A woman takes images of decorated bicycles, or flower bikes, as sign warns for the risk of spreading the coronavirus in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Sunday, April 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

The Latest: Bucks' Hill details family experience with virus

April 21, 2020 - 6:04 pm
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The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill says his wife’s 85-year-old grandmother recently battled the coronavirus.

“By the grace of God, she beat it,” Hill said.

Hill has been in San Antonio during the NBA’s pandemic-imposed hiatus. Hill says he hasn’t been staying with his wife’s grandmother, though he was able to detail what she endured.

Hill says his wife’s grandmother had the chills and a “really high” fever. Hill added on a conference all that she “didn’t eat for a while,” and lost her sense of smell and her sense of taste before getting better.

“It just kind of gives you a sense of where life is,” Hill says. “Sometimes we take things for granted and things can go sideways by the snap of a finger."

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Olympic ice dancer Kaitlyn Weaver is bringing together some of the biggest names in figure skating for a virtual event to raise money through the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization.

Weaver will host the 3-hour talk show dubbed “We’re All in this Together” from her New York apartment on Saturday. The plan is to video chat with other skaters, past and present, and engage them in games, interviews and other events at the website https://openicelive.com.

Among the Americans scheduled to appear are two-time and reigning world champion Nathan Chen, retired stars Scott Hamilton and Brian Boitano, and retired Olympic ice dance champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White. Another pair of ice dance Olympic gold medalists, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, will lend some British flavor. Others on tap include Spain’s Javier Fernandez, Russia’s Ekaterina Gordeeva and French ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron.

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The government in the Netherlands has extended a ban on large events, including professional sports, until Sept. 1 — effectively ending the country’s soccer season.

The Dutch soccer federation responded by saying it intends to cancel the rest of the 2019-20 season and will consult with European governing body UEFA.

UEFA has previously said nations risk losing their Champions League and Europa League entries for next season if organizers end domestic seasons too soon without trying to complete games. However, that stance was eased earlier Tuesday.

Nearly all European soccer leagues are on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, but most still hope to resume play in time to finish the season around August.

The Dutch league, the Eredivisie, says clubs will speak Friday “about the consequences of the decision” by the government.

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The NFL has donated $10,000 each to a dozen local agencies around the nation to assist their domestic violence programs.

League vice president Troy Vincent says the donations come at a critical time because incidents of domestic violence have the potential to spike because of stay-at-home orders resulting from the new coronavirus pandemic.

Vincent says victims are more prone to be abused because “there’s nowhere to hide” while required to be at home. He notes anxiety over job and financial uncertainties can serve as triggers for abusers.

Vincent has been a long-time advocate in speaking out against domestic violence after growing up in an abusive household.

New York’s Niagara Frontier’s YWCA CEO Kathleen Granchelli welcomed the donation by noting her association’s shelter and housing facilities are currently full and counselors busy. She says victims of domestic violence are “coping with unimaginable trauma.”

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The Indiana Hoosiers are changing their policy for football season ticket renewals and season parking passes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to announcing a two-week extension on the deadline, to May 15, outgoing athletic director Fred Glass says the school will implement a new ticket assurance plan.

The policy gives ticket holders the option of receiving a refund or a credit toward a future ticket purchase for any canceled games. The policy applies to all Indiana ticketed events.

Glass also introduced a new down payment option, which gives fans the ability to renew season ticket purchases by putting 5% down. The two remaining payments would be due July 15 and Aug. 15.

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The New York Road Runners have canceled their in-person events and programs due to the coronavirus. Since March 15, a total of 14 NYRR race events have been canceled.

The NYRR said it will continue to work closely with government officials regarding the ongoing status of scheduled in-person events and programs with the possibility of additional cancellations in the future.

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The men’s and women’s professional tennis tours say they will administer a player relief fund to help those in the sport dealing with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ATP and WTA say they are in discussions with the International Tennis Federation and the four Grand Slam tournaments but did not provide any specifics about how much money they are pooling or how it will be distributed.

They said they “look forward to finalizing and sharing the further details of a plan in due course.”

Pro tennis has been on hold since early March because of the COVID-19 outbreak, and no tournaments will be played before mid-July at the earliest.

The French Open postponed its start from May to September, and Wimbledon was canceled for the first time in 75 years.

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Serge Aurier has become the latest player from English club Tottenham to flout government guidelines during the coronavirus outbreak after posting videos of him training with teammate Moussa Sissoko.

The Ivory Coast defender has now deleted the videos on his Instagram story, which showed him running shuttles and sitting next to Sissoko, disregarding social distancing. Aurier was wearing a face mask.

It wasn’t clear where the two players were training.

Tottenham says “we shall be speaking to both players involved.”

It comes about two weeks after Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was pictured holding a one-on-one training session in north London with midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, while two other players ran nearby. Mourinho later acknowledged his session was “not in line with government protocol.”

