Coronavirus cancellations and reactions in sports

White says UFC 249 is hardest thing he's ever done (2:00)

Dana White says no one is to blame for Khabib Nurmagomedov missing UFC 249 and calls putting together the event the hardest thing he's ever done. (2:00)

As COVID-19, a strain of the coronavirus, has spread around the globe in recent months, tournaments, games and other sporting events have been canceled, while others have been modified. The most recent big news? The 149th Open Championship, scheduled for July 16-19, was canceled.

The NBA season was suspended, and the NCAA canceled all remaining spring and winter championships, including the men's and women's basketball tournaments. MLB canceled the remainder of spring training, and it is unclear when Opening Day will happen -- with at least a two-month delay. The NHL also suspended play, and golf's first major tournament of the year, the Masters, has been postponed. The Boston Marathon will delay its race until Sept. 14, the London Marathon has been postponed from April 26 to Oct. 4, and the 2020 Invictus Games have been postponed as well. Plus, Scripps said it will not be holding the National Spelling Bee as scheduled on May 24.

Here's a look at how the coronavirus is affecting sports in the U.S. and around the world:


The NCAA Division I Council has voted to grant an extra year of eligibility to all student-athletes in spring sports whose seasons were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The NCAA called off its men's and women's basketball tournaments as part of a complete cancellation of all remaining spring and winter championships. Go inside the 48 hours that shut down college sports.


Commissioner Adam Silver has told people in the NBA that there will be no way for the league to make a decision about when it can return until May 1 at the earliest.

The NBA and its players union are assessing potential coronavirus rapid-test options, but organizations are prohibited from conducting in-person workouts or interviews with draft-eligible players until further notice.

In the meantime, you can watch the NBA 2K20 Player Tournament on ESPN.


Major League Baseball and its players are increasingly focused on a plan that could allow them to start the season as early as May.

But MLB has canceled its London Series in June between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs.


The NHL suspended the 2019-20 season. The league also postponed its draft, combine and awards show. And it has extended its self-quarantine period for players and staff to April 15.


The NFL plans to start its 2020 season on time in September. But its chief medical officer said that certain prerequisites -- including widespread testing for the coronavirus -- must be met for that to happen.

The draft will go on as scheduled April 23-25.


UEFA has suspended the Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2020 qualifying playoffs indefinitely as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Euro 2020 has been postponed until 2021. This summer's Copa America has been postponed as well.

In England, the Premier League is still facing a 30% wage cut, while the 2019-20 season remains suspended indefinitely.

La Liga has also been suspended indefinitely, and the league said it would not resume until the Spanish government says it is safe to do so.

The other major leagues in Europe have been suspended as well -- Serie A, the Bundesliga and Ligue 1.

Belgium is the first European top-tier league to cancel the rest of its season with Club Brugge crowned league champions.

In the United States, Major League Soccer has pushed back the restart of its season to May 10. In Mexico, Liga MX has suspended play until further notice.

The last major league to stop playing was the Australian A-League, on March 23. However, the Belarus Premier League continues for now.

The African soccer federation has paused all games in African competition, including qualifiers for next year's African Cup of Nations.

The National Women's Super League has suspended the start of its season -- originally planned for April 18 -- but has yet to release a rescheduled start date.


Training camps will be delayed, as will the scheduled May 15 tip-off, the WNBA has announced.

But the WNBA will still hold its draft on April 17, as originally scheduled, but virtually without a gathering of draftees, media or fans.


Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since World War II because of the coronavirus pandemic

The French Open has been postponed and is now scheduled to run from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4. The ATP and WTA have suspended play on both tours until June 7, a decision that eliminates the entire clay-court swing through Europe.

Horse racing

Churchill Downs has announced that the 146th Kentucky Derby will be moved from May 2 to Sept. 5. Santa Anita canceled live racing Friday after instructions from the Los Angeles County Health Department. However, horse racing is still going on at roughly two dozen racetracks around the U.S. -- just without spectators.

Horse racing also continues on some tracks internationally.

Olympic sports

The Tokyo Olympics have been officially postponed until 2021. Tokyo organizers said the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 -- after they had been scheduled for this July 24.

Olympic officials have confirmed that the 6,200 or so athletes who had already punched their tickets for Tokyo will keep their spots for the rescheduled Games next year.


The XFL completed only half of its scheduled 10-week season before the rest was canceled.


Many esports events and tournaments have been postponed or canceled. One major example: All remaining Overwatch League events in March and April have been canceled, with matches moved to online play.


With Khabib Nurmagomedov in Russia and facing potential travel issues, Tony Ferguson will now meet Justin Gaethje in the main event of UFC 249 on April 18. UFC president Dana White is so committed to resuming operations, he has secured a private island to host events.

Bellator has decided to clear its slate of fights in May.

Auto racing

The Indianapolis 500 scheduled for May 24 has been postponed until August and won't run as part of Memorial Day for the first time since 1945.

Formula One

The Azerbaijan Grand Prix became the eighth Formula One race affected by the coronavirus after it was postponed.

Monaco Grand Prix organizers had already announced that the race will not take place in 2020. And F1 had announced the postponements of six races, in Australia, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Spain and the Netherlands.

The British Grand Prix has given itself until the end of April to make a decision on whether the event will go ahead on July 19.


The 149th Open Championship, scheduled for July 16-19, has been canceled. Golf's organizers announced a revamped schedule for 2020, which also includes the PGA Championship being moved to August, the U.S. Open to September, the Ryder Cup remaining in its original dates and the Masters to November. Here's a complete guide to all the golf schedule changes.

The U.S. Women's Open has been postponed to December.


NASCAR plans to reschedule the seven Cup Series races postponed due to the pandemic. It has already postponed its season until May 9 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.


The third fight between heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury and former titlist Deontay Wilder is still on track to be their next bout, but it will not take place on July 18 as originally planned.

The suspension of professional boxing in the U.K. has been extended until the end of May, meaning the postponement of two big heavyweight fights: Dillian Whyte vs. Alexander Povetkin and Oleksandr Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora.


Domestic rugby leagues across Europe have been halted. The European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup quarterfinals have been postponed, while the Gallagher Premiership and TOP 14 have been suspended. The PRO14 has been suspended indefinitely as well, and its final scheduled for June has been canceled.

England's Rugby Football Union has canceled all domestic rugby seasons other than the Gallagher Premiership. Newcastle Falcons have been promoted while Saracens have been relegated.

The 2020 Guinness Six Nations is still to be completed after four matches -- Italy vs. England, Ireland vs. Italy, France vs. Ireland and Wales vs. Scotland -- were postponed.