The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University will allow the general public to attend football games at a reduced capacity next month.
WVU athletic director Shane Lyons said attendance will be limited to about 15,000 fans — or 25% capacity — starting with the Oct. 17 home game against Kansas. Currently, only the families of players and coaches as well as essential game operations staff are allowed to attend.
Fans entering the stadium will be required to wear masks.
“Needless to say, we are excited to open our gates and welcome Mountaineer fans back to the stadium,” Lyons said.
Certain season ticket holders, WVU students and players’ families will be given seating priority.
The university resumed in-person undergraduate classes on Monday. Classes had been moved to online only earlier this month due to an increase in coronavirus cases.
The NFL says the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings are suspending in-person activities after the Titans had three players test positive for the coronavirus, along with five other personnel.
The league said Tuesday that both clubs are working closely with the NFL and the players’ union, including their infectious disease experts, on tracing contacts, more testing and monitoring developments.
The Titans (3-0) are scheduled to host the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) on Sunday, and the NFL says all decisions will be made with health and safety the primary consideration.
The Titans first announced Tuesday morning that they would be working remotely “out of an abundance of caution” after several test results came back positive. They beat the Vikings in Minnesota 31-30 on Sunday without outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen after a test result Saturday.
Coach Mike Vrabel said Monday that Bowen was not with the team. Rookie offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson has been on the reserve/COVID-19 list for the Titans since Sept. 6.
One of the oldest annual tournaments in ice hockey, the Spengler Cup, has been canceled.
Organizers of the event held in Davos, Switzerland, during the December holidays cite the impact of the pandemic.
The invitational tournament was first played in 1923, and a six-team edition was won last year by Team Canada, comprising of mostly Europe-based players.
Travel to and from Switzerland “for the teams from Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Canada is currently only possible under strict adherence to the quarantine policies, if at all,” organizers say.
Though Swiss authorities are allowing more fans to attend hockey games from October, standing areas in stadiums cannot be used.
Spengler Cup organizers say games “in a half-empty stadium, and without standing room, has nothing in common with the hockey festival we have become accustomed to.”
The Swedish government has decided to increase the number of spectators allowed to attend sporting events from 50 to 500 as of Oct. 15.
Swedish Sports Confederation chairman Bjorn Eriksson says the decision is “a step in the right direction.”
The exemption applies as long as there is no increased spread of infection in the country.
Sweden has opted for a much debated COVID-19 approach of keeping large parts of the society open. People in the Scandinavian country kept enjoying many freedoms while most of Europe locked down their populations early in the pandemic by closing schools, restaurants, fitness centers and even borders.
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