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How coronavirus has hit the world of sport so far

The Telegraph looks at sporting events around the world that may be cancelled or played behind closed doors
A general view outside the stadium of closed ticket counters in Hamburg, Germany, on Thursday. The matches of Hamburger SV will be played behind closed doors following a decision to prohibit events with more than 1,000 visitors
A general view outside the stadium of closed ticket counters in Hamburg, Germany, on Thursday. The matches of Hamburger SV will be played behind closed doors following a decision to prohibit events with more than 1,000 visitors
(Getty Images)

The Telegraph   |   Published 12.03.20, 10:51 PM


In doubt

  • IPL 2020: The governing council is set to meet on Saturday amid concerns over the fate of the tournament. The ministry of external affairs on Thursday advised the BCCI against holding the tournament, set to begin on March 29, but has left it to the organisers to take a final call. There is also a cloud on the availability of foreign players following the visa guidelines issued by the Centre. One possibility is the games will be held without spectators but whether franchises would be agreeable to such a suggestion remains to be seen.


  • India vs SA ODI series: The last two games at Lucknow (March 15) and Calcutta (March 18) will be played in empty stadiums.
  • Ranji Trophy final: The last day’s play at Rajkot between Saurashtra and Bengal will be held without any spectators.


In doubt

  • UEFA Champions League and Europa League: UEFA are mulling suspending both the Champions League and Europa League. UEFA will hold a crisis meeting on Tuesday.
  • Euro 2020: Growing concerns that some matches at Euro 2020 could be called off if the coronavirus outbreak gets worse between now and the summer.


  • The Indian Super League final, scheduled for March 14 between ATK FC and Chennaiyin FC, will be played without fans in attendance at Fatorda, Goa.
  • All I-League matches, including Sunday’s derby between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, will be played in empty stadiums.
  • Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has gone into isolation in Madeira, Portugal, after it emerged that his club team-mate, Daniele Rugani, has coronavirus.
  • Real Madrid has gone into quarantine as La Liga announced Spain’s top two divisions will be suspended for at least two weeks over the coronavirus. One of Real Madrid’s basketball players tested positive for the virus. Real Madrid’s football and basketball players share facilities at Ciudad Real Madrid, the club’s training ground in Valdebebas.
  • A number of Leicester City players have shown symptoms of coronavirus and have been “kept away from the squad”, manager Brendan Rodgers said.
  • The Premier League clash between Manchester City and Arsenal, scheduled for March 11, was postponed as a “precautionary measure” after Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis tested positive for coronavirus weeks after watching his Greek team play at the Emirates Stadium.
  • In Spain, April 18’s Copa del Rey final between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad has been postponed.
  • Fifa and the Asian Football Confederation have agreed to postpone the Asian World Cup qualifying matches in March and June.
  • Champions League: Valencia vs Atalanta (March 10) and Paris St Germain vs Borussia Dortmund (March 11) took place in empty stadiums. Barcelona vs Napoli and Bayern Munich vs Chelsea (both March 18) will be played without fans. The Manchester City vs Real Madrid and Juventus vs Olympique Lyonnais ties have been postponed.
  • Europa League: Manchester United vs LASK and Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Olympiacos Piraeus, both on March 12, will be played without fans.



  • McLaren have pulled out of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after a team member tested positive for coronavirus, throwing the race into chaos.
  • The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai has been postponed.
  • The Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead on March 22 without fans.


In doubt

  • The scale of the outbreak in Japan saw senior International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound describe the disease as “the new war” threatening Tokyo 2020 and he warned the Games may have to be cancelled if the virus was still around by May. The Japanese government later insisted Pound’s comments were not the IOC’s official stance but there remains doubts over whether it can still go ahead.


  • Training for around 80,000 volunteers for the Games has been delayed for at least two months.
  • The traditional torch-lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia, Greece, was held on Thursday with no fans in attendance.



  • The ATP has announced a six-week suspension of the men’s professional tennis tour due to escalating health and safety issues arising from the global outbreak of COVID-19.



  • World Athletics Indoor Championships (March 13-15 in Nanjing) is off until 2021.
  • North Korea cancelled the Pyongyang Marathon scheduled for April after imposing a border lockdown.

In doubt

  • A mixed relay Olympic triathlon qualification event scheduled for Chengdu, China, in May has been moved to Valencia, pending an outbreak in Spain.



  • German Open (March 3-8), Vietnam Open (March 24-29) and Polish Open (March 26-29), all Olympic qualifying events, are cancelled due to ‘strict health protection’.



  • The NBA suspended its season until further notice after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the virus.
  • Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and National Hockey Leagues have temporarily restricted locker-room access to players and essential staff.

Other sports

  • The International Fencing Federation has postponed all international events for the next five weeks, including four Olympic qualifying tournaments. In sabre category, India’s Bhavani Devi is in contention for a Tokyo berth.
  • Two World Rowing Cups, the European Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta and the final Paralympic Qualification Regatta, all due to be held in Italy between April 10 and May 10, have been cancelled.
  • The world table tennis championships in Busan, South Korea, have been pushed back provisionally from March to June.
  • The April 21-26 table tennis World Tour Japan Open in Kitakyushu has been postponed. 

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