The Coronavirus outbreak began in the area surrounding the city of Wuhan, China in December of 2019. Since it was first detected, confirmed cases of the virus have grown rapidly causing hundreds of deaths as a result.
This latest strain to be detected is known as novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and causes respiratory issues in those infected, similar to pneumonia.
There have been thousands of confirmed cases in China and although measures have been put in place to contain the outbreak, the virus has been found all across the globe having been detected in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, the US, Australia and other parts of Asia.
This rapid spread of cases has led the World Health Organisation to declare it a Public Health emergency of International Concern.
With travel bans having started in China, now in place across the globe, sporting cancellations have been and will be inevitable. We speculated earlier in January whether the 2020 Tokyo Olympics could be effected but what other events have been postponed or cancelled?
Below we will have the latest news and updates.
- Olympics: Tokyo 2020 officially postponed (24th Mar 2020)
- Motorsport: Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix postponed (23rd Mar 2020)
- Football: Champions League and Europa League finals postponed (23rd Mar 2020)
- Horse Racing: Dubai World Cup cancelled (22nd Mar 2020)
- Snooker: World Championships at the Crucible postponed (20th Mar 2020)
- Motorsport: Dutch, Spanish and Monaco F1 Grand Prix postponed (19th Mar 2020)
- Football: English football suspended until the 30th April (19th Mar 2020)
- Tennis: French Open switched to September start (17th Mar 2020)
- Football: Euro 2020 moved to 2021 (17th Mar 2020)
- Horse Racing: UK horse racing suspended until the end of April (17th Mar 2020)
- Horse Racing: The Grand National at Aintree cancelled (16th Mar 2020)
- Rugby: Rugby Union and Rugby League club fixtures suspended (16th Mar 2020)
- Horse Racing: UK races to be staged behind closed doors until April (16th Mar 2020)
- Athletics: London Marathon moved to the Autumn (13th Mar 2020)
- Football: European leagues suspend fixtures (13th Mar 2020)
- Rugby Union: Wales vs Scotland in the Six Nations postponed (13th Mar 2020)
- Golf: Masters at Augusta will not take place in April (13th Mar 2020)
- Cycling: Giro d’Italia to be rescheduled (13th Mar 2020)
- Motorsport: First four races of the F1 season called off (13th Mar 2020)
- Football: All Scottish football cancelled (13th Mar 2020)
- Football: Premier League, EFL & WSL suspended (13th Mar 2020)
- Football: UEFA call off Champions League and Europa League games (13th Mar 2020)
- Golf: Players Championship cancelled, PGA Tour suspended (13th Mar 2020)
- Football: Arsenal v Brighton off as Mikel Arteta contracts coronavirus (12th Mar 2020)
- Horse Racing: Irish racing to be behind closed doors until March 30th (12th Mar 2020)
- Football: Man City v Real Madrid & Juventus v Lyon called off (12th Mar 2020)
- Tennis: ATP Tour suspended until 27th April (12th Mar 2020)
- Football: Spanish La Liga postpones matches until April (12th Mar 2020)
- Football: Danish FA postpones all matches until 29th March (12th Mar 2020)
- Basketball: NBA Suspends matches indefinitely (12th Mar 2020)
- Football: Man City v Arsenal postponed with players self-isolating (11th Mar 2020)
- Italy: All domestic sport banned until 3rd April (9th Mar 2020)
- Rugby Union: France v Ireland called off (9th Mar 2020)
- Tennis: BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells postponed (9th Mar 2020)
- Rugby Union: Italy v England Six Nations Game Cancelled (5th Mar 2020)
- Horse Racing: Cheltenham Festival to go ahead (3rd Mar 2020)
- Football: Five more Italian Serie A games called off (29th Feb 2020)
- Rugby Union: Ireland v Italy Six Nations games postponed (26th Feb 2020)
- Football: Japanese J.League suspends all official games (25th Feb 2020)
- Rugby Union: Italian Pro14 games abandoned (24th Feb 2020)
- Football: Four Italian Serie A games cancelled (23rd Feb 2020)
- Athletics: Tokyo Marathon cancelled to all but elite athletes (17th Feb 2020)
- F1: Chinese Grand Prix Postponed (12th Feb 2020)
- Golf: LPGA cancels tournaments in Thailand, Singapore and China (10th Feb 2020)
- Tennis: ITF move Chinese Fed Cup fixture to Dubai (7th Feb 2020)
- F1: Chinese Grand Prix could be rescheduled (6th Feb 2020)
- Football: Chinese Super League start postponed (30th Jan 2020)
- Athletics: 2020 World Indoor Championship moved to 2021 (29th Jan 2020)
2020 World Indoor Athletics Championship Cancelled
Wednesday 29th January 2020
The world Indoor Athletics Championships, which had been due to run from the 11th to the 13th March in the city of Nanjing, has been postponed until the 2021 season.
A statement on the World Athletics website said:
“We know that China is doing all it can to contain the new Coronavirus and we support them in all their efforts but it is necessary to provide our athletes, Member Federations and partners with a clear way forward in what is a complex and fast-moving set of circumstances.
“The advice from our medical team, who are in contact with the World Health Organisation, is that the spread of the Coronavirus both within China and outside the country is still at a concerning level and no one should be going ahead with any major gathering that can be postponed.”
Nanjing is located in the province of Jiangsu, a cluster of regions in southeast China which include Hubei where Wuhan is situated. Although around 500km and the province of Anhui separate the two, this move was taken to reduce the volume of travel to the area.
China’s Super League Football Season Start Suspended
Thursday 30th January 2020
The start of the new Chinese Super League football season has been suspended indefinitely as a result if the coronavirus outbreak. The new term, which had been set to start on the 22nd February, will now not start until the spread of the virus is under control.
