Coronavirus and its effects on the sporting world

FILE – In this March 26, 2020, file photo, Jason Hackedorn looks into Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, in Cleveland. With the distinct possibility of pro sports resuming in empty venues, a recent poll suggests a majority of U.S. fans wouldn’t feel safe attending games anyway without a coronavirus vaccine.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

The century-old Reno Rodeo has canceled the 10-day event in June because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Reno Rodeo President Craig Downie said in a letter to the rodeo’s board of directors that canceling the event scheduled for June 18-27 was necessary to ensure the safety of participants, fans, vendors, sponsors and volunteers.

General Manager George Combs said it was a difficult decision, made in consultation with health experts as well as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Billed as the “Wildest, Richest Rodeo in the West,” the event attended by 140,000 people annually celebrated its centennial in 2019.


The University of Minnesota athletic department is projecting a $4 million deficit for the fiscal year ending on June 30. That’s out of a $123 million budget that ranks as the eighth-largest in the Big Ten conference.

Minnesota AD Mark Coyle presented the financial picture at a Board of Regents meeting conducted by video conference on Friday. In February, before the virus outbreak caused the cancellation of the NCAA basketball tournaments and a sharp decrease in revenue, the Gophers were forecasting a $1 million surplus thanks in part to a surge in football ticket sales and fundraising related to a strong 2019 season for the team.

For the next budget cycle covering the 2020-21 school year, the athletic department is bracing for a $75 million loss of expected revenue in the worst-case scenario of no fall sports and thus no televised football games. Games played without fans admitted projects to a $30 million drop in revenue. The best-case scenario of campus reopening in the fall and sports played as scheduled would bring an estimated $10 million hit. Those figures don’t account for reduced expenses in travel and other areas due to the pandemic.

— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis


Real Madrid says striker Luka Jovic has a broken bone in his right foot and will not be able to return to practice with the rest of the team next week.

The club did not disclose the recovery time but Jovic is likely to be sidelined for at least a few weeks.

Madrid players are expected to return to individual training on Monday after nearly two months of confinement because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spanish media say Jovic was hurt while exercising at home.

Teams are being allowed to resume practicing as the Spanish government begins to ease some of the lockdown restrictions that have been in place since mid-March.


NASCAR has canceled races at Richmond Raceway, Chicagoland Speedway and Sonoma Raceway in California, as it revises its schedule to restart the season.

NASCAR plans to race at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina on May 17 and May 20. Since those races weren’t originally scheduled, NASCAR forfeited events at its Richmond and Chicago tracks. Richmond was originally scheduled for April 19 and Chicagoland was scheduled for June 21

Speedway Motorsports traded its road course race in Sonoma scheduled for June 14 for a Cup race at Charlotte on May 27.

NASCAR is attempting to race at tracks within driving distance of its North Carolina-based teams as it resumes competition following the sports shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has only announced races through May.

The canceling of the Chicago race is an ominous sign for workers at the track in Joliet, Illinois. The track staff was hit this week with a second round of layoffs by NASCAR since the pandemic.


The NHL and NHL Players’ Association have put their plans to play outside of North America on ice for the rest of the year.

The league and union announced the postponement of its 2020 international games, adding they look forward to taking teams overseas again next year. The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers were previously scheduled to open this season in Prague as part of the NHL’s Global Series.

The Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning had been slated to play two games in Stockholm.


The 19 Swiss-based employees of United World Wrestling have had their salaries cut 50 percent, and external staff have received a reduction in work and monthly service fees.

The international governing body for the sport says the reductions would be in force indefinitely.

“From the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games to the cancellation of domestic and international tournaments, the sports world has felt the pain of this virus/outbreak,” UWW says. “Even as we assess the rest of the 2020 calendar, there is uncertainty around the return to competition.”

The UWW says its development team has launched a webinar series to address concerns of national federations, athletes and stakeholders.


Turkish soccer team Trabzonspor says its players have started to train as a team following the federation’s decision to resume league games on June 12.

The Turkish club is based in the Black Sea coastal city of Trabzon. The team’s players had previously been training in groups of three in line with social distancing guidelines.

Turkey’s health ministry has said it was not involved in the decision to restart games and added that the federation would be responsible for any consequences.

Istanbul club Fenerbahce said Thursday that it “understands” the federation’s decision but raised questions about the fate of the season if a team needs to be quarantined and the legal implications if a player were to sustain lasting damage after becoming infected.


Spanish soccer teams have resumed individual training after nearly two months of confinement because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Barcelona, Sevilla, Villarreal and other clubs have returned to action after the Spanish government loosened some of the lockdown restrictions that had been in place since mid-March.

Atlético Madrid is set to resume its activities on Saturday and Real Madrid’s players will be back on the field on Monday.

Barcelona’s players were practicing at different parts of the team’s training camp to avoid contact with each other. Coach Quique Setién was wearing gloves and a mask as he watched from afar as players ran their drills. Players had their regular training uniforms but no masks or gloves while on the field.

Lionel Messi was seen juggling the ball by himself at one point.

All players, coaches and club employees were tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to practice. The league has not yet released results but some local media reports said three yet-to-be-named players tested positive. The information has not been independently confirmed.


Soccer teams will be allowed to use two extra substitutes per match to protect players during a backlog of games caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Football Association Board says competition organizers can now approve teams making five changes with a sixth in extra time.

IFAB says the temporary rule is available to “competitions which have either started or are intended to start, but are scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31.”

Leagues which typically end in May face a congested program into July and August to complete their season.

A further IFAB decision is needed to extend the rule into next season’s competitions and national team games in 2021.


Rafael Nadal says Novak Djokovic will need to be vaccinated to keep playing if tennis bodies make coronavirus shots obligatory once they become available.

Nadal tells Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia this week that Djokovic and all players will have to follow the rules when tennis eventually returns to action.

Nadal says no one can be forced to take the vaccine and everyone should be free to make their choices but all players will have to comply if tennis officials require “vaccination to travel” and to “protect” everyone on the tour.

Djokovic recently said he was against taking a vaccine for the coronavirus even if it became mandatory to travel. He later said he was open to changing his mind.

Nadal says “Djokovic will have to be vaccinated if he wants to keep playing tennis at the top level.”

He says that “if the ATP or the International Tennis Federation obligates us to take the vaccine to play tennis then we will have to do it.”


Inter Milan players can resume training at the club’s Suning Center after everyone from the first team tested negative for the coronavirus.

Inter had to delay the resumption of training earlier in the week because not everyone on the team had been tested for COVID-19.

The club says all tests have now come back negative and that “optional individual training sessions will begin this afternoon.”

AC Milan has also reopened its training center for its players.

Most of the other Italian league clubs had already resumed training on an individual basis this week before full team training restarts on May 18.


Manchester City defender Kyle Walker has complained about being “harassed” and says his family has been “torn apart” after admitting to breaking social-distancing rules again during the coronavirus pandemic.

British newspaper The Sun reports that Walker breached regulations three times in a 24-hour period this week by visiting family members and going on a cycle ride with a friend.

The England international apologized last month for hosting a party at his home during the lockdown.

Walker posted a long statement on Twitter saying he feels he is being followed constantly while also raising mental health concerns.

Walker writes “this is no longer solely affecting me but affecting the health of my family and my young children too.”


Source: Associated Press