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Impact of coronavirus on professional sport and a list of cancellations

Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on sports across the globe. Here are the sports that have been impacted.

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As well as its devastating impact on millions of lives across the globe, the coronavirus pandemic also decimated professional sport.

Institutions like the English Premier League, America's NBA and Major League Baseball and the NRL and AFL in Australia were all brought to a shuddering halt in unprecedented moves outside of war time.

It began with the postponement or cancellation of sporting events in China in late January, where COVID-19 originated, before it started affecting leagues and tournaments globally

The majority were shut down around the time the outbreak was officially classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 12 March (AEDT). The AFL and NRL were among the last sporting competitions globally to cease, on 22 and 23 March after two and one round of action respectively.

Formula One and MotoGP, Six Nations and World Sevens rugby, major tournaments in golf and tennis and many more faced cancellations and are now dealing with uncertain futures.

The Tokyo Olympics were one of the last to cave in to the pandemic. On 25 March, it was announced the Games would be postponed for the first time ever. They will now run from 23 July to 8 August 2021, although they will still be titled Tokyo 2020.

The Euro 2020 football tournament was also postponed. Final play-off matches will be held later this year, with the competition also to be staged in 2021.

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The situation has had a devastating impact on teams, players, organisations, broadcast networks and more. But there are finally signs of a gradual turnaround.

The UFC led the way, with its president Dana White fulfilling his promise after a couple of false starts of holding three events in just eight days. From 10 May to 17 May AEST, three separate events were held in Jacksonville without fans in attendance. Despite one fighter testing positive prior to UFC 249, the events were otherwise held successfully without incident.

The German Bundesliga restarted on 16 May, while Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys has been widely hailed for his efforts in getting the NRL competition back up and running.

On 11 April, V'landys made the bold call that rugby league would return on 28 May. It was met with widespread scorn, but sure enough the league returned on that date with a match between the Brisbane Broncos and Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium. Broadcasters used artificial crowd noises as the matches are being played without fans. V'landys has now stated another optimistic aim to have reduced numbers of fans back in stadiums as early as 1 July.

The AFL was slower to act than the NRL, but Australian Rules will make its return on 11 June. The English Premier League is now targeting 17 June as its return date, with Liverpool holding an enormous 25-point lead and just two wins from its first league title in three decades.

With the coronavirus still causing such devastation in the United States, with over 100,000 deaths as of 28 May, American sports have had to act with extreme caution. Training camps in the NBA, NHL and MLB are being organised and the major sports hope to resume some time in July.

List of sports cancelled or postponed due to coronavirus

Finder acknowledges that this is not a comprehensive list of every single sport in the world affected. In the meantime it might be best to get your sporting fix by checking out our list of the best sports movies.

