These are difficult times for everyone in the world. The novel coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 21,000 people so far, has gripped the entire world in its tentacles. The onslaught of the news of death and misery caused by it has now become commonplace. The sports world too, unfortunately, hasn’t remained unaffected by this crisis. As one of the precautions to stay safe from this disease is social distancing, almost all major sporting events across the world have either been postponed or cancelled.
Sports world brought to a standstill
The biggest victim of this has been the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games that was due to begin on 24 July but will now take place “no later than summer 2021”. This is a massive blow to countless athletes who were looking forward to participate in the event and will now have to wait and prepare for more than a year.
While the Olympics is certainly the biggest event to have taken a hit by the coronavirus, all other major sports too have been affected by it. In football, the Euro 2020 tournament has been postponed by a year and the Copa America has been pushed to 2021 as well. La Liga has been suspended indefinitely. The men’s and women’s Champions League finals and Europa League final has been postponed.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association called off its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and there is no certainty when will they begin as of now. The NBA season too was suspended. Golf’s first major tournament of the year, the Masters, has been postponed too with no news as of now on when it will possibly be started. The National Hockey League has also suspended play while the Azerbaijan Grand Prix was postponed too.
As for cricket, several ongoing international series were called off and are unlikely to happen again. The major summer tournament, the Indian Premier League (IPL), has been pushed back and chances are slim for it to take place this year.
The news of and updates of cancellations and postponements of so many sporting tournaments has been a massive blow to sports fans all over the world. Right now, it appears as if the entire sporting world has been brought to a standstill. With the uncertainty over this disease, there is no surety when will see the resumption of sporting activities. The sports industry is slated to lose millions of dollars in the next few months and it will take a long time to recover from this great loss.
These are unprecedented times. We haven’t had a phase in recent memory when there was sporting activity all over the world. Clearly, the ramifications from this will have long-lasting impact.
One hopes that the world copes from this coronavirus pandemic and comes out stronger. When it does, sports will play a major role in helping people come back to normalcy.