5 ways Coronavirus has affected football in 2020

The Coronavirus continues to spread across the world and the outbreak is already affecting football activities…

5 ways Coronavirus has affected football in 2020

One of the few things that unites the world is sport and you can count millions of people who are in love with football.

While some watch football games for the fun of it, there are others who are real fanatics and cannot do without the game.

However, the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus threatens to truncate the current football calendar in a number of countries.

The Coronavirus has now been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO).

China has been hit very hard by the coronavirus, with over 2,000 killed and over 80,000 more infected.

However, it has spread to other countries in Asia, Europe and Africa, with Nigeria being the latest to record a case.

Pulse Sports takes a look at five ways the Coronavirus outbreak has affected football:

1. Sporting events have been cancelled

There are many major events that are scheduled to happen this year, but the Coronavirus could put a hold on these events.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has already announced that Champions League matches involving Chinese clubs will not be played for many months.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has banned the hosting of any sporting event in the country, while Japan has also announced that its league will not continue till mid-March.

2. Suspension of some leagues

The Coronavirus has been most severe in the Chinese city of Wuhan and that has led to the suspension of the country’s league.

In South Korea, for instance, fans can only attend games in the stadium when they have been checked for fever and are wearing masks.

The AFC Champions League has, therefore, been affected as some Asian countries have suspended their leagues. Reports suggest a top Chinese club has been marooned in the Middle East for weeks following a preseason camp. In fact, Ghana striker Emmanuel Boateng and his Chinese club Darlian Yifang are locked in Spain following the suspension of football activities in Spain.

3. Postponement of games in Europe

Also, last week a scheduled league game between Inter Milan and Sampdoria was cancelled following the death of two persons infected by the coronavirus.

The game which was scheduled in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto was cancelled together with three other matches in the Italian topflight.

Atalanta vs. Sassuolo, Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari and Torino vs. Parma have also been postponed.

"The government is working on urgent measures to decisively confront and contain the cases of coronavirus contagion,'' Italy’s sports minister, Vincenzo Spadafora, said in a statement.

4. Games being played behind closed doors

Earlier this week, Italy recorded its first case of Coronavirus. The country has since taken precaution to prevent further spread.

These precautions, though, have extended to football. The Europa League round of 32 game between Inter Milan and Ludogorets was played behind closed doors, while five of this weekend’s Serie A games will also be played behind closed doors.

The games to be played behind closed doors include Juventus vs Inter Milan; Udinese v Fiorentina; AC Milan v Genoa; Parma v Spal; and Sassuolo v Brescia.

5. 2020 Olympic Games, Euros in limbo

As far as major sporting events are concerned, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2020 Euros are big on the calendar.

UEFA is currently undecided on whether the Euro 2020 will go ahead as scheduled or it will be cancelled.

According to UEFA vice-president Michele Uva, the governing body is “at the waiting stage.” Meanwhile, there have been similar fears that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could also be cancelled.

Women's football qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics involving Australia, Thailand and Chinese Taipei were recently moved from China to Australia due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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