Coronavirus outbreak: List of sports events affected throughout the world due to emergency epidemic

FP Sports

Following is a list of international sports events affected by the coronavirus that has killed over 2,700 people and infected more than 80,000, at the time of writing, after it first emerged in Wuhan, Hubei province in China, in late 2019. The impact of the virus has been felt globally with Iran, South Korea and Italy the latest to see a spike in cases but largely in China.


ISSF International Solidarity Championships in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 22-28 February has been postponed.

World Cup in Shanghai from 4-10 May has been cancelled.


Hong Kong marathon which was scheduled for 9 February was called off on 25 January affecting 70,000 runners who had planned to participate. Other local marathons in Wuhan and Wuxi were also scrapped.

The World Athletics Indoor Championships, which had been scheduled for Nanjing from 13 to 15 March, have been postponed until next year. World Athletics is working with organisers to settle on a date to host the biennial event in 2021.

The Asian Athletics Association cancelled the 12 to 13 February indoor championships in Hangzhou.

The Tokyo marathon's mass participation race, in which 38,000 had registered, has been cancelled. The race would only see the elite marathon runners taking part - 176 athletes and 30 wheelchair athletes. 1800 runners from China were registered to compete in Japan on 1 March. The race acts as an Olympic trial for Japanese marathon runners.

Nagoya Women's Marathon, scheduled for 8 March, has been limited to elite runners only. The elite field features only the invited athletes and those who have run marathons in 3 hours or less. The public marathon and related events were expected to attract nearly 40,000 people.

Pyongyang Marathon in North Korea on 12 April has been cancelled.


Sho Sasaki of Japan carries a shuttlecock on his racquet in his match against Kevin Cordon of Guatalmala in their first round at the China Open badminton tournament in Shanghai on November 23, 2011. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo by PETER PARKS / AFP)

Representative image. AFP

The 25 February to 1 March China Masters tournament in Hainan was postponed after several players withdrew. The BWF said it hoped the flagship Badminton Asia Championships could still go ahead in Wuhan from 21 to 26 April.

The team event of Badminton Asia Championships was subdued after China and Hong Kong were forced to withdraw. The tournament taking place in Manila saw the two countries pull out due to the travel restrictions imposed on Chinese nationals by the Philippines government. Additionally, India women's team pulled out late with their male counterparts going ahead.

Vietnam International Challenge in Hanoi postponed from 24-29 March to 2-7 June.


Tokyo's Yomiuri Giants baseball team will play two preseason games in an empty stadium. The Yomiuri Giants baseball team said on its website on Tuesday it would go forward with preseason games at the Tokyo Dome versus the Yakult Swallows but no fans would be in the building. The games are scheduled to take place on 29 February and 1 March.


The International Basketball Federation moved the 6 to 9 February Tokyo Olympics qualifiers to be held in Foshan to Belgrade.

Asia Cup qualifiers postponed: Philippines vs. Thailand on 20 February; Japan vs. China on 21 February, China vs. Malaysia on 24 February. Matches scheduled for Hong Kong moved to opponents' homes.


Olympic test event in Zhangjiakou scheduled for 27 February to 2 March has been cancelled.


The International Olympic Committee announced Jordan as hosts of the boxing qualifiers for Asia and Oceania after an event in Wuhan was cancelled. It will now take place in Amman from 3 to 11 March.


Hong Kong show jumping leg of Longines Masters Series from 14-16 February cancelled.


The Overwatch League postponed three weeks' worth of scheduled matches in Seoul. The league previously postponed matches scheduled for three cities in China this month and rescheduled them for March in Seoul. Those matches, along with previously scheduled home dates for the Seoul Dynasty, have now been postponed.


Wang Shanshan of China, left, goes up for a header against Chinese Taipei's Wang Hsiang-Huei during their Olympic soccer qualifying match in Sydney, Friday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Steve Christo)

China's Wang Shanshan in action against the Taiwanese in their Olympic qualifier at their relocated match in Sydney. AP

Asian Champions League matches involving Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG have been postponed. Guangzhou and the Shanghai clubs will join the competition in April, with their group matches due to be played in May. Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG were due to play away at Perth Glory and Sydney FC but Australian officials sought to reschedule matches after their government imposed a travel ban on foreign nationals arriving from China.

A four-team women's Olympic qualifying tournament involving China, Australia, Taiwan and Thailand was moved from Wuhan and rearranged to be held in Australia by the AFC. China vs. South Korea playoff on 11 March has been moved from China to Malaysia. China women's team's "home" match against South Korea in the final qualifying stage for the Tokyo Olympics to be played in Sydney.

Vietnam's government said it would not allow the country to host sporting events in February, meaning home AFC Cup group stage matches for Ho Chi Minh City and Than Quang Ninh will have to be switched to away fixtures. Ho Chi Minh City will now face Yangon United in Myanmar on 11 February while Than Quang Ninh meet Ceres Negros on 25 February in the Philippines.

