Coronavirus in sport: Live updates – Olympic torch relay continues

Live blog updates as coronavirus continues to decimate sporting events around the world

Euro 2020

Coronavirus has paralysed the sporting world as the pandemic continues to tear up the entertainment world as we know it.

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More events are being cancelled each day with March essentially written off with many more events in the coming months under scrutiny.

Coronavirus in football live blog

We’ll keep you up to date with the latest announcements and news as the world of sport struggles to deal with the rapidly evolving situation across the globe.

Here’s all your latest coronavirus in sport live updates…

Thursday 19th March

Olympic torch relay continues

In a show of defiance against the coronavirus pandemic, the Olympic torch relay has continued at pace and is now headed for Japan.

The Games remain on course to take place in July, but questions are bound to be raised over its future in the coming weeks and months.

Wednesday 18th March

F1 summer break moved forward

The FIA has brought forward the standard summer break to March-April with all teams required to cease operations for a period of time.

The usual 14-day period has been upped to 21 days and means races will go ahead across the summer if the coronavirus situation clears.

ECB suspends recreational cricket across UK

Lord's cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have officially suspended all forms of recreational cricket across the nation as the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop.

A statement read: “Sport plays an absolutely vital role in the nation’s mental and physical wellbeing, and it helps people find meaning where there is fear and uncertainty, so one of our goals in the coming weeks will be to explore ways that we can support some levels of physical activity in communities – particularly at junior levels.

“Using our cricket community to support others could be one of the most important services we can offer during the difficult next few months.

“It will be critical that any decisions we do make are medically-led. And we will continue to work with Government and their advisors to ensure we are informed by science in our decision making.”

Laver Cup officials shocked by French Open switch

Laver Cup

It’s getting messy in the tennis world following the announcement by French Open organisers to move the tournament to September.

The Laver Cup in Boston is now set to clash with the French Open just a week after the US Open finished.

A statement read: “This announcement came as a surprise to us and our partners – Tennis Australia, the USTA and the ATP. It raises many questions and we are assessing the situation.

“At this time, we want our fans, sponsors, broadcasters, staff, volunteers, players and the great city of Boston to know that we intend to hold Laver Cup 2020 as currently scheduled.”

Olympic test event cancelled

Gymnastics

The Artistic Gymnastics All-Around World Cup was set to take place in Tokyo next month but has been cancelled.

It was intended to be a test event for the full Olympic Games due to start in July.

Test measures will still take places at Olympic venues with the Games still on course to be held as normal, but large gatherings may not be in attendance for some time.

Tuesday 17th March

French Open tennis postponed until September

The second major of the tennis season has been postponed and rescheduled to take place just seven days after the US Open.

At this stage we have no idea if Wimbledon will be affected by coronavirus, but if it were to take place as normal in the summer, this would be an unprecedented change of order in the major tennis tournaments.

Full story – French Open to be staged just days after US Open

IOC insist Olympic Games will go ahead as planned in 2020

Olympics 2020

The Olympic Games are still set to go ahead uninterrupted in July following a bold statement by the International Olympic Committee. They say they are continuing to monitor the situation “24/7” but that as things stand they intend for the event to start as originally planned on 24th July in Japan.

OC president Thomas Bach said: “The health and well-being of all those involved in the preparations for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is our number-one concern.

“All measures are being taken to safeguard the safety and interests of athletes, coaches and support teams.

“We are an Olympic community; we support one another in good times and in difficult times. This Olympic solidarity defines us as a community.”

Full story – IOC statement on Tokyo 2020 Olympics

UEFA confirms Euro 2020 postponement

Euro 2021

The showpiece international football event which was due to celebrate its 60th birthday in June and July with matches taking place across the continent has been pushed back 12 months to 2021.

This will be a huge disappointment for football fans and the teams that were expecting to take place in the tournament, but will perhaps give more bandwidth for fixtures over the summer allowing domestic footballing tournaments like the Premier League to be completed if conditions improve.

Full story – UEFA statement about Euro 2020

Grand National cancelled, no plans to run behind closed doors

Horse racing has been called off in the UK until the end of April, including the cancellation of the Grand National at Aintree.

The Grand National is one of the most famous horse racing events in the world, with the 4 mile plus steeplechase attracting huge audiences on TV in the UK and globally, and is one of the biggest betting days of the year.

This is a massive blow for horse racing – and is the first time the race has been cancelled since the end of the Second World War.

Full story – Grand National cancelled: Jockey Club release statement

WrestleMania 36 relocated but not cancelled

WWE’s showpiece event of the year, WrestleMania 36, will go ahead at the WWE Performance Center without a live audience.

So, sports entertainment fans have a little cheer in these dark times with the news that the showpiece event in the wrestling calendar will still be available to millions of TV fans all over the world, even if it may be a somewhat strange atmosphere without crowds cheering the superstars on.

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Full story – WrestleMania 36 moves location but will go ahead