Coronavirus in Sport LIVE: Premier League return set for June 26, ballots to watch matches, big Leeds boost – The Sun

THE Premier League is a step closer after the return of players to training, and there's been a boost after only two more positive tests.

But clubs are reportedly eyeing a June 26 return as they err on the side of caution.

Follow all the latest coronavirus in sport updates below…

 

  • HUDD ENOUGH

    Huddersfield ower Phil Hodgkinson has warned “50 or 60” clubs could go bust.

    He told BBC Sport: “The problem is not whether we finish [this] season or not, it is what happens after that.

    “If we don't come to an agreement there will be no football pyramid.”

    Before he added: “There is an absolutely real, stark probability that if something isn't agreed now within football to ensure all clubs can pay their bills and get through to the point where income is resumed, you will be looking at 50 to 60 clubs ceasing to exist.

    “Genuinely, I am talking about that many.”

  • CRIS CHASE

    Cristiano Ronaldo has wasted no time putting in the hard yards as he returned to Juventus' training base.

    The Portuguese superstar showed off his blistering pace during a sprint drill to prove he is ready to hit the ground running when Serie A returns.

    The 35-year-old uploaded footage to Instagram stepping over training apparatus before sprinting across the grass – while his son Cristiano Jr tried to follow in his footsteps.

    Alongside the clip, he wrote the caption: “Explode mode.”

    View this post on Instagram

    Explode mode 💥💨

    A post shared byCristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

  • FIGHT THE VIRUS

    The Gypsy King and his family have been showing his Instagram followers how to keep safe.

    View this post on Instagram

    What would you do to keep your family safe? @[email protected]

    A post shared byTyson Fury (@gypsyking101) on

  • MOUR TO COME

    Frank Lampard is likely to play out the rest of the season without star midfielder N'Golo Kante.

    The Blues have granted the Frenchman permission to miss the rest of the season if his fears linger over coronavirus.

    The World Cup winner has been harbouring anxieties about the bug ever since the UK was locked down in March.

    Here's how they could line-up without the Frenchman…

  • DUST-IN TIME

    Dustin Poirier and Dan Hooker are set to finally meet in next month’s UFC pay-per-view.

    The two lightweights were previously planned to go one-on-one until the coronavirus pandemic scuppered that.

    Now the pair are expected to headline UFC’s June 27 event, according to various reports.

    Poirier (25-6 MMA, 17-5 UFC) is the former UFC interim lightweight champion and will face a tough task against one of the division’s fastest-rising stars in Hooker (20-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC).

  • LUC AT HIM

    Lucas Torreira has proven he is fighting fit as he prepares for the Premier League return.

    The Uruguayan midfielder appears to have put his injury concerns behind him after revealing his ripped figure on social media.

    Taking to Twitter, Torreira showed off his bulging muscles including his six-pack.

    Alongside his three Man of the Match awards and an image of Walter White in the award-winning series Breaking Bad, he wrote the caption: “I'm back.”

  • LIVING IN ZIN

    Zinedine Zidane has broken lockdown rules to visit his second home on the outskirts of Madrid, according to a Spanish newspaper.

    The Real Madrid manager, like the rest of the city, has been required to remain in lockdown for the last two months – as Spain has battled the coronavirus pandemic.

    But it has emerged that the Frenchman broke the rules.

    According to Sport, Zidane travelled beyond the city borders to visit his second home.

  • GLOVE STORY

    Amir Khan will not fight again until fans are allowed to return after the coronavirus pandemic.

    The 33-year-old was last in action in July 2019 when he defeated Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia.

    Speaking to The Mirror, he said: “Fighting in empty arenas when it's just you, your opponent and the referee just won't have the same feel.

    “An empty arena is not going to lift me up to fight, I will have to wait until they're full again.

    “How are the fighters going to get motivated? I couldn't do it but maybe other people can.”

  • TOUGH LOVE

    Jadon Sancho has risked the wrath of Bundesliga chiefs after hugging his team-mate in Borussia Dortmund's win over Wolfsburg.

    The England winger was introduced in the 65th minute of the contest and made an instant impact by assisting Achraf Hakimi in the 2-0 victory.

    But going against league guidelines to help limit the spread of the coronavirus, the pair embraced after the goal.

