What they said – Coronavirus has the sporting world talking

Sport across the world is grappling with an unprecedented challenge as it works out how to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the reaction on March 31.

“We’re appealing for it to be taken with the same cautionary measures that have been taken in the rest of football. It is frankly not comprehensible how this could be going on.” – Fifpro general secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann gave his view on the fact that football is continuing to be played in Belarus despite the coronavirus crisis.

“Last week the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals charity launched an emergency appeal to provide lifesaving equipment for those two hospitals specialising in lung and heart conditions in preparation for the Covid-19 outbreak. To help with their fundraising effort, I’m going to be donating this shirt, which is the shirt I wore in the World Cup final last year, signed by all the players who were members of that squad.” – England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler revealed in a video on Twitter that he is auctioning the shirt he wore during last summer’s triumphant World Cup final to raise funds for two London hospitals.

“We understand these are challenging times and it has been our priority to provide swift and immediate support to all members of the cricket family at every level in England and Wales.” – Chief executive Tom Harrison spoke as the ECB announced a funding package worth £61million to support the professional and recreational game during the coronavirus crisis.

“The National League Board met earlier today and has reviewed its prior decision to suspend the competition until at least 3rd April 2020. In consideration of the very serious and unprecedented national public health emergency caused by the coronavirus, the Board has taken the decision to suspend the National League, National League North and National League South competitions indefinitely.” – The National League announced the indefinite suspension of its three divisions.

“I would think that, as it stands at the moment, it would be pretty hard to run the Tour de France at the current dates starting at the end of June.” – Mitchelton-Scott sport director Matt White on the likelihood of the Tour de France going ahead on its planned dates in an interview on his team’s website.

“It’s not a time to be relaxing regulations on financial propriety when we have already had problems with Football League clubs such as Bury. If a club is doing deferrals then the regulations state that they would be embargoed from signing any players.” – Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor warned there must be no relaxation of rules relating to the financial conduct of clubs as the union continues discussions on wage deferrals.

“It was clear from the outset that, in terms of the consequential impact on the various leagues in terms of promotion/relegation there would be no ‘right’ solution, particularly once it was clear that our preferred option of completing the season would no longer be possible.” – Scottish Rugby Union president Dee Bradbury after Scotland’s 2019/20 domestic rugby season was declared null and void.

“We aim to end the season by June 30th, and that is still the status today.” – In a press conference conducted online, German Football League chief executive Christian Seifert reiterated the aim to finish the Bundesliga season by the end of June.

“Of course, I’m used to seeing them every day for hours and hours, so it’s different. I just keep in touch with them on WhatsApp groups and messages, and we plan for whenever we get back and what kind of sessions for when we do start.” – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told manutd.com that he is making plans for United’s return to action during the enforced break.

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