The Chinese FA released a statement saying:
“The Chinese Football Association will continue to maintain close communication with national authorities, determine the timing of each season’s events in combination with the actual development of the epidemic situation, and make reasonable adjustments to the system, schedule, and scale of some events when necessary.”
This followed an earlier statement proposing to switch all fixtures involving Chinese teams participating in the AFC Champions League, the Asian equivalent of the UEFA Champions League, to away for the first three rounds of matches.
F1 to Consider Rescheduling Chinese Grand Prix
Thursday 6th February 2020
F1 bosses have said they will look into moving the date of the 2020 Chinese Grand Prix if the threat of the coronavirus is to remain in place. Currently the race is scheduled to be the fourth race of the 2020 season, set to take place on Sunday 19th April, with practise and qualifying from the 17th.
The Shanghai circuit which hosts the race is some 800km from the centre of the outbreak in Wuhan, though the city is currently in a state of lockdown in a bid to control the epidemic.
Formula One managing director Ross Brawn has said:
“there is a probability it doesn’t happen in April”.
“We will leave open the opportunity to see if the race can run later in the year,”
If the Grand Prix is to be rescheduled, when would that be?
The 2020 season will feature 22 races with the addition of the Netherlands Grand Prix in May. That leaves the calendar tightly packed so could provide some logistical headaches later in the year.
The most likely options would probably be sandwiched between the Russian Grand Prix and Japanese Grand Prix at the start of October or between the Italian Grand Prix and Singapore Grand Prix in September.
ITF Reschedule Postponed Fed Cup Fixture
Friday 7th February 2020
The six nation Asia/Oceania Fed Cup fixture which was originally scheduled to be held in Dongguan, located in the Guangdong province to the north of Hong Kong, between the 4th and 8th February has been moved to be played between the 3rd and 7th March in Dubai. This will follow on from the Dubai Duty Free Championships with both being held at the Dubai Duty Free Stadium.
The fixture had at first been moved to the National Tennis Centre in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, to be played at the same time as initially planned, though the new hosts subsequently turned down that opportunity. Kazakhstan, which borders China to the east, has already suspended travel links between themselves and China and has also stopped issuing visas to Chinese citizens. The government again stepped in to halt this Fed Cup fixture to crackdown on any spread of the coronavirus.
The tennis fixture itself involves a round robin format of games between China, Chinese Taipei, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Uzbekistan, with the top two performers advancing to the playoff stage.
LPGA Cancels Tournaments Across Asia
Monday 10th February 2020
The Ladies Professional Golf association (LPGA) has taken the decision to cancel a number of upcoming events across Asia in response to the continued treat from the coronavirus outbreak.
The ISPS Honda LPGA Thailand which was scheduled to run between the 20th and 23rd February along with the HSBC Women’s World Championships which was set to take place the following week, 27th February to the 1st March, have both been cut to reduce risk to players, spectators and staff.
The LPGA have stated:
“It is always a difficult decision to cancel events and the LPGA greatly appreciates the understanding and all the efforts made by our title sponsors (Honda and HSBC) as well as IMG to host incredible events for our players. The health and safety of our players, fans and everyone working on the event is always our highest priority. While we are disappointed that these tournaments will not take place this season, we look forward to returning to Asia soon.”
This announced followed earlier an earlier cancellation of the LPGA Blue Bay tournament which was set to take place from the 5th to the 8th March on Hainan Island which is off the southern coast of China in the South China Sea.
Given the current health concerns and significant travel restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus in China, the LPGA along with our partners in China have made the decision to cancel the 2020 Blue Bay LPGA.
RELEASE ⬇️ https://t.co/nVe9MLzv6N
— LPGA (@LPGA) January 31, 2020
Chinese Formula One Grand Prix Postponed
Wednesday 12th February 2020
Following on from discussion regarding the viability of the 2020 Chinese Grand Prix, organisers have decided to postpone the race, which will be rescheduled at a later date if possible.
Race promoters Juss Sports Group had been in talks with government bodies who jointly decided to make the request to postpone the fixture in the interests of public safety.
The 2020 #ChineseGP will be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak
F1 and the FIA have accepted a request from the promoter to postpone the event
We will continue to monitor the situation and assess potential alternative dateshttps://t.co/0VImeMSxlV
— Formula 1 (@F1) February 12, 2020
An FIA statement read:
“Amid continued health concerns and with the World Health Organisation declaring the coronavirus as a global health emergency, Formula 1, together with governing body the FIA, jointly decided to accept the postponement request in order to ensure the health and safety of the travelling staff, championship participants and fans.”
Tokyo Marathon Reduced to Elite Competitors Only
Monday 17th February 2020
The Tokyo Marathon, one of the biggest road races in the world, has announced that only elite athletes will be able to compete in the 2020 event.
Usually attracting a field of over 30,000 participants, the race which is due to be run on Sunday 1st March, will now see only around 200 elite athletes and wheelchair athletes taking part.
At the time of writing, the Japanese mainland has almost 100 confirmed coronavirus cases with 1 death. This is in addition to over 600 cases on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship which has led to the death of two elderly Japanese passengers. The ship has been held in dock in Yokohama since the beginning of February.
With the marathon involving a mass gathering with runners from all over the world, it was seen as too high a risk to allow the race to take place in its normal format. A statement on the organiser’s website read:
“Tokyo Marathon Foundation have been preparing for the Tokyo Marathon 2020 (Sunday, March 1) while implementing preventive safety measures, however, now that case of COVID-19 has been confirmed within Tokyo, we cannot continue to launch the event within the scale we originally anticipated and we regret to inform you the following:”
“The Tokyo Marathon 2020 will be held only for the marathon elites and the wheelchair elites.”
Italian Serie A Matches Cancelled
Sunday 23rd February
Four Italian Serie A matches dues to take place on Sunday 23rd February have been cancelled following fears the spread of coronavirus in the north of the country could be rapidly increasing.
The four matches were as follows:
- Atalanta vs Sassuolo, Bergamo
- Torino vs Parma, Turin
- Hellas Verona vs Cagliari, Verona
- Inter Milan vs Sampdoria, Milan
Italy has had the most confirmed cases of the virus anywhere in Europe with 152 leading to four deaths and three within the last two days.
Italy has placed a number of northern towns into a state of lockdown to reduce the spread. So far these have all been in the Lombardy region, where Milan is situated, and Veneto, home to Venice. Neighbouring Austria is also considering border controls.
Serie A matches could be played behind closed door for the time being, with Inter Milan’s home Europa League game against Ludogorets Razgrad, due to be played on Thursday 27th February also under threat.
Italian Guinness Pro14 Fixtures Called-Off
Monday 24th February 2020
Two Guinness Pro14 Rugby Union fixtures due to be played in Italy on Saturday 29th February have been cancelled due to restriction put in place by the Italian government to restrict the sprwad of the coronavirus.
The two matches are:
- Zebre vs Ospreys, Stadio Segio Lanfrachi, Parma
- Benetton vs Ulster, Stadio Comunale di Monigo, Treviso
Both clubs are situated in the north of Italy where there has been a sudden upsurge in the number of confirmed cases of the virus. There have been restrictions put in place by local authorities on public gatherings including sporting event. These include four Serie A football matches, and all domestic Italian rugby matches.
Marc Fernandez has said on the Pro 14 website:
“The current restrictions are in place until Sunday, March 1, 2020 and PRO14 Rugby will remain in contact with the FIR (Italian Union), Zebre Rugby Club, Benetton Rugby and World Rugby to monitor situation on a daily basis.”
Japan’s J.League Suspends League and Cup Matches
Tuesday 25th February 2020
Officials for Japan’s J.League football have decided to postpone all matches until the 15th March at the earliest.
Group stage matches for the J. League Cup, known as the YBC Levain Cup, were due to be played from the 26th February but all 16 fixtures have been cancelled. This is alongside 27 J1 League games, 33 J2 League games and 18 J3 League games which were due to be played from the end of February through to mid-March.
A statement on the league’s website stated:
“J.LEAGUE will take every effort to take measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus and to prepare to resume the matches. Substitutional dates and handling of tickets will be announced once it is decided.”
The J1 League’s first round of fixtures for the 2020 season were played last weekend between Friday the 21st and Sunday 23rd February, with matchday 2 scheduled between Friday 28th February and Sunday 1st March. The season runs until early December.
Ireland vs Italy Six Nations Games Called Off
Wednesday 16th February 2020
The men’s and women’s Six Nations Rugby Union fixtures between Ireland and Italy, due to played in Dublin on the 7th and 8th March, have been postponed.
The Six Nation’s men’s game was set to be played at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday the 7th March with a kick off time of 2:15pm. The women’s Six Nations match was due to be played the following day at Energia Park.
The decision was taken due to concerns over the potential mass travel of spectators from areas in northern Italy which have seen a spike in the number of coronavirus cases towards the end of February which has resulted in a number of fatalities.
The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) chiefs met with their country’s health minister Simon Harris in order to assess the best course of action and it was decided that postponing the fixture was the safest option.
A statement on the IRFU website read:
“At the outset we made it clear that the IRFU was supportive of the Governments’ need to protect public health in relation to the Coronavirus.
“We were then advised, formally, that The National Public Health Emergency team has determined that the series of matches should not proceed, in the interests of Public Health.
“The IRFU is happy to comply with this instruction.”
Five More Serie A Games Cancelled
Saturday 29 February 2020
Following postponed games on Sunday 23rd February, five further Italian Serie A matches due to be played on Saturday 29th February and Sunday 1st March have been called off. These included the clash between Juventus and Inter Milan which was set to kick off at 19:45.
OFFICIAL | #JuveInter has been postponed until Wednesday 13th May 2020, in compliance with the “Urgent measures for the containment and management of the epidemiological emergency of COVID-19”.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) February 29, 2020
Originally these games had been set to be played behind closed doors however the step to cancel the matches altogether was taken with the spread of the coronavirus continuing in the north of Italy.
The five postponed games are:
- Udinese vs Fiorentina, Udine
- AC Milan vs Genoa, Milan
- Parma vs SPAl, Parma
- Sassuolo vs Brescia, Sassuolo
- Juventus vs Inter Milan, Turin
These games will now all be played on Wednesday 13th May, with the Copa Italia Final which was due to be played on the same day, switching a week later to the 20th May.
2020 Cheltenham Festival Given the Green Light
Tuesday 3rd March 2020
Following a meeting of the UK government’s COBRA committee regarding the growing threat of the coronavirus in the country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that there are no immediate plans to restrict public gatherings.
This gives the green light to the Cheltenham Festival, which is due to take place between the 10th and 13th March, to take place as planned.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) March 2, 2020
Large public gathering have been banned in other European countries such as Italy, Switzerland and France and there had been fears that such measures would be implemented in Britain, thus putting Cheltenham’s showpiece under threat of postponement.
The government has said that should the situation worsen in the UK in the future, public gatherings could be restricted as well as measures such as school closures and encouraging people to work from home where possible.
On Betfair’s betting exchange, trading had been at around the even money mark for the Festival not to go ahead on the 10th. This has risen on the latest news from the government to over 5/1.
