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Coronavirus latest: Upcoming sporting events which could come under threat

Coronavirus latest: Upcoming sporting events which could come under threat
© Reuters
Euro 2020, the Masters and French Open have already been postponed due to the virus.

The sporting calendar has already been decimated by coronavirus with a large number of events either cancelled or postponed.

Euro 2020 has been put back 12 months, the Masters has been postponed while the French Open has been rescheduled for later in the year – and they are just a few examples.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the sporting events that have yet to be affected but could still come under threat.

Wimbledon

The French Open announced on Tuesday that it would now be played in September, instead of its usual slot in May, meaning Wimbledon is the next grand slam in the calendar, set for the first two weeks in July. It will not have the luxury of postponing, given the short nature of the grass-court season, so the All England Lawn and Tennis Club insists it is planning for the event to go ahead as normal at this time.

Olympic Games

Although the International Olympic Committee is adamant the biggest sporting event in the world will go ahead in Japan in August, there is serious doubt whether that will actually happen. Athletes’ preparations, and qualification events for the Games, have been thrown into disarray and reports say the British Olympic Association is “90 per cent” sure the global showpiece will be cancelled.

The Open

Golf – The Open Championship 2011 – Day Four – Royal St George’s
Royal St George’s is due to host The Open in July (Rui Vieira/PA)

The Masters and PGA Championships have already been postponed and the US Open in early June looks in doubt. Nothing yet has been said by the organisers of the only major outside the United States, set for the Royal St George’s between July 16 and 19.

British Grand Prix

The British Grand Prix is due to be held at Silverstone in July
The British Grand Prix is due to be held at Silverstone in July (David Davies/PA)

The first five races of the season have been cancelled, with Formula One hoping to begin the season at the end of May. That is when the circuit traditionally heads to Europe, though, so questions over that start date and even the British Grand Prix on July 19 must be raised.

Tour de France

With France currently in lockdown due to a heavy outbreak of the virus, cycling’s most prestigious event must be under threat. Tour director Christian Prudhomme has previously said “Only two world wars have stopped the Tour de France”, but the race, scheduled for June 27-July 19, could be postponed.

County cricket season

Given the current climate and a scheduled start date of April 12, with many events after this already postponed, it is impossible to see the two-tier County Championship starting as planned.

US Open tennis

Although the French Open organisers unilaterally decided they would reschedule for just a week after the US Open is due to the finish, American tournament counterparts are “assessing the possibility of moving the tournament to a later date”. As things stand, though, they plan on playing in its August 24-September 14 slot.

World Snooker Championships

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Snooker’s flagship event at the Crucible in Sheffield is due to be played between April 18 and May 4 but at this moment it seems unthinkable for it to go ahead. The theatre itself has closed amid the coronavirus outbreak and the Tour Championship set for next week has been postponed.

Derby

Investec Derby Festival 2019 – Derby Day – Epsom Downs Racecourse
The Queen usually attends the Derby at Epsom (Steve Parsons/PA)

All horse racing in the UK has been suspended until the end of April, so it remains to be seen whether the calendar will be up and running by the time the Derby at Epsom – a flagship race usually attended by the Queen – on June 6 will survive.

T20 World Cup

Cricket – ICC World Twenty20 Cup 2009 – Final – Pakistan v Sri Lanka – Lords
The T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in October and November (Anthony Devlin/PA)

Given it is so far away, the International Cricket Council is confident the 16-team tournament due to be played in Australia during October and November will go ahead.

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