COVID-19 | Football to Formula One- sporting events affected due to the pandemic

With the world approaching towards an 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. CRICKET

– India-SA remaining ODI series called-off: As per ANI, the second and third ODI between India and South Africa in Lucknow and Kolkata respectively have been called off.

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The first match of the series was abandoned due to rain and wet outfield without a toss at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium on Thursday.

The second and third ODI was scheduled to be played at Lucknow and Kolkata on March 15 and 18 respectively. Earlier on Thursday, the BCCI has decided to play the remaining two ODIs behind closed doors.

ALSO READ: No sporting activities, including IPL, in Delhi amid coronavirus scare: Manish Sisodia

– IPL postponed to April 15: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday decided to postpone the Indian Premier League (IPL) to April 15, 2020, as a precautionary measure against the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

“The BCCI is concerned and sensitive about all its stakeholders, and public health in general, and it is taking all necessary steps to ensure that, all people related to IPL including fans have a safe cricketing experience,” the BCCI said in an official statement.

– AUSvsNZ ODI series, Australia’s upcoming away series in New Zealand postponed: As per ICC, “The ongoing Australia v New Zealand ODI series and Australia’s upcoming away series in New Zealand have both been postponed amid growing COVID19 concerns”.

– Irani Cup to be played behind closed doors: India’s first-class cricket tournament- Irani Cup 2020- will be played behind closed doors.

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“Irani Cup will be played in an empty stadium. The tournament will start from March 18-22,” a BCCI source told ANI.

2. FOOTBALL

– UEFA postpones all matches of Champions League, Europa League next week: The decision affects the remaining Champions League, Round of 16 second leg matches scheduled on March 17 and 18 and all Europa League, Round of 16 second leg matches scheduled on March 19.

The UEFA has also postponed Youth League, quarter-final matches scheduled on March 17 and 18.

“Further decisions on when these matches take place will be communicated in due course,” the UEFA said in a statement.

As a consequence of the postponements, Champions League and Europa League quarter-final draws scheduled for March 20 have also been postponed.

– Premier League, FA Cup postponed till April 4: The Premier League on Friday postponed all the fixtures till April 4 due to coronavirus outbreak.

The Premier League also postponed FA Cup, English Football League matches and confirmed that matches will be rescheduled ‘when it is safe’ to host matches in the country.

– Remaining I-League matches to be played behind closed doors: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Friday decided to play the remaining I-League matches of 2019-20 season behind closed doors.

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Besides team officials and players, match officials (referees), medical staff, TV crew, accredited media, and required security staff – none would be allowed to be in the premises of the stadium on match day, and during official practice the preceding day.

ALSO READ: Australian Grand Prix called off amid Coronavirus

3. FORMULA ONE

– Bahrain and Vietnam Grand Prix postponed; 2020 season start delayed: Following the cancellation of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and the postponement of the races in China, Bahrain and Vietnam, the 2020 season is now expected to begin at the end of May.

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“Formula 1 and the FIA continue to work closely with the race promoters in Bahrain and Vietnam and the local health authorities to monitor the situation and take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for each Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve.

“As a result, Formula 1 and the FIA expect to begin the Championship in Europe at the end of May but given the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in Europe in recent days, this will be regularly reviewed.”

4. Badminton

– BWF suspends all tournaments until April 12 including India Open: The Badminton World Federation (BWF) on Friday announced the suspension of all BWF World Tour and other BWF-sanctioned tournaments from March 16 until April 12.

Swiss Open 2020, India Open 2020, Orleans Masters 2020, Malaysia Open 2020, and Singapore Open 2020 are the tournaments that will be affected due to this decision of the BWF. India Open was scheduled to be played in New Delhi from March 24 to 29.

The suspension of the circuit will come into effect following the completion of the ongoing All England Open 2020 in Birmingham which is set to conclude on March 15.

The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry in India has advised all the federations to avoid large gatherings.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday had declared the coronavirus outbreak a ‘pandemic’ and expressed deep concerns.

The coronavirus disease was first detected in Wuhan in China’s Hubei province, in late December last year, and has since spread worldwide.

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