Patrick Reed is in full support of the decision taken to delay the Ryder Cup, insisting the presence of fans will make it "even sweeter" when the event takes place in 2021.

Due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Ryder Cup organisers announced this week that the 2020 edition will be pushed back 12 months.

The United States will have home advantage next September when Europe travels to defend the trophy at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, with the action unfolding between September 24-26.

While the PGA Tour has returned behind closed doors, Reed believes the Ryder Cup would not be the same if played out without a packed crowd at the course, as their presence brings out the emotion in the players.

The 29-year-old has experienced both sides of the occasion, too. He has lost twice on European soil, including in 2018 at Le Golf National, but was also a member of the USA team that triumphed in 2016 under the captaincy of Davis Love III.

Speaking after his opening round at the Workday Charity Open, Reed said: "I think probably if you asked everybody - captains, assistant captains, players, both organisations - that they're disappointed, obviously, that we're not going to play Ryder Cup this year, but at the end of the day I feel like they made the right call.

"The Ryder Cup is not the same if you have it at 50 per cent fans or if you have it at no fans. The fans are kind of what makes the Ryder Cup.

"You go in there and you - if you're the home team, you have everyone behind you, and if you're away, you want the hostility, you want people to kind of go at you. That's the fun thing about the event.

"So with either cutting fans back or not having them at all, I also don't think you'll get as much emotion out of players, and with that being said, I feel like it just wouldn't be a Ryder Cup.

"I mean, they made the right decision, and it's just going to be even sweeter whenever we're able to play next year."

The Ryder Cup will continue to take place in odd-numbers years in the future, with the 2023 tournament to be held in Italy.

The postponed Ryder Cup must take place in 2021 at Whistling Straits or it will be cancelled altogether, the CEO of the PGA Seth Waugh has said.

It was confirmed on Wednesday that the United States and defending champions Europe will not compete in the prestigious event this September as planned.

Players had expressed reservations about playing the 43rd edition of the competition without fans present and the lingering impact of the coronavirus pandemic forced the hands of the PGA and European Tour.

However, if circumstances next year mean the Ryder Cup cannot take place in front of spectators on the new dates of September 21-26, then the likelihood is it will scrapped altogether.

Asked what guarantees there were that it can be staged as normal next year, Waugh told reporters: "None, frankly.

"We think that this is the right thing to do. I would bet on science is what I would say, personally, about the ability to figure out treatments, vacancies or protocols or safety given we have 15 months to do that.

"But there frankly is no guarantee. I certainly wouldn't have thought on March 1 - certainly January 1 - that we'd be having this conversation right now.

"I think this is the best possible decision. Frankly if we do get to this time next year and we can't responsibly hold it, it likely will result in a cancellation at that point.

"I don't think we can perpetually roll things forward, that's not fair to the game, that's not fair to the Presidents Cup or anyone else. We're hopeful that we will hold it but all bets are off in terms of what's going on in the world.

"If I were a betting man, I would bet on science to figure out how to truly reopen the world in 15 months' time."

Waugh said he spoke to American captain Steve Stricker and Europe skipper Padraig Harrington on Tuesday evening and feels the decision has their backing.

"I think they were relieved, happy," he added.

"Steve, on his side, absolutely wants to have it – obviously it's a home game for him, in Wisconsin, he wants to have it in the way he's always dreamed of and it wasn't going to look like that.

"Padraig, I think, different perspective, he's just worried about the safety of everybody travelling here and how difficult that would be.

"I think they're disappointed that we're not able to do it because they build their tempos and those that are qualifying are excited about it, but I think there's relief in the certainty of knowing where we stand."

Jon Rahm declared it to be the "smart choice" to delay the 2020 Ryder Cup, insisting the event would simply not be the same if fans were not able to attend.

Whistling Straits in Wisconsin was due to host this year's battle between the United States and Europe in September, but the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic has led to a change in the schedule.

Instead, the next Ryder Cup will take place between September 24-26 in 2021, a move Rahm fully endorses as it will allow spectators to be present at the course.

The Spaniard made his debut in the competition two years ago, securing a point from his three matches as the European team regained the trophy at Le Golf National in France.

"I mean, I'm not shocked," Rahm told the media ahead of playing in this week's Workday Charity Open on the PGA Tour.

"I know a lot of people probably wanted to watch the Ryder Cup, but the Ryder Cup is not the Ryder Cup without spectators.  

"Right now, it doesn't seem like there's a legitimate way to make it safe for everybody, so I think it's the smart choice."

Rahm also outlined the importance of the Ryder Cup is in terms of growing the sport of golf, even if that means having to wait a little longer to experience it again.

"At the end of the day, the Ryder Cup is one of the most viewed events, sporting events in the world, so it's something that brings a lot of attention for the game of golf," he added.

"It's something that grows the game of golf throughout the world. I think it's important that it's done and it's performed and we play the way the Ryder Cup is supposed to be.  

"I'm sad we're not playing this year because I really wanted to play and I think it would have been cool to go from a U.S. Open to a Ryder Cup, but at the same time, it needs to be run the way it's supposed to be run.  

"I think it's a good decision to change it to next year."

The delay has led to a change in the long-term schedule, as the Ryder Cup will take place moving forwards in odd-numbers years. Therefore, the next staging on European soil will be in 2023.

There is also a change to the Presidents Cup, with the 2021 edition at Quail Hollow pushed back to September 2022.

The Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits has been rescheduled to take place in 2021, organisers have confirmed, with the Presidents Cup moving to 2022.

Doubts have persisted about the feasibility of staging the Ryder Cup since the outbreak of coronavirus and on Wednesday a decision was finally taken to push it back a year. 

In a statement, organisers confirmed that the decision "was based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in conjunction with the state of Wisconsin and Sheboygan County, with the health and well-being of all involved as the top priority". 

Playing the event without fans had been mooted as an option, but instead it is now set to be held on September 21-26 next year with crowds present. 

The knock-on effect means the next edition of the competition in Europe, when Italy plays host, will move back to 2023 as it retains its biennial scheduling. 

The Presidents Cup, which was due to start on September 30 next year at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, will now move to September 19-25, 2022. 

Next year's Wells Fargo Championship will return to Quail Hollow Club but move to TPC Potomac for 2022 to accommodate the Presidents Cup. 

"Unlike other major sporting events that are played in existing stadiums, we had to make a decision now about building facilities to host the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits," said PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh.

"It became clear that as of today, our medical experts and the public authorities in Wisconsin could not give us certainty that conducting an event responsibly with thousands of spectators in September would be possible.

"Given that uncertainty, we knew rescheduling was the right call. As disappointing as this is, our mandate to do all we can to safeguard public health is what matters most.

"The spectators who support both the U.S. and European sides are what make the Ryder Cup such a unique and compelling event and playing without them was not a realistic option."

PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said: "With the uncertainty of the current climate, we fully support the Ryder Cup's decision to delay a year in order to ensure fans could be a part of the incredible atmosphere in Wisconsin.

"And the delay of next year's Presidents Cup was the right decision in order to allow for that option." 

US Team captain Steve Stricker said postponing the Ryder Cup was "the right thing to do under the circumstances".

He added: "At the end of the day, we want to stage a Ryder Cup that will rival all other Ryder Cups in my home state of Wisconsin, and now we have the opportunity to showcase the event as it was meant to be seen."  

European counterpart Padraig Harrington said: "Rescheduling the Ryder Cup was never going to be an easy decision given the many factors to take into consideration.

"But I believe it is the right assessment given the unprecedented circumstances we are facing at this time. 

"When you think of the Ryder Cup you think of the distinctive atmosphere generated by the spectators, such as around the first tee at Le Golf National two years ago.

"If that cannot be responsibly recreated at Whistling Straits in September, then it is correct that we all wait until it can be. 

"I know, right now, that September 2021 feels like a long time away. But it will come around quickly and I guarantee that the European players and I will be ready when it does."

There have been more than 32,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, according to the state's Department of Health Services. 

In total, there have been nearly 3.1million positive tests in the United States, with more than 134,000 deaths among those known to have contracted the virus.

The Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits has been rescheduled to take place in 2021, organisers have confirmed, with the Presidents Cup moving to 2022.

United States Soccer has lifted its ban on kneeling during the national anthem having admitted it was wrong to prevent Megan Rapinoe from doing so.

Four years ago, Rapinoe took a knee prior to the women's team's game against Thailand, following the lead of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who did so to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

Kaepernick was heavily criticised by president Donald Trump for kneeling and U.S. Soccer's board of directors passed a law in 2017 which made it mandatory for its players to stand for The Star-Spangled Banner prior to games.

However, given there has been a renewed focus on the issues Kaepernick was protesting following the death of George Floyd in police custody last month, USA's women's team had called for the ban to be removed.

U.S. Soccer has now revised its law and apologised to its players for passing the rule in the first place.

