MLS organisers fear the 2020 season may have to be shortened as a return to action in May is now considered "extremely unlikely".

The league was suspended on March 12 after just two rounds of matches due to the coronavirus pandemic, with May 10 earmarked as a possible date to resume the competition.

However, it is now feared a return to action next month will be impossible and there are concerns it could become difficult to play the full season if the league's suspension continues.

"Although we hoped to return to play in mid-May, that is extremely unlikely based on the guidance of federal and local public health authorities," a statement from MLS on Tuesday said.

"Our goal remains to play as many games as possible, and while we currently have enough dates to play the entire season, we recognise at this time that it may become difficult to do so.

"We continue to learn more every day from the medical experts, and we expect to have additional details in the coming weeks regarding when we can return to play. As we have throughout this process, we will update our fans with every decision, and we thank them for their support and understanding during this extremely challenging time."

The United States has been one of the nations hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis, with more than half a million confirmed cases and over 24,000 deaths.

As well as matches being put on hold, clubs were instructed to close training facilities until at least April 24 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although players requiring treatment or rehabilitation are exempt from the directive.

Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga clubs have pushed back their general meeting until April 23 as they weigh up when to return to action.

Germany's top two divisions were suspended last month as the spread of the coronavirus pandemic grew.

The competitions were halted until April 30, though a further postponement appears inevitable, even with many clubs having already resumed training in small groups.

Last week German Football League (DFL) chief executive Christian Seifert said the aim was for the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga to restart in early May with behind-closed-doors games.

A general meeting to discuss the next course of action was planned for April 17, though that has now been delayed by six days to give clubs more time to prepare.

A statement from the DFL explained: "The DFL postpones its general meeting planned for next Friday until April 23, 2020.

"The aim of the postponement is to give clubs and the DFL additional time for further intensive preparation of upcoming decisions.

"Among other things, the 36 clubs will decide on the further course of action on this question based on the current political decision-making in the federal and state governments in the coming week."

Marouane Fellaini has thanked the medical team at a Chinese hospital after recovering from coronavirus.

It was announced the former Manchester United midfielder, now playing for Chinese Super League side Shandong Luneng, had contracted COVID-19 on March 22.

Fellaini has since been recovering in hospital, where he has posted regular updates on social media.

A short and widely released Shandong statement read: "Fellaini was assessed and was deemed to have recovered and was discharged today."

The Belgium international has also taken to Instagram to post about his recovery.

"The time has come for me to thank from the bottom of my heart, the medical staff of the hospital, their nursing staff as well as my club and its medical staff for taking such good care of me with so much kindness and for ensuring my comfort whilst there," he wrote.

"The hardest part is behind me! Let's keep fighting, it's important!"

Fellaini, 32, moved to China in February 2019 after five and a half years at Old Trafford.

There have been 82,249 recorded cases of coronavirus in China, with 3,341 of those people dying.

Formula One should cancel hosting fees so the 2020 season can begin behind closed doors, according to Emanuele Pirro.

Pirro, a five-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, competed in F1 for three years and now works as a steward on behalf of the FIA and also sits on the drivers commission.

With the 2020 season in jeopardy after the coronavirus pandemic forced eight races to be postponed and the Monaco Grand Prix to be cancelled, the Italian believes drastic measures are required.

The start of the campaign has already been delayed by over three months and it is widely expected the French Grand Prix, which is set to kick the racing off on June 28, will be called off with restrictions on public events set to continue until mid-July.

Pirro believes racing behind closed doors could work, but only if F1 makes a financial sacrifice.

He told Stats Perform: "There are sports that can be played behind closed doors and football as a sport could be closer to a restart. We cannot do the same in F1, because the tickets represent the only income for the promoters, who pay a very important fee to F1.

"Only Bahrain was keen to do the grand prix behind closed doors, but their situation is very different.

"It will be difficult to restart an event which requires the presence of the public. It is easier to test the positivity [for COVID-19] of people working in the circus, but a vast public is less controllable.

"One solution I may think of, is that F1 no longer asks a fee from promoters during this emergency, relinquishing a part of income.

"We could have grands prix behind closed doors and broadcast on television. So far nobody mentioned this scenario – it may sound extreme and absurd.

"The only alternative for us is to wait for the world to open its doors to us and only then we could restart racing."

Planned technical regulation changes for the 2021 season have already been pushed back to 2022 and Pirro thinks the ongoing hiatus offers a chance to look at how to provide a more level playing field in F1.

"I am a positive person by nature. This is an opportunity to rethink our sport, which is too expensive and untouchable," said Pirro.

"You can do this sport spending much less and perhaps making it a two-day event rather than three days. It would be possible to run a team with less than 1,000 people.

