Update on the latest in sports:
British Open could be postponed
UNDATED (AP) – British Open organizers say postponement is an option for this year’s tournament at Royal St. George’s.
The 149th edition of the Open Championship is scheduled to take place July 16-19. The last time the Open wasn’t played was in 1945 because of World War II.
The R&A released a short statement in response to media speculation about the staging of the event. Chief executive Martin Slumbers says the “process is taking some time to resolve” because of a range of external factors.
On Wednesday, Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since World War II. The All England Club announced Wednesday after an emergency meeting that the oldest Grand Slam tournament in tennis will not be held in 2020.
In other developments related to the pandemic:
– The Senior PGA Championship in Michigan has been canceled. The PGA of America says it based its decision on Michigan’s stay-at-home order that was enacted March 23. The Senior PGA in Benton Harbor, Michigan, was to be played May 21-24. It will be held next year at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It will return to Benton Harbor the following year.
– A survey of more than 100 athletic directors across the country finds deep concern for academics and athletic department finances amid the pandemic. Some 75 percent say they are concerned about a drop in donations and nearly as many are worried about ticket sales and money that comes from games and other fan events.
– Iowa State coaches and other athletic department staff members are getting pay cuts for one year to help offset lost revenue from the coronavirus pandemic. Athletic director Jaime Pollard wrote on the Cyclones’ website that his department faces a $5 million shortfall this year because of the cancellation of the NCAA and Big 12 men’s basketball tournaments. The payroll cut will save more than $3 million. There also will be a temporary suspension of bonuses for coaches totaling another $1 million.
– The coronavirus pandemic has left rugby on its knees over the last two weeks and there is the prospect of more pain to come because of the uncertainty over whether leagues, tours and international competitions can resume or go ahead. USA Rugby has filed for bankruptcy and the Australians are facing a black hole of more than $70 million. English rugby leaders have drawn-up worst-case scenarios of an even bigger financial hit.
– World Athletics says it won’t clear any Russian athletes to compete internationally amid the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The governing body of track requires Russians to apply for “authorized neutral athlete” status each year to compete outside their home country. Russia has been suspended from World Athletics since 2015 for widespread doping. World Athletics hasn’t decided how far in advance to open applications once competitions resume.
– World Sailing has canceled the World Cup Series Final in Enoshima, Japan, in June because of the coronavirus outbreak. The regatta was to give valuable competition for the Olympic classes just over a month before the start of the Tokyo Games. The Olympics have been postponed to 2021.
– The Belgian soccer league has become the first major European competition to recommend ending its season with the current standings declared final. The league says Club Brugge would be awarded the title if the advice is confirmed at a general assembly meeting on April 15. Brugge would also qualify for next season’s Champions League. The team is currently 15 points ahead of second-place Gent with one game to go before the season-ending playoffs. The league says even games in empty stadiums would put stress on public health and security services dealing with the pandemic. It agreed the risk of infecting players would also damage the competition’s integrity.
– The French Grand Prix scheduled for May 17 in Le Mans has been postponed, becoming the sixth MotoGP race to be called off because of the coronavirus outbreak. The motorcycling series has yet to start its season. The season-opener in Qatar was canceled, the Thailand, Americas and Argentina races were postponed to October-November, and the Spanish MotoGP has yet to find new dates. The next race at risk is the Italian MotoGP on May 31.
– Potential hosts of soccer’s 2027 Asian Cup have been given more time to enter the contest by the Asian Football Confederation. The AFC says the March deadline to show interest was extended by three months to June because many of its member federations have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.