The Latest: MLS says returning in mid-May unlikely

AP News
April 14, 2020 - 12:24 pm
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    The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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    Major League Soccer says its hopes of returning in mid-May are “extremely unlikely.”

    In a statement Tuesday, the league said guidance from federal and local public health officials is making it unlikely the league will be able to restart in about a month.

    MLS says the goal remains to play as many games as possible, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to potentially play an entire season even if there are enough dates available.

    MLS currently has a training moratorium for players through April 24.

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    The NHL will remain on pause through at least the end of the month.

    The league on Tuesday announced it was extending its self-quarantine recommendation for players, coaches and staff through April 30. The announcement marks the third time the NHL has pushed back its timetable since suspending play on March 12 because of the new coronavirus.

    The most recent self-quarantine recommendation was supposed to run through Wednesday. The recommendation means team facilities will remain closed to players.

    Players and staff were previously given the opportunity to self-isolate at their offseason homes.

    There is no timetable of when play might resume and whether the NHL will be able to complete the regular season or start the playoffs, which could stretch into September. There were 189 games remaining when play was suspended.

    -- AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow reporting.

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    The German soccer league has delayed a meeting of clubs that was expected to set out a timetable for resuming games in empty stadiums.

    Clubs from the top two divisions were to meet Friday but that has been delayed until April 23.

    The league had hoped to resume play next month but Germany’s federal political system could allow numerous state and federal officials to obstruct games if they disagree.

    The league says clubs need extra time to prepare and that any decisions made will be “based on the current political decision-making situation at federal and state level over the coming week.”

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    The Senior British Open golf tournament has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

    The event was scheduled to take place at Sunningdale from July 23-26.

    R&A official Johnnie Cole-Hamilton says organizers are looking at alternative options to host the tournament “later in the year if at all possible.”

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    UEFA says it will host another round of calls next week for European soccer leaders to address the shutdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The UEFA executive committee is set to join by video link on April 23. It will follow separate days of calls with UEFA’s 55 member federations and club soccer officials.

    UEFA is giving priority to completing national league and cup competitions. One contingency plan is for games to continue into July and August and decide entries for the Champions League and Europa League next season.

    This season’s Champions League and Europa League could resume once domestic titles are decided.

    The UEFA executive committee last month postponed the European Championship by one year to 2021. Other games affected include World Cup qualifying groups, the 2021 Nations League finals and the women’s Euro 2021 tournament in England.

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    The Asian Football Confederation says it has postponed “all matches and competitions scheduled to take place in May and June until further notice.”

    Most of the 32 Asian Champions League teams played two group games in February before the coronavirus outbreak caused a shutdown.

    The AFC says it “will explore all possible options in order to complete” those groups.

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    The first women’s professional golf tournament in Saudi Arabia has found new dates in October.

    The inaugural Saudi Ladies International on the Ladies European Tour was to be played last month but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The $1 million event will now be played from Oct. 8-11 at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club at King Abdullah Economic City.

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    The Tour de France won’t begin as originally planned because French President Emmanuel Macron has canceled all public events with large crowds through mid-July in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Tour organizers say it is now impossible for the three-week race to start on June 27 in the Riviera city of Nice as scheduled.

    It is unclear if cycling’s biggest event will be scrapped from the race calendar. New plans are likely to be announced before the end of the month following consultations with the governing body of cycling.

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