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From Premier League to Olympic Games Flame Handover: Sports Events Hit by Coronavirus Pandemic

Tokyo Olympics (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Tokyo Olympics (Photo Credit: Reuters)

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on the sporting world with the death toll crossing 7000 around the world. Here is a look at the sporting events hit by COVID-19 and the ones still ongoing.

A total of 7,007 people have died due to the novel coronavirus around the world, with a 175,536 infections recorded globally. China has the highest number of fatalities at 3,213, followed by Italy with 2,158 deaths and almost 28,000 cases.

France and Spain joined Italy in imposing lockdowns on tens of millions of people, Australia ordered self-isolation of arriving foreigners and other countries extended entry bans as the world sought to contain the spreading coronavirus.

Several countries imposed bans on mass gathering, shuttered sporting, cultural and religious events, while medical experts urged people to practice “social distancing” to curb the spread.

Here are the major sporting events from around the world that have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic:


- The Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia was held without spectators.

- The Olympic Games flame handover in Athens will be done in an empty stadium on March 19.

- The Hellenic Olympic Committee suspended the remainder of the torch relay through Greece to avoid attracting crowds.


- 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. All USA Diving events postponed for next 30 days.


- The NBA suspended its season.

- The NHL suspended its season.

- The MLB further delayed its 2020 season’s opening day of March 26 after CDC calls for gatherings of 50 or more people to be cancelled or postponed for eight weeks.

- Boston Marathon organisers postpone the race from April 20 to Sept. 14.

- The National Hockey League has told players, including those from outside North America, they can return home and should self-quarantine through March 27, lengthening the period the NHL had said it was pausing its season.

- After postponing the Olympic trials, USA Wrestling discontinued all sanctioned events through April 6 and postponed national events through April 20.


- All elite football matches in England, including the Premier League, Football League and Women’s Super League, were suspended until April 4.

- Germany’s Bundesliga and second division will pause at least until April 2.

- The Bolivian Football Federation on Monday suspended all play until at least March 31.

- UEFA postponed all Champions League and Europa League matches due to take place between March 17-19.

- The Confederation of African Football postponed two rounds of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers (March 25-31).

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

- The top two tiers of French football — Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 — were suspended.

- All matches in Spain’s top two divisions were postponed for two weeks.

- England’s friendly internationals against Italy and Denmark at Wembley (March 27 and 31) will not take place.

- U.S. Major League Soccer suspended its season.

- All football in the Netherlands was suspended until the end of March.

- FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation agreed to postpone Asian World Cup qualifying matches in March and June.

- FIFA postponed South American qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup between March 23-31.

- Spain’s Copa del Rey final between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad (April 18) was postponed.

- New seasons in the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean leagues were postponed.

- Australia’s A-League banned fans from matches for the rest of the season.

- A four-team event in Doha featuring Croatia, Portugal, Belgium and Switzerland (March 26-30) was cancelled.

- Tickets are not being sold for the Euro 2020 qualifying playoff semi-finals between Bulgaria and Hungary, and Bosnia and Northern Ireland.

- Asian Champions League: Matches involving Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG were postponed. The start of the knockout rounds was moved back to September.

- The Mexican football league said all matches in the top-flight, second tier and women’s league were suspended until further notice.

- The Brazilian football Confederation suspended all national competitions until further notice.

- The state championships of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, the two biggest in Brazil, were suspended on Monday, the former for 15 days and the latter until further notice.

- The All Indian Football Federation suspended the I-League, 2nd division, Youth Leagues, Golden Baby Leagues as well as National competitions from March 15 to 31.


- International archery has been suspended until April 30, which will affect qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

- The Pan American Championships (March 23-29), Oceania Championships (April 5-9) and European Para Championships (April 18-26) were quota tournaments for the Olympics.


- The World Athletics Indoor Championships (Nanjing, March 13-15) were postponed. They will be held in the same city from March 19-21, 2021.

- The Paris and Barcelona marathons were postponed.

- The London marathon (April 26), was postponed to Oct. 4.

- The Penn Relays, set to be held from April 23-25, are cancelled for the first time in the track event’s 125-year history. The Mt. SAC Relays and Florida Relays, also scheduled for April, and the March Texas Relays, are all cancelled.


- The final qualification tournament in Taiwan for the Olympics was put back from April to June 17-21, while the March 22-26 qualification event in Arizona was postponed.

- Japan’s professional league postponed the start of the season.


- Euroleague Basketball suspended all 2019-20 EuroLeague, EuroCup and Euroleague Next Generation Tournament games.


- The European, American and final world qualifying boxing tournaments for the Tokyo Olympic Games were suspended on March 16. The IOC said the European qualifier in London that was already underway and due to run to March 24 would end after the evening session on March 17.


- The last two games of Australia’s three-match one-day international series against New Zealand in Sydney and Hobart were cancelled.

- Australia and New Zealand’s limited overs tours were postponed.

- The start of the Indian Premier League (March 29) was postponed until April 15.

- The boards of India and South Africa agreed to reschedule a three-match ODI series to a later date. The first match on March 12 was washed out.

- England’s two-match test series in Sri Lanka scheduled to start on March 19 was postponed.

- The final leg of Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan, which involved a test match and an ODI in April, was postponed.

- Zimbabwe and Ireland agreed to postpone a six-match men’s series scheduled for Zimbabwe in April.


- Cycling’s governing body plans to retroactively use March 3 as the cut-off point for Olympic qualification in mountain bike, BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle.

- The final two stages of the UAE Tour were cancelled after two Italian participants tested positive.

- The Paris-Nice cycling race ended a day early after the eighth stage into Nice was cancelled.

