Sport-by-sport look at the impact of the coronavirus outbreak

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The coronavirus outbreak has decimated the sporting schedule and affected some of 2020’s biggest events.

A range of sports have had to take action to prevent the spread of the virus, with Euro 2020 put on hold for 12 months and domestic football in England and Scotland suspended until at least the end of April.

Formula One has seen the Monaco Grand Prix cancelled, golf has postponed two of its major championships and the Guinness Six Nations, London Marathon, Boat Race and World Snooker Championship have all been affected.

With the Olympics also on the horizon this summer, the PA news agency takes a sport-by-sport look at the impact of the coronavirus.


– UEFA postponed Euro 2020 until the summer of 2021, with new dates of June 11 to July 11 next year proposed. The official announcement from European football’s governing body also confirmed that the Euro 2020 play-offs, due to be played later this month, will now take place in the June 2020 international break.

– The 2021 Nations League finals, UEFA Under-21 European Championship and the Women’s Euro 2021 were also postponed.

– The 2020 Copa America is to move to 2021 to give South American players based in Europe the opportunity to finish their league campaigns.

– The Premier League, EFL and Football Association announced that professional football in England would not resume until April 30 at the earliest, but the season would be extended indefinitely.

– All Scottish football was suspended with immediate effect, with the Scottish Football Association confirming it will not resume until April 30 at the earliest.

– The Football Association of Wales suspended all domestic football until April 30 and indefinitely extended the season for all national leagues, national cup competitions and the FAW Futsal League.

– The Irish Football Association suspended the current season in Northern Ireland until at least April 4. The Football Association of Ireland announced all football activity under its jurisdiction was suspended until March 29.

– England’s two friendlies later this month at Wembley against Italy and Denmark were cancelled, and were followed by the friendlies with Austria and Romania in June. Wales’ international matches with Austria and the United States at the end of March were also called off.

– The Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship were also postponed by the FA.

– FIFA relaxed rules on clubs having to release players for forthcoming international fixtures and also recommended that “all international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment”.

– Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus.

– Everton’s entire first-team squad and coaching staff undertook a period of self-isolation after a first-team player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus while three Leicester players showed symptoms and were kept away from the rest of the squad.

– Bournemouth announced five of their employees, including goalkeeper Artur Boruc, were self-isolating having displayed symptoms consistent with the virus.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he is feeling better after contracting coronavirus
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he is feeling better after contracting coronavirus (John Walton/PA)

– Juventus duo Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi tested positive, as did Fiorentina striker Patrick Cutrone, on loan from Wolves, and team-mate German Pezzella and club physio Stefano Danielli.

– Ezequiel Garay became the first LaLiga player to announce that he had tested positive for coronavirus, with Valencia later confirming five positive tests among players and staff.

– Real Madrid players were told to go into quarantine after a member of the club’s basketball team tested positive. LaLiga suspended “at least the next two rounds of matches” as a result of the quarantine in place at Real.

– Barcelona suspended all first-team activity after taking advice from their medical staff.

– All domestic sporting action in Italy – including Serie A matches – was suspended until April 3.

– Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, the top two divisions in France, were suspended until further notice.

– The German Football League suspended games in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga until at least April 3, with a review to be undertaken on March 30.

– Major League Soccer announced the suspension of matches with no set date for the competition to restart.

– The South American (CONMEBOL) World Cup qualifiers scheduled for March 23-31 were postponed to a later date.

– The Northern Premier League announced all fixtures were suspended until further notice.

– The Scottish Professional Football League postponed all games ‘pending any Government order and/or further direction from the Scottish FA’.

– The Football Association announced it was “advising that all grassroots football in England is postponed for the foreseeable future”.

– The Professional Footballers’ Association announced it had postponed this year’s awards ceremony, which had been due to take place on April 26.

– The final Hillsborough memorial service, which was due to take place at Anfield on April 15, was postponed.

