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.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
DISSENT: The US track and field body joined sports officials in Norway and Brazil, as well as Indian athletes, in calling on the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 organizers have started drafting possible alternatives to holding the Olympics this summer, two sources familiar with the talks said, in contrast to the Japanese government’s stance that postponement is not an option. While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted sports events around the world, Japan has been steadfast in saying that the Games would go on. A Japanese government spokesman on Wednesday said that Tokyo was not preparing for postponement. “Finally, we have been asked to make a simulation in case of a postponement,” said one of the sources, an official close to the organizing committee who is involved in drafting the
EXPENDITURE: Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that ‘additional expenses are going to be quite massive’ to reschedule the Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-to-August window next year for the postponed Tokyo Olympics and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. John Coates, head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics, told the newspaper that the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, scheduled to end in mid-July, and the US Open, which starts in late August. “We want to more or less finalize the dates in four weeks’ time,” the newspaper quoted Coates as saying. Coates, who is also
PROUD, BUT BOWING OUT: The Dallas center missed all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, but Travis Frederick returned to be a standout again last season Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick on Monday stunningly announced his retirement. Frederick, who turned 29 on Wednesday last week, was a Pro Bowl selection in five of his six NFL seasons. Frederick revealed his retirement in a lengthy letter, beginning it by writing: “After much consideration, discussion, and reflection, I have decided to retire from football. This was not an easy decision.” Frederick cited his bout with autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome as a factor. He missed the 2018 season due to the illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, but he returned to be a standout again last