    Sancho, 20, is likely to get a dressing down and reminded of his responsibilities ahead of Dortmund's huge clash against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

  • PREM-ONITION

  • ARE HUW READY? – EXCLUSIVE

    Huw Jenkins is ready to buy troubled Charlton Athletic – and end the disastrous ownership of Tahnoon Nimer and Matt Southall.

    The former Swansea City supremo will take over this week once the EFL approve the deal which should be a formality.

    Charlton's East Street Investments revealed they have found a buyer.

    And it couldn't come soon enough after a reign that saw a bitter dispute between Thanoon Nimer and former agent Southall.

    And Jenkins has stepped in with Charlton out of funds and facing a need for money before the wages are due by the end of the month.

    Jenkins will inject cash and also has inherited a deal that would see him buy the land from previous owner Roland Duchatelet at a later date.

  • WATCH YOUR HULLTH

    Championship side Hull City have confirmed two members of their staff rested positive for coronavirus.

    A club statement read: Hull City can confirm two people have tested positive for Covid-19 following the first round of testing at the training ground.

    Medical confidentiality means the names will not be disclosed, and the Club asks for this to be respected.

    The duo, who are both asymptomatic and feeling no ill effects, will now self-isolate for seven days – in line with the protocols set out in EFL guidelines – before being tested again at a later date.

    The Club will continue to liaise closely with the affected personnel and will make no further comment.

  • LIVES AT RISK

    An NHS study has found that Liverpool's controversial clash with Atletico Madrid led to “an additional 41 coronavirus-related deaths.”

    Their Champions League game at Anfield on March 11 was the last match played in England before lockdown measures were introduced.

    Around 54,000 supporters were in attendance including 3,000 travelling Atleti fans.During that period, lockdown measures had already been introduced in Spain with many restaurants and bars shut.

    Reported by the Sunday Times, a study by Edge Heath, a group that analyses NHS data through data-modelling, believe the game led to 41 additional deaths between 25 and 35 days following the game.

  • BULLISH

    Manchester United star Jesse Lingard has compared former team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic to legendary basketball hero Michael Jordan.

    The majority of sports fans have been watching Jordan's Netflix documentary series 'The Last Dance' in lockdown and Lingard is no exception.

    Lingard told beIN Sport: “I have to say Zlatan. As soon as he came to Man Utd you could feel that aura around him.

    “He had that winning mentality and that drove us, motivated us to win many trophies. Not many people have had that effect. He had that raw winning mentality, he'd played at big clubs before and had that mentality.

    “He came to Man Utd and said he wanted to win trophies. At that time I was a young player, Marcus Rashford was young, as soon as we won that first trophy it made us hungry for more.

    “I'd let's say he brought that winning factor and winning mentality to the team.”

  • EFL-THY

    The EFL have confirmed two individuals from one club have tested positive for coronavirus.

    A statement read: “The EFL can confirm that 1014 players and Club staff from all 24 Championship Clubs have been tested for COVID-19 over the course of the last 72 hours, with two individuals testing positive from one Club.

    “Those players or Club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate in line with the guidelines provided by the EFL and only those who have tested negative will be permitted to enter training ground facilities.

    “The EFL will continue to make regular and relevant announcements as appropriate in respect of the testing programme to support competition integrity and transparency.

    “No specific details as to Clubs or individuals will be provided by the League.”

  • CHERRY BAD NEWS

    Bournemouth have confirmed one of their players has tested positive for Covid-19 following the club’s second round of testing.

    The anonymous player will now self-isolate for a period of seven days, as per Premier League protocols, before being tested again at a later date.

    No players tested positive for the initial round of testing, but this latest wave has revealed one to have contracted the virus.

    A Cherries statement added: “Following strict adherence of the Premier League’s return to training regulations, the club’s training ground remains a safe working environment for players and backroom staff.“They will continue to be tested for Covid-19 twice per week.”

  • LEED ON – EXCLUSIVE

    The EFL have given the Championship clubs the green light to start training – and the majority want to finish the season.

    Leeds United and West Brom are clear to push ahead for the Premier League and have been cleared to begin their preparations.

    That message was flashed out by EFL HQ who reveal “most clubs have indicated they wish to complete the season in full”.

    However, League One is still split and the “straw poll” has yet to confirm whether they play on or stop.

    The EFL is “reluctant to put any plans in place until after the outcome of the vote”.

