Gates stand locked outside the closed Manchester City Etihad Stadium, in Manchester, northern England, as the English Premier League soccer season has been suspended due to coronavirus, Thursday, April 9, 2020. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

The Latest: Italian Soccer Likely To First Restart Serie A

April 15, 2020 - 8:04 am

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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Italian soccer will likely resume with the Serie A before the two lower divisions.

The Italian soccer federation met with its medical commission and says it could consider a staggered start “with priority to Serie A.”

The medical commission has also recommended that when clubs resume training they do so in training camps with limited access and with strict screening protocols.

Federation president Gabriele Gravina says “we are working without rushing, but without stopping so we will be ready when the relevant institutions give us the go-ahead.”

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Speedway Motorsports, owner and operator of eight tracks that host NASCAR’s top Cup Series, has laid off 180 employees and furloughed 100 as part of a company restructuring during the sports shutdown.

Speedway Motorsports owns the Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte, Kentucky, Las Vegas, New Hampshire, Sonoma and Texas tracks. The coronavirus pandemic caused NASCAR to suspend the season just four events into a 36-race schedule. To date, Speedway Motorsports has had its races at Atlanta, Texas and Bristol postponed.

Tracks receive a significant financial payout from NASCAR’s television contract, but that revenue has stopped without racing.

Both NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports are hoping to restart the season May 24 with the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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Novak Djokovic has been praised by the director general of the local health authority in Bergamo for his donation to help control the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

Peter Assembergs says “we never expected to see on our bank account a donation from such a prestigious person.”

Assembergs says “reading among the donators the name of the best tennis player in the world ... made me emotional.”

The money will be used to help buy ventilators and other medical equipment.

Djokovic, his wife and their foundation recently donated 1 million euros (about $1.1 million) to help hospitals in Serbia.

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This year’s Tour de France will start on Aug. 29 and finish on Sept. 20 and will be followed by cycling’s two other major races.

The International Cycling Union announced the new dates after consulting with race organizer Amaury Sport Organisation. The Tour could not start as scheduled on June 27 because of restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The UCI also says the world championships will go ahead as planned from Sept. 20-27 and will be followed by the Giro d’Italia and the Spanish Vuelta. No official dates were given for those two major races.

The UCI says prestigious one-day road classics such as Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be maintained at dates still to be defined.

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