Event Date Impact Source
Boxing Olympic qualifiers 3-14 February Relocated More info
Matildas vs China 13 February Relocated More info
Golf USLPGA: LPGA Thailand 20-23 February Cancelled More info
Chinese Super League 21 February Postponed More info
Golf USLPGA: HSBC Champions 27 February-1 March Cancelled More info
Japan's J.League 25 February-15 March Delayed More info
Korea's K League 29 February Postponed indefinitely More info
Swiss Football League 29 February All games from this date cancelled More info
Pro14 Rugby 29 February Two matches in Italy postponed More info
Football Asian Champions League Match days 1-3 2-4 March Postponed More info
Golf USLPGA: Blue Bay 5-8 March Cancelled More info
Davis Cup - China forfeited to Romania 6-7 March Forfeited More info
Six Nations: Italy vs Ireland 7 March Postponed More info
Strasbourg vs PSG 7 March Postponed More info
MotoGP Qatar 9 March Cancelled More info
Indian Wells 9 March Cancelled More info
Serie A 10 March Cancelled More info
NBA 12 March Season suspended More info
NBL Finals 12 March Postponed More info
NCAA College basketball tournament 'March Madness' 13 March Cancelled More info
NHL 13 March Season suspended More info
MLS 13 March Season suspended More info
MLB 13 March Season delayed More info
Tennis ATP Tour 13 March-20 Apr Suspended six weeks More info
World Superbikes Qatar 13-20 March Played behind closed doors More info
Cricket: Australia vs NZ ODI series 13-15 March Cancelled More info
Australian F1 Grand Prix 13-15 March Cancelled More info
V8 Supercars Melbourne 400 13-15 March To be rescheduled More info
Golf PGA Tour 12 March-April 5 Cancelled More info
NBL Finals 13 March Cancelled, Perth declared champions More info
English Premier League 14 March Suspended More info
Ligue 1 14 March Suspended More info
World Surf League 14 March Suspended More info
Bundesliga 14 March Suspended More info
English Football League 14 March Suspended More info
The Masters 14 March Postponed More info
Scottish Premiership Football League 14 March Suspended More info
Indian Premier League 14 March Postponed More info
F1 Bahrain GP 14 March Postponed More info
F1 Vietnam GP 14 March Postponed More info
IndyCar 14 March Events from 13 March to 26 April cancelled More info
Cricket: India vs South Africa ODI series 15 March Postponed More info
Cricket: Australia vs New Zealand ODI 15 and 20 March Cancelled More info
NASCAR 16 March 7 races postponed More info
Surfing WSL Tour Ongoing All March events cancelled More info
Basketball Euroleague Ongoing Suspended indefinitely More info
UK Super League Ongoing Postponed More info
Cricket Sheffield Shield 17-20 March Competition cancelled, NSW given title More info
WCQ: Australia vs Kuwait/Nepal vs Australia 26 March, 31 March Postponed More info
NHL Ongoing Season suspended indefinitely More info
Asian Champions League: Perth Glory vs Ulsan Hyundai 18 March Postponed More info
MotoGP Thailand 20-22 March Postponed More info
Super Rugby 20 March Postponed More info
Motorsport Formula E Championship 21 March Cancelled More info
AFL 22 March Postponed More info
AFLW 22 March Season cancelled, no premiership More info
NRL 23 March Postponed More info
Cricket: Australia women tour of South Africa 22 March-4 April Suspended More info
2020 Tokyo Olympic Games 25 March Postponed 1 year More info
Cricket Indian Premier League 29 March-15 April Suspended until April 15 More info
MotoGP USA 4-6 April Postponed More info
Rugby Union World Sevens: Hong Kong 3-5 April (re-scheduled to 16-18 October) Rescheduled More info
US vs Matildas friendly 11 April Cancelled More info
Rugby Union World Sevens: Singapore 11-12 April (re-scheduled to 10-11 October) Rescheduled More info
Tennis Fed Cup Finals 14-19 April Postponed More info
Canada vs Matildas 15 April Cancelled More info
Golf PGA: Maybank Championship 16-19 April Postponed More info
Formula1: China Grand Prix 17-19 April Postponed More info
MotoGP Argentina 17-19 April Rescheduled to November More info
Boxing: Jeff Horn vs Tim Tszyu fight 22 April Postponed More info
Golf PGA: China Open 23-26 April Postponed More info
SailGP San Francisco 2-3 May Cancelled More info
Football Asian Champions League Round of 16 18 May Postponed/rescheduled More info
WTA Tour Xi'an Open 13-19 April Cancelled More info
Horse racing: Kentucky Derby 2 May Rescheduled More info
Golf: US PGA Championship 14-17 May Postponed More info
Tennis: French Open 24 May-7 June Rescheduled More info
AFL China 7 June Cancelled/relocated More info
WCQ: Australia vs Taiwan/Jordan 4, 9 June Postponed More info
Rugby League: NZ vs Tonga, Samoa vs Cook Islands 20 June Postponed More info

Picture: GettyImages

What if I have signed up to watch these sports?

Fans of select sporting events may start to consider signing up to new subscriptions. As stated some competitions have recommenced with more being promised all the time.

Image source: Kayo Sports website


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