Timeline of the impact of Coronavirus on sporting events

Egypt bars entry of Qatari nationals over coronavirus fears

The spread of the Coronavirus around the world has impacted the staging of sporting events across many countries.

So far, Japan’s J League is suspended until at least 3 April having initially postponed matches until 18 March.

Also, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) says April’s ITTF World Tour Japan Open is postponed. It hopes to hold the event later in 2020.

In football, Olympiakos v Wolves and Sevilla v Roma in the Europa League, scheduled to be played on 12 March, will now take place behind closed doors.

Also, all sports at all levels in Italy is to be suspended until at least 3 April, the country’s prime minister has announced.


Rugby Union:

The Six Nations match between France and Ireland, scheduled for 14 March, is postponed – Italy v England, initially set for the same day, was postponed four days earlier.

Other postponements:

  • Rugby Union: The Women’s Six Nations fixture between Wales and Scotland is postponed after a Scottish player tests positive for the virus.
  • TENNIS: Indian Wells, a combined ATP and WTA event which is one of the most prestigious tournaments outside of the Grand Slams, is cancelled two days before the main draw matches were due to start.
  • FOOTBALL: The Romanian Football Federation announces that all league matches will be played behind closed doors until further notice and ticket sales for the 2021 European Under-21 Championship qualifier between Romania and Denmark on 31 March are suspended.
  • BASEBALL: Japanese officials postpone the start of the professional baseball league season, scheduled for 20 March.
  • FOOTBALL: The Asian qualifiers for the Qatar World Cup in 2022, due to be played on 23-31 March and 1-9 June, are postponed.
  • FOOTBALL: Paris St-Germain’s Champions League last-16 match against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday will be played behind closed doors.
  • CYCLING: Organisers of the Paris-Nice race said the event will now be ‘behind closed doors’.
  • SPORT: The government says there is ‘no rationale’ for cancelling sport events in the UK .
  • WINTER SPORT: The Italian Winters Sports Federation has suspended all sporting activity across its disciplines, including skiing, snowboarding and biathlon due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • SNOOKER: The attendance in the arena for the Gibraltar Open, which starts on 11 March, will be limited to 100 people as a precautionary measure.
  • JUDO: The International Judo Federation said that all World Judo Tour events were cancelled until the end of April.
  • BOXING: Francesco Patera vs Devis Boschiero, due to take place on 27 March in Verona, Italy, for the vacant interim WBA World Lightweight Title was postponed.
South Africa triumphs in 2019 Rugby World Cup final

8 March Formula 1

  • The Bahrain Grand Prix from 20-22 March will be held behind closed doors.
  • FOOTBALL: Uefa has banned pre-match handshakes between players and officials in all its competitions until further notice.
  • FOOTBALL: All Bulgarian league matches over next two rounds will be played behind closed doors and all sporting events in the Pleven and Gabrovo regions of the country will be postponed.
  • SPORT: The Greek government announces that that all professional sports events for the next two weeks will be played without spectators.

7 March

  • ATHLETICS: The Barcelona Marathon, which was scheduled for 15 March, has been postponed until 25 October.
  • ICE HOCKEY: The 2020 IIHF Women’s World Championship, due to be held in Canada between 31 March and 10 April, is cancelled.

6 March

  • ATHLETICS: The World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia, Poland, which were to be held on 29 March, are postponed until 17 October.
  • FORMULA E: The Rome E-Prix, scheduled for 4 April, is postponed.
  • CYCLING: One-day classic Milan-San Remo, scheduled for 21 March, is postponed.
  • GOLF: The European Tour’s Kenya Open, due to take place between 12-15 March, is postponed.
  • SKIING: The Alpine Skiing World Cup finals scheduled for 18-22 March in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, is cancelled.
  • GYMNASTICS: The Gymnastics World Cup event in Doha, Qatar, between 18-21 March will be held behind closed doors.
  • SPORT: Governing bodies and broadcasters called to a government meeting on 9 March to discuss the staging of events behind closed doors if outbreak worsens and mass gatherings are banned.
  • RUGBY UNION: Scotland Women’s Six Nations match with France is postponed after a home player contracts coronavirus.
  • SPORT: Saudi Arabia suspends public attendance at all sports events starting on 7 March.
  • FOOTBALL: Paris St-Germain’s league fixture at Strasbourg is postponed.

