Coronavirus outbreak: List of sporting events affected throughout the world due to epidemic

At the time of writing, the death toll from Coronavirus, named COVID-19 by WHO, has crossed 3,200 and the number of cases has gone beyond 95,000.

FP Sports March 05, 2020 12:30:47 IST
Coronavirus outbreak: List of sporting events affected throughout the world due to epidemic
  • Coronavirus outbreak in China has resulted in numerous sporting events being moved or postponed

  • At the time of writing, the death toll from the virus has crossed 3,200 and the number of cases has gone beyond 95,000

  • Besides those affected in China, there have been cases of the virus in other countries across the world

Following is a list of international sports events affected by the coronavirus that has killed over 3,200 people and infected more than 95,000, at the time of writing, after it first emerged in Wuhan, Hubei province in China, in late 2019. The impact of the virus has spread to affected a staggering 76 countries.


ISSF International Solidarity Championships in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 22-28 February has been postponed.

World Cup in Shanghai from 4-10 May has been cancelled.


Hong Kong marathon which was scheduled for 9 February was called off on 25 January affecting 70,000 runners who had planned to participate. Other local marathons in Wuhan and Wuxi were also scrapped.

The World Athletics Indoor Championships, which had been scheduled for Nanjing from 13 to 15 March, have been postponed until next year. World Athletics is working with organisers to settle on a date to host the biennial event in 2021.

The Asian Athletics Association cancelled the 12 to 13 February indoor championships in Hangzhou.

The Tokyo marathon's mass participation race, in which 38,000 had registered, has been cancelled. The race would only see the elite marathon runners taking part - 176 athletes and 30 wheelchair athletes. 1800 runners from China were registered to compete in Japan on 1 March. The race acts as an Olympic trial for Japanese marathon runners.

Nagoya Women's Marathon, scheduled for 8 March, has been limited to elite runners only. The elite field features only the invited athletes and those who have run marathons in 3 hours or less. The public marathon and related events were expected to attract nearly 40,000 people.

Pyongyang Marathon in North Korea on 12 April has been cancelled.

A mixed relay Olympic triathlon qualification event scheduled to be held in the Chinese city of Chengdu in May was moved to Valencia in Spain, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) said.

Three Asian Cup events, one in Taiwan and two in China, scheduled for March and April have also been postponed.

The Paris half-marathon has been cancelled. The race involving some 44,000 competitors was scheduled for Sunday (1 March( in the French capital city. Organisers said the race will be postponed to a date yet to be determined.

The Asian 20km Race Walk Championships in Japan scheduled for 15 March, where 13 Indians were to take part, has been cancelled. Tokyo Olympics-bound Bhawana Jat was to lead the Indian challenge in the event earlier scheduled for Nomi City. The Asian Athletics Athletics Association (AAA) took the decision to cancel the championship after a request from the Japan federation.


Coronavirus outbreak List of sporting events affected throughout the world due to epidemic

Representative image. AFP

The 25 February to 1 March China Masters tournament in Hainan was postponed after several players withdrew. The BWF said it hoped the flagship Badminton Asia Championships could still go ahead in Wuhan from 21 to 26 April.

The team event of Badminton Asia Championships was subdued after China and Hong Kong were forced to withdraw. The tournament taking place in Manila saw the two countries pull out due to the travel restrictions imposed on Chinese nationals by the Philippines government. Additionally, India women's team pulled out late with their male counterparts going ahead.

Vietnam International Challenge in Hanoi postponed from 24-29 March to 2-7 June.

The 2020 German Open, which was to be held in Muelheim an der Ruhr from 3-8 March and is an Olympic qualifier, has been cancelled, the Badminton World Federation said.

The 2020 Polish Open, another Olympic qualifier scheduled to be held in Krakow from 26-29 March has been postponed and will now fall outside the Olympic qualification period, the Polish Badminton Association said.

Asia Championships moved from Wuhan, China to Manila on 21-26 April.


