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.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there