MAROUANE FELLAINI has been hospitalised after testing positive for coronavirus in China, after the sad news that former Real Madrid president Lorenzo Sanz passed away having been diagnosed with the virus.
CORONAVIRUS IN SPORT Coronavirus in sport LIVE: Olympics and Premier League UPDATES, Khabib UFC 249 fight ON, Fellaini message from hospital. The Premier League’s suspension has been pushed back to April 30, but Khabib Nurmagomedov’s UFC fight against Tony Ferguson is still set to go ahead, as is WrestleMania 36.
Follow all the latest news and updates as the sporting world deals with the threat of coronavirus…
CORONAVIRUS IN SPORT: The Premier League will play Russian roulette with players’ fitness if they do not get FIVE weeks of training before the season restarts.
English football has been suspended until at least April 30 because of coronavirus. That means players face at least an eight-week lay-off.
Fitness expert Raymond Verheijen believes preparation is nowhere near good enough to get up to match speed without injuries.
Verheijen, who has worked at Barcelona, Manchester City and Wales, said: “My message would be to only restart with proper preparation.
“Otherwise you will be gambling and playing Russian roulette with the health of players.
“The off-season is normally four weeks and we have a four to six-week pre-season for players to regain fitness.
“But in this case players will be inactive for seven or eight weeks so three weeks of training is the absolute minimum — it should be more.”
CLOCK IS TICKING
The Tokyo Olympics are set to be postponed.
Bosses at the International Olympic Committee will decide within a month whether to move the Games from its July 24 start date because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
But cancelling the 32nd summer Olympics “is not on the agenda”.
Team GB chiefs are adamant the sporting showpiece cannot go ahead as planned in July and August.
In an open letter to athletes, IOC president Thomas Bach wrote: “We have started detailed discussions to complete our assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympics, including a scenario of postponement.
“We’re working very hard and we are confident that we will have finalised these discussions within the next four weeks.
“Our basis of information today is that a final decision about the date of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 now would still be premature.”