Former Chicago White Sox pitcher and long-time broadcaster Ed Farmer died at the age of 70 on Wednesday after battling kidney disease.

Farmer was born in Evergreen Park, Illinois and attended Chicago State University before beginning his MLB career with the Cleveland Indians in 1971.

He joined the White Sox in June 1979 after being acquired in a trade with the Texas Rangers and went on to post 54 of his 75 career saves with his hometown team before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies as a free agent following the 1981 season.

Farmer's only All-Star season came in 1980 with Chicago, when he had a career-best 30 saves. His last MLB campaign was in 1983.

Farmer became a radio broadcaster with the White Sox in 1992 and served as the play-by-play commentator for the past 14 seasons.

"Ed Farmer was the radio voice of the Chicago White Sox for three decades, and he called no-hitters, perfect games and of course, a World Series championship," said White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.

"His experience as a major league All-Star pitcher, his wry sense of clubhouse humour, his love of baseball and his passion for the White Sox combined to make White Sox radio broadcasts the sound of summer for millions of fans.

"Ed grew up a Sox fan on the south side of Chicago and his allegiance showed every single night on the radio as he welcomed his 'friends' to the broadcast. I am truly devastated by the loss of my friend."

Eddie Jones has the best win ratio of any England coach, but the biggest prize eluded him last year.

England have won 42 of their 54 games (78 per cent) since Jones' appointment was confirmed in 2015.

On Thursday, the Rugby Football Union announced the 60-year-old had agreed a new deal that will run until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

We take a look at the highs and lows of Jones' time in charge.

 

HIGH - A 2016 GRAND SLAM

Jones' first tournament was a resounding success as England beat Scotland, crushed Italy and then edged past Ireland and Wales in the Six Nations.

A 31-21 triumph over France delivered the Six Nations and a first Grand Slam in 13 years.

"I'm very proud of the boys," Jones told BBC Sport. "It's a great achievement by the team. I always had confidence in them."

HIGH - A 3-0 SERIES WHITEWASH DOWN UNDER

Later that year England headed to Jones' homeland for a three-Test series, and the tremendous start continued for the former Wallabies coach.

Having scored 39 points in Brisbane, a record for England in Australia, a 23-7 victory in Melbourne earned Jones' side their first series success on Wallabies turf.

After a 44-40 win completed a series sweep, England captain Dylan Hartley said: "We can all be proud of what we have achieved."

 

LOW - IRISH END WINNING RUN

England arrived in Dublin in March 2017 seeking both a second successive Grand Slam and a world-record 19th straight victory.

Yet Ireland had other ideas, overwhelming the visitors and claiming a 13-9 win as Jones tasted defeat for the first time.

"I take full responsibility, I didn't prepare the team well and we will respond in the future," Jones said.

 

LOW - FIVE-GAME LOSING STREAK

Fast forward 15 months and things felt very, very different for Jones' side as they lost a fifth game in a row, going down 23-12 to South Africa.

England had lost the last three games of that year's Six Nations - beaten by Scotland, France and Ireland - before back-to-back defeats at the start of the three-Test series in South Africa.

"We're a bit like an old car at the moment - you fix one bit and another part breaks down," said Jones, who saw his team round out the tour with a 25-10 victory in Cape Town.

HIGH - OUSTING THE ALL BLACKS

No one had beaten New Zealand at a World Cup in a dozen years, yet the back-to-back champions were stunned 19-7 in the 2019 semi-finals.

It was perhaps the finest performance of the Jones era, Manu Tuilagi's early try setting England on their way to a famous victory over the All Blacks.

"They've been a great team so we had to dig really deep to beat them," said Jones, whose side advanced to a final against South Africa...

 

LOW - FALLING FLAT IN THE FINAL

A week later England were unable to conjure up another spectacular performance in Japan as South Africa's 32-12 victory meant they took home the Webb Ellis Cup.

Jones' side were simply not at the races, a raft of handling errors blighting their performance.

"That's the great thing about rugby; one day you're the best team in the world and the next a team knocks you off," Jones said.

Somebody's '0' would have to go in a fight where there would be little love lost between Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa.