Italy v England Six Nations Game Postponed
Thursday 5th March 2020
The Six Nations game between Italy and England, which was scheduled to be played on Saturday 14th March at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, has been postponed.
The government in Italy had ordered all sporting fixture to be played behind closed doors until the 3rd April at the earliest but the Rugby Union tournament organisers have decided to go one step further and postpone the match altogether. This applies to both the men’s and women’s fixtures.
This followed the cancellation of Ireland v Italy which was due to take place in Dublin 7th March.
Italy has continued to struggle with the coronavirus outbreak with over 3,000 cases confirmed, more than ten times the number of the next highest European Country, France. They also have the most deaths caused by the virus anywhere in the world outside of China.
A statement from the Six Nations has indicated that all other matches should take place as normal with the cancelled fixtures taking place at some point in the future. It read:
“Based on the information that is currently available, all other Six Nations matches are set to go ahead as scheduled. As previously stated, Six Nations fully intends to complete all 15 games across all three championships when time allows. We will refrain from making any rescheduling announcements while we keep assessing the situation.”
Indian Wells Tennis Tournaments Called-Off
Monday 9th March 2020
The BNP Paribas Open, held at Indian Wells Tennis Gardens in California, has been called-off due to worries over the coronavirus.
The tournament was set to start on Wednesday the 11th March, running until Sunday 22nd March. It forms part of both the men’s ATP Tour and the women’s WTA tour. Indian Wells is one of the most valuable on the circuit, with a prize fund of almost $10 million for the men and almost $9 million for the women.
— WTA (@WTA) March 9, 2020
Initially a set of precautions were outlined, with the competition to carry on as normal. These measures such as ball boys and girls wearing gloves and players prohibited from giving towels, shirts and other equipment to spectators.
The move to cancel came as the Riverside County Public Health Department, who have jurisdiction over the Indian Wells area, called a public health emergency after their first confirmed case of COVID-19 was found.
Almost half a million tennis fans were expected through the gates across the 12 days, and it was thought a gathering of this size would be too high risk.
France v Ireland Six Nations Game Postponed
Tuesday 9th March 2020
The Six Nations match between France and Ireland, scheduled to be played at the Stade de France on Saturday 14th March, has been postponed.
This follows the cancellation of Italy v England in Rome which was called off on the 5th March. As a result there will be just one fixture in the 5th round of matches, that between Wales and Scotland, which will be played in Cardiff.
Six Nations Statement: France v Irelandhttps://t.co/hDV8GRmaRN
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 9, 2020
French authorities have stopped gatherings of more than 1000 people meaning all sporting events, including football matches in Ligue 1, the Champions League and the Europa League will be played behind closed doors.
The announcement means that there will be three outstanding Six Nations fixtures, with the decision on when to complete these fixture yet to be made.
Italy Ban All Domestic Sporting Events
Monday 9th March 2020
Italian officials, who have already ordered Serie A football matches to be played behind closed doors, have now placed a ban on all domestic sporting events until at least the 3rd April.
This ban will include all football league matches such as Serie A and Serie B.
The decision was made the the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) who govern sporting activity in the country.
The ban does not extend to non-domestic fixtures such as the Champions League or the Europa League although these will still be played behind closed doors. Measures that could still affect these fixtures however, are if travel bans are introduced between affected countries.
The same day, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte extended restrictions on all but essential travel to the entire country, having had these measures in place for the north of the country only for a number of days.
Manchester City v Arsenal Postponed with Players in Self-Isolation
Wednesday 11th March 2020
The Premier League game between Manchester City and Arsenal, scheduled to be played on Wednesday 11th March at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, has been postponed after several Arsenal players had to self-isolate as a coronavirus precaution.
Club statement. https://t.co/eb8fHKq6M9
— Manchester City (@ManCity) March 11, 2020
The players in question came into contact with Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis during the Gunners’ round of 32 Europa League tie with the Greek side. Marinakis has since been found to have tested positive for the virus and as a result the players must avoid contact with other people for a period of 14 days.
This 14 day period is from when the players had contact with Evangelos Marinakis, ending on Friday 13th March. This means that their Premier League game against Brighton on Saturday 14th March should go ahead as normal, assuming none of the players are found to also have caught COVID-19.
NBA Suspends League Indefinitely
Thursday 12th March 2020
The National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States has suspended all matches indefinitely following a positive COVID-19 test result for a Utah Jazz player.
NBA To Suspend Season Following Tonight’s Games pic.twitter.com/2PTx2fkLlW
— NBA (@NBA) March 12, 2020
The player in question is reported to be French center Rudy Gobert who has played for the Jazz since 2013.
Initially this positive test led to the cancellation of the Utah Jazz @ Oklahoma City Thunder game which was halted shortly before it was due to start on Wednesday evening.
Other games which were already in progress were allowed to be completed but the New Orelans Pelicans @ Sacramento Kings was also cancelled before it could get underway.
Earlier in the week, due to restrictions on gathering of more than 1000 people in San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors were already going to be playing behind closed doors for a period of two weeks. These will also now not be played until further notice.
Denmark Suspends All Football Matches for 2 Weeks
Thursday 12th March
The Danish Football Association has suspended all football matches until March 29th, following similar measures across the globe restricting gatherings of more than 1000 people.
Last Friday, Danish Superliga side Bronby IF announced that current player Joel Kabongo was in quarantine along with 12 other people who work at the club after coming into contact with assistant coach Thomas Kahlenberg who has contracted the coronavirus.
England are due to play the Danish national side at Wembley on Tuesday 31st March as part of preparations for Euro 2020. Although this will fall outside of the two week period for Danish football, the fixture is thought to be a major doubt.
