How the coronavirus has hit global sport | Daily News


 

How the coronavirus has hit global sport

Members of the media wearing face masks are seen during the singles match between Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan and Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador on day one of the Davis Cup qualifier at the Bourbon Beans Dome in Miki, Hyogo, Japan. The two-day qualifier was held behind closed doors due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Members of the media wearing face masks are seen during the singles match between Yasutaka Uchiyama of Japan and Roberto Quiroz of Ecuador on day one of the Davis Cup qualifier at the Bourbon Beans Dome in Miki, Hyogo, Japan. The two-day qualifier was hel

PARIS: AFP looks at the effects on sport of the coronavirus, which by Tuesday had killed over 4,250 people while infecting more than 117,000 in over 105 countries.

FOOTBALL

-- In Italy, the hardest-hit European country with 631 deaths from COVID-19, all sporting events including Serie A have been suspended until April 3.

The suspension amounts to the postponement of two championship days, in a league which has already been hit by delays, with four previous matches yet to be played.

-- 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 nest two weeks.

-- Germany’s Bundesliga has barred fans from two games, and the national team’s March 31 friendly with Italy

-- Champions League games that will be played in front of empty stands include Paris Saint-Germain v Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona v Napoli, Bayern Munich v Chelsea.

-- Five Europa League games on Thursday including Manchester United away to LASK Linz will have no fans.

-- International friendlies to be played behind closed doors include France v Ukraine and France v Finland.

-- 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.

-- Former Danish international Thomas Kahlenberg tested positive for the virus, with 13 members of his former club Brondby’s staff put into quarantine.

-- Two women’s international friendlies in France on Tuesday between France v Netherlands in Valenciennes and Canada v Brazil in Calais will go ahead behind closed doors.

TENNIS

-- 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.

Many players had already arrived with main draw matches having been scheduled to begin Wednesday.

The tournament, which draws more than 400,000 fans each year, had already offered refunds to anyone who bought tickets but did not want to attend.

RUGBY UNION

-- 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 on 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.

MOTORSPORT

-- Bahrain’s Formula One Grand Prix on March 20-22 will be held without spectators.

-- Formula One’s Chinese Grand Prix, which was set for April 19 in Shanghai, has been postponed.

-- In motorcycling, this weekend’s 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 America’s at Austin was rescheduled from April to November.

-- Formula E indefinitely postponed the Rome E-Prix, which was due to be held on April 4.

-- The E-prix in Sanya, China, on March 21 has been cancelled.

-- The Le Mans 24 Hour motorbike endurance race, due to be staged on April 18-19, was moved to September 5-6

BASKETBALL

-- LeBron James backtracked on his threat not to play if his Los Angeles Lakers have to hold games behind closed doors due to the outbreak.

The NBA has reportedly told teams to look into strategies on how to play without fans in the arena amid concerns over the spreading virus.

“Nah. It’s impossible. If I show up to the arena and there ain’t no fans in the crowd, then I ain’t playing. This ain’t Europe,” he had said on Friday.

But Tuesday he said: “When I was asked the question, I had no idea it was actually a conversation going on behind closed doors about the virus.”

CYCLING

-- 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 Saturday, was also cancelled along with the multi-day Tirreno-Adriatico.

TOKYO OLYMPICS

-- 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.

-- Thursday’s Olympic Flame lighting ceremony in Olympia, where the ancient Games were held in Greece, will take place without an audience.

GOLF

-- 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.

ATHLETICS

-- The World Indoor Championships, scheduled for Nanjing from March 13-15, were postponed until next year.

-- World half-marathon championships, due to be held on March 29 in the Polish city of Gdynia, shelved until October 17.

-- 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.

ALPINE SKIING

-- The World Cup finals, scheduled for Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy between March 16-22, were cancelled.

-- Spectators are barred from the last two races of the men’s world Cup in Slovenia this weekend

BASEBALL

-- Japan’s domestic baseball season, originally set to open on March 10, was postponed.

ICE HOCKEY

-- The Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships, set for Halifax and Truro in Nova Scotia for March 31 to April 10, were cancelled. – AFP

 


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