The Latest: SEC football media days to be held virtually

Jun 10, 2020

The Southeastern Conference has scrapped its scheduled football media days in July and instead plans to hold its first virtual event

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The Southeastern Conference has scrapped its scheduled football media days in July and instead plans to hold its first virtual event.

League officials announced the decision Wednesday. SEC media days had been scheduled to be held July 13-16 in Atlanta at the College Football Hall of Fame and Omni Atlanta Hotel.

Commissioner Greg Sankey says the virtual format will allow the league to manage media days in a healthy manner during the coronavirus pandemic and give programs flexibility as they prepare for the upcoming season. Sankey says the SEC looks forward to returning to its traditional media days format in 2021, which had been scheduled for Nashville.

The SEC did not announce dates for the new virtual media days. Sankey is expected to deliver his annual “State of the SEC” along with media sessions with all head coaches and select players.

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Petra Kvitova will play at a tennis exhibition event next month in Berlin and Tommy Haas will come out of retirement to join in.

Organizers added the two-time Wimbledon champion to play against a women’s lineup of Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic.

Haas hasn’t played since 2017 and is tournament director of the Indian Wells event. He was added to a men’s tournament alongside Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Jannik Sinner.

One more player is still to be announced for each of the men’s and women’s events.

Organizers plan to play on grass from July 13-15 and then on hard courts from July 17-19. No fans are expected to be able to attend amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Everton will be allowed to host city rival Liverpool at Goodison Park instead of playing at a neutral venue when the rivals meet on June 21.

Police had initially believed the Merseyside derby could not be staged in Liverpool because of fears that fans would congregate outside.

Premier League games will take place without fans for the rest of the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ground Safety Advisory Group in Liverpool says Anfield and Goodison Park can now be used for Liverpool and Everton matches.

Liverpool could clinch the trophy by beating Everton if Manchester City loses to Arsenal on June 17.

Liverpool Deputy Mayor Wendy Simon says “we are confident the measures in place will allow the matches to be held behind closed doors without any detrimental impact to all concerned and recommend to the city council that the safety certificates for both grounds be amended to allow this to happen.”

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English soccer club Stoke says manager Michael O’Neill has tested positive for COVID-19.

The second-division club says the 50-year-old O’Neill had tested negative in five previous rounds of testing but the positive result came from a test administered on Monday.

Stoke says O’Neill will “follow the relevant guidance and undergo a period of isolation.” Assistant manager Billy McKinlay will take charge of training.

Stoke is scheduled to play Reading when the Championship resumes on June 20.

The Premier League returns to action with two matches on June 17.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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