The Latest: British government in talks with sports bodies

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

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The British government is increasing planning with sports bodies about the resumption of events once the coronavirus national lockdown is eased.

Government medical officials are involved in the talks about the logistics and health procedures required to allow sports competitions to restart.

The Premier League last played a game on March 9 and has plans to try to restart from June 8 once pandemic social distancing regulations are relaxed to allow training to resume for teams and there are sufficient COVID-19 tests available.

The national lockdown is currently in place until May 7. Cricket authorities have already said their sport won’t resume until July, but horse racing is currently only suspended until June.

British Horseracing Authority chair Annamarie Phelps tweeted Saturday about “very welcome support for the resumption of live sport incl horseracing” from Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, linking to a front page report from The Sun newspaper about plans for events to be staged again.

Dowden updated legislators earlier this week on his talks with sports governing bodies.

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Despite high-profile reversals by Liverpool and Tottenham, Norwich has defended its decision to place some non-playing staff on furlough during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Canaries are one of only two English Premier League clubs using the scheme. Employees receive 80% of wages from the British government up to 2,500 pounds ($3,000) although, in this instance, Norwich is making up the remaining 20%.

Newcastle is the other top-flight club to turn to the job retention program while Liverpool, Tottenham and Bournemouth made U-turns on their decisions to furlough staff following heavy criticism.

“The decision we made was in the best interests of the club and its staff. We’ve been very transparent that we’re run in a self-financed manner,” Norwich chief operating officer Ben Kensell told BBC Radio Norfolk. “Ultimately, if we had the available cash flow to not have to take up schemes then, like other football clubs have, we would.”

Last-place Norwich, which has nine games remaining, is reportedly budgeting for a loss of between 18-35 million pounds due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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

A Police car is parked outside the closed Grosvenor Casino in Leicester Square, during lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, in London, Saturday, April 25, 2020.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
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