The battle for middleweight supremacy would be on the line in a bout where egos would be as bruised as bodies and an unbeaten MMA record would be consigned to the scrapheap.

Adesanya, the division's champion, has spoken of chasing big-money fights with Jon Jones and even Conor McGregor.

But for now the Nigeria-born New Zealander has a score to settle with Costa and fight fans would undoubtedly relish the prospect of these two mixing it in the Octagon.

In the fifth edition of our UFC dream fights we would love to see series, we have profiled Adesanya and Costa in closer detail.


WHY DO WE WANT TO SEE THIS FIGHT?

Because these guys have been on a collision course for some time and only a biceps injury sustained by Costa has made us wait this long.

Jibes have already been thrown back and forth, with Costa accusing Adesanya of ducking the challenge of light-heavyweight king Jones.

Adesanya's kick-boxing brilliance and Costa's pressure fighting would make this a fight of real intrigue.


GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS

Adesanya became the UFC's interim middleweight champion with a unanimous decision victory over Kelvin Gastelum in a classic a year ago. He then defeated the legendary Robert Whittaker in October with a stunning knockout to unify the division.

Each of Costa's first four fight wins in a UFC ring came via way of KO/TKO and he defeated Yoel Romero via unanimous decision in August.


WHAT'S THEIR MMA RECORD (W-L-D)?

Adesanya: 19-0-0

Costa: 13-0-0


TALE OF THE TAPE

Adesanya:

Age: 30
Height: 6'4" (193cm)
Weight: 185lbs (84kg)
Reach: 80"
Leg reach: 44"

Costa:

Age: 28
Height: 6'1" (185cm)
Weight: 185lbs (84kg)
Reach: 72"
Leg reach: 39"


WHAT THEY'VE SAID ABOUT A POTENTIAL FIGHT

"He's [Costa] a guy that I don't have to poke that much, I don't have to prod," Adesanya told ESPN. "I'm going to have fun with the press conference with this one. I'm going to have fun with the lead-up. I'm going to have fun with poking the bear."

"Against Adesanya, it's personal," Costa said in quotes reported by MMA Junkie this month. "It's not just to fight for the belt or the money or something like this. No, it's personal."


FIGHT STATS IN UFC

Adesanya:

- Adesanya has connected with 503 of his 1,032 attempted significant strikes, a success rate of 49 per cent.

- Of his successful strikes, 88 per cent have come from a standing position.

- On the defensive side, Adesanya has guarded against 87 per cent of takedown attempts.

- He has also seen off 66 per cent of strikes against him.

Costa:

- Costa has landed 307 of his 531 attempted significant strikes, giving him a success rate of 58 per cent.

- As with Adesanya, Costa tends to strike from a standing position - with 82 per cent coming via that method.

- He has successfully blocked 80 per cent of takedown attempts against him.

- Costa has also thwarted 54 per cent of strikes from his opponents.

Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive Bill Sweeney said boards across the world want to help Rugby Australia (RA) after it reported financial problems amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With rugby union leagues and competitions being shut down in a bid to combat the spread of COVID-19, RA stood down 75 per cent of its working staff for three months earlier this week, shortly after it had revealed a provisional deficit of 9.4 million Australian dollars in 2019.

USA Rugby has also filed for bankruptcy, claiming the suspensions caused by coronavirus, and the uncertainty about the future, had accelerated financial problems.

Sweeney conceded those announcements have caused concern among the world's unions, who are trying to collaborate on potential solutions to aid those struggling.

"The USA, quite frankly, were struggling somewhat before the crisis hit anyway – so they were perhaps the most vulnerable of anybody," Sweeney explained.

"I know World Rugby are in conversations with them in terms of how they can sustain the game in that country.

"Australia have been reported as being in a weaker position than a lot of others.

"There is an unprecedented amount of dialogue going on between all the unions and the relationship between the north and the south [hemispheres] has probably never been better, and we are just looking at various ways we can structure things that everybody can benefit and find solutions to these challenges ahead.

"It's in no one's interest for Australia to get into even more serious difficulties."

