Full list of cancelled, delayed and postponed sports events in 2020

14th September 2021

Cancelled sports events in 2020

Cancelled sports events – or at least delays or postponements – have become commonplace in the year 2020.

Public health is of paramount importance and takes precedence over tournaments and games of global significance.

Chief among cancelled sports events are the Tokyo Olympics that were due to take place in many venues in and around the Japanese capital this July and August.

The Summer Games will now be staged in 2021. They include 33 different sports and 50 disciplines.

European football’s governing body UEFA has taken a similar approach with the Euros. Although one of the cancelled sports events this year, the tournament finals will be held next summer.

All major football leagues in Europe and continental competitions – the Champions League and Europa League – are delayed until further notice.

This naturally extends to the Premier League and English Football League (EFL) too.

France has taken a different approach than most countries in Europe to sport, however.

Rather than have many cancelled sports events, they have postponed cycling’s Tour de France and the French Open tennis at Roland Garros until later in the year.

The prospect of professional cyclists riding through France in August and Rafa Nadal returning to the clay courts he is unbeatable on in September is of course subject to government approval.

Wimbledon is among cancelled sports events in the tennis world and the entire part of the season where ATP and WTA tournaments are played on clay in Italy and Spain is lost.

Flushing Meadows – home of the usual fourth and final annual Grand Slam, the US Open – is currently being used by the state of New York for emergency purposes.

Horse racing, cricket and rugby among sports events cancelled

In horse racing, all meetings have ceased indefinitely in the British Isles. The end of the jumps season has been particularly hard hit with four major festivals lost.

These include the Grand National at Aintree, Scottish equivalent at Ayr, the Easter Festival at Fairyhouse and Punchestown Festival all being cancelled.

It is hoped, however, that the Flat turf season in Europe will begin when national governments allow.

Racing authorities in the UK, Ireland, France and Germany are looking at race programmes that ensure the Classics and other big events like Royal Ascot can go ahead.

Cricket is another field where cancelled sports events have happened on a global scale.

England’s tour of Sri Lanka was halted after it had barely begun, while Ashes rivals Australia have seen their limited overs series against neighbours New Zealand axed.

Away from international cricket, major league competitions like the IPL in India and County Championship in England are on hold.

The Six Nations Championship in rugby union is facing the prospect of being finished off in the autumn.

Ireland and Italy still have two fixtures to play, while each competing country wasn’t able to get their final game of the tournament – traditionally held in February and March – on.

Northern Hemisphere countries often go on summer Tours below the Equator, but that is looking very unlikely this year.

At club level, Super Rugby in the Southern Hemisphere, and the Aviva Premiership, Pro14 and Top 14 are all suspended.

Other code rugby league is also suffering. With much less funding in the game, delays to the Super League and NRL in Australia are more problematic.

Golf calendar sees Major changes

Golf has taken a huge hit. The Open is among cancelled sports events, while the three American majors have all been delayed with the US Masters moved from April to November.

Normally played first, it is now last in the calendar. The US PGA Championship switches to August from May and the US Open takes place the week before the 2020 Ryder Cup in September.

The British Boxing Board of Control won’t sanction any fights in the UK. American counterparts and major international boxing promoters are doing likewise.

Even premier MMA promotion UFC came under pressure to cancel its events despite trying to go ahead in an empty arena on a private island.

WWE and AEW pro wrestling continues behind closed doors with a rigorous testing policy, however.

Premier League Darts and the PDC calendar have been suspended. The World Snooker Championship which is the climax of the green baize season is another of the cancelled sports events.

In motorsport, F1 has had multiple Grand Prix races either cancelled or postponed.

The longer it takes for sport to resume, the harder it will be to complete the circuit, but Australia and Monaco won’t happen this year.

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