The coronavirus is snowballing out of control and it’s already massively impacting the sporting calendar.
Serie A matches have been called off and are set to be played behind-closed-doors, while a Six Nations fixture between Ireland and Italy this weekend has also been postponed.
But if things get any worse, some major sporting events will be at risk.
This summer, Euro 2020 is set to be held around Europe while Tokyo is getting ready to host the Olympic Games. But are those two events now in risk of taking place?
Well, according to odds from Betfair, both events are now more likely to be cancelled than to go ahead. The Euro’s stand at 5/6 to be cancelled, while the Olympics is even more likely to be wiped out at 8/11.
According to Japan’s Olympics minister, Heiko Hashimoto, the Tokyo Games could be postponed until the end of the year, rather than cancelled.
“The contract calls for the Games to be held within 2020,” she said. “That could be interpreted as allowing a postponement.
“We are doing all we can to ensure that the Games go ahead as planned.”
However, Olympic Committee chief Dick Pound suggests that it will be a full-scale cancellation, rather than a postponement.
“You just don’t postpone something on the size and scale of the Olympics,” he said. “There’s so many moving parts, so many countries and different seasons, and competitive seasons, and television seasons.
“You can’t just say, `We’ll do it in October.’ You’re probably looking at a cancellation.”
Meanwhile, UEFA have been pretty quiet over the possibility of cancelling their summer tournament. But that surely is a real possibility given the fact it will be held in 12 different counties around Europe and the travelling that will involve.
Elsewhere, the Premier League has been cut to just 5/1 of being cancelled and not completed.
That would, of course, mean Liverpool would miss out on their first Premier League trophy.
Earlier this morning, health secretary Matt Hancock revealed it wasn’t “appropriate” to cancel Premier League matches.
“My stepdad and son are Liverpool fans, so I feel we want to have the minimal levels of disruption,” Hancock joked.
“Right now, it’s not appropriate to be cancelling matches here like that. We have to keep these things under review, but it’s something we are reluctant to do.
“It’s my job to make sure people are safe.”
However, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insisted that fans “are really not silly enough” to believe the coronavirus could disrupt their Premier League dreams.
“If anybody wants to ask me about that and how much sense it would make to delete all the results of this season and tell me who will play next year in the Champions League and stuff like this, it would be really interesting,” he added.
However, reports suggest they could be played behind-closed-doors if the situation worsens.
Next week’s Cheltenham Festival looks set to go ahead with it 3/1 that it will be cancelled at the last minute, while Wimbledon is 4/1 to be called off.
There have been more than 3,000 deaths and more than 90,000 cases globally with the killer virus now infiltrating most of Europe.
- Premier League could play matches behind closed doors due to coronavirus
- Liverpool ‘could miss out on Premier League title’ if coronavirus cuts the season short
- Tokyo Olympics under threat due to coronavirus warns IOC chief Dick Pound