Eddie Jones' England are due to tour Japan in July for a two-Test series against the Brave Blossoms.

However, given the Olympics - staged in Tokyo - has already been put back a year to July 2021, it would appear unlikely England will embark on that tour when scheduled.

"We are in regular dialogue with World Rugby and a lot of the other unions as well around the world," Sweeney added.

"This is a conversation we are having around the July tours. It's a bit too early to say. We expect to be able to make a decision on that towards the end of April."

With Eddie Jones having extended his contract until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, England fans can look forward to the Australian providing more special moments.

Jones led England to the Six Nations Grand Slam in 2016 - his first tournament at the helm - and they were champions again a year later, while only a defeat to South Africa stopped them winning last year's Rugby World Cup.

The 60-year-old made his side one of the best in the sport, and with his calculated wit and sharp tongue he arguably provides the best off-the-pitch entertainment in rugby.

We look back at some of Jones' most memorable quotes.

 

"Well, guys, can you just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off."

Jones' response when Wales coach Warren Gatland, who saw his team defeated by South Africa in the last four, suggested England could have already played their World Cup final when they beat New Zealand in the semis.

“I think the term 'world class' is used lightly. To be world class, you've got to be an automatic selection in a world XV. We don’t have any of those players. Now, we've got a lot of good players and a lot of players who want to get better. So to say we don't have world class players is not a criticism of the players and not a criticism of the team. It's just the reality of it."

Having said England had no "world-class players" upon his appointment in 2015, Jones was adamant it remained the case after racking up 13 straight Test wins to start his tenure.

"France can expect absolute brutality from England, we are going to go out there to make sure they understand what Test rugby is. It is about being brutal, it is about being physical."

Jones laid down the gauntlet ahead of England's 2020 Six Nations opener against France and it backfired, as Les Bleus clinched a 24-17 victory in Paris.

"No one thinks we can win. New Zealand talk about walking towards pressure - well, this week the pressure is going to be chasing them down the street. The busiest bloke in Tokyo this week will be Gilbert Enoka, their mental skills coach. They have to deal with all this pressure of winning the World Cup three times. It is potentially the last game for their greatest coach and their greatest captain and they will be thinking about those things. Those thoughts go through your head. It is always harder to defend a World Cup, and they will be thinking about that, and therefore there is pressure."

After suggesting New Zealand had sent a spy to watch England train ahead of their World Cup semi-final clash, Jones turned up the heat on the All Blacks.

"I just went through immigration and I got shunted through the area where everything got checked. That's what I'm expecting, mate. Everything that's done around the game is going to be coordinated. All coordinated to help Australia win. We've got to be good enough to control what we can control."

Jones claimed Australia were going to make England's life as difficult as possible after arriving for a three-Test tour in June 2016.

"We control our own destiny. We want to go out there and smack Italy. I have told the boys already that that is our aim - to go out there and give them a good hiding. If you look at the rankings we are a better side than Italy. We have to prove that on Sunday. We want to be absolutely brutal up front so there is no Italian player left standing at the end of the game."

Ahead of only his second game in charge, Jones made it clear he expected a significant increase in physicality from his players.

"We've played 23 Tests and we've only lost one Test to the scummy Irish. I'm still dirty about that game but we'll get that back, don't worry."

England were hoping to deny Ireland the Grand Slam in their final 2018 Six Nations game and Jones was out for revenge after they inflicted the first defeat of his tenure. He later apologised for the comment and Ireland triumphed 24-15 at Twickenham.

"If he was Sexton then we'd be able to complain about him. But because he's Owen Farrell he's allowed to be hit late. He's tough so he gets up and he plays. He's a tough rooster, a warrior. He takes the ball to the line, he puts his body on the line, he doesn't play in a dinner suit."

Jones suggested Owen Farrell's determination to play through pain led to him getting less protection from referees than Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton.

Eddie Jones will look to enhance his legacy with England over the next four years after signing a new contract extension.

It was announced on Thursday that the 60-year-old will stay on as England coach until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Jones, who had previously been in charge of Australia and Japan, was appointed England's coach five years ago.

Here, using Stats Perform data, we take a look at Jones' tenure in numbers.

 

78 per cent - Having led his team to victory in 42 of 54 games, Jones has the best win ratio of any coach in England's history.

42 wins - Those 42 wins are the second most of all time and Jones should exceed World Cup winner Clive Woodward's 59 victories in the coming years.

40 players - Across Jones' time in charge, 40 players have been handed England debuts. Of those, 26 are forwards and 14 are backs.

23 tries - Jonny May has certainly enjoyed Jones' coaching, the wing crossing for 23 tries. Elliot Daly has the second-most scores with 15.

52 caps - Jones has handed a cap to fly-half George Ford in all but two of his 54 games at the helm. England's current captain Owen Farrell has the second-most appearances under Jones with 48.

571 points - Farrell has by far and away the most points, though. His tally of 571 is significantly more than those of Ford (174) and May (115).

2 Six Nations titles - England won the Six Nations in each of Jones' first two campaigns. In 2016, Jones delivered the country's first Grand Slam in 13 years.

18 wins in a row - A second Grand Slam was dashed by Ireland in March 2017. That 13-9 loss in Dublin brought an end to England's 18-Test winning run, a joint-record they held with New Zealand.

7-0 v Australia - The nation England have beaten the most often under Jones is Australia, the country of his birth. England have won all seven of their matches against the Wallabies.

Aldon Smith has confirmed he has signed for the Dallas Cowboys, five years after he played his last NFL snap.

The 30-year-old defensive end, a first-round draft pick for the San Francisco 49ers nine years ago, had 33.5 sacks in 2011 and 2012 - the most of any player across their first two NFL seasons.

However, off-field problems blighted Smith and he was arrested for driving under the influence three times during his time with the Niners, who cut Smith in 2015.

He signed for the Raiders and played nine games in his first year, but Smith was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse and personal conduct policies, and he sat out the entire 2016 and 2017 seasons.

In 2018, shortly after Smith was named as a suspect in a domestic violence incident, the Raiders released the defensive end.

However, Smith is now set to return to the NFL having agreed a reported one-year, $4million contract with the Cowboys.

Smith would need to be officially reinstated by the NFL before that contract can begin, though Dallas are reportedly confident that hurdle can be cleared.

In an Instagram post where he was pictured signing his contract, Smith wrote: "Life is good. I'm thankful. I'm blessed. I'm a Cowboy."

England coach Eddie Jones has signed a contract extension through until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Jones, 60, took the helm of England in late 2015 and has been rewarded for what has been a successful stint in charge.

The Australian has overseen 42 wins in 54 Tests as England coach, including leading them to last year's Rugby World Cup final, where they were beaten by South Africa.

Jones has re-signed through until the end of the Rugby World Cup in 2023, which is due to be hosted by France.

"The extension is a great honour for me, but in the current environment, it is only right to acknowledge what a difficult time the world is facing," the England coach said.

"We are all looking forward to a time when we can get back to playing rugby and use the sport as a force for good in bringing people back together.

"I never thought coming here four years ago I would be doing a second four years, but the circumstances are right.

"Obviously it is important for the team that we keep improving and my focus will be solely on that."

Jones' 78 per cent win ratio is the best of any England coach in the nation's history.

During his tenure, Jones has led England to two Six Nations titles - including a Grand Slam in 2016 - a 3-0 series victory in Australia and an 18-match unbeaten run.

Jones added: "I am excited about raising the standards again. We have a great team. We set out four years ago to be the best team in the world and unfortunately we missed that by 80 minutes.

"Now we want to be the team that is remembered as being the greatest team the game has ever seen. It's a big ambition but I believe we are capable of doing it.

"We have players with an enhanced reputation, we have a team that is expected to do well, so it's a great opportunity for us to keep moving forward."

A Philadelphia Union player has tested positive for coronavirus, the MLS club announced on Wednesday.

The unnamed player experienced mild symptoms and is feeling fine.

The MLS season was suspended last month due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to more than 47,200 deaths worldwide.

"Philadelphia Union today announced that a Union player has tested positive for the novel coronavirus [COVID-19]," the team said in a statement.

"The Union medical staff has been working directly with Crozer-Keystone Health System medical officials to treat the player who experienced mild symptoms and is feeling well and in good spirits.

"The player is observing appropriate isolation protocols. No other cases or symptoms within Philadelphia Union soccer operations have been identified at this time.

"No Philadelphia Union players or technical staff have trained or been at the Power Training Complex facility or Subaru Park since Thursday, March 12.

"Based upon guidance from Crozer-Keystone Health System medical officials, infectious disease specialists and Major League Soccer health officials, this case does not present a risk to our fans, our most recent opponent, LAFC, or any of the other Union players, staff, or personnel and Union players and personnel do not need to be tested as the team is outside of the 14-day window where anyone with team related interactions with the player would have reported symptoms."

Philadelphia were winless through two games when the MLS season was stopped, collecting one point.

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton labelled himself a "big dummy" after sparking talk Drew Brees was retiring after next season.

Brees, 41, reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with the Saints last month, with the 2020 season to be his 20th in the NFL.

There was fresh talk over Brees' future when Payton told ESPN on Tuesday that Brees was returning for a "final season".

But the Saints coach said he misspoke, insisting the veteran quarterback was going year by year.

"I'm a big dummy. Yesterday we got chatting on ESPN and I think the way I worded it was that he's coming back for his last year," Payton told a conference call on Wednesday.

"I think, I honestly do not know if it is his last year. I think the thing he's done and we've all done is taken it year by year and man that thing blew up on me."

Brees and the Saints reached the playoffs last season before losing in the Wild Card game.

Payton said he respected Brees for taking his time in deciding whether he wanted to return for another season.

"This year he spent some time, he spent a lot of time really making sure he was ready to come back, not only physically, but mentally," he said.

"Obviously that was my fault and it's not like a big secret that I let out of the bag, but it was more or less first, he's back again for another year and probably in my mind really, started with the idea that this year was unique in that he spent some time thinking about, 'Hey, am I ready to come back for another season?'

"Before we deal with the year after this season, I know the focal point for us will be this season."

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker hopes the Premier League season can resume, but said "football has to take a back step for now".

The campaign has been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought sport to a standstill around the world.

It remains unclear when, and if, the Premier League campaign will resume, but Walker is hoping the season can get back underway.

"Football has to take a back step for now because that is the least important thing on everyone's mind in the football world," the right-back said.

"The health of family members and other people's family members is the most important.

"But, I hope, and I am sure everybody else hopes, that football will come back and we will be able to finish off the season, but if it is not a possibility, then everyone does understand that people's health is more important than a game of sport."

Walker discussed how City – who were second to Liverpool in the Premier League when the season was stopped – were keeping up team spirit using group chats.

But the 29-year-old revealed manager Pep Guardiola, who donated €1million to the coronavirus fight in Spain, was not in the players' chat.

"Obviously Pep is not in the group chat! I dropped him a text message last night saying hope you are OK, and I hope the family is well and fair play for donating the amount of money that you have donated," Walker said.

"That says a lot about him as a person. Put football aside, that has come from his heart and it is something that should definitely be recognised."

With the 2020 MLB season in flux amid the coronavirus pandemic, veteran Choo Shin-soo is putting some cash in the pockets of the minor leaguers in the Texas Rangers system, giving $1,000 each to 191 of them.

Choo's gift comes a day after MLB announced it would be giving minor leaguers $400 a week through at least May 31 with the season on hold.

A 15-year major-league veteran who spent parts of seven seasons in the minors, Choo said on Wednesday he knows money can be tight for minor leaguers, especially without a regular pay cheque with no games.

"I will never forget the minor leagues," he said in a conference call.

"I will never forget having to make that decision. Every day, I had to make a schedule of meals. I had to plan things out. I don't want players to have to do the same thing. I don't want them to have to worry about these kinds of things.

"People are really having a tough time. I can help. I can help people because of baseball and I want to give back."

Choo is entering the final year of a seven-year, $130million deal, and is set to be Texas' highest-paid player this season at $21m.

His professional career started in 2001 when he was 18 years old and left South Korea to join the Seattle Mariners.

"Think about 20 years ago, first time I came from Korea, I've got nothing," he said.

"Now a lot of things I have is because of baseball ... So I want to pay back to other people, especially this hard situation in the whole world. I can still help other people, that’s a good thing."

Choo also made a $200,000 donation to the city of Daegu, South Korea, which has been hit hard by coronavirus and is about an hour from where his parents still live.

The impact of the Tokyo 2020 postponement, as well as others means track and field athletes can look forward to a tough four years to come, so says former Trinidad & Tobago sprinter and Olympic medallist Ato Boldon.

According to Boldon, the movement of the Olympics to the Summer of 2021 is likely to push the World Championships to 2022, sparking a domino effect on other major games.

“It means that we may be in for four championship years in a row. We know that the summer Olympics are going to be in 2021. I think they are going to push the World Championships over to 2022 which means that it then conflicts with the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup, and then we get back on stream with the regular schedule of 2023 World Championships and 2024 Olympics in Paris,” said Boldon.

These movements, Boldon believes, won’t reset the athletic calendar for another five years, but sees no real alternative to the unprecedented action of putting an Olympics in an odd year.

Boldon has an interest in what the next few years of athletics holds as the coach of rising star, Briana Williams.

Williams was set to contest for a place in her first Olympics and in a recent SportsMax.tv interview, Boldon said the delay was good for his athlete, who would have a year to get stronger.

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has banned Serie A clubs from returning to team training until at least April 13.

The Serie A season was suspended indefinitely last month with Italy hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

Napoli and Lazio were among the clubs to backtrack on plans to return to training last month and with Italy extending their nationwide lockdown until April 13, Conte ruled out any team sessions taking place.

"Actual measures are extended until April 13. We know we are asking another effort, another sacrifice," he said on Wednesday.

"We have to understand one thing – if we stop following the rules or reduce these measures, we will waste our efforts."

Conte added: "The only news introduced is about athletes' training sessions … training sessions are not allowed in clubs' headquarters.

"It doesn't mean athletes cannot train themselves, they can do it individually."

More than 13,100 people have died from coronavirus in Italy, with the global death toll exceeding 46,000.

Andy Murray has expressed his sadness that Wimbledon has been cancelled but says health and safety must be the priority amid the coronavirus crisis.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club on Wednesday confirmed that the grass-court grand slam, which was due to start on June 29, will not go ahead for the first time since World War II.

That announcement had been expected due to the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 46,000 people worldwide.

Murray, a two-time winner of his home major in London, had hoped to make his latest return from a hip injury in Miami last month but it remains to be seen when he will make another competitive comeback.

The former world number one is naturally disappointed he will not play at SW19 and Queen's Club this year, yet he knows organisers had no alternative.

He posted on Facebook: "Very sad that the Fever-Tree Championships and Wimbledon have been cancelled this year but with all that is going on in the world right now, everyone's health is definitely the most important thing!

"Looking forward to getting back out on the grass next year already! Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. #StayHomeSaveLives."

The ATP and WTA announced the suspension of their tours had been extended until July 13, but US Open organisers say the tournament will go ahead as scheduled as it stands.

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Wednesday they have signed defenseman Filip Kral to a three-year, entry-level contract and defenseman Kristians Rubins to a two-year, entry-level deal.

Kral, 20, was a fifth-round selection (149th overall) by Toronto in the 2018 NHL Draft and has spent the past three seasons with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League.

The Czech Republic native has recorded 12 goals and 37 assists in 53 games for Spokane in 2019-20 and ranks 10th among WHL defensemen in points per game (0.92).

A member of the Czech Republic team at the 2018 and 2019 Ice Hockey World Junior Championships, Kral has registered 31 goals and 89 assists in 154 career games with the Chiefs.

Rubins had two goals and 12 assists in 47 games for the Toronto Marlies in his first full season in the American Hockey League in 2019-20.

The 22-year-old originally signed with the Maple Leafs organisation in August 2018 and spent most of the 2018-19 with Toronto's East Coast Hockey League affiliate, the Newfoundland Growlers.

