Coronavirus in Sport LIVE: UFC 249 reaction, three Brighton players test positive, Premier League return LATEST – The Sun

THE Bundesliga is coming back next week, and talks are continuing for the Premier League's comeback.

But some Prem clubs are opposed to Project Restart in the fear Liverpool will play the kids once they have won the title.

Meanwhile UFC 249 is experiencing problems ahead of tonight's show with fighter Jacare Souza testing positive for coronavirus.

Follow all the latest coronavirus in sport updates below, underneath our quick poll…

  • RONALD-WOAH

    Juventus star and Man Utd legend Cristiano Ronaldo has teamed up with US-based gym company Crunch to help fans stay in shape amid the coronavirus lockdown. 

    The Portugal legend has joined forces with American fitness franchise Crunch, to guide fans through virtual workouts during lockdown.

    Ronaldo has kickstarted the project by taking his followers through seven workouts on Instagram, including squats and press ups, to help them stay in shape while being cooped up in doors.

  • WAN OF A KIND – EXCLUSIVE

    Tom Clarke believes he is the ONLY pro English footballer in the world who has played throughout the coronavirus crisis.

    Speaking from Taiwan — where he also works as a model and actor — Clarke said: “I’m the only English player playing pro here, possibly the only one in the world right now.

    “It does feel weird. I feel very grateful that while everyone else in the world has been restricted to what they can do, we have had next to zero restrictions. Training’s continued, same as games, too.

    “The difference is someone now checks our temperature as we enter the training ground and handshakes have been minimised to more like an elbow bump for most people.

    “But there’s never been any nerves. I play with full commitment as any other professional does.”

  • NO CHANCE

    Liverpool have denied “absurd” claims that they will play a weakened team once they've secured the Premier League title.

    The Reds only need six more points to lift their first Premier League trophy in 30 years if and when the season restarts.

    According to the Telegraph, a Premier League executive from an unnamed club raised the issue that Liverpool could risk the integrity of matches by playing their youth team.

    But the Reds remain adamant that it would not be the case in the league with Klopp braced to field his strongest side possible.

  • EF-HELL

    Football League clubs face decimation unless they get a financial lifeline from top-flight outfits within the next seven weeks, according to an anxious Championship club exec.

    The insider told SunSport: “Unless there is a redistribution of wealth from the top of the game, many clubs won’t be able to survive for much longer.

    “The Championship teams need help from the Premier League. If we don’t get it soon a lot of clubs will be staring into the abyss of administration.

    “We have no money coming in from gate receipts, sponsorship or merchandising and we’re being told we’ll be playing behind closed doors for the rest of the year…

  • SACRE BLEU

    Arsenal and Chelsea legend Cesc Fabregas who now plays for AS Monaco reckons the Ligue 1 season was axed “too soon” amid the coronavirus crisis.

    And seventh-placed Lyon – who were pushing for a spot in Europe – have threatened legal action after the 2019-20 campaign was scrapped.

    He told beIN SPORTS: “It was a big decision that was made and I can understand why they took it

    “But maybe it was taken a little too soon, considering a lot of the big league are still all trying to resume.

    “Although I completely understand the meaning behind it and it's better to be safe in all accounts, because the most important is the families and the health security of everyone and support this 100 per cent.

    “But maybe we could've considered individual training, where you have basically no risk. You're not touching anyone, you're not close to anyone.

    “See if everyone was getting closer to football behind played all over the world.

    “Obviously, it's very difficult and I understand someone needs to make decisions. We just have to do what they're telling us.

    “Difficult moment in our professional lives and personal lives, but we just have to hold on and everything will be fine in the future for sure.”

  • STUNK OUT THE PLACE

    Dominick Cruz has sensationally claimed that the referee who called a stop to his fight with Henry Cejudo stunk of cigarettes and alcohol at UFC 249.

    He said on the post-fight show on ESPN: “That was an early stoppage, 100 percent – I'm positive of it. I wish there was a way to keep these refs a little more responsible sometimes.

    “The guy smelled like alcohol and cigarettes, so who knows what he was doing. Definitely (he did). I wish they drug tested them.

    “I know Herb Dean is good. He's one of the best refs. I immediately when I saw that ref I was like, 'Man, is there a way to veto a ref and get a new one?' I wonder that.”

  • ONLY HUMAN

  • AIRBRUSHED

    Roman Reigns was bizarrely edited out of WrestleMania footage on last night’s Raw as the mystery over his WWE status took a new twist.