Tokyo’s Yomiuri Giants baseball team will play two preseason games in an empty stadium. The Yomiuri Giants baseball team said on its website on Tuesday it would go forward with preseason games at the Tokyo Dome versus the Yakult Swallows but no fans would be in the building. The games are scheduled to take place on 29 February and 1 March.

Japan's professional baseball league says it will play its 72 remaining preseason games in empty stadiums. Representatives of the baseball league's 12 teams made the move at a special meeting. The regular season is to open on 20 March.

Olympic qualifying tournament in Taichung and Dou Liu, Taiwan moved from 1-5 April to 17-21 June.


The International Basketball Federation moved the 6 to 9 February Tokyo Olympics qualifiers to be held in Foshan to Belgrade.

Asia Cup qualifiers postponed: Philippines vs. Thailand on 20 February; Japan vs. China on 21 February, China vs. Malaysia on 24 February. Matches scheduled for Hong Kong moved to opponents' homes.

Women's Chinese Basketball Association League: All games postponed.

The first season of the NBA’s Basketball Africa League, which was scheduled to tip off Friday in Dakar, Senegal, has been postponed. “Following the recommendation of the Senegalese government regarding the escalating health concerns related to the coronavirus, the BAL’s inaugural season will be postponed,” league president Amadou Gallo Fall said.

South Korean Basketball League: All games from 25 February to 31 March without spectators.

EuroLeague: Valencia vs. Olimpia Milano in Valencia on 5 March, no spectators.

Women's EuroLeague: Girona vs. Venezia in Girona on 19 March, no spectators.

The FIBA 3x3 Olympic qualification tournament that was scheduled to take place in India later this month has been postponed. The International Basketball Federation said its decision to postpone the 18-22 March tournament in Bengaluru was made after careful consideration. The event was set to include 40 teams - 20 for each gender - who would battle it out for six tickets to Tokyo 2020, where 3x3 basketball will make its Olympic debut. FIBA said it is working in close collaboration with the International Olympic Committee on the best solution possible since the event needs to occur before the 24-26 April FIBA 3x3 Universality Olympic Qualifier Tournament in Budapest.

FIBA said its 3x3 Asia Cups have been rescheduled with the 13-17 May competition in Changsha, China moved to September from May and the 3x3 Under 17 event in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, moved to October from June. In addition, the governing body said the men’s and women’s FIBA Under 16 Asian Championships, which were due to take place in Beirut and Canberra, respectively, have both been cancelled.


Olympic test event in Zhangjiakou scheduled for 27 February to 2 March has been cancelled.

World Cup in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic from March 5-8, no spectators.


The International Olympic Committee announced Jordan as hosts of the boxing qualifiers for Asia and Oceania after an event in Wuhan was cancelled. It will now take place in Amman from 3 to 11 March.


The final two stages of the UAE Tour, which featured some of the world’s leading riders, was cancelled because two Italian participants tested positive for coronavirus, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council said. “Two cases of coronavirus were suspected among two staff members of one of the participating teams,” cycling’s governing body, UCI, said.


Hong Kong show jumping leg of Longines Masters Series from 14-16 February cancelled.


The Overwatch League postponed three weeks' worth of scheduled matches in Seoul. The league previously postponed matches scheduled for three cities in China this month and rescheduled them for March in Seoul. Those matches, along with previously scheduled home dates for the Seoul Dynasty, have now been postponed.


Coronavirus outbreak List of sporting events affected throughout the world due to epidemic

China's Wang Shanshan in action against the Taiwanese in their Olympic qualifier at their relocated match in Sydney. AP

Asian Champions League matches involving Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG have been postponed. Guangzhou and the Shanghai clubs will join the competition in April, with their group matches due to be played in May. Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG were due to play away at Perth Glory and Sydney FC but Australian officials sought to reschedule matches after their government imposed a travel ban on foreign nationals arriving from China.

