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Impact of coronavirus on professional sport and a list of cancellations

Coronavirus is rapidly spreading, causing the cancellation of sports across the globe. Here are the sports that have been impacted so far.

Last updated:

Cristiano Ronaldo, F1 Racer, MotoGP rider and female golfer

As the coronavirus continues to spread, with the outbreak officially classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 12 March (AEDT), professional sporting competitions are also being impacted right across the globe.

Initially leading to the postponement or cancellation of sporting events in China back in late January, where COVID-19 is believed to have originated, it's now affecting leagues and tournaments worldwide.

Australia's AFL and NRL were among the last sporting competitions globally to cease. But on 22 and 23 March respectively, both made the tough callS to suspend their seasons. Both hope to play out the 2020 season in some form later in the year.

Formula One and MotoGP, Six Nations and World Sevens rugby, golf, tennis and major football matches in Asia and Europe are all experiencing delays or cancellations.

The Chinese F1 Grand Prix scheduled for April was quickly postponed, while the season-opening Australian GP has also been cancelled.

The remaining Euro 2020 play-offs and the Euro 2020 football tournament itself have now been delayed. UEFA announced on 18 March that the final play-off matches will be held later this year, while the competition will now be held in 2021.

"If games have to be postponed or played without spectators for a period of time until it's over, well then we have to do that," FIFA president Gianni Infantino told reporters in early March.

The AFC Champions League postponed matches across the continent, with the exception of one each in Malaysia and Australia. The latter was Sydney FC's home fixture against South Korea's Jeonbuk. The start of the Japanese and Korean leagues have both been delayed.

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Northern Italy has been the worst-hit area for COVID-19 in Europe. Initially, six matches in Italy's Serie A – including a blockbuster between Juventus and Inter Milan – were to be held behind closed doors but have since been postponed until May. On 5 March (AEDT), it was initially announced that all Italian sport will be held behind closed doors until at least 3 April. Italy has now suspended all sports in the country.

This is all likely to have a trickle-down effect too, with areas such as broadcasting, merchandising and revenue from ticket sales all expected to be significantly impacted.

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

Will more sports be cancelled due to coronavirus?

With new cases of coronavirus growing by the day and the situation declared a global pandemic, sports fans have been left with virtually no options in a brutal 2020.

The International Olympic Committee's official stance finally changed from "business as usual" to a one-year postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on 25 March.

With the death toll rising and countries continuing to lock down their borders, the 24 July-9 August Games became unfeasible. The Olympic flame that is in Japan will continue burning for the next 12 months.

What if I have signed up to watch these sports?

Fans of select sporting events may think twice before signing up to new subscriptions. Competitions have already been impacted with contrasting plans about when they may resume.

Unless your preferred sport is broadcast as the sole offering on an exclusive service (which is virtually zero streaming platforms) we wouldn't expect any refunds, though it's best to contact your existing provider for more information.

Image source: Kayo Sports website


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