F1: Singapore Grand Prix won’t happen behind closed doors
Singapore Grand Prix promoters have ruled out holding their Formula One race without spectators, casting further uncertainty over the likelihood of the September event going ahead.
Formula One plans to start its stalled season in July with races behind closed doors in Austria and Britain due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sport has not given up on crowds returning later in the year, however.
Singapore GP promoters told The Straits Times newspaper on Saturday that they were maintaining an open dialogue with Formula One but it was “not feasible to conduct the race behind closed doors”.
“The top priority remains the well-being and safety of our fans, volunteers, and all Singaporeans,” a spokesman said.
He added “works typically require three months to complete, and this will depend on whether such activities are permitted under the prevailing government regulations”.
FOOTBALL: Lyon women crowned French champions
Lyon’s women’s team were crowned French league champions late on Friday night, winning their 14th consecutive domestic title, writes Molly McElwee.
While the women’s Bundesliga prepares to restart on May 29, the French league became the second major women’s competition in Europe to end their season prematurely due to coronavirus, after Spain’s top division was also abandoned last week.
Champions League holders Lyon were three points clear of Paris Saint-Germain when play was halted in March but, with six matches left to play, the French Football Federation (FFF) made the decision to wrap the season up.
It follows France’s men’s premier division, Ligue 1, which was also abandoned on April 28 after the country’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that major sports fixtures – including those behind closed doors – will not be permitted in the country before September.
The women’s team’s title is the first for England players Nikita Parris and Alex Greenwood, who joined Lyon this season, while it is Lucy Bronze’s third with the club.
Unlike Spain’s top women’s division, which cancelled relegation, the FFF went ahead with demoting the two bottom sides, Marseille and Metz, as they did in the men’s league.
The news comes just as rumours swirl around the future of the Women’s Super League in England, which is expected to be cancelled next week due to the major costs involved in coronavirus testing.
FOOTBALL: Pearson fears coronavirus-related fatality
Watford manager Nigel Pearson has raised concerns about a coronavirus-related death in the Premier League and urged caution before a decision is made about whether to resume the season.
Clubs could be back in some form of training next week following a Premier League meeting on Monday, when medical protocols will be discussed and voted on, while the campaign could be up and running again by mid-June.
Pearson has some reservations about ‘Project Restart’ and called for a more pragmatic approach with the country still very much in the grip of a pandemic.
“God forbid we have a fatality,” he said in The Times. “People are closing their eyes to the threat.
“Yes, we would like to restart it but it’s got to be safe. We should be cautious. To ignore possibilities is foolhardy. It’s about safeguarding people’s health.
“We have to try to believe (Government) advice that we’re being given that we’ve reached the peak but there’s still an incredible number of people losing their lives through this.
“The death toll in the UK is anything between 33,000 and 38,000. That’s filling our stadium and then filling it half again. It’s a sobering thought.”
NFL: Teams could return to training on Tuesday
NFL teams can begin reopening their facilities on Tuesday if state and local governments will allow it.
In a memo sent to the 32 teams Friday by Commissioner Roger Goodell and obtained by The Associated Press, he stressed that the clubs must be “in compliance with any additional public health requirements in their jurisdiction, and have implemented the protocols that were developed by (league medical officer) Dr. (Allen) Sills and distributed to all clubs on May 6.”
Facilities have been closed since late March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Each team was required to submit a plan to the league for reopening its training/practice facility this week.
“Clubs unable to meet these criteria on May 19 may reopen their facilities on the earliest date thereafter on which they are able to meet the criteria,” Goodell added.
FOOTBALL: Ending League Two season ‘for the greater good’
Port Vale chair and co-owner Carol Shanahan believes she was acting in “the greater good” after voting to end the Sky Bet League Two season, despite her side being a point and a place adrift of the play-offs.
The English Football League confirmed on Friday that fourth-tier outfits had “unanimously indicated a preferred direction of travel to curtail the campaign” as well as agreeing to a framework which would decide the standings, while League One clubs failed to reach an agreement.
The final League Two table could therefore be decided on an unweighted points-per-game system and Port Vale would finish eighth, outside the play-offs.
Shanahan, though, thinks voting through the proposal was a necessary measure after considering the return-to-play protocols and attached costs of resuming the campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It wasn’t an easy thing to do. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Shanahan told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Then I had to do the awful thing of ringing the manager to tell him.
“Port Vale fans could look at it and ask: ‘Why on earth did Carol vote for this that meant we missed out?’. Well, it was for the greater good. I think it was the right thing to do.
“I felt I really wanted to finish the season. We’re eighth in the table and have every chance of getting into the play-offs. We had everything to play for.
“(But) being part of League Two I felt that the unity of League Two and the unity of the club we belong to, the needs of that was more important than the hurt Port Vale would feel.”
Live sport returns this afternoon with action from the Bundesliga behind closed doors.
Our writers have examined which players to look out for and the current state of the title race, while Telegraph Sport will have live coverage of Borussia Dortmund’s meeting with Schalke, as well as Eintracht Frankfurt’s fixture at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
We’ll have updates building up to this afternoon’s fixtures as well as all the latest news regarding sport and the coronavirus pandemic in this live blog throughout the day.
Source: Telegraph UK