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We follow the latest news on major sporting events affected by the COVID-19 crisis and report on the phased return of live sport.

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Last updated: 05/06/20 at 09:52

Stay up to date with all the latest sports news and how respective governing bodies plan the resumption of professional sport worldwide.

Football and coronavirus: when will UK and European leagues return?

Premier League:

  • Premier League CEO Richard Masters has ensured that all top-flight clubs are united in their desire to finish the remainder of the 2019/20 season.

  • The Premier League will return on 17th June with Manchester City v Arsenal and Aston Villa v Sheffield United.


  • The Championship will return on the 20th June. However, many Championship clubs have expressed their disdain at the return of football with QPR CEO Lee Hoos claiming there was 'absolutely no consultation' with the clubs.

League 1 and League 2:

  • Following discussions between League 2 clubs on last month, the EFL confirmed that the clubs ‘unanimously indicated’ the season should be brought to an end, with final positions being decided by a points-per-game average.

  • Any move is yet to be ratified by the FA and the EFL.

  • As League 1 clubs failed to reach a unanimous decision in their discussions, further talks have been scheduled this week to decide how the season should end.

  • The EFL have decided that clubs will still be promoted and relegated from the Championship, League 1 and League 2 if the seasons are cut short by coronavirus.

European Football:

  • The Bundesliga in Germany enjoyed a successful return to football with all of the necessary precautions in place.

  • In France, the Ligue 1 has been ended early with the PSG being crowned champions.

  • The Eredivisie in The Netherlands was cancelled with no champion or relegation. The Dutch health ministry have said that football will not return until a vaccine for Coronavirus has been found.

  • La Liga matches will return behind closed doors when Barcelona host Mallorca on 13th June.

How has the coronavirus outbreak affected Rugby Union?


  • The scheduled Summer Tours of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland have all been cancelled due to the global pandemic.

  • World Rugby guidelines suggest that all rugby should be played behind closed doors until a vaccine is found.

  • With the Autumn Internationals just months away and no decision on their status, the RFU have said the cancellation of these test matches would cost £107 million and £85 million if the matches were played behind closed doors.

  • It has emerged that the top 10 international teams are working together to align their rugby calendars to minimise disruption due to coronavirus.

Gallagher Premiership:

  • The league’s largest stakeholder, CVC, and the RFU have both insisted their desire to complete the 2019/20 season.

  • Premiership boss Darren Childs has targeted the 15th August as the restart date for Premiership fixtures behind closed doors, with clubs now allowed to begin non-contact training.


With the Pro14 crossing five countries, the resumption of the competition will be extremely difficult with the restrictions in air travel.

So far discussions have suggested a plan to resume a curtailed Pro14 season in late August.

Pro14 executives have said the resumption of the competition rests on four key areas:

  • Public health authorities cease to prohibit the resumption of sport and group training
  • Travel restrictions between our territories are lifted
  • No forced isolation or quarantine orders are in force when visiting territories
  • Player welfare is safeguarded, including requirement for a suitable pre-recommencement training period, to be established in conjunction with the high-performance personnel at participating unions and teams.

This week it has emerged that Pro14 Officials are planning for a late August return to competitive rugby with the 22nd August the aim.

Champions Cup and Challenge Cup:

European Rugby Officials have outlined a plan to resume the tournaments on the 16th/17th October. With the tournaments curtailed at the Quarter-Final stage, European bosses are following protocols from health authorities before matches can be played.

What impact has the pandemic had on Rugby League?

  • Super League CEO Robert Elstone has assured supporters that the Super League season will be extended in order to finish the season and to allow fans a safe return to stadiums.

  • Super League clubs have targeted a return to top-flight rugby league in mid-August, with matches in front of limited crowds from 1st October. The plan will be put to the RFL board of directors next week.

  • The plans would see the Grand Final on either the 28th November, 12th December or mid-January 2021.

  • Currently clubs are discussing how best to implement salary caps knowing that players’ contracts end in November, with the season likely to be incomplete.

  • The Ashes series between England and Australia has been cancelled due to complications with global travel. Talks have begun regarding the rescheduling of the series in 2021.

COVID-19 and the return of golf

  • Despite the opening of golf courses across the UK, with various new protocols such as not touching the flag, tournament golf’s return is still uncertain.

  • However, in the USA, the PGA tour hope to resume tournament golf in June but players from outside of the United States must quarantine in the USA before they will be allowed to compete.

  • The European Tour will resume with no fans in July with a six-week 'UK Swing'. The Swing will start with the British Masters in late July at Celtic Manor.

Cricket tours and competitions affected by the pandemic


  • Domestic cricket in England faces an uphill battle to complete a season with the new Hundred Ball tournament already postponed until 2021.

  • Cricket’s governing body has said that an attempt will be made to hold limited-overs and first-class competitions this summer but only when it is safe to do so.


  • Professional cricketers have been granted permission to return to training with strict protocols to ensure a safe environment.

  • In a revamped schedule, England will play three tests in 21 days against the West Indies with the First Test beginning on the 8th July.

  • Three West Indies players have refused to travel to England due to fears of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Formula 1 and coronavirus: when will motorsport resume?

The F1 2020 Season will restart in Austria on 5th July with a run of 8 races in Europe. Austria will host two races on the 5th and 12th July, before F1 moves to Hungary, two races in Great Britain and onto races in Spain, Belgium and Italy.

So far, the first 10 F1 races of 2020 have been postponed or cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic:

  • Australia – Cancelled
  • Bahrain – Postponed
  • Vietnam – Postponed
  • China – Postponed
  • The Netherlands – Cancelled
  • Spain – Postponed
  • Monaco – Cancelled
  • Azerbaijan – Postponed
  • Canada – Postponed
  • France - Cancelled

Silverstone have reached a deal to host two races behind closed doors however, doubts remain after the UK government imposed a 14-day quarantine for all international arrivals. F1 have appealed to the UK government to make F1 teams exempt from these restrictions.

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