Coronavirus in Sport LIVE:

AFTER more than three months of waiting, the Premier League is coming back on June 17.

And in a further boost to football fans in the UK, the Championship has set a provisional date to restart while we've all the latest on the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Monday also marks the first day for a return of horse racing and greyhounds.

Follow all the latest coronavirus in sport updates below…

  • BARCA COVERUP

    Five Barcelona players tested positive for Covid-19 in results that were never made public, it has been claimed.

    Catalan radio station RAC1, in its programme Tu Diras, also said two members of the team’s coaching staff had the virus.

    It claimed the positives showed up in blood tests at the start of the coronavirus crisis, saying all those affected had showed no symptoms of the virus and had now recovered.

    However, local reports pointed to concern among club chiefs about the effect of the virus on those who caught it and their possible susceptibility to injury.

    Barcelona’s first match when La Liga restarts later this month is on June 13 away to Real Mallorca.

    There has been no official comment from Barcelona to the coronavirus claims.

  • MORNING, SPORTS FANS

    Charlton boss Lee Bowyer has confirmed THREE of his players are refusing to return to action ahead of the Championship season's resumption.

    Top scorer Lyle Taylor, Chris Solly, and Birmingham loanee David Davis have all informed the club of their intention to sit out the remainder of the campaign.

    According to Bowyer, 43, the trio fear a significant injury amid concerns over footballers being rushed back into match action.

    Meanwhile, QPR have blasted EFL chiefs for giving them barely half an hour’s notice of the planned Championship resumption date.

    Football League bosses announced the Championship will restart on June 20 in a press release issued at 9pm on Sunday.

    But Rangers chief executive Lee Hoos said the West London club was left “stunned” and “appalled” by the plan – and accused League bosses of leaving clubs out of the loop.

    In other news, empty Premier League football grounds could use noise from Fifa 20 to replicate the atmosphere generated by fans.

    With 92 games still remaining in the English top-flight season, the sounds from EA Sports’ top-selling game is due to be discussed by clubs.

    German clubs have placed cutouts of fans in the stands and some broadcasts have had fan noise clips placed in for effect.

    And finally, Japan will not have a MotoGP round for the first time since 1986 after organisers on Monday cancelled the October 18 race at Motegi due to the COVID-19 pandemic that will keep the series in Europe until mid-November.

    The race is a home one for champions Honda as well as manufacturers Yamaha and Suzuki. It is the sixth on the 2020 calendar to be cancelled.

    Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of promoters Dorna, said in a statement that the championship would focus on doing as many races as possible in Europe until mid-November.

  • CHALLENGES

    Steve Bruce has highlighted some of the challenges for the Newcastle squad as they look to get back to 100 per cent fitness during lockdown.

    The Toon boss said: “That was the difficult part, not knowing when we were going to get going, having it put off for three weeks and then another three weeks, sorting through the logistics of where the players were and when we could get them back in

    “Our focus now is doing a form of preparation that we’ve never done before.

    “How do we do it, what can we do and how can we make it so the players are ready?

    “What kind of input can we put into a training session to make sure they’re in their best physical condition?”

  • “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”

  • UNITED FRONT

  • RANGERS ROCKED

    QPR have blasted EFL chiefs for giving them barely half an hour’s notice of the planned Championship resumption date.

    Football League bosses announced the Championship will restart on June 20 in a press release issued at 9pm on Sunday.

    But Rangers chief executive Lee Hoos said the West London club was left “stunned” and “appalled” by the plan – and accused League bosses of leaving clubs out of the loop.

    Hoos said: “I am absolutely stunned by this announcement, as is our Director of Football Les Ferdinand and our manager Mark Warburton.

    “Incredibly, there has been absolutely no consultation with individual clubs nor with the Championship doctors' working group by the divisional representatives – or anyone else in the Football League – regarding this matter.

    “On top of that, we were only made aware of the statement 40 minutes before it was made public.”

  • DOUBLE HEADER

    Eddie Hearn is very confident of landing a deal to secure back-to-back Anthony Joshua versus Tyson Fury fights next year.

