A recap of developments in sports involving coronavirus outbreaks across the globe.
The Kentucky Derby has been postponed from May to September because of the coronavirus pandemic. Churchill Downs officials said Tuesday the race will move from May 2 to Sept. 5, marking the first time in 75 years it won’t be run on the first Saturday in May. The last time the first leg of the Triple Crown wasn’t held on the first Saturday in May was in 1945, when the federal government issued a ban on horse racing because of World War II. The ban was lifted on May 8, and the Derby was held on June 9. The only other year the Derby wasn’t held in May was in 1901, when it was raced on April 29.
The French Open has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The French Tennis Federation announced Tuesday that the clay-court event will run from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4. It is the first Grand Slam tennis tournament affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Main-draw competition was supposed to start in Paris on May 24.
The U.S. Tennis Association said it is considering “the possibility” of postponing the U.S. Open because of the coronavirus pandemic. What is usually the last Grand Slam tennis tournament each year is currently scheduled for Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 in New York. Earlier Tuesday, the French tennis federation switched the dates of the French Open to Sept. 20 to Oct. 4 because of the pandemic. That’s four months later than that event was originally supposed to be played in Paris.
The PGA Championship is being postponed, according to a person involved in the discussions. It was scheduled for May 14-17 at Harding Park in San Francisco. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the decision has not been announced.
The USGA has canceled the first two amateur championships on its 2020 schedule. The U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball was scheduled for April 25-29 at Quail Creek in Naples, Florida. The U.S. Amateur Four-Ball was scheduled for May 23-27 at the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Neither will be played this year.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino says he is ready to ask China to postpone next year’s 24-team Club World Cup to make space for the European Championship and Copa America. Infantino says he will propose talks with the Chinese government and the country’s soccer officials in a call today with a panel of FIFA vice presidents.
Argentina’s government has suspended all domestic soccer matches until the end of March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Argentina’s soccer federation and the country’s President Alberto Fernández were initially against halting games but changed their minds Tuesday after players said they were unhappy about continuing to play.
Organizers of the African Nations Championship, scheduled for April 4-25 in Cameroon has been postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament features national teams made up of players who play in their domestic leagues. Africa’s top tournament, the African Cup of Nations, is due to be played early next year, also in Cameroon.
The IndyCar industry has donated all the food on hand for last weekend’s canceled season-opening race in St. Petersburg, Florida, through the “Rescue Food” Ministry. The goal of the ministry is to give leftover untouched foods from at-track hospitality units to local community shelters and missions.
Formula One CEO Chase Carey has apologized to fans for the early part of the series being called of by the coronavirus outbreak. The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne wasn’t canceled last week until teams and drivers forced it. A McLaren team member had tested positive and some drivers had already flown home, but F1 still waited to cancel until just before practices were scheduled to start. The following three races in Bahrain, Vietnam and China have all been postponed.
The Carolina Hurricanes have announced plans to compensate arena and team event staff for lost wages with the NHL season on hold due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. The team says hourly staff will be compensated based on expected workload during the final seven regular-season home games.
National Letter of Intent signings for college athletes have been suspended until April 15. The Collegiate Commissioner’s Association, which administers the letter of intent used by NCAA Division I and II athletes, says the suspension will be re-evaluated on or before April 15.
The Division I football signing period began Feb. 5 and was scheduled to end April 1. It will be extended 30 days after it resumes. Most FBS schools have filled their 2020 classes.
Vail Resorts has announced it will close all of its North American resorts for the season over concerns for the coronavirus. Over the weekend, the industry giant said it would shut down the resorts for at least one week before reassessing. The company will consider reopening Breckenridge in Colorado, Heavenly in Lake Tahoe, California, and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia in late April or early May depending on the COVID-19 situation and weather conditions.