Motor racings Formula One has become the latest sport event to announce postponement of an event – April’s Chinese Grand Prix – due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The cancellation of the Grand Prix scheduled for 19 April in Shanghai was forced on F1 following several major airlines cancelling routes between Europe and China, where there have been almost 45,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 1000 deaths.
The World Health Organisation has declared coronavirus a global emergency.
The latest event closure follows the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the smartphone industry’s top annual event, due to a number of big companies pulling out of the event because of concerns about traveling amid the coronavirus threat.
The only major yachting event to be effected to date is the Clipper Race which has amended its race schedule and will not stop in the Chinese city of Sanya, instead diverting to Subic Bay in the Philippines.
Some major Chinese shows and trade fairs have been postponed due to travel bans to China, and a number of sports events have been relocated outside China.
Although a number of Olympic qualification events have been relocated outside China, the Tokyo 2020 novel coronavirus countermeasures task force chief, Toshiro Muto, has stated that . . . Cancelling or postponing the Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus outbreak, “has not been considered”
The IOC said in a statement that, “Preparations for Tokyo 2020 continue as planned,”
The Summer Olympics in Tokyo are still more than five months away, due to begin on 24 July in Japan’s capital city. But the problem for the Games organisers could be if other countries impose travel restrictions or just the fear of coronavirus prompting visitors to miss the Games.
Thursday Japan announced the first coronavirus death in the country.
Japan is one of the countries worst affected by the epidemic outside China, with 251 confirmed cases, including those on the Diamond Princess.
Among other sports events effected to date are:
The 2020 World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing postponed.
The men’s alpine skiing World Cup races in China cancelled.
Women’s World Championship and LPGA Thailand cancelled because of outbreak.
Women’s LPGA golf tour in Hainan – an island on China’s southeast coast – cancelled
Women’s Olympic football qualifying tournament involving China, Australia, Taiwan and Thailand moved to Australia.
Chinese Football Association has postponed domestic games at all levels
International Tennis Federation moved the Fed Cup Asia/Oceania Group I event to Dubai.
All-electric Formula E motor racing series abandoned plans for a race in Sanya, China.
Hong Kong and Singapore Rugby Sevens postponed to October.