Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal has tested positive for coronavirus ahead of the friendlies against Denmark and Germany.

Van Gaal is isolating in Woudschoten after returning a positive test on Monday.

Danny Blind, Henk Fraser and Frans Hoek will take on Van Gaal's duties until the Oranje boss is able to link up with the squad again.

Netherlands face Denmark at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on Saturday and take on Germany in Amsterdam three days later.

PSV defender Jordan Teze was last week called up for the upcoming friendlies and is poised to make his debut.

The Oranje qualified for the World Cup in Qatar this year by winning Group G with a 2-0 win over Norway in November.

Inter striker Lautaro Martinez will miss international duty with Argentina after testing positive for COVID-19.

Martinez was called up for Lionel Scaloni's squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifying fixtures against Venezuela and Ecuador.

But the 24-year-old will not feature after returning a positive test for coronavirus ahead of travelling to South America on Sunday.

Martinez will now serve a period of self-isolation in Italy and will hope to return to fitness for Inter's crunch trip to Juventus on April 3 in Serie A.

The Nerazzurri attacker has scored 14 times in 27 top-flight appearances this season, leading the club's scoring charts after finding the net once every 123 minutes on average.

Martinez, though, has just three goals in his last 11 league games – all of those coming in a hat-trick against Salernitana on March 3.

Indeed, he has been on somewhat of a barren run since the end of December, but he did end a 490-day wait for a Champions League goal with his sumptuous strike against Liverpool earlier this month.

Martinez will be hoping he can rediscover his form when Inter travel to Juve as Simone Inzaghi's side, who have played a game fewer, look to cut Serie A leaders Milan's six-point advantage over them.

Sergio Perez believes "it makes sense to have a discussion" around the idea of Formula One drivers being allowed to race with coronavirus.

The 2022 season will be the third affected by COVID-19, already impacting the grid for Sunday's opener at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel has contracted the virus, meaning he will be absent for Aston Martin, while Daniel Ricciardo missed the end of pre-season testing but has recovered to take up his McLaren seat.

Red Bull's Perez missed two races in 2020 due to COVID-19 and suggests drivers – already isolated within their cars during races – should not be ruled out if they are otherwise fit and healthy.

"Going forward, we should discuss whether we allow the drivers to race if the symptoms are mild," the Mexican said.

"The drivers can obviously be the judge, but I think it makes sense to have a discussion.

"There is only so much you can do. I think it's just luck-dependent. It is difficult to not do anything. I'm just very sorry for Seb and for Daniel, but it can happen to anyone."

Nico Hulkenberg, Aston Martin's reserve driver, has replaced four-time world champion Vettel this week.

Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli has tested positive for COVID-19, delivering a blow to the Serie A club and the Italy national team.

The 24-year-old is set to miss the Serie A clash with Salernitana on Sunday, and depending on his recovery he could also be a doubt for next week's World Cup qualifying play-off against North Macedonia.

The test outcome was revealed on Thursday, a day after Locatelli played 83 minutes as Juventus lost 3-0 to Villarreal and tumbled out of the Champions League.

Juventus said in a statement: "Juventus Football Club announces that Manuel Locatelli's COVID-19 positivity emerged today. The player, in agreement with the local health authority, has already been placed in solitary confinement."

The Turin giants suffered huge disappointment with their European exit, conceding three times in the final 12 minutes – twice after Locatelli was replaced – to be denied a place in the quarter-finals.

Juventus sit fourth in Serie A and remain in with an outside chance of challenging for the Scudetto, sitting seven points behind leaders Milan with nine rounds of games remaining.

News of Locatelli's positive test is bound to concern Italy boss Roberto Mancini as he finalises plans for the Azzurri's upcoming quest to reach Qatar 2022.

The European champions are due to face North Macedonia on March 24 in Palermo, with the winner of that game going forward to a March 29 tussle against Portugal or Turkey, to decide who goes to the finals.

McLaren have confirmed Daniel Ricciardo will return to the paddock on Thursday after testing negative for COVID-19.

It had been feared that Ricciardo would miss the first grand prix of the 2022 Formula One season in Bahrain due to contracting the virus.