    Speaking to iFLTV, Hearn said: “I had a couple of missed FaceTime calls from Tyson the other day, so did AJ. I had two missed calls. I was out in the garden and came back in and had missed calls from him.

    “I called him back and texted him saying I’d missed his call but I was around.

    “Then I spoke to AJ and said 'I had missed calls from Tyson' and he said, 'you know what, so did I'. Don’t know what he was up to, but think he was just on a wind-up.

    “I just believe AJ beats Tyson Fury and I believe he knocks him out.

    “I think it's a wonderful fight and I'm very, very confident that you will see one or two of those in 2021 and were working hard to deliver that.”

  • BENCH BLUES

    Chelsea have formally asked to have the maximum number of substitutes on the bench increased from seven to nine for the rest of this season.

    The proposal, submitted to the Premier League, will be on the agenda for clubs due to attend a shareholders' meeting on Thursday.

    The Daily Mail claim Chelsea are concerned about a higher chance of player injuries following the long break.

    A vote on the plans suggested by the Blues is expected to take place next week on June 11.

    If it’s agreed by the League’s other clubs, the concept might not necessarily result in an increase in the number of subs who can play in a game.

    However, it’s believed this is being mulled over after international body IFAB changed the game's laws to temporarily allow five changes.

  • TON OF BOTHER

    Charlton boss Lee Bowyer has confirmed THREE of his players are refusing to return to action ahead of the Championship season's resumption.

    Top scorer Lyle Taylor, Chris Solly, and Birmingham loanee David Davis have all informed the club of their intention to sit out the remainder of the campaign.

    According to Bowyer, 43, the trio fear a significant injury amid concerns over footballers being rushed back into match action.

    The former midfielder told talkSPORT: “It’s a difficult one for us. We have 15 players out of contract, six loans and nine of our own contracted players out [on loan].

    “Unfortunately for us three of those players have said they’re not going to play, and Lyle is one of them.

    “That’s tough for us, that’s tough for me as the manager. Lyle’s a big player for us, a bit like [Troy] Deeney at Watford – when he plays we can win games – and Lyle has said he’s not going to play because of risk of injury.

    “Chris Solly has said the same and Davis is on loan from Birmingham and he’d said he doesn’t want to come back and play games. So we’re three players down.”

  • FREESY DOES IT

    WWE have launched a free version of the network with 15,000 shows available including SmackDown and RAW.

    The network was launched in 2014, and provides WWE fans with access to all their flagship roster shows and pay-per-views.

    But the pro wrestling promotion have announced they will now launch a free version.

    WWE executive vp of advanced media Jayar Donlan told The Hollywood Reporter the move offers “a balance of providing a great experience for our fans by essentially offering unlimited access to a larger array of programming while still maintaining the value of our more premium content at $9.99 per month.”

    The free of charge version will be ad-free at launch and offers recent episodes of Raw, SmackDown and NXT.

    But they will not be live, instead giving fans the chance to catch up on past episodes.

    Additionally, it will home to new shows like Raw Talk – due to stream every Monday night – and original series like Monday Night War, Ride Along and Table for 3.

  • ANT AND ABOUT

    PICTURE EXCLUSIVE – Anthony Joshua has been snapped wearing a leg brace while riding an electric scooter with pals during a break from lockdown in London.

    The WBA, WBO and IBF world heavyweight champ had his left leg strapped from thigh to ankle as he soaked up the weekend sunshine.

    Commenting on the brace, a source said: “Anthony felt a slight twinge in his knee whilst training.The brace is a precautionary measure on the advise of physios.

    “It will be further checked by his doctors but their is no immediate concern.”

    Joshua's movement while out in London did not look to be hampered in any way despite the precaution as he zoomed round on a scooter.

    Smiling AJ took in many of the capital's sights, including Marble Arch near Hyde Park, where hordes of people flocked with the sun out.

    Though AJ was careful not break any social distancing rules with the government allowing up to six people to meet up for exercise.

  • ACE OF PACE

    Racing finally returned in the UK at Newcastle racecourse today – with a 22/1 winner bagging the first!

