Sport

Sport’s not dead! How competitions and leagues beat coronavirus [UPDATE]

Sport will win the battle against the coronavirus outbreak, there can be no doubt about it. It’s just the question of time. Let’s see which leagues and competitions are coming back to life! Stay updated with STATSCORE.

NBA is coming back!

UPDATE 07/06/2020. 11:00 AM CET

85 days after suspending the season, the NBA’s board of governors officially approved the leagues return to play.

The restarted season will be contested by 22 teams — 16 teams in playoff position and those within six games of each No. 8 seed.

The show will start on July 31 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

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NBA to approve return plan!

UPDATE 04/06/2020, 9:03 AM CET

According to ESPN’s sources, the NBA authorities are going to approve a proposal to restart the season at the Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The league’s board of governors is expected to accept the plan that includes 13 Western Conference teams and 9 Eastern Conference teams, eight regular-season games, possible play-in games, and play-offs.

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MLB rejects 114-game plan

UPDATE 04/06/2020, 8:22 AM CET

Major League baseball said ‘no’ to the players’ plan that proposed a 114-game regular season with no additional salary cuts.

According to ESPN’s sources, the league is not going to send a counter-offer, which means that the negotiations about the season’s start are again at a standstill.

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NBA plans to restart at Disney World in Orlando in late July

UPDATE 24/05/2020, 4:22 PM CET

NBA has confirmed that it is holding talks with Walt Disney World in Orlando to restart the season there in late July.  The sporting complex would be used not only for the games but for training and housing as well.

“The NBA, in conjunction with the National Basketball Players Association, is engaged in exploratory conversations with The Walt Disney Company about restarting the 2019-20 NBA season in late July at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Florida as a single site for an NBA campus for games, practices and housing,” said NBA Chief Communications Officer Mike Bass in a press release.

The ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is an 89 ha athletic complex located in the Walt Disney World Resort, in Bay Lake, near Orlando. It includes 9 venues and hosts various sporting events throughout the year.

The league was one of the first professional sports organisations in the USA to suspend its season on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since the postponement, several NBA players, including Kevin Durant of the Nets, have tested positive for COVID-19.

The return of American sports is supported by the US president. “We want to get sports back. We miss sports. “We need sports in terms of the psyche of our country. And that’s what we’re doing.” Donald Trump said last weekend.

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Bundesliga is back!

UPDATE 17/05/2020, 10:10 PM CET

It’s been a very special weekend for football fans, as one of the world’s top leagues, German Bundesliga, resumed its season.

It was eerily quiet at the stadiums, and players expected to follow specific restrictions during the games (though some celebrations seemed to defy them), but the Bundesliga managed to kick off this weekend! In one of the most anticipated matches, Borussia Dortmund have beaten Schalke 4-0.

Learn more about football leagues’ comeback plans her!

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Baseball restarts in South Korea

UPDATE 04/05/2020, 4:20 PM

KBO, the highest level of baseball in South Korea, will start its delayed season tomorrow.

The league will be one of the first major pro sports competitions to make a comeback during the pandemic.

The Opening Day was originally scheduled for March 28.

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K-League to come back in May

UPDATE 02/05/2020, 2:20 PM

K-League has officially announced that the delayed kick-off of its season will take place on May 8.

The opening match of the 2020 K-League season, which was originally scheduled for February 29, will be played between defending champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Suwon Samsung Bluewings. No fans will be allowed on the stadiums.

Read more about football leagues’ resumptions.

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Champions League final to be played on August 29?

UPDATE 17/04/2020,  10:06 PM

European football’s governing body is drafting plans that would see the Champions League final end the 2019-20 season on 29 August.

UEFA is going to meet on 23 April to discuss details on how to complete European competitions, which had been disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.

According to reports, the UCL final could be held in Istanbul on August 29, and the Europa League final in Gdańsk on August 27.

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PGA Tour to return in June

UPDATE 17/04/2020,  1:06 PM

The PGA Tour has announced that it is going to resume in June. The first four tournaments will be held without an audience.

Golf’s first three majors of the year – the Masters, US PGA and US Open had to be postponed and the Open Championship cancelled for 2020.

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Premier League is debating possible 30 June deadline to the season

UPDATE 17/04/2020,  12:57 PM

English Premier League’s clubs are holding an online conference today to discuss the option of putting a 30 June deadline on the 2019-20 season.

Many clubs are afraid that their out-of-contract and loan players would be able to leave when they become free agents at the end of June.

The League’s preferred option would be to complete the remaining 92 games at the time when it is safe to do so, according to Sky Sports News.

