The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
Professional soccer resumed in Germany after a two-month break with four games in the second division on Saturday taking place behind closed doors.
South Korea midfielder Lee Jae-sung scored the first goal in the division to give Holstein Kiel the lead at Jahn Regensburg. He celebrated by giving teammates fist bumps.
The games were the first since soccer was put on hold March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and they were being played in empty stadiums amid strict hygiene measures.
Goal celebrations in other games were also marked by fist bumps and elbow-to-elbow touching. Players had been warned to keep their emotions in check, and to desist from spitting, handshakes and hugging.
All players and team staff who didn’t start games wore masks. Substitutes took their positions in the stands, rather than beside the fields as customary.
The Bundesliga was due to resume later Saturday, also without fans, with the Ruhr derby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke the highlight.
The head of the World Health Organization said Saturday it will not be easy to make next year’s Tokyo Olympics a safe global gathering after the pandemic.
Speaking at a joint news conference with the IOC, the WHO’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called for “national unity and global solidarity” to fight the coronavirus outbreak ahead of the Olympics. The Games, postponed this year, should bring athletes from more than 200 countries to Japan.
The Summer Games opening ceremony is now due on July 23, 2021, after the International Olympic Committee and organizers in Japan used WHO advice in March before agreeing a one-year delay.
“We hope Tokyo will be a place where humanity will gather with triumph against COVID,” Tedros said at WHO headquarters.
“It is in our hands, but it is not easy. If we do our best, especially with national unity and global solidarity, I think it’s possible,” he said.
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