Indian sports minister Kiren Rijuju told all national sports federations to ban spectators at all events, but events can go on if they “can’t be avoided.”The decision impacts the hugely popular IPL, due to start on March 29 and last seven weeks.It’s not yet been determined how it will affect the one-day international series between India and South Africa which began on Thursday in Dharamsala. The second ODI is in Lucknow on Sunday, and the third ODI in Kolkata next Wednesday.Foreign players are expected to face difficulties in traveling to India as the government on Wednesday suspended all visas, barring categories such as diplomatic and employment-related, until April 15 in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.Unless the government makes an exception, foreign cricketers will not be given business visas with which they travel to play the IPL. March 12, 2020 Qualifying was scheduled to start Friday.___11:15 a.m.Real Madrid says its soccer and basketball teams have been put in quarantine after a basketball play for the club tested positive for the coronavirus.The Spanish club says the soccer team was also affected because it shares training facilities with the basketball team. The league was scheduled to hold regular-season games in Moscow, Istanbul, Madrid and Tel Aviv on Thursday.___10:30 a.m.The International Basketball Federation says it is suspending all competitions indefinitely from Friday.FIBA says the decision was made “in order to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, officials and fans.” Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditLONDON (AP) — The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s affect on sports around the globe (all times local):11:40 a.m.The Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament could be staged without spectators after a government decree related to the coronavirus outbreak. The Swiss hockey league has ended the season in the top two divisions before the playoffs because of the spreading coronavirus.The league’s decision comes less than two months before Switzerland is due to host the world championships in Zurich and Lausanne.The league says decisions on awarding titles, and promotion and relegation places, will be decided at a special meeting on Friday.The Swiss soccer leagues have been suspended through March, and Basel is unable to host a Europa League game next week against Eintracht Frankfurt.___ ___10 a.m.The Juventus player who tested positive for the coronavirus says he’s “OK” and wants “to reassure everyone who is worrying about me.” Juventus announced late Wednesday that defender Daniele Rugani and “those who have had contact with him” are being isolated. It also said Rugani is not showing any symptoms of the disease.Rugani sent a post on Twitter overnight in Italian. The Swedish Bandy Association says the tournament, scheduled to be played from March 29-April 5 in Irkutsk, has been postponed until October.International Bandy Association president Boris Skrynnik says “we know that there are concerns in other countries when it comes to travel and spending time with larger groups.”The under-15 world championships in Arkhangelsk, Russia, at the end of the month will also be played at a later date.___10:15 a.m. Associated Press The KBO had already canceled its preseason.___10:55 a.m.The Euroleague says it is suspending all games indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak.Europe’s main club basketball competition says it made the decision because of “the increased risks for participants in games, the vast amount of traveling disruptions causing the impossibility to reach certain destinations, and the different recommendations by the health authorities.” Giant slalom and slalom races were scheduled for this weekend in Kranjska Gora, near Slovenia’s border with Italy.The cancellations mean Henrik Kristoffersen, another Norwegian, becomes the season champion in both disciplines by tiny margins.A four-race finals week in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, was canceled last week by the International Ski Federation.“The health and welfare of the athletes and all other participants, as well as the general public are in the forefront and the priority of FIS and all stakeholders,” the governing body said Thursday.Kilde’s runner-up finish in what proved to be the season-ending race — a downhill last Saturday in Kvitfjell, Norway — lifted him to the overall title above French rival Alexis Pinturault. The suspension includes games in the Basketball Champions League, which is a rival competition to the better known Euroleague, and the second-tier FIBA Europe Cup. The Champions League is part-way through its playoffs.Men’s qualification for the Tokyo Olympics is expected to resume in June with a series of qualifying tournaments overseen by FIBA. Women’s qualifying has already concluded.___10:25 a.m.The hockey-like game of bandy has postponed its world championships in Russia because of the spreading coronavirus. Denmark’s top soccer leagues are shutting down for at least two weeks because of the spreading coronavirus.The Danish league made the move a day after the national government announced a lockdown. The small Scandinavian country has 514 cases of people testing positive.“We will look at exactly what this will mean for the running of the tournaments for the weeks to come,” said Danish league director Claus Thomsen, adding more information on what will happen with the postponed matches and the rest of the season will be announced later.___10:10 a.m. The Latest: IPL cricket could be staged without fans There will be a similar procedure for some second-division games.___11 a.m.South Korea’s professional baseball league says it will postpone the start of its season to mid-April because of the coronavirus outbreak.The Korea Baseball Organization says it still hopes to maintain a 144-game regular-season schedule but will consider banning spectators from some games when risks of infections are high. ___11:30 a.m.McLaren says it has withdrawn from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne after a team member tested positive for the coronavirus.The British-based team says the person was self-isolated as soon as they started to show symptoms and “will now enter a period of quarantine.”Team officials have taken the decision to pull out of Sunday’s race “based on a duty of care” for McLaren employees and the wider Formula One family. ___11:05 a.m.German broadcaster Sky says it will show some Bundesliga soccer games on a free channel after spectators were barred from the stadiums.Sky will show four league games simultaneously on Saturday on its non-subscription news channel in a “conference” format, with the broadcast switching between each game to show the key action.That includes Borussia Dortmund’s game against Schalke, which is one of Germany’s most heated rivalries. 