"U.S. Soccer affirms Black Lives Matter, and we support the fight against racial injustices," the federation said in a statement.

"The U.S. Soccer Board of Directors voted yesterday afternoon to repeat Policy 604-1, which required our players to stand during the national anthem.

"The policy was put in place after Megan Rapinoe kneeled in solidarity with the peaceful protest inspired by Colin Kaepernick, who was protesting police brutality and the systematic oppression of black people and people of colour in America. 

"It has become clear that this policy was wrong and detracted from the important message of Black Lives Matter.

"We have not done enough to listen - especially to our players - to understand and acknowledge the very real and meaningful experiences of black and other minority communities in our country.

"We apologise to our players - especially our black players - staff, fans and all who support eradicating racism.

"Sports are a powerful platform for good, and we have not used our platform as effectively as we should have. We can do more on these specific issues and we will."

U.S. Soccer's decision comes after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that league was also wrong to not listen to its players when they peacefully protested.

Steve Stricker will make six captain's picks for the United States' Ryder Cup team in an indication the event is set to go ahead.

The PGA Tour is due to resume with the Charles Schwab Challenge this week after an enforced three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the fate of the Ryder Cup – which is scheduled to take place at Whistling Straits between September 25 and 28 – has yet to be confirmed.

USA captain Stricker said last week it would be a "crime" if fans were unable to attend and that the absence of spectators could lead to a "yawner" of an event.

New selection criteria were announced for Team USA on Wednesday, though, with Stricker's choices being bumped up from four to six.

Only one major tournament, the US PGA Championship, will count towards automatic qualification, while points will be accrued through to the BMW Championship at the end of August.

"With all the various changes to the 2020 schedule, it quickly became apparent that we would need to amend our selection criteria," Stricker said via a widely reported PGA of America release.

"After many deliberate discussions, we collectively agreed that a smaller sampling of 2020 events – including just one major championship – would justify a one-week extension of the qualification window and an increase in the number of captain's selections from four to six.

"These changes were sparked by circumstance but conceived with integrity in mind. In the end, we believe they will allow us to put our best team together to compete at Whistling Straits in September."

The Ryder Cup is one of the few sporting events in 2020 that remains on the calendar on its original date.

However, there are major doubts as to whether the contest – scheduled for September – will go ahead amid fears over coronavirus.

A decision has yet to be made, but one possibility is that Whistling Straits will play host to the competition behind closed doors.

It is a topic that has divided opinion, so should the Ryder Cup go ahead without spectators?

Stats Perform News duo Russell Greaves and Peter Hanson have their say...

 

THE SHOW MUST NOT GO ON – GREAVES

Having had the privilege of attending the previous Ryder Cup, I can attest to how much value the fans add to the experience.

And the golfers themselves say as much too – the encouragement of the crowd, and maybe even the occasional jibe, can make all the difference.

Sport is not just about the technical brilliance of its stars, it is about the context in which those protagonists ply their trade and the drama that golf provides at this level is unmatched.

A golfer standing over a putt to win a point, waiting for the noise to die down, gathering his emotions as the assembled masses hold their collective breath... that's what makes this event so special.

Remove the action from that context and you have something less enthralling, less special, less meaningful. Do not devalue this great competition. The show must not go on.


THE RYDER CUP CAN OFFER POSITIVITY AMID THE GLOOM – HANSON

Let's make this abundantly clear from the start: Everyone wants fans in attendance at the Ryder Cup.

No one could coherently argue golf's most famous and spine-tingling team competition would be better with the absence of spectators. The energy, noise and usually good-natured jibing from the galleries is what makes the Ryder Cup one of the greatest spectacles in sport.

But we find ourselves living in unprecedented times. The likelihood of having members of the public through the gates at Whistling Straits diminishes by the day.

If the competition can be held safely, with every precaution taken to protect everyone involved – not just the players, then it should go ahead.

The Ryder Cup can offer positivity amid the gloom. A chance for escapism from a harsh reality, a chance for a semblance of normality, a chance for the world's best to entertain sports-starved fans watching on from the comfort of their homes. 

It is far from the ideal situation, but it is the situation we find ourselves in. The show must go on.


WHAT THE PROS SAID

"This event is made by the fans. If it was without fans, it almost would be a yawner of an event. To cheat out the Wisconsin fans would be a crime," USA captain Steve Stricker told the Golf Affect Radio Show.

