Tiger Woods will need to wait to defend his title at Augusta. Image Credit: AFP

The latest on the coronavirus outbreak's affect on sports around the world:


Russia is offering to host more European Championship games as Uefa considers whether the tournament can go ahead.  Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko says Russia, which hosted the 2018 World Cup, could hold more than its scheduled three group games and one quarter-final match in St Petersburg.

According to state news agency Tass, Chernyshenko says: "We absolutely could expand the tournament programme. Russia is ready for however the situation develops, we have plans."


The Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, has been postponed until a later date. Augusta National did not indicate when the Masters would be played. That means there will be no golf at least for the next month.

The Masters began in 1934 and only the Second World War has kept it from being played. The PGA Tour already cancelled the next three events leading up to the Masters.


Organisers of the Boston Marathon, the planet's most celebrated footrace, are postponing the event until September 14 because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Boston Athletic Association, which oversees the marathon, had held off deciding the fate of the April 20 race even as other high-profile sporting events were cancelled or postponed around the globe.

But pressure had mounted in recent weeks from officials in Boston and the seven cities and towns along the 42.2km course. Some had expressed worries not only for the health of the 31,000 registered runners but also the estimated 1 million spectators who traditionally line the route, giving athletes hand slaps, high fives and even kisses as they pass.


Tennis tournaments around the world are among those badly hit from the major sporting events that have been postponed in recent times due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The International Tennis Federation (ITF), the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) have all rallied around the cause to take a united stand within hours of each other.

The ATP was the first to state that no professional tennis competitions will be held for the next six weeks at least. The ITF joined in later to announce that the world governing body for the sport had consulted with the ATP and the WTA before taking the precautionary measure. The ATP Tour postponed play for six weeks because of the “escalating health and safety issues” arising from the coronavirus outbreak, while the WTA stated that no tournaments will be staged for at least the next five weeks.


The Giro d'Italia has been postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, race organisers RCS Sport said on Friday. "The organising committee of the Giro d'Italia's Hungarian stages declared the Giro's start could not be held in Hungary at the originally scheduled time," the organisers said in a statement. "All parties have agreed that they are determined to work together to enable the Giro d'Italia to depart from Hungary at a later time." It had been due to start in Hungary in May, a new date will be announced no earlier than April 3.

Karachi Kings batsman Alex Hales, right, plays a shot while Islamabad United wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi watches during the Pakistan Super League T20 cricket match against Islamabad United, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Sunday, March 1, 2020. (AP Photo
Karachi Kings batsman Alex Hales


The Pakistan Super League will finish four days ahead of schedule after 10 foreign players withdrew from the event Friday because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Pakistan Cricket Board said Lahore will now host both semifinal matches next Tuesday and the final on Wednesday. The top team will play against No. 4 in the first match while the second will be played between the No. 2 and No. 3 teams. The remaining four league games will go ahead as scheduled in Lahore and Karachi until Sunday.


World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and other top golfers on Friday supported the decision to cancel The Players Championship and all US PGA Tour events before the Masters due to the coronavirus outbreak.

US PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who first said events would continue without spectators, changed his decision in the wake of shutdowns Thursday by nearly every major US sports group and called off the last three Players rounds and the next three weeks of scheduled tournaments, canceling every tune-up before the year's first major at Augusta National.

Four-time major winner McIlroy, last year's Players winner, supported the move. "Spend some time at home and evaluate the situation and see where we go. It's one of these things where we have to wait and see," McIlroy said.


The Bahrain and Vietnam Grand Prix races have been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Bahrain GP was scheduled to be held next week - at an empty track - and the inaugural Vietnamese GP was set to be held in Hanoi on April 5.

The first four races of the Formula One season have all been called off. The season-opening Australian GP and the China GP were previously postponed.

No new dates have been set for the races but governing body FIA says it expects to begin the F1 season in May when it reaches Europe with the Dutch GP.


The three-match ODI series between India and South Africa has been called off in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The first match in Dharamsala on Thursday was washed out and the second and third, slated to be held in Lucknow and Kolkata respectively, were to be played in empty stadiums.

It was announced on Thursday that the second ODI at the Ekna Stadium in Lucknow and the third ODI at the Eden Gardens at Kolkata will both be played without fans in the stands. However, the series itself will now be called off.

Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of the High Priestess, holds up the torch during the flame lighting ceremony at the closed Ancient Olympia site, birthplace of the ancient Olympics in southern Greece, Thursday, March 12, 2020. Greek Olympic officials are holding a pared-down flame-lighting ceremony for the Tokyo Games due to concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. Both Wednesday's dress rehearsal and Thursday's lighting ceremony are closed to the public, while organizers have slashed the number of officials from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Organizing Committee, as well as journalists at the flame-lighting. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Greek actress Xanthi Georgiou, playing the role of the High Priestess, holds up the torch during the flame lighting ceremony at the closed Ancient Olympia site, birthplace of the ancient Olympics in southern Greece Image Credit: AP


The Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) decided to suspend the remainder of the Olympic Torch relay through the country to avoid attracting crowds because of coronavirus, it said on Friday.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch relay got under way on Thursday when the flame was lit by the rays of the sun in ancient Olympia in a scaled-down ceremony overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic.

But HOC said the opening leg of the relay in the southern Peloponnese town of Sparta attracted unexpectedly high crowds, forcing it to suspend the remaining stops. The handover of the flame to the Tokyo Games organisers would take place as scheduled in Athens on March 19 without spectators.


The Australian pacers led the way as they handed the hosts a 71-run win in their first ODI against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand at an empty Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday. The match was played behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Rangers v Bayer Leverkusen - Ibrox, Glasgow: Bayer Leverkusen's Moussa Diaby picks up an object that was thrown at him by the fans
Rangers were last in action in the Europa League


Soccer in Scotland has been suspended following a similar move in England.

The Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League say games are off until "further notice."

Six first-division games were scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including the Old Firm game between Glasgow rivals Rangers and Celtic.


The Paris-Nice cycling race won't finish in Nice because of the coronavirus outbreak, and will instead be stopped one day early at the end of Stage 7 on Saturday.

The final stage would have taken the race on a 113.5km loop north of Nice. Instead, the race will stop in Valdeblore la Colmiane.


The English Premier League has been suspended after three clubs put their entire playing squads in self-isolation because of coronavirus.

The league had expected to continue with a full schedule this weekend with fans, but later decided to suspend all matches until April 3 "at the earliest.''

The same suspension applies for the three lower divisions overseen by the English Football League and to England's top two women's divisions.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, leading to the cancellation of the match against Brighton on Saturday. Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi also had a positive test on Thursday, while Everton said Friday that a player had reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus and said its squad was self-isolating.

Two more clubs said some players or staff would isolate. Bournemouth said Friday that reserve goalkeeper Artur Boruc and four members of staff had symptoms consistent with the virus. Leicester said Thursday that three players had "extremely mild illness'' and would self-isolate as a precaution.


The England cricket team's Test series in Sri Lanka has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The England and Wales Cricket board says it made the decision for the players to return home after discussions with Sri Lanka Cricket. England were set to play the first Test of its two-test series on Thursday, with the second test set for March 27.

The ECB says "we look forward to returning to Sri Lanka in the very near future to fulfil this important Test series.'' The decision was announced with England playing in a test warm-up match against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI. England also has tests scheduled at home against West Indies in June and Pakistan in late July and August.


Uefa has postponed all Champions League and Europa League games because of the coronavirus outbreak. The quarter-final draws in both competitions, scheduled for next Friday, have also been postponed. The decision comes four days ahead of a meeting to decide the European soccer calendar, including the possible one-year postponement of the 2020 European Championship.


The Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided to delay the start of the Indian Premier League T20 tournament by two weeks because of the coronavirus outbreak. The tournament will now start on April 15 instead of March 29.

Paris St-Germain defeated Lyon 5-1 in the Fench Cup
French football is off


The French soccer league has suspended all matches indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak. Matches were scheduled to be held in empty stadiums but the French league made its decision in an emergency meeting a day after President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation on television. No indication has yet been given as to when the league could resume. The league says it will next meet on Tuesday following a UEFA meeting.


Everton have become the third Premier League soccer club to put its entire playing squad in quarantine after a player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus. Arsenal and Chelsea announced similar measures on Thursday.

Everton say the club is in regular contact with the player in question and is monitoring the wellbeing of all players and staff. Their training complex has been closed down along with its stadium, Goodison Park. Everton is scheduled to play Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Monday.


The German soccer league says it will play this weekend's games as planned without spectators but may suspend the league as of Tuesday.

The league board says it will propose a suspension through April 2, to be voted on by member clubs on Monday. All of this weekend's games are due to be played in empty stadiums.

Borussia Monchengladbach played Cologne on Wednesday and although there were no fans in the stadium, hundreds assembled outside. The league asked fans "not to gather in front of the stadiums and to do their part to protect the population."

Second-division club Hannover have put their players into self-isolation after two tested positive for the coronavirus. Hannover's game against Dynamo Dresden on Sunday has been called off.