Coronavirus has taken a vice-like grip on sporting fixtures across the UK and globally, seeing football matches decimated until at least April 30th in England.
The Premier League have announced earlier this week that there will be a suspension to games now until the end of April, which could be extended if the killer bug COVID-19 is still prevalent in this country.
The EFL have also followed suit with a suspension until the same date but there are fears that the bug may not hit its peak until May, leaving plans up in the air for when football could return.
Meanwhile, non-league football in England has been cancelled until next season with a decision on the resumption of the Premier League and EFL to be made soon.
What does this mean for football?
With just nine games to go this season, Liverpool are a whopping 25 points clear of their closest challengers, Manchester City, albeit having played a game extra.
The title is just weeks away from going to Anfield for the first time in 30 years but there have been calls by many for the season to be suspended indefinitely and starting afresh next term.
This would be cruel on Jurgen Klopp’s side, who have been far superior to their rivals this campaign, but that is one of many options for the Premier League to look at.
At the other end of the table, the likes of Norwich and Aston Villa could breathe a sigh of relief if the season is called to a halt.
Another scenario is, all being well, games to restart in early May. Failing that, the season could restart later with games to finish at the end of June, now the Euros are postponed.
Plenty of clubs, such as Tottenham, Bournemouth and Newcastle have seen staff take voluntary pay cuts or go on furlough leave as the crisis continues.
The Champions League and Europa League have also been postponed. A silver lining for Liverpool is that if the Premier League decide to end the season without the Reds as title winners, they could hold their Champions League title having been knocked out by Atletico de Madrid earlier this week.
Scottish football has also followed in the footsteps of the English, suspending all games until further notice.
Women’s football in England has also been postponed until April 30th.
The European Championships have also been postponed until 2021, and it was also announced that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be put back until next year too.
What other sports have been affected by Coronavirus?
Plenty of other sports events have been severely disrupted this week in the wake of this pandemic:-
- Golf – Both the European Tour and PGA Tour have suspended events for the upcoming future. The Masters looks like it may be played in October and the USPGA Championship, set for mid-May, will be put to another weekend later in the year.
- Formula 1 – Season has been suspended further, with a decision to be made on the British Grand Prix to be made at the end of April. The event is set to take place in July.
- Cricket – England’s tour to Sri Lanka has been postponed, with the threat of missing summer Test and One-Day matches should the virus not abate. The IPL is postponed until further notice.
- Rugby Union- The Six Nations still has key fixtures to be played, and the intention is to finish those games as soon as possible.
- European Football – Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 have been suspended whilst Serie A was suspended three weeks ago due to the crisis in Italy.
- Basketball – NBA suspended until further notice.
- Tennis – ATP Tour suspended until further notice. Earlier this week, it was announced that Wimbledon had been cancelled, making it the first time the annual event has been missing since World War Two. The French Open has also been postponed but they are hoping to play this event in the autumn.
- Ice Hockey – Great Britain’s two matches in Poland on April 17th and 18th have been cancelled.
- Baseball – Start of MLB season delayed by at least two weeks.
This blog will continue to get updated as dates could be announced for when these sports will definitely make a return. The main thing for all is for everyone to stay safe and adhere to what the experts are saying.