Mick McCarthy in frightening situation; Lack of live sport could lead to problem gambling

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

 The men’s and women’s Champions League finals and Europa League final, scheduled for May 2020, have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: PA

The men’s and women’s Champions League finals and Europa League final, scheduled for May 2020, have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photograph: PA

The Champions League and Europa League finals were last night postponed by Uefa due to the ongoing health crisis in Europe. Originally scheduled for the end of May, no new date has been agreed although the dates of June 24th (Europa League) and 27th (Champions League) are being discussed. Earlier on Monday La Liga postponed their league indefinitely, while in Formula One the controversial Azerbaijan Grand Prix on June 7th has become the eighth meeting of the season to be called off, and Australia’s rugby league competition (the NRL) has also suspended its season. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has shed light on the background to his coronavirus diagnosis, which hastened the Premier League’s decision to suspend the season’s activities, and Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy is in self-isolation with his wife after near neighbours in London tested positive for coronavirus. He describes their situation as “frightening”.

The Irish racing and gambling industries are putting livelihoods ahead of lives, writes Brian O’Connor this morning. Racing continues in Ireland behind closed doors, and yesterday afternoon Lemista landed the big race for Ger Lyons as the Irish Flat season opened at Naas. In this week’s Pay for Play pages, Ruaidhrí Croke asks could a lack of live sport lead to problem gambling? “These are lean times for betting companies and anything will do. They are also times of boredom and isolation for lots of people and that could result in a dangerous combination.”

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