Great Britain

Coronavirus in Sport: Will Olympics and Euro 2020 be affected, and what sports has the deadly virus cancelled?

CORONAVIRUS has been spread across the globe with the outbreak causing the deaths of thousands of people.

Having originated in Wuhan, China, nearly 50 countries have reported confirmed cases, with governments now taking measures to ensure more are infected - including quarantining towns.

Now, sporting events are also been cancelled, while many more are under threat should the coronavirus not be contained and neutralised.

What sporting events have been cancelled?


Formula One was among the first to react in sport, as it cancelled the Chinese Grand Prix - held in Shanghai - on February 12.

The race is not due until April 19, but with the virus continuing to spread, it was not in the interest of safety to retain it at that date.

FIA, the sport's governing body, are looking into holding it later in the year, but with a record-breaking 22-race calendar, it looks unlikely.

Vietnam has also come under threat, but organisers have so far insisted that it will go ahead for which it will be its inaugural race.

Yet, with just 100 miles separating Hanoi from the Chinese border, this could change.

There is also concerns over other races, even the season opener in Australia, with Ferrari having to close their Maranello and Modena museums in Italy due to the outbreak, while tyre suppliers Pirelli hail from Milan - an area hugely affected.

Meanwhile, the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) series had to move its testing from Monza in Italy to Germany's Hockenheim.


Following Coronavirus' spread to Italy, the Six Nations clash between the Azzurri and Ireland has been called off - ten days before it is due to be played.

It was supposed to be played in Dublin, but with the outbreak affecting many Italian cities, the cancellation comes to avoid spreading it further.

This is along with an under-20s game and women's international that were due to be played on the same day.

This has put the Italy and England's Six Nations tie in doubt, which is set to take place in Rome on March 14.


For the weekend between February 21 and 23, four Serie A - Italian top flight - matches were postponed, including Inter Milan vs Sampdoria.

Italy's football association have yet to confirm any cancellations for upcoming fixtures, but six matches will be played behind closed doors including Juventus vs Inter Milan.

Inter have already played a game without any fans as Ludogorets Razgrad travelled to San Siro.

Japan's J-League have also postponed matches, while the Chinese Super League season has be held off until the coronavirus situation has been dealt with.

The virus had already affected the AFC Women's Olympic qualifying tournament in Asia, which was due to be played in Wuhan - before it was moved to Sydney in Australia.

Odion Ighalo was forced to train away from his new Manchester United teammates after joining from Shanghai Greenland Shenhua in January.

So far, the Premier League has not been affected, but clubs are being told to follow NHS guidelines.


The Cheltenham Festival is expected to go ahead as planned, despite a Coronavirus steering group being set up to watch and monitor the situation in horse racing.

Meanwhile, the World Athletics Indoor Championships were postponed, having been scheduled to be held in Nanjing between March 13-15 - with it now set to be held in 2021.

The Tokyo Marathon on March 1 is set to be just for elite athletes, rather than open to the public.

In cycling, the UAE Tour has been cancelled after two Italian staff members tested positive for coronavirus.

They were a part of one of the participating teams, with all riders - including Britain's Chris Froome - set to be tested.

Will the Olympics and Euro 2020 be affected?

For the time being, it is "business as usual" for the Olympics, with the Games in Tokyo still set to to go ahead.

International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound spoke to Associated Press, telling athletes: "As far as we all know, you're going to be in Tokyo."

But the Canadian added that a decision does not need to be made until May, yet will be out of their hands.

Pound told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We're pretty good at dealing with sport problems, but a pandemic is beyond our pay grade.

"It will depend on the WHO (World Health Organisation) to make a call with respect to international travel and the places that should be avoided.

"It may come down to a government intervention in Japan, or other governments saying 'we don't want our citizens travelling there'."

Yet, Pound also said they are looking into contingency plans, including holding the Olympics later in the year or even in various unaffected countries around the world.

He added: "Everything is on the table. You could disperse the Games, for example have some events in Canada, some in Britain, etc."

As for Euro 2020, the competition is set to be held across 12 different countries with the semis and final ending up at Wembley in London.

Yet, Italy is among them, with Stadio Olimpico in Rome to host four matches, while only four of the 12 nations hosting games are unaffected by the virus so far.

Uefa executive committee member, Michele Uva, told RAI: "We are at the waiting stage.

"We are monitoring country by country, and football must follow the orders of the individual countries.

"The sporting path will only be closed if the situation gets worse."