How Coronavirus Has Hit Indian, World Sport
With the Coronavirus being declared a pandemic, almost all sporting events have been hit, ranging from empty stands to cancelled events.
- Foreign players will reportedly not be available for IPL until April 15
- The IPL may be postponed or even cancelled amid the Coronavirus outbreak
- German Bundesliga teams have begun to close their stadiums to fans
The Coronavirus outbreak, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, has also had a major effect on sporting events in India and across the world. There are major concerns over the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is scheduled to start on March 29. Foreign players will reportedly not be available for the tournament until April 15, with the government suspending all visas to India. The Indian Open, which was scheduled to take place from March 19 to 22 at the DLF Golf and Country Club in Gurugram, has been postponed. The ongoing season of the NBA has been suspended after a player tested positive for Coronavirus. With the pandemic spreading rapidly in Europe, football has taken a huge hit, with several games being played behind closed doors, while Italian defender Daniele Rugani became the first player to be diagnosed with COVID-19.
The IPL may be postponed or even cancelled amid the Coronavirus outbreak. The final decision may be taken after the IPL governing council's meeting on March 14.
As per a PTI report, foreign players won't be allowed to participate in the IPL until April 15 as visas to India have been suspended till then.
The remaining matches of the Road Safety World Series will be played behind closed doors at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai from March 13.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board has postponed the Asia XI vs World XI T20 matches.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday issued a host of precautionary measures against Coronavirus for players, support staff and state associations.
In Italy, the hardest-hit European country with 827 deaths from COVID-19, all sporting events including Serie A have been suspended until April 3.
The suspension amounts to the postponement of two rounds of matches, in a league which has already been hit by delays, with four previous matches yet to be played.
Juventus defender Daniele Rugani became the first Serie A footballer to test positive for the virus on Wednesday.
Games in Spain's La Liga and France's Ligue 1 and the second divisions in each country will have no fans for at least the next two weeks.
Arsenal's game at Manchester City on Wednesday became the first Premier League fixture to be called off due to the outbreak, with the Gunners' players put in quarantine after coming into contact with the owner of Greek club Olympiakos.
German Bundesliga teams have begun to close their stadiums to fans, with this weekend's matches set to be played in front of empty stands.
The virus has also hit the UEFA Champions League, with Italian side Atalanta qualifying for the quarter-finals at Valencia on Tuesday in an empty stadium, while Paris Saint-Germain's win over Borussia Dortmund was also played without spectators.
Barcelona v Napoli, Bayern Munich v Chelsea and Juventus v Lyon will also be played behind closed doors.
Three UEFA Europa League games on Thursday including Manchester United away to LASK Linz will have no fans, while the ties between Inter Milan and Getafe and Roma and Sevilla have been postponed.
International friendlies to be played behind closed doors include France v Ukraine and Germany v Italy.
The start of Japan's J-League was postponed till mid-March while China suspended all domestic football and shelved indefinitely the top-flight Super League season.
The French League Cup final between Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon has been called off, with no new date yet fixed, as has the Spanish Copa del Rey final between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao.
Euro 2020 warm-up tournament in Qatar, featuring Portugal, Belgium, Croatia and Switzerland, cancelled.
FIFA Congress, due to take place in Addis Ababa on June 5, was delayed until September 18.
The prestigious ATP and WTA Indian Wells tournament was cancelled as California health officials declared a public health emergency in the Indian Wells-Palm Springs area after there was a confirmed case of the coronavirus, the first major sports event in the US to be shelved because of the outbreak.
The inaugural Fed Cup Finals scheduled for next month in Budapest were postponed.
The Six Nations match between Italy and England in Rome on March 14 as well as the Ireland v Italy duel in Dublin on March 7 were postponed.
Title challengers France's final game against Ireland, also scheduled for March 14, was also put off until October.
Scotland's women's Six Nations match against France last Saturday was postponed after a Scottish player tested positive for the coronavirus.
Sevens World Series tournaments in Hong Kong on April 3-5 and Singapore the following weekend will now be played in October.
Bahrain's Formula One Grand Prix on March 20-22 will be held without spectators.
The Chinese Grand Prix, which was set for April 19 in Shanghai, has been postponed.
In motorcycling, the season-opening Qatar MotoGP was cancelled, along with the Thailand MotoGP on March 22 (postponed until October 4). On Tuesday the Grand Prix of the Americas at Austin was rescheduled from April to November, while the MotoGP race in Argentina was also put on hold.
Formula E indefinitely postponed the Rome E-Prix, which was due to be held on April 4.
The NBA suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus
The spring classic Milan-San Remo, scheduled for March 21, was postponed, having only previously been cancelled three times since the inaugural edition in 1907.
The Strade Bianchi, the first big race of the Italian cycling season set for last Saturday, was also cancelled along with the multi-day Tirreno-Adriatico.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said last week that the nightmare scenario of either cancelling or postponing this year's Tokyo Olympics was not discussed at a key meeting.
"Neither the word cancellation nor postponement was mentioned today during the Executive Board meeting," Bach told reporters in Lausanne.
The Olympics take place from July 24-August 9.
European Tour chiefs postponed the Maybank Championship in Malaysia and the China Open in Shenzhen -- both set for April.
The US LPGA Tour cancelled all three of its lucrative early-season events in Asia with a combined prize purse of more than $5 million.
The Indian Open in New Delhi, set for March 19-22, was postponed on Wednesday.
The World Indoor Championships, scheduled for Nanjing from March 13-15, were postponed until next year.
The Paris Marathon, scheduled for April 5 with 60,000 registered runners, was postponed until October 18.
The Barcelona Marathon, which was scheduled for March 15 with 17,000 runners, was postponed until October.
The World Cup finals, scheduled for Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy between March 16-22, were cancelled.
This weekend's three women's races in Are were scrapped, crowning Federica Brignone as the overall champion.
Spectators are barred from the last two races of the men's world Cup in Slovenia this weekend.
World championships, scheduled for Montreal next week, were cancelled.
Japan's domestic baseball season, originally set to open on March 10, was postponed.
The Women's World Ice Hockey Championships, set for Halifax and Truro in Nova Scotia for March 31 to April 10, were cancelled.
(With inputs from AFP)