    The Big Dog was due to challenge Goldberg for the Universal Title at WrestleMania 36 last month but pulled out days before filming.

    Reigns, real name Joe Anoa'I, deemed the health risks of competing during the coronavirus pandemic too great after twice bravely winning battles against leukemia.

    The 34-year-old was replaced in the title match by Braun Strowman with the Monster Among Men going on to win the belt from his Hall of Fame foe.

    WWE’s Money in the Bank pay-per-view takes place this Sunday and a video promo showing successful cash-ins from the past was shown on Monday Night Raw to hype the extravaganza.

    It included Seth Rollins famously cashing-in his briefcase in the WrestleMania 31 main event between Brock Lesnar and Reigns, where he pinned the latter to become WWE champion.

    But it seems WWE edited the clip, and rather than show Rollins covering Reigns, the screen cut to black instead.

  • CORM ON THEN

    Greg Hardy said he thoroughly enjoyed not having a crowd at UFC 249… as it meant he could listen to commentator Daniel Cormier's advice.

    Hardy, who beat Yorgan de Castro, said: “Thank God for not having the crowd.

    “Shout out to DC. I heard him tell me to check him, so I started trying to check him. Game changer.”

  • TRUMP CARD

    President Donald Trump was delighted with the spectacle provided by UFC 249.

    In a pre-recorded statement which opened the event, he said: “Let's play.

    “You do the social distancing and whatever else you have to do.

    “But we need sports. We want our sports back.”

  • AD ENOUGH

    Adrien Rabiot has reportedly refused to return to Juventus after lockdown as he looks to force his way out of the club.

    Manchester United have been heavily linked to the 25-year-old after sending scouts to watch him “several times” this season.

    Serie A clubs have been given the go ahead from the government to return to training as of Monday.

    A number of Rabiot's Juventus team-mates have flocked back to Turin as they prepare for football to return.

    Cristiano Ronaldo arrived back in Italy on Monday and has to spend 14 days in quarantine after being on lockdown in Madeira.

    According to Sport, Rabiot has not even been in touch with his club to tell them when he will be back.

  • BREAKING NEWS

    Brighton have confirmed that a third player has tested positive for coronavirus.

    The unnamed player, who will now self isolate for 14 days, was tested on Saturday while his teammates continue training individually at the training ground.

    Premier League clubs are due to meet on Monday for more discussions about their proposed Project Restart plan.

    Brighton chief executive Paul Barber told Sky Sports: “It is a concern.

    “Despite all of the measures that we've been taking over the past few weeks, where the players haven't been involved in any significant training at all, we've still suffered another player testing positive for the virus.”

  • KNOCK IT OFF

    Anthony Knockaert called for the season to be scrapped — and branded it “absurd” players are not being consulted.

    The Brighton winger, on loan at Championship Fulham, fears he could infect a loved one if he catches the virus on returning to play.

    And as clubs prepare to discuss Project Restart tomorrow, Knockaert said: “Every player will be different in these situations.

    “I don’t think it would be the best decision to keep playing in the sense that we are going to be taking a risk.

    “Right now, if I had to return to the league and return to work, I would give it my all. But if I could give my opinion, I would be against it.

    “For me, the best decision in this case is that players have the right to speak and say what they want.

    “It’s absurd not to take into account the opinions of the players.”

  • PAUL OVER

    Paul Pogba had his summer move away from Manchester United “arranged” before coronavirus put plans on hold.

    Clubs have had to tighten the purse strings due to the pandemic – which has left his dream move to Real Madrid on the rocks.

    According to AS, Pogba had reached an agreement with his club that he would leave in the summer.

    The wantaway midfielder had everything in place – until the Covid-19 crisis left the sporting world at a standstill.

  • BEING FRANC

    Mike Tyson tipped Francis Ngannou to be a future UFC champion after his incredible win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

    It took the hard-hitting heavyweight just 19 seconds to knock his opponent out cold at the behind closed doors event in Florida.

  • FROM THE OCTAGON TO THE RING

    Henry Cejudo has admitted that he would love to do a WWE appearance following his announced retirement from UFC.

    He said: “I would love to do an appearance, but the stuff they do in WWE, sh**, I would love to beat up on Rey Mysterio. He can bend the knee too. And Kurt Angle.”

  • FIGHTING FIT

    Dominick Cruz was not happy with his stoppage decision against Henry Cejudo.

    He said: “I mean, I am not happy with the stoppage obviously because I specifically asked the Ref to let me go until I went out.

    “And I was standing up so.. if I had stayed on the floor, I get it. But I’m working my way up.

