PARIS, France (UPDATED) – The Tokyo Olympics has fallen victim to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic with global sports coming to a complete standstill.
Here, AFP Sport looks at the events impacted by the virus which had killed more than 23,000 people around the world.
The International Olympic Committee issued a joint statement with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzu Abe on Tuesday, March 24, postponing the Tokyo Games until next year. Only two days earlier, IOC president Thomas Bach insisted time was on his side as he gave himself up to 4 weeks to reach a decision.
He speedily bowed to growing pressure from critics within and beyond the sporting world as the coronavirus death toll mounted.
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO (World Health Organisation) today, 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,” said the statement.
Euro 2020, scheduled to take place in 12 European cities from June 12 to July 12 has been put off until 2021. In a knock-on effect, the women’s Euro scheduled for July 7 to August 1, 2021, will be postponed along with the Nations League final stages.
The Copa America has been moved from June 12-July 12, 2020 in Argentina and Colombia to summer 2021.
The Asian Football Confederation has postponed all matches scheduled in May and June. Officials, though, said that the tournaments will still go this year even in closed doors.
UEFA has postponed the Champions League, Europa League and women’s Champions League finals, originally scheduled for May but has given no new dates.
In Italy, where more than 8,000 people have died, all matches – as well as all major sports events – have been suspended officially until at least April 3 although administrators say they are not expecting a resumption before May 2.
The English Premier League has been suspended until April 30.
In Germany, the Bundesliga is on hold until April 2.
In Spain, all professional football has been suspended indefinitely.
In France, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 and women’s football have been suspended indefinitely.
Outside Europe, most top leagues have been affected, with the start of the J-League delayed, Major League Soccer in the United States and China’s top-flight Super League put on hold.
The NBA has been on hold indefinitely since March 11 for an initial period of one month.
The start of the 2020 WNBA season has also been postponed indefinitely. But the league, which had been due to tip off on May 15, plans to carry out a “virtual draft” on April 17.
The French Open has been postponed from its May 24-June 7 slot to September 20-October 4 while the men’s ATP and women’s WTA Tours have been suspended until June 7, with rankings frozen.
The finals of the Fed Cup, scheduled for Budapest from April 14-19, postponed indefinitely.
On April 1, Wimbledon organizers scrapped the only grasscourt Grand Slam for the first time since World War II. The major at the All England Club was scheduled from June 29-July 12.
The World Indoor Championships, scheduled for Nanjing from March 13-15, were postponed for a year.
Boston Marathon moved from April 20 to September 14.
London Marathon switched from April 26 to October 4.
US Open golf tournament, scheduled in June 15-21 at Winged Foot Golf Club, was moved to September 14-20, while the US Women’s Open was rescheduled from June 4-7 to December 10-13.
The PGA of America announced on April 6 that the PGA Championship, that was postponed on March 17, is now set in August 3-9, still at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California.
The Masters Tournament is now scheduled in November 12-15 at Augusta National Golf Club. The tournament was originally set on April 9-12.
The 2020 British Open, due to be played in July 16-19 at Royal St George’s Golf Club, was canceled and moved in July 202, while the Senior British Open golf tournament, originally set in July 23-26, has been postponed as the organizers started to look for other options to host the tournament late in the year.
The Saudi Ladies International on the Ladies European Tour, postponed last month, is moved to October 8-11 at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club at King Abdullah Economic City.
The first 8 races of the Formula One season have been either scrapped or postponed with the season opener now put back until at least June 14 with the Canada Grand Prix in Montreal.
US autoracing’s famed Indianapolis 500 was moved from May 24 to August 23.
In motorcycling, the first 5 rounds of the world championships have now been postponed after the Spanish Moto GP scheduled for May 3 was postponed. The season is now due to open with the French Grand Prix at Le Mans on May 17.
The Six Nations tournament was disrupted with 4 matches, including all of the final-round games scheduled to be played in March, put back until October.
France’s Top 14, the English Premiership and the Southern Hemisphere’s Super Rugby are all suspended while the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup semifinals and finals have been postponed. The finals of the two competitions were due to have been played on the weekend of May 22/23 in the French city of Marseille.
Tour de France
Tour de France, cycling’s flagship event, has been moved to August 29-September 20.
The cycling race was supposed to start on June 27 in Nice, but French President Emmanuel Marcon announced that all public events with large crowds will be cancelled until mid-July.
This was the first time that the race will not be held since World War II in 1946.
The International Cycling Union has suspended all top cycling activity until at least the end of April.
One day races and one week tours in Italy, France Spain, Switzerland and Belgium including Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo classic were eye-catching postponements. But the three week Giro d’Italia in May is the biggest victim. After the postponemet of the Olympic Games however, there is hope that most of the events can now be rescheduled, with a Giro in October.
The National Hockey League (NHL) halted on March 12, three weeks before the end of the regular season.
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships scheduled for Switzerland in May cancelled.
All major international cricket series canceled, including England’s tour of Sri Lanka, New Zealand’s final two ODIs and three T20s in Australia as well as the last two one-day internationals between India and South Africa.
The start of India’s IPL, originally scheduled for March 29, was delayed until at least April 15.
A swathe of qualifiers due to take place before July for the Twenty20 World Cup and the 2023 50-over World Cup postponed Thursday.
The final races of the men’s Alpine skiing World Cup season at Kranjska Gora were scrapped in March while the final three races of the women’s season in Are, Sweden, were also cancelled, after the original season-closing World Cup Finals in Cortina d’Ampezzo had already been scrapped.
Aussie Rules, Australia’s biggest spectator sport, suspended its season on Sunday until at least May 31 after the first matches of the season were played in empty stadiums.
Mixed martial arts
The UFC 249 that was set in April 18 was canceled, but UFC president Dana White insists that the action will resume in May 9.
ONE Championship announced on April 6 that the two upcoming closed-door events have been postponed due to the partial lockdown implemented in Singapore.
The two events, ONE: HOPE and ONE: STRENGTH, were originally scheduled in Singapore on April 17 and 24.
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