BY JACK MAKEHAM
The sporting world has ground to a halt amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with various leagues announcing potential dates for their return.
The AFL season will be suspended until at least May 31, said AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan in a statement. A revised date will be determined by the end of April.
Adelaide Crows General Manager of Football, Adam Kelly said on SEN Dwayne’s World, his club is ready to resume training on May 4, despite the unclear return date.
“At this point the only commitment we’ve got from the AFL is that they’ll review the situation by the end of April,” Mr Kelly said.
The NRL’s offices have been closed in their entirety until May 1, with a decision on the remaining season being expected at a later date.
“This was a difficult decision but an important decision to give our business the best chance of retaining our staff long term and allows us to consider our options to protect the long term future of our game,” NRL CEO, Todd Greenberg stated in a media release.
The suspension of the Hyundai A-League will be reviewed on April 22, Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO James Johnson said during a press conference.
The FFA is optimistic the 2020 season will resume, despite concerns about the impact of the suspension on league finances.
The English Premier League announced in a statement, return of the season by April 30, at the earliest. However, the date is expected to be reviewed.
Despite the season being close to its finish, West Ham Vice-Chairman Karren Brady, said it should be considered “null and void” in an article she wrote for The Sun.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) released a statement postponing the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, which will now take place before the summer of 2021.
“A postponement would be the best way to ensure that the athletes are in peak condition when they compete and to guarantee the safety of the spectators,” the committee said in the statement.
The Association of Tennis Professionals and Women’s Tennis Association have announced the cancellation of the Wimbledon championships, as well as the suspension of all tours until July 13.
“Health and safety remains the top priority as we navigate the challenges ahