Coronavirus: the disrupted sports calendar

The worldwide coronavirus epidemic is disrupting sporting events, particularly in Asia where many cases have been reported. In Europe, Italy had to postpone many football matches.

In Asia and Europe, the sports calendar is more and more turned upside down. In China, the country most affected by coronavirus, all sports competitions are postponed or canceled.

The football championship, which was scheduled to start on February 22, has been adjourned. The IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships, scheduled for March 13-15 in Nanjing, have been postponed to 2021. The Xian Tennis Tournament has been canceled.

In Japan, the Japanese Football Federation has announced the postponement of all the competitions scheduled until March 15. It could continue if the health situation continues to deteriorate. In South Korea, the Table Tennis Team Worlds, which were scheduled to take place from March 22 to 29 in the city of Busan, has also been postponed.

The competition was rescheduled from June 21 to 28, according to a still tentative schedule. The South Korean football championship has also been postponed. The volleyball, basketball and handball federations have taken similar steps.

Two matches of the Asian Champions League scheduled for early March will be played behind closed doors, these drastic measures come five months before the Tokyo Olympics, which must begin on July 24. At a press conference, the Japanese Minister of Health remained very elusive on the question of the consequences of the coronavirus on the Tokyo Olympics.

In Europe too, the progression of the coronavirus has consequences for sports matches, especially in Italy. The country, which has many patients, had to postpone several matches of its football championship. Some games will be held behind closed doors, notably in the Europa League.

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Synthia Rozario
An editorial staff member at The Eastern Herald. Formerly, correspondent of The Eastern Express, Hong Kong.