  • RE-BOLT-ING

    Sprint king Usain Bolt begged a British model for sexy pics two days before his long-term lover gave birth to their first child.

    Olympic gold medallist Bolt, 33, asked Shari Halliday, 22, for the snaps — and was sent two of her wearing lingerie.

    He replied saying: “You hot as, I swear. Love it.”

    Glamour girl Shari claims she had no idea Bolt was in a relationship until last Sunday’s birth of his daughter was announced — by the Prime Minister of Jamaica.

    Shari said: “I feel like he should concentrate on his own family and don’t understand what he gets from texting other girls.

    “I was shocked when I found out he had become a dad as I did not know about his partner. I should do my research on people a bit more.”

  • IT'S FIGHTING TYM

    Mike Tyson made a surprise appearance at AEW Wrestling overnight and looked in excellent shape ahead of a potential return to boxing!

    Iron Mike ripped off his shirt to stop WWE legend Jake 'The Snake' Roberts interfering with the match.

  • GOOD MORNING SPORTS FANS

    Project Restart was boosted last night with news of just two more positive tests in the Premier League.

    Out of 996 tests conducted last week, two people came back positive, from two different clubs.

    In the first round of testing, six players and staff from three different clubs were found to have Covid-19, from 748 samples.

    A statement read: “The Premier League can today confirm that on Tuesday 19 May, Thursday 21 May and Friday 22 May, 996 players and club staff were tested for Covid-19.

    “Of these, two have tested positive from two clubs.”

    Meanwhile, Former FA and Arsenal chief David Dein says next season should run from February until November.

    He says rewriting the football calendar would give leagues the time they need to finish the postponed campaigns safely.

    He said: “I’d like to see next season recalibrated. One reason is we don’t know what’s going to happen.

    “Will this season actually be able to finish in June and July? I wouldn’t put pressure on ourselves. If we have to, let’s finish this season in October or November.”

    In other news, the NBA have a Mickey Mouse idea to resume the basketball season – a trip to Disneyland.

    Top-class US sports have been on pause since March following the Covid-19 crisis, but NBA top brass are in talks to resume the season at Florida’s Disney World Resort in late July.

  • NOT CLEVER

    Tom Cleverley warns Project Restart is in “jeopardy” if a host of players test positive for Covid-19 in the next phase.

    The former England midfielder Cleverley declared: “Phase one is as safe as going to the supermarket.

    “But in phase two, you could be rubbing shoulders with 15, 20 guys on the same day.

    “So if we get into phase two and there’s a sudden spike in positive cases, that puts the whole thing in jeopardy.

    “Let’s wait for the information and the schedule on phase two and see if the players are happy with it.”

  • FEELING THE BURN

    Jack Cork has insisted most players back the return of the Premier League despite initial concerns over Project Restart.

    He said: “Of course we all spoke about it on the Zoom calls and we all wanted to get back.

    “The way they’ve gone about it has been great and our testing didn’t affect the NHS ones because it was all done separately.

    “People had concerns but we all came to the decision that we were happy with how it was all being done.

    “There are key workers and NHS staff putting themselves at a lot more risk, putting themselves in danger, but we’re in one of the safest environments, so were all happy to do so.”

  • COIN TOSS

    Premier League clubs are being asked to pump a staggering £200million into the EFL to save  their skins.

    The size of the bailout has stunned top-flight chiefs who could have to find £10m each.

    The idea — backed by Government ministers — would mean a one-off payment for the 71 distressed poor relations.

    This is in addition to the previous solidarity payments made by Premier League clubs and after an agreement last month that the big boys would advance those payments of £125m to help smaller clubs.

  • EXCLUSIVE

    Former FA and Arsenal chief David Dein says next season should run from February until November.

    He says rewriting the football calendar would give leagues the time they need to finish the postponed campaigns safely.

    And Dein believes a season starting in 2021 could have fans in stadiums.

    In a virtual talk to pupils for the Speakers For Schools charity, ex-FA and Gunners vice-chairman Dein said: “I’d like to see next season recalibrated. One reason is we don’t know what’s going to happen.

    “Will this season actually be able to finish in June and July? I wouldn’t put pressure on ourselves. If we have to, let’s finish this season in October or November.

    “We’d give ourselves ample time for the players to have a break. I’d like to see next season run from February to November. With luck, we could be in a position to have fans back.”

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