The Chinese Football Association said domestic games at all levels would be postponed.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) further said preliminary stage matches of the East Zone of the AFC Cup 2020 were postponed by a couple of months to recommence on 7 April due to travel restrictions imposed in several countries.

Asian men's futsal championship in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan from 26 February to 8 March postponed.

Iran Pro League: Spectators banned from all matches from 24 February.

K League in South Korea, due to start on 29 February, delayed.

Japan vs. South Africa men's friendly on 27 March cancelled.

2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying: China vs. Maldives on 26 March and vs. Guam on 31 March moved to Buriram, Thailand. Spectators banned.

Four Italian top division football matches in Serie A scheduled for Sunday (23 February) in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto were suspended after deaths of two people infected with the virus. On orders from the Italian government, the games called off were: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria, Atalanta vs. Sassuolo, Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari, Torino vs Parma. Only Genoa vs Lazio and AS Roma vs Lecce went ahead on 23 February.

Serie B match featuring Ascoli and Cremonese was called off on Saturday around one hour before the scheduled kickoff.

Milan's game against Fiorentina in the Serie A women's league was also postponed.

Serie A, B, C, D and Women's Serie A matches in Lombardy and Veneto regions postponed from 22 February.

Japan's professional football league, the J-League, postponed seven Levian Cup matches scheduled for Wednesday and all domestic games through the first half of March.

Six Serie A matches will be played behind closed doors on the weekend of 29 February and 1 March - including Juventus' match at home to Inter Milan. Udinese vs Fiorentina; AC Milan vs Genoa; Parma vs Spal; Sassuolo vs Brescia, Sampdoria vs Hellas Verona will also be played without fan presence. Other games on the weekend will go ahead as usual.

Inter Milan vs. Ludogorets in the Europa League on 27 February will be played behind closed doors. As per reports, more than 600 Ludogorets fans were due to travel from Bulgaria for Europa League last-32 first-leg fixture at the San Siro.


Over 300 golfers from New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru participated in a golf event in Mauritius recently. Image credit: Vedam Jaishankar

File photo of a golf course. Image credit: Vedam Jaishankar

The elite women's LPGA golf tour canceled the 5-8 March Blue Bay tournament to be held on Hainan.

The tour also canceled the Honda LPGA Thailand event in Pattaya scheduled for 20 to 23 February and the 27 February to 1 March HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore.

PGA Tour postponed two qualifying tournaments and the start to its PGA Tour Series-China circuit. One qualifying tournament for players from mainland China was moved to Indonesia. The season was scheduled to start on 26 March with the Sanya Championship, followed by three straight weeks of the Haikou Classic, the Chongqing Championship and Guangzhou Open. It will now start late May or early June.

Maybank Championship in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the European Tour scheduled from 16-19 April has been postponed.

China Open in Shenzhen from 23-26 April postponed.

Spectators have been banned from the Daikin Orchid Ladies tournament in Okinawa on the Japan LPGA Tour. The event will be run from 5-8 March.


Artistic World Cup in Melbourne, Australia from 20-23 February: China team withdrew.


Olympic women's qualifying tournament in Montenegro from 20-22 March: China withdrew. Hong Kong declined invitation to attend.


Representational image of a hockey stick.

Representational image of a hockey stick.

Hockey Pro League matches between China and Belgium, Australia, scheduled for 8-9 February, 14-15 March respectively will not be played.

Indian women's hockey team was scheduled to travel to China from 14 to 25 March but that has been called off. "We had to travel to China but that has been cancelled due to the virus. So a lot of teams are also not available to play with because they are participating in the Pro League," Indian skipper Rani Rampal said.

Ireland women's tour of Malaysia in March-April cancelled.

Ice Hockey

Chinese clubs in Supreme Hockey League playing home games in Russia.

Women's Challenge Cup of Asia in Manila, Philippines, from 23-28 February cancelled.


Paris Grand Slam on 8-9 February: China team withdrew.

Dusseldorf Grand Slam on 21-23 February: China team withdrew.

Modern pentathlon

World championships moved from Xiamen to Cancun, Mexico from 25-31 May.

World laser run championships moved from Xiamen in May to Weiden, Germany in August.


The all-electric Formula E motor racing series abandoned plans for a race in Sanya on 21 March.

The Formula One Chinese Grand Prix will not take place as scheduled on 19 April due to the outbreak of the virus. The absence of the Chinese event would leave a four-week gap between the Vietnamese Grand Prix on 5 April and the Dutch Grand Prix on 3 May. "The Chinese Grand Prix has always been a very important part of the F1 calendar and the fans are always incredible," Formula 1 said in a statement. "We all look forward to racing in China as soon as possible and wish everyone in the country the best during this difficult time." No alternative date has been mentioned.


The coronavirus outbreak affected the Singapore and Hong Kong legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series as the tournament has been postponed, World Rugby announced on Thursday. As per the new schedule, the tournament will now take place on 10 and 11 October, and the Hong Kong leg has been moved from 3 to 5 April to 16 to 18 October. Singapore Sevens, meanwhile, scheduled for 11-12 April has been moved to 10-11 October.