However, the Australian has now returned several negative tests and, according to his team, has recovered over the course of his isolation period.

"McLaren Team confirms that after testing positive for COVID-19 last week, Daniel has now returned a number of negative tests and will therefore return to the paddock on Thursday ready to compete in this weekend's Bahrain GP," McLaren posted on Twitter on Wednesday.

In his first season with McLaren after leaving Renault, Ricciardo finished eighth in the drivers' championship last year with 115 points, 45 fewer than team-mate Lando Norris, who came sixth.

Ricciardo was able to record a famous win in Italy, but did not finish on the podium in any other race.

McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has tested positive for COVID-19, in a blow to his preparations for the first grand prix of the Formula One season.

The team expect the 32-year-old Australian to be out of isolation in time to compete at the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the race scheduled for Sunday, March 20.

The news still comes at an unfortunate time for McLaren, who are looking to build upon their fourth-place finish in last year's constructors' championship.

Ricciardo's positive test was confirmed on Friday's second day of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.

"McLaren Racing can confirm that after feeling unwell from Wednesday onwards in Bahrain, Daniel Ricciardo has now returned a positive PCR test for COVID-19," a team statement read.

"Daniel is therefore continuing to isolate in accordance with local regulations.

"Under these regulations Daniel will be released in time for next weekend's Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. Daniel is already beginning to feel better, and we wish him well for a quick recovery.

"Following this, we can confirm that Lando Norris will remain in the MCL36 for the final day of the official pre-season test in Bahrain tomorrow."

Ricciardo said on Twitter that he was already "starting to feel better".

Novak Djokovic is set to appear at next month's Monte Carlo Masters after his vaccination status left him unable to compete at Indian Wells.

The world number two has been forced to sit out the first Masters event of the year after not meeting the vaccination requirements to enter the United States, having been deported from Australia ahead of January's Australian Open for similar reasons.

Now, a post on the 20-time grand slam champion's official website suggests he will appear on the clay surface in Monaco, where the 34-year-old resides.

Monaco currently allows those who have recovered from COVID-19 in the previous six months to enter the city-state, with Djokovic claiming to have suffered from the virus in December.

"Novak will open his 2022 clay court season in Monte-Carlo, where he won the Masters 1000 title twice, in 2013 and 2015," the post reads.

The tournament now looks set to be the second to feature Djokovic in 2022 after he lost at the quarter-finals stage of last month's Dubai Tennis Championships.

The Monte Carlo Masters begins on April 10, lasting until April 17, and Djokovic will be looking to make amends after exiting last year's tournament to Dan Evans in the last 16.

Rafael Nadal, who overtook Djokovic for the most men's singles grand slam titles with his January triumph in Australia, holds the record for the most successes in Monaco, winning the tournament on 11 occasions.

 

Meanwhile, with France having loosened its travel restrictions for unvaccinated people this month, Djokovic will now hope to use the Monaco outing as preparation for a first grand slam appearance of the year at Roland Garros.

The Serbian now looks increasingly likely to be permitted to defend his 2021 French Open title in May after travel restrictions had originally cast doubt on his participation.

Alex Hales has withdrawn from the Indian Premier League due to bubble fatigue.

The English batter had been due to play for Kolkata Knight Riders in a tournament that starts on March 26.

Hales on Friday revealed he will not travel to India due to the strains of spending so much time in bio-secure environments due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

He tweeted: "I am sad to announce that I have made the extremely difficult decision to withdraw from the forthcoming IPL.

"Having spent the last four months away from home in restrictive bio bubbles and having tested positive for COVID myself in Australia, I don't feel as though I can commit myself to another extended period within a secure environment.

"It wouldn't be fair on the team or myself if I wasn't able to perform to the level expected of me as a result of ongoing bubble fatigue.

"I am truly gutted to have to turn down one of the best opportunities of my career due to the toll that the last two years of bubble life has taken on my mental well-being.

"I'll now take some time to rest and recharge ahead of the summer."

Novak Djokovic has confirmed he cannot compete at Indian Wells due to not being allowed to enter the United States.

The former world number one was revealed as an automatic qualifier for the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells last month, though uncertainty surrounded his possible participation.

