Sports Events Situation Following the Worldwide Health Warnings

Najim Najim Omniscient sports guru who breathes and lives sports.
Updated Updated: May 26, 2020
sports events postponed or cancelled

The actual health situation in the world has quickly encompassed Europe and the UK in the space of just a few weeks. We are now facing a time of uncertainty in our day to day lives and this has led to a direct knock-on effect within the sporting world as well. Also, not to forget that some prestigious eSports competitions have been impacted by this health warning.

All the major football leagues in the UK and around Europe have postponed upcoming matches and there is no concrete date on when they will return.

The full widespread impact of the health warnings is still yet uncertain and so the governing bodies will need to put public safety first, and that means the delay of many sporting events that cover both the domestic and international calendars.

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Cancelled sports events so far

In the last few days, we have seen official announcements from nearly all the major leagues and competitions that live football is to be postponed. Many of the leagues are fully postponed yet some leagues such as the French Ligue 1 and Ukrainian Premier League will carry on but with the games being played out behind closed doors.

These drastic measures are in line with each of the nation’s governmental warnings that gatherings of large groups of people should not be allowed for the foreseeable future.

List of some of the biggest sports events impacted (Update 07th April):

  • The Premier League and EFL are both postponed along with all the linked cup competitions.
  • Serie A was the first to announce the delay in football and this has quickly swept across the top leagues such as La Liga and the Bundesliga.
  • UEFA has also postponed all Champions League and Europa League cup competition football. President Aleksander Ceferin has warned of a complete stop if the lockdown is still in place come the start of September.
  • Many of the leagues have initially delayed their seasons for two weeks or at least two matchdays, but it is becoming increasingly clear that these delays will extend further as the disease continues to infect the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
  • The UEFA Euro 2020 is postponed to Fri, 11 Jun 2021 – Sun, 11 Jul 2021
  • The Grand National 2020 has been canceled
  • The three divisions of England’s National League have all been cancelled for the season
  • UEFA are banning all international games until the end of June
  • Anthony Joshua’s world title fight against Kubrat Pulev that was scheduled for the 20th June has officially been postponed
  • The UFC fight Khabib vs Tony Ferguson that was scheduled for the 18th April has been replaced by Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje at the same date.

Update 26th May

It seems that the recent restrictions are slowly being lifted but there are still many sports and tournaments that will continue to be affected around the world. Some of the top football leagues have restarted such as the Bundesliga and there are ongoing talks in regard to the Premier League.

Many of the American sports authorities are trying to work out the best possible route to bring their weekly schedules back into play as well. So it does seem as though there is a lot of talk going on, but there is still a lot of doubt over many of the top events.

Here is the latest summary so far:

  • English Premier League (looks set to miss the original 12th June restart date)
  • Spanish La Liga (possible start date on 11th June)
  • French Ligue 1 has been declared as finished with PSG being announced champions
  • Champions League & Europa League still postponed
  • PGA is currently issuing memos to the players in regard to the new schedule set for June
  • Paris Track & Field event is still cancelled in the summer
  • No USA gymnastics will be held for the remainder of the year
  • Tour de France is due to start on August 29th
  • Wimbledon Tennis has been postponed for the first time since the WW2
  • The French Tennis Open has been moved back to September 20th to October 4th
  • Esports is still suffering on the international scale with the Fortnite World Cup being cancelled
  • London Marathon has been postponed until October 4th and the Boston Marathon moved to September 14th

Ongoing Competitions

Even with all this talk of postponed sports, there are still some events taking place this month:

  • A handful of table tennis matches are still being played which includes the Moscow Liga Pro and the Setka Cup.
  • The Chinese Taipei Super Basketball League is still running matches behind closed doors
  • The Belarusian Premier League still maintains its stance of carrying on.
  • Some eSports competition are still played closed door.

Update 26th May

The most notable reappearance in the sporting schedule has been the Bundesliga. It seems as though the teams are cramming in as many games as possible to get the league finished as soon as possible, but it has been a welcome relief for football and sports fans across the world as it has given us some extra entertainment that we have so sorely missed.

  • Bundesliga football, as well as South Korean, Belarus, Tajikistan, Burundi, Taiwan, and Nicaragua leagues
  • Chinese Taipei Professional Basketball and Baseball Leagues
  • Various Horse Racing including Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, and Sweden.
  • Many esports leagues and competitions are still thriving
  • US Pro Tennis
  • Various Table Tennis leagues
tokyo 2020 logo

About the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Nothing really compares in the size and importance of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan though. Unfortunately, the event has been postponed and so it will take place in summer 2021. The event will still be called “Tokyo 2020” even if happening in 2021.

This is what the authorities said on Tuesday:

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today [Tuesday], the IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”

What to expect in the future?

We expect many dates to chop and change over the coming weeks and the likely outcome is that many of these events and competitions will be postponed until next year. Seasonal sports such as football might eventually be played behind closed doors but this won’t go down well with supporters and the teams themselves.

Other options include canceling the season altogether but this is highly unlikely and unfair to all the teams involved.

One other option would be to continue the season later on in the summer as it has been decided that the Euro 2020 is going to be postponed to summer 2021.

As you can see, most options come with a knock-on effect and this is the very reason why officials need to take the time to agree on the right decision for everyone concerned.

The current situation in the world

The health situation is now taking hold across the world and each day we are seeing stricter rules and isolation measures being mentioned.

In the UK, it’s only a matter of time before an extended lockdown is put in place. The general population is starting to work from home and they are being told to reduce their social life by staying clear of large groups of people.

It’s highly expected that we will see the UK government asking the elderly population to isolate themselves in the early days of April. As for the rest of the population, it will likely be life as usual unless they are showing any signs and symptoms. We still don’t know if professional football matches are going to make a quick return with perhaps smaller attendances or with them being played behind closed doors, for now, we will have to wait and see what happens.

FAQ

Yes, multiple players and managers have been tested positive and this has quickly led to related matches being postponed. Many more sports have seen possible cases with multiple athletes being told to self-isolate.

The virus easily spreads via infected surfaces and airborne droplets. However, it is not completely understood how the disease is spreading with the possibility that many people without symptoms might be passing it on unknowingl

Yes, the number of positive patients are starting to increase significantly across the UK. Experts are almost certain that the overall number patients affected is set to increase over the coming weeks and months.

It is still unknown as to how the disease started but it is widely accepted that the virus is linked to an animal market in Wuhan, China. The earliest origin of the virus has been commonly linked to bats.

The main symptoms of the disease are very similar to flu-like symptoms, these include a high fever and a consistent cough that eventually leads to shortness of breath. These symptoms can be anywhere from mild to severe and fatal.

The best way to stop the spread and to prevent yourself from catching it is to practice a high level of hygiene every day. The best advice is to wash your hands regularly and to cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.

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