"We can do F1 without designing a new car every year only for two teams. I do not understand why it is not allowed to sell cars to client teams like it used to happen in the past. Even smaller teams are forced to design a new car which needs to be chucked at the end of the season.

"Perhaps this situation can encourage us to review rules which seem dogmatic and make a more sustainable and accessible F1."

The Rugby Championship in 2020 could be held while the Super Rugby season is ongoing to make sure both take place, SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos has suggested.

This year's southern hemisphere tournament between Argentina, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand is due to be held between August 8 and September 27.

The domestic Super Rugby campaign is scheduled to finish with the final in June, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the season to be put on hold.

As organisers try to ensure both competitions can be staged in 2020, Marinos has proposed the idea of having them run in parallel, despite the drawback of Super Rugby teams having to give up international players during Test-match windows.

"Could you be playing the Rugby Championship at the same time as a domestic competition?" Marinos said via NewsHub.

"It's not trying to rubbish one for the other, it's how do we get a sensible solution in what may be a restricted time frame?

"Logic would suggest if there is an ability to create like what we've seen with the NRL around a bubble, if it's all in one location it seems a bit easier.

"At this point in time, we'd be silly to rule out anything. We are hell-bent and have every intention of delivering the complete package."

Organisers have cancelled the sixth staging of the Atlanta Georgia Relays set for next month.

Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool's players reacted with shock when informed Kenny Dalglish had tested positive for coronavirus and expressed relief the Reds legend has since returned home from hospital.

Dalglish tested positive on Wednesday while attending hospital for treatment on gallstones but was discharged on Saturday after showing no symptoms of COVID-19.

The news of Dalglish's test had an emotional impact on the current Liverpool squad according to Klopp, who said the situation was discussed in a group on the WhatsApp messaging platform.

"It was a real shock three days ago when I heard about it first," Klopp told Liverpool's official website.

"The boys were sent a message in our WhatsApp group and everybody was like, 'wow'.

"What you feel in that moment is a massive difference if you know somebody who got the virus, or if you don't know.

"In this moment, it was like, 'wow, one of us has it' and it was really crazy."

Dalglish arrived at Liverpool as a player in 1977 and won six league titles and three European Cups during a spell that saw him become player-manager from 1985 until 1990.

Klopp indicated the closeness between his players and Dalglish, saying: "We all know this terrible disease is causing heartache all over the world, but this was the first time for many of us someone we have such a personal connection to was affected to this extent.

"I had the opportunity to text immediately with one of his daughters and we spoke about it. She was quite, not relaxed, but she was fine and said it looked all well – and two days later we heard he was released from hospital.

"It's good news – very good news – and I hope he is doing well still.

"We all know Kenny and we love him. We just sent him all our thoughts and prayers in that moment, but maybe he didn't need it, which is even better."

The coronavirus pandemic could give boxing "a kick up the backside" when it comes to making fights in the future, according to trainer Dominic Ingle, even if the sport has to wait until September at the earliest for a return to action.

With countries on lockdown due to the global health crisis, bouts scheduled for May, June and July have all been postponed - and there is no clear indication when the situation will improve enough for cards to be scheduled again in 2020.

Along with the continued uncertainty over fight dates, boxers are also having to make do with staying busy at home due to social distancing restrictions.

A lack of gym time - denying the opportunity to get in pivotal sparring rounds during a training camp - could lead to further delays, though Ingle believes the enforced break may result in a fresh outlook when it comes to negotiating fights, considering the time already lost this year.

"It's a wait-and-see time," Ingle told Stats Perform.

"Let's say we get to the end of May and the lockdown is lifted, and the fighters have been training anyway, it still gives you about six weeks over boxing's summer break.

"They're probably going to be fit enough, but they want to be in the gyms sparring. For us, six weeks is about right, but others will want to do more rounds sparring and a lot more gym work. Our fighters could be ready in six weeks, because we don't do a lot of sparring anyway.

"Realistically, though, you're looking at the beginning of September."

On matchmaking, he added: "It may give everyone a kick up the backside to get things moving quicker.

"When you've got a job to do, sometimes you think you've got all the time in the world to do it. This [lockdown] will make people realise that time is of the essence, though.

"It has probably made people see that you can't waste time, whether that's in your career or in life in general."

Staging sporting events being behind closed doors has been talked about as a way of restarting sooner, at least allowing the action to be broadcast to an audience watching on from home.

Ingle, however, is not so keen on that idea for boxing.

"That kind of defeats the object," he said. "We need an atmosphere at fights, and you're going to need officials anyway, plus a lot of people in the background to make sure the show still works.

