1614 how sports events affected by covid
Japan’s Olympic minister has said that the Tokyo 2020 Games could be moved from the summer until later in the year due to COVID-19. Photo: Deadline

The coronavirus pandemic has sent shockwaves around the world, leading to a public health emergency that has killed thousands and plunged the global economy into what the International Monetary Fund warns could be the sharpest downturn since the Great Depression.

The global value of the sports industry was estimated to be $471bn in 2018 – an increase of 45% since 2011 – and before coronavirus stopped play, the only trajectory seemed to be upwards. Now, every part of the sporting value chain has been affected, from athletes, teams and leagues, to the media that broadcast and cover games. According to Reuters, even the Summer Olympics, typically one the world’s most-watched sporting broadcasts, has been pushed back a year.


For an overview of the state of play in Europe’s soccer leagues amid the coronavirus outbreak click here:

* Major League Soccer will restart the season on July 8 by staging a tournament without fans at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

* The 2020 K-League season kicked off on May 8 behind closed doors.

* Euro 2020 and Copa America were postponed. The two tournaments will now be staged from June 11 to July 11, 2021.

* The Euro 2021 Women’s Championship has been pushed back to July 6-31, 2022.

* Asian Champions League: The start of the knockout rounds was moved back to September.

* The Chinese Football Association (CFA) has drawn up three plans to complete the 2020 Chinese Super League (CSL) season, one of which would see the campaign begin in late June and finish in December.

* Costa Rica became the first country in the Americas to restart their professional league.

* The women’s Under-20 World Cup in Costa Rica and Panama, postponed from August-September, has been rescheduled for Jan. 20-Feb. 6, 2021.

* The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) said clubs could begin small group training sessions from May 25. The league is aiming for a late June return with a single city month-long tournament.

* Australia’s A-League will resume in mid-July providing an agreement can be reached with broadcasters.

* Colombia has authorized clubs to begin training again in June with a view to restarting its professional leagues in August.

* England’s FA Cup final will be held on Aug. 1. The quarter-finals will be held on June 27-28, with the semi-finals earmarked for July 18-19.

* The J.League announced that its top division would restart on July 4. Japan’s second tier, J.2, will restart one week earlier on June 27.

* Vietnam’s top-flight soccer league resumed last week without social distancing measures or curbs on crowd sizes.


* The postponed Tokyo Olympic Games will now begin on July 23, 2021 and run until Aug. 8.

* World Athletics has suspended Olympic qualification until December.


The postponed Paralympic Games will run from Aug. 24-Sep. 5, 2021.


The 2021 World Beach Games were moved to 2023.


* The 2021 World Games have been pushed back by a year to avoid clashing with the Olympics.



* The World Athletics Championships scheduled for 2021 in Eugene, Oregon have been moved to the summer of 2022 because of the Olympic Games rescheduling.

* The World Athletics Indoor Championships (Nanjing, March 13-15) were postponed to March 19-21, 2021.

* The London Marathon which was due to take place on April 26 has been postponed to Oct. 4.

* The Diamond League plans to hold three meetings in August in Monaco, Gateshead and Stockholm followed by September events in Lausanne, Brussels, Paris, Shanghai and possibly Rome or Naples. Meetings in Eugene, Doha and China have been scheduled for October.

* World Athletics released its calendar for the international season beginning with a Continental Tour Gold event in Finland on Aug. 11 and ending with a Diamond League meeting in China.

* This year’s Biathle/Triathle World Championships in Weiden have been moved to 2021.

* The World Triathlon Series (WTS) event and Mixed Relay World Championships in Hamburg have been rescheduled for the weekend of Sept. 5-6.

* The Ironman triathlon has been pushed back to Sept. 6 from its original June 21 start.

* This year’s Multisport World Championships, due to take place in Almere from Sept. 4-13, have been pushed back to 2021. The 2021 event in Townsville will move to 2022, while Ibiza will host the competition in 2023.

Australian Rules

* The Australian Football League season will resume on June 11, with four clubs moving to the Gold Coast due to tighter COVID-19 restrictions in their home states.


* The Thomas and Uber Cup will be held from Oct. 3-11.

* The 2021 World Championships will begin in late November instead of August to avoid clashing with the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

* The BWF announced a new 2020 calendar with the World Tour set to return with the Taipei Open from Sept. 1-6.


* The South Korean league started on May 5 without fans.

