Argentina and France Scrap Soccer Seasons


Sports get postponed, sports get canceled, and, yes, sometimes, someday, somewhere, somehow sports can resume.

France scrapped its soccer season on Tuesday, in an announcement by the prime minister, Édouard Philippe. Paris St.-Germain was 12 points up in Ligue 1 with 11 games to play when the season was halted in March. The plan is to begin a new season in September. Indeed, Philippe said no major team sporting events of any kind, or events with crowds of more than 5,000, would take place in France until September.

“It will be possible, on sunny days, to practice an individual sporting activity outdoors, respecting the rules of social distancing,” Philippe said. “It will not be possible to practice sport indoors, nor team or contact sports.”

In Argentina, the soccer season was also called off. Conveniently for the top league, when play was halted each team had played every other team once, making for a clean stopping point. A second round in which teams would have each played 11 games has been scrapped.

Boca Juniors won the title by a point over its fierce Buenos Aires rival, River Plate, whose fans can’t be delighted about the cancellation of those remaining 11 games.

But the F.A. Cup is back on! Well, perhaps not the one that most sports fans around the world follow — the version in England — but the South Korean F.A. Cup, originally set to start in March. It will now begin on May 9, and for at least the early rounds, games will have no fans.

On the one hand, it seemed as if the National Rugby League in Australia was way ahead of the curve in getting back to business. On the other hand, some of its players can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

It looks as if the league will return on May 28 and play through to a final on Oct. 25. Players and staff members will face strict travel rules and be allowed to leave home only for training and a few essential activities.

But social distancing is not coming naturally to every rugby player. Three were recently pictured camping with about a dozen people, drawing fines from the police and the league.

Two of the players, Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo-Carr, were also arrested on firearms charges. Addo-Carr had posted a video of himself shooting a gun at the camp-out and, to top it all off, could be seen riding a dirt bike without a helmet. The players have apologized.

Some outdoor recreational activities will be allowed once again in Washington State starting on May 5. Residents may hunt and fish, and golf courses and state parks will reopen.

The return of recreational activities is part of a gradual reopening plan. The stay-at-home order in Washington is set to expire May 4, and an extension has not been announced. People will still be required to maintain social distancing.

“Outdoor recreation is one of the best things we can do to promote physical, mental and emotional well-being for Washingtonians during a time of great stress and isolation,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement. “And springtime in our state is Washington at its best, and people want to be out enjoying outdoor activities in a safe and responsible way.”

Inslee also said that the state would not hesitate to scale back if there was a sharp increase in the number of people getting sick. Public gatherings, including team sports and camping, are not yet allowed to resume. DANIELLE ALLENTUCK

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