The coronavirus could not have come at a worse time for lovers of sports. At this moment in time, we should be approaching the climax to the season in sports across the board. In the U.S. and the rest of the world, almost all professional sports leagues have suspended until it is deemed safe to resume the season. Uncertainty currently shrouds when seasons will be resumed or started or what games will look like. Questions over whether matches will have to be played behind closed doors or with the players wearing facemasks are really no closer to being answered. Read on for a summary of the current situations with the major sports leagues and events around the world.
Due to be held in Tokyo this summer, organizers were forced to postpone both the Olympics and the Paralympics until July and August next year.
At the time of writing, the NFL has not made any major adjustments with regards to the start date for the 2020 season which is scheduled for September 10. Hopes remain high among league bigwigs that the threat of the coronavirus will have largely blown over by the time the start of the season comes around. In the meantime, the NFL has just held a virtual draft, the first draft of its kind in any sport.
The coronavirus will especially stick in the craw of basketball fans. With the Lakers and Bucks leading the Western and Eastern Conferences respectively and the playoffs within sight, the season was unceremoniously called to a halt mid-game on March 12. League chiefs have been discussing resuming the season behind closed doors with players in quarantine in Las Vegas or Disney World Orlando.
Major League Baseball chiefs are currently exploring the possibility of shortening the regular baseball season. With the season supposed to have started at the back end of March, a large number of MLB games have already been written off. The talk is that the shortened season could start at the end of June/beginning of July and extend past its normal finish date by a month or so.
The NHL was forced to pause its season near the beginning of March and is aiming to resume play in late June. However, the actual date for resumption has not yet been fixed. The league is determined to finish the season even if it means pushing back the start of next season to November or December.
Across the Atlantic, the coronavirus pandemic has come as a particularly harsh blow for Liverpool of the Premier League which was on the cusp of winning its first league title for 30 years by a record margin. PL clubs have shown a determination to finish the season despite seeing the Dutch and French top-flight leagues canceled. Italian and German players have recently returned to training after a relaxation of lockdowns, giving hope to other countries.
With many of us bored at home, let’s hope that professional sport gets back underway as soon as possible. We could all do with a bit of distraction in these toughest of times.