Timeline of Coronavirus’ Impact on Sports

Timeline of Coronavirus’ Impact on Sports:

The novel Coronavirus’ Impact on Sports has led to the cancellation or rescheduling of numerous sporting events as well as athletes withdrawing from notable tournaments over the past few weeks.

How is the global pandemic affecting Indian athletes in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics? Which events involving Indian participants have been cancelled or postponed? We track key events across sport.

(We will update this story regularly with latest news on sporting events involving Indian athletes being cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus.


LATEST – A day before the Indian athletics season was to begin in Patiala, the Indian Grand Prix has been called off due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


LATEST – I-League side Chennai City FC’s next two AFC Cup games will not be held as scheduled after the Asian Football Confederation on Wednesday postponed all matches of the continental competition until April end due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Following the imposition of further preventive measures and travel restrictions by several national governments due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has decided today to postpone all AFC Cup 2020 matches until further notice,” the AFC said in a statement.

In their first group match, Chennai City had played out a 2-2 draw with Maziya Sports and Recreation of Maldives in Chennai on March 11.

Meanwhile, the final of the Indian Super League (ISL), won by ATK who beat Chennaiyin FC 3-1 in Goa on March 14, was held behind closed doors.

The All India Football Federation suspended tournaments at all levels — including the I-League — until March 31. India’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier match against Qatar scheduled for March 26 in Bhubaneswar has been postponed.


LATEST – BWF has suspended all tournaments until April 12. The events that are cancelled include the Swiss Open, India Open, Orleans Open, Malaysia Open and Singapore Open, apart from a number of Grade 3 events.

Earlier, the India Open, a crucial event for Tokyo Olympic qualification, was be held without any spectators, the Badminton Association of India (BAI) had announced. The BAI had even written to the Badminton World Federation (BWF) asking for the Super 500 tournament, scheduled for March 24-29 in New Delhi, to be postponed. However, BAI and the BWF had later issued a joint statement saying the event will go ahead as originally planned.

India’s HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma and Sourabh Verma had already pulled out of the All England Open.

These delays are crucial as ranking points earned until April 26 will determine who makes the cut for the Tokyo Olympics.


On March 13, the BCCI decided to defer IPL 2020 until April 15. The tournament was scheduled to start on March 29, because of the Coronavirus’ Impact on Sports.

The decision to call off the two remaining matches of the ODI series between India and South Africa — in Lucknow (March 15) and Kolkata (March 18) — was also taken the same day.


The All India Chess Federation (AICF) has postponed all national championships till May 31, in view of the outbreak.


LATEST – The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has recommended to the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) that the New Delhi World Cup, scheduled for March 15-26, be postponed due to the outbreak. More details here.

ESPN understands that the Indian contingent, which had plans to train in South Korea pre-Games, will not be doing so because of the outbreak in the country. India also pulled out of the ISSF shotgun World Cup to be held between March 4 and 13 in Cyprus, citing the threat posed by the novel coronavirus.


The Fed Cup finals scheduled to be held in Budapest, Hungary, in April and playoffs that were to be held in various locations worldwide have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Wednesday. India were to face Latvia or the Netherlands in the playoffs in April. Meanwhile, following the cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, the ATP and WTA announced a six-week suspension of their tours.


The 3×3 basketball Olympic qualifiers scheduled to be held in Bengaluru between March 18-22 have been postponed.

Race walking

The Asian 20km Race Walk Championships scheduled for March 15 in Nomi, Japan have been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. Thirteen Indians were to take part in the event, with Tokyo Olympics-bound Bhawana Jat leading the country’s challenge. The Asian Athletics Association (AAA) took the decision to cancel the championship after a request from the Japan federation.

Table tennis

India’s highest-ranked player G Sathiyan’s pre-Olympic training plans have been thrown off gear. The world body, ITTF, had proposed to hold a camp in Japan a week ahead of the Japan Open (April 21-26) which Sathiyan was also hoping to be part of, but now the tournament itself appears to be in doubt.


The Olympic qualifying tournament to be held between March 27 – 29 at Bishkek in the Kyrgyz Republic has been cancelled, the Kyrgyz ministry of Youth, Physical Culture and Sports has announced.

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