A four-team women’s Olympic qualifying tournament involving China, Australia, Taiwan and Thailand was moved from Wuhan and rearranged to be held in Australia by the AFC. China vs. South Korea playoff on 11 March has been moved from China to Malaysia. China women's team's “home" match against South Korea in the final qualifying stage for the Tokyo Olympics to be played in Sydney.

Vietnam’s government said it would not allow the country to host sporting events in February, meaning home AFC Cup group stage matches for Ho Chi Minh City and Than Quang Ninh will have to be switched to away fixtures. Ho Chi Minh City will now face Yangon United in Myanmar on 11 February while Than Quang Ninh meet Ceres Negros on 25 February in the Philippines.

The Chinese Football Association said domestic games at all levels would be postponed.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) further said preliminary stage matches of the East Zone of the AFC Cup 2020 were postponed by a couple of months to recommence on 7 April due to travel restrictions imposed in several countries.

Asian men's futsal championship in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan from 26 February to 8 March postponed.

Iran Pro League: Spectators banned from all matches from 24 February.

K League in South Korea, due to start on 29 February, delayed.

Japan vs. South Africa men's friendly on 27 March cancelled.

2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying: China vs. Maldives on 26 March and vs. Guam on 31 March moved to Buriram, Thailand. Spectators banned.

Four Italian top division football matches in Serie A scheduled for Sunday (23 February) in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto were suspended after deaths of two people infected with the virus. On orders from the Italian government, the games called off were: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo, Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari, Torino vs Parma. Only Genoa vs Lazio and AS Roma vs Lecce went ahead on 23 February.

Serie B match featuring Ascoli and Cremonese was called off on Saturday around one hour before the scheduled kickoff.

Milan’s game against Fiorentina in the Serie A women’s league was also postponed.

Serie A, B, C, D and Women's Serie A matches in Lombardy and Veneto regions postponed from 22 February.

Japan’s professional football league, the J-League, postponed seven Levian Cup matches scheduled for Wednesday and all domestic games through the first half of March.

Inter Milan vs. Ludogorets in the Europa League on 27 February will be played behind closed doors. As per reports, more than 600 Ludogorets fans were due to travel from Bulgaria for Europa League last-32 first-leg fixture at the San Siro.

Swiss Super League and Challenge League from 28 February to 23 March postponed.

Five Serie A matches which had been scheduled to go ahead behind closed doors, including the key clash between Juventus and Inter Milan, were later postponed. All five games, which also include AC Milan vs Genoa, Parma vs Spal, Sassuolo vs Brescia and Udinese vs Fiorentina, will now be played on 13 May, Serie A said in a statement. The Coppa Italia final, due to be played 13 May, was moved to 20 May. All matches between 4 March and 3 April to be played without spectators.

Juventus suspended the activities of their under-23 team after a fourth player at third tier club Pianese, their most recent opponents, tested positive for the coronavirus. The Turin club, whose under-23 team play in Serie C, said it was a precautionary measure.

Indian U-16 football team's exposure trip to Tajikistan has been cancelled. The U-16 boys were slated to depart on 5 March to play two friendlies against Tajikistan.

The Italian Cup semifinal between Juventus and AC Milan scheduled for 4 March in Turin has been postponed indefinitely. Serie A made the announcement less than 24 hours before the second-leg was scheduled to kick off.

UEFA Champions League: Valencia vs. Atalanta in Valencia on 10 March, no spectators. Juventus vs. Lyon in Turin on 17 March, no spectators.

Europa League: Inter Milan vs. Ludogorets on 27 February; Inter Milan vs. Getafe in Milan on 12 March; Getafe vs. Inter Milan in Getafe on 19 March; Roma vs. Sevilla in Rome on 19 March, no spectators.


Coronavirus outbreak List of sporting events affected throughout the world due to epidemic

File photo of a golf course. Image credit: Vedam Jaishankar

The elite women’s LPGA golf tour canceled the 5-8 March Blue Bay tournament to be held on Hainan.

The tour also canceled the Honda LPGA Thailand event in Pattaya scheduled for 20 to 23 February and the 27 February to 1 March HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.

