In Depth

Coronavirus stops sport: what is cancelled or postponed?

The Masters golf major, London Marathon, F1 races and Premier League football are affected

The rapid spread of the coronavirus is having a major effect on the sports world. 

In the UK it was confirmed on Friday that football in England was suspended until 3 April at the earliest while in Scotland football is off indefinitely.

This follows the news that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi had tested positive for the virus. 

England’s cricket team are coming home from their tour of Sri Lanka. They had been scheduled to play two Test matches. Meanwhile, the Six Nations clash between Wales and Scotland has also been called off.

Major international sport has been hit hard by the pandemic. Formula 1’s 2020 season is not expected to start until the end of May after the races in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam and China were postponed. 

Masters postponed 

Golf’s first major of the 2020 season, the Masters Tournament, is postponed. 

Augusta National Golf Club chairman Fred Ridley said: “Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals.

“Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date.”

London Marathon rescheduled 

Organisers of the London Marathon have announced that the event on 26 April has been postponed and it will now take place on Sunday 4 October. 

Hugh Brasher, event director, said: “We know how disappointing this news will be for so many – the runners who have trained for many months, the thousands of charities for which they are raising funds and the millions who watch the race every year. 

“We know that there will be many, many questions from runners, charities and others and we ask you to please bear with us as we work through the detailed planning process to deliver the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on its new scheduled date. 

“We will email all runners and charities and then update them via email by the end of next week at the latest. We will also post regular updates on our website and social media channels.”

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What’s been postponed or cancelled?

General sport

Argentina
  • All sport international sporting events cancelled in March
Italy 
  • All sport suspended until at least 3 April 

Athletics

  • Boston Marathon: rescheduled for Monday 14 September
  • London Marathon: rescheduled for Sunday 4 October

Baseball 

  • Major League Baseball: start of season delayed by two weeks 

Basketball

  • International Basketball Federation (FIBA): all competitions suspended from 13 March
  • NBA 2019-20 season is suspended until further notice 
  • NCAA college basketball: March Madness matches closed to spectators  

Cricket

  • Indian Premier League: season start delayed until 15 April
  • England tour of Sri Lanka: cancelled

Cycling 

  • Giro D’Italia: postponed

Football 

English football
  • Premier League, English Football League and Women’s Super League fixtures postponed Friday 3 April at the earliest
Scottish football 
  • All domestic professional and grassroots football suspended until further notice 
Welsh football 
  • Domestic football suspended until at least 4 April
Uefa Champions League
  • 17-18 March: all last 16 second legs postponed
Uefa Europa League
  • 19 March: all last 16 second legs postponed 
Uefa Euro 2020 play-offs
  • Thursday 26 March: Slovakia vs. Republic of Ireland - behind closed doors 
  • Thursday 26 March: Bosnia vs. Northern Ireland - ticket sales postponed 
Asian Fifa World Cup qualifying matches
  • 23-31 March and 1-9 June: fixtures postponed
Domestic football league and cups
  • Italy Serie A: all matches postponed until 3 April 
  • Spain La Liga: next two rounds of matches suspended 
  • Spanish Cup final: Athletic Bilbao vs. Real Sociedad on 18 April is postponed 
  • France Ligue 1 and Ligue 2: matches behind closed doors until 15 April 
  • French League Cup final: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Lyon on 4 April is postponed 
  • Japan J-League: matches suspended until 3 April 
  • Poland Ekstraklasa: fixtures behind closed doors until further notice
  • Denmark: all football cancelled for two weeks 
  • Netherlands Eredivisie: suspended until 31 March
  • United States Major League Soccer: season suspended for 30 days
International football 
  • Tuesday 31 March: Germany vs. Italy - behind closed doors 
  • 23-31 March: South American qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 - matches postponed to later dates
  • England vs. Italy and England vs. Denmark - postponed 
Formula 1
  • Australian Grand Prix - postponed  
  • Bahrain Grand Prix - postponed  
  • Vietnam Grand Prix - postponed 
  • Chinese Grand Prix - postponed

Golf

European Tour
  • 12-15 March: Kenya Open (European Tour men’s golf event) - postponed
  • 19-22 March: Hero Indian Open (Asian Tour/European Tour men’s golf event) - postponed
  • 20-23 August: The Czech Masters - cancelled 
PGA Tour
  • The Players Championship: postponed after one round 
  • Events cancelled across all Tours through to the Valero Texas Open in April
Golf majors
  • The Masters: postponed

Ice hockey

  • North American National Hockey League (NHL): season suspended indefinitely

Motor sport

Formula E 
  • 2019/20 season temporarily suspended for a two-month period
MotoGP
  • Sunday 22 March: Thailand Grand Prix - cancelled 
  • 3-5 April: Americas Grand Prix - postponed to 13-15 November
World Superbikes
  • 13-15 March: Qatar - cancelled
  • 27-29 March: Spain - postponed until 23-25 October 

Rugby League

Super League 
  • Saturday 14 March: Catalans Dragons vs. Leeds Rhinos - postponed

Rugby Union

  • Pro14: suspended indefinitely
  • French rugby: all competitions suspended until further notice 

Six Nations rugby championship

  • Saturday 7 March: Ireland vs. Italy - postponed  
  • Saturday 14 March: Italy vs. England - postponed  
  • Saturday 14 March: France vs. Ireland - postponed
  • Saturday 14 March: Wales vs. Scotland - postponed

Tennis 

  • ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour: all events suspended up to and including the week of 20 April 
  • March: Indian Wells - cancelled 
  • 23 March-5 April: Miami Open - cancelled 
  • 14-18 April: Fed Cup finals - postponed
  • 17-18: Fed Cup play-offs - postponed

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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