Coronavirus Hits Sporting World For A Six
The outbreak of novel coronavirus is turning the world upside down. Sports is no exception and is feeling the pinch as well, with a series of major events getting cancelled or postponed.
This being an Olympic year, the biggest casualty was the Tokyo 2020 Games. The International Olympic Committee did wait and watch for a week or so, before deciding to push back the quadrennial event by exactly one year. The 32nd Summer Olympics will now be held in Tokyo from July 23 to August 8, 2021. You can track betting sites in India for more details on changes to the schedule.
The Wimbledon Championships, considered by many to be the most prestigious tournament in the tennis calendar, have been cancelled. It’s the first time that the Championships, scheduled to have been held between June 28 and July 11, have been called off since World War II.
The French Open still has hope as it has been postponed until September 20. The claycourt Grand Slam event was originally scheduled from May 24 to June 7 at Roland Garros in Paris.
All other men’s and women’s professional tournaments stand cancelled for at least a period of six weeks.
Football, too, has been hit hard, especially European soccer which is extremely popular in India. The Euro 2020 Championship, due to be held this summer, has been pushed back by a year and will now be staged from June 11 to July 12, 2021.
The European leagues — the playground of the Messis, Ronaldos and Mo Salahs — have had to be suspended with the winners still to be identified in the major competitions. Liverpool had opened up an almost unbridgeable gap with the rest in English Premier League, but now have to endure an agonising wait. Barcelona and Real Madrid were locked in a neck-and-neck battle for top honours in Spanish League while in Italy, Juventus were in a close race with Lazio.
Back home, the Indian Super League was completed in the nick of time with ATK winning the title in front of an empty stadium in Fatorda, Goa. The I-League remains incomplete, though Mohun Bagan have emerged champions with four matches still to play.
The IPL, India’s favourite cricket event, has been postponed until mid-April. Though the BCCI is yet to take a call, it looks almost certain that they would have to cancel the T20 league or stage it at a later date which may not be feasible.
India’s One-Day International series against South Africa had to be called off midway, with the second and third matches in Lucknow and Kolkata, respectively, being a non-starter.
Golf and Formula One have not been spared either. The year’s first major, the Masters, has been postponed from April 9-12 to :some later date”, while the second Major — the May 14-17 PGA Championship — has been put on hold.
The coronavirus spread rapidly before the 2020 F1 season got under way in Australia. The first eight races have been postponed with no races scheduled before middle of June.