PGA Tour postponed two qualifying tournaments and the start to its PGA Tour Series-China circuit. One qualifying tournament for players from mainland China was moved to Indonesia. The season was scheduled to start on 26 March with the Sanya Championship, followed by three straight weeks of the Haikou Classic, the Chongqing Championship and Guangzhou Open. It will now start late May or early June.

Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the European Tour scheduled from 16-19 April has been postponed.

China Open in Shenzhen from 23-26 April postponed.

Spectators have been banned from the Daikin Orchid Ladies tournament in Okinawa on the Japan LPGA Tour. The event will be run from 5-8 March.


Artistic World Cup in Melbourne, Australia from 20-23 February: China team withdrew.

American Cup in Milwaukee on 7 March: Russia team withdrew.


Olympic women's qualifying tournament in Montenegro from 20-22 March: China withdrew. Hong Kong declined invitation to attend.


Coronavirus outbreak List of sporting events affected throughout the world due to epidemic

Representational image of a hockey stick.

Hockey Pro League matches between China and Belgium, Australia, scheduled for 8-9 February, 14-15 March respectively will not be played.

Indian women's hockey team was scheduled to travel to China from 14 to 25 March but that has been called off. "We had to travel to China but that has been cancelled due to the virus. So a lot of teams are also not available to play with because they are participating in the Pro League," Indian skipper Rani Rampal said.

Ireland women's tour of Malaysia in March-April cancelled.

Annual Azlan Shah Cup, which was scheduled to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from 11 to 18 April, has been rescheduled to 24 September to 3 October.

Ice Hockey

Chinese clubs in Supreme Hockey League playing home games in Russia.

Women's Challenge Cup of Asia in Manila, Philippines, from 23-28 February cancelled.

US-based Professional Women's Hockey Players Association tour of Japan from 4-7 March cancelled.

Switzerland's National League and Swiss League suspended from 2-15 March.


Paris Grand Slam on 8-9 February: China team withdrew.

Dusseldorf Grand Slam on 21-23 February: China team withdrew.

Rabat Grand Prix in Morocco on 6-8 March cancelled.

Modern pentathlon

World championships moved from Xiamen to Cancun, Mexico from 25-31 May.

World laser run championships moved from Xiamen in May to Weiden, Germany in August.


The all-electric Formula E motor racing series abandoned plans for a race in Sanya on 21 March.

The Formula One Chinese Grand Prix will not take place as scheduled on 19 April due to the outbreak of the virus. The absence of the Chinese event would leave a four-week gap between the Vietnamese Grand Prix on 5 April and the Dutch Grand Prix on 3 May. "The Chinese Grand Prix has always been a very important part of the F1 calendar and the fans are always incredible," Formula 1 said in a statement. "We all look forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wish everyone in the country the best during this difficult time." No alternative date has been mentioned.

Organisers canceled the first two races of the MotoGP season in Qatar and Thailand because of travel restrictions. The Moto2 and Moto3 classes will take place as the teams and riders were already in Qatar for the three-day official test at the track earlier this week.


Coronavirus outbreak List of sporting events affected throughout the world due to epidemic

Representational image. Getty Images

The coronavirus outbreak affected the Singapore and Hong Kong legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series as the tournament has been postponed, World Rugby announced on Thursday. As per the new schedule, the tournament will now take place on 10 and 11 October, and the Hong Kong leg has been moved from 3 to 5 April to 16 to 18 October. Singapore Sevens, meanwhile, scheduled for 11-12 April has been moved to 10-11 October.

A women’s Six Nations rugby match between Italy and Scotland scheduled for Legnano near Milan was postponed. A Six Nations statement read: "Further to an increased number of Covid-19 cases in the Milan area, the Italian authorities have decided to cancel all sporting events in the Veneto and Lombardi Regions. As a result of this decision, the Women’s Six Nations match between Italy and Scotland scheduled to be played today will not take place. Six Nations Rugby are looking at options with the FIR and Scottish Rugby to reschedule this fixture at a later date."