"When it [the lockdown] first happened, I thought we were all taking it lightly. Then the realisation kind of hits home. Going into it, people had a bit of a lackadaisical attitude. I think coming out of it, people will be the same.

"They will think things will get back to normal quickly, that we will just be able to put on shows. That's wishful thinking, for me. Realistically, and logistically, I don't think it's going to work like that."

The famous Ingle gym in Sheffield would normally see Kell Brook, Kid Galahad and Liam Williams among the regular visitors, yet the threat of COVID-19 has forced the trainer to keep track on his stable from afar.

"They've all got workouts to do. We've got them on GPS monitors, so we can see what they are doing and can give them their workouts," Ingle explained. "They do their runs to keep their fitness up, so they will be alright.

"I go 12 to 16 weeks without getting paid, because we get paid at the end of a camp when the fights happen. That's how we've always operated. We have money in reserve, but, for us, this is like another training camp.

"They are always training, obviously, but there is normally a concentrated effort for 10 to 12 weeks [before a bout]. It's almost like we live on lockdown anyway then, as we can't have a social life during that time. You have to be in bed early and get up early, so you are kind of used to this."

Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay has denied their planned return to the club's training facilities was to gain an early advantage over their LaLiga rivals.

Last week, the club outlined their intention to allow first-team players to go back to their Zubieta base to carry on the fitness work they have been doing at home during Spain's lockdown.

The idea was to send players in pairs back onto the training pitches, complying with social distancing measures, once Spain's decree telling non-essential workers to stay at home is lifted on Tuesday.

However, the club reversed their decision on Sunday following discussions with the government's sporting authority, the Consejo Superior de Deportes [CSD].

Aperribay has defended the club against suggestions they wanted to be the first back in training so they could get a head start in preparations for the return of LaLiga's season.

"We absolutely respect the existing situation," he told Radio Marca. "We are the first to comply diligently with all the health measures that exist - that is our intention now and always.

"As for the conversation with the CSD, it was very friendly, without tension. We thought that, like other workers, we could return to our workplace at the end of the decree on non-essential jobs, nothing more.

"We were wrong, but we were not seeking an advantage. What we understood was that the work being done at home could be done in the workplace, without using dressing rooms or common spaces, taking advantage of the eight pitches we have, with two players on each one. They weren't in group training and there was no ball.

"Quite possibly, if there were no essential activities decree, we would have started [training] earlier. The first thing we did, when things stopped, was to disinfect Zubieta entirely.

"We planned to resume individual activities after two weeks, but I insist that we're not looking for an advantage, just at doing the work in our place."

La Real were fourth in the table after 27 games when LaLiga was suspended, with the battle for a Champions League place becoming intense.

They also have a Copa del Rey final against Basque rivals Athletic Bilbao on the horizon, although it is unclear when that match will be held or whether it will be behind closed doors.

"We're very clear about it: football can be played when it can be played. We're not going to be the ones to decide," said Aperribay.

"The final is a match and the issue of open or closed doors is up to the health authorities and in that way you have to be absolutely scrupulous in terms of how things can return."

Achraf Hakimi said he is flattered by interest from across Europe as the Real Madrid full-back looks to resolve his future.

Achraf signed a two-season loan deal with Borussia Dortmund in 2018 and the Morocco international is set to return to Madrid at the end of the current campaign, which has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 21-year-old's future remains up in the air amid links to Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Chelsea following his exploits for Bundesliga outfit Dortmund.

Asked if he was flattered by the interest, Achraf told Cadena SER: "Who does not like it? I am proud of what I am doing.

"In June I will have to make a decision and it will be a great step for my career. In theory, my contract ends in June and from there I have to return to Madrid. 

"I have not yet had contact with Madrid on this matter, but I imagine that soon we will have some conversation to find out what is best for me."

"I don't know when my contract ends, that subject is taken by my agent," Achraf said when asked when his contract ends in Madrid. "It is the same contract that I signed in 2017."

The Bundesliga and major European leagues, as well as Euro 2020 and the Copa America, have been postponed amid the COVID-19 crisis.

May 9 could see the return of the Bundesliga as the likes of Bayern return to training, albeit in small groups while following strict guidelines on hygiene and the distance kept between players.

On the proposed return date, Achraf said: "It is an estimated date, I think it can change. I'm glad it's that date, but the sooner the better. However, we have to be careful about the situation we are in."

Achraf, discussing Dortmund's training measures, added: "I arrive at 10 and we start training at 10:30. I work with my group, with five or six people. We do not cross. We each work on our own. We do not make any contact.

"We mix a little, gym, rondo or soccer-tennis. But with almost no contact."

