All major sport in US suspended

All major sport in the United States has been suspended amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The NBA has announced that all matches will be suspended from Thursday until further notice, after a Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive.

The NHL and MLS later announced the stoppage of its respective seasons, the latter for 30 days.

The MLB has delayed the start of its 2020 season by at least two weeks due to the “national emergency”.

The other major US sports league – the NFL – is currently in its off-season, although the 2020 Draft in Las Vegas is scheduled to start on 23 April.

Men’s and women’s college basketball has also been cancelled, just a day after it was announced it would initially continue without spectators.

The NCAA, the governing body of US college sport, announced the Division I men’s and women’s tournaments would be cancelled, in addition to remaining winter and spring NCAA tournaments.

The Division I men’s basketball tournament, known as March Madness, is one of the biggest and most popular sports events in the United States.

The NBA’s announcement was made just before the Jazz game against the Oklahoma Thunder was due to start on Wednesday.

The NBA said Gobert was not at the game, which was postponed, but the Frenchman has since had to issue an apology for potentially exposing others to the virus.

Earlier this week, he jokingly touched reporters’ microphones and dictaphones at a pre-match news conference.

“I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis, mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment,” he wrote on Instagram.

“The first and most important thing is I would like to publicly apologise to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected. I was careless and make no excuse.

“I hope my story serves as a warning and causes everyone to take this seriously.”

In a statement, the NBA said: “The NBA will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Orlando Magic player Evan Fournier tweeted about Gobert after the news of his diagnosis broke, writing: “Was just on the phone with Rudy. He is doing good man. Let’s not panic, everyone.”

<<BBC>>