More football league games, other sports events called off. The havoc being wreaked by the coronavirus disease has caused an unprecedented day of cancellations as league programmes in England, Spain, Portugal, Holland and the United States were called off to help contain the spread of the dreaded pandemic.
The Premier League announced last Monday that matches are postponed until April 4 and the EFL until April 3. All Scottish football events were also suspended so as the international matches of Wales against Austria and the United States set for the end of March.
Two friendlies by England later this month at Wembley as well as the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship were all cancelled by the Football Association.
UEFA had earlier announced the suspension of Champions League and Europa League fixtures set for this coming week. The quarterfinals draws for both tournaments were also put off.
As for the status of Euro 2020, UEFA set a meeting this Tuesday whether the tournament can be held as scheduled. Euro 2020 has been set for June 12 to July 12.
In a related development, football coach Mikel Arteta of Arsenal have tested positive for the coronavirus. Players have also been infected, amongst them winger Callum Hudson-Odoi of Arsenal, goalkeeper Artur Boruc of Bournemouth, and Juventus defender Daniele Rugani.
Three Leicester City players have shown symptoms of the virus, whilst the entire first-team of Everton and the coaching staff are on self-quarantine status. This after a first-team player reported symptoms related with the virus.
In Spain, Real Madrid players were told to go into quarantine, whilst in Italy, the hardest hit country after China, all domestic sports events, amongst them the Serie A, have been cancelled until April 3.
In France, games in the top two football divisions – Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 – were called off until further notice.
Matches in the Bundesliga will be played behind closed doors this weekend, except for the RB Leipzig-Freiburg clash at Red Bull Arena which will be held without restrictions.
Also to be played behind closed doors is Ireland’s Euro 2020 playoff semifinal in Slovakia on March 26 but the Slovakian football association has already requested the UEFA to cancel the match instead.
Ireland’s Football Association has already announced that all football matches under its jurisdiction have been cancelled until March 29.
Elsewhere, World Cup qualifiers in the South America (CONMEBOL) set for March 23-31 have been called off to a later date.
OTHER SPORTS EVENTS AFFECTED
As the coronavirus continues to sow terror around the world other big sporting events are now also in danger being postponed such as the Euro 2020, Olympics scheduled in Japan, and this year’s golf major tournaments amongst others.
Despite the suggestion of Japan Olymic Minister Seiko Hashimoto that the Olympics 20202 could be suspended until later this year, the International Olympic Committee said they are fully committed to stage the Tokyo Games.
The season-ending Austrian Grand Prix in Formula One has also been postponed, so as the France-Ireland and Italy-England matches in the final round of the Guinness Six nations.
In basketball, the NBA season has been cancelled “until further notice after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.
In golf, the Players Champonship has been suspended as well as all PGA Tour events for the next three weeks.
Other sports events with suspended games are motorcycling, cricket, cycling, tennis, horse rcing, athletics, rugby, snooker, ice skating, judo, darts and ice hockey.