- The Giro d’Italia, scheduled to start in Budapest, Hungary on May 9, was postponed.


- The year’s first major, the Masters, was postponed from April 9-12 to “some later date”.

- The Players Championship in Florida was cancelled after the first round. The next three PGA events were also scrapped.

- The Honda LPGA Thailand event and the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore were cancelled.

- The next three LPGA Tour events scheduled for Arizona and California were postponed.

- The Indian Open, the Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur and the China Open were postponed.


- The All-Around World Cup (Stuttgart; March 20-22) was cancelled.


- The Grand National festival due to be held from April 2 to April 4 has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Jockey Club said in a statement on Monday.


- The Swedish Ice Hockey Association ended the 2019-20 season with no playoffs, no champions, no promotion and no relegation.

- The Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) has declared a week-long break to create a new format for the second round of its playoffs involving six Russian teams.

Two non-Russian teams — Barys Nur-Sultan (Kazakhstan) and Jokerit Helsinki (Finland) — had withdrawn on government advice to fight the coronavirus in their countries.


- The International Judo Federation cancelled all Olympic qualification events until the end of April.


- Formula One cancelled the Australian Grand Prix and postponed the next three races in Bahrain, Vietnam and China.

They hope to start the season in Europe at the end of May, putting the Dutch and Spanish races currently scheduled for May 3 and 10 in Zandvoort and Barcelona in doubt.

- Four rounds of the MotoGP season in Qatar, Thailand, Texas and Argentina will not go ahead as scheduled.

- NASCAR postponed all race events through May 3, including races at the Atlanta Motor Speedway (March 15) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (March 22), but intends to run all 36 races this season.

- Round four of the World Rally Championship in Argentina (April 23-26) was postponed.

- The World Rallycross Championship opener in Catalunya-Barcelona (April 18-19) was postponed.

- Rally Mexico was cut short after the second leg.

- The seventh round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, scheduled for April 23-25 in Spa, Belgium, has been postponed.


- The rest of the modern pentathlon World Cup season was postponed until May.


- Two World Rowing Cups and the European Olympic Qualification Regatta, all scheduled for Italy, were cancelled.

- The annual Boat Race competition, set for March 29 on the River Thames in London, has been cancelled.


- Four Six Nations matches were postponed.

- The Singapore and Hong Kong legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series were postponed from April to October.

- Rugby Europe announced a suspension of all its matches and tournaments from March 13-April 15.

- France’s rugby federation suspended all its competitions.

- The European rugby season was suspended after the governing body, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), postponed the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarter-final matches scheduled for April 3-5.

- England’s Premiership Rugby season has been suspended for five weeks, while England’s Rugby Football Union (RFU) suspended all rugby activity until April 14.

- The English Rugby Football League and the Super League have suspended all fixtures until April 3.

- Super Rugby has suspended its season.

- Rugby Australia locked down its headquarters to be disinfected after two members of the national rugby sevens programme were tested for the virus.

- South Africa Rugby suspended all national team training camps until April 14.


- SailGP cancelled its San Francisco event (May 2-3).


- USA Swimming cancelled the TYR Pro Swim Series meet in California and postponed Open Water National and Junior National Championships scheduled for Florida at the end of April. It extended the suspension of all events, camps and conferences that require people to travel and gather through April 30.


- The ATP suspended its professional men’s tennis tour for six weeks after the Miami Open (March 23-April 5) was cancelled.

- The Fed Cup finals (Budapest; April 14-19) were postponed.

- The BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells was cancelled.

- The WTA Tour was suspended until May 2 and tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague will not be held as scheduled.


- The International Triathlon Union suspended all activity until April 30.


- The African Volleyball confederation will postpone beach volleyball Olympic qualifiers due to international travel restrictions preventing athletes taking part.


- USA Water Polo cancels several events, including the FINA Men’s and Women’s Intercontinental Tournament, which was supposed to take place from April 28 through May 3.


- The International Ski Federation cancelled the final races of the men’s Alpine skiing World Cup.

- The World Cup finals in Cortina were cancelled along with the last three women’s races in Are.

- The women’s world ice hockey championships in Canada were cancelled.

- The speed skating world championships in Seoul were postponed until at least October.

- The March 16-22 world figure skating championships in Montreal were cancelled.

Apart from the sporting events that have been suspended, postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, here are the ones that have not been:


- The Olympics from July 24-August 9 in Tokyo have not been postponed or suspended. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will hold talks with heads of international sports organisations on March 17.

- The Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia was held without spectators.

- The Tokyo 2020 Olympics flame handover ceremony in Athens on March 19 will be a scaled-down event with only a few Tokyo Games officials and torch bearers inside the stadium .


- Australia’s top flight A-League football competition has banned fans from matches for the rest of the season.

- The Copa America from June 12-July 12 in Argentina and Colombia is set to go ahead.

- Argentina’s cup competition, the Copa de la Superliga, and the Brazilian state championships are being played without spectators in attendance.


- The Coral Tour Championship in Llandudno, Wales, from March 17-22 is going ahead as planned.

- The World Championships in Sheffield from April 18-May 4 is going ahead as of now.


- The European Olympic boxing qualifying tournament in London will be held without spectators from March 16-24.


- The Springboks’ July tests against Scotland and Georgia remain as scheduled but will be reviewed in April.


- A UFC mixed martial arts event in Brazil on March 14 went ahead in an empty arena.

- UFC Fight Night 171, which was to be held in London on March 21, will be relocated to a new venue, possibly in the United States.


- The British Horseracing Authority confirmed races in England, Scotland and Wales until the end of March will take place without spectators in attendance.