CPBL to begin on April 11
The Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) is to start on April 11, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with games on the opening day to be played behind closed doors. The Chinese Taipei Baseball Association said that games in the five-team league’s season-opening weekend would be played without fans, with the situation due to be assessed on a round-by-round basis. The opening day of the CPBL season was originally scheduled for Saturday. To abide by rules set out by health authorities, the CPBL has said that it would limit attendances to 150 fans once games are opened up to the public. Temperature screening would take place, with fans encouraged to keep their distance from one another and wear masks.
McLaren allowed changes
McLaren would be allowed to make chassis changes next season to accommodate the switch from Renault engines to Mercedes, even though Formula One has decided to keep this year’s cars for another season. The Woking, England-based team are the only ones undergoing a change of engine provider at the end of this season. Formula One earlier this month announced that it was postponing until 2022 planned major rules changes for next season “due to the currently volatile financial situation” caused by the pandemic. Teams would continue to use this year’s cars next season as a cost saving measure. “This decision does not impact our change to Mercedes power units in 2021, and we will be allowed to make the necessary changes to our car to accommodate this,” McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said on the team’s Web site. The pandemic has forced the sport to cancel this month’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix and Monaco showcase, while six other races have been postponed. Formula One chairman Chase Carey on Monday said that he still hoped to start a reduced 15-to-18-race season in the summer.
DFL eyes longer suspension
The German Football League (DFL) on Tuesday announced it would propose that the Bundesliga suspension, due to the pandemic, be extended to late next month. On Monday last week, the DFL, which runs Germany’s two top divisions, put them on hold until at least Thursday next week because of the coronavirus. The DFL is to propose the extension to its 36 clubs at a meeting on Tuesday next week. TV rights represent a large part of the income for top-flight clubs and playing games behind closed doors, but live on TV, would reduce the financial effects of the pandemic. Separately, soccer players at Germany’s top teams, including Bayern Munich, have agreed to take pay cuts to help clubs survive the economic effects of the crisis, media reports said on Tuesday. Bild said that players and club officials at champions Bayern, top of the Bundesliga when the season was halted on March 13, have accepted a 20 percent cut in their salaries. Bayern have a massive wage bill, which last year reached 336 million euros (US$363.6 million), almost half of club turnover. Players at Borussia Moenchengladbach were the first in the league to propose a pay cut, followed by others at Werder Bremen, Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund.
DECREASED TENSION: The US players’ lawyers said that the soccer federation no longer disputes that the jobs of the women’s and men’s national teams require equal skill Women players suing the US Soccer Federation (USSF) said in in court documents filed on Tuesday that the federation has acknowledged that the jobs of male and female soccer players require equal skill. The language seemed to signal a decrease in tension between the parties after language in documents filed by the federation’s lawyers earlier last month provoked widespread outrage in saying that playing on the men’s national team required a higher level of skill based on speed and strength and carried greater responsibility. The fierce backlash — not only from the women players, but also from sponsors such as Coca-Cola —
A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo’s successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympic Games has said that he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan’s bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu, was paid US$8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo’s bid for the 2020 Games, financial records showed. Takahashi said the work included lobbying International Olympic Committee (IOC) members such as Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital
If British industry succeeds in saving lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would in part be thanks to the pioneering role played by Formula One (F1) racing teams in the country. Seven of F1’s 10 teams have joined forces with leading aerospace and engineering firms to ramp up production of ventilators, while Mercedes has also worked with medics and academics to produce an alternative breathing aid. Normally obsessed with improving the performance of cars that race at more than 320kph, the teams are stripping back lifesaving devices and using computer simulation to test whether more simplified models can be mass produced. The seven
BITING THE BULLET: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi said that top players would make contributions so that the club’s employees can collect 100 percent of their salary Three-quarters of Rugby Australia’s staff were temporarily laid off yesterday amid huge financial losses from the sport’s coronavirus-enforced shutdown, while Lionel Messi confirmed on Monday that Barcelona’s players would take a 70 percent pay cut to ensure that the club’s other employees are paid. The cuts to rugby staff were “the toughest decision in the game’s history,” governing body CEO Raelene Castle said. “Although extremely painful, they are necessary to ensure ... we are able to come out the other side of this global crisis, fully operational and ready to throw everything into the rebuild.” The sport has been hit hard by