– CONMEBOL confirmed that the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana would be suspended until at least May 5.

– Major League Soccer announced an extension to its postponement of matches, confirming a target date of May 10 for a return to action.

– Rotherham boss Paul Warne confirmed two of his players – Freddie Ladapo and Lewis Price – are self-isolating after contracting symptoms.

– The Turkish Football Federation announced it was suspending all football activities until further notice.

Olympics and Paralympics

– The International Olympic Committee remains fully committed to staging the Tokyo 2020 Games as scheduled this summer, despite Japan’s Olympic minister Seiko Hashimoto suggesting it could be postponed until later in the year.

– The British Olympic Association said it will not “endanger the health” of athletes by encouraging them to prepare for Tokyo 2020 if it is not safe to do so.

– The Greek leg of the Olympic Torch Relay was cancelled the day after the first flame-lighting ceremony since 1984 to take place without spectators.

– The Olympic boxing qualifier in London was cancelled having initially moved the tournament behind closed doors.

– The Artistic Gymnastics All-Around World Cup event scheduled to take place in Tokyo next month has been cancelled. The competition had been due to serve as an Olympic test event.

Rugby Union

– The Six Nations game between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff was postponed, joining the matches between France and Ireland and Italy against England.

– The RFU ended the season for all league, cup and county rugby in England, with the Gallagher Premiership – which was in a five-week suspension – the only exception.

– The Guinness PRO14 was suspended indefinitely.

– The Premiership Rugby Cup final between Sale and Harlequins was originally given the go-ahead, only to be postponed two days prior following an individual on staff developing symptoms consistent with coronavirus.

– The Super Rugby season was suspended after the decision of the New Zealand government to quarantine people entering the country for 14 days.

– Rugby Australia closed its Sydney headquarters for an “intensive clean” after two members of its Australian Sevens program showed signs and symptoms associated with coronavirus.

– South Africa Rugby suspended all competitive matches until April 25 at the earliest and called off all national team training camps and business travel.

– The Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-finals were postponed.

– The Melrose Sevens, scheduled for April 9-12, was postponed, while the Rugby Players’ Association awards were put back from May until September.

– Wasps were the first club to impose reductions of 25 per cent to player wages to offset the slump in revenue caused by the suspension of the Gallagher Premiership, with many more following suit.

– The men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournaments in London and Paris, the women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series tournament in Langford and the men’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series event were all postponed.

– The World Rugby U20 Championship due to take place in Italy over the summer was cancelled.

– The Welsh Rugby Union cancelled all league and cup competitions for the 2019-20 season. The decision applied to all competitions currently underway, as well as matches between Welsh and Scottish clubs due to take place in April.

– The Irish Rugby Football Union, Connacht, Leinster, Munster and Ulster agreed a payment deferral model on an equitable sliding scale for all employees in agreement and partnership with Rugby Players Ireland.

– The Scottish Rugby Union scrapped the remainder of the 2019-20 domestic season. Murrayfield chiefs have now decided it is “not a reasonable prospect in a safe and practical time frame” to resume the current campaign.


– The season-opening Australian Grand Prix was called off, with the races in Bahrain, Vietnam and China postponed.

– McLaren had already withdrawn from the Australian race earlier on Thursday after a member of staff tested positive for the illness. It is understood the team member reported symptoms associated with the virus in the Albert Park paddock on Wednesday morning.

– Formula E temporarily suspended its season.

– Nascar postponed its race events in Atlanta (March 15) and Miami (March 22). All races were postponed until May 3.

– Formula One’s governing body approved a revised shutdown period – which had been reserved for August – to enable the possibility for racing throughout the summer. Team factories will be ordered to close for three consecutive weeks at an elected time between now and the end of April.

– The Le Mans 24 hour race in June was postponed, with a provisional new date of September.

– The FIA announced that the Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix had been postponed. The 2020 Monaco Grand Prix was later cancelled.