    The entire sporting schedule around the world has been decimated due to coronavirus.

    But a slice of normal life came back to TV screens when horses and jockeys took to the sun-kissed Newcastle track 76 days after racing was suspended.

    And good on you if you picked the winner, with big outsider Zodiakos powering home to hold off 4-1 second-favourite Al Ozzdi in the 1 mile flat race.

    With no fans present though, and strict social distancing measures being carefully enforced, there was no usual cheering as the winner romped home.

    And the flat scene was the same when 9-1 Little Jo turned over odds-on favourite Mutasaamy in the second.

  • HOOPS OUTRAGE

    QPR chief executive Lee Hoos says the west London club are “vehemently opposed” to the proposed resumption of the Sky Bet Championship on June 20.

    Hoos raged: “I am absolutely stunned by this announcement, as is our director of football Les Ferdinand and our manager Mark Warburton.

    “Incredibly, there has been absolutely no consultation with individual clubs nor with the Championship doctors' working group by the divisional representatives – or anyone else in the Football League – regarding this matter.

    “On top of that, we were only made aware of the statement 40 minutes before it was made public.

    “Having spoken with Les and Mark, they share my views. We are vehemently opposed to this schedule.

    “The players haven't even returned to full-contact training at this moment and yet they are now expected to be in a position to play at a competitive level in just three weeks' time.

    “I have made our feelings known to the EFL and, having spoken with a number of CEOs at other Championship clubs, I am not a lone voice on this matter. We are absolutely appalled.”

  • RACING LIVE

    Don't forget you can keep up to date with the runners, riders and latest odds at Newcastle right here.

    KEEP UP TO DATE WITH ALL THE RACING ACTION ON OUR LIVE BLOG

  • IT'S A SIGN FOR ZODIAK

    The first race in the British sporting calendar got back underway at Newcastle

    And Zodiakos gets the honour of being the first winning horse back at the 3 o'clock.

  • 'NOT A HAT-TRICK'

    German football expert Raphael Honigstein explained why Jadon Sancho's three-goal haul for Dortmund against Paderborn yesterday is NOT considered a hat-trick in the Bundesliga.

    He told BBC Radio 5 Live: “In Germany, for some reason, we don't consider this a proper hat-trick.

    “It needs to be in one half, but also, nobody scoring in between.

    “We are so German we don't consider it a hat-trick.

    “Haaland doesn't care. I saw him going off with the match ball.”

  • AND THEY'RE OFF!

    Less than 10 minutes until the off in the first race at Newcastle!

    Here are the selections for our team of tipsters:

    Templegate: Stone Mason

    Matt Chapman: Al Ozzdi

    Trackman: Stone Mason

    Jack Keene: Tiercel

    Callum Jamieson: Stone Mason

    KEEP UP TO DATE WITH ALL THE RACING ACTION ON OUR LIVE BLOG

  • DEVIL HAS A HALO

    United have CONFIRMED Ighalo is staying at Old Trafford until January on loan.

    The club said in a statement: “The Nigerian striker's stay was initially due to end on 31 May but he will now remain with the Reds until 31 January 2021, enabling him to build on an impressive start to life with the club he supported as a boy.

    “Ighalo's tally of four goals in eight appearances so far includes at least one strike in each of his three starts – against Club Brugge, Derby County (2) and LASK.”

    Solskjaer said: “They [Shanghai Greenland Shenhua] have been great towards us, allowing him to play for his dream club.

    “It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish what he started and win a trophy with us.”

  • HAM'S NOT IMPRESSED

    Lewis Hamilton has been far from complimentary towards F1 over their handling of the coronavirus crisis.

    The British world champ cast doubt over the validity of the Australian Grand Prix back in March when bosses wanted the race to go ahead.

    Now he is unimpressed with their handling of the George Floyd situation in America.

    Hamilton said:“I see those of you who are staying silent, some of you the biggest of stars yet you stay silent in the midst of injustice.

    “Not a sign from anybody in my industry which of course is a white-dominated sport. I’m one of the only people of colour there yet I stand alone.

    “I would have thought by now you would see why this happens and say something about it but you can't stand alongside us. Just know I know who you are and I see you.”

