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Coronavirus latest: Timeline of sport's worst-hit day of pandemic

Coronavirus latest: Timeline of sport's worst-hit day of pandemic
© Reuters
Events across a range of sports have been postponed or cancelled.

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the sporting calendar grew on Thursday as a host of governing bodies took action to prevent the further spread of the virus, while Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta was confirmed as having tested positive.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how the day unfolded.

9.34am – The Danish football federation says in a statement that it expects the friendly against England at Wembley later this month to be cancelled.

10.25am – EuroLeague Basketball announces it has suspended its competitions until further notice due to the outbreak, while the sport’s international governing body FIBA suspends its competitions from Friday onwards.

11.08am – LaLiga announces it has suspended “at least the next two rounds of matches” as a result of Real Madrid players being told to go into quarantine following a positive test for a member of the club’s basketball team.

11.27am – McLaren withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix after a member of staff tests positive for coronavirus.

12.37pm – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tells the Scottish Parliament she will recommend the cancellation of gatherings of more than 500 people from Monday.

1.18pm – UEFA announces it will convene an emergency meeting next Tuesday, where discussions will include the future of all domestic and European competitions, plus Euro 2020.

2.00pm – The Slovakian football association formally asks UEFA to postpone the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against the Republic of Ireland.

2.06pm – Brendan Rodgers says a number of Leicester players – later confirmed to be three – have shown symptoms of coronavirus and have been “kept away from the squad”.

2.28pm – The International Olympic Committee releases a statement reaffirming its commitment to delivering the Tokyo Games this summer on schedule.

2.32pm – The ATP announces a six-week suspension of the men’s professional tennis tour due to “escalating health and safety issues”.

3.35pm – The International Tennis Federation, which runs the lower tiers of the professional game as well as the junior and senior circuits, follows the ATP by announcing there will be no tournaments on any of its tours until April 20 at the earliest.

3.38pm – The Professional Darts Corporation cancels the Premier League double-header in Rotterdam on March 25 and 26.

3.42pm – Major League Soccer announces the suspension of matches for 30 days with immediate effect.

3.58pm – The PGA Tour announces the Players Championship will continue without spectators on site from Friday onwards.

3.58pm – Wales’ international match with the United States, which was scheduled for March 30 in Cardiff, is postponed.

4.00pm – Manchester City announce their Champions League fixture at home to Real Madrid, scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed.

4.05pm – PA understands the Australian Grand Prix has been postponed.

4.20pm – The Guinness PRO14 season is suspended in response to the outbreak.

4.34pm – The International Cricket Council announces the final two one-day internationals between India and South Africa will be played behind closed doors.

5.06pm – Horse Racing Ireland announces that, starting at Dundalk on Friday, racing in Ireland will be closed to the public until March 29.

5.20pm – The Football Association of Ireland announces that all football under its jurisdiction will cease with immediate effect until March 29.

5.25pm – Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the government is keeping the cancellation of sporting events “up our sleeve” to reduce the burden on public services.

Boris Johnson offered updated coronavirus advice on Thursday
Boris Johnson offered updated coronavirus advice on Thursday (Simon Dawson/PA)

5.36pm – NHL announces it will “pause” the current season but hopes to “resume play as soon as it is appropriate and prudent”.

6.51pm – The EFL announces that matches will continue to take place as normal “while the guidance from the relevant authorities remains that there is no medical rationale to close or cancel sporting events at this time”.

6.55pm – The Great Britain men’s and women’s hockey squads, who had been due to travel to South Africa for warm-weather training this weekend as part of their Tokyo 2020 preparations, cancel their trip.

7.00pm – Liverpool announce a charity match between a Reds Legends side and Barcelona Legends, due to be played at Anfield on March 28, has been postponed.

7.10pm – MLB says it will delay the start of the season by at least two weeks, while spring training games are suspended.

7.30pm – WTA CEO Steve Simon confirms the postponement of the Miami Open and Volvo Car Open and says a decision will be taken in the coming week regarding the European clay-court season.

8.05pm – FIFA announces that South American World Cup qualifiers set to take place later this month are postponed.

9.10pm – Manchester City confirm an unnamed senior player is currently self-isolating.

9.26pm – The SFA and SPFL ask for talks with the Scottish Government over plans to curtail mass gatherings.

9.30pm – The Premier League releases a statement to confirm that all matches will take place as scheduled this weekend.

9.32pm – Five tournaments on the women’s golf circuit are postponed, including the first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration.

10.15pm – It is announced that the three-match one-day international series between Australia and New Zealand, which gets under way on Friday, will be played behind closed doors.

10.17pm – Arsenal announce head coach Mikel Arteta has tested positive for Covid-19 and that their London Colney training centre has been closed. It is also confirmed that club personnel who have had recent close contact with Arteta, including the full first-team squad, will self-isolate.

10.34pm – The Premier League calls an emergency club meeting for Friday morning to discuss future fixtures following Arteta’s positive test.

11.08pm – It is confirmed that the Australian Grand Prix will not take place this weekend.

11.20pm – The WTA announces that next month’s Copa Colsanitas in Bogota will not go ahead, while the WTA 125k event in Guadalajara is also cancelled.

11.21pm – Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Brighton on Saturday is postponed as a result of Arteta’s diagnosis and the self-isolation of the Gunners’ squad.

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