Tag: Global Business & Sports News

Solskjaer claims Man Utd whizkid Mason Greenwood is ready for England call-up at just 18

OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER says hotshot Mason Greenwood is ready for England NOW. The Manchester United ace, 18, has had an unforgettable week, scoring …

Solskjaer claims Man Utd whizkid Mason Greenwood is ready for England call-up at just 18

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Hamilton: The safety car ruined my strategic gambling plan for the F1 – F1 GP

Lewis Hamilton says that the safety car that triggered a pit stop in the Austrian GP ruined the strategic bet he had planned to use to jump Valtteri …

Hamilton: The safety car ruined my strategic gambling plan for the F1 – F1 GP

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Guard of Honour at Anfield

Guard of Honour!

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Bottas wins Austria epic as Norris excels and Hamilton stumbles

Valtteri Bottas has taken victory for Mercedes in the opening race of the season, with Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris rounding off the podium in an…

Bottas wins Austria epic as Norris excels and Hamilton stumbles

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Nightclub bouncer, actor, Fantasy Premier League master – Where are Liverpool’s league title winners from 1990 now?

Nightclub bouncer, actor, Fantasy Premier League master – Where are Liverpool’s league title winners from 1990 now?
— Read on talksport.com/football/722461/where-liverpool-league-title-winners-1990-now/amp/

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

#PremierLeague News – Liverpool Crowned Premier League Champions #EPL #Football

After 30 years of hurt, Liverpool finally crowned champions

Liverpool finally ended three decades of hurt last night as Jürgen Klopp’s side were crowned Premier League champions.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/after-30-years-of-hurt-liverpool-finally-crowned-champions-bm56ght7c

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Liverpool win Premier League: Reds’ 30-year wait for top-flight title ends – BBC Sport

Liverpool win Premier League: Reds’ 30-year wait for top-flight title ends!

— Read more on www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/football/53183857

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Boost for Sport, as UK Government relaxes quarantine rules for elite sport…

Boost for Silverstone and Champions League teams with government to relax quarantine rules for elite sport

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/boost-for-silverstone-and-champions-league-teams-with-government-to-relax-quarantine-rules-for-elite-sport-w3l9kxpc2

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

All you need to know about the Premier Leagues return in June…

Everything you need to know about the Premier League’s return on June 17

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-premier-leagues-return-on-june-17-dlp3v2j7w

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Liverpool unhappy with neutral venue games…

Liverpool are left baffled by neutral games

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/liverpool-are-left-baffled-by-neutral-games-5l358stwf

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

The morning headlines as powerbrokers deliver verdict on World Cup-style tournament and Welsh rugby favourite makes kind gesture – Wales Online

The morning headlines as powerbrokers deliver verdict on World Cup-style tournament and Welsh rugby favourite makes kind gesture – Wales Online
— Read on www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/morning-headlines-powerbrokers-deliver-verdict-18321330.amp

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Mike Armstrong on the Fire in the Belly Podcast – #MikeArmstrong #MikeArmstrongNews #MikeArmstrongPodcasts

youtu.be/TRxhy2Ra_8g

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Tour de France to start Aug. 29

The Tour de France will take place Aug. 29 to Sept. 20, the International Cycling Union announced Wednesday. Read More

Tour de France to start Aug. 29

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Tottenham do NOT plan to sell Harry Kane this summer, amid talk of £200million Manchester United transfer

Tottenham have absolutely no plans to sell talisman striker Harry Kane this summer. Reports surfaced over the weekend that Spurs would be willing to …

Tottenham do NOT plan to sell Harry Kane this summer, amid talk of £200million Manchester United transfer

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Harry Kane has ‘deliberately’ opened door to leave Tottenham and perfectly fits Man Utd transfer policy, says Neville

MANCHESTER UNITED legend Gary Neville has revealed Harry Kane has left the door open to leave Tottenham after the striker failed to rule out a move …

Harry Kane has ‘deliberately’ opened door to leave Tottenham and perfectly fits Man Utd transfer policy, says Neville

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Tottenham do NOT plan to sell Harry Kane this summer, amid talk of £200million Manchester United transfer

Tottenham have absolutely no plans to sell talisman striker Harry Kane this summer. Reports surfaced over the weekend that Spurs would be willing to …

Tottenham do NOT plan to sell Harry Kane this summer, amid talk of £200million Manchester United transfer

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Premier League could play multiple games a day at Wembley to finish 2019/20 season

The Football Association have reportedly offered the use of Wembley and St George’s Park to the Premier League in a bid to complete the remainder of …

Premier League could play multiple games a day at Wembley to finish 2019/20 season

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Harry Kane has ‘deliberately’ opened door to leave Tottenham and perfectly fits Man Utd transfer policy, says Neville

MANCHESTER UNITED legend Gary Neville has revealed Harry Kane has left the door open to leave Tottenham after the striker failed to rule out a move …

Harry Kane has ‘deliberately’ opened door to leave Tottenham and perfectly fits Man Utd transfer policy, says Neville

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Premier League could play multiple games a day at Wembley to finish 2019/20 season

The Football Association have reportedly offered the use of Wembley and St George’s Park to the Premier League in a bid to complete the remainder of …

Premier League could play multiple games a day at Wembley to finish 2019/20 season

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Joe Rogan says UFC 249 cancellation ‘saves me a lot of f****** thinking’

Joe Rogan admits the cancellation of UFC 249 ‘saves me a lot of f****** thinking’. The highly-anticipated event, originally scheduled for April 18 in…

Joe Rogan says UFC 249 cancellation ‘saves me a lot of f****** thinking’

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Two more great online Zoom events today…

Today consisted of another fab outstanding network event from 11am till 12.30pm. Today we had a dab presentation from Patrick Dillon.

Following on from the Outstanding Network Event I joined some fellow Introbiz’ers and Outstanding Networkers, The Wild Spirit Guys, in an online virtual sledging event from 1.30pm to 2.30pm.

Clare Rees / Introbiz Sweden & Wild Spirits

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Europe & Global Coronavirus Update…

The European Union will ban travellers from outside from the bloc for 30 days in an unprecedented move to seal its borders amid the coronavirus crisis.

The measure is expected to apply to 26 EU states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. UK citizens will be unaffected.

The ban came as deaths continued to soar in Italy and Spain, and France began a strict lockdown.

Europe has been badly hit by the virus, which has killed 7,500 globally.

Meanwhile, the Euro 2020 football competition has been postponed by a year.

The virus has infected more than 185,000 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

What are the EU measures?

The travel ban will affect all non-EU nationals from visiting the bloc, except long-term residents, family members of EU nationals and diplomats, cross-border and healthcare workers, and people transporting goods.

Free travel is a cherished principle within the European border-free Schengen area. But in recent days many countries have unilaterally imposed full or partial border shutdowns in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

This prompted the commission to propose that the bloc act in a more unified fashion and restrict entry to the union as a whole, at the urging of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The measures were agreed in a video-summit between EU leaders on Tuesday afternoon and will now have to be implemented by member states.

“They said they will immediately do that,” said EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen at a press conference. “This is good, so that we have a unanimous and united approach [where] the external borders are concerned.”

The UK and the Republic of Ireland – which is part of the EU but not Schengen – will be invited to join the measure.

It was also crucial that the EU “unblocks the situation” with regards to closed internal borders, Mrs Von der Leyen said, because “too many people are stranded”.

What are the latest updates in Europe?

In France , citizens who leave home must now carry a document detailing the reasons why, with fines for transgressors to be set at €135 ($150; £123).

It comes after President Macron put the country on a war-footing, ordering the population to stay at home and only go out for essential trips.

The number of confirmed cases in France grew by more than 16% on Tuesday, reaching 7,730, The death toll rose to 175, with 7% of the dead aged under 65.

More than 2,500 people are being treated in hospital, including 699 in intensive care.

Boris Johnson:

In Britain , where the death toll is 71, people have been told to avoid social contact, work from home if they can and avoid all non-essential foreign travel. 

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has unveiled a financial package worth £330bn ($400bn) to ease the burden caused by the virus , after Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday urged people to avoid pubs, clubs and cafes.

Meanwhile, the government’s chief scientific adviser said it would be a “good outcome” if 20,000 or fewer people died of the virus in the UK.

The latest set of Brexit talks has also been delayed.

The number of confirmed cases in Spainhas soared by 2,000 to 11,178. Authorities there are maintaining a partial lockdown on 47 million people.

It is now the European country worst-affected after Italy.

At midnight Spain began stopping cars crossing its borders from France and Portugal. Only Spanish nationals, residents and cross-border workers were being allowed to the country.

Everything you need to know about the coronavirus – explained in one minute by the BBC's Laura Foster

Italy , which has registered the most cases outside China at more than 26,000, announced another surge in deaths on Tuesday, from 2,150 to 2,503. The country remains in lockdown.

The government meanwhile is set to renationalise flag carrier airline Alitalia with a rescue package worth $670m (£550m).

Germany , which has had more than 6,000 cases and 13 deaths, banned religious services and told people to cancel any domestic or foreign holiday travel. 

Venues including clubs, bars, leisure facilities, zoos and playgrounds will be closed. Schools are already shut.

Elsewhere in Europe:

  • Belgium’s death toll doubled from five to 10 on on Tuesday
  • Sweden is to close all high schools and universities from Wednesday
  • Orthodox priests in Georgia have started blessing the streets of the capital Tbilisi with holy water

What is the latest elsewhere?

Iran remains the world’s third-worst-affected nation, after China and Italy.

More than 16,000 people are confirmed as infected and 988 have died, although some analysts believe the figures are far higher than officially reported.

A spokesman for the judiciary said on Tuesday that 85,000 prisoners, including political prisoners, had been temporarily released to try to combat the spread.

Gholamhossein Esmaili did not say when or how those freed would be returned to prison, but stressed that only prisoners serving five years or less had been released.

Most shops and restaurants remain open but the health ministry has urged people to stay at home.

In the US , the White House is working on a economic stimulus package reported to be worth some $850bn, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin saying the administration was “looking at sending cheques to Americans immediately”.

The total number of cases has risen to above 4,200, with 75 deaths, said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most cases are in the states of New York (669), Washington (708) and California (369),

The pandemic has disrupted the Democratic primary election season .

In other developments:

  • China reported just one new domestic infection on Tuesday – but 20 more from people arriving from abroad. It also said it “strongly opposed” Mr Trump’s reference in a tweet to the “Chinese virus”
  • The Philippines became the first nation to shut its stock exchange indefinitely
  • Malaysia is barring people crossing the border with Singapore from Wednesday, sparking a rush on food stores in the city state, which depends on Malaysia for supplies
  • India’s iconic Taj Mahal monument has shut down
  • Scientists in Australia say they have identified how the body’s immune system fights the Covid-19 virus

For more on this BBC article or other News please follow the link.

For more European News, Global News or Coronavirus News please click the links.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

UK & Global Business News From Morning Brew…

Global News - GlobalBiz

Daily Brew

Betterment

Good morning. These are certainly unusual times. The NBA is suspended, Italy is locked down, Tom Hanks has coronavirus, and many of you are currently reading this in PJs.

We’re gonna get through this.And we want readers to know that now more than ever we are laser-focused on bringing you the most important business news every morning. If there’s ever any way we can be more useful to you, our inbox is always open. 

Have a great day, and remember: When videoconferencing, the mute button is your friend.

NASDAQ

7,952.05

– 4.70%

S&P

2,741.38

– 4.89%

DJIA

23,553.22

– 5.86%

GOLD

1,637.70

– 1.36%

10-YR

0.875%

+ 6.60 bps

OIL

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– 4.02%

*As of market close

  • COVID-19: The World Health Organization has officially declared coronavirus a “pandemic.” That sounds alarming, but the agency also said countries can mitigate the impacts if they “detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilize their people in the response.”
  • U.S. economy: Many economists are no longer debating whether we’ll have a recession because of the coronavirus…the questions now are 1) how bad will the recession be and 2) how quickly can we recover.

Trump giving speech in Oval Office

Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Investors, airlines, cruise operators, and newsletter writers who miss their work sweaters were watching President Trump for any news of a stimulus measure to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus. 

  • Of course, the most important thing is to contain the virus’s spread. But…that’s for health experts, not economists. 

What Trump said

In a brief Oval Office address last night, President Trump laid out his plan to respond to the crisis: 

  • He’s restricting some travel from Europe (minus the U.K.) for 30 days.
  • The IRS will be instructed to push back the April 15 tax payment deadline.
  • The president also called for low interest loans for small businesses and a payroll tax cut from Congress. 

Investors were…not impressed. Futures tied to major stock indexes tanked after the speech, which did not mention any aggressive actions like infusions for suffering industries or paid sick leave. The White House also had to correct some of Trump’s statements following his address.  

Zoom out: There is precedent for government bailouts in times of crisis. The U.S. government provided $15 billion to airlines after 9/11, $700 billion to banks to army-crawl through the 2008 financial crisis, and $17 billion to automakers just after that. 

  • Those episodes show us that timeliness is key. In 2008, Congress dragged its feet until it was almost too late, friend of the Brew and bailout expert Andrew Ross Sorkin writes. 

Will the administration announce something more?

We just don’t know. Fed Chair Jerome Powell recently met with President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Powell has already cut interest rates and indicated he’s willing to keep up the slashing.

But it’s important to remember a pandemic is different from a financial crisis—bargain-basement interest rates can help keep businesses afloat, but the “social distancing” measures recommended by health officials mean canceling events and avoiding crowded places, which will curb spending. Interest rates can’t fix that. 

Looking ahead…the U.S. House will vote on a stimulus package compiled by the Democrats (who hold a majority) today.

Empty basketball stadium

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Yesterday, sports officially stopped being an “escape” from the problems facing the world.

The NBA suspended the seasonafter Rudy Gobert, a Utah Jazz player, reportedly tested positive for coronavirus. In a statement, the league said it “will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.” 

  • We’re in uncharted territoryhere. The NBA has billions in revenue at stake through TV deals, ticket sales, merch, and more. No one is quite sure what’s going to happen next, including commissioner Adam Silver. 

Basketball couldn’t catch a break

The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played without public fans this year out of coronavirus concerns. “Only essential staff and limited family attendance” will be allowed, said NCAA President Mark Emmert.

Zoom out: The Division I men’s basketball tournament generates $868 million annually on television and marketing rights alone, the vast majority of the NCAA’s yearly revenue. 

  • CBS and Turner Sports said they support the decision and intend to fully produce and cover the event.

Bottom line, via USA Today: “The decision to move March Madness behind closed doors represents a new frontier of sorts for American sports, which have never seen an event of this size and scope take place without fans present.”

Bear waving

Giphy

After 11 years, the longest-ever bull market in stocks appears to be nearing the end. If coronavirus put it near the edge, fears over long-term economic implicationstipped it over.

Yesterday, the Dow fell 5.9%, putting it in a bear market (down at least 20% from its recent high). The S&P 500 might not be far behind, closing just 33 points away from a bear designation of its own.

How about a little color? Hope you like red. 

  • 29 of the 30 stocks in the Dow ended Wednesday lower. 
  • All 11 sectors of the S&P were at least 10% off their 52-week highs during Wednesday trading. 
  • Since 1915, the average amount of days it’s taken for stocks to go from peak → bear territory is 255. The Dow took 28 this time. We’ve had milk in the fridge for longer.

+ Wondering how else coronavirus is impacting the markets? Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast just recorded a special episode to break down what’s happening, why it matters, and what comes next—with the Brew’s Kinsey Grant and markets expert Downtown Josh Brown.

Listen here: Apple / Spotify / everywhere else

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EDUCATION 

A Harvard University building

Harvard University

Colleges and universities across the U.S. are deploying measuresto limit the spread of coronavirus. 

  • For many students, spring break starts tomorrow, which means many of them will be traveling both domestically and internationally. Schools are trying to avoid importing COVID-19 via flights back to campus.

On Tuesday, Harvard asked students to move out by this weekend, leaving students pondering how to tell friends they’ve been kicked off campus without sounding obnoxious. Stanford and the University of Washington were among the first to suspend in-person classes. 

  • UW shifted its 50,000 students to online-only courses through March 20, as many schools in Europe and Asia have already done. 

Plus, schools are axing university-sponsored international trips, sending mildly alarming preparedness messages, and preparing for total shutdowns if a student or faculty infection is confirmed.

Bottom line: Muted activity in college towns could take a substantial economic toll. Everything from prospective student visits to athletic tournaments fuels their financial health, Bloomberg notes.

ENTERTAINMENT 

Bong says he's going to drink at the Oscars

Giphy

The global entertainment market, from the box office to in-home streaming, surpassed $100 billion in annual revenue for the first time ever last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). 

But like Les Mis, the MPAA report highlights the differences between the haves and the have-nots.

  • Money spent on home and mobile viewing jumped 14% to $58.8 billion. 
  • But the box office barely eked out a 1% gain with $42.2 billion in sales. While overseas moviegoers turned out in record numbers (crossing $30 billion in ticket sales for the first time), sales in the U.S. and Canada fell over 4% to $11.4 billion.

The forecast this year? Another case of red and black. With coronavirus fears spreading across the globe, out-of-home entertainment will likely take a beating—analysts already predict the box office will lose $5 billion in 2020. 

At the same time, in-home entertainment is predicted to skyrocket even further…because we all know “working from home” roughly translates to “rewatching The Sopranos.”

BEVERAGE 

Pepsi can with up arrow

Francis Scialabba

PepsiCo will spend $3.9 billion to buy energy drink brand Rockstarin order to 1) get Nickelback stuck in your head and 2) expand market share in the fast-growing energy beverage space.

This is a familiar strategy for brands that once sponsored games of truth-or-I-dare-you-to-mix-Coke-and-Hi-C. As sodas fall out of favor with sugarphobic consumers, the Pepsis and Cokes of the world are investing in beverage alternatives like teas, waters, and energy drinks.

Big picture: Neither Pepsi nor Coke currently owns a major brand in the energy drink category—which is slated to grow to more than $80 billion over the next five years.

  • Rockstar is the No. 3 contender in the U.S. energy drink market, behind Red Bull, which sold a can for every person on earth last year, and Monster, which counts Coke as an investor.

Pepsi’s distributed Rockstar in North America since 2009, a deal its CFO says limited Pepsi’s abilityto partner with other energy brands. Nearly $4 billion later, it can again target those deals.

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING 

  • Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexual assault.
  • Amtrak said it would lose hundreds of millions of dollars and that bookings have fallen 50% since the beginning of the outbreak. 
  • Coronavirus has disrupted the supply chains of nearly 75% of U.S. companies, per a new ISM survey.
  • Officials banned large gatherings in San Francisco and the Seattle area in an attempt to control the coronavirus.
  • Numerous TV shows, such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, are now filming without live audiences. 

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  • Re-upping this: Is it canceled yet? 
  • Free WFH Book: Basecamp CEO Jason Fried tweeted that he’s refunding anyone who purchases his book about remote work, REMOTE: Office Not Required. We spoke with the WFH enthusiast about his theories on work on our Business Casual pod

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FROM THE CREW

Picture this: You’re interviewing a promising job candidate on Skype when…your husband walks behind you wearing his boxers. 

The year is 2020, #SocialDistancing is trending on Twitter, and more people are working from home every day. That’s resulted in some strange situations for our friends and colleagues, from finding out your boss has a “Live, laugh, love” poster to realizing your neighbor blasts EDM at 11 in the morning.

Bottom line: If you are working from home and things are getting weird…share your stories here. We’ll pick out a few each day to put in the newsletter.

GUESS THE STOCK CHART 

While most stocks are getting crushed because of the coronavirus, some services are becoming more in demand. Which company’s six-month stock chart is pictured below?

zoom stock chart

zoom stock chart

Google

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You have until Sunday at midnight.*

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GUESS THE STOCK CHART ANSWER 

Zoom, which makes videoconferencing software. With a market cap of ~$30 billion, Zoom is worth about 2.5x United Airlines.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

F1 2020 season now expected to start at end of May, due to Coronavirus, say Formula 1 and FIA

Following the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and the postponement of the races in China, Bahrain and Vietnam, Formula 1 and governing body the FIA have said they now ‘expect’ the 2020 season to begin at the end of May – though this will be regularly reviewed.

The outbreak of COVID-19 forced the Chinese round of the calender to be postponed last month. Then on Thursday, the opening race of the season in Melbourne was also called off, after a McLaren team member tested positive for the virus.

Today, the Bahrain Grand Prix, which was due to take place next weekend, and the first ever Vietnam Grand Prix, scheduled for the beginning of April, have also been postponed.

Ross Brawn explains the decision to cancel the Australian Grand Prix
A joint statement from Formula 1, the FIA, the race organisers and the relevant governments involved, said: “Following the announcement of the Australian Grand Prix’s cancellation this week and the ongoing and fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation globally, Formula 1, the FIA and the 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.”

All parties said they were hopeful the races could be staged at a later date, and in light of the impact the virus is having, the statement added that it is expected the F1 season can begin at the end of May.

“Formula 1 and the FIA continue to work closely with the race promoters in Bahrain and Vietnam and the local health 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.

“As a result, Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the Championship in Europe at the end of May but given the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Europe in recent days, this will be regularly reviewed.”

Lewis Hamilton won last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix on his way to the World Championship
Chase Carey, Formula 1 Chairman and CEO, said the safety of the fans and people working in the sport was paramount.