* Taiwan’s baseball season resumed in April behind closed doors. On May 9, fans were allowed in for the first time, with 1,000 spectators watching games in New Taipei and Taichung.

* Major League Baseball team owners on May 11 agreed a plan to start playing in empty stadiums in early July.

* Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league will begin its 2020 season on June 19 with games played in empty stadiums.


* China will resume domestic basketball league games on June 20.


* Dillian Whyte’s heavyweight fight against Alexander Povetkin has been rescheduled for July 4.


* Canoe Slalom World Cups in France and the Czech Republic have been tentatively rescheduled to October or November.

* The Canoe Slalom World Cup Final and non-Olympic World Championships in Germany have been moved from September to October.

* Canoe Polo World Championships in Rome have been pushed back until April 2021.


* English cricket’s The Hundred, originally scheduled to begin on July 17, was pushed back to 2021.

* England’s domestic season has been pushed back until at least Aug. 1.

* England’s three-match test series against the West Indies will begin on July 8.


* Giro d’Italia will begin on Oct. 3, while the Spanish Vuelta will be held from Oct. 20.

* Milan-Sanremo will be held on Aug. 8, Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Oct. 4, the Tour des Flandres on Oct. 18, Paris-Roubaix on Oct. 25 and the Tour of Lombardy on Oct. 31.

* The Tour de France that was due to be held from June 27-July 19 has been postponed to Aug. 29-Sept 20.

* The European Road Cycling Championships, scheduled for Sept. 9-13, have been postponed by a year.


* Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning defeated Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in a charity golf match in Florida on May 24 at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound, Florida.

* The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club has been rescheduled for Nov. 12-15 from April 9-12.

* The PGA Championships at TPC Harding Park San Francisco, has been rescheduled for Aug. 6-9 from May 14-17.

* The U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, New York, was rescheduled to Sept. 17-20 from June 8-21.

* The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is hoping to get the 2020 season underway with the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational from July 15-18.

* The Women’s PGA Championship has been postponed from late June to Oct. 8-11.

* The Australian PGA Championship will take place at the Royal Queensland Golf Club from Dec. 3-6.

* The first major of the 2020 golf season got underway on May 14 when South Korea hosted the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association (KLPGA) Championship. Park Hyun-kyung won the title.

* World number one Ko Jin-young took on No. 3 Park Sung-hyun in a charity skins match on May 24 at the Sky 72 Golf & Resort in Incheon.

* The European Tour will resume with the British Masters on July 22 as part of a six-tournament run in the United Kingdom.

* Former world number one Justin Rose and his wife Kate will sponsor a new women’s series in Britain starting this month.

* Golf’s Asian Tour said it is planning to resume its 2020 season in September with the Shinhan Donghae Open in South Korea.

* Next month’s Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio will be the first on the PGA Tour’s revamped schedule to allow spectators.

Horsing racing

* Racing in France began without spectators at ParisLongchamp on May 11.

* Horse racing resumed in Germany on May 7 with a limited number of races in front of empty stands in Hanover. Races were also scheduled for May 8 in Cologne.

* The Kentucky Derby, the first jewel in North American horse racing’s Triple Crown (May 2) was postponed to Sept. 5.

* Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby, opened for spectator-free racing on May 16.

* The shortened Belmont Stakes will be run on June 20 without spectators.


* The NASCAR season resumed with races at the Darlington Raceway in South Carolina on May 17 and May 20.

* The Le Mans 24 hours race was postponed from June 13-14 to Sept. 19-20.

* The Indianapolis 500 has been postponed until Aug. 23.

* The MotoGP season will begin with back-to-back races at the Jerez circuit in Spain on July 19 and 26.

* IndyCar will open its delayed season on June 6 with the Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) without fans in attendance. The race at St. Petersburg, Florida scheduled for March 15 has been pushed back to Oct. 25.

* Formula One hopes to start the delayed season in Austria in July without spectators before ending in Abu Dhabi in December. Silverstone have agreed on terms for two races without spectators at the circuit this season.


The NBA’s Board of Governors approved a plan to restart the season, with a tentative July 31 target date, at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.


* The NFL season will begin on Sept. 10 with a game between Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans.


The National Hockey League has scrapped plans to play regular-season games in the Czech Republic and Finland this year.

The NHL suspended play in mid-March but allowed teams to reopen training facilities from last week.