– Formula One replaced races postponed or cancelled due to coronavirus with an Esports Virtual Grand Prix series that will see current drivers battle it out online.


– The opening four races of the MotoGP season in Qatar, Thailand, the United States and Argentina were called off. The Qatar race was cancelled, while the other three have been moved to later in the season, which is now due to get under way in Spain on May 3.


– The Masters at Augusta, traditionally regarded as the sport’s blue riband event, became the first golf major to be postponed. The US PGA was postponed to a date later in the summer.

– The Players Championship was cancelled along with all PGA Tour events for the next three weeks. The PGA also cancelled four other events in April and May – the RBC Heritage, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the Wells Fargo Championship and the AT&T Byron Nelson.

– Six European Tour tournaments were postponed. The Kenya Open has been joined by April’s Hero Indian Open, Maybank Championship and China Open. The Andalucia Masters, from April 30-May 3, was also postponed along with August’s Czech Masters.

– The Ladies European Tour’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International was postponed with a view to it being rescheduled later in the year.

– Africa’s Sunshine Tour suspended all activities and will review the situation on April 20 “or as the situation demands”.

– The entire PGA EuroPro Tour schedule, due to run from May to October and covering 15 events in total, has been cancelled.

– The USGA cancelled first stage qualifying for the US Open and US Women’s Open.

– The European Tour cancelled the GolfSixes Cascais event, with the Made in Denmark tournament postponed. European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley said: “We will continue to monitor this global situation in relation to Coronavirus and evaluate its impact on all our tournaments, with public health and well-being our absolute priority.”

– The R&A says it is undertaking a “comprehensive evaluation” of its plans to stage The Open Championship and AIG Women’s British Open.

– The LOTTE Championship in Hawaii (April 15-18), the HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open in Los Angeles (April 23-26) and the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in California (April 30-May 3) on the LPGA Tour were postponed.

– The first ladies major championship of the season – the ANA Inspiration – was moved from April 2-5 to September 10-13.


– England’s Test series against Sri Lanka was postponed with the touring players returning home.

– The England and Wales Cricket Board announced there would be no professional domestic cricket until May 28.

– The start of the Indian Premier League was postponed from March 29 to April 15 as a precautionary measure.

– The annual Champion County match, regarded as the curtain-raiser to the domestic season, due to be played between the MCC and Essex between March 24-27 at Galle was called off, as was the MCC World Cricket Committee meeting in Colombo scheduled for March 28 and 29.

– Surrey, Lancashire, Worcestershire, Hampshire, Essex, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Kent, Yorkshire, Somerset, Sussex, Derbyshire, Durham and Warwickshire cancelled or decided to return early from pre-season trips.

– The final two one-day internationals between India and South Africa will be rescheduled following an agreement between the countries’ governing bodies, while the remaining two ODIs between Australia and New Zealand were called off.

– Australia Women’s limited-overs tour of South Africa, consisting of three ODIs and as many T20s and due to start on March 22, will not take place.

– New Zealand Cricket cancelled the last two rounds of its domestic first-class competition after taking advice from medical experts. Wellington Firebirds, who finished the truncated season 26 points ahead of Central Stags, were awarded the 2019-20 Plunket Shield.

– Pakistan announced the third leg of Bangladesh’s visit, comprising of one Test and a one-day international, next month will be put back to a later date.

– Cricket South Africa cancelled all forms of cricket for the next 60 days.

– Ireland’s limited-overs tour of Zimbabwe next month was postponed.

– Surrey sent six players home from training to self-isolate. Not all six reported symptoms but had been in close proximity to others who had.

– The Pakistan Super League announced on March 17 – the day the semi-finals were due to take place – that the competition had been postponed.

– England opener Alex Hales revealed he is in self-isolation after developing coronavirus symptoms.

– The England and Wales Cricket Board recommended all forms of recreational cricket be suspended.


– The NBA season was suspended “until further notice” after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for coronavirus.

