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AFP
March 22, 2020

NBA uncertain about salary payments after April 1

Sports

AFP
March 22, 2020

NEW YORK: The NBA plans to pay full salaries to players as scheduled on April 1 but could begin cutting salaries to recover money from canceled games by April 15, ESPN reported Saturday.

Citing a league memo shared with NBA clubs on Friday, the sport network’s website said the league might soon begin recovering salary based on a “force majeure” clause in its collective bargaining agreement with players.

The NBA halted its season on March 11 after Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus pandemic, which has shut down sports league throughout the United States. The memo said the league will inform teams about its plans before the April 15 payment date. That’s the day the league’s regular season was set to end before the schedule was suspended by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Under terms of the NBA-union deal, the league can withhold a percentage of a player’s salary for a catastrophic situation that forces games to be canceled, including a pandemic.

It’s uncertain when, or if, the NBA might be able to resume its campaign, which had just over a month remaining, or stage any playoffs. The league could keep back money under the disaster clause in the short term and pay players later should the games eventually be contested.

NBA owners, preparing for major financial losses if the season does not resume, have reportedly been seeking arena dates into August in hopes of bringing the 2019-20 campaign to some sort of conclusion. Ice hockey men’s world championships cancelled: The men’s Ice Hockey World Championships, scheduled for May 8-24 in Switzerland, have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the international federation (IIHF) announced on Saturday. “Given the current circumstances and following discussions with various stakeholders, the IIHF Council has determined that the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Zurich and Lausanne cannot take place,” the federation said in a statement. “There are obviously no possibilities to relocate ...to another country.”

The annual congress of the IIHF, which was supposed to take place from 21 to 23 May in Zurich, has been postponed indefinitely.

The tournaments in the lower division, which allow the teams to be promoted were cancelled on Tuesday. The women’s World Championships, scheduled for Nova Scotia in Canada starting on March 31, were cancelled on March 7.