European Championship postponed until next year

LONDON -AP-This year’s European Championship has been postponed for one year.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says the spreading coronavirus “makes football and all life in Europe quite impossible.”

UEFA plans to play the tournament next year from June 11 to July 11. The 24-team competition is being hosted in 12 different countries.

The postponement clears space to give national leagues and the Champions League and Europa League a chance to finish their seasons by June 30.

European soccer is in a shutdown and it is unclear when games can resume.

___

2:15 p.m.

The Copa America has been postponed until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

South American soccer body CONMEBOL says the tournament in Colombia and Argentina will be played between June 11 and July 11.

CONMEBOL President Alejandro Domínguez says “it is an extraordinary measure for an unexpected situation, and it answers the fundamental need to avoid an exponential development of the virus.”

___

10 a.m.

The Kentucky Derby has been postponed from May to September because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Churchill Downs officials said Tuesday the race will move from May 2 to Sept. 5, marking the first time in 75 years it won’t be run on the first Saturday in May.

The last time the first leg of the Triple Crown wasn’t held on the first Saturday in May was in 1945, when the federal government issued a ban on horse racing because of World War II. The ban was lifted on May 8, and the Derby was held on June 9. The only other year the Derby wasn’t held in May was in 1901, when it was raced on April 29.

The date change still must be approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission at its meeting Thursday.

___

1:45 p.m.

UK Athletics says all clubs and groups should not be training or taking part in competitive races amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance follows directives outlined by the British government about limiting social contact.

UKA said the suspension also applies to coaching and officiating.

___

1:40 p.m.

The Kontinental Hockey League and the VTB United League in basketball have suspended play.

Both leagues say they will stop until at least April 10.

The KHL is widely considered to be the strongest hockey league outside the NHL. It had previously said it would pause for a week to draw up a new playoff format. It’s been left with six Russian teams in an eight-team bracket after Finnish team Jokerit and Kazakh team Barys withdrew.

___

1:10 p.m.

The Spanish soccer league has offered about 500 coronavirus tests for its clubs.

The tests have been distributed prioritizing teams that traveled to risk areas or already have players infected.

Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay on Sunday became the first Spanish league player infected with the virus.

The distribution of tests began last Thursday as part of the league’s actions to support its clubs during the pandemic.

___

1:05 p.m.

All horse racing in Britain will be suspended starting Wednesday.

It was the last remaining major sport to be continuing in the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.

But the British Horseracing Authority says the race meetings in Wetherby and Taunton — being staged without fans on Tuesday — will be last until the end of April.

The BHA says the decision was taken “to protect essential emergency services and the health and welfare of staff working in the racing industry.”

BHA chief executive Nick Rust says its “first duty is to the health of the public, our customers and to racing industry participants and staff,” while saying it will do its best to support those whose livelihoods depend on what Rust said is a “4 billion pound industry.”

___

1 p.m.

The men’s and women’s European gymnastics championships have been canceled.

The European Gymnastics Union says it tried to find ways to keep its events going despite the spread of the coronavirus but found it impossible because of government restrictions and travel bans.

The events offered Olympic qualifying spots.

The women’s championships were due to be held in Paris from April 30-May 3, and the men’s championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, from May 27-31.

Also called off are European rhythmic gymnastics championships in Ukraine and the European trampoline championship in Sweden, both in May.

The UEG says it hopes the events can be rescheduled for the second half of the year.

___

12:10 p.m.

Formula One CEO Chase Carey has apologized to fans for the early part of the series being called of by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne wasn’t canceled last week until teams and drivers forced it. A McLaren team member had tested positive and some drivers had already flown home, but F1 still waited to cancel until just before practices were scheduled to start.

The following three races in Bahrain, Vietnam and China have all been postponed.

In an open letter on the F1 website, Carey wrote: “We apologize to those fans affected by the cancellation in Australia, as well as the postponement of the other races to date. These decisions are being made … in rapidly changing and evolving circumstances, but we believe they are the right and necessary ones. We also want to extend our thoughts to those already affected, including those in the Formula 1 family.”

On Monday, tire provider Pirelli said one of its staff tested positive for the virus and was undergoing treatment in Melbourne.

___

11:45 a.m.

Soccer in Russia has been suspended until April 10.

The Russian league was the best attended sports competition still operating in Europe last weekend with more than 33,000 fans at one of its games.

The Russian Football Union says its board agreed to immediately suspend all competitions at a meeting Tuesday.

That follows a wave of tighter restrictions on public gatherings and events across Russia and a decision by CSKA Moscow to cancel its upcoming game against Zenit St. Petersburg.

Fans made ironic references to the virus outbreak at games last week. F

SHARE