Hansi Flick has signed a three-year contract as Bayern Munich's head coach, the Bundesliga champions confirmed on Friday.

Flick took over from Niko Kovac in November in an initial interim role, before being appointed head coach on a full-time basis until the end of the season.

Having appeared in danger of failing to mount a title challenge under Kovac, Flick has since restored the winning habit, returning Bayern to the top of the Bundesliga.

Prior to the forced hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Bayern had gone four points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the summit, crushed Chelsea away in their Champions League last-16 first leg and booked a place in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals.

Club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told Bayern's website: "FC Bayern is very happy with Hansi Flick's work. The team has developed very well under him and plays attractive football, which is also reflected in the results.

"We are the only German club that is still represented in all three competitions. I also like the way he leads the team, his human qualities are convincing, his empathy speaks for him.

"FC Bayern trusts Hansi Flick and we are convinced that we will continue to achieve our goals with him in the future."

Speculation since Germany's mid-season break suggested Flick's work with Bayern was earning him admirers elsewhere, with reports claiming he had received offers from top-level clubs in Germany and England.

Such stories seemed to be applying pressure to Bayern, although sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic insists the club were working to a plan all along when it came to the former national team assistant coach's future.

"From day one when Hansi took over the team, we had a plan for how we would deal with the situation," Salihamidzic said.

"First, Hansi took over for two games, then until Christmas, then there was an agreement that he would be our coach until the end of the season.

"Hansi has been loyal and disciplined to this, that is a quality. Another is the results that Hansi achieved with our team. These results speak for themselves.

"Hansi and I know in which direction we want to develop the team. Football faces great challenges. We believe that Hansi is also the right head coach for this time."

Atletico Madrid players will accept a 70 per cent pay cut during the coronavirus crisis to protect the salaries of 430 non-playing staff, the LaLiga club have confirmed.

Atleti's measures mirror those taken by Barcelona and Real Madrid in response to the State of Emergency declared in Spain, where the death toll attributed to COVID-19 has surpassed 10,000.

A club statement on Thursday confirmed they would present a Temporary Employment Regulation File (ERTE) to enshrine a 70 per cent decrease in wages for players with Atletico Madrid B and Atletico Madrid Women, along with Diego Simeone's squad.

Additionally, all first-team players have signed an internal agreement that maps out two different scenarios depending on how the 2019-20 season concludes.

The statement read: "The filing will mean a 70 per cent reduction in the salaries of technicians and players of the men's first team, the women's first team and Atletico de Madrid B, while the declaration of the State of Emergency lasts.

"From the outset, the club's objective in studying possible measures to deal with this delicate situation has been to minimise its effect on the salaries of its employees as much as possible. 

"The agreement reached with the first team will also allow [for] supplementing the salary of 430 employees affected by the ERTE, a complement from which only players and coaches from professional teams are excluded. 

"To make this possible, the first squad will contribute half the necessary amount and the members of the club's management committee, made up of the chief executive and the directors of the different areas, the other half. "

Atletico lie sixth in the standings of a suspended LaLiga, while their final outing before football's continent-wide shutdown was a thrilling 3-2 extra-time victory over Liverpool at Anfield – sealing a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 4-2 aggregate triumph.

England coach Eddie Jones has signed a contract extension through until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Jones, 60, took the helm of England in late 2015 and has been rewarded for what has been a successful stint in charge.

The Australian has overseen 42 wins in 54 Tests as England coach, including leading them to last year's Rugby World Cup final, where they were beaten by South Africa.

Jones has re-signed through until the end of the Rugby World Cup in 2023, which is due to be hosted by France.

"The extension is a great honour for me, but in the current environment, it is only right to acknowledge what a difficult time the world is facing," the England coach said.

"We are all looking forward to a time when we can get back to playing rugby and use the sport as a force for good in bringing people back together.

"I never thought coming here four years ago I would be doing a second four years, but the circumstances are right.

"Obviously it is important for the team that we keep improving and my focus will be solely on that."

