Royal Ascot looks set to become the first major UK sporting event of the summer after the British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) outlined plans for racing to resume in June.
The BHA’s plan would see Royal Ascot take place on its scheduled dates from June 16-20, albeit with no fans in attendance. The event would be preceded by the 2000 and 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on June 6 and 7, respectively.
The first Group One race of the season will be the Coronation Cup on June 5, with the venue yet to be announced. The BHA also confirmed plans to stage the Derby and Oaks on July 4 at Epsom, with the Eclipse race to be moved back a day to July 5.
The exact timetable for the resumption of racing remains subject to agreement from the UK government and assessment by public health officials of the risks posed by COVID-19 at that time.
The BHA said that there would be “some changes to the order of races at Royal Ascot”.
The UK government on Monday announced that professional sporting events could be allowed to go ahead in England behind closed doors from June 1, with the UK racing industry remaining in lockdown mode amid the global pandemic.
Lega Serie A, the organising body of the top division of Italian club football, has outlined plans to resume its 2019-20 season on June 13.
The league met via videoconference yesterday (Wednesday) to discuss plans for a return to action, with the competition having been suspended since March following the COVID-19 outbreak.
The majority of clubs voted to resume on June 13 in accordance with government decisions and medical protocols for protecting players and staff. Clubs in Serie A will be able to train as a team from Monday.
Juventus is currently top of Serie A, a point clear of Lazio.
Another European league with plans to resume its season next month is the Austrian Bundesliga, which has targeted a June 2 return date.
Teams are set to resume training from tomorrow and there are plans to stage the ÖFB Cup Final on May 29. The league season will then resume on June 2 and matches will be played every three days to ensure the fixture list is completed.
It is hoped the season can conclude on July 15 with the Europa League play-off match. Clubs have agreed to comprehensive COVID-19 testing before training sessions and matches.
North America’s Major League Soccer is considering a plan to resume the season with all teams playing in Orlando, according to reports.
The Associated Press news agency, citing a source with knowledge of the plan, reported that the 26 teams and “limited staff” would be sheltered in a resort and matches would be played at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World.
MLS has been suspended since March 12. The AP reported that clubs could travel to Florida on June 1 for training camps if the Disney World proposal is approved.
The league is also said to be considering a “tournament-style” competition whereby matches would be played across four different cities. The AP added that teams could be able to play home games as normal following the initial return in Orlando.
The Wide World of Sports Complex features 17 pitches and any proposal to play matches at the facility would require approval from the MLS Players Association.
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