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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 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.
|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.
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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