13 Mar 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

11:55 am on 13 March 2020

Latest - The Highlanders' Super Rugby game against the Jaguars in Buenos Aires on Sunday will be played in an empty stadium because of the coronavirus.

Estadio Jose Amalfitani, Buenos Aires,  Argentina.

Jose Amalfitani Stadium Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Argentinan rugby club made the announcement in accordance with the measure taken by the City of Buenos Aires on banning mass events.

The match will be played at the Jose Amalfitani Stadium which has a capacity of almost 50,000.

Argentina has temporarily stopped issuing visas to travellers from countries hardest-hit by the virus.

Argentina has so far registered 21 confirmed cases of coronavirus and one death.

EPL manager tests positive for coronavirus

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus.

9th May 2018, Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England; EPL Premier League football, Manchester City versus Brighton and Hove Albion; Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta on the pitch at the end of the game as the Etihad bids farewell to Yaya Toure

Mikel Arteta Photo: All Rights Reserved

The Gunners have closed their training ground and club staff who had recent contact with Arteta will now self-isolate.

The Premier League will hold "an emergency club meeting" to discuss future fixtures.

"This is really disappointing but I took the test after feeling poorly," said Spaniard Arteta, 37. "I will be at work as soon as I'm allowed."

Arsenal expects a "significant number of people" will self-isolate, including first-team staff and coaches.

Arsenal are due to play at Brighton in the Premier League.

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is self-isolating as a precaution after a member of his family was admitted to hospital displaying symptoms of coronavirus.

Three Leicester City first-team players have also self-isolated after showing symptoms of coronavirus.


Marler gets 10 weeks

England rugby prop Joe Marler has been banned for 10 weeks for grabbing the groin of Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones during their Six Nations match at Twickenham last weekend.

England's Joe Marler tackled by Wales' Ken Owens

Joe Marler Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Teammate Manu Tuilagi, who was shown a red card late in the match for a dangerous tackle, will have to serve a four-week suspension.

England, who beat Wales 33-30, are level at the top of the Six Nations table with France, but their final game against Italy in Rome has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

An independent disciplinary committee heard submissions from Marler at a meeting in Dublin and found he had committed foul play that warranted a red card.

The committee reduced a potential 12-week sanction by three weeks to take account of mitigating factors but then added a week because of Marler's most recent disciplinary record.

A citing complaint against England flanker Courtney Lawes, who was accused of a dangerous tackle on Jones, was not upheld because it had not warranted a red card.


PGA to ban fans

Commissioner Jay Monahan has announced his US PGA Tour will not follow other major US sports, who have suspended their leagues, stating all golf tournaments will proceed but without fans through to the Valero Texas Open in April.

Rory McIlroy on the PGA Tour.

Rory McIlroy Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Texas Open is the final regular US Tour event before the Masters.

Augusta National Golf Club, organisers of the Masters, are slated to make their announcement about the 2020 edition next week, which will be three weeks before they are set to host the year's first major.

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, fans will no longer be able to attend events starting with Friday's second round of the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Florida's St John's County, where TPC Sawgrass is located, has already had one person test positive for the virus.


UEFA to discuss footballs future

UEFA will hold a video conference meeting of all 55 football federations in Europe plus representatives of clubs, leagues and players to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on all football in the region including Euro 2020.

Napoli fans wearing face masks.


European football's governing body has so far declined to discuss whether Euro 2020, which will be held in 12 different countries around Europe between June 12 and July 12, will be postponed or venues altered.

UEFA said the meeting would be held next Tuesday and that "discussions will include all domestic and European competitions, including UEFA EURO 2020".

Next week's Champions League games between Manchester City and Real Madrid and Juventus against Lyon have been postponed.

Domestic leagues around the continent have been put on hold or are taking place behind closed doors.


Second Jazz player tests positive

A second Utah Jazz player has tested positive for the coronavirus, with ESPN's reporting that it was All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell.

Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

Rudy Gobert Photo: PHOTOSPORT

All-Star center Rudy Gobert tested positive yesterday, and his diagnosis led to the NBA opting to suspend its season indefinitely.

