Imagine having a sporting event eg football, rugby, basketball, hell even a whole Olympic event without fans and spectators to cheer you on or worse after years of planning these events are canceled well this could be an imaginable outcome if the Coronavirus continues its rampant spread! There are now 88,000 confirmed cases around the world with the death toll of 3,000 with majority of cases in mainland China, with confirmed cases in Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon and South Africa.
We’ve seen the effect of the virus in politics, the global economy, the global health sector but lest we forget its also affecting sports both socially and economically around the world. As we know sports is a social event that brings people together from all over the world with the satisfaction of religiously supporting a certain team or athlete! So what happens when people can’t travel to certain countries to support their favorites? or athletes cant participate in certain competitions because the hosting nation is experiencing the outbreak or in many cases these events are postponed? We are already in a situation where the sports calendar for this year is already in disarray!
There has been fears that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics set to take place in July- August will be affected but so far preparations are underway and no confirmation on postponement or cancellation of the event.
Is a the most popular sport around the world! With leagues already continuing the most hit so far has been the Serie A and the Chinese Super League- which already has been postponed. In Serie A some games have been played behind closed doors and others postponed.
Switzerland has postponed all games in the top two divisions after a federal order banned events involving more than 1,000 till mid-March.
Today the FA is meeting with the British government to discuss the above matter with already a few cases confirmed in Britain.
At the moment European competitions ie Champions League and Europa League have not been affected in a major way with only Inter Milan’s Europa League game against Ludogorets being played behind closed doors.
Euro 2020 which is set for July is still on course with no confirmed reports of postponement with UEFA monitoring the situation.
Yesterday one of the biggest games in Serie A between Juventus and Inter was played in an empty stadium with the growing concern of the spread in Italy with 7,375 infected and 366 reported dead.
The 2020 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing has been postponed until next year.
The Tokyo Marathon was run in front of empty streets and restricted to elite athletes only.
The Chinese Grand Prix -originally scheduled for April 19 has been postponed.
MotoGP confirmed the Thailand Grand Prix, due to be held March 22, has been postponed
Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens tournaments have been moved from April to October.
The Six Nations tie between Ireland and Italy has been postponed after advice from government.
The Indian Wells tournament has just been cancelled. It was due to start this week in California. With high profile players like Rafael Nadal already in California for the tournament!
The bottom line is that this virus is affecting sports in a major way and in the long run the commercial aspect of sports will be affected especially due to the restrictions that different countries are imposing to protect their borders.