can only go by the dates we have been given, at the moment it looks like 1 May or the end of April.

    “But daily or probably weekly we are looking at it, saying: ‘well, how do we train? What does it look like?"