Gobert was seen touching every reporter's microphone stationed at the podium at the end of a media session on Monday that addressed, in part, the coronavirus. His action was perceived to be done in a joking manner.

Mitchell, 23, leads the Jazz by averaging 24.2 points per game.

Players and staff for Utah remain in quarantine at a hotel in Oklahoma City pending the results of all coronavirus tests.

All members of the franchise who traveled on the team charter were required to submit to a cheek swab to test for COVID-19 after Gobert tested positive. The Jazz originally thought Gobert had the flu, and he was listed as questionable for yesterday's game with the Thunder, which was canceled.

The NBA told teams that have played the Jazz in the past 10 days that they should self-quarantine.


Men's tennis tour suspended

The ATP has suspended its professional men's tennis tour for six weeks, citing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak, which has upended major sporting events across the globe.

John Peers and Michael Venus

John Peers and Michael Venus Photo: Photosport

The announcement came moments after Miami-Dade County said it would suspend the Miami Open and on the heels of Monday's last-minute cancellation of the Indian Wells tournament in Southern California.

The decision was not taken lightly, ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said in a statement, adding that the suspension represents a great loss for players and fans.

Impacted events include the Clay Court Championships in Houston, the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech, the Monte-Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open and the Hungarian Open.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has described the coronavirus crisis as a pandemic, meaning it is spreading fast across the globe, as countries scramble to contain the outbreak.


Eels pip Bulldogs

Parramatta beat Canterbury 8-2 in the opening game of the National Rugby League season in Sydney.

The scores were level at 2-all at half time with Parramatta scoring the only try of the game late in the second half through Reed Mahoney.

The game had threatened to become the first tryless encounter since the Bulldogs edged Illawarra 4-2 in 1993.

The Bulldogs build-up was marred by a week of damaging headlines for the code following the standing down of Jayden Okunbor and Corey Harawira-Naera.

The Warriors are at Newcastle on Saturday.


Indian ODI rained off

The first one-day international between India and South Africa in the northern Indian city of Dharamsala was called off without a ball being bowled due to rain.

While several international sporting events have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the two cricket boards decided to go ahead with three one-day internationals despite concerns.

Today the Indian government said it wanted the national cricket team's upcoming matches to be played in empty stadiums - an unheard-of occurrence in a country where the sport is a national obsession.

But a sizeable crowd nonetheless gathered in the Dharamsala ground, with local match organisers saying they had not received the government directive. The fans were, however, left disappointed as the rains did not relent.

The second ODI will be held in Lucknow before Kolkata's Eden Gardens hosts the final match.


Russian Athletics fined

The Russian athletics federation has been fined $15 million by World Athletics for breaching anti-doping rules and a maximum of 10 Russian track and field athletes will be allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics as neutrals.

Russia's athletics federation was suspended in 2015 after a report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency found evidence of mass doping among track and field athletes in the country.

Yet some of its officials and senior coaches have since then been involved in doping scandals, undermining the country's efforts to have the ban lifted.

World Athletics, the sport's global body governing, said it was limiting to 10 the number of Russians who could be eligible to compete in track and field as neutrals at this year's Tokyo Olympics.

It also reinstated the process by which Russian athletes can apply to compete internationally as neutrals after demonstrating that they train in a doping-free environment.

World Athletics stopped clearing Russians to compete internationally in November last year.


Record for Welsh captain

Wales rugby captain Alun Wyn Jones will equal the record for most test appearances when he leads his side out against Scotland in the Six Nations this weekend, drawing level with All Blacks great Richie McCaw on 148 appearances.

Jones, who also has nine caps with the British & Irish Lions, will make his 139th appearance for Wales in their final match of the campaign.

Scrumhalf Rhys Webb returns to the squad after more than two years while lock Cory Hill replaces the injured Jake Ball and tighthead prop WillGriff John will make his international debut.

The match in Cardiff is the only Six Nations fixture that will be held this weekend after Italy's final match against England in Rome and France's final game against Ireland in Paris were both postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Defending champions Wales, who won the Grand Slam last year, are fifth in the standings after losing their last three matches against Ireland, France and England.