Sports — International

FIFA cancels all June internationals over virus

PARIS, France (AFP) — All international football matches scheduled for June were postponed on Friday following the first meeting of FIFA’s coronavirus working group. It was also decided to hold discussions with confederations to draw up a revised schedule for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers which have been shelved. “The FIFA-Confederations working group… has unanimously approved a series of recommendations following its first meeting, which was organised via conference call today,” said a FIFA statement. […]

NBA Lakers, Nets symptom free after 14-day isolations

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers have completed 14-day home isolations without any players showing symptoms of coronavirus, the NBA clubs said on Wednesday. The clubs intend to continue to follow safety guidelines set by health and government officials regarding social distance and sheltering in place. Nets general manager Sean Marks, the first New Zealand-born player in the NBA, said the four Nets players who had tested positive […]

Jordan NBA documentary finished early for April debut

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — A 10-part documentary series on retired NBA legend Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls dynasty has been finished early for an April release to US and worldwide audiences, presenters announced Tuesday. “The Last Dance” originally was expected to debut in early June alongside the start of the 2020 NBA Finals before the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has shut down sports leagues, but now will start April 19 on […]

NBA 2K Players Tournament to give hungry fans taste of basketball

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — NBA fans starved for action amid the shut-down forced by the coronavirus pandemic will get a taste of competition in an NBA 2K Players Tournament starting on Friday. Kevin Durant may have been sidelined all season as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon, but the Brooklyn Nets star is the top seed in the 16-man field of current NBA players taking on the virtual challenge. The NBA, […]

From winners to worriers: isolated athletes face mental health risks

by Talek HARRIS HONG KONG, China (AFP) — Fear, stress and money worries: coronavirus lockdown is hard for anyone, but athletes are facing extra mental health risks as they go from highly active lifestyles to isolation and boredom, experts warn. While some housebound athletes have posted upbeat videos of themselves training or attempting internet challenges such as juggling toilet rolls, the stress caused by the extreme adjustment and uncertain future looks likely to take its […]

USA Rugby files for bankruptcy as COVID-19 worsens financial woes

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — USA Rugby, its financial troubles exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, has filed for bankruptcy, the federation said on Monday. In a statement posted on its website, USA Rugby said it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows financially struggling organizations to reorganize and restructure debt. “Existing financial challenges have been accelerated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on rugby activities,” USA Rugby said. Sport around the world […]

Bryant’s towel fetches $33,000 at auction, report

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — The towel that Kobe Bryant wore over his shoulders during his farewell speech after his final National Basketball League game has fetched over $33,000 at auction, the US media said on Sunday. With the towel draped around him to help mop up his sweat, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar closed his speech with his signature phrase, “Mamba Out.” The towel ended up in the hands of a fan as […]

Celtics guard Smart ‘corona-free’, 10 days after positive test

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, who tested positive for the new coronavirus 10 days ago, has been cleared by American health officials, he announced Sunday on Twitter. “Corona Free as of two days ago. Cleared by Mass (Massachusetts) Dept of Health,” Smart wrote on social media. “Thanks for everyone’s thoughts and prayers and I’m doing the same for everyone that’s been affected by this. Stay safe and stay together- […]

Nadal, Gasol launch fundraiser to pay back debt to COVID hit Spain

MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Spanish sports stars Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol launched a fund-raising drive on Thursday explaining they wanted to give something back to the coronavirus hit nation that nurtured them to greatness. Tennis ace Nadal and NBA hero Gasol have targeted raising 11 million euros ($12.3million) in the nation that has suffered the second-highest total of coronavirus deaths. “The Spanish people have never let us athletes down. We are what we are […]

NBA Pistons forward Wood cleared from coronavirus: reports

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood has become the first publicly known NBA player to be cleared after testing positive for coronavirus, according to multiple media reports Thursday. Wood tested positive for the virus on March 15 but has been cleared, unnamed sources told The Athletic and ESPN, while Wood’s agent, Adam Pensack told the Detroit Free Press that Woods is “feeling great and fully recovered.” The 24-year-old American, on his […]

James ‘bummed’ to miss Cleveland return amid COVID-19 lockdown

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, musing on the potential permutations of an NBA return in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, reiterated in a podcast aired Thursday he wouldn’t relish competing without fans in the stands. “What is the word ‘sport’ without ‘fan’?” James said on the “Road Trippin’” podcast put out via his Uninterrupted multimedia platform. “There’s no excitement. There’s no crying. There’s no joy. There’s no […]

Federer donates $1 million to vulnerable Swiss in virus crisis

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — Tennis great Roger Federer on Wednesday donated more than a million dollars to help support his “most vulnerable” Swiss compatriots through the coronavirus crisis. The 20-time Grand Slam champion and his wife donated one million Swiss francs ($1.02 million, 943,000 euros), saying nobody should be left behind as Switzerland battles against the global pandemic. According to official figures reported to the World Health Organization, Switzerland has the ninth-highest number of infections […]