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NBA and NHL consider return plans

UPDATE 15/04/2020,  2:15 PM

All major American leagues had to suspend their seasons because of the coronavirus crisis. Now, some leagues are looking for ways to come back!

The NBA is currently considering a 25-day return-to-basketball plan.

According to Brian Windhorst, ESPN NBA analyst,  the league is looking at a 25-day return to basketball window: “An 11-day series of individual workouts, where there’d be social distancing for a period of time, and then hopefully, if the clearance comes that they can play five-on-five basketball, a 14-day training camp.”

Meanwhile, the NHL is also exploring various options for the resumption of its season. “When we’ll have an opportunity to return depends on things that we have absolutely no control over, because it all starts with everybody’s health and well-being,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told CNN on Monday.

One of the proposals would involve holding a playoff tournament in a neutral siteIn fact, several cities in North America (including  Manchester, New Hampshire; Grand Forks, North Dakota; and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) have already expressed their will to host such a tournament.

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Serie A to resume training on May 4?

UPDATE 08/04/2020,  1:30 PM

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italian Serie A clubs are close to reaching an agreement on when the season would recommence.

The most optimistic date for the season to return would be May 24, the most distant option would have it recommence on June 7. The most realistic version is for the Seria A matches to return on May 31.

The first training sessions are expected to start on May 4.

Some German Bundesliga clubs have also returned to training. According to the BBC, Bayern Munich players have trained in groups of five but without any contact, as did Borussia Monchengladbach and Wolfsburg.

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Czech republic eases restriction on sport activities

UPDATE 08/04/2020, 10:55 AM

The Czech government has decided to ease its COVID-19 measures, including those related to sports and recreation. The softening of restrictions applies only to individual sports.

The government’s decision has allowed Petra Kvitova to resume her outdoor training activities. – Frankly, it feels very strange, I don’t have any motivation right now, and I don’t know what to prepare for – said the two-time Wimbledon champion.

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Donald Trump wants US sports back by late summer

UPDATE 05/04/2020, 10:57 AM

US President Donald Trump held a conference call with commissioners of major America sports leagues and expressed his hope that American sports will return by late summer.

The participants of the conference call included NBA commissioner Adam Silver, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, as well as the representatives of the Major League Soccer, PGA and LPGA tours and IndyCar.

The President recognized the good work being done by many teams and players to care for their communities, workforces, and fan bases across the Nation, read a White House statement published after the call. The commissioners thanked President Trump for his national leadership and for his interest in the sports industry. President Trump encouraged them to continue to support their fellow Americans during this challenging time.

 

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Belgium’s Jupiter Pro League declared finished

UPDATE 02/04/2020, 10:26 PM

Belgium has become the first major European football league to call off the rest of its season.

The Jupiler Pro League’s board of directors has decided to crown the current leaders, Club Brugge, as the champions. The team had a 15-point advantage in the table, with just one round of games remaining in the regular season (then the best six teams would advance to play-offs).

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From Nicaragua to Belarus – leagues that keep playing

UPDATE 02/04/2020, 1:59 PM

We all know that top football leagues had to suspend their seasons due to the coronavirus crisis. However, there are still some places on the globe when the show goes on as usual. Let’s see:

  • Liga Primera de Nicaragua

Despite the fact that the country has confirmed five cases of Covid-19, the Nicaraguan league has decided to keep playing! The players don’t feel safe, though, and some of them put masks on their faces before kick-off.

  • Belarusian Premier League

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has been dismissing coronavirus risk despite the fact that 152 of citizens have contracted COVID-19 infections. The Belarusian League keeps playing and it attracts action-hungry fans from all over the world!

  • Tajik League

The top tier of football in Tajikistan continues its season. The authorities of this country haven’t put restrictions on public events, and president Emomali Rahmon claims that the country is immune to the disease.

  • Burundi Premier League

Burundi Premier League is the last football league in Africa to keep playing.

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Will Premier League finish its season?

UPDATE 31/03/2020, 9:41 AM

According to Daily Mail, Premier League is planning to restart its season at the start of May.

All the games would be held without fans, and the season would finish by July 12. This ambitious proposal would allow the league to avoid huge financial losses related to TV rights.

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When will the Japanese J.League restart?

UPDATE 30/03/2020, 11:40 AM

Japanese football is aiming to come back soon! J1, the top tier of Japanese football system, is going to return to play on May 9. 

The clubs of the league have been working on new criteria for the shortened season.  The updated timetable is expected to be published on April 8.

J2 is scheduled to resume on May 2, and the third division is aiming to kick-off on April 25.

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Japanese baseball aiming to start on April 24

UPDATE 27/03/2020, 12:10 PM

NPB, the top Japanese baseball league, is aiming to start its season on April 24.