Guidelines say people can only exercise outdoors on their own or with members of the same household.

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UEFA is softening its tone toward organizers of national leagues and cups who want to end seasons early before completing all games.

After talking with its 55 member federations, UEFA says that “some special cases will be heard“ after guidelines are confirmed for entry paths to next season's Champions League and Europa League. Those guidelines could be approved Thursday by UEFA’s executive committee.

After Belgium’s top-tier league said this month it wanted to declare current standings final, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin warned that countries risked losing European competition entries if they took premature decisions.

UEFA’s previous directive was toned down to “a strong recommendation“ Tuesday to try to complete domestic seasons.

Domestic club soccer aims to play into July and August — if resuming games is even possible — with UEFA hoping to complete the Champions League and Europa League later in August.

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The 20 clubs in Italy’s top soccer division have unanimously voted in favor of finishing the current season.

The Lega Serie A held an assembly with the 20 clubs by videoconference. It released a statement saying all clubs voted “to carry on the 2019-2020 season to the end, if the government allows it to happen.”

Serie A has been suspended since the government ordered a nationwide lockdown more than a month ago. Twelve rounds remain along with four games that were postponed from the weekend of Feb. 22.

The lockdown in Italy is scheduled to expire after May 3.

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The ownership of the Orlando Magic have announced a $50,000 donation to a Central Florida food bank and have teamed with Papa John’s to offer a way for their fans to support food-insecure families as well.

The DeVos family announced the donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Through May 20 fans can also see 25% of their online-order price at Orlando-area Papa John’s restaurants donated to the food bank as well.

Magic CEO Alex Martins says “this has been a focus for us over the years, and now more than ever this remains a priority. We will continue to work together to make sure we assist those most vulnerable.”

The DeVos family previously announced a $2 million compensation fund for Orlando Magic, Amway Center, Lakeland Magic and Orlando Solar Bears hourly workers for games and time missed during the COVID-19 suspension of seasons. Several Magic players and Magic coach Steve Clifford have also championed various charitable causes during the pandemic.

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Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has urged his players to accept a pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Al-Khelaifi says in an interview with RMC radio that he is “expecting them to make an effort for the club. They know their responsibilities.”

Players on French clubs are all on temporary layoffs. That means a small cut in pay of 16 percent and the state picks up a portion of the rest.

Players at clubs in other countries have taken large pay cuts amid the uncertainty.

PSG’s squad includes world-class players Neymar, Kylian Mbappé, Ángel Di María and Edinson Cavani.

Al-Khelaifi says “our wage bill is of substantial volume” and “we risk suffering colossal losses” at the end of the season.

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UEFA vice president Sándor Csányi says playoffs to decide the last four places in the postponed European Championship could be played in October or November.

The 16-nation playoffs have twice been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Euro 2020 has been delayed one year.

Csányi tells Hungarian media that October and November are options while there is uncertainty about when soccer can resume in Europe. All 55 UEFA member countries are currently scheduled to play Nations League games in October and November.

Hungary was drawn to play at Bulgaria in the single knockout Euro 2020 playoffs. The winner will host either Iceland or Romania with a place in the final tournament at stake.

Hungary is one of 12 host nations of Euro 2020.

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The deputy head of Germany’s national disease control center has cautioned against coronavirus testing for soccer players in order to restart the league.

Regular testing of players and team staff is a key element of a plan to resume German soccer in empty stadiums next month.

Robert Koch Institute vice president Lars Schaade says he doesn’t “see why certain sections of the population ... should be routinely screened.”

Schaade says he would prefer testing to be focused on people who show symptoms or who are linked to an outbreak of the virus.

Clubs are eager to resume the Bundesliga to avoid financial losses. They are negotiating a tricky political landscape and opposition from some fan groups.

The governors of German states Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia have called for a restart of soccer on May 9 but not all states are on board.

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The second edition of FIA’s Motorsport Games has been postponed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The multi-disciple event between various nations was scheduled for Oct. 23-25 at the Circuit Paul Ricard near designated host city Marseille. The new dates are Oct. 22-24 next year at the same place.

The next games are set to see the introduction of rally and historic motorsport events.

Paul Ricard also hosts a Formula One race. It is scheduled for June 28 but widely expected to become the 10th of 22 races this season to be called off amid the virus outbreak.

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South Korea’s professional baseball league has decided to begin its season on May 5.

The games will be played without fans until the risk of infection from the coronavirus is gone.

The league plans to maintain a 144-game regular-season schedule but has decided scrap its all-star game and shorten the first round of the playoffs from a best-of-five to best-of-three series.

The KBO says it could shorten the regular season if infections erupt. The league will advise players to wear face masks in locker rooms and require them to download smartphone apps to report their daily health status to league officials.

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