  • RACING IS BACK

    There is a bumper 10-race card at Newcastle on Monday, ahead of a high-profile weekend featuring the 2000 and 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

    Race meetings were last held on March 17, when Wetherby and Taunton were in action behind closed doors, before racing was brought to an immediate halt.

    The suspension was in line with other sports, with the last game in the Premier League having taken place on March 9, while Champions League football has been on hold since March 11.

    BHA chief executive Nick Rust said: “Our focus is obviously on returning safely and protecting all those taking part in behind closed doors racing, while also reassuring the communities that racing takes place in that the risk of transmitting the virus has been minimised.

    “We're all very passionate about racing and like the participants and anyone connected with the sport, we've all missed it.”

  • IT'S IN THE GAME

    Empty Premier League football grounds could use noise from Fifa 20 to replicate the atmosphere generated by fans.

    With 92 games still remaining in the English top-flight season, the sounds from EA Sports’ top-selling game is due to be discussed by clubs.

    German clubs have placed cutouts of fans in the stands and some broadcasts have had fan noise clips placed in for effect.

    Fifa 20 has over 10 million players and remains the world’s most popular soccer game, ahead of Pro Evolution Soccer.

    And 450million matches of the game have been played worldwide.

    So fans might be forgiven for chucking their controller around if their team concedes!

  • RASH: WE MATTER

    Marcus Rashford has sent out an impassioned plea for people to stand united after the death of George Floyd.

    After raising millions for children to have school meals during the coronavirus crisis, the United forward posted on Instagram: “I know you guys haven’t heard from me in a few days.

    “I’ve been trying to process what is going on in the world.

    “At a time I’ve been asking people to come together, work together and be united, we appear to me more divided than ever.

    “People are hurting and people need answers.

    “Black lives matter. Black culture matters. Black communities matter. We matter.”

    View this post on Instagram

    I know you guys haven’t heard from me in a few days. I’ve been trying to process what is going on in the world. At a time I’ve been asking people to come together, work together and be united, we appear to me more divided than ever. People are hurting and people need answers. Black lives matter. Black culture matters. Black communities matter. We matter. #justiceforgeorgefloyd #justiceforahmaudarbery #justiceforbreonnataylor

    A post shared byMarcus Rashford (@marcusrashford) on

  • ATTACKED KENNY SPEAKING

    Ex-England and Arsenal star Kenny Sansom has talked for the first time since the attack that left him fighting for life.

    He told family holding a six-week hospital vigil: “I’m in a bad way.”

    A friend said: “Kenny is sitting up and has said a few words.

    “It’s a massive relief. But he is still really ill and badly hurt.”

    Another added: “If Kenny is going to recover he is going to need a lot of support and a lot of care.”

  • NEEDS RUBBER STAMP

    Odion Ighalo has “agreed” a loan extension with Manchester United until end of January 2021 with the transfer awaiting FA approval.

    The agreement with his parent club Shanghai Shenhua officially expired on Sunday night, and it appeared as though United had failed in a bid to keep the striker at the club.

    According to The Telegraph, both sides have now come to an agreement for the 30-year-old to stay in Manchester until the new year.

    The deal is said to be awaiting confirmation with FA for registration.

    It is claimed Ighalo will then discuss a new contract with Shanghai Shenhua once he returns in 2021.

  • A COO FOR BIRDS

    More than 4,000 birds belonging to members of the Barnsley Federation of Racing Pigeons are being released from a park in Kettering today ahead of a 90-mile sprint back to South Yorkshire.

    Organiser John Greenshield says he is expecting his 35 pigeons in the race to start arriving back at his allotment in Hemsworth around one hour and 50 minutes after they are released.

    Retired miner Greenshield, 72, said the green light came earlier than many expected and so many of the birds are far from “match fit”.

    Greenshield said: “This is a very strong ex-mining area and I worked in the pits for 41 years.

    “The whole current situation has got people down and there are a lot of mental problems.

    “The racing is something for people to get out of bed for. People are really looking forward to it.”

Source: Read Full Article