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Eight West Ham players showing mild coronavirus symptoms – Karren Brady

The Hammers are hoping to be able to return to training after April 13.

Eight West Ham players showing mild coronavirus symptoms – Karren Brady

West Ham have eight players in self-isolation showing mild symptoms of coronavirus.

Hammers vice-chairman Karren Brady revealed the number in her column in The Sun as the pandemic continues to cause major disruption to the sporting calendar.

Brady wrote: “I am relieved to say they are all showing mild symptoms and, along with their families, seem to be well.

“But it is no more than a handshake, sneeze or cough away from any of us, so no one should be complacent.”

The West Ham squad all have fitness programmes to do at home, with the current plan that they will resume training when this lockdown period ends on April 13.

The Premier League, English Football League and Professional Footballers’ Association met on Friday to discuss the economic implications of the suspension of the season.

There will be further talks next week, with the projected restart of the season currently being April 30.

Brady said: “When we – all Prem clubs – last spoke, we agreed to get going again as soon as possible.

“And that games will run into July, if required, to get this campaign finished. This is the plan. This is what we want to deliver.

“It may be games have to be played behind closed doors, which no one wants – especially the players and fans.

“But we hope it might just be possible to go ahead once the sharp graph of it bottoms out.”

Aleksander Ceferin knows there is no easy answer to how the current campaign will end
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin knows there is no easy answer to how the current campaign will end (Niall Carson/PA)

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin accepts so much uncertainty makes any firm forward planning impossible in the current climate.

“Nobody knows when this pandemic will end,” Ceferin said in an interview with Italian media outlet La Repubblica.

“There is a plan A, B and C. We can start in May, in June or the end of June. If we can’t do it on any of those three dates then the season probably would be lost.

“There is also the possibility to finish the season at the start of next season, with next season starting a little late. It would have to work with respect to the players and the signing periods.”

Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows, meanwhile, feels finishing the season north of the border is becoming increasingly unrealistic.

“There is still a big push by some to have the games played at some point,” Burrows told BBC Radio Scotland’s Off The Ball.

“Whilst that is still on some people’s agenda, I think it’s all up for grabs at this point.

“It’s on my agenda in the sense that I think it’s the right way to handle it, but given the timescales involved, with every day that passes I think it becomes more unrealistic in that sense.

“The contracts issue is one of the key subjects we need to talk about if we are going to play these fixtures at some point. That’s the hardest thing to square.”

In Italy, Juventus players have agreed to waive four months’ wages due to the pandemic.

Cristiano Ronaldo and his team-mates, along with manager Maurizio Sarri, have agreed to a reduction in pay “equal to the monthly payments of March, April, May and June 2020”, the Serie A giants said in a statement.

The agreement is set to be worth around 90 million euros (£80million) to the reigning champions.

Football in Italy is suspended with the country in lockdown and it remains to be seen whether the Serie A season will be finished. If the remaining games are rescheduled, Juventus said they would negotiate increases in pay for the squad.

England cricket captain Heather Knight is one of the hundreds of thousands of people to have signed up for the NHS volunteer scheme.

She wrote in her BBC column: “I have a lot of free time on my hands and I want to help as much as I can.

“My brother and his partner are doctors, and I have a few friends who work in the NHS, so I know how hard they are working and how difficult it is for everyone.

“I’m going to get the car out as I’ve volunteered to transport medicine, and also speak to people who are self-isolating.”

Former England captain Alastair Cook would prefer for the County Championship not to be played at all this season rather than attempting to hold a dramatically condensed campaign.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has made the decision that no professional cricket will be played before May 28, which means the traditional start of the season – which was due to begin on April 12 – faces a lengthy delay.

Cook, who won the Division One title with Essex last season, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “In this year, over the next six months, the bigger picture is the most important.

“Whatever happens, if we do play any sort of cricket which hopefully we will, what I hope is that they don’t try and have a six-game County Championship or something like that.

“If there is no time for a meaningful County Championship, say (you can only play) three or four games, there is probably not much sense us having it.”

Golfer Tommy Fleetwood hopes the Ryder Cup can act as an “amazing torch” after the pandemic has ended.

The flagship contest between Europe and the United States – scheduled to be played at Whistling Straits in September – remains in doubt, with no clear answers as to how the golf schedule may look if it resumes later in the year.

Fleetwood told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I think there are certain events that would be an amazing torch for a turn in how the world is getting on and the Ryder Cup would be one of them that is like a shining light at the end of the tunnel.

“It is obviously a very interesting one in terms of that qualification. For me I am fine if it stayed as it is at the moment so I don’t mind either way if it was to be played.

“But it should take its full course. The Ryder Cup is an event people dream about and sometimes it can only happen once.”

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto feels Formula One could bring in shorter grand prix weekends and push on into January 2021 to put together a meaningful season.

“We are in constant dialogue. I have felt, along with the other team principals, that these are decisive moments,” Binotto told Sky Sport Italia.

“We’ve decided to give complete freedom to (F1 chief executive Chase) Carey and the FIA to put together as soon as possible a timetable for us to get racing again, we are willing on our side.

“We are assessing various ideas; races closer together, maybe doing two or three races in January, considering also the option of cancelling (Friday) practice.”

Artem Milevskiy scored for Dinamo Brest as the Belarusian league continued
Artem Milevskiy scored for Dinamo Brest as the Belarusian league continued (Anthony Devlin/PA)

The Belarusian Premier League is the only European football still going on, with officials refusing to follow the rest of the continent by suspending sport.

It has not been a good start to the season for all-time record champions BATE Borisov.

After losing their opening match, BATE fell to a second defeat on Saturday, going down 2-1 to Slavia-Mozyr. Willum Thor Willumsson opened the scoring for last season’s runners-up but Nikita Melnikov netted twice for Slavia.

Dinamo Brest, who ended BATE’s run of 13 consecutive titles last year, picked up their first win of the new campaign after beating Slutsk 1-0, Artem Milevskiy scoring the only goal in the 19th minute.

Later on Saturday, FC Minsk beat city rivals Dinamo Minsk 3-2 to sit top of the table with a 100 per cent record from two matches.

Sweden had some friendlies being played, but mostly in lower divisions.

Billeberga GIF won 5-0 at Loberods IF, Arla IF beat Hallbybrunns 4-1 and Eskilstuna Babylon IF ran out 7-1 winners at Eskilstuna Sodra.

Tajikistan is yet to declare a single coronavirus case
Tajikistan is yet to declare a single coronavirus case (Simon Cooper/PA)

The only professional basketball in the world, meanwhile, is being played in the Tajikistan Primary League.

The mountainous central Asian nation is one of less than 20 countries yet to declare a single coronavirus case.

There were three matches in the sport’s domestic top flight, as leaders Dushanbe beat the Legends 124-74, Zuhro got the better of Berkut, while Diesel Power edged past Faeton 82-74 in overtime.

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