The coronavirus pandemic wiped out most of the world’s major sporting events in an unprecedented 24 hours.
As Friday began, the Premier League was one of the last football competitions standing – albeit with fans awaiting the outcome of an emergency meeting.
During the wait, at 10:20 GMT, England’s men’s cricket Test tour or Sri Lanka was cancelled. Then at about 11:00 GMT the Premier League and EFL announced: no football until April.
In fact, there will be no elite football in the whole of Britain for the next three weeks at least – with BBC Sport’s Dan Roan reporting that a Premier League and EFL re-start on 3-4 April is privately deemed “almost impossible”.
The only Six Nations fixture still scheduled for this weekend, Wales v Scotland, was definitely on at 09:30 GMT, but called off by 14:00.
More followed. The Masters was also postponed at 14:00, and it was announced at 17:05 that April’s London Marathon will be moved to October.
There was still some live sport happening. A crowd of 68,859 watched Al Boum Photo win a second successive Cheltenham Gold Cup.
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If you struggled to keep up with Friday’s continuous stream of cancellations, here is what is off and what is still going ahead this weekend.
Which sports events have been cancelled because of coronavirus?
On a day of widespread sporting postponements worldwide, here is a round-up:
- All elite British football has been suspended until 3 April.
- Uefa has postponed next week’s Champions League and Europa League fixtures.
- France and Germany’s top two divisions were postponed, joining the Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and USA leagues in taking action.
- The London Marathon has been moved from 26 April to 4 October, with the Manchester and Brighton Marathons also postponed.
- In rugby union, Saturday’s Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland has been postponed, as has Sunday’s Premiership Cup final between Sale and Harlequins.
- England’s Test cricket series in Sri Lanka has been cancelled.
- Golf’s Masters is postponed, hours after the Players Championship was called off.
- Cycling’s Giro d’Italia, scheduled to start in Hungary in May, has been called off.
- Formula 1 has called off the Vietnam Grand Prix on 5 April.
- Formula E is suspended for two months, affecting races in Paris, Seoul and Jakarta.
Which sports events are still going ahead?
But there is still live sport this weekend, here’s what remains at the time of publication:
- Horse racing in England is continuing as scheduled with the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter on Saturday, where several thousand spectators are expected, and fixtures at Fontwell, Kempton, Newcastle and Wolverhampton.
- Rugby league fixtures, with the exception of Catalans v Leeds Rhinos, are on this weekend.
- Netball Superleague fixtures on Saturday and Monday.
- Basketball’s BBL and WBBL Trophy finals in Glasgow on Sunday.
- Most National League football this weekend.
- Olympic boxing qualifiers at London’s Copper Box Arena from 14-24 March.
- All England Open Badminton.
What could be next?
BBC News reports that the UK Government could ban mass gatherings from as early as next week in a shift in policy to ease pressure on emergency services.
As it stands, the Grand National is still going ahead on 4 April.
Attention will now turn to the summer. European football’s governing body Uefa has called an emergency meeting on Tuesday at which the possibility of postponing Euro 2020 by one year will be an option discussed.
Premier League clubs will hold a second emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the outcome of the Uefa decision on Euro 2020 and how it might impact the rest of the domestic season.
And what about the world’s biggest sporting event – the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?
Japan’s Olympics minister has conceded the Games could be postponed until later in the year if the coronavirus outbreak makes their scheduled start on 24 July unfeasible.