2020 was an amazing year for sports regardless of the effect of COVID-19.
There were happy and sad moments in sports this year, and this article looks at all the important stories that defined sports in 2020.
Here’s a timeline of all the major sports stories of 2020:
January 7: Sadio Mane named African Player Of The Year
Sadio Mane was crowned as African Player of the Year at the CAF Awards 2019. Mane won the award, polling 477 votes ahead of his Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah, 325 votes and Algeria’s Riyad Mahrez, 267 votes.
January 15: C.K Akonnor appointed new head coach of the Black Stars
Charles Kwablan Akonnor was appointed the new head coach of the men’s senior national team. He signed a two-year deal to take charge of the Black Stars until 2022.
January 26: Kobe Bryant dies in helicopter crash
Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in the city of Calabasas, California. Bryant, 41, and Gianna, 13, were travelling in a private helicopter when it came down and burst into flames.
January 30: Bruno Fernandes signs for Manchester United
Manchester United signed long-term target Bruno Fernandes on a five-and-a-half-year deal from Sporting CP.
February 14: Manchester City banned from UEFA competitions for two years
Manchester City were banned by UEFA from European club competitions for two seasons after they were found to have committed “serious breaches” of UEFA’s club licensing and financial fair play regulations.
February 23: Fury beats Wilder in their heavyweight rematch
Tyson Fury beat Deontay Wilder in their WBC heavyweight showdown in Las Vegas. Fury dominated throughout the rematch before Wilder’s corner threw in the towel in the seventh round.
March: Suspension of sports worldwide
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, sport activities and competitions were suspended all over the world in March.
May and June: Bundesliga, Premier League, La Liga and other leagues resume.
After football leagues were suspended in March, they were given the green light to resume behind closed doors with no fans, while observing the necessary COVID-19 protocols.
June 20: Jordan Ayew becomes Ghana’s top scorer in the Premier League
Jordan Ayew became the highest Ghanaian goalscorer in the Premier League after netting a superb tap-in for Crystal Place against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. The goal took him above Tony Yeboah as Ghana’s all-time top scorer in the Premier League with 25 goals.
June 30: Ghana Football Association cancels 2019/2020 football season
The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) made a decision to cancel the 2019/2020 football season after it was suspended in March due to COVID-19.
July 13: Manchester City’s two-year ban from UEFA competitions lifted
Manchester City became eligible to play in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League after their two-year ban from UEFA competitions was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
July 16: Mohammed Kudus Joins Ajax
Mohammed Kudus joined Ajax on a 5-year deal from FC Nordsjaelland for a reported fee of €9 million.
July 17: Leeds United return to Premier League after 16-year absence
Leeds United’s return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence was confirmed with two fixtures of the 2019/20 season left to spare.
July 20: Ballon d’Or cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic
For the first time since 1956, the Ballon d’Or was not awarded to any player after the organisers, France Football, cancelled the 2020 edition due to the interruption of football caused by COVID-19.
July 22: Liverpool lift Premier League trophy for the first time in 30 years
Liverpool, led by captain, Jordan Henderson lifted their first Premier League trophy in 30 years amid fireworks, in a special ceremony at Anfield, following their thrilling 5-3 win over Chelsea.
July 28: Jordan Ayew named Crystal Palace Player of the Season
Jordan Ayew was named Crystal Palace F.C. Player of the Season for his stellar performance across 2019/20 season. The 28-year-old also won two more awards: Players’ Player of the Season and Goal of the Season.
August 1: Arsenal beat Chelsea to Lift 14th FA Cup
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice as Arsenal came from behind to beat Chelsea and win the Heads Up FA Cup for a record 14th time.
August 5: Mohammed Salisu signs for Southampton
Southampton completed a deal to sign Ghanaian centre-back Mohammed Salisu from Real Valladolid for a fee of £10.9m. Salisu agreed to a four-year deal to St Mary’s after a buyout clause in his contract was triggered by the Saints.
August 14: Bayern Munich annihilate Barcelona in Champions League quarter-final
Barcelona’s attempt to bring the Champions League back to Camp Nou after a five-year absence ended in humiliation as Bayern Munich trounced them 8-2 in the quarter-final.
August 20: Andre Ayew wins four awards At Swansea City
Andre Ayew won four accolades at Swansea City’s end-of-season awards for the 2019/20 campaign. He won the Supporters’ Player of the Season, Players’ Player of the Season, Top Goalscorer award, and the Away Player of the Season award.