Spanish La Liga Suspends Two Rounds of Matches
Thursday 12th March 2020
Spanish football authorities have taken the decision to suspend the next two rounds of La Liga matches. Matchday 28 was due to be played between Friday 13th March and Sunday 15th March. Matchday 29 was due to be played between Friday 20th and Sunday 22nd March. Both rounds will be scheduled at a later date.
This means the next round of fixtures are currently expected to be played during the first weekend in April, after the International break.
LaLiga confirms suspension of the competition for Matchdays 28 and 29.
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) March 12, 2020
Authorities were pressed into a decision following the news that Real Madrid’s players were to go into quarantine when a Real Madrid basketballer was found to have contracted the coronavirus.
Both teams, as long as youth sides, share the Ciudad Real Madrid training facility which is located on the outskirts of Madrid, close to the city’s main airport.
Men’s ATP Tennis Tour Suspended for 6 Weeks
Thursday 12th March 2020
The elite men’s tennis tour, the ATP, has suspended play for a period of six weeks due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Indian Wells tournament had already been cancelled for 2020, with this ban extending a period without play until the 27th April.
The major cancelled tournaments will be:
Coronavirus Postponed ATP Tour Events
|Tournament||Location||Start Date||End date|
|BNP Paribas Open||Indian Wells, USA||9th March 2020||22nd March 2020|
|Miami Open||Florida, USA||25th March 2020||5th April 2020|
|Monte-Carlo Masters||Monte-Carlo, Monaco||12th April 2020||19th April 2020|
|Barcelona Open||Barcelona, Spain||20th April 2020||26th April 2020|
Champions League Round of 16 Games Postponed
Thursday 12th March 2020
The Champions League round of 16 games between Manchester City and Real Madrid, Juventus and Lyon, due to be played on Tuesday 17th March have been postponed.
Following the quarantine imposed on players of Juventus and Real Madrid, the following #UCL matches will not take place as scheduled.
🏴 Manchester City – Real Madrid 🇪🇸
🇮🇹 Juventus – Olympique Lyonnais 🇫🇷
Further decisions on the matches will be communicated in due course.
— UEFA (@UEFA) March 12, 2020
The cancellation of the games follows news that the Real Madrid team are in quarantine following a confirmed coronavirus case with a player in their basketball team.
Similarly, Juventus defender Daniele Rugani has also returned a positive result for the virus. This has led to the club initiating the isolation procedures required by Italian authorities for anyone who has recently come into contact with Rugani.
The Spanish La Liga had earlier suspended matches for the rest of the month, a move which followed the suspension of Italian domestic sport from the start of this week.
Manchester City currently lead their Spanish opponents 2-1 ahead of their home second leg, with Juventus trailing 1-0 from their match against French side Lyon.
Irish Racing to be Closed to the Public Until April
Thursday 12th March 2020
Horse Racing Ireland have announced that all racing in the country will be conducted behind closed doors for the rest of March.
Horse Racing Ireland has announced that racing in Ireland is closed to the public until March 29, beginning with the fixture @DundalkStadium tomorrow evening.
— Horse Racing Ireland (@HRIRacing) March 12, 2020
The news came after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people would not be permitted as of 18:00 on Thursday 12th March right the way through until Monday the 30th March.
Measures implemented by the HRI include only allowing trainers who have a runner at a meeting to attend as well as a limit of one owner and one groom per horse. All travelling with a horse to a meeting must also leave the course once they have competed.
The races themselves will still be broadcast as normal for the time being.
The first meeting to be run without spectators will be Dundalk’s floodlit Friday evening card on the 13th March. The spectator ban will also include the Curragh first flat meeting at the end of the month.
Arsenal v Brighton Called-Off as Mikel Arteta Contracts Covid-19
Thursday 12th March 2020
The Premier League game between Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion has been postponed as Gunner’s manager Mikel Arteta has contracted the coronavirus.
Club statement: COVID-19
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 12, 2020
Arteta was tested as positive on Thursday evening and as a result anyone who has come onto contact with him, including the first team squad, will need to self-isolate for 7 days to assess whether they also have any symptoms.
The match itself was due to kick-off at 3pm on Saturday 14th March at the Emirates Stadium in north London. It is not known as yet when the game will take place.
A statement from Managing Director Vinai Venkatesham on the club’s website says:
“The health of our people and the wider public is our priority and that is where our focus is. Our thoughts are with Mikel who is disappointed but in good spirits. We are in active dialogue with all the relevant people to manage this situation appropriately, and we look forward to getting back to training and playing as soon as medical advice allows”.
Players Championship Abandoned, PGA Tour Suspended
Friday 13th March 2020
The Players Championship, which had banned spectators and completed the first round of play, has been called off. The PGA Tour went on announce the cancellation of all their tournaments until April.
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama had hit a course record equalling 63 at the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Florida in round 1. He lead the USA’s Harris English, South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Korea’s Kim Si-woo who were tied for second, 2 shots back on -7.
The move from the PGA Tour comes as all other major US leagues, the NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS all announced similar suspensions to their seasons.
The next tournament to be played will be the Valero Texas Open which starts on the 2nd April, though this will be without spectators. The following week, the Masters at Augusta is due to take place. This will proceed as normal at this time.
Cancelled tournaments are:
Coronavirus Postponed PGA Tour Events
|Tournament||Location||Start Date||End date|
|Players Championship||TPC Sawgrass, Florida||12th March||15th March|
|Valspar Championship||Innisbrook Resort, Florida||19th March||22nd March|
|WGC Match Play||Austin CC, Texas||25th March||29th March|
|Corales Championship||Corales GC, Dominican Rep’||26th March||29th March|
All Champions League and Europa League Games Called Off
Friday 13th March 2020
Following the cancellation of the Champions League matches on Tuesday 17th March, UEFA has moved to postpone all Champions League and Europa League matches set to take place on the 18th and 19th of March also.
