COVID-19 | Champions League to Azerbaijan GP- sporting events affected due to the pandemic

With the world witnessing an almost emergency standstill, a lot of events ranging from diplomatic to sports, that involve the masses, are being called off or postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The international sporting events have taken a beating as the outbreak continues to affect over 114 countries.

Here are the events that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic-

1. FOOTBALL

– UEFA postpones Champions League final: UEFA on Monday postponed the Champions League final, scheduled to be held in May.

Women’s Champions League Final and Europa League Final have also been postponed.

“As a result of the COVID-19 crisis in Europe, UEFA has today formally taken the decision to postpone the following matches, originally scheduled for May 2020: UEFA Women’s Champions League Final, UEFA Europa League Final, UEFA Champions League Final,” UEFA said in a statement.

ALSO READ: La Liga, other football leagues in Spain postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19

– Arsenal players not to resume training: Arsenal players were scheduled to resume training on Tuesday but the club said it would ‘inappropriate and irresponsible’ to ask players to comeback amid coronavirus concerns. Therefore, they will continue to stay at home.

“Our men’s first-team players were scheduled to return to training on Tuesday (March 24) after completing 14-days isolation following Mikel Arteta’s positive diagnosis for the virus,” the club said in a statement.

2. TOKYO OLYMPICS

– IOC member indicates postponement of 2020 Tokyo Olympics: International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound has indicated that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I see no other rational interpretation of the statements made by the IOC yesterday. If there was to be a cancellation, that would have been easy to announce; if carrying on with the original plan, there was no need for a communication. That leaves postponement,” CNN quoted Pound as saying.

ALSO READ: COVID-19 | World Athletics welcomes IOC’s decision to hold discussions over Tokyo Olympics

– USA Gymnastics pushes for Tokyo Olympics postponement: USA Gymnastics on Tuesday said they are advocating for the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after they conducted a survey which showed 62 percent of their athletes are in favour of delaying the games.

USA Gymnastics took to Twitter to write: “After considering the responses from athletes who participated in our survey and the 62 percent who were in favor of delaying the Games, we are adding our voice to the chorus advocating for postponement. We are grateful to have our athletes’ insight and input to guide this decision.”

3. CRICKET

– BCCI cancels conference call with IPL franchise owners: The conference call scheduled between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises to discuss the prospects of IPL 2020 has been cancelled.

“Today’s conference call between BCCI officials and IPL franchise stands cancelled,” a BCCI source told ANI.

On March 13, BCCI decided to suspend the Indian Premier League (IPL) till April 15 as a precautionary measure in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.

BCCI had also asked their employees to work from home as the concerns over COVID-19 continued to rise in the country.

4. FORMULA ONE

– Azerbaijan GP postponed: On Monday, the Azerbaijan Grand Prix became the eight race of the year to be postponed after the Australian, Bahrain, Vietnam, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix.

Picture courtesy: Formula One

– CEO Chase Carey hopeful of 15-18 races in 2020 season: Formula One group Chief Executive Officer Chase Carey hopes that the 2020 season can still feature 15-18 races despite the wave of cancellations due to coronavirus outbreak.

“We recognise there is significant potential for additional postponements in currently scheduled events, nonetheless we and our partners fully expect the season to start at some point this summer, with a revised calendar of between 15-18 races,” said Carey.

“Over the past week, Formula 1, the ten F1 teams and the FIA have come together and taken rapid, decisive action as part of our initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Carey in an official statement.

5. HOCKEY

– Hockey Australia cancels all national championships: Hockey Australia (HA) on Tuesday cancelled all national championships, including Masters Indoor Challenge, for the year 2020 in wake of coronavirus outbreak.

“The Australian Masters Hockey Championships, which were scheduled to be held in June and July, had been initially postponed but are now cancelled. The 35+ and 40+ Men’s competition set down for October will also no longer take place, as well as this year’s Masters Indoor Challenge,” the apex body said in an official statement.

“The primary focus for HA and every MA for the remainder of this year will be on local competitions and working to ensure all Australian hockey members can operate and be part of viable competitions in 2020,” the statement added.

The highly infectious disease which originated from Wuhan, China in December last year has so far, as per the World Health Organisation (WHO), claimed over 3,30,000 lives, while the number of deaths has exceeded 14,000.

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