Djokovic was deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open in January due to not meeting the country's COVID-19 vaccination requirements, with the Serbian choosing not to be jabbed.

After testing positive for – and recovering from – coronavirus the previous month, it was at one stage thought Djokovic might have been allowed entry to Australia on the grounds of having post-virus antibodies.

But he was ultimately ordered to leave the country and it quickly became clear the 34-year-old was likely to run into similar problems down the line.

Djokovic was included in the draw for the upcoming BNP Paribas Open, setting up a second-round clash with David Goffin or Jordan Thompson, and organisers said on Wednesday that talks were ongoing as they looked to determine the superstar's eligibility.

But America's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states all non-US citizens travelling to the country "must be fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine", with "only limited exceptions" applying.

Unsurprisingly, Djokovic has not been granted entry.

Confirming his situation, Djokovic tweeted: "While I was automatically listed in BNP Paribas Open and the Miami Open draw, I knew it would be unlikely I'd be able to travel.

"The CDC has confirmed that regulations won't be changing so I won't be able to play in the US. Good luck to those playing in these great tournaments."

Djokovic has lost his place atop the ATP rankings to Daniil Medvedev and his inability to feature at the Australian Open meant Rafael Nadal set a new record for the most grand slam men's singles titles, as the Spaniard claimed his 21st success.

It is unclear whether Djokovic will be able to add to his 20 at Wimbledon or Roland Garros, while it seems he will also miss the US Open unless the CDC changes its regulations in the meantime.

Novak Djokovic is at the centre of another saga after being included in the draw for the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

The former world number one was handed a second-round clash against either David Goffin or Jordan Thompson.

All 32 seeds receive a first-round bye, so although the men's singles begins on Thursday at the California desert event, Djokovic is not due to be in action until the weekend.

However, it remains to be seen whether he is allowed into the United States, given he has declared he has not received any vaccination against the COVID-19 virus.

Tournament organisers admit they do not know whether Djokovic will play.

They said in a statement on the event's official Twitter feed: "Novak Djokovic is on the tournament entry list, and therefore is placed into the draw.

"We are currently in communication with his team; however, it has not been determined if he will participate in the event by getting CDC approval to enter the country.

"We will provide updates in the future as we learn more."

The CDC is America's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which lays down requirements for non-US international citizens travelling to the United States.

Within its rules, it is stated that all non-US citizens travelling to the US "must be fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine", adding that "only limited exceptions apply".

Djokovic tested positive for COVID-19 in December, and at one stage it appeared that recovering from that, and having post-virus antibodies, would be enough to allow him to travel to Melbourne and play in the Australian Open.

That proved not to be the case, with Djokovic twice detained after arriving in Australia before being deported.

He has since made his return to tennis at the Dubai Tennis Championships, where he surprisingly lost in the quarter-finals to Jiri Vesely.

The 34-year-old Serbian has been overtaken for the rankings top spot by Daniil Medvedev, the Russian who will be playing under a neutral flag while his country's military invasion of Ukraine continues. Medvedev will begin against Alexei Popyrin or a qualifier at Indian Wells.

Ireland will be without Iain Henderson for their home clash with Italy in the Six Nations after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Andy Farrell's side sit third in the table after a 29-7 triumph over Wales preceded a 30-24 loss to leaders France in the second round.

Ireland host winless Italy at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Sunday, but they will not have second rower Henderson to call upon after confirming the 30-year-old has contracted the virus.

Another spell on the sidelines will frustrate the Ulster captain, given he only returned from injury off the bench in the loss against France.

Henderson, who captained his country for the first time in February 2021, will now serve a period of self-isolation at home and will likely return for meetings with England and Scotland in March.

Ireland confirmed there were no other positive results within the squad and the group will continue to complete routine tests across the week.

Farrell will still have Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan, Kieran Treadwell and Ryan Baird as second-row options and has not yet called up a replacement for Henderson.

World number one Novak Djokovic has praised Rafael Nadal for his "incredible" triumph by winning last month's Australian Open after his own deportation forced him to miss the event.

Nadal moved beyond Djokovic with his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne with a five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Djokovic was unable to compete in Melbourne due to his vaccination status, deported amid an ugly saga after arriving in Melbourne expecting to be permitted to play.