Jones' 78 per cent win ratio is the best of any England coach in the nation's history.

During his tenure, Jones has led England to two Six Nations titles - including a Grand Slam in 2016 - a 3-0 series victory in Australia and an 18-match unbeaten run.

Jones added: "I am excited about raising the standards again. We have a great team. We set out four years ago to be the best team in the world and unfortunately we missed that by 80 minutes.

"Now we want to be the team that is remembered as being the greatest team the game has ever seen. It's a big ambition but I believe we are capable of doing it.

"We have players with an enhanced reputation, we have a team that is expected to do well, so it's a great opportunity for us to keep moving forward."

Wimbledon has been cancelled by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision taken on Wednesday means the tournament will not go ahead for the first time since World War II.

The grass-court grand slam had been due to begin in London on June 29.

With the spread of COVID-19 putting sport across the globe on hold, the French Open - originally scheduled for May - has already been moved back to September.

An AELTC statement said the 134th Championships will now take place from June 28 July 11, 2021 instead.

Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep, the respective men's and women's singles victors last year, will consequently be defending champions for another 12 months.

Ian Hewitt, AELTC chairman, said: "This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen.

"It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year's Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon's resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.

"Our thoughts are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by these unprecedented times."

The AELTC said the decision was taken to "protect the large numbers of people required to prepare the Championships from being at risk".

Richard Lewis, AELTC chief executive, added: "While in some ways this has been a challenging decision, we strongly believe it is not only in the best interests of society at this time, but also provides certainty to our colleagues in international tennis given the impact on the grass court events in the UK and in Europe and the broader tennis calendar."

Both the ATP and WTA followed the announcement by confirming the suspensions of the respective Tours will be extended until at least July 13, but US Open organisers plan to stage the tournament as scheduled as it stands.

Tennis, like every sport, has seen its calendar decimated by the COVID-19 outbreak, with the clay-court season completely wiped out and the Olympic Games having been postponed last week.

The decision to move the French Open back to September, after the US Open, sparked a backlash after ATP Tour Council member Vasek Pospisil said organisers had not consulted with players.

UEFA has postponed all national team matches scheduled to be played under its auspices in June, including the play-offs for the delayed Euro 2020 finals.

European football's governing body held a video conference on Wednesday with representatives from all 55 member associations.

Those involved considered recommendations made by the working groups UEFA set up last month to address the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

After that meeting on March 17, it was confirmed Euro 2020 would be moved to June and July of next year, although play-off games were still slated to take place during the international break at the scheduled end of the 2019-20 season.

However, all UEFA matches are now postponed until further notice, while deadlines relating to the 2020-21 campaign for the organisation's club competitions are similarly on hold, with the prospect of football's shutdown going beyond the June 30 date where player contracts typically expire alluded to as a potential complication.

"The deadlines related to all 2020-21 UEFA club competitions are postponed until further notice, in particular as regards the admission process and the registration of players," a press release read. “UEFA will set new deadlines in due course."

At the initial meeting, UEFA made a commitment to try and complete all European and domestic club competitions by the end of June – a prospect that appears increasingly fanciful as leagues across the continent remain suspended with little sign of a resumption.

UEFA has also stated it will relax Financial Fair Play and club licensing measures related to its 2020-21 competitions as clubs deal with unprecedented times.

"The Executive Committee reiterated its full commitment to club licensing and Financial Fair Play and agreed that the current exceptional circumstances necessitate some specific interventions to facilitate the work of member associations and clubs," the statement read.

"It supports the proposal to give member associations more time to complete the club licensing process, until the admission process for next season’s UEFA club competitions has been redefined.

"As a result of the increasing uncertainty generated by the ongoing extraordinary events, the executive committee also decided to suspend the club licensing provisions that relate to the preparation and assessment of clubs' future financial information. This decision applies exclusively for participation in the 2020-21 UEFA club competitions."

Additionally, UEFA cancelled its European Under-17 Championship and European Women's Under-19 Championship, scheduled for May and July respectively.