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi paid tribute to health workers across the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc globally, with over 114,240 deaths and more than 1,853,150 confirmed cases.

Barca superstar Messi showed his support following the end of the World Health Worker Week, which concluded on Saturday.

"Yesterday the World Health Worker Week came to an end and, together with @unicef, I want to express my deepest gratitude for the work they do," Messi – a record six-time Ballon d'Or winner – wrote via Instagram on Sunday.

"Anonymous heroes who endure long days and nights away from their families, so that ours can be safe from #COVID19.

"For continuing, despite everything, their noble commitment to caring for pregnant women, and keeping children and adolescents protected. #YoMeQuedoEnCasa #StayAtHome #Unicef."

LaLiga was suspended indefinitely last month due to coronavirus – Messi's Barca were two points clear of Real Madrid through 27 rounds at the time of the postponement.

Rudy Gobert downplayed a reported rift with Utah Jazz team-mate Donovan Mitchell following the pair's coronavirus experience.

All-Star Jazz duo Gobert and Mitchell contracted COVID-19 last month, prompting the NBA to suspend the season on March 11, and both have since recovered.

Gobert's careless behaviour prior to testing positive for coronavirus reportedly angered guard Mitchell – the Jazz center apologising after mocking the measures in place to prevent the virus from spreading by jokingly touching reporters' microphones when leaving a news conference before the postponement in March.

Addressing rumours of friction with Mitchell, Gobert said via Instagram Live: "It's true that we didn't speak for a while after this, but we spoke a few days ago.

"We're both ready to go out there and try to win a championship for this team."

Gobert added: "It's not about being unprofessional. You know, everyone has got different relationships -- it's never perfect.

"People that are married, it's never perfect. So you know, me and my team-mates, it's far from perfect. But at the end of the day, we both want the same thing -- and it's winning.

"We're both grown men, and we both are going to do what it takes to win."

"There's no fight," Gobert continued. "It's all about thousands of people are dying every day, and it's all about what we can do to help, what we can do to bring some positive. That's what my focus is on now."

Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina said the 2019-20 Serie A season must be completed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Italy's top flight was suspended indefinitely last month due to the spread of COVID-19 and the FIGC has already stated that the campaign will not resume until the health and safety of all concerned can be guaranteed.

The Italian government has extended its current strict restrictions on movement and outdoor activities until May 3, although reports in the country this week suggested some clubs are keen to return to training at that time, resume playing by the end of the same month and conclude 2019-20 in July.

Some teams are unwilling to resume the season – which saw defending champions Juventus a point clear of Lazio through 26 games at the time of postponement – but Gravina hopes the campaign restarts as soon as possible.

"I'll repeat what I've been saying: we'll start again once there's the guarantee of everything being in order in regards to the health of the athletes and those who work at the clubs," Gravina told Sky Calcio Club.

"We have a meeting on the 15th of this month between the various technical and scientific bodies to discuss the next steps. We need everyone to be on the same page.

"The hope is we begin again as soon as possible. But we must complete the season — there could be very negative implications if we're unable to do so."

Coronavirus has killed at least 114,170 people across the globe, with over 1,851,400 confirmed cases.

Italy – which remains on lockdown – has recorded more than 19,890 deaths and over 156,360 cases.

Real Sociedad have abandoned plans to return to training on Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sociedad were set to become the first LaLiga team to resume training, albeit individually at the club's facilities, after signalling their intent on Saturday.

LaLiga was suspended last month due to COVID-19, which has killed over 114,000 people globally and more than 17,200 in Spain – where strict travel and social-distancing measures have been enforced.

Sociedad had outlined a series of precautionary measures but the Spanish side – fourth in LaLiga before the postponement – performed a U-turn on Sunday.

"After discussions held with the Consejo Superior de Deportes [CSD] today and in accordance with the will of Real Sociedad, we have decided that our players will continue to train at home. The club is fully aware of its responsibility during the current pandemic," a statement read.

"Real Sociedad recalls that our decision was to allow players to return to training at Zubieta from Tuesday 14. In no case was this training at Zubieta going to be done in groups. Moreover, it was up to each player to decide whether they wanted to do it at home or at Zubieta. If they wanted to do it at Zubieta, it would be done following the protocols established, which scrupulously respect the security measures put in place by the health authorities. 

"We are fully aware of our responsibility and we are working on a plan for getting both our athletes and employees back to work following the protocols established by the authorities. Health is an absolute priority that would take precedence over all other considerations. We believe that we must start working on the transition back to work and we are available to all institutions in order to help in this direction. 

"Last but not least, we want to thank the CSD for their friendly attitude during our conversations. We are fully committed to work to overcome this challenge and return to normality as soon as possible."

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