The Serbian, who returned to the ATP Tour on Monday with a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Tennis Championships, was gracious in praising Nadal, who had a nagging foot injury dog him late last year.

"I think it was four, five months ago that he was on the crutches and now he's winning a slam. It's incredible," Djokovic told reporters after beating Musetti.

"I've got tons of respect for him. I don't want to take anything away from his victory, me not participating in the tournament regardless."

The Serbian was pressed on missing the Australian Open and added: "Of course, it wasn't a pleasant feeling for me leaving the country the way I did and watching the tournament from far away."

Djokovic will play either Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur in the second round in Dubai, while Nadal is competing at the Mexican Open, with a match against Denis Kudla on Tuesday.

World number one Novak Djokovic has praised Rafael Nadal for his "incredible" triumph by winning last month's Australian Open after his own deportation forced him to miss the event.

Nadal moved beyond Djokovic with his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne with a five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Djokovic was unable to compete in Melbourne due to his vaccination status, deported amid an ugly saga after arriving in Melbourne expecting to be permitted to play.

The Serbian, who returned to the ATP Tour on Monday with a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Tennis Championships, was gracious in praising Nadal, who had a nagging foot injury dog him late last year.

"I think it was four, five months ago that he was on the crutches and now he's winning a slam. It's incredible," Djokovic told reporters after beating Musetti.

"I've got tons of respect for him. I don't want to take anything away from his victory, me not participating in the tournament regardless."

The Serbian was pressed on missing the Australian Open and added: "Of course, it wasn't a pleasant feeling for me leaving the country the way I did and watching the tournament from far away."

Djokovic will play either Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur in the second round in Dubai, while Nadal is competing at the Mexican Open, with a match against Denis Kudla on Tuesday.

World number one Novak Djokovic has praised Rafael Nadal for his "incredible" triumph by winning last month's Australian Open after his own deportation forced him to miss the event.

Nadal moved beyond Djokovic with his record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in Melbourne with a five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev in the final.

Djokovic was unable to compete in Melbourne due to his vaccination status, deported amid an ugly saga after arriving in Melbourne expecting to be permitted to play.

The Serbian, who returned to the ATP Tour on Monday with a 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti at the Dubai Tennis Championships, was gracious in praising Nadal, who had a nagging foot injury dog him late last year.

"I think it was four, five months ago that he was on the crutches and now he's winning a slam. It's incredible," Djokovic told reporters after beating Musetti.

"I've got tons of respect for him. I don't want to take anything away from his victory, me not participating in the tournament regardless."

The Serbian was pressed on missing the Australian Open and added: "Of course, it wasn't a pleasant feeling for me leaving the country the way I did and watching the tournament from far away."

Djokovic will play either Karen Khachanov or Alex de Minaur in the second round in Dubai, while Nadal is competing at the Mexican Open, with a match against Denis Kudla on Tuesday.

Former world number one Andy Murray did not like how Novak Djokovic was treated in Australia but says the 20-time major winner must live with the consequences of his decisions.

Murray and Djokovic both progressed through the first round at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday.

The Serbian's 6-3 6-3 win over Lorenzo Musetti marked his first on the ATP Tour in 2022, coming in the wake of his deportation from Australia due to his vaccination status ahead of the first major of the calendar year.

It remains unclear if Djokovic will be permitted to compete at this year's other majors - the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open - given he remains unvaccinated.

"Like I said at the time, I don't agree with his decision. I think it would be a lot easier for him, obviously, if he was to get vaccinated," Murray told reporters after beating Australian Christopher O'Connell 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-5 in Dubai.

"But I also didn't like seeing him in the situation that he was in Australia as someone that I respect and have known since I was a child. I didn't like seeing that.

"There is consequences to the decisions he's made just now. He obviously has to accept that. But I don't think it's great for tennis if our best player is not competing in the major events."

Djokovic admitted after his win over Musetti that, as it stands, he cannot enter the United States to compete at next month's prestigious Indian Wells Masters, let alone the US Open.

The world number one added that he was hopeful the situation may change "in the next few weeks".

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.