Update on the latest sports
NHL to resume season in Canada next month
UNDATED (AP) — Hockey is the latest sport to finalize a return to competition after NHL owners and players approved an agreement to resume the season.
The return-to-play plan, tentatively approved by the NHL and NHL Players’ Association on Monday, was ratified by the league’s board of governors and with majority approval from players following a three-day voting period that ended Friday. Along with it, the two sides also formally approved a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement.
Games are scheduled to begin Aug. 1 in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are pushing the league into Canada for the summer and fall until the Stanley Cup is awarded in late September or early October.
Training camps open across North America on Monday, which is also the deadline for players to opt out of participating with no penalty.
In other developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic:
— The Pac-12 has become the second major conference to shift to a conference-only fall schedule amid growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The decision covers football, women’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. Conference-only schedules will be announced no later than July 31. The announcement came a day after the Big Ten opted to eliminate nonconference games for all fall sports. The Atlantic Coast, Big 12 and Southeastern conferences are still weighing options for fall sports.
— Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott has tested positive for COVID-19. The 55-year-old tested positive late this week after experiencing flu-like symptoms and is self-quarantining at the direction of his doctor, according to a statement by the conference. Scott is continuing to carry on his duties as commissioner remotely.
— Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill has tested positive for COVID-19. The team says after Bidwill developed symptoms, he tested positive and went to the hospital on the recommendation of his doctor. His condition has improved and he’s expected to be released this weekend. The team believes the 55-year-old Bidwill caught the virus while traveling and spending time on the East Coast for several weeks. He’s been working remotely since March and the team says he hasn’t had in-person contact coaches or players.
— Swiss top-tier soccer club Zurich said it had more cases of coronavirus Saturday among its players and staff who are now in home quarantine. Zurich did not specify how many new COVID-19 cases were reported after the initial announcement Friday that a player had tested positive. Zurich’s Swiss Super League games on Saturday against Sion, and on Tuesday at Basel, have been postponed during the 10-day quarantine period through to next Friday. Zurich has seven league games left and it is unclear how that program can be met ahead of UEFA’s Aug. 2 deadline to complete domestic seasons.
— German soccer club Union Berlin is offering free coronavirus tests for more than 20,000 fans as part of a plan to hold games in a full stadium in September. The Bundesliga (BOON’-dehsh-lee-guh) club will offer testing ahead of each game to fans and club staff. Each person must test negative for the virus within 24 hours of kickoff. Union wants to implement the plan in time for the first home league game of the new season, which could be as soon as Sept. 18. The club’s plan is more ambitious than those of other German clubs because it relies on mass testing instead of social distancing. The Berlin city government has a ban in place on mass gatherings until Oct. 24.
England World Cup winner Jack Charlton dies at 85
UNDATED (AP) — England World Cup winner Jack Charlton has died.
Charlton was an uncompromising central defender who played alongside his brother, Bobby, in England’s World Cup-winning side in 1966 before enjoying coaching success with Ireland. Charlton was Footballer of the Year in England in 1967. He spent all his club career at Leeds from 1952-73, tying its all-time record of 773 appearances. He won every domestic honor, including the league title in 1969. His biggest achievement came with the England national team that beat Germany 4-2 after extra time in the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley Stadium.
Charlton died at home on Friday in his native Northumberland in northeast England. He was 85.
Premier League games will be preceded by a minute’s silence this weekend as a tribute to Charlton and players will wear black armbands.
Tennis Integrity Unit eyes suspicious exhibition matches
LONDON (AP) — The Tennis Integrity Unit has raised concerns over 24 “suspicious matches” at exhibitions organized while the men’s and women’s tours are shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The TIU, which investigates match-fixing cases in the sport, said Friday it received reports of the matches at private tournaments staged between April and June.
The reports are filed by gambling companies who track unusual betting patterns around matches. Suspicious betting patterns don’t necessarily mean a match was fixed. A similar effect can also happen if insider information about a player’s injury leaks.
Private tennis exhibitions have proliferated after the ATP and WTA tours closed down in March. Some have little or no oversight. Besides a smattering of events with big-name players, there are many smaller events around the world with low-ranked players.