5 March

  • FOOTBALL: The Premier League bans pre-match handshakes to help prevent the spread of the virus.
  • ATHLETICS: The Rome Marathon, due to take place on 29 March is postponed with all entries moved to 2021 while the Paris Marathon, due to take place on 5 April is rescheduled for 18 October.
  • FOOTBALL: Valencia’s Champions League last-16 tie at home to Atalanta on 10 March will be played behind closed doors in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.
  • CYCLING: Italy’s Strade Bianche event, due to take place on 7 March, is postponed.
  • RUGBY UNION: England’s men’s, women’s and under 20s Six Nations games against Italy across the weekend of 14/15 March are postponed.
  • CYCLING: Several teams withdraw from all races until the end of March.
  • FOOTBALL: The Morocco Football Federation orders all matches in the country to be played behind closed doors until further notice, to try and combat the spread of the coronavirus.
  • GOLF: The Mena Tour postpones the rest of this season’s tournaments until September. On the Asian Tour, the Royal’s Cup, scheduled for 12-15 March in Thailand, is postponed indefinitely.
  • DISABILITY SPORT: The International Paralympic Committee announces a review of qualifying for this summer’s Paralympics due to cancellation of events, but the Games will go ahead “as planned”.
  • TAEKWONDO: The European Olympic and Paralympic taekwondo qualification event – scheduled to take place between 17-19 March – is to be moved from Milan to Moscow.

4 March

  • CYCLING: Team Ineos withdraws from all races until 23 March because of the death of sporting director Nicolas Portal and the “very uncertain” coronavirus situation.
  • ALL SPORT: All Italian sport, including England’s men’s and women’s Six Nations matches in Rome and all Serie A games, will be played behind closed doors until 3 April.
  • OLYMPICS: International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach says there was no talk of “cancellation” or “postponement” regarding Tokyo 2020 at an executive board meeting.
  • FOOTBALL: Italy’s sports minister says Serie A games may be played behind closed doors in an effort to contain coronavirus.
  • CYCLING: UAE Tour riders and staff from Cofidis, Groupama-FDJ and Gazprom are to be held in quarantine until 14 March, as Mitchelton-Scott withdraws from European races in March.
  • BASKETBALL: Inaugural Basketball Africa League due to start on 13 March in Dakar, Senegal has been postponed.
  • RUGBY UNION: Asia Sevens Invitational 2020 tournament, a test event for the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to take place from 25-26 April, is cancelled.
  • BADMINTON: Asia Championships, scheduled for April 21-26, are moved to the Philippines from China.

3 March

  • JUDO: The International Judo Federation has announced the cancellation of the Rabat Grand Prix in Morocco, which was due to take place from 6-8 March.
  • FOOTBALL: Italian Cup semi-final second leg between Juventus and AC Milan in Turin on Wednesday postponed.
  • TENNIS: The ATP has cancelled or postponed six tournaments on the second-tier Challenger Tour. The events in Anning, China on 20 April and Samarkand, Uzbekistan on 11 May have been cancelled. Three tournaments in South Korea – Seoul, Busan and Gwangju – have been put back to August and another in Spanish capital Madrid rescheduled for October.
  • DISABILITY SPORT: The World Shooting Para Sport World Cup, which was set to take place in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates from 11-22 March, is cancelled.
  • MOTORSPORT: The second World Superbikes race of the season in Qatar, which was due to take place from 13-15 March, is postponed.
  • SPORT CLIMBING: Olympic test event from 6-7 March in Tokyo to be held without athletes. Organisers said Tokyo 2020 staff would take the place of athletes to “test operational readiness”.
  • DISABILITY SPORT: Japan Para Wheelchair Rugby Championships, a test event for the Paralympics scheduled for 12-15 March, is cancelled.
  • TENNIS: WTA event the Kunming Open, scheduled for 27 April-3 May in the Chinese city of Anning, is cancelled.

