Latest and major events
• Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been postponed to 2021 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
• Premier League shuts down until 30 April at least, although clubs expect the break to be longer
• Football League, Women’s Super League, Scottish football and European leagues are also suspended, while all non-league football in England has been voided
• In golf, The Open has been cancelled but the three other majors (US PGA, US Open and the Masters) have been given new dates for later in 2020
• All racing has been suspended until the end of April at least; the Grand National meeting at Aintree was cancelled with a virtual race run instead
Organisers of the Boat Race cancelled the event which had been due to take place on Sunday 29 March. In a statement on the official event website Robert Gillespie, chairman of The Boat Race Company, said: “Given the unprecedented situation our country and each of us as individuals faces, the public good far outweighs all other considerations.”
Northern Irishman Michael Conlan’s St Patrick’s Day fight in New York against Belmar Preciado at Madison Square Garden was called off, while Shakur Stevenson v Miguel Marriaga has also been postponed. Derek Chisora wore an anti-coronavirus suit and Oleksandr Usyk sprayed disinfectant at their press conference to announce their heavyweight fight in May. The Olympic qualifiers in London were held behind closed doors on Monday, but have now been called off. Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight fight against Kubrat Pulev, scheduled for 20 June, is expected to be moved to later in the year.
England’s Test squad have returned home after the series against Sri Lanka was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. “The physical and mental wellbeing of our players and support teams is paramount,” said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in a statement. The two-Test series was due to begin in Galle on Thursday, 19 March. Meanwhile, the start of the Indian Premier League has been delayed from 29 March to 15 April, while Cricket West Indies have put all regional tournaments on hold from 16 March.
The remaining two matches of India’s home one day international series against South Africa have now been postponed. South Africa announced the postponement of all domestic professional cricket for a period of 60 days as the government ramped up its response to the crisis. Having originally been moved behind closed doors, Australia and New Zealand’s ODI series has now also been postponed, as well as the three-match Twenty20 series. Australia’s Sheffield Shield has been abandoned, and New South Wales named champions, with one round to play.
The Giro d’Italia, which was due to begin in Hungary in May, has been postponed, while the Six Day Manchester that was due to be held 13-15 March did not take place. Tirreno-Adriatico, scheduled to take place all this week in Italy, has been postponed along with the one-day Classic Milan-Sanremo, which was scheduled for Saturday 21 March. The Belgian one-day Classics Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem have all been postponed. In Spain the week-long Volta a Catalunya, where Chris Froome was set to compete for Team Ineos from 23-29 March, has also been postponed.
The UK-based Women’s Tour and Tour Series have both been postponed. Race organisers will now attempt to work with the UCI and British Cycling to find an alternative date for the Women’s WorldTour event, which was originally set to take place between 8-13 June.
The PDC has moved its Premier League double-header in Rotterdam from the end of March to the 9-10 September. This week’s round of games, scheduled for Thursday in Newcastle, will now take place on 1 October.
All elite football in Britain has been suspended until at least 3 April, with every game in England’s Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship now postponed. Having initially allowed matches to continue, the National League announced on Monday that all its matches are suspended until 3 April at the earliest in line with the highest levels of the game.
Scotland has also suspended domestic professional and grassroots football until further notice, and this year’s PFA Awards have been put on hold. The Hillsborough memorial service, set to take place at Anfield on 15 April, has been postponed.
Uefa has postponed all continental tournaments, including all of next week’s Champions League and Europa League fixtures. After meeting stakeholders including representatives of its 55 member associations on Tuesday, European football’s governing body has delayed Euro 2020 for a year.
European domestic leagues
France and Germany followed Italy, Portugal and the majority of domestic European leagues in postponing fixtures until at least the start of April. Spain’s La Liga has begun preparing to return to action, with dates being considered from 28 May onwards.
Rest of world
The 2020 Copa América has been moved to 2021, to allow players based in Europe the opportunity to finish their league campaigns.
Most countries who have reported cases of the coronavirus have taken steps to postpone their domestic programmes, while Fifa has also put this month’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Asia on hold and advised that internationals due to be played in March and April should be postponed indefinitely.
The Open, due to take place at Royal St George’s in July, has been cancelled. The venue will now host the 2021 event. Martin Slumbers, the R&A’s chief executive, said: “I can assure everyone that we have explored every option for playing the Open this year but it is not going to be possible.”
For the first time since 1945, the Masters will not take place in the second week of April after Augusta National postponed golf’s first major of the year. “We hope this puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date,” said chairman Fred Ridley. The decision followed the abandonment of the Players Championship at Sawgrass during the first round on Thursday, while the PGA Tour has also cancelled the Valero Texas Open.
The US PGA Championship in San Francisco has been postponed following updated recommendations from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The ANA Inspiration – the first ladies’ major of the year – was also postponed.
All racing has been suspended until the end of April. The news came shortly after this year’s Grand National meeting at Aintree being cancelled. The BHA have said other race meetings are set to take place behind closed doors, although the situation is subject to change.
After the Australian Grand Prix was dramatically postponed, the FIA quickly confirmed that the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix and since then the Azerbaijan GP has become the eighth race to be postponed.
Meanwhile, Formula E has suspended its season until May which means races in Paris, Seoul and Jakarta will be affected. Nascar has postponed races in Atlanta and Miami this month, and will not race until 3 May at the earliest. MotoGP has cancelled its opening race in Qatar, and after postponing seven events the earliest it can now commence is 21 June.
The second grand slam of the year, the French Open, has been moved from May to September – but the decision has created confusion, with the tournament now taking place a week after the US Open and alongside the Laver Cup. Wimbledon has been cancelled for 2020.
The ATP Tour suspended all events for six weeks and the WTA Tour has now confirmed that there will be no tournaments until 2 May. “This is not a decision that was taken lightly,” said the ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.
The government’s upcoming ban on mass public gatherings has led the RFL to suspend the Super League season, and also put lower-league games on hold. The new England coach, Shaun Wane, has cancelled a planned gathering of his squad at Old Trafford this month.
The Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland in Cardiff was called off 24 hours before kick off, leaving the tournament in limbo with several games to be rearranged.
On Monday, the English Premiership was suspended for five weeks, with the Heineken Champions Cup and Challenge Cup also postponed. The Pro14 competition and all French rugby union have also been halted. Sunday’s Premiership Rugby Cup final between Sale and Harlequins was called off. The WRU has also put all forms of rugby on hold in Wales, including training and courses.
The World Snooker Championship has been postponed. Judd Trump had been due to defend his title at the tournament, which was scheduled to take place from 18 April to 4 May. It is now hoped it may be rescheduled for July or August.
World Triathlon has announced the suspension of all races and activities until the end of April, immediately after the Mooloolaba World Cup in Australia was completed.
The Fight Night 171 event at London’s O2 next weekend has been pulled due to the travel restrictions imposed by the United States. All of the card’s main fights have been cancelled, but UFC’s president Dana White insists it will still go ahead, albeit in the US.
The Boston Marathon has been moved to September, following the suspension of several other sports in the US, including Major League Soccer, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and the XFL.
NFL teams have put back travel arrangements and cancelled face-to-face meetings with draft prospects. Free agency is open, however, with Tom Brady creating some actual sports news by leaving the New England Patriots.