The corresponding European Under-19 Championship and European Women's Under-17 Championship are postponed with the aim of rearranging, given they double up as qualifying competitions for FIFA's U-20 World Cup and U-17 Women's World Cup.

Next month's UEFA Futsal Championship League finals have also been postponed until further notice.

Barcelona players have agreed to a significant pay cut during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the club have confirmed.

The Barca board, players across the club's respective professional sports teams and "most" of the basketball team have agreed to salary reductions for the duration of Spain's state of emergency.

The senior football team has accepted a pay cut worth more than the 70 per cent initially proposed by the club, according to a Barca statement.

"This additional contribution from the squad, plus the contribution that the club will make, will guarantee 100 per cent of the salaries of all non-sport staff," Barcelona announced.

The LaLiga champions added: "The club would like to thank the professional athletes for their involvement in a situation as exceptional as the one caused by this health emergency."

Barca said last week that certain measures would be brought in to "minimise the economic impact that the coronavirus crisis is causing", although the club did not specify the precise degree of any wage reductions.

It was reported that players and directors were in disagreement over the proposed 70 per cent salary cuts, with negotiations causing a delay to measures being introduced.

However, club captain Lionel Messi issued a statement via Instagram on Monday to deny claims the first team were unwilling to agree to significant pay cuts.

"A lot has been written and spoken about the first team of Barcelona in which the salaries of the players during this period of State of Emergency are mentioned," Messi wrote.

"Before anything else, we want to clarify that our will has always been to apply a reduction in the salary that we receive, because we understand perfectly that we're going through an exceptional situation and we are the first who have ALWAYS helped the club when we have been asked to do so."

The German Football League (DFL) has extended the suspension of the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga until April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A meeting earlier this month initially put the German season on hold until April 2, bringing the Bundesliga in line with the rest of Europe's so-called "big five" leagues.

However, with the COVID-19 outbreak still causing mass disruptions to everyday life across the world, the DFL has reviewed its stance and ruled out a return for football in the country before the end of April.

A statement read: "The presidium [of the DFL] is aware that all scenarios and options for action also depend on external factors, on the development of which the DFL and clubs have only limited or no influence at all: among other things, the further spread of the virus and the assessment of the situation by politics.

"Against this background, the presidium of the General Assembly will recommend a further suspension of game operations in the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga until at least April 30."

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee confirmed the move on Tuesday following discussions between its president Thomas Bach, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Games' organisers.

It means that for the first time since the Second World War, the Olympic Games will not go ahead on schedule.

The spread of COVID-19 has halted sport across the globe and it had become apparent that a start date of July 24 for the Olympic Games was too close for comfort.

A statement issued by the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organising committee read: In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO [World Health Organisation], the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.

The IOC statement came shortly after Mr Abe's office tweeted to announce the news.

"After his telephone talks with IOC President Bach, PM Abe spoke to the press and explained that the two have agreed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would not be cancelled, and the games will be held by the summer of 2021," the tweet read.

As a gesture of solidarity, the Olympic flame will stay in Japan and the Games will retain the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

On Sunday, the IOC appeared to attempt to give itself breathing space when announcing it would make a decision in the next four weeks.

However, a growing number of athletes, national governing bodies and sport organisations called for the Games to be put back.

Some athletes expressed great concern that they were effectively being told to carry on with preparations for the Olympics at a time when health concerns have never been greater, and with lockdowns in place in many countries.

World Athletics indicated at the weekend its hope that new dates could be found, and USA Swimming demanded a postponement, saying "pressing ahead this summer... is not the answer".

The decision to postpone appeared inevitable when veteran IOC member Dick Pound told USA Today on Monday that "the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know".

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee consulted hundreds of athletes and said its conclusion was that, regardless of progress in efforts to contain and quash coronavirus, "the enormous disruptions to the training environment, doping controls and qualification process can’t be overcome in a satisfactory manner".

 

UEFA has formally announced the postponements of the Champions League and Europa League finals due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Champions League final had been due to take place on May 30 in Istanbul, with the decisive Europa League encounter scheduled to be contested in Gdansk three days earlier.