10:05 a.m.After the NBA suspended its season, the Euroleague is considering doing the same.The league says it is consulting with clubs about a suspension, something which its players are demanding.“Euroleague and the participating clubs cannot ask from players to put their health and that of their families at risk,” the Euroleague Players Association said.The players’ union asked for the season to be suspended “until health, safety and freedom of movement can be guaranteed.” “You’ll have read the news and that’s why I want to reassure everyone who is worrying about me. I’m OK. I want to remind everyone to respect the rules, because this virus doesn’t make distinctions! Let’s do it four ourselves, for those dear to us and for those around us,” he wrote.Rugani is the first player in the country’s top soccer division to test positive for the virus.___9:55 a.m.The season-ending men’s World Cup ski races were canceled Thursday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, giving Norwegian skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde his first overall title. Pinturault also finished runner-up to Kristoffersen in giant slalom. Another Frenchman, Clement Noel, was runner-up to Kristoffersen for the season-long slalom title by only two points, 552-550.Kristoffersen had an outside chance of winning the overall title if the final two races had gone ahead.Kilde succeeds Austrian great Marcel Hirscher, who won eight straight overall titles before retiring in the offseason.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
…World Athletics issues guidelines for return to Track and FieldBy Rawle Toney WITH World Athletics over the weekend publishing health and safety guidelines to assist competition organisers to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus when staging in-stadium outdoor events during the current pandemic, the Athletics Association of Guyana said they are not only ready to comply with the track and field’s governing body, but is ready to put whatever is needed in place to see the sport’s return locally. The guidelines, drafted by World Athletics’ Health and Science Department, also address the post-peak period, as described by the World Health Organization (WHO) and are based on scientific and medical knowledge of the virus responsible for Covid-19.The document offers guidance for professional athletes, support staff, technical officials, workforce, volunteers, medical staff and media. Although it doesn’t include guidelines regarding spectators, the WHO has produced a document and risk-assessment tools for mass gatherings.Aubrey Hutson – AAG presidentCompetition organisers are advised to undertake a four-point risk assessment for all accredited attendants. If an individual scores two or higher, it is recommended that they should undergo a medical clearance protocol before the event.“Our plan is to comply with the guidelines set out by World Athletics and our local health ministry.The AAG will source the necessary protective gears for our officials and observe all other protocols in preparation for local competition. We must do this to protect our athletes and officials,” AAG president Aubrey Hutson told Chronicle Sport.Hutson noted that the AAG is “humbly hoping for early August,” to see track and field return in Guyana.Meanwhile, in the guidelines sent to the respective member associations, World Athletics said that organisers should provide a welcome bag that includes single-use masks (three per day, minimum), bottles of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and a leaflet to explain the health and safety protocols for that particular event.World Athletics also recommended that spectators and accredited personnel should have two completely separate entrances and the flows should not cross.Accredited personnel should only be granted access to the competition venue if wearing a face mask and with their personal hand sanitizer.Face masks should be worn by everyone in the stadium, with the exception of athletes when warming up or competing in their event.Warm-up zones should be large open-air areas within a short walking distance of the competition stadium, and access to it should be strictly controlled. Athletes should be invited to enter the warm-up area following a specific timetable. All accredited personnel should wear a mask and wash their hands before entering warm-up zones or dedicated toilets.Masks should also be worn in call rooms, which should be arranged in an outdoor location. It is also mandatory to disinfect chairs between each use.IN COMPETITIONThe number of people on the field of play should be kept to a minimum, and officials who will be coming into close contact with athletes should wear protective glasses or a plastic face shield, in addition to their mask.Once athletes have crossed the finish line, they should try to keep their distance from the public and officials, where possible, until they collect their belongings from the call room.SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR INDIVIDUAL DISCIPLINESAs it relates to on-field, World Athletics said starting blocks should be cleaned between each race and chlorine should be added to the water jump for the steeplechase.Relay batons should be cleaned between each use, and relay teams should be discouraged from gathering or hugging after a race, while the use of hand sanitizer should be recommended before each attempt in vertical jumps.Officials, the sport’s governing body said, should clean the landing mat between each jump, using a mop and veridical solution or use a thin layer of recyclable plastic or tissue that can be placed on the jumping mat. Sand in jumping pits should be mixed with a solution that contains biodegradable and non-skin-aggressive virucide agent.Officials who handle throwing implements should clean their hands or use disposable gloves after each handling and in combined events, the room used by athletes to recover between disciplines should be open-air, if possible.Coaches should be encouraged to interact with their athletes using electronic devices.AFTER COMPETITIONThe Media mixed zones, World Athletics stated, should also be outside, if possible, and the number of people in the area should be kept to a minimum.A plexiglass screen should be placed between the athletes and the media, and cleaned after each interview, and separate interview boxes should be used if there are multiple positions. Without screens, a safety dead zone of three metres should be adopted when journalists interview athletes, and masks should be used by both parties.To keep the number of people on the field of play to a minimum, live award ceremonies are not recommended, but alternative digital solutions are encouraged.Once the competition has concluded, a thorough disinfection procedure should be undertaken.