– The Brooklyn Nets placed their entire extended staff under self-isolation after four players, including Kevin Durant, were diagnosed with Covid-19.

– Basketball England cancelled the remainder of its 2019/2020 season on March 17.


– The Giro d’Italia, cycling’s first Grand Tour of the season which was due to start on May 9 in Budapest, was postponed. The Strade Bianchi, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo and the Giro di Sicilia races in Italy have been called off.

– Fears of two cases of coronavirus at the UAE Tour saw the race cancelled with two stages left.

– Team INEOS were among a host of teams who withdrew from all racing until the Volta a Catalunya on March 23.

– Cycling’s Women’s Tour, the UK’s WorldTour stage race, was postponed almost three months before it was scheduled to begin in Oxfordshire on June 8.

– The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) announced the suspension of its calendar until at least April 3.

– The Tour De Romandie – scheduled to take place from April 27 to May 3 – was cancelled outright.

– Three more major events – the Paris-Roubaix, the Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege – were postponed on March 17.

– The Tour de Yorkshire, set to be staged on April 30-May 3, was also postponed.

– British Cycling suspended all sanctioned activities until at least April 30.


– The high-profile BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, where the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were due to compete, was called off.

– The Miami Open tennis tournament, due to start on March 23, was cancelled after a ban on mass gatherings in Miami-Dade County.

– The Volvo Car Open in Charleston (April 4-12) was also called off. Next month’s Fed Cup finals in Budapest and Fed Cup play-offs, due to be held in eight different locations, were postponed, while China’s Xi’an Open (April 13-19) and Kunming Open (April 27-May 3) were cancelled.

– The French Open moved from its scheduled spring slot to September.

– The ATP and WTA announced the tennis season was suspended until June 7.


– Racing in Ireland was closed to the public until March 29.

– The British Horseracing Authority initially confirmed all meetings would be staged behind closed doors, but then announced that all racing in Britain would be suspended until the end of April. Racing in France was suspended until April 15.

– The Grand National, due to take place on April 4, was cancelled.


– The London Marathon was postponed. The 40th edition of the race, due to take place on April 26, will be held on October 4. British Athletics will stage an Olympic trial at a closed location in April.

– The Manchester Marathon, due to take place on April 5 with 26,000 runners, was postponed, with a new date to be set in due course.

– The Paris Marathon, which was due to take place on April 5, was postponed until October 18 and the Rome Marathon, scheduled for March 29, as well as the Boston Marathon, slated for April 20, were cancelled.

– The World Indoor Championships, which had been due to take place in Nanjing in China this month, were rearranged for March 2021.

– The first three Diamond League meetings of the season – scheduled for April 17, in Qatar, and May 9 and 16, in China – have been postponed, likely until after the Olympics.

– All athletics activity within the UK, including competitions and leagues, member clubs, running groups and races, was suspended until the end of April, the Home Country Athletics Federations announced on March 17 in cooperation with UK Athletics.

– All parkrun events in the UK were suspended until the end of March.


– The International Triathlon Union moved the 2020 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships, planned for May 2, from Milan to Montreal. It later announced that all activities would be suspended until April 30.

– The Leeds round of the World Triathlon Series, due to take place on June 6 and 7, was postponed.

Rugby League

– The Betfred Super League match between Catalans Dragons and Leeds in Perpignan was postponed after one of the Rhinos’ players was put into self-isolation after showing symptoms of coronavirus. The club announced on March 17 that eight members of the club’s first-team squad and backroom staff had gone into self-isolation.

– The Coral Challenge Cup fixture between York City Knights and Rochdale Hornets was switched to the Millennium Stadium in Featherstone after York City cancelled the availability of Bootham Crescent.

– Canadian club Toronto Wolfpack stood down their entire UK-based playing staff after four players presented with “mild possible” coronavirus symptoms and were put into self-isolation.

– Dewsbury Rams announced their Betfred Championship match against Toulouse was postponed.