Khabib Nurmagomedov says he is more upset than anybody that his fight with Tony Ferguson has been postponed for a fifth time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Unbeaten UFC lightweight champion Khabib was due to face American Ferguson at UFC 249 on April 18, but the COVID-19 outbreak meant the event could not take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Khabib had been informed it was "99 per cent" certain that he would still do battle with Ferguson and Abu Dhabi was set to stage the event.

The 31-year-old Russian on Wednesday stated there is no chance he can fight as he follows orders to remain at home after coming in for criticism for the latest cancellation.

He posted on Instagram: "Staying home in quarantine and reading the reaction of people to the situation around my fight, it turns out that the whole world should be in quarantine, governments of all countries, famous people around the world urge people to follow all safety requirements in order to limit the spread of the disease, to save people, and Khabib is the only one relieved of all obligations and must demonstrate free will and train flying around the world, for the sake of fight?

"I understand everything and I'm definitely upset more than you to cancel the fight, probably like all others, I had many plans after the fight, but I can't control it all.

"The greatest countries and the largest companies of our time are shocked by what is happening, every day the situation changes unpredictably.

"But Khabib still has to fight, is that what you saying? Take care of yourself and put yourself in my shoes."

Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi is feeling perfect after recovering from the coronavirus.

Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the virus last month, one of the events alongside the diagnosis of Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta that led to the Premier League going into shutdown.

However, the 19-year-old only experienced minor symptoms.

"I am feeling perfect," he told Chelsea's official website. "I had the virus, which has cleared now. I fully feel good, I feel fit, so I am feeling back to myself so it is all good.

"I had it [the illness] three weeks ago now I think, on a Monday when I felt a bit hot and I was thinking this is a bit unusual, why do I feel this hot.

"The next day I was feeling back to normal. I thought it was just a minor temperature thing, but obviously it wasn't. I said to myself this wasn't actually that bad, the symptoms, and I said to myself I feel good, I feel better.

"Everything is happening so fast and I did not know this virus would be such a major thing and so big in the world and affect so many people.

"Everyone has to be careful and judge things how they go and hopefully the virus will go soon and everyone will be back to normal."

As part of football's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Euro 2020 has been pushed back 12 months – something of a motivating factor for England international Hudson-Odoi, who has struggled for form and fitness at times this season.

"For me it is an opportunity to show again and keep pushing myself to the max to hopefully have an opportunity to go to the Euros," he added

"The Euros is a massive thing and I have big belief in myself and hopefully I will be able to get into the team.

"I just want to make sure that I keep pushing myself every game and every minute, making sure that I keep trying to score goals and make assists and keep trying to help the team as much as possible to get what we want, which is a trophy at the end of the day."

The Premier League and the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) are discussing player wages as part of talks over how football in England should respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Representatives from the English Football League (EFL) and League Managers Association (LMA) were also involved at the summit, which will continue for the next two days.

Premier League clubs Newcastle United, Tottenham, Norwich City and Bournemouth have placed members of non-playing staff on furlough, taking advantage of the UK government scheme in response to COVID-19 that will pay employees 80 per cent of their wages up to £2,500 per month.

Bournemouth and Norwich said they would top up those salaries to ensure furloughed staff receive full pay, although Tottenham's decision to cut staff pay by 20 per cent across the board came in for criticism given the wage packets of head coach Jose Mourinho and his playing squad are set to go untouched at this stage.

The resumption of the 2019-20 season and player safety was also on the agenda at Wednesday's meeting.

A statement issued by the PFA read: "Senior representatives from the PFA, Premier League, EFL and LMA met today and shared a constructive meeting regarding the challenges facing the game as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"The meeting reiterated that the overriding priority is the health and well-being of the nation - including that of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters – and everyone agreed football must only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

"No decisions were taken today with discussions set to continue in the next 48 hours with a focus on several high-profile matters, including player wages and the resumption of the 2019-20 season."

Professional football in England is currently suspended until at least April 30, with the Football Association extending its June 1 deadline to complete the season indefinitely.

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