“The global situation regarding COVID-19 is fluid and very difficult to predict and it’s right we take time to assess the situation and make the right decisions,” he said. “We are taking this decision with the FIA and our promoters to ensure the safety of everyone involved in Formula 1 and our fans. The Bahrain Grand Prix is an exciting race in our schedule, and we look forward to being back there as soon as we can. We are also looking forward to Vietnam’s inaugural race and bringing the spectacle of F1 to one of the most exciting cities in the world.”

FIA President Jean Todt added: “Protecting people first. Together with Formula 1, the Bahrain Motor Federation, the Vietnamese Motorsports Association, and the local promoters, postponing both the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix, as with the Australian Grand Prix, was the only possible decision given all of the information currently available to us.

“We continue to rely on the input and advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and governments and will work with them throughout this unpredictable period to safeguard the fans, competitors and all of the motor sport community.”

— Read on www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.2020-season-now-expected-to-start-at-end-of-may-say-formula-1-and-fia.2n6qLwDR90AcXuzVuu7lEa.html

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

WRU Chairman Gareth Davies defends Six Nations decision to pull Wales v Scotland…

Welsh Rugby Union chairman Gareth Davies has defended the decision to postpone Wales’ Six Nations match against Scotland in Cardiff just 24 hours before kick-off.

The WRU had said earlier on Friday that the game at the Principality Stadium would go ahead but then called it off because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“It has been a tough week,” said Davies. 

“But we believe it was the proper and responsible thing to do.”

Davies added: “I don’t think we could’ve dealt with it any better. We made a decision last night that this match would go ahead. In a very quickly moving world things had changed by late morning today.”

Several sports have been severely disrupted, with all Premier League and EFL football matches suspended until 3 April.

The Cardiff game was the last major sporting event to be postponed this weekend despite government medical advice saying the match could still potentially be played.

“We initially followed the advice of government in terms of the scientific and medical evidence and that was the case up until last night,” said Davies.

“We had an emergency board meeting last night to consider everything and we still thought, bearing in mind the advice we had, that keeping the game on was the way to go.

“Last night the Premier League were carrying on but by this morning that had changed and the EFL went on a similar course as did the Celtic v Rangers game in all being called off and other major global events were also being pulled

“We spoke to the Government this morning, who understood our position.

“For us to be the only sporting event to be on, we were mindful of the seriousness of the situation. We took into account supporters, players and staff and asked whether it was essential to subject to that risk.”

“We’ve made a judgement as to whether there was a danger. By the time we arrived at lunchtime today we thought there could be exposure so we decided to pull the game.”

Image copyrightGARETH EVERETT

Gareth Davies is a former Wales captain

Image captionGareth Davies is a former Wales captain

Davies denied they were forced into the decision by public opinion.

“I wouldn’t say it was public backlash; we took everything into account,” said Davies.

“We know despite the government and advice saying there’s no evidence there would be a spike at a major event. 

“When you take everything into account with what’s happened in Italy, there will be spikes. 

“The medical advice says 60% of the population are going to catch this disease and I don’t think we wanted to be the mid-point of that.

“We reassessed the position, other sporting bodies decided to change their stance, and we made the decision that was the most sensible decision to take.”

Davies admitted he sympathised with fans who had travelled to Cardiff already and had spent money on accommodation and tickets.

“I understand and sympathise with that scenario,” said Davies.

Image copyrightHUW EVANS PICTURE AGENCY

Wales players in training just hours before the Six Nations match against Scotland was postponed

Image captionWales players in training hours before the Six Nations match against Scotland was postponed

“There’s not a lot we can do in that respect because we took the responsible decision for 75,000 in this stadium possibly being subjected and open to this killer disease.

“When the match is finalised, we’d advise people to keep their tickets safe.

“Hopefully they’ll be able to come to the match if they’re unable for whatever reason we can look to refund them.”

There are four Six Nations matches to be rescheduled – the three final-round games, plus the Ireland v Italy game in Dublin, which was postponed from 7 March. 

Saturday, 31 October is a possible date for the final weekend of matches.

“It’s an understatement to say it’s unsatisfactory the four matches won’t be completed,” said Davies.

“There will inevitably be an anti-climax when the games are played but we want to finish the tournament. 

“We’re not sure when that’s going to be. The Six Nations will have to take soundings and make a decision in the next few weeks.

“It’s difficult to plan at the moment because who knows how long this episode will last? The likelihood from what I’ve picked up is that it’ll happen in the autumn sometime.”

An article from the BBC.

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Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me