These fixtures are the last of the round of 16 matches in the Champion s League, and the second leg of round of 16 matches in the Europa League.
The games between Getafe and Inter Milan and Sevilla and Roma have already encountered problems, not playing the first legs due to travel restrictions imposed by Spanish authorities.
The matches immediately effected are:
UEFA Suspended Matches
|Tuesday 17th March 2020||Manchester City v Real Madrid|
|Juventus v Lyon|
|Wednesday 18th March 2020||Barcelona v Napoli|
|Bayern Munich v Chelsea|
|Thursday 19th March||Manchester United v LASK|
|Wolverhampton v Olympiakos|
|Bayer Leverkusen v Rangers|
|Getafe v Inter Milan|
|Shakhtar v Wolfsburg|
|Basel v Eintracht Frankfurt|
|FC Copenhagen v Istanbul Basaksehir|
|Roma v Sevilla|
All English Football Suspended
Friday 13th March 2020
Organisers of both the Premier League and the English Football League have announced the postponement of all a matches until the 3rd April. This includes the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship.
The Premier League, FA, EFL and WSL have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 13, 2020
The move came after meetings on Thursday morning on how to best proceed with the competitions in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The leagues came under pressure as there have been confirmed COVID-19 cases for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi, with the Everton self-isolating after illness.
Prior to this point, all games had carried on as normal in England, despite matches cancelled or played behind closed doors across Europe and the rest of the world.
The moves from the league authorities goes against government advice which, as yet, has not been to restrict large gatherings.
Scotland Suspends Pro and Grassroots Football</h2
Friday 13th March 2020
The Scottish Football Association has suspended all footballing activity in the country until further notice.
NEWS | The Joint Response Group can confirm the decision of the Scottish FA Board to suspend ALL domestic professional and grassroots football under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA until further notice.https://t.co/xGeafo2rE0
— Scottish FA (@ScottishFA) March 13, 2020
Fixtures that have been cancelled include the Old Firm match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday 15th March.
Despite the UK government not doing so, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has cancelled all outside gatherings of 500 people or more as of next week.
Unlike the English authorities, Scotland has banned football down through the non-professional leagues and clubs in response to slowing the coronavirus.
Australian, Bahrain and Vietnam F1 Grand Prix Cancelled
Friday 13th March 2020
The opening four races of the 2020 Formula 1 season have been cancelled. These were set to be Australia and Bahrain in March, with Vietnam scheduled for early April. China had already cancelled their F1 Grand Prix which was due to take place in April, two weeks after Vietnam.
2020 season now expected to start at end of May
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 13, 2020
The Maclaren team had pulled out of the Australian Grand Prix after a crew member was tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, with 14 other members of the team then required to self-isolate.
Race organisers met to decide the fate of the first and had been keen to proceed but it has been reported that several drivers, including reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, and some teams were reluctant. As a result, the Australian Grand Prix was called off.
This second cancellation has been followed with news that the Bahrain and Vietnam Grand Prix will also not take place this season.
The revised season opener will now be in May with races in the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco that month. With the coronavirus situation worsening in Europe however, these races may also not take place, with authorities monitoring the situation.
Giro d’Italia Postponed
Friday 13th March 2020
The Grio d’Italia which was due to begin on the 3rd of April has been postponed.
— Giro d’Italia (@giroditalia) March 13, 2020
The race is the second most prestigious of the road cycling season, behind only the Tour de France.
Although the race largely takes places in Italy, in 2020 the opening three stages were set to take place in Hungary. The country announced that it was in a state of emergency due to the coronavirus, with Italy also in lockdown.
Organisers do intend to reschedule the event which runs for three weeks, though an announcement will not be made until after Italy’s initial ban on public gatherings is set to stop on the 3rd of April.
Augusta Masters Postponed
Friday 13th March 2020
The first of the season’s major golf tournaments, the Masters, will not be played in April of 2020.
Statement from Chairman Ridley:
— The Masters (@TheMasters) March 13, 2020
The PGA Tour, which has suspended all tournaments until April, plan to resume before the Masters was set to take place but organisers at Augusta thought a better course of action would be to look a rearranging the event for later in the year.
The tournament which is held at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, USA, has been played every year 1934 with the exception of 1943, 1944 and 1945 due to World War II.
The Valero Texas Open will now also not be played, having previously aimed to take place without spectators.
Wales vs Scotland Six Nations Fixture Called Off
Friday 13th March 2020
The last remaining Six Nations fixture, between Wales and Scotland, has now been postponed.
Statement: Wales v Scotland Match Postponedhttps://t.co/nhUkvOuTRm
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 13, 2020
This game joins Ireland vs Italy, Italy vs England and France vs Ireland on the list of 2020 Six Nations games cancelled because of the coronavirus.
The tournament organisers had planned to play the match as scheduled, with spectators, as is the UK government advice. This changed the day before the match was due to be played on Saturday 14th March when other major league in the country such as the Premier league decided not to fulfil their fixtures.
Not decision has yet been made on when the remaining games will be fulfilled, or even if the tournament will reach a conclusion, but an announcement is expected in the coming days.
European League Football Suspended
Friday 13th March 2020
German football’s top two divisions, the Bundesliga and Bundesliga II became the latest of Europe’s football leagues to suspend matches.
Following current developments in connection with the Coronavirus: The DFL has suspended the 26th Matchday of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. pic.twitter.com/h0W2VtXHG1
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) March 13, 2020
Initially the German Football Association, the DFL, was set to complete matchday 26 but behind closed doors. This changed to complete suspension of fixtures following cancellations from other leagues across the continent.