Pro14 in Italy: Zebre vs. Ospreys, Treviso vs. Ulster on 29 February postponed.

Asia women's championship in Hong Kong moved from 14-22 March to 8-16 May.

The governing body for Super Rugby said a match between the Australia-based Brumbies and Japan's Sunwolves set for Osaka on 6 March would likely be relocated. If that wasn't possible, the teams would receive two competition points each.

Six Nations: Ireland vs. Italy in Dublin on 7 March postponed.

Six Nations: Italy vs. England in Rome on 14 March, postponed. Italy and England's Women's Six Nations encounter on 15 March and U-20 game have also been postponed.

Women's Six Nations: Ireland vs. Italy in Dublin on 8 March postponed.


China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea and Turkmenistan have pulled out of the ISSF Shooting World Cup scheduled for 15-26 March in New Delhi. "There were some countries which were coming but because of the Coronavirus outbreak, their national policies dictate that they can't come," NRAI president Raninder Singh said.

NRAI have also said it will not allow its shooters to travel abroad for training. It also revealed that it won't hesitate in pulling out of a Tokyo Olympics Test event in April. Indian shooters are scheduled to travel to Tokyo to participate in the Olympic Test event slated to take place from 16-26 April in the Japanese capital.


Alpine World Cup in Yanqing from 15-16 February cancelled.


Coronavirus outbreak List of sporting events affected throughout the world due to epidemic

Representational image of a swimming pool. Reuters

Asian water polo championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan from 12-16 February cancelled.

Diving Grand Prix in Madrid from 14-16 February: China team withdrew.

Diving world series event in Beijing from 7-9 March cancelled.

China Olympic trials in Qingdao from 28 March - 4 April have been moved to 10-16 May.

Table tennis

World team championships in Busan, South Korea postponed from 22-29 May to 21-28 June.

South Korea Open in Busan on 16-21 June suspended.

Australian Open in Geelong on 23-28 June suspended.


The International Tennis Federation moved the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I event featuring China, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea and Uzbekistan out of Dongguan to Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) in Kazakhstan. But the 4 to 8 February event was later postponed to Dubai after Kazakhstan declined to serve as substitute hosts.

China have been forced into forfeiting their Davis Cup tie against Romania because its men’s tennis team cannot travel out of the country. The International Tennis Federation cited “increased restrictions in response to the current coronavirus outbreak” for the decision. China were due to play in Piatra Neamt on March 6-7 in a World Group I Playoff. The forfeit means Romania advance to World Group I tie in September with China dropping into World Group II.

The women's tour has called off the Xi'an Open “due to the coronavirus outbreak.” The hard-court event was supposed to be held 13-19 April, with 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams. There would have been $115,000 in prize money at stake.

The women’s Kunming Open tennis tournament scheduled to begin in April in China’s Anning city has been cancelled. The 125K series event was scheduled for 27 April - 3 May on clay courts.

Davis Cup: Japan vs. Ecuador qualifier in Miki on 6-7 March, no spectators.

Davis Cup: Italy vs. South Korea in Cagliari on 6-7 March, no spectators.

Tokyo Olympics

Coronavirus outbreak List of sporting events affected throughout the world due to epidemic

Representational photo. AP

Local organisers and the Switzerland-based International Olympics Committee have said repeatedly the games will not be cancelled or postponed. The Tokyo Olympics open on 24 July and the Paralympics open on 25 August.

ALSO READ | Key questions on Olympics and coronavirus answered

On 21 February, training for 80,000 unpaid volunteers was being delayed until May or later.

Drug testing programs on mainland China were halted on 3 February following the outbreak of the virus. WADA said drug testing would resume in the week of 24 February on a "phased basis" with priority given to testing elite level athletes from higher-risk categories and sports. WADA emphasised that while CHINADA (China Anti-Doping Agency)operations were suspended testing on Chinese athletes training and competing outside their country continued with more than 1,200 tests conducted.

