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The Corona Effect

I guess we should talk about Coronavirus, because let’s be honest, everyone else is making it pretty hard to avoid (just like the virus…), and there are no doubts over how disruptive it has been for sport in the UK and around the world (as well as everything else of course). Any event over 1000 people looks like it’s going to either be cancelled or postponed for safety reasons and with countries now in lockdown it is unlikely this will change in the near future.

Let’s start with the Six Nations which is now going to have to wait until October to reach its exciting conclusion. With Scotland beating France last weekend it has left the title up for grabs, and after England claimed the Triple Crown for the first time in four years, they are looking like the likely champions at the moment. It would have been an incredible Super Saturday (and a great birthday for me!) but sadly it is not to be. Only Wales v Scotland is scheduled to go ahead this weekend, which will of course be a great game to watch, but slightly less exciting with no team lifting the trophy before the end of the day. The Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, which is usually the highlight of the sevens circuit, has also been moved from April to October, so again delaying the tournament and the outcomes.

All sport in Italy has been suspended including Serie A and games will be played behind closed doors until April 3rd. Other leagues around the world have also been suspended such as the Chinese Super League, South Korea’s soccer league, Japan’s J.League and now the Premier League. Some European football games are being played behind closed doors in order to continue with the season as best they can, however there have been coaches and players who have tested positive for coronavirus already, so is this really the most sensible idea? Both Chelsea and Arsenal squads are self-isolating and so surely others should be doing the same thing.

The Chinese Grand Prix, originally scheduled for April 19, has been postponed and all others before this have also been postponed. There are also fears that Tokyo 2020 may be impacted and potentially postponed or cancelled due to the virus, however organizers insist preparations are going ahead as planned. The Olympics are scheduled to take place between July 24 and August 9 so we have been told that there is enough time to get them organised without risk.

The England cricket tour to Sri Lanka has now been postponed with the squad being sent back home. No-one has got symptoms or are ill, but both governing bodies just feel it is sensible to make sure players are back home safely with their loved ones just in case.

These are all just the current headlines, I am sure there is a lot more to talk about on this front, however I don't want to bearer of all bad news! It has just come out that the UK government is planning on banning all sports fixtures for the next month or so and so I am sure there will be a lot more on this over the next few days - so stay tuned!

Countries are in lockdown, some are going into recession, shops are being emptied of loo roll and pasta (clearly the essentials) and with people being told to work from home indefinitely the world is in panic and we are all feeling the knock-on effects. As frustrating as it is to miss out on the sporting events that we look forward to every year, we need to take into account that this isn’t a joke and people are dying from coronavirus. With any luck it will all be under control soon and business will return to normal, however until then, wash your hands, stay safe and watch the ICC World Cup 2019 final highlights to cheer yourself up!

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