    “I was definitely still aware of what was going on and I get that there were unanswered shots but that is part of a fight.

    “You know, if I am standing up to my feet, I’m in the fight.

    “If I’m staying on the ground and continually getting chopped down I get it. But hats off to Henry Cejudo.

    “I don’t have any excuses. I shouldn’t have got caught with that knee.”

  • “I PREPARED FOR KHABIB”

    Tony Ferguson accepted he was beaten by the better man at UFC 249, but did point out that his training had been for a different style of fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

    Ferguson commented: “It was a long camp.

    “The weight cut had nothing to do with it. Justin's a tough son of a b***h, I'll be real.

    “I prepared for Khabib; not too much of a striker.

    “But s**t happens, man. What can you do? I would've much rather got finished instead of having somebody step in.”

  • MORNING SPORTS FANS

    Top-level sport HAS returned to our screens, overnight.

    And UFC 249 was an incredible success, with some absolutely outstanding fights in Jacksonville, Florida.

    Justin Gaethje incredibly beat Tony Ferguson in five rounds to set up a blockbuster title decider with Khabib Nurmagomedov, which will likely be behind closed doors once again.

    Meanwhile Pep Guardiola’s Champions League hopes will be dealt a blow by Boris Johnson today.

    The Prime Minister is expected to announce that anyone arriving into the UK from next month will face a 14-DAY quarantine.

    That would make it virtually impossible for Manchester City to hold their Champions League ties at home.

    The same would apply to Manchester United and Wolves, who would have to give up home advantage in the Europa League.

    And one Premier League club fears being without FIVE stars due to Covid-19 health concerns if the season restarts.

    SunSport has learned that one top-flight boss has discovered five of his first-teamers do not want to be involved.

  • FOUL PLAY – EXCLUSIVE

    Some Premier League clubs are alarmed at the prospect of playing at neutral grounds also used as coronavirus testing centres.

    Manchester City plan to continue sharing facilities with the NHS for at least three more months.

    More than 350 nurses are currently training in the Etihad Stadium suites, while more than 1,000 coronavirus tests are done there daily.

    The Etihad is understood to be one of eight proposed neutral venues to be used for football’s Project Restart.

    But one Prem club official said: “We would find it worrying for a ground still in use as a testing centre to be picked as a neutral venue.”

  • OPTING OUT – EXCLUSIVE

    One Premier League club fears being without FIVE stars due to Covid-19 health concerns if the season restarts.

    We revealed last week how over half the teams in the division had made it clear they would not force their players to turn out if they were worried for themselves or their family.

    SunSport has learned one top-flight boss has discovered five of his first-teamers do not want to be involved.

  • HOLD ON – EXCLUSIVE

    A top police official has called for the Premier League to DELAY next month’s proposed return.

    West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson claimed even behind-closed-doors matches at neutral venues increase the risk of escalatingcoronavirus.

    He said: “I understand people want to seefootball resume but safety must come first. I can’t see how matches could take place without significant risks.

    “What happens ifthousands of fans turn up? How could the police enforce social distancing? How could they keep rival groups apart?

    “Even if fans did not turn up, the police would have to be on hand in case they did.

    “My officers are doing important work looking after the public and need to concentrate on that.”

  • “That scares you. I realise that, if I catch the virus, I could easily give it to those close to me and that can be very dangerous.

    “There are players who think more about the sport and are very keen to go back and take risks.

    “Right now, if I had to return to the league and return to work, I would give it my all. But if I could give my opinion, I would be against it.

    “For me, the best decision in this case is that players have the right to speak and say what they want.

    “The Government and the leagues will take decisions but in all that you have players.

    “It’s absurd not to take  into account the opinions of the players.”

  • KNOCK IT ON THE HEAD

    Anthony Knockaert called for the season to be scrapped — and branded it “absurd” players are not being consulted.

    The Brighton winger, on loan at Championship Fulham, fears he could infect a loved one if he catches the virus on returning to play.

    The 28-year-old said: “Every player will be different in these situations.

    “I don’t think it would be the best decision to keep playing in the sense that we are going to be taking a risk.

    “We all have family at home. I’m 28, I have children…

  • “Season ticket holders could soon be asking for their money back and we’re still having to pay all the players’ wages.

    “Many clubs have struggled to pay the wages in April and May and June’s pay-day becomes almost apocalyptic when the tax bills start arriving.

    “If we get to June 30 with norescue package in place, quite a few clubs will go intoadministration, including some from the Championship.

    “And once one goes, it will become like a houseof cards.”

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