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Coronavirus: Here’s what’s happening in the sports world on Saturday

The latest on how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting sports around the globe:

Spanish soccer league to resume full team training

The Spanish league says full team training sessions will resume Monday, ahead of the first soccer match to be played following the coronavirus stoppage.

La Liga said the government gave authorization on Saturday for squads to practice together. Until now, players had been limited to individual training before progressing to small groups.

The league, which has been on hold since March 12, will restart on June 11 when Sevilla faces Real Betis without fans. The 11 rounds remaining are due to be played until July 19, according to the government.

Barcelona leads Real Madrid by two points at the top of the table.

Austria OK’s fan-free F1 races July 8, 12

Austria’s health ministry on Saturday gave the green light to two Formula One motor races on July 5 and 12 — the delayed season-openers – to be held without spectators in line with plans aimed at halting the spread of COVID-19.

The races are due to be held in the village of Spielberg, about 200 kilometres southwest of the capital Vienna.

Formula One organizers earlier this year announced plans to re-launch its delayed season in Austria without crowds and end it in Abu Dhabi in December after races in Asia and the Americas.

Austria is among countries moving ahead with easing restrictions as new coronavirus infections wane.

Formula One’s 10 teams will be limited to a maximum 80 people each at the races when the delayed season gets going in July, the governing International Automobile Federation had said on Thursday.

“The concept calls for strict hygienic measures as well as regular tests and health checks for the teams and their employees,” Health Minister Rudolf Anschober said.

French soccer league cancelled too soon, ex-minister says

France’s former sports minister says the government was too hasty in calling off soccer leagues this season.

The French leagues were cancelled after Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said in late April they could not resume because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Patrick Kanner, sports minister from 2014-17, thinks the leagues were pressured into cancelling.

Speaking on France Inter radio on Saturday, Kanner said “they were not given any choice” and that “maybe we could have resumed playing in June. He added “there were healthy protocols in place” in case the leagues could resume “of course without fans” at the stadiums.

France is the only one of Europe’s five major soccer leagues to cancel its season.

Games in Germany have already resumed and they are set to do so in England, Italy and Spain next month.

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