Sports News Roundup: USA Rugby to file for bankruptcy; Mickelson 'working on' rematch vs. Tiger and more

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 31-03-2020 13:48 IST | Created: 31-03-2020 13:25 IST
Sports News Roundup: USA Rugby to file for bankruptcy; Mickelson 'working on' rematch vs. Tiger and more
Representative image Image Credit: pixabay

Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.

Japan, IOC set July 23 next year for start of delayed Olympics

The postponed Olympic Games will now begin on July 23 next year and run until Aug. 8, the head of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee said on Monday, as the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to plan and prepare for them properly this year. The Games were postponed last week - the first such delay in the 124-year history of the modern Olympics. The move was a huge blow for Japan, which invested $13 billion in the run-up to the event and raised $3 billion from domestic sponsors.

USA Rugby to file for bankruptcy

USA Rugby will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to "insurmountable financial constraints" that were accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic, the governing body said on Monday. The board of directors voted overwhelmingly in favor of the plan over the weekend and said that with a financial support package from World Rugby, it hopes to "deliver a foundation for future stability."

Exclusive: Japan businessman paid $8.2 million by Tokyo Olympics bid lobbied figure at the center of the French corruption probe

A businessman who received millions of dollars for his work on Tokyo's successful campaign to host the 2020 Olympics, which was postponed last week due to the coronavirus, said he played a key role in securing the support of a former Olympics powerbroker suspected by French prosecutors of taking bribes to help Japan's bid. Haruyuki Takahashi, a former executive at the advertising agency Dentsu Inc, was paid $8.2 million by the committee that spearheaded Tokyo's bid for the 2020 Games, according to financial records reviewed by Reuters. Takahashi told Reuters his work included lobbying International Olympic Committee members like Lamine Diack, the ex-Olympics powerbroker, and that he gave Diack gifts, including digital cameras and a Seiko watch.

Mickelson 'working on' potential rematch with Woods

American golfer Phil Mickelson got fans excited in the midst of a virtual halt to live sports by the coronavirus pandemic when he hinted at a rematch with longtime rival Tiger Woods. Mickelson was asked on Twitter about the possibility of a round of golf against Woods being live-streamed in the near future, and the left-hander replied "Working on it."

WTA working on better pay considers extending Tour

With lower-level players reeling financially from the tennis shutdown over the coronavirus, the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) told Reuters it is working to boost players' earnings when the sport resumes and considering extending the 2020 season. The tennis season screeched to a halt in early March due to the virus, leaving players in the lowest tiers without any opportunity to earn their livelihoods.

Mickelson 'working on' rematch vs. Tiger

Phil Mickelson says he is "working on" a rematch with Tiger Woods. The two PGA titans tangled in "The Match: Tiger vs. Phil," a made-for-TV clash on Nov. 23, 2018, at Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas. Mickelson edged Woods on the fourth playoff hole.

Augusta National donates $2 million to COVID-19 fight

Augusta National Golf Club said on Monday it is donating $2 million to assist the Augusta area in the fight against the coronavirus that has already forced it to postpone the Master's tournament it typically hosts every April. The club, the only permanent home for one of golf's four majors, said $1 million would go to Augusta University to help expand coronavirus testing, while another $1 million would go to the Central Savannah River Area's recently-launched COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

U.S. Open venue to host 350-bed temporary hospital amid coronavirus pandemic

A portion of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is set to transform into a 350-bed temporary hospital on Tuesday, the USTA said, as the coronavirus outbreak strains resources in New York City, which has been dramatically affected by the pandemic. The site of the U.S. Open and the crown jewel of American tennis, the venue has been thrust into the fray amid a medical crisis that has gripped the world and brought professional sports to a sudden and indefinite halt.

North American sports will return, but will the fans?

When North American sports leagues return to action after the coronavirus crisis, questions are sure to linger over whether the fans will be willing, or have the resources, to pack stadiums as they once did, sports analysts have said. The pandemic caught the sports world by surprise but after the NBA suspended its season on March 11, leagues around the world followed suit, culminating in the unprecedented postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games for a year.

NFL transaction notebook: Steelers officially sign Ebron

The Pittsburgh Steelers officially signed tight end Eric Ebron on Monday, completing their biggest addition of the offseason. Ebron reportedly agreed to terms on a two-year, $12 million deal on March 20.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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