The season was originally scheduled to start on March 20, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, it was then postponed to April 10. This week the league has decided that it will be aiming to start the season on April 24.

Yesterday it was revealed that Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami became the first NPB player to test positive for the coronavirus. Today, the media report about more cases of coronavirus among players.

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K-League launched online football competition

UPDATE 27/03/2020, 11:38 AM

South Korea’s professional football league had to postpone its season because of the coronavirus epidemic. Now it provides its fans with an online football tournament.

K-League came up with an idea to keep its fans entertained by organising an online football tournament FIFA Online 4, which involves professional players from different teams contesting the league.

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Bundesliga launches online FIFA 20 tournament for clubs

UPDATE 26/03/2020, 2:42 PM

The DFL, Deutsch Fußball Liga, has decided to launch Bundesliga Home Challenge, a FIFA 20 video game tournament. The competition is going to take place over the next two weekends.

26 teams from Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 will participate, and each of them will be made up of a professional footballer from a given club, and a member of club staff.

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Chinese Super League teams come back to training

UPDATE 26/03/2020, 1:25 PM

That’s another glimmer of hope – this time from China!

Most of the teams in the Chinese Super League have been restarting their training this week, although it is still not known when the league will come back.

The competition had been suspended in February before the start of the season, because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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Coronavirus effect on sports

The coronavirus outbreak has been affecting people all around the globe. It has disrupted our everyday lives, changing the way we work, communicate, travel, and spend our time. The crisis has shaken the world of business, culture, and sport.

At first, it seemed that sporting events will go on behind closed doors, but unfortunately, this turned out to be impossible. Major sporting events had to be postponed or cancelled. The crisis affected, among many others, such great competitions as Champions League, EURO 2020, NBA, MLB, Copa America. Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have also been postponed.

However, we can already see some glimmers of hope, as various leagues and competitions consider plans to return to playing.

Will Japanese baseball and football seasons resume?

Japanese football league (J1 League) and Nippon Professional Baseball may resume by the end of next month, according to Japan Times.

The leagues have received advice from Japanese medical experts about the possibility of restarting their seasons at the end of April.

When is Premier League coming back?

Premier League is considering various options regarding the current season. According to Daily Mail, a plan has been formulated for games to restart on June 1 and for them all to finish in six weeks. All encounters would be held behind closed doors. According to The Telegraph this solution would allow the next season to start in early August, which would prevent financial troubles for the league and clubs.

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Will Serie A season be abandoned?

Italy is one of the countries that has been hit hard by the virus. It hasn’t spared the top football players, and after Paulo Dybala and Daniele Maldini tested positive, the situation has seemed even grimmer.

Is it still possible to resume the exciting Serie A season? According to Il Corriere dello Sport after an informal meeting of club and league authorities, there is almost no hope for that.

Which football competitions go on despite coronavirus?

Football (soccer) competitions not cancelled despite the coronavirus outbreak:

(PLEASE NOTE THAT THE SITUATION IS CHANGING DYNAMICALLY!)

  • Belarus – Vysshaya League
  • Burundi – Premier League
  • Cameroon – Ligue 2
  • England – Northern Premier League, Premier Division
  • Hong Kong – Reserve Division, Second Division League, Third Division
  • Israel – Liga Bet South A
  • Myanmar – National League U19, National League U21
  • Paraguay – Primera Division
  • Russia – Perm Krai Winterchampionship
  • Spain – Division de Honor Juvenil – Grupo I
  • Sweden – Allsvenskan U19

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Are volleyball competitions still held?

Some volleyball leagues are still playing, despite the coronavirus outbreak. These include competitions in Russia (Pro League, Saint Petersburg Leagues Women, Yekaterinburg Leagues, Yekaterinburg Leagues Women).

Basketball leagues that keep playing despite the epidemic

Basketball competitions are currently held in Russia (Division M35, Division M50, MLBL, Nevskaya 1st Division, Nevskaya 2nd Division, Nevskaya 3rd Division, Regional Leagues), and Tajikistan (Basketball League).

Futsal, handball and table tennis held despite the virus

When it comes to futsal, Belarusian Bobruisk Futsal League games are still held.

Some table tennis competitions are also being held (TT Cup, Women; Liga Pro in Russia).

Esports – show must go on

Esport have been affected by the coronavirus, as many events had to be postponed or cancelled.

Now, it seems that esports are coming back in a new online-only format. Overwatch League and the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) are returning, and the games will be held online.

ESL Pro League has decided to separate the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams into regions in an effort to limit international travel amid health safety concerns. 24 teams were split into three European and one North American region.

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