"Everyone wants fans to be there, but the question is does sport need the Ryder Cup and should the Ryder Cup take one for the team? It wouldn't be in the Ryder Cup's best interests, but it could be in the best interests of enough people who want to see a big sporting occasion on TV," Europe captain Padraig Harrington speaking to The Times.

"I get the financial implications for everyone involved but having a Ryder Cup without fans, it's not a Ryder Cup. I would much rather them delay it until 2021 to play the Ryder Cup than play it at Whistling Straits without fans," world number one Rory McIlroy said during an Instagram Live with TaylorMade.

"I personally don't want to play if there's no fans. I don't see a point in playing it," Brooks Koepka told Golf Channel.

"I'm not saying 'postpone it' if there's no fans. I want to make that team and if I do, and we have to play it behind closed doors, I'm going to embrace it 100 per cent," Ian Poulter told Sky Sports.

"A Ryder Cup without the spectators is just not a Ryder Cup. It's the one tournament of the year where we're not playing for ourselves, we're playing for Europe, we're playing for the United States, and it's for the fans," Jon Rahm told Sky Sports.

United States captain Steve Stricker says it would be a "crime" if the Ryder Cup is staged behind closed doors at Whistling Straits in September.

Team USA and Europe are due to do battle for the famous trophy in Wisconsin from September 25-27, but the coronavirus pandemic has put the event in doubt.

Staging the biennial showpiece without spectators has been suggested, but Rory McIlroy is among the players who stated that he would prefer it to be postponed than go ahead with no fans.

Stricker also feels that it is vital the public are allowed to watch the action in his home state.

"This event is made by the fans. If it was without fans, it almost would be a yawner of an event," he told the Golf Affect Radio Show.

"To cheat out the Wisconsin fans would be a crime. I hope when we do have it, it can be up to its full potential."

Stricker expects a decision to be made in the next few weeks.

He added: "So far we're planning it as a go, like we’re going to have it. But there's some obstacles that we're going to have to face, I think.

"The confidence of the people and the corporate people. It's going to come down to probably the safety. And who knows, right?

"They're going to have to make a decision here probably within the next two or three weeks because the build-up to put up all the stands and all the corporate tents, all that kind of stuff, has to happen in June."

'Next Generation' is a series focusing on the young players tipped to establish themselves as the elite in the 2020s.

 

At long last, football is almost back. After a hiatus of more than two months, top-level European club action returns on Saturday with the resumption of the 2019-20 Bundesliga season.

With nine rounds of the season still to be completed, there remains much to play for in Germany's top flight and it all kicks off once again this weekend, with the Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke undoubtedly the highlight.

Given there are precious few other sporting events around the world allowed to resume yet, the Bundesliga could be set for an influx of new viewers and fans.

While most followers of ffootball will be well aware of the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Timo Werner, Jadon Sancho and the Bundesliga's other leading stars, there are other players perhaps not quite at that level of exposure yet but also worth keeping an eye on.

We identified six who were either enjoying impressive seasons before the suspension, or have shown significant promise.

Amine Harit (22), attacking midfielder – Schalke

To seasoned viewers of the Bundesliga, Harit won't be a new name – after all, he was Rookie of the Year in 2017-18. But after a difficult 2018-19, Harit is enjoying his finest season in professional football. With six goals and four assists, the Morocco international has been a key player for David Wagner's Schalke this term – the skilful and creative attacking midfielder a threat to any defence on his day. However, all of his goal involvements came before Christmas, and if Schalke are to hold on to a Europa League spot, the 22-year-old rediscovering his 2019 form could be vital.

Christopher Nkunku (22), central midfielder – RB Leipzig

A product of Paris Saint-Germain's academy, Nkunku broke into their first-team squad last term but couldn't hold down a place in the starting XI. Leipzig had seen enough of him to feel compelled to part with a reported €15million for the French midfielder, however, and it looks great business. After scoring with his first touch in Bundesliga football, he has contributed another three goals and 12 assists – a haul bettered by only Sancho and Thomas Muller. A wonderful technician, Nkunku is a dead-ball specialist, a fine striker of the ball and a supreme midfield athlete.

Marcus Thuram (22), forward – Borussia Monchengladbach

There aren't a huge amount of similarities between Marcus and his dad Lilian, one of the greatest centre-backs of his generation, but physical presence is one. Marcus Thuram is a handful for defences in virtually every way possible; quick, strong, tall, athletic and a good dribbler. Capable playing anywhere in attack, Thuram is particularly useful coming in off the left on to his right foot, and he has played a role in 14 league goals this term, eight of which were assists. Gladbach are looking to secure Champions League qualification – if they fail, keeping Thuram could be a challenge.

