Liverpool have the most valuable squad in the transfer market from Europe’s top-five leagues, according to research group CIES Football Observatory. With an aggregated value of 1.4bn euros the Reds top the list ahead of fellow Premier League side Manchester City in second. Chelsea are fifth, while Manchester United and Tottenham are in the top 10.
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has set up a fundraising page and pledged financial support to Unicef to help children affected by coronavirus. After turning 27 on Sunday, Pogba set up the birthday fundraiser to “help fight this war against Covid-19”.
Toronto Wolfpack have suspended training and stood down their entire UK-based squad after four players experienced symptoms of coronavirus. The players have gone into self-isolation and Toronto’s action means it’s almost certain their fixture against Wakefield next weekend will be postponed. Toronto say they are now awaiting a directive from the Rugby Football League, who has instructed clubs to continue playing matches, in line with government guidelines.
Virgil van Dijk says he would be “gutted” if the coronavirus outbreak stops Liverpool fans watching the team win the league title for the first time in 30 years. The Premier League has been suspended until April 4 with Liverpool 25 points clear at the top of the table. Despite the uncertainty of how, or if, the season will be completed, Van Dijk has pledged to bring the title to Liverpool’s fans.
Ferrari has shut down production at its Formula 1 and road-car factories in Italy for two weeks as a result of the coronavirus crisis. It is part of a wider lockdown that began last week across badly-hit Italy. Ferrari said the decision had been made “for its employees’ wellbeing”. Chief executive officer Louis Camilleri said: “It is out of our respect for them, their peace of mind and of their families that we have decided on this course of action.” Staff who have laptops and the possibility to continue to work from home will do so, with Ferrari planning on being shut down until 27 March.
Germany’s Maximilian Schachmann held on to win Paris-Nice as the race finished a day early because of coronavirus. On Friday, organisers announced the cancellation of Sunday’s finale, a day after the French government banned gatherings of more than 100 people. So Saturday’s 166.5km route from Nice to the summit finish at Valdeblore la Colmiane was the final stage.
Morocco’s football federation has announced the suspension of all football activity in the country until further notice because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Moroccan federation (FRMF) said on Saturday that the indefinite ban would affect matches in various Moroccan football competitions – in all categories. Its decision comes because of the spread of the coronavirus, with 17 cases reported in Morocco at the time of writing, including one death.
Five Valencia players and staff are “in good health” after testing positive for coronavirus, the club says. Valencia and Argentina defender Ezequiel Garay became the first La Liga player to announce a positive test earlier on Sunday. Later on Sunday, Valencia centre-back Eliaquim Mangala said he had tested positive and was self isolating.
Jan Vertonghen’s family was held at knifepoint as four armed men burgled his home while he was on Champions League duty with Tottenham on Tuesday. Police confirmed men wearing balaclavas forced their way into the house while his wife and children were inside. The 32-year-old Belgium defender was in Germany for the second leg of Spurs’ last-16 defeat against RB Leipzig.
Detroit Pistons say all their players and staff will “self-isolate until further notice” after Christian Wood became the third player in the NBA to test positive for coronavirus. Utah Jazz duo Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell both tested positive earlier in the week. In a statement the Pistons said that Wood “will remain in isolation and under the care of team medical staff”. The NBA was suspended on Thursday following Gobert’s positive test.
Wayne Rooney says the government and football authorities have treated footballers as “guinea pigs” during the coronavirus outbreak. Elite football in Britain has been suspended until at least 3 April, with the Premier League saying “conditions at the time” will determine its return. “For players, staff and their families it has been a worrying week,” he said. “One in which you felt a lack of leadership from the government and from the FA and Premier League.”
Players from Brazilian club Gremio took to the field wearing masks on Sunday in protest at having to play a football match as fears over coronavirus grow in the South American nation. The players, led by boss Renato Portaluppi, walked out of the tunnel and lined up before the game against Sao Luiz wearing the masks. “This protest by the players makes implicit our support for the championship to be halted – life must take precedence,” said Paulo Luz, Gremio’s director of football.
La Liga president Javier Tebas said he is “convinced” the Spanish top-flight season will finish. The league was suspended on Thursday after the Real Madrid squad went into quarantine, while five Valencia players and staff have tested positive for coronavirus. Spain is the second worst-hit country in Europe after Italy and is set to declare a national lockdown on Monday.
The Italian Football Federation has called for the postponement of Euro 2020 to give time to complete the Serie A season, which has been suspended because of coronavirus. Federation president Gabriele Gravina says the idea will be put to UEFA at an emergency meeting on Tuesday. Serie A was suspended last Tuesday, with Italy the European country worst affected by the virus. “We will propose that UEFA postpone the European Championship,” Gravina said.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead as planned in July, despite coronavirus concerns resulting in the postponement of sporting events. Abe added the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would have the final decision whether Tokyo 2020 goes ahead.