Timeline: How Coronavirus Has Disrupted Football Around The World

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The spread of coronavirus around the world has impeded the staging of sporting events, especially football, around the world.

A lot of football matches are currently being played behind closed doors while some have been postponed. Leagues in Europe like the Serie A and other competitions have been suspended until further notice.

Below is a timeline of how the virus has affected football so far:

22 January

  • The Olympic women’s qualifiers were moved from Wuhan to Nanjing, before later being switched to Sydney.

29 January

  • The home leg of the Chinese women’s national team’s Olympic qualification play-off against South Korea in March was switched to Sydney. The squad were held in quarantine upon their arrival in Australia for January’s qualifying group stage.

30 January

  • The Chinese Football Association said domestic games at all levels would be postponed.

4 February

  • Asian Champions League matches involving Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG were postponed until April.

7 February

  • Vietnam said it would not allow sports events to be hosted in February, meaning home AFC Cup group stage matches for Ho Chi Minh City and Than Quang Ninh were switched to away fixtures.

11 February

  • The Asian Football Confederation said preliminary stage matches of the East Zone of the AFC Cup were postponed until April due to travel curbs in several countries.

21 February

  • China’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers at home to Maldives and away to Guam moved to Thailand and will be played behind closed doors in March.
  • Daegu FC and Pohang Steelers home fixtures in South Korea’s K-League were postponed.

23 February

  • Selected Serie A matches in the northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto were postponed. Several matches in Serie B and Serie D, as well as a number of amateur and youth games, were also called off.

25 February

  • Japan’s J-League postponed all domestic games until the middle of March.
  • Five matches in the next round of fixtures in Italy’s Serie A were ordered to be played behind closed doors.

28 February

  • The weekend’s matches in Switzerland’s top two divisions were postponed, and the World Anti-Doping Agency cancelled next month’s annual symposium in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

29 February

  • Five Serie A matches, including Juventus’ game at home to Inter Milan, that were due to be played on the weekend of 29 February and 1 March were postponed following the outbreak of the virus in Italy.

1 March

  • The Serie A match between Sampdoria’s and Hellas Verona, scheduled for 2 March, was also postponed because of the outbreak in Italy.

2 March

  • The Swiss Football League was suspended until 23 March following a meeting between all 20 clubs.
  • International Champions Cup matches due to take place in Asia this summer were cancelled.

3 March

  • Italian Cup semi-final second leg between Juventus and AC Milan in Turin was postponed.

4 March

  • The Italian sports ministry announced that all Italian sport, including England’s men’s and women’s Six Nations matches in Rome and all Serie A games were to be played behind closed doors until 3 April.
  • Italy’s sports minister also announced that Serie A games would be played behind closed doors in an effort to contain coronavirus.

5 March

  • The Premier League banned pre-match handshakes to help prevent the spread of the virus.
  • UEFA announced that Valencia’s Champions League last-16 tie at home to Atalanta on 10 March would be played behind closed doors in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.
  • The Morocco Football Federation ordered all matches in the country to be played behind closed doors until further notice, to try and combat the spread of the coronavirus.

6 March

  • Saudi Arabia suspended public attendance at all sports events starting on 7 March.
  • Paris St-Germain’s league fixture at Strasbourg is postponed.

8 March

  • UEFA has banned pre-match handshakes between players and officials in all its competitions until further notice.
  • The Bulgarian league also instructed for all matches over the next two rounds are to be played behind closed doors and all sporting events in the Pleven and Gabrovo regions of the country were postponed.
  • The Greek government also announced that all professional sports events for the next two weeks will be played without spectators.

9 March

  • UEFA announced that Europa League games involving; Olympiakos v Wolves and Sevilla v Roma, scheduled to be played on 12 March, should take place behind closed doors.
  • Italy’s Prime Minister announced the suspension of all sport at all levels in the country until at least 3 April.
  • The Romanian Football Federation announced that all league matches should be played behind closed doors until further notice and ticket sales for the 2021 European Under-21 Championship qualifier between Romania and Denmark on 31 March were suspended.
  • The Asian qualifiers for the Qatar World Cup in 2022, due to be played on 23-31 March and 1-9 June, have been postponed.
  • Paris St-Germain’s Champions League last-16 match against Borussia Dortmund due Wednesday, March 11 will be played behind closed doors.
  • The UK government stated that there is ‘no rationale’ for cancelling sports events in the country.

