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How the coronavirus has hit global sport

AFP looks at the effects on the sport of the coronavirus, which by Thursday had killed over 4,600 people while infecting more than 127,000 in 115 countries and territories.

Cyclists waits in a empty square due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in France, prior the start of the 161,5 km, 6th stage of the 78th Paris – Nice cycling race stage between Sorgues and Apt, on March 13, 2020. – The organizers of the 78th Paris-Nice cycling race announced on March 13, 2020 the cancellation of the last stage scheduled for Sunday due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Alain JOCARD / AFP)

AFP looks at the effects on the sport of the coronavirus, which by Thursday had killed over 4,600 people while infecting more than 127,000 in 115 countries and territories.

– Arsenal’s match at Brighton & Hove Albion was postponed early on Friday after Gunners manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for COVID-19.

— The Premier League announced it was holding an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the fate of future fixtures.

— Spanish club Real Madrid’s players were put in quarantine as La Liga announced Spain’s top two divisions will be suspended for at least two weeks.

A member of Real’s basketball squad tested positive for the virus leading to its senior football team being put in quarantine.

— UEFA will hold a crisis meeting next Tuesday with representatives from all 55 national associations and club and player bodies about Euro 2020 and the ongoing Champions League and Europa League.

— In Italy, the hardest-hit European country with 1,016 deaths from COVID-19, all sporting events including Serie A have been suspended until April 3.

— On Wednesday Juventus defender Daniele Rugani became the first Serie A footballer to test positive with Sampdoria forward Manolo Gabbiadini announcing that he had contracted the virus on Thursday.

— The second leg of Juve’s Champions League last 16 tie with Lyon was postponed on Wednesday, as was Manchester City v Real Madrid.

— Barcelona v Napoli and Bayern Munich v Chelsea will be played behind closed doors.

— France’s Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 will have no fans for at least the next two weeks.

— Arsenal players have been put in quarantine after coming into contact with the owner of Greek club Olympiakos, who tested positive.

— German Bundesliga teams have begun to close their stadiums to fans, with this weekend’s matches set to be played in front of empty stands.

— The Netherlands’ Eredivisie has been suspended until March 31.

— Three UEFA Europa League games on Thursday including Manchester United away to LASK Linz had no fans, while the ties between Inter Milan and Getafe and Roma and Sevilla were postponed.

— The Netherlands’ friendly against Spain set for March 29 cancelled. The United States has called off friendlies against the Dutch on March 26 and Wales (March 30).

— International friendlies to be played behind closed doors include France v Ukraine and Germany v Italy.

— The start of Japan’s J-League was postponed till mid-March while China suspended all domestic football and shelved indefinitely the top-flight Super League season.

— The French League Cup final between Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon has been called off, with no new date yet fixed, as has the Spanish Copa del Rey final between Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao.

— A Euro 2020 warm-up tournament in Qatar featuring Portugal, Belgium, Croatia and Switzerland, has been cancelled.

— South American World Cup qualifiers have been postponed, as was the next round of the Copa Libertadores.

— The FIFA Congress, due to take place in Addis Ababa on June 5, was pushed back to September 18.

— The ATP has suspended its tour for six weeks “due to escalating health and safety issues”.

— The ATP and WTA Miami Open was called off after Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez declared a state of emergency over the outbreak.

— The prestigious ATP and WTA Indian Wells tournament was cancelled, the first major sports event in the US to be shelved because of the outbreak.

— The inaugural Fed Cup Finals scheduled for next month in Budapest were postponed.

— The Six Nations match between Italy and England in Rome on Saturday as well as the Ireland v Italy duel in Dublin on March 7 were postponed.

— Title challengers France’s final game against Ireland, also scheduled for Saturday, was also put off until October.

— Sevens World Series tournaments in Hong Kong on April 3-5 and Singapore the following weekend will now be played in October.

— Sunday’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix was called off early on Friday.

— Bahrain’s Formula One Grand Prix on March 20-22 will be held without spectators.

— The Chinese Grand Prix, which was set for April 19 in Shanghai, has been postponed.

— In motorcycling, the season-opening Qatar MotoGP was cancelled, along with the Thailand MotoGP on March 22 (postponed until October 4). On Tuesday the Grand Prix of the Americas at Austin was rescheduled from April to November, while the MotoGP race in Argentina was also put on hold.

— Formula E indefinitely postponed the Rome E-Prix, which was due to be held on April 4.

— NBA suspended the season after Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for the new coronavirus. ESPN reported that his teammate Donovan Mitchell has also tested positive.

LeBron James and Stephen Curry have called on the league to cancel the season after a “rough” 2020.

— NCAA ‘March Madness’ to also be closed to the general public.

— The spring classic Milan-San Remo, scheduled for March 21, was postponed, having only previously been cancelled three times since the inaugural edition in 1907.

— The Strade Bianchi, the first big race of the Italian cycling season set for last Saturday, was also cancelled along with the multi-day Tirreno-Adriatico.

— This month’s Tour of Catalonia has been postponed, organisers announced on Thursday.

— World Athletics Sebastian Coe said the 2020 Tokyo Games will go ahead.

Tokyo city governor Yuriko Koike said cancelling the Olympics is “unthinkable”.

The Olympics take place from July 24-August 9.

— US President Donald Trump suggested the Olympics could be postponed for a year. “I like that better than I like having empty stadiums,” he said.

— Spectators were absent as the Olympic flame was lit in ancient Olympia.

— Fans will be banned from attending PGA Tour events unril after next month’s Texas Open, commissioner Jay Monahan said Thursday.

— European Tour chiefs postponed the Maybank Championship in Malaysia and the China Open in Shenzhen — both set for April.

— The US LPGA Tour cancelled all three of its lucrative early-season events in Asia, and also its next three events in the United States.

— The Indian Open in New Delhi, set for March 19-22, was postponed on Wednesday.

— India’s IPL which starts on March 29 could be played behind closed doors an official told AFP, with the Indian government later advising it should be stopped.

— The final two one day internationals between India and South Africa will be held without spectators.

— Pakistan cricket authorities announced plans to close public access to a series of upcoming domestic league matches in Karachi.

— The World Indoor Championships, scheduled for Nanjing from March 13-15, were postponed until next year.

— The Paris Marathon, scheduled for April 5 with 60,000 registered runners, was postponed until October 18.

— The Barcelona Marathon, which was scheduled for March 15 with 17,000 runners, was postponed until October.

— Norway’s Aleksander Kilde won alpine skiing’s men’s World Cup title after the final races of the season at Kranjska Gora at the weekend were scrapped due to the coronavirus threat

— The World Cup finals, scheduled for Cortina d’Ampezzo in Italy between March 16-22, were cancelled.

— This weekend’s three women’s races in Are were scrapped, crowning Federica Brignone as the overall champion.

— World Championships, scheduled for Montreal next week, were cancelled.

— Japan’s domestic baseball season, originally set to open on March 10, was postponed.

— The NHL commissioner Gary Bettman halted the competition on Thursday three weeks before the scheduled conclusion of the 2019-20 regular season.

— The Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships, set for Halifax and Truro in Nova Scotia for March 31 to April 10, were cancelled.

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