The COVID-19 pandemic affected the sporting world hard in 2020. The novel coronavirus turned out to be a roadblock in the year, which was supposed to witness some of the biggest sporting events across different sports. Some tournaments got postponed to next year, while others were rescheduled and played under a bio-secure bubble in 2020. Also Read - Tokyo Olympics 2021: No Hugs or Handshakes But 150,000 Condoms Will be Given Out - Organizers Issue Strict Guidelines For Athletes During Summer Games
Here is the list of mega sporting events, which got postponed or delayed in 2020 Also Read - IPL Mini Auction: Why Chennai Super Kings 'Are in Big Trouble'
1. Tokyo Olympics 2020
The biggest sporting event – the Olympic Games, was originally scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9 this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced its postponement to 2021. Also Read - BCCI Must Pay Tax & Host T20 World Cup in India: Ex-Treasurer Kishore Rungta
“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.” a joint IOC-Tokyo Organising Committee stated on March 24.
The Tokyo Olympics is now rescheduled to start from July 23 to August 8 next year.
The torch will reach Tokyo on July 9 in time for the flame to light the cauldron in the Olympic Stadium at the opening ceremony of the Games on July 23. The cost of the postponement for the Tokyo Olympics could reach about $2.8 billion, according to figures released by the Tokyo organizing committee, the Tokyo city government and Japan’s national government.
2. Euro 2020
The mega football tournament was lined up to take place from June 12 in 2020 across 12 nations in Europe. The proposed new dates are from 11 June to 11 July 2021. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal are defending Euro champions as they beat France in the summit clash of 2016 event. The decision was taken after the rise of COVID-19 cases in European nations like Italy, Spain and France.
“The health of fans, staff and players has to be our number one priority and, in that spirit, UEFA tabled a range of options so that competitions can finish this season safely and I am proud of the response of my colleagues across European football. There was a real spirit of cooperation, with everyone recognising that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result,” said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
3. Wimbledon 2020
After the mega tournaments like Olympic Games and Euro 2020 were postponed to 2021, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (ALETC) took a bold decision to cancel Wimbledon 2020 on April 1.
The decision came out a shocker to the tennis world as everyone was expected to get postponed for a few months. The Wimbledon will now be staged in 2021 from 28 June to 11 July.
“It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic. The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021,” Wimbledon organisers said in a statement.
4. Postponement of European Leagues
The football world was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as several European Leagues were halted and were postponed. In the late-March, the novel virus put the break on European football after a sudden rise in cases in nations like Italy, Spain and France.
The Bundesliga of Germany was the first big league to resume the football activities as it was rescheduled to start from May 16 with strict health protocols behind the closed doors.
Several football leagues in Spain, England and Italy were also resumed in June to complete the football season. While France’s Ligue was called off by the government as Paris-Saint Germain was crowned as the champions on the basis of points table standings at that time.
5. T20 World Cup 2020
The pandemic also forced the International Cricket Council to postpone the 2020 T20 World Cup was planned to take place in Australia between October 18 and November 15 this year.
“The International Cricket Council (ICC) today confirmed the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia 2020 has been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” ICC said in its statement at that time.
The windows for the Men’s events are:
ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be held October – November 2021 with the final on 14 November 2021
ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will be held October – November 2022 with the final on 13 November 2022
ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be held in India October – November 2023 with the final on 26 November 2023
6. IPL 2020
The cash-rich cricket league was originally planned to start from March 29 but the pandemic hit India hard as the nationwide lockdown was implemented to contain the reach of the virus. The tournament was earlier postponed till April 15 but the rise in cases in the country forced BCCI to postpone it until further notice.
However, the mega cricket league was later shifted to the UAE and was rescheduled from September 19. The tournament was played behind closed doors. The BCCI provide ‘bio-secure bubbles’ in hotels, training sessions, matches and transportation to ensure the safety of players and team management associated with the franchise. The final of the tournament took place on November 10, where Mumbai Indian beat Delhi Capitals to lift record-extending fifth IPL title.