2 March

  • FOOTBALL: The Swiss Football League is suspended until 23 March following a meeting between all 20 clubs.
  • FOOTBALL: International Champions Cup matches due to take place in Asia this summer are cancelled.
  • CRICKET: Ireland women’s cricket tour to Thailand for a four-team tournament was cancelled.
  • MOTORSPORT: The season’s second MotoGP, set for Thailand on 22 March, is cancelled “in the best interests of the nation and participants”. The season opening race had already been cancelled.

1 March

  • MOTORSPORT: The opening MotoGP of the season in Qatar on 8 March is cancelled as a result of travel restrictions imposed on passengers from Italy because of coronavirus.
  • FOOTBALL: The Serie A match between Sampdoria’s and Hellas Verona, scheduled for 2 March, is also postponed because of the outbreak in Italy.

29 February

  • FOOTBALL: Five Serie A matches, including Juventus’ game at home to Inter Milan, that were due to be played on the weekend of 29 February and 1 March were postponed following the outbreak of the virus in Italy.
  • TRIATHLON: The opening event in the World Triathlon Series in Abu Dhabi, which was due to take place from 5-7 March, was postponed as a “precautionary measure” after a number of new cases were reported in the city. Organisers say they hope to reschedule the event later in March or April.

28 February

  • FOOTBALL: The weekend’s matches in Switzerland’s top two divisions were postponed, and the World Anti-Doping Agency cancelled next month’s annual symposium in the Swiss city of Lausanne.
  • WRESTLING: The Asian Olympic Games qualifying, due to take place from 27-29 March in Kyrgyzstan was cancelled, due to government advice to prevent the spread of the virus.

27 February

  • CYCLING: UAE Tour cancelled after two “staff members” at the event tested positive for coronavirus
  • SKIING: The annual Engadin ski marathon in Switzerland, one of the world’s largest cross-country skiing events with around 14,000 participants, due to take place on 8 March, is cancelled.

26 February

  • RUGBY UNION: Ireland v Italy’s Six Nations game in Italy on 7 March postponed.
  • SKATING: World Short Track Speed Skating Championships, due to take place in Seoul, South Korea from 13-15 March, cancelled.

25 February

  • RUGBY UNION: Six Nations officials says they are “monitoring” the situation in Italy, where England are due to play on 14 March.
  • TABLE TENNIS: World Table Tennis Championships in South Korea, due to be held from 22-29 March, are postponed until June.
  • FOOTBALL: Japan’s J-League postpones all domestic games until the middle of March.
  • FOOTBALL: Five matches in the next round of fixtures in Italy’s Serie A are ordered to be played behind closed doors.
  • OLYMPICS: International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound says preparations for the Tokyo Games in July are “business as usual”.
  • FORMULA 1: Ferrari restricts access to its factory in northern Italy for those that are “resident in or have visited the affected municipalities”.
  • HORSE RACING: An industry steering group will look at potential implications but there is currently no threat to next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

24 February

  • RUGBY UNION: Ospreys and Ulster’s Pro14 trips to play in Italy on 29 February were postponed. Ospreys were due to play Zebre in Parma with Treviso the venue for Ulster’s game against Benetton. The Italian Rugby Federation also suspended its National Championship and youth games for the weekend of 28 February to 1 March.
  • The start of the K-League season was postponed, with the four teams in the AFC Champions League playing their matches behind closed doors.

23 February

  • FOOTBALL: Selected Serie A matches in the northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto were postponed. Several matches in Serie B and Serie D, as well as a number of amateur and youth games, were also called off.
  • RUGBY UNION: Scotland Women’s Six Nations match with Italy postponed.

21 February

  • FOOTBALL: China’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers at home to Maldives and away to Guam moved to Thailand and will be played behind closed doors in March.
  • FOOTBALL: Daegu FC and Pohang Steelers home fixtures in South Korea’s K-League were postponed.
  • TABLE TENNIS: The first-stage draw for the Table Tennis World Championships, scheduled to take place in South Korea from 22 to 29 Match, was postponed. Organisers are going to take World Health Organisation advice before deciding whether to postpone the event entirely.
Coco Gauff (L) shakes hands with Naomi Osaka (R) during the third round of the US Open

20 February

  • TENNIS: The women’s Xi’an Open, which was scheduled for 13 to 19 April, was cancelled. The WTA said it was monitoring the situation with several events scheduled to take place in China in the second half of the season.

