The world of sports is being rocked by the rapid spread of coronavirus. Premier League games have been suspended, as well as soccer/football games across Europe. Obviously, safety has to come first – and social distancing is almost impossible when you’re in a venue like a packed football stadium.
Most major sporting leagues have now put their seasons on hold, or taken serious precautions on travel to stop the spread of the virus. Below, we’ve rounded up the major stories around how coronavirus has affected the world of sport so far, from football to F1.
In the Premier League, all English football matches are postponed until April 3 at least. “The FA, Premier League, EFL and FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until Friday 3 April at the earliest,” the FA said in a statement. “This action, which will be kept under constant review, has been taken due to the increasing numbers of clubs taking steps to isolate their players and staff because of the Covid-19 virus.”
This follows Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta testing positive for coronavirus. Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi also has coronavirus, which resulted in the squad going into self-isolation.
All UEFA games scheduled for next week are postponed, including Manchester City vs Real Madrid and Juventus vs Lyon. Europa League games which would’ve included Wolves, Rangers and Manchester United are off.
Two upcoming England friendlies at Wembley Stadium, against Italy and Denmark, will not go ahead. Scottish football has been put on hold until further notice, too.
The UK government is considering banning sporting fixtures altogether, according to the BBC. Previously reported plans to play some games behind closed doors clearly weren’t strong enough measures to deal with the developing situation around coronavirus.
UEFA is meeting on March 16 to discuss the possibility of delaying Euro 2020 by a year, according to the BBC.
In Italy, all sporting fixtures are suspended until April 3, including Serie A. In the US, MLS is suspended for 30 days. Leagues in Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands are also suspended.
NBA, NHL and MLB are all suspended due to coronavirus
The NBA season has been suspended until further notice after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week.
The NHL decided to suspend its season after the NBA did, so that’s on hold for now. Likewise, the MLB has suspended all games for a minimum of two weeks, affecting all impending spring training games and the regular season start on March 26.
The NFL has said it won’t delay the start of the league, although the kickoff game isn’t happening until September. Team travel in the NFL has been suspended in many cases, however, and the HBCU Combine and Regional Combine Invitational due to take place on March 27 has been canceled. Likewise, the NFL’s annual meeting in late March has been shelved.
The F1 season is called off until May, while golf and tennis has been delayed
The Australian GP has been called off, along with the Bahrain and Vietnam Grand Prix. The next scheduled event in F1 is the Dutch Grand Prix on May 5.
All PGA events have been cancelled through to the Valero Texas Open, including The Players Championship.
No tennis games will take place until at least April 20, with the ATP Tour delayed by six weeks.
England’s Test series of cricket in Sri Lanka, which was due to begin on March 19, has also been called off.
We’ll update this page as the situation develops.