The DFL didn’t announce any further postponements officially but did state that they would meet on Monday 16th February and would be recommending pausing fixtures until at least the 2nd April.
Leagues in France and Portugal had already announced that league games would not be taking place until measures restricting public gatherings had ceased.
London Marathon Moved to October
Friday 13th March 2020
The London marathon, originally scheduled for Sunday 26th April, has been moved to Sunday 4th October. Following the threat of coronavirus, it was unlikely that race could take place next month.
The 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon has been postponed and is now scheduled to take place on Sunday 4 October 2020.
— Virgin Money London Marathon (@LondonMarathon) March 13, 2020
The race regularly attracts over 40,000 entrants and thousands more line the streets to watch the action. With cases of coronavirus increasing throughout the UK, the running of the contest was not possible at this time.
In February, the Tokyo marathon was closed to all but elite athletes. In the wake of sporting events closing across the globe, the organisers decided to move their race to the autumn as the best course of action.
UK Racing to Continue but Behind Closed Doors
Monday 16th March 2020
Horse racing in England, Scotland and Wales will take place without spectators for the remainder of March.
Racing industry leaders have confirmed a plan to continue racing behind closed doors from tomorrow. Any fixtures that take place in England, Wales and Scotland, initially until the end of March, will take place without spectators and with restrictions on the number of attendees.
— BHA Press Office (@BHAPressOffice) March 16, 2020
Racing in England had carried on as normal over Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th March, with the biggest meeting of the weekend coming at Uttoxeter for their Midlands Grand National. Although other sporting fixtures in the UK had been suspended, racing followed current government advice to carry on.
The first English meetings to run behind closed doors will be Wetherby and Taunton on Tuesday 17th March,
Scotland published measures to ban public gatherings of more than 500 people on Sunday 15th March meaning Kelso’s meeting on Monday 16th March would be the first Scottish race meeting not have the general public present.
Racing in Ireland had already been taking place behind closed doors with the Irish government stopping public gatherings of more than 500 people prior to Friday’s card at Dundalk.
UK Club Rugby Union and Rugby League Suspended
Monday 16th March 2020
Both codes of rugby in Britain, Union and League, have now suspended their league fixtures due to the coronavirus.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) have suspended all rugby activities until the 14th of April. That includes matches and training and encompasses the professional game as well as at the community level.
The Premiership Cup Final, scheduled for Sunday 15th March had already been postponed, and now there will be no Premier Rugby games until Friday 24th April at the earliest date.
Clubs competing in the Pro14 and France’s Top 14 leagues have already had fixtures suspended. Upcoming European Champions Cup and European Challenge Cup will also not be played.
Rugby League’s Super League did complete its fixtures as normal between Thursday 12th and Sunday 15th March, in line with government advice but against many other sports. Following the government’s change in stance, with large gatherings unadvisable, Super League has suspended games until the 3rd April.
Grand National at Aintree Cancelled
Monday 16th March 2020
This year’s Grand National at Aintree has been cancelled. The race was due to be run on Saturday 4th April, part of a three day meeting at the course which was to start on Thursday 2nd April.
⚠️ Important information ⚠️
The 2020 Randox Health Grand National Festival cancelled due to Coronavirus
— Aintree Racecourse (@AintreeRaces) March 16, 2020
Organisers have stated on their website that following measures by the government to restrict social gatherings, and withdraw emergency services from such events, it was no longer possible to stage the meeting, even behind closed doors.
UK Horse Racing Suspended Until the End of April
Tuesday 17th March 2020
All horse racing in the UK has been suspended, as of Wednesday 18th March, until the end of April.
British horseracing suspended until the end of April:
— BHA Press Office (@BHAPressOffice) March 17, 2020
Racing had been set to continue in Britain behind closed doors with only essential staff, trainers, owners and grooms in attendance. With the coronavirus situation in the country worsening rapidly however, the British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) have announced that all racing is to stop.
This means that the final meeting to be held before the break will be Wetherby and Taunton on Tuesday 17th March though racing continues in Ireland at this point in time.
Euro 2020 Moved Back 1 Year to 2021
Tuesday 17th March 2020
The European Championships due to take place in the summer of 2020 have been moved back by 12 months, to be played in 2021.
UEFA today announced the postponement of UEFA EURO 2020.
A working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season…
Full statement: 👇
— UEFA (@UEFA) March 17, 2020
UEFA officials met on Tuesday 17th March to decide the best way to proceed with the tournament amidst the coronavirus outbreak. This meeting involved representatives from all 55 member nations taking part in a video conference.
With league football suspended across the continent, moving the Euros back 12 months became the only viable option in completing both domestic football tournaments and allowing the international event to take place.
The original dates for Euro 2020 was 12th June to 12th July. In 2021 this will be 11th June until the final on the 11th July.
English Football Suspended Further Until 30th April
English football will continue to be suspended until the 30th April at the earliest.
This will include the Premier League, English Football Leagues, Women’s Super League and the Women’s Championship.
The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA are committed to finding ways of resuming the 2019/20 football season as soon as it is safe and possible to do so
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 19, 2020
These leagues had originally been suspend until the 3rd April however, with measures tightening in order to control the spread of the coronavirus, that date has been push back to the end of April.
The FA has also allowed for the current football season to be extended in order to complete fixtures and fully finish the 2019/20 season. The European Championships had already been put back by 1 year in order to allow domestic football to continue into the summer months.
French Open Moved to September
Tuesday 17th March 2020
The French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros will now take place between 20th September and the 4th October.
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) March 17, 2020
The event which is held in Paris, France, was originally scheduled to run between the 24th May and the 7th June. But, with coronavirus prevention measures becoming increasingly strict across Europe, organisers decided to move this Grand Slam to the week following the US Open, making it the final Slam of the year at the time of writing.