Dick Pound, the longest-serving member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), estimates there's a three-month window to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics. He said that if it proves too dangerous to hold the Olympics in Tokyo this summer, organisers are more likely to cancel it altogether than to postpone or move it. Pound has been an IOC member since 1978, 13 years longer than current President Thomas Bach.

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe says athletes should not put their Olympic dreams before their health in deciding whether to compete at the Tokyo Games.

“There will not be one bit of change in holding the Games as planned,” Katsura Enyo, deputy director general of the Tokyo 2020 Preparation Bureau at the city government. “We are not even thinking of when or in what contingency we might decide things. There is no thought of change at all in my mind,” she said.

On 3 March, the Japan Para Sports Association and Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic organisers moved to cancel this month’s wheelchair rugby test event. The wheelchair rugby test event was scheduled for 12-15 March. “The Japan Para Sports Association (JPSA) informed us the 2020 Japan Para Wheelchair Rugby Championships, scheduled for 12 to 15 March, has been cancelled,” read a statement from Tokyo 2020 organisers. “Tokyo 2020 nevertheless will carry out the wheelchair rugby test event in some form in April, after ensuring a safe and secure environment.”

Japan's Olympic minister said on 3 March that the contract to hold the Tokyo Games only specifies the event has to be held during 2020. Seiko Hashimoto's response to a question in the upper house of parliament implies the Olympics could be held later in the year and would not have to start on July 24 as planned. However, the suggestion of a possible change of plan was quickly batted back at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee's executive board in Switzerland. “We are going to have the games on the 24th of July,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams said at a briefing.

Japan cancelled the rugby test event on 3 March. Organisers said they couldn't guarantee a safe running of the Asia Sevens Invitational, scheduled for 25-26 April. The JRFU said the sevens tournament had been cancelled before teams arrange flights and make other plans. Olympics organisers said they would carry out a rugby test event "in some form" after "confirming it is safe to do so".


Beach volleyball World Cup in Yangzhou from 22-26 April postponed.


The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) relocated the Asian Championships scheduled to take place in Kazakhstan to neighbouring Uzbekistan. IWF said Kazakhstan had restricted travel to and from countries neighbouring China, forcing organisers to seek other options, and they had settled on Uzbekistan which will now host the 16-25 April competition in Tashkent.

East Asian championships in Seoul from 26 February to 3 March postponed.

Junior world championships in Bucharest, Romania from 14-24 March cancelled.


The Asian Olympic Wrestling Qualifiers, slated to begin in March in Bishkek, have been postponed following a directive by the Kyrgyzstan government. There is no update on the rescheduled time and venue for the qualifiers as of now. As per the Iranian Wrestling Federation, the event will now take place in April.  The competition was originally slated to be held in the Chinese city of Xi’an.


Officials of the Japan Sumo Association decided to hold the 8-22 March spring grand sumo tournament in Osaka with no spectators.

Iran suspends all sports events from 24 February for 10 days, except Pro League football matches behind closed doors.

Singapore athlete of the year awards on 26 February postponed.

World Chess Federation's presidential council meeting moved from China to United Arab Emirates on 28-29 February.

Hong Kong sports stars awards on 24 March postponed.

Snooker's China Open from 30 March -5 April cancelled.

SportAccord summit in Beijing moved to Lausanne, Switzerland on 19-24 April.

Singapore bans spectators at National School Games from January-August.

Nike’s European headquarters in the Netherlands will be closed on Monday and Tuesday (2-3 March) after an employee was infected with the coronavirus. Roughly 2,000 Nike employees from 80 countries work at the site.

Asian Team Championships in Malaysia and the Asian Junior Individual Championships in China have been postponed. Asian Team Championships was scheduled to be held in Kuala Lumpur from 25 to 29 March, while the Asian Junior Individual Championship was to be staged in Quingdao, China from 29 June to 3 July. New dates will be announced later, said the Asian Squash Federation.

Italy declares all sports events without spectators from 4 March to 3 April.

With inputs from Reuters, AP, PTI.

Updated Date:

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