Coronavirus wrap: The Open is cancelled and Pep Guardiola’s mother dies

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The Open has been cancelled for the first time since the Second World War as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit the sporting world.

News of the UK’s golf major being shelved for 2020 broke just after Manchester City confirmed that manager Pep Guardiola’s mother had died after contracting the virus.

Royal St George’s had been due to host the Open from July 16-19 but it will next take place at the Kent course in 2021 with St Andrews hosting the 150th Open in 2022, a year later than planned.

Tournament organiser, the R&A, stated it had “explored every option” but had made the decision with a heavy heart after talks with Government, health and public service officials.

New provisional dates have been announced for the other three golf majors.

The PGA Championship, which was initially due to be held in May, has been rescheduled for August 6-9, while the US Open has been moved from June to September 17-20, the week before the Ryder Cup. The Masters, which was originally due to have taken place this week, has been rescheduled to November 12-15.

Manchester City stated that Guardiola’s 82-year-old mother, Dolors Sala Carrio, had died in Manresa, Barcelona.

“Everyone associated with the club sends their most heartfelt sympathy at this most distressing time to Pep, his family and all their friends,” a club statement read.

Guardiola, 49, last month donated one million euros (£918,000 at the time) to aid the fight against the coronavirus in Spain.

Liverpool bowed to public pressure by reversing plans to take advantage of the Government’s job retention scheme.

The Premier League leaders had been criticised by fans and former players after moving to access public money to fund 80 per cent of the salaries of about 200 staff.

Just 48 hours later, Anfield chief executive Peter Moore admitted the club had come to the “wrong conclusion” and were “truly sorry”. However, he claimed that “great uncertainty and concern over our present and future” remained with revenue streams shut off.

Manchester United have ruled out using the Government’s furlough scheme, the PA news agency understands.

Ed Woodward delivered good news to Old Trafford workers
Ed Woodward delivered good news to Old Trafford workers (PA)

Yorkshire have placed their players and cricket staff on furlough until further notice. The county had furloughed the majority of its non-playing staff at the end of March.

The Williams Formula One team have also announced that they will furlough a number of employees, whilst senior management and drivers have agreed to take a 20 per cent pay cut.

Harlequins are refusing to comment on reports that their utility player Semi Kunatani is one of two Fijian rugby players arrested for failing to self-isolate when returning to the country.

Harlequins’ Semi Kunatani is reported to have fallen foul of guidelines
Harlequins’ Semi Kunatani is reported to have fallen foul of guidelines (PA)

Fiji Rugby chief executive John O’Connor said: “The Fiji Rugby family wants to put on record our great disappointment at the irresponsible behaviour of these two players putting their families and other Fijians at risk.”

UK Athletics has announced a provisional new date for its National Championships, which will be moved from June 20-21 to August 8-9.

In a statement, the sport’s domestic governing body said it is still “working on the basis” that the National Championships, Anniversary Games and Gateshead Grand Prix will take place this year.

Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury says he will emerge from the coronavirus crisis “a different person” (Bradley Collyer/PA)

The WBC heavyweight champion, who has fought a well-documented battle with mental health issues, says talk of a third meeting with Deontay Wilder must be put on hold as priority is given to coming through the current lockdown.

Fury told talkSPORT: “You can take positives out of every negative, and the positive I can take out of this one is that I get to spend a lot more time with my family.

“In the couple of weeks I’ve been locked down I’ve had time to focus on the things that really matter in my life. I think I’ll come back a different person and I think I’ll have a different mindset.”

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