Coronavirus cancels sporting events around the world

The virus, which could become a pandemic, has seriously impacted the world of professional sports.

Match at the San Siro stadium in Milan.

All sporting events in Italy have been affected by the arrival of the coronavirus. / Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | Juan Manuel Londoño

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Leer en español: El Coronavirus cancela eventos deportivos alrededor del mundo

Coronavirus has not only caused huge human and economic losses but has also strongly affected the world of sports, and not only in China. Countries like Japan, Italy, and Iran have implemented emergency measures to protect both their athletes and the fans who follow them. In LatinAmericanPost we tell you all about it.

Perhaps the western country that has been most affected by the coronavirus has been Italy. With more than 400 confirmed cases, the European boot has canceled all kinds of cultural, sporting and economic events, for fear of worsening contagion among the population. In the regions of Emilia-Romagna, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy, Veneto, and Piedmont all kinds of sporting events are suspended.

The Famous series A is one of the celebrations most struck by the disease; 10 games were postponed, including fans of the fans such as Juventus-Inter and Milan-Genoa. League activities will resume on May 13 and the final is expected to be played on the 20th of the same month.

They also postponed all rugby and baseball activities in which Italy participated. An important development is that the match of the Six Nations tournament of Italy against Ireland will not be held. This rugby tournament, which has taken place since before the First World War, has rarely been canceled in its history and could have terrible economic implications for the sport if it were to be the case.

Another important event that was canceled was the Bologna marathon.

Also read: 5 sporting events affected by the coronavirus

Events canceled in Japan

The country of the rising sun already has more than 800 confirmed cases according to The New York Times, so a variety of sporting events have been canceled accordingly.

The Japanese Professional Baseball League has commented that it will play the remaining 72 games of its closed season preseason according to The Japan Times. This is a historic decision on the part of the League, which had never forbidden its fans to attend preseason games.

This fact demonstrates the drastic measures that Japan is employing to prevent the spread of the virus since baseball is the most popular sport in the country and is considered by its inhabitants as the "unofficial" national sport. In this regard, LJBP commissioner Atsushi Saito said: “It was a very bitter decision. Because we cannot determine the situation, I will not say anything for now about that (the opening day) ”according to The Japan Times.

It is not the first professional sports league in Japan that cancels its activities. The Japanese Rugby Union postponed 16 games. In the same way, the association that regulates Sumo tournaments in the country will decide on Sunday if the Great Osaka Sumo Tournament will take place (the third of the six that are held every year). The J league, the country's football league, suspended matches completely until March 15.

As for the Olympic Games, the organizing committees have been emphatic that they will take place exactly as planned, despite the growing threat of Co-vid 19. However, rumors of cancellation have not been lacking. Japanese Prime Minister Seiko Hashimoto told Reuters that "the contract requires the Games to be held in 2020. That could be interpreted as allowing for a postponement." This statement has given rise to speculation that the games will be postponed until the end of the year.


With more than 200 confirmed cases, things do not look good for the Middle Eastern country. On February 23 they announced that all sporting events except football and futsal matches would be canceled, starting February 24 for a period of 10 days. Those matches that are played would be, according to the authorities, played without spectators.

South Korea

Like the previous countries, the South Korean soccer league K suspended 6 games last Saturday and recommended that future meetings be held behind closed doors. The scourge of the coronavirus has even extended to the world of e-sports in this country, as the League of Legends league in the country would suspend its games from March 9.


The two great parties that were under threat of being played without a public in Ecuador were between Barcelona-Independiente and Delfín-Olimpia. However, it seems that the authorities of that country reached an agreement with the regulatory bodies and both clashes will take place with spectators. Diego Castro, one of the directors of the Independent, affirmed to the newspaper El Comercio that "in all the stadiums we will take precautions with antibacterial gel".

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