Coronavirus wrap: French MotoGP postponed while Norwich make £200,000 donation

The coronavirus pandemic continues to bite into the world of sport, with MotoGP’s French Grand Prix the latest casualty.

The race weekend, which was set to be held at the Bugatti Circuit in Le Mans
from May 15 to May 17, has been postponed – with the organisers aiming to
reschedule at a later date.

It becomes the latest race to be affected after April’s Spanish Grand Prix was
also put on hold.

A MotoGP statement read: “The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the postponement of the SHARK Helmets Grand Prix de France.

“As the situation remains in a state of constant evolution, new dates for the
French GP and the recently-postponed Gran Premio Red Bull de Espana cannot be confirmed until it becomes clearer when exactly it will be possible to hold the events.

“A revised calendar will be published as soon as available.”

Meanwhile, players, coaches and executive staff at Premier League Norwich have donated £200,000 to help local people affected by the pandemic.

The donation is made up of money sacrificed from salary by Canaries staff, and will go towards the purchase and distribution of essential food and toiletries to those in need in the city and the county of Norfolk.

Norwich captain Grant Hanley told the club’s official website: “There are clearly a lot of complexities and discussions happening at this time, but right now this absolutely is the best thing we can do for our community.

“As a group of players, we wanted to stand up and do our bit. The lads have
heard at first-hand stories and challenges that some of our supporters are
currently facing. We need to make sure we’re reaching out and helping those who have been hit hard and are struggling at this time.”

Sheffield United v Norwich City – Premier League – Bramall Lane
Sheffield United v Norwich City – Premier League – Bramall Lane

The Canaries announced earlier this week that they were furloughing non-playing staff who were unable to carry out their normal duties during the outbreak.

The club intend to utilise the Government’s job retention scheme, which will
pay 80 per cent of staff wages up to a monthly maximum of £2,500.

Norwich will then top up salaries to ensure all affected staff remain fully
paid throughout the furlough period.

Elsewhere, talks are continuing as a solution to salvage the domestic season is sought.

Joint statement: @EFL, Premier League, PFA and LMA.

— EFL Communications (@EFL_Comms) April 1, 2020

The players’ union, the Professional Footballers’ Association, is holding talks with the Premier League, the English Football League and the League Managers’ Association regarding a possible collective agreement on wage deferral.

The bodies issued a statement saying that although no decisions had been reached on Wednesday, they shared a “constructive” meeting, and would continue talks “in the next 48 hours”.

UEFA has cancelled all of its competitions until June, including the Euro 2020 play-offs, while the Danish Football Association reported that the Women’s European Championships, scheduled for England next year, will be pushed back to 2022.

The All England Club announced that Wimbledon will not be staged this year for the first time since World War II, while Silverstone has until the end of the month to decide whether or not the British Grand Prix can go ahead in July.

Doubts remain about this summer’s Tour de France, which is scheduled to begin in Nice on June 27.