With more than 93,000 people infected in more than 80 countries and more than 3,100 deaths, the coronavirus outbreak has been disrupting all spheres of life. Sport is no exception here, as hundreds of major and minor events have been cancelled or postponed. Let’s take a look at the latest updates with STATSCORE.
Olympic Games threatened by the coronavirus outbreak
The Summer Olympic Games, scheduled for July and August in Tokyo, is the biggest sporting event threatened by the virus. The fact that it would involve tens of thousands of athletes, spectators, journalists, and officials makes this threat very real and serious.
Yesterday (March 3) the International Olympic Committee (IOC) expressed its full commitment to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, taking place from 24 July to 9 August 2020. The IOC declares that it will follow the advice of WHO on this topic. However, the same day, Seiko Hashimoto, Japan’s Olympic minister, implied that the Tokyo Games could be held later in the year, as that the contract to hold the Olympics only specifies that they should be held during 2020.
Football matches postponed and cancelled because of the virus
Champions League round of 16 second-leg clash between Valencia and Atalanta will be played behind closed doors. The same decision was made in regard to Getafe’s Europa League first leg against Inter Milan.
Last week, five Serie A fixtures, including Derby d’Italia between Juventus and Inter Milan, were postponed to May. The Italian Cup second-leg of the final between Juventus and Milan was moved to the end of May.
In Switzerland, the upcoming Super League and Challenge League have been postponed.
Asian Football Confederation decided on Monday (March 2) that some group stage of the Asian Champions League will be extended beyond its planned finish in late May, and may be played until the end of July.
In China, the football season was scheduled to start on February 22, but because of the outbreak of the disease, it has been postponed indefinitely.
South Korea’s K-League has decided to temporarily move the start of the season until the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak eases.
Japan’s J-League matches have been postponed until mid-March, and Iran postponed all football games until further notice.
China’s World Cup qualifying games scheduled for March will be held in Thailand and be played without spectators.
Japnese baseball behind closed doors
Preseason games of the Japanese NPB are being played behind closed doors. Japanese baseball commissioner Atsushi Saito said (March 2) that it can’t be guaranteed that the regular season will start as scheduled. Saito declared that it is possible that games will be held without fans.
The South Korean Baseball Organisation (KBO) has announced that all 50 preseason games, scheduled to run from March 14 to 24, will be cancelled.
Baseball’s qualifying event, to be held in Taiwan, for the Tokyo Olympics has been postponed from April to June.
In the US, MLB is monitoring the outbreak, but there are currently no plans to move or cancel the games.
Tennis event cancelled in China because of the coronavirus
Xian Open, a lower-level event on the WTA Tour, was cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak in China.
Chinese tennis players have also withdrawn from Davis Cup World Group tie against Romania, scheduled for March 6-7, in Piatra Neamt in Romania.
Tokyo Marathon held on empty streets
Tokyo Marathon last Sunday was held with just the top runners taking part, in an attempt to combat the spread of the virus.
Instead of the expected 38,000 participants, only the 200 elite runners were allowed to compete in the run.
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Find out more about cancelled and postponed sporting events.