August 23: Bayern Munich beat PSG to lift 6th UEFA Champions League title
Bayern Munich overcame Paris Saint-Germain in a tightly contested Champions League final in Lisbon to claim the crown for the sixth time. Kingsley Coman’s 59th-minute header at the far post from Joshua Kimmich’s cross was enough to make Bayern champions.
August 25: Lionel Messi demands to leave Barcelona
Lionel Messi asked Barcelona to allow him to activate a clause in his contract that will allow him to leave on a free transfer during the summer. However, he had to stay at the club for the 2020/21 season because it was “impossible” for any team to pay his €700 million release clause.
September 18: Giannis Antetokounmpo Wins 2019/20 NBA MVP Award
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo won the 2019-20 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player award. This was his second straight NBA MVP Award, making him the 12th player to earn the honour in consecutive seasons.
September 20: Ban on football in Ghana due to COVID-19 lifted
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his 17th nation’s address on COVID-19, announced that the ban on contact sports in country has been lifted, adding that the football leagues can resume.
October 1: Robert Lewandowski wins UEFA Men’s Player of the Year
Robert Lewandowski was named UEFA’s Men’s Player of the Year on Thursday, October 1, 2020, as Champions League winners Bayern Munich dominated the men’s awards.
October 5: Arsenal sign Thomas Partey
Arsenal confirmed the signing of Thomas Partey from Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day. The midfielder’s £45 million release from Atletico Madrid was triggered by Arsenal, paving way for him to join the Gunners.
October 12: Los Angeles Lakers lift first NBA title in 10 years
The Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106-93 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to complete a 4-5 series win and lift their 17th Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy.
October 24: Ansu Fati becomes youngest El Clasico scorer
Ansu Fati cemented his name in El Clasico history by becoming the youngest player to score in the Barcelona vs Real Madrid fixture in the 21st century at just 17 years and 359 days old.
November 1: Asamoah Gyan joins Legon Cities FC
Asamoah Gyan signed a one year deal with Ghana Premier League side, Legon Cities FC, and will reportedly earn more than $1 million dollars in cash and packages over the period.
November 15: Lewis Hamilton equals Michael Schumacher’s record
Lewis Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher’s record after winning his seventh world title. He also became the most decorated racer the sport has ever seen – with more wins (94), more poles (97) and more podiums (163) than any driver who has gone before.
November 21: Erling Haaland wins 2020 Golden Boy Award
Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland won the 2020 Golden Boy Award for his stunning exploits. The award, presented by Italian newspaper Tuttosport, is given to the best player aged 21 or under from a top-tier league in Europe.
November 23: CAF President Ahmad Ahmad banned by FIFA for five years
Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad was banned by world football’s governing body, FIFA, for five years for breaching various codes of ethics. He was found guilty of breaching FIFA codes of ethics relating to duty of loyalty, offering and accepting gifts abuse of position as well as misappropriation of funds.
November 25: Diego Maradona dies aged 60
Argentine football legend Diego Maradona passed away at the age of 60 on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, after suffering a heart attack. In the wake of his death, Napoli renamed their stadium in his honour.
December 13: Jonathan Mensah leads Columbus Crew to 2020 MLS Cup victory
Jonathan Mensah captained Columbus Crew to lift the 2020 MLS Cup title. Two other Ghanaian players – Harrison Afful and Emmanuel Boateng – also played crucial roles in Columbus Crew’s triumph.
December 17: Lewandowski wins The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award
Robert Lewandowski was named The Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year for 2020, with the Bayern Munich star beating Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the coveted prize.
December 19: Tiger Woods and son, Charlie participate in golf championship
Golf star Tiger Woods and his son Charlie caught the attention of the world when they both participated in the 2020 PNC Championship. The 2020 PNC Championship was Charlie’s tournament debut, making him the youngest ever competitor in the 36-hole exhibition.
December 22: Lionel Messi breaks Pele’s scoring record
Lionel Messi broke Pele’s all-time record for goals scored with a single club by netting his 644th career goal for Barcelona. To honour his achievement, beer company Budweiser created a custom bottle for all 644 goals Messi scored and sent them to all the 160 goalkeepers he scored against.
December 27: Cristiano Ronaldo named Player of the Century at Globe Soccer Awards
Cristiano Ronaldo won the award for Player of the Century at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai. He beat longtime rival, Lionel Messi, to the prize.
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