* Australia’s National Rugby League resumed on May 28 with Parramatta Eels picking up an emphatic 43-6 victory over the Brisbane Broncos at an empty Lang Park.

* Rugby Australia hopes to get players back in training in June for matches in July.

* New Zealand’s five Super Rugby teams will play each other in a 10-week domestic competition from June 13.

* The Mitre 10 Cup, New Zealand’s annual provincial competition, will start with a full 14-team championship from Sept. 11.

* The English Premiership is planning to resume its 2019-20 campaign on Aug. 15.

* New Zealand Rugby confirmed the women’s national provincial championship would begin on Aug. 22.

* The English Premiership is planning to resume its 2019-20 campaign on Aug. 15.


* The World Snooker Championship, originally scheduled to begin on April 18, will start on July 31 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

* Snooker resumed in the United Kingdom on June 1 with the Championship League event without fans at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.


* The 2020 European Aquatics Championships scheduled to take place from May 11-24 in Budapest, Hungary, have been postponed to next year.

* The World Aquatics Championships, scheduled for July 16-Aug. 1, 2021, were pushed back to May 13-29, 2022.

* The World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi, scheduled to take place in December, have been pushed back by a year.


* The French Open was postponed until Sept. 20-Oct. 4.

* The women’s Rogers Cup tournament in Montreal was postponed until 2021.

* Professional tennis returned with the Tennis-Point Exhibition Series event in Germany on May 1.

* Hubert Hurkacz, Miomir Kecmanovic, Reilly Opelka and Tommy Paul took part in the UTR Pro Match Series in Florida that began on May 8.

* Bianca Andreescu and Sofia Kenin will be among 16 WTA players who will launch the Credit One Bank Invitational in Charleston on June 23.

* Novak Djokovic is bringing together some of the world’s top tennis players for a series of matches to run from June 13-July 5 in the Balkan region.

* World TeamTennis, an innovative mixed-gender professional tennis league, will start from July 5 at the Greenbrier, West Virginia, and up to 500 fans will be allowed to attend matches.

* Andy Murray will make his return at a behind-closed-doors tournament organized by his brother Jamie from June 23-28 in London. Fellow Britons Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund will also take part.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

* UFC action returned with three cards on May 9, May 13 and May 16. UFC chief Dana White said this week the mixed martial arts promotion’s “Fight Island” located in Abu Dhabi would host four events next month including UFC 251.

List of sports events that have either been cancelled or postponed due to the outbreak:

Olympic Trials

* U.S. trials for wrestling (April 4-5) were postponed.

* U.S. Rowing postponed its team trials.

* U.S. diving trials (April 3-5) were postponed.

North America

* The MLB has further delayed its 2020 season’s opening day of March 26.

* The Women’s National Basketball Association postponed the start of its 2020 regular season, originally scheduled to run from May 15-Sept. 20.

* The 2019-20 American Hockey League (AHL) regular season and the 2020 Calder Cup Playoffs were cancelled. The AHL standings at the time of suspension will be used to determine league awards.


* FIFA has agreed to delay the first edition of its revamped Club World Cup due to be held in 2021.

* UEFA put all club and national team competitions for men and women on hold until further notice.

* The men’s and women’s Champions League finals and Europa League final originally scheduled for May have been postponed.

* South America’s two biggest club competitions, the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, are suspended.

* CONCACAF suspended all competitions, including the Champions League and men’s Olympic qualifiers.

* Asian and South American qualifying matches for 2022 World Cup were postponed.

* Barcelona’s women’s team were declared champions of Spain’s Liga Iberdrola after the national soccer federation’s executive committee agreed to end all non-professional competitions.

* The Asian Football Confederation on April 14 postponed all matches and competitions scheduled for May-June until further notice.

* Semi-finals of the CAF Champions League (May 1-3) and CAF Confederation Cup (May 8-10) were postponed.

* This year’s International Champions Cup, a pre-season tournament featuring Europe’s top clubs, was cancelled.

* Cameroon cancelled the rest of its league season and declared leaders PWD Bamenda as champions.

* Wales’ top-flight league was called off and Connah’s Quay Nomads were crowned champions.

* Mexico cancelled the remainder of its men’s and women’s seasons. No champions will be crowned.

* Chelsea were awarded the Women’s Super League title and Aston Villa were declared the winners of the second-tier Women’s Championship by England’s Football Association (FA) after the season was ended.

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