With the cases of those affected by the coronavirus disease, it was only a matter of time until the field of sports would begin to feel the consequences.
After holding many of their games during the week with no fans in the stands, the European Football Association (UEFA) announced further measures, postponing all of their Champions and Europa League matches for a later, unspecified time.
UEFA has been in talks with its members in order to decide how they could potentially go on with the season, but also the upcoming Euro 2020 that was scheduled to kick off in June.
An idea that fell on the table was for only one leg to be held for the knockout games of all European competitions and another was to postpone the Euro until 2021, but nothing has been officially decided as of yet, with announcements soon to follow.
In England, the Premier League games were to be held this weekend as scheduled, with the UK Government not taking any special measures against the virus.
But after it became known that both Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi were found infected with COVID-19, the Football Association decided the postponement of all games in England in the men’s and women’s professional categories.
Speculation in England regarding how the season will end states that the entire scoreboard could be annulled only to start fresh in August, while other opinions indicate that the rest of the schedule will not be carried out, considering the current scoreboards as final.
In Greece, after a meeting was held between the Board of Directors of the Super League, it was decided that the play-offs would also be postponed for a later time.
Asteras Tripolis chairperson Giorgos Mporovilos, stress out that they will continue to monitor the situation on a day-to-day basis, but there’s not much room for optimism as things currently stand.
Meanwhile, the situation in Italy continues to deteriorate with several athletes and staff members testing positive to the coronavirus.
Four Sampdoria players, three Fiorentina members and two from Juventus were found as carriers, however the “bianconerri” striker Paulo Dybala firmly criticised the media members who spread rumours that he was also infected by the disease, pointing out that he had been tested and his results came back negative.
Australia seems to have taken a more casual approach however, with fans attending A-League games this weekend in the thousands, despite the looming threat.
Meanwhile, the coalition is apparently exploring the option of holding the AFL and NRL tournaments with no crowds in the stands.
Turkey has taken a similar stand, as all games were held as usual, while several athletes criticised the stance of the officials to leave them unprotected.
Among them were professional footballers John Obi Mikel, Radamel Falcao and basketball players Tai Webster and Aaron Harrison, both of who refused to play.
In Argentina, took things a turn for the worst when two River Plate players were found positive to the virus, leading the team to refuse to appear in their game against Atletico Ouracan for the League.
The Argentinian Football Association threatened the team with heavy sanctions should they choose to move forward with their decision, but eventually they backed down, announcing the cancellation of all matches.
In the NBA, players and staff are attempting to adjust to the new situation, with “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo stating through his social media account that “…if this is how my life is going to be after basketball I’m not retiring for a long time.”