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Bizarre overseas sports Australian punters are betting on as coronavirus forces codes to stop play

Punters have resorted to betting on bizarre sports played in other countries after Australian codes and racing meets were forced to stop due to the coronavirus outbreak.

TAB listed the five most popular leagues for gamblers on Wednesday during the coronavirus lockdown. 

‘Strange times indeed! Here are yesterday’s five most popular sports with the punters,’ they wrote. 

Coming in first place was Russian tennis followed by Tajikistani basketball, Ukrainian table tennis, Russian table tennis and Ukranian club soccer friendlies.

The AFL lasted one round without any fans during the coronavirus lockdown before announcing it will suspend the season until at least May 31. 

‘We will review the situation by the end of April to determine whether a further suspension period will be required,’ AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said.

‘We are prepared to run as late as possible in 2020 to complete the season if it is required.

‘Our key priority is to do everything possible to keep players, staff and supporters healthy and well through this pandemic. Our industry provides livelihoods for thousands and thousands of people,’ he said.

‘But our key focus at the moment, like every organisation in the country, is to do everything that needs to be done to slow the spread of this virus. To keep people as healthy as possible.

‘To say that this is the most serious threat to our game in 100 years is an understatement.’

The NRL suspended its season on Monday after round one due to the coronavirus lockdown. 

ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys said the league could ‘no longer guarantee the safety of players’.

‘We aren’t (yet) going to put a time period to the suspension,’ he told a press conference in Sydney.

‘We are going to look at every available option to us in the next week or so as to how we can recommence the season, be it in other areas, be it in North Queensland.’ 

NRL executives had until Monday resisted calls for the 2020 season to be called off despite other sporting bodies around the world cancelling leagues over coronavirus fears.

The league’s clubs are believed to be making significant cuts to their staff as a result of the suspension.

Horse racing in Victoria and NSW has been called off amid fears a jockey has been struck down with coronavirus. 

Racing Victoria released a statement advising the licenced participant was undergoing tests on Wednesday after catching a flight with a confirmed case on March 12.

‘The participant has this afternoon been advised by health authorities that they were on the same flight as a confirmed case of COVID-19 when they travelled on 12 March 2020 prior to the introduction of strict COVID-19 protocols governing the conduct of racing in Victoria and the Federal Government’s announcements of 13 March 2020 restricting social gatherings,’ the statement reads.

Racing NSW cancelled the last two races at Warwick Farm in Sydney on Wednesday, along with Thursday’s Hawkesbury meet as a precaution.  

Australia’s positive coronavirus cases has soared to 2,675 as of Thursday with 11 dead.

The government enforced lockdown measures to help slow the spread of the killer virus.  

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