France is currently in a state of ‘lockdown’ for a 15 day period with members of the public required to fill out a form to state why they are leaving their home. There is also travel restrictions in place between countries all over the world.
Dutch, Spanish and Monaco F1 Grand Prix Postponed
Thursday 19th March 2020
The Formula 1 Grand Prix due to be held in the Netherlands, Spain and Monaco in May have been postponed.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 19, 2020
Organisers have said they will look into whether these races can be moved to later in the year, with the 2020 F1 season still yet to start after the cancellation of races on Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China.
Coronavirus Postponed F1 Grand Prix
|Race||Start Date||End date|
|Australian Grand Prix||13th March 2020||15th March 2020|
|Bahrain Grand Prix||20th March 2020||22nd March 2020|
|Vietnam Grand Prix||3rd April 2020||5th April 2020|
|Chinese Grand Prix||17th April 2020||19th April 2020|
|Dutch Grand Prix||1st May 2020||3rd May 2020|
|Spanish Grand Prix||8th May 2020||10th May 2020|
|Monaco Grand Prix||21st May 2020||24th May 2020|
World Snooker Championships at the Crucible Postponed
Friday 20th March 2020
The World Snooker Championships, which is held every year at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, has been postponed.
The 2020 @Betfred World Championship has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
We intend to host the final stages at the Crucible on rescheduled dates in July or August.
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) March 20, 2020
The World Championships is the biggest and most prestigious snooker tournament in the calendar and was dues to be held between 18th April and the 4th May but has been postponed along with other many other sports fixtures in April due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The tournament is traditionally the finally ranking event of the season and World Snooker officials will look to stage the championships later in the year when measures have been lifted.
Dubai World Cup at Meydan Cancelled
Sunday 22nd March 2020
The Dubai World Cup horse race meeting which was due to be held on Saturday 28th March at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai has been cancelled.
Organisers had planned to still run the 9 race card behind closed doors but have now cancelled the event altogether due to coronavirus.
To safeguard the health of all participants, the higher organising committee of the Dubai World Cup 2020 has decided to postpone 25th edition of the global tournament to next year. pic.twitter.com/hwHfBILqfj
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) March 22, 2020
The Dubai World Cup itself is the second richest race in the world, behind only the Saudi Cup which was run for the first time in February this year. The meeting has prize money totalling around £30 million.
Those living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been told as on Sunday 22nd March to only leave their homes for food, medicine or in an emergency.
Champions League and Europa League Finals Postponed
Monday 23rd March 2020
UEFA, European football’s governing body, have announced that the finals of the Champions League, Europa League and Women’s Champions League have been postponed in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
No decision has yet been made on rearranged dates. Further announcements will be made in due course.
— UEFA (@UEFA) March 23, 2020
The Champions League Final had been scheduled for Saturday 30th May from the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. The Europa League Final was set to be played 3 days prior to this on Wednesday 27th May at the Stadion Energa Gdansk, Poland. The Women’s Champions League Final would have been the first of the three to be played, originally scheduled for Sunday 24th May at Viola Park, Vienna, Austria.
UEFA are hoping to play these finals at the end of June, though with the quarter-finals of these competitions yet to be completed, it is unclear when fixtures will be played or whether the format will be changed in order to accommodate matches.
Azerbaijan F1 Grand Prix Postponed
Monday 23rd March 2020
The Azerbaijan Grand Prix has become the eighth race of the 2020 Formula 1 season to be postponed.
Organisers of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix have taken the decision to postpone the 2020 race due to the global spread of Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/o5cKQb2obY
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 23, 2020
The race should have taken place on the 7th June but joins Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Netherlands, Spain, and Monaco as races that will not run as scheduled due to coronavirus.
The race on the Baku Street Circuit could still take place later in the year with only the Australia and Monaco Grand Prix cancelled at this point.
Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Move to 2021
Tuesday 24th March 2020
The 2020 Olympic Games which were due to be held in Tokyo, Japan, between 24th July and 9th August has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Joint statement by the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee on the postponement.https://t.co/1XDNmo95JI
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) March 24, 2020
The postponement came at the request of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who made the proposal to switch the games to 2021. This was accepted as the best course of action by International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach.
Despite the spread of COVID-19 increasing across the globe, the IOC had given themselves a four-week window in which to decide the fate of the 2020 Olympics on Sunday 22nd March. That would have meant no official decision until the end of April.
Certain nations had already began to consider withdrawing, with Canada the first to announce their athletes would not take part to ensure the safety of all involved.
Wimbledon Cancelled in 2020
Wednesday 1st April 2020
The Wimbledon tennis championship, originally scheduled to take place for 2 weeks between 29th June and 12th July, has been cancelled.
It is with great regret that the AELTC has today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic.
The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.https://t.co/c0QV2ymGAt
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) April 1, 2020
The All England Lawn Tennis Club, who organise the event, took the decision to cancel now rather than wait until their deadline of late April, with mass gathering in the UK highly unlikely to be allowable in the near future.
This is the second of tennis’s Grand Slams to be disrupted, following the postponement of the French Open which has been moved to September.
Unlike the French Open, Wimbledon will not be rescheduled for later in the year, with the 134th tournament now starting on the 28th June 2021. This is because the British grass court season is much more reliant on the favourable weather conditions of the summer months, with play on the main circuits not resuming until July at the earliest.
Even if play can restart in July, any tournaments held will most likely take behind closed doors, to reduce the threat of a second COVID-19 peak.
The continuing suspension of the ATP and WTA tours will mean that the entire clay court and grass court seasons will be lost, with other UK competitions such as those at Queen’s, Birmingham and Eastbourne also abandoned.