Coronavirus: Tournaments postponed in India and abroad, German footballer tests positive

The 1st ODI between India and South Africa will go ahead in Dharamsala on Thursday, but many other sporting events have been postponed or will be held behind closed doors. (IANS Photo)

The coronavirus pandemic continued to affect sporting events on Wednesday, forcing a spate of postponements in India and abroad.

Among others, India's widely-travelled cricketers were advised by their board to avoid eating out at "unknown and unhygienic" restaurants and clicking selfies with fans. The players have also been told to "avoid close contact and interaction with individuals outside the team environment (to avoid cross-infection from unknown individuals)."

Considering the extraordinary situation, Badminton Association of India (BAI) said the India Open Super 500 tournament, a crucial event for the Tokyo Olympic qualification, will be held without any spectators.

The day also saw the postponement of the Indian Open golf with the organisers promising to reschedule the event at "some point" later this year. The event was to take place from March 19-22 at the DLF Golf and Country Club.

READ | Coronavirus and Cricket: How safe is IPL 2020?

In Bengaluru, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) locked down its southern centre as a precautionary measure in the wake of the city recording four coronavirus cases in two days. "In view of the coronavirus situation, it was decided to lock down the SAI centre here. As top athletes train here, we cannot take chances with their health and hence the move," a source said.

German footballer tests positive

Hanover 96 footballer Timo Huebers has tested positive for the coronavirus, the German second division club said on Wednesday, prompting checks for all players and staff.

"Pro player Timo Huebers tested positive for coronavirus," the club said in a statement. "Because the 23-year-old did not have any contact with his team mates since his infection it is not to be assumed that other players have been infected by him."

French League Cup postponed

The French League Cup final between Paris St Germain and Olympique Lyonnais, initially scheduled for April 4, has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the French League (LFP) said on Wednesday.

"A new date will be set depending on the evolution of the sanitary situation and on both club's future in European competitions," the LFP said in a statement.

Europa League ties under cloud

AS Roma's match at Sevilla has become the latest Europa League tie to be thrown into doubt after the Italians said they could not travel to Spain for Thursday's last-16 first leg, while Getafe said they would not play their game at Inter Milan.

Hockey league scrapped in Slovakia

Slovakia's top-flight hockey league will scrap the rest of its season without crowning a champion due to tightening measures to contain the spread of the new coronavirus in the country.

World XI vs Asia XI matches postponed

The Bangladesh Cricket Board on Wednesday postponed the upcoming World XI versus Asia XI matches, which would have marked the birth centenary celebrations of father of the nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, owing to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

England cricketers told not to shake hands

England cricket players have been told to "fist pump" instead of shaking hands with their Sri Lankan rivals in Tests that start next week, over coronavirus fears.

Cloud over ICC meeting

A cloud of uncertainty hung over the upcoming ICC Board meeting in Dubai owing to the novel Coronavirus outbreak, a report claimed on Wednesday.

The ICC meetings are scheduled to be held between March 26 and 29 and are likely to initiate the bidding process for global events in the 2023-31 cycle of the Future Tours Programme.

"The status of the next set of ICC board meetings is in doubt due to travel restrictions emanating from the coronavirus epidemic that has disrupted movements across the globe," ESPNCricinfo reported.

Fed Cup postponed

The Fed Cup finals that were scheduled to be held in Budapest, Hungary, next month and playoffs that were to be held in various locations worldwide have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Wednesday.

Copa Del Rey final postponed

Spain's Copa del Rey final between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, a spokesman for the national soccer federation (RFEF) said on Wednesday.

(With agency inputs)

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