A women's Six Nations rugby match between Italy and Scotland scheduled for Legnano near Milan was postponed. A Six Nations statement read: "Further to an increased number of Covid-19 cases in the Milan area, the Italian authorities have decided to cancel all sporting events in the Veneto and Lombardi Regions. As a result of this decision, the Women's Six Nations match between Italy and Scotland scheduled to be played today will not take place. Six Nations Rugby are looking at options with the FIR and Scottish Rugby to reschedule this fixture at a later date."

Pro14 in Italy: Zebre vs. Ospreys, Treviso vs. Ulster on 29 February postponed.

Asia women's championship in Hong Kong moved from 14-22 March to 8-16 May.


Alpine World Cup in Yanqing from 15-16 February cancelled.


Asian water polo championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan from 12-16 February cancelled.

Diving Grand Prix in Madrid from 14-16 February: China team withdrew.

Diving world series event in Beijing from 7-9 March cancelled.

China Olympic trials in Qingdao from 28 March - 4 April have been moved to 10-16 May.

Table tennis

World team championships in Busan, South Korea postponed from 22-29 May to 21-28 June.

South Korea Open in Busan on 16-21 June suspended.

Australian Open in Geelong on 23-28 June suspended.


The International Tennis Federation moved the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I event featuring China, Taiwan, Indonesia, South Korea and Uzbekistan out of Dongguan to Nur-Sultan (formerly Astana) in Kazakhstan. But the 4 to 8 February event was later postponed to Dubai after Kazakhstan declined to serve as substitute hosts.

China have been forced into forfeiting their Davis Cup tie against Romania because its men's tennis team cannot travel out of the country. The International Tennis Federation cited "increased restrictions in response to the current coronavirus outbreak" for the decision. China were due to play in Piatra Neamt on March 6-7 in a World Group I Playoff. The forfeit means Romania advance to World Group I tie in September with China dropping into World Group II.

The women's tour has called off the Xi'an Open "due to the coronavirus outbreak." The hard-court event was supposed to be held 13-19 April, with 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams. There would have been $115,000 in prize money at stake.

Tokyo Olympics

Local organisers and the Switzerland-based International Olympics Committee have said repeatedly the games will not be cancelled or postponed. The Tokyo Olympics open on 24 July and the Paralympics open on 25 August.

ALSO READ | Key questions on Olympics and coronavirus answered

On 21 February, training for 80,000 unpaid volunteers was being delayed until May or later.

Drug testing programs on mainland China were halted on 3 February following the outbreak of the virus. WADA said drug testing would resume in the week of 24 February on a "phased basis" with priority given to testing elite level athletes from higher-risk categories and sports. WADA emphasised that while CHINADA (China Anti-Doping Agency)operations were suspended testing on Chinese athletes training and competing outside their country continued with more than 1,200 tests conducted.

Dick Pound, the longest-serving member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), estimates there's a three-month window to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics. He said that if it proves too dangerous to hold the Olympics in Tokyo this summer, organisers are more likely to cancel it altogether than to postpone or move it. Pound has been an IOC member since 1978, 13 years longer than current President Thomas Bach.


Beach volleyball World Cup in Yangzhou from 22-26 April postponed.


The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) relocated the Asian Championships scheduled to take place in Kazakhstan to neighbouring Uzbekistan. IWF said Kazakhstan had restricted travel to and from countries neighbouring China, forcing organisers to seek other options, and they had settled on Uzbekistan which will now host the 16-25 April competition in Tashkent.


Chinese wrestlers will not be taking part in the Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi that will start on 18 February. The wrestlers have not been granted visas by the Indian government. The move will impact 40 wrestlers who were scheduled to compete. Wrestlers from North Korea and Turkmenistan also withdrew. "We have got to know that the government has not granted visas to the Chinese contingent and so they are not taking part in the Championships," said Wrestling Federation of India assistant secretary Vinod Tomar.

Asian Olympic qualifying event from 27-29 March has been moved from Xi'an to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.


Iran suspends all sports events from 24 February for 10 days, except Pro League football matches behind closed doors.

Singapore athlete of the year awards on 26 February postponed.

World Chess Federation's presidential council meeting moved from China to United Arab Emirates on 28-29 February.

Hong Kong sports stars awards on 24 March postponed.

Snooker's China Open from 30 March -5 April cancelled.

SportAccord summit in Beijing moved to Lausanne, Switzerland on 19-24 April.

Singapore bans spectators at National School Games from January-August.

With inputs from Reuters, AP

Also See: Tokyo Olympics 2020: Too early to say whether coronavirus threatens to force cancellation of Games, says WHO

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Games cannot be held under current circumstances, but things could improve by July, says Japanese virologist

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Games president Yoshiro Mori says 'no' to wearing a mask despite coronavirus scare in Japan

Read more on Sports by Firstpost.