Morning Sports Update

RACING

The 2020 Grand National has been cancelled.

Next month’s race at Aintree was due to take place on the 4th of April.

But the Jockey Club says it is no longer safe to stage the event – given the UK government’s new public health guidance.

It means Red Rum’s record of three Grand National wins in a row is safe.

Tiger Roll has won back-to-back Nationals but will be 11 when the 2021 edition rolls around.

RUGBY

Leinster and Ulster’s Heineken Champions Cup quarter finals have been postponed.

The EPCR made the decision to suspend both the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup due to growing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Leinster were due to welcome Saracens to the Aviva on April 4, while the following day Ulster were to go to France to face Toulouse.

The EPCR say they’ll provide an update on the knockout games when practical to do so.

Meanwhile, the English Premiership has also been shelved for five weeks.

BOXING

Brendan Irvine managed to secure Olympic qualification before the qualifying tournament shut down.

Irvine progressed to the flyweight quarter finals with a resounding victory over Hungary’s Ist-van Szaka (pr: Shaka).

Michael Nevin and Aidan Walsh both won their preliminary bouts today, but will have to wait to seal qualification for Tokyo.

The London qualifying event was suspended after three days, but it’s hoped it may resume in May or June.

Before the suspension, there were defeats today for Kurt Walker and Carly McNaul.

SOCCER

The FAI Council has voted in favour of new banking terms as part of their financial rescue package.

The vote was taken by email in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Independent Chairperson of the FAI Roy Barrett says the association can now proceed with restoring government funding.

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It’s believed Drogheda United didn’t inform their players before announcing they were suspending first-team payments.

Drogs chairman Conor Hoey said they were making the step to ensure the club is financially viable when the season resumes.

All football in the country is suspended until March 29th at the very earliest.