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Impact of coronavirus on professional sport and a list of cancellations

Coronavirus is rapidly spreading, causing the cancellation of sports across the globe. Here are the sports that have been impacted so far.

As coronavirus continues to spread, with the outbreak officially classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, professional sporting competitions are also being impacted right across the globe.

Initially leading to the postponement or cancellation of sporting events in China back in late January, where COVID-19 is believed to have originated, it’s now affecting leagues and tournaments worldwide.

The NBA, NHL, Formula One and MotoGP, Six Nations and World Sevens rugby, golf, tennis, major soccer matches and more are experiencing delays or cancellations.

The Chinese F1 Grand Prix scheduled for April had already been postponed, while the season-opening Australian GP has also been cancelled.

The remaining Euro 2020 play-offs and the Euro 2020 football tournament itself have now been delayed. UEFA announced on 18 March that the final play-off matches will be held later this year, while the competition will now be held in 2021.

“If games have to be postponed or played without spectators for a period of time until it’s over, well then we have to do that,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino told reporters in early March.

The NBA suspended its season after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive to COVID-19. The NHL, PGA Tour and Major League Soccer have been quick to follow.

The NCAA made the unprecedented decision to cancel March Madness, calling off both its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.

At the time of writing, Major League Baseball cancelled spring training and delayed the scheduled March 26 start of its season by at least two weeks.

In Europe, Italy has been the worst-hit area for COVID-19. Initially, six matches in Italy’s Serie A soccer league, including a blockbuster between Juventus and Inter Milan, were to be held behind closed doors but have since been postponed until May.

On March 4, it was announced that all Italian sport would be held behind closed doors until at least April 3. Italy has now suspended all sports in the country.

This is all likely to have a trickle-down effect too, with areas such as broadcasting, merchandising and revenue from ticket sales all expected to be significantly impacted.

List of sports cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus

Finder acknowledges that this is not a comprehensive list of every single sport in the world affected.

Event Date Impact Source
Boxing Olympic qualifiers February 3-14 Relocated More info
Golf LPGA Thailand February 20-23 Cancelled More info
Chinese Super League February 21 Postponed More info
Golf LPGA HSBC Championship February 27-March 1 Cancelled More info
Japan's J.League February 25-March 15 Delayed More info
Korea's K League February 29 Postponed indefinitely More info
Swiss Football League February 29 All games from this date cancelled More info
Pro14 Rugby February 29 Two matches in Italy postponed More info
Football Asian Champions League Match days 1-3 March 2-4 Postponed More info
Golf LPGA Blue Bay March 5-8 Cancelled More info
Davis Cup - China forfeited to Romania March 6-7 Forfeited More info
Six Nations rugby: Italy vs Ireland March 7 Postponed More info
Ligue 1 Soccer March 7 Postponed More info
MotoGP Qatar March 9 Cancelled More info
Tennis: Indian Wells March 9 Cancelled More info
Serie A March 10 Cancelled More info
NBA March 12 Season suspended More info
EPL: Man City vs Arsenal March 12 Postponed More info
NCAA College basketball tournament 'March Madness' March 13 Cancelled More info
NHL March 13 Season suspended More info
MLS March 13 Season suspended More info
MLB March 13 Season delayed More info
Tennis ATP Tour March 13-Apr 20 Suspended six weeks More info
Cricket: Australia women tour of South Africa March 22-April 4 Suspended More info
World Superbikes Qatar March 13-15 Postponed More info
Australian F1 Grand Prix March 13-15 Cancelled More info
Golf: PGA Tour The Players Championship March 12-15 No fans for final 3 rounds More info
NASCAR March 16 7 races postponed More info
UK Super League March 17 Postponed More info
MotoGP Thailand March 20-22 Postponed More info
Super Rugby March 20 Postponed More info
Motorsport Formula E Championship March 21 Cancelled More info
AFL March 22 Postponed More info
NRL March 23 Postponed More info
2020 Tokyo Olympic Games March 25 Postponed 1 year More info
World Rugby Sevens: Hong Kong April 3-5 (re-scheduled to October 16-18) Rescheduled More info
World Rugby Sevens: Singapore April 11-12 (re-scheduled to October 10-11) Rescheduled More info
Golf PGA Maybank Championship April 16-19 Postponed More info
Formula1: China Grand Prix April 17-19 Postponed More info
Golf PGA: China Open April 23-26 Postponed More info
WTA Tour: Xi'an Open April 13-19 Cancelled More info
Horse racing: Kentucky Derby May 2 Rescheduled More info
Golf: US PGA Championship May 14-17 Postponed More info
AFC Champions League May 18 Postponed/rescheduled More info
Tennis: French Open May 24-June 7 Rescheduled More info
AFL China June 7 Cancelled/relocated More info
Soccer: Euro 2020 competition June 12-July 12 Rescheduled More info

Will more sports be cancelled due to coronavirus?

With new cases of coronavirus growing by the day and the situation declared a global pandemic, sports fans have been left with virtually no options in a brutal 2020.

The International Olympic Committee’s official stance finally changed from “business as usual” to a one-year postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on March 25.

With the death toll rising and countries continuing to lock down their borders, the July 24-August 9 Games became unfeasible. The Olympic flame that is in Japan will continue burning for the next 12 months.

What if I have signed up to watch these sports?

Fans of select sporting events may think twice before signing up to new subscriptions. Competitions have already been impacted with contrasting plans about when they may resume.

Unless your preferred sport is broadcast as the sole offering on an exclusive service (which is virtually zero streaming platforms) we wouldn’t expect any refunds, though it’s best to contact your existing provider for more information.

Image source: Kayo Sports website


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