However, those games, along with the Women's Champions League final - originally allocated for May 24 in Vienna - will now be played at later dates.

The decision is no surprise, with the vast majority of club football in Europe having been put on hold due to the spread of the virus.

A working group, established last week following a conference call between the stakeholders of European football, is to analyse the available options for fulfilling the fixtures.

In a statement confirming the postponements, UEFA said the working group had already begun its examination of the calendar.

Only half of the eight Champions League last-16 ties have been completed, with Paris Saint-Germain, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid and RB Leipzig progressing.

The Europa League is at the same stage, with just six first-leg matches completed.

The Women's Champions League has reached the quarter-finals, with the first-leg matches scheduled for March 25 and second-leg clashes pencilled in for April 1 all postponed because of the pandemic, which has killed over 16,000 people worldwide.

 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering postponing the Tokyo Games and will make a decision in the next four weeks, but says cancellation is not on the agenda.

Pressure has grown on the IOC to confirm the Games, due to start on July 24, will not go ahead as scheduled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The virus has killed 14,457 people worldwide and that figure continues to rise.

IOC president Thomas Bach this week stated that different scenarios for staging the Games are being considered and on Sunday revealed a timeframe for a call to be made.

The IOC outlined that modifying existing operational plans for the Games to go ahead on July 24 and changing the start date are being considered.

It explained that "critical venues" may no longer be available and raised logistical concerns such as hotel bookings and the potential impact on the calendar of "at least 33" Olympic sports.

Full commitment, the IOC added, would be required from all parties when coming up with a plan of action.

Bach has written to the global athlete community to inform them of the organisation's approach.

He wrote: "Human lives take precedence over everything, including the staging of the Games.

"The IOC wants to be part of the solution. Therefore we have made it our leading principle to safeguard the health of everyone involved, and to contribute to containing the virus.

"I wish, and we all are working for this, that the hope so many athletes, NOCs and IFs from all five continents have expressed will be fulfilled: that at the end of this dark tunnel we are all going through together, not knowing how long it is, the Olympic flame will be a light at the end of this tunnel."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering postponing the Tokyo Games and will make a decision in the next four weeks, but says cancellation is not on the agenda.

The 2020 Formula One season will not begin until June after the FIA announced the postponement of the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco grands prix due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia was due to host the first race of the year last weekend, but the event was cancelled in the wake of McLaren pulling out after a team member tested positive for COVID-19.

Races in Bahrain and Vietnam were subsequently called off, with the Chinese Grand Prix having already been put on hold.

That meant the Dutch Grand Prix was due to kick the season off on May 3, but the FIA confirmed a further delay to the schedule on Thursday.

An FIA statement read: "In view of the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with Formula 1 and the three promoters, it has today been confirmed that the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix 2020, Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix 2020 and Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix 2020 will be postponed.

"Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, the FIA, Formula 1 and the three promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.

"The FIA and Formula 1 continue to work closely with affected promoters and local authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each grand prix later in the year should the situation improve.

"The FIA and Formula 1 expect to begin the 2020 championship season as soon as it is safe to do so after May and will continue to regularly monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation."

F1's managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn said on Saturday he was optimistic of having a "17-or-18-race championship" by using the mid-season break scheduled for August.

It was announced on Wednesday that mandatory shutdown period had been brought forward to March and April to free up August for postponed races.

However, the F1 calendar is now facing further congestion with three more events hoping for a new date in the schedule.

As things stand, only 15 of the initially planned 22 races have a set date.

The 2020 Formula One season will not begin until June after the FIA announced the postponement of the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco grands prix due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia was due to host the first race of the year last weekend, but the event was cancelled in the wake of McLaren pulling out after a team member tested positive for COVID-19.

Races in Bahrain and Vietnam were subsequently called off, with the Chinese Grand Prix having already been put on hold.

That meant the Dutch Grand Prix was due to kick the season off on May 3, but the FIA confirmed a further delay to the schedule on Thursday.