10 March

  • The Italian football federation (FIGC) said the Serie A season may not finish because of the coronavirus outbreak, with alternative options including staging play-offs, not having a champion for 2019-20 or declaring the current standings final.
  • UEFA announced that Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 second leg at Bayern Munich on 18 March will be played behind closed doors.
  • Nottingham Forest confirmed their owner Evangelos Marinakis has tested positive for coronavirus.
  • UEFA also announced that Manchester United’s Europa League last-16 first leg at Austrian side LASK on 12 March will be played behind closed doors.
  • The Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off against Slovakia on 26 March will be played behind closed doors.
  • Matches in the top two divisions in Spain and France will also be played behind closed doors for at least the next two weeks.
  • Barcelona’s Champions League game against Napoli on 18 March will be played behind closed doors at the Nou Camp, UFEA announced.
  • The Bundes Liga also announced that Borussia Monchengladbach’s Bundesliga game against Cologne on Wednesday, 11 March to be played behind closed doors, as will five of nine matches in the league at the weekend.
  • Poland’s top-flight, the Ekstraklasa to be played behind closed doors until further notice, league authorities stated.
  • Japan’s J League has also suspended until at least 3 April having initially postponed matches until 18 March.

11 March

  • Manchester City’s Premier League match with Arsenal on 11 March was postponed as a “precautionary measure” – and several Gunners players have been put into self-isolation.
  • The Europa League ties between Sevilla and Roma in Spain and Inter Milan’s match against Getafe on 12 March were postponed.
  • Rangers’ Europa League game at Bayer Leverkusen on 19 March and the Eintracht Frankfurt-Basel tie on 12 March in the same competition will be played behind closed doors.
  • French League Cup final Paris St Germain between Lyon on 4 April was postponed.
  • Timo Hubers, who plays for German second-tier side Hannover tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Spanish Cup final between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad in Seville on 18 April was postponed.
  • Seattle Sounders against FC Dallas on 21 March in the MLS was postponed.
  • Juventus and Italy defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for the virus.
  • Four-team tournament in Qatar from 26-30 March involving Belgium, Portugal, Croatia and Switzerland was cancelled.

12 March

  • The second leg of Manchester City’s last-16 Champions League tie against Real Madrid, scheduled for Tuesday 17 March, was postponed after Real first-team quarantined. A Real Madrid basketball player, who shares training facilities with La Liga club, tested positive for the virus.
  • Spanish top-flight La Liga suspended for at least next two rounds of matches.
  • Uefa called an emergency meeting for Tuesday at which possibility of postponing Euro 2020 by one year will be discussed.
  • Three Leicester players self-isolated after showing symptoms of coronavirus.Sampdoria striker Manolo Gabbiadini tests positive for coronavirus.
  • Danish Football Association cancelled all football activities in the country for two weeks.
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina requested Uefa to postpone the home Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Northern Ireland on 26 March.

13 March

  • The Football Association, Premier League, EFL and Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship collectively agree to postpone the professional game in England until 3 April at the earliest.
  • The remainder of the Scottish football season was postponed indefinitely.
  • Domestic football at all levels in Wales was suspended until at least 4 April due to coronavirus.
  • The men’s and women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, scheduled for 25-31 March, were postponed.
  • Bournemouth goalkeeper Artur Boruc and four first-team staff self-isolated after showing symptoms of the virus.
  • Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus and Chelsea men’s team squad self-isolated.
  • Everton’s first-team squad and coaching staff self-isolated after a first-team player showed symptoms of the virus.
  • Uefa suspended all football competitions due to be played on 17 and 18 March.
  • French football’s governing body suspended all Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches.

14 March

  • Morocco’s football federation suspended all football activity in the country until further notice.
  • Five of Saturday’s 11 National League games were called off, despite the league’s board allowing fixtures in its three divisions to go ahead as planned.
  • The international friendly between Germany and Italy, scheduled to take place in Nuremberg, Germany on 31 March, was cancelled.
  • On-loan Wolves forward Patrick Cutrone is one of two more players at Fiorentina to test positive for coronavirus.

See Also: Coronavirus: WHO Declares Europe As The New Epicentre Of The Pandemic

source: BBC

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