– All rugby league fixtures, from the Betfred Super League to “the community game”, were suspended until at least April 3.

– England coach Shaun Wane’s first get-together with his new squad, set for Old Trafford on March 23, was postponed.

– The Oceania Cup matches scheduled for June 20 between the Kiwis and the Tonga Invitational XIII, as well as Samoa’s clash with the Cook Islands, were postponed.


– Top Rank announced the postponement of its shows at Madison Square Garden on March 14 and 17. Belfast featherweight Michael Conlan’s bout against Colombian fighter Belmar Preciado at the Hulu Theater on St Patrick’s Day was therefore scrapped.

– All events scheduled for March in Japan were cancelled.

– The British Boxing Board of Control announced on Tuesday that “all public tournaments” under its jurisdiction have been cancelled, and the position will be reviewed in early April. Matchroom Boxing postponed all of its events in March and April.


– The Betfred World Snooker Championship was postponed, with the World Snooker Tour saying in a statement it intends to host the tournament at the Crucible in July or August.

– The £1million China Open, scheduled to start in Beijing at the end of March, was cancelled. The Gibraltar Open was played behind closed doors, with some players forced to referee their own games.

– The Coral Tour Championship in Llandudno was postponed as a precaution against the spread of the virus.


– British Swimming confirmed that the Diving World Series event scheduled for London later this month was postponed.

– The British Swimming Championships and the British Para-Swimming International Meet – both scheduled for April – were cancelled.

– The European Aquatics Championships, due to be held from May 11-24 in Budapest, were postponed, with proposed new dates of August 17-30. President of the governing body LEN Paolo Barelli said that the situation would be reviewed in late May or early June, and if things did not get back to normal in the coming months, LEN should consider staging the championships in 2021.


– British Eventing suspended all fixtures with immediate effect, just a fortnight after the scheduled eight-month season began.

– The Land Rover Kentucky Horse Trials in the United States – due to be held from April 23-26 – was cancelled for the first time in its 42-year history.

– The Royal Windsor Horse Show, which was due to run from May 13-17, was cancelled. The event, which is one of British equestrian sport’s most prestigious shows, incorporates showjumping, dressage, endurance, showing and driving, in addition to an Edwardian pageant.

– The Badminton Horse trials – due to take place May 6-10 – was cancelled.

Ice skating

– The World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, scheduled for March 13-15, were called off. The World Figure Skating Championships in Quebec, planned for March 16-22, were also cancelled.


– The International Judo Federation cancelled all Olympic qualification events on the calendar until April 30.


– The Professional Darts Corporation postponed the Premier League double-header in Rotterdam and night seven in Newcastle, rescheduling for September 9-10 and October 1 respectively.

– The European Darts Grand Prix in Sindelfingen and the European Darts Open in Leverkusen, which were all scheduled for later this month, plus next month’s German Darts Grand Prix in Munich were postponed.

– The Players Championship double-headers, European Tour qualifiers and the PDC Unicorn Challenge Tour events planned for April were all postponed, with the PDC saying that rescheduled dates for those events will be confirmed in due course.

Ice hockey

– The NHL was paused with 189 regular-season games remaining. The Stanley Cup play-offs were due to start the week of April 6. Britain’s Elite League cancelled the rest of its season.

– Great Britain’s ice hockey matches against Hungary in April cancelled.


– The Superleague announced that its competition would be postponed with immediate effect and the future of the 2020 season would be discussed at a board meeting on Tuesday.

American football

– Public events around the NFL Draft were cancelled, with the league saying it is working on a new format for the event which takes place in April.

– New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton confirmed he has tested positive – the first case reported associated with the NFL.


– The Boat Race, scheduled to take place on March 29, was cancelled.

– GB Rowing closed down the National Training Centre at Caversham and transitioned their athletes to home-based training programmes.


– Major League Baseball announced the start of the 2020 season would be delayed for eight weeks.

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