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Sports events hit by the coronavirus epidemic

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HERE is a partial list of international sports events hit by the coronavirus outbreak:

OLYMPICS

* Crowds will be smaller and receptions have been scrapped at the Tokyo 2020 torch-lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia, Greece next week. The dress rehearsal the day before will be held without spectators.

The International Olympic Committee gave further unequivocal backing to this year’s Games in July and August, urging athletes to prepare “full steam” despite the coronavirus threat.

ATHLETICS

* The World Athletics Indoor Championships, scheduled for Nanjing from March 13–15, were postponed until next year. World Athletics is working with organizers on a date to host the biennial event in 2021.

* The Paris marathon has been postponed from April 5 to Oct. 18 due to the virus outbreak in France.

* The Barcelona marathon scheduled for March 15 has been postponed until Oct. 25.

* The Marathon des Sables ultramarathon, scheduled for April 3–13, has been postponed to Sept. 18–28.

ICE HOCKEY

* The Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships, scheduled for Canada from March 31 to April 10, have been cancelled.

SOCCER

* Italy has ordered all major sporting events, including top-flight Serie A soccer games, to be played without fans for a month in a bid to curb Europe’s worst outbreak of the virus.

* Ten Serie A matches have been postponed as well as two Coppa Italia semi-final ties (Juventus vs. AC Milan and Napoli vs. Inter Milan).

* The President of the Italian Football Federation, Gabriele Gravina, has refused to rule out the suspension of Serie A soccer if a player tests positive for the coronavirus.

* The Serie A match between Parma and SPAL on March 8 was delayed before kick-off for 35 minutes after Italy’s Minister for Sport called for the league to be suspended during the outbreak.

* Players in England’s Premier League will forgo traditional pre-match handshakes between opponents as a measure to prevent the further spread of the virus, the league said.

* Players from Danish Super League clubs Brondby and Lyngby are in isolation after they met and hugged former Denmark international Thomas Kahlenberg, who has since tested positive for the virus.

* The Swiss soccer league has been put on hold until at least March 23 after the clubs rejected the possibility of playing matches without spectators attending.

* Asian Champions League matches involving Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG were postponed.

The quarterfinals will be moved to September while the semifinals have been moved to Oct. 14–15 and 28–29. The final dates (Nov. 22 and Nov. 28) remain unchanged. — Reuters





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