18 February

  • TENNIS: China forfeited a Davis Cup tie because its men’s team were unable to travel to Romania for their play-off at the start of March.
  • BEACH VOLLEYBALL: A beach volleyball tournament, due to be held from 22 to 26 April in Yangzhou, was postponed until after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
  • MMA: Organisers of the Asian mixed martial arts One Championship said the event, scheduled for February 29 in Singapore, will take place behind closed doors.

17 February

  • WEIGHTLIFTING: The Asian weightlifting championships, scheduled for March, were relocated from Kazakhstan to neighbouring Uzbekistan.

15 February

  • GYMNASTICS: The Chinese team pulled out of the Gymnastics World Cup in Melbourne.

14 February

  • GOLF: The European Tour’s Maybank Championship and Volvo China Open, both scheduled for April, were postponed.
  • BASKETBALL: Fiba Asia Cup basketball qualifying matches between Japan and China, Philippines and Thailand and China and Malaysia were all postponed.

13 February

  • RUGBY SEVENS: The Singapore and Hong Kong legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series were postponed from April until October.

12 February

  • GOLF: The PGA Tour Series-China postponed two qualifying tournaments and delayed the start of its 2020 campaign by two months, cutting the number of regular season tournaments from 14 to 10
  • FORMULA ONE: The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, set for April 19, was postponed by the governing body FIA and Formula One. Authorities will weigh potential alternative dates later this year if the situation improves.

11 February

  • FOOTBALL: The Asian Football Confederation saidpreliminary stage matchesof the East Zone of the AFC Cup were postponed until April due to travel curbs in several countries.

9 February

  • GOLF: The Honda LPGA Thailand event in Pattaya, Thailand scheduled for 20 to 23 February and the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore, scheduled to start on February 27, were both postponed.

8 February

  • GOLF: The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific golf championship, due take place from 12 to 15 February in Thailand, was postponed and rescheduled for October.

7 February

  • HOCKEY: Hockey Pro League matches between China and Australia, scheduled for 14 to 25 March in Changzhou, were postponed.
  • FOOTBALL: Vietnam said it would not allow sports events to be hosted in February, meaning home AFC Cup group stage matches for Ho Chi Minh City and Than Quang Ninh were switched to away fixtures.

4 February

  • FOOTBALL: Asian Champions League matches involving Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG were postponed until April.

2 February

  • MOTORSPORT: The all-electric Formula E motor racing series abandoned plans for a race in Sanya on 21 March.

1 February

  • BADMINTON: The China Masters tournament in Hainan, scheduled to start on February 25, was postponed after several players withdrew. The Badminton World Federation said it hoped the flagship Badminton Asia Championships could still go ahead in Wuhan in April.

31 January

  • GOLF: The elite women’s LPGA golf tour cancelled the Blue Bay tournament due to be held on Hainan Island in March.
  • SNOOKER: The lucrative China Open in Beijing, which was due to take place from 30 March to 5 April, finishing 13 days before the World Championship starts at the Crucible, was postponed.

30 January

  • FOOTBALL: The Chinese Football Association said domestic games at all levels would be postponed.

29 January

  • FOOTBALL: The home leg of the Chinese women’s national team’s Olympic qualification play-off against South Korea in March was switched in Sydney. The squad were held in quarantine upon their arrival in Australia for January’s qualifying group stage.
  • ATHLETICS: The World Athletics Indoor Championships, scheduled for Nanjing from 13 to 15 March, were postponed until next year.

27 January

  • BASKETBALL: The Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament, scheduled for Foshan from 6-9 February, was relocated to Belgrade, Serbia by world governing body Fiba.

26 January

  • TENNIS: The International Tennis Federation moved the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I event featuring China, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea and Uzbekistan out of Dongguan to Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) in Kazakhstan. The event was then moved again to Dubai and rescheduled for the start of March after Kazakhstan declined to serve as substitute hosts.

22 January

  • BOXING: The International Olympic Committee cancels Olympic boxing qualifiersdue to take place in Wuhan. They will now take place in Amman from 3 to 11 March
  • FOOTBALL: Olympic women’s qualifiers moved from Wuhan to Nanjing, before later being switched to Sydney.