Coronavirus Likely To Cancel Many Upcoming Sporting Events, Olympics Could Be One
With the worldwide spread of the coronavirus, and growing fear amongst many, sporting events are likely to soon see postponements, or cancellations at a growing rate.
In particular, events in infected areas, as well as events seeing a high number of international fans, travellers, and athletes congregating in one area could be impacted.
One of the first events to fall was a set of matches between Ireland and Italy as part of the Rugby Six Nations.
In areas already seeing higher rates of infection than North America, fans congregating in the tens of thousands as spectators in stadiums, is one fear, but with an upcoming event such as the 2020 Olympics, the fear is even greater.
So great in fact, that the International Olympic Committee and organizers in Japan are closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak to determine if the Games will need to be postponed, or cancelled all together.
Already, Olympic qualifying tournaments have been moved out of China, but the Olympic Games themselves, which are scheduled to begin in July, could be next on the chopping block. Organizers and the International Olympic Committee however, are taking a cautious approach, and have every intent of the Games taking place, if safe.
“…the IOC is fully committed to have the opening ceremony there on July 24th in Tokyo,” said IOC president Thomas Bach. “And this is in fact what we are working for, and we see great unity and solidarity of the Olympic Movement with regard to that, to the preparations for the games and in particular to the qualification. This is something I must say I’m pretty proud of: to see how so many National Olympic Committees, countries, federations are working together to address this challenge of the virus.”
The coronavirus has now infected close to 85,000 people worldwide and has killed almost 3000.