Dayot Upamecano (21), centre-back – RB Leipzig

You won't find many more-complete centre-backs than Leipzig's Upamecano. Strongly linked with a move to Bayern Munich at the end of the season, the France Under-21 international seems to have it all. His excellent distribution is highlighted by the fact his 66 per cent long-pass success is better than Mats Hummels (58), Manuel Akanji (55) and Benjamin Pavard (61), while his 35 interceptions is more than Virgil van Dijk has managed. Potentially the next superstar-in-waiting off the Red Bull production line, Upamecano has a big future in front of him.

Giovanni Reyna (17), attacking midfielder – Borussia Dortmund

The son of former Manchester City and United States midfielder Claudio Reyna, Gio appears destined to go on to bigger things than his old man. The 17-year-old made his debut as a substitute in the 5-3 win over Augsburg on January 18 and has played another seven Bundesliga matches since. Although mostly making cameo appearances, his direct approach to dribbling, upright running style and effortless elegance on the ball bear resemblance to Brazil and Milan great Kaka. It's only a matter of time before he gets his first Bundesliga start.

Jean-Clair Todibo (20), centre-back – Schalke

A newcomer to the Bundesliga, having joined on loan from Barcelona in January, the jury is still out on Todibo. Schalke accept it's unlikely they'll be able to trigger his purchase clause – reportedly worth €25m plus €5m in add-ons – due to the financial consequences of the pandemic, but a loan extension is said to be a possibility. A technically gifted centre-back who is comfortable on the ball and a solid passer, Todibo, 20, was perhaps unlucky to not get more opportunities at Camp Nou. He made five league appearances after joining Schalke, and although only two were starts, he is considered a real prospect.

Davis Love III and Zach Johnson have been named vice-captains of the United States Ryder Cup team.

Two-time captain Love and Johnson join Jim Furyk on skipper Steve Stricker's team for the biennial event, which is due to be staged at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from September 25-27.

Love captained the USA against Europe for a second time in 2016, with the hosts regaining the famous trophy at Hazeltine.

Johnson was also a vice-captain at Le Golf National two years ago, when Europe secured a resounding victory.

Stricker will name additional deputies at a later date, although doubts continue to be raised over whether the competition will go ahead amid the coronavirus crisis.

Captain Stricker said of his latest appointments: "With the Ryder Cup it's important to surround yourself with quality individuals who you can lean on and who have the best interests of the team in mind."

"Jim [Furyk] and I have talked about this a lot in the last year and now we are happy to add two Ryder Cup veterans in Zach and Davis to the conversation with the goal of putting this team in a prime position to win. Both Zach and Davis share a passion to compete at the highest level and are strong communicators, which is important, especially when we’re in the heat of competition."

Love said: "Steve has been such a consistent presence on this team, both as a player and as a vice-captain, and now it's his time to lead.

"He has a terrific vision for what he wants our U.S. team to not only accomplish, but represent, all year long. I'm confident in the program he has in place and am anxious to get to work."

Johnson stressed the importance of the USA making home advantage count in a Ryder Cup that could be staged without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: "It's always an honour to be part of the U.S. Ryder Cup team. In a domestic Ryder Cup, it's important to defend 'our turf', and to do so on behalf of Steve - in his home state at Whistling Straits - is a great opportunity for our team to make a statement."

Ryder Cup captains Steve Stricker and Padraig Harrington have issued an open letter paying tribute to those "on the front line" of the fight against coronavirus.

The biennial tournament is one of the few major sporting events this year still scheduled to go ahead on its original date, with Wisconsin's Whistling Straits the host venue in September.

But Team USA skipper Stricker and European counterpart Harrington recognise the world has very different priorities as COVID-19 continues to claim lives across the planet.

On Tuesday, the duo published a letter in which they heaped praise on healthcare professionals and other key workers who are leading the battle against the virus and its wider societal impact.

"When Europe takes on the United States in the Ryder Cup it is always fiercely contested but it is just golf. It is not a matter of life and death," the letter read. "Fighting coronavirus is.

"As Ryder Cup Captains, we proudly represent all the players, caddies, staff and partners of the European Tour and PGA of America and we speak on behalf of every single one of them when we say that our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected.

"We also speak for them when we say that we are all moved by the incredible determination, passion and spirit we are witnessing from our health professionals, key workers and everyone else on the front line in this battle. We are all indebted to the incredible work they are all doing.