An FIA statement read: "In view of the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with Formula 1 and the three promoters, it has today been confirmed that the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix 2020, Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix 2020 and Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix 2020 will be postponed.

"Due to the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, the FIA, Formula 1 and the three promoters have taken these decisions in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans, which remains our primary concern.

"The FIA and Formula 1 continue to work closely with affected promoters and local authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each grand prix later in the year should the situation improve.

"The FIA and Formula 1 expect to begin the 2020 championship season as soon as it is safe to do so after May and will continue to regularly monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation."

The Football Association has agreed to extend the 2019-2020 season indefinitely, while prolonging the suspension of all its leagues until at least April 30.

Last week, the FA halted the Premier League, the English Football League, domestic cup competitions and the women's professional game in response to the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on the sporting world.

The body's rules and regulations state that its leagues "shall terminate not later than June 1" but the FA's board has confirmed the season can now go beyond that date in order to try to complete the calendar.

It was originally decided the professional game in England would be suspended until April 3, with that date now extended until at least the end of next month.

The FA said UEFA's decision to postpone Euro 2020 until next year allowed for flexibility in their efforts to finish the domestic season.

A statement read: "The FA, Premier League, EFL and women's professional game, together with the PFA [Professional Footballers' Assocation] and LMA [League Managers Association], understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.

"We're united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019-20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

"We've collectively supported UEFA in postponing Euro 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.

"The FA's Rules and Regulations state that 'the season shall terminate not later than June 1' and 'each competition shall, within the limit laid down by the FA, determine the length of its own playing season'.

"However, our board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019-20 season in relation to professional football. Additionally, we've collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday April 30."

There have been 2,626 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, with 108 people having died.

Liverpool are 25 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League having won 27 of 29 matches in their bid to secure a first top-flight title since 1990.

Debate has been rife as to what should happen if leagues are not able to be completed, with many pundits saying the season should be declared null and void despite Liverpool's sizeable advantage, while others have argued they should be awarded the title.

The former option would cause a headache in determining promotion and relegation and the potential make-up of leagues in England for 2020-21.

The French Open has been postponed and will be played in September and October, tournament organisers have announced.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant the men's ATP and women's WTA tours have been put on hold, with no indication of when tennis can resume.

That meant the original French Open dates of May 24 to June 7 looked incompatible with the prospect of hosting the grand slam.

Tournament organisers said the clay-court tournament in Paris would instead go ahead from September 20 to October 4.

A statement issued by Roland Garros officials said: "The current confinement measures have made it impossible for us to continue with the dates originally planned.

"The whole world is affected by the public health crisis connected with COVID-19. In order to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved in organising the tournament, the French Tennis Federation [FFT] has made the decision to hold the 2020 edition of Roland Garros from September 20 to October 4 2020."

FFT president Bernard Giudicelli confirmed the decision had been a reaction to the rapid spread of coronavirus.

France is currently on lockdown, in keeping with large parts of Europe.

Giudicelli said: "We have made a difficult yet brave decision in this UNPRECEDENTED situation, which has evolved greatly since last weekend. We are acting responsibly, and must work together in the fight to ensure everybody’s health and safety."

Qualifying for the French Open would have begun in the week ahead of the tournament, and with just two months until that point it seemed unimaginable that Paris would be ready to hold the event.

The Roland Garros statement added: "The current confinement measures have made it impossible for us to continue with our preparations and, as a result, we are unable to hold the tournament on the dates originally planned.

"In order to act responsibly and protect the health of its employees, service providers and suppliers during the organisation period, the FFT has chosen the only option that will allow them to maintain the 2020 edition of the tournament while joining the fight against COVID-19."

Rafael Nadal is the reigning men's champion and will be seeking a record-extending 13th French Open title this year, with Australia's Ash Barty the defending women's title holder.

With the French Open postponed, Wimbledon is due to be the next grand slam to be played, with a start date of June 29.

Page 1 of 27
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.