"Last week, some of the world's leading golfers featured in a social media video thanking our heroes. We want to take this opportunity to reiterate our sincere gratitude to all of you once more.

"For them, we urge everyone to please stay safe, stay healthy and stay home. And stay united."

The Ryder Cup should not be held this year if it reaches a stage where captains choose all 12 players and fans are unable to attend, according to Chris DiMarco.

Golf's calendar has been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic with the PGA and European Tours suspended, while the Masters and US PGA Championship have been postponed.

It appears certain the U.S. Open and The Open will follow suit and the Ryder Cup, scheduled to take place at Whistling Straits between September 25-27, is also under threat.

This week, Europe captain Padraig Harrington insisted the biennial competition should go ahead if it is safe even if it meant he had to pick his entire team.

DiMarco twice represented the United States in golf's most prestigious team event, ensuring his qualification for the team in 2004 with a runner-up showing at the US PGA Championship, which coincidentally was also hosted at Whistling Straits.

And DiMarco believes points should be retained and carried over to a qualification process for a Ryder Cup taking place in 2021.

"No, I don't think that either," DiMarco told Stats Perform when asked if the event should proceed even if the captains had to choose all 12 players.

"[For me], the most important thing at the 2004 US PGA was to make that Ryder Cup team. 

"I just think if it gets cancelled this year and they play it in 2021, the points should just continue for another year and just keep it continuing, nobody can pick this year and then just go as if it was a three-year qualification. 

"That's the fairest for everybody and I think that way the guys who have played great get to keep their points and it still gives guys a chance to make that team. 

"I think the eight players who qualify and the four captain's picks, that's the way it should be."

Harrington has also advocated playing the Ryder Cup behind closed doors if it is deemed unsafe for spectators to attend.

However, DiMarco feels having fans in attendance is crucial, not least because it gives the home side an advantage.

"I don't think the Ryder Cup should be played without fans, I think it's a disservice," added DiMarco, who also played for USA in 2006. 

"I get the other tournaments, I guess you can say it is what it is. But it wouldn't be fair to the home team the fact they wouldn't be allowed to have fans. 

"So, I think as big as the Ryder Cup is the fans are as big a part of that as anything. Yes, it's 24 players and the captains and the co-captains and all that and they can go out and do it, but without those roars you hear around the course it just wouldn't be the same. I think it's the one thing [in golf] – [American] football is the same, you can't watch a football game without fans you just can't do it. 

"The Ryder Cup has to have its fans there, when it's on home turf you have to have that home-field advantage and the fans are that home-field advantage. 

"If it comes to that point where they say there won't be any fans I don't think it should be played."

USA Rugby has filed for bankruptcy as the coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on sport across the world.

In a statement on Monday, USA Rugby said the impact of COVID-19 has accelerated existing financial issues after voting to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

USA Rugby suspended sanctioned competition and rugby activities indefinitely on March 20 due to the coronavirus crisis.

The American union will undergo a restructuring process with input from World Rugby, while the United States' men's and women's senior national teams will continue to compete as normal when the sport returns.

"This is the most challenging period this organisation has faced and all resolves were never taken lightly in coming to this determination," said USA Rugby Chair Barbara O'Brien.

"While the current climate is of course much larger than rugby, we remain focused with stakeholders and supporters in the continued effort toward a balanced rugby community where the game can truly grow."

Globally, there have been over 37,700 deaths and at least 784,380 confirmed cases.

In the United States, more than 3,100 people have succumbed to the virus, with over 163,400 cases.

United States head coach Gregg Popovich is committed to leading Team USA in 2021 after the Olympic Games were postponed due to coronavirus.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed the postponement of Tokyo 2020 on Tuesday amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's Games were scheduled to get underway on July 24, but the spread of coronavirus has wreaked havoc across the globe.

However, USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said San Antonio Spurs coach Popovich remains committed.

"The commitments everyone made for 2020 are still there; we're all-in and we're committed," Colangelo told ESPN.

"It's important to deal with the unknowns and this virus. This too shall pass, and we'll be back for everyone's well-being."

The rescheduling of the Olympics could impact the NBA, which is already on hiatus.

"We will follow the leader. We have to wait to see how everything is laid out and we'll make the adjustment," Colangelo said. "Our players are NBA players first, let's face that."

Colangelo added: "Changing the window for the NBA is easier said than done. There's a lot of logistics and contracts to deal with. Same for the Olympics. You have to assume it will be around the same dates."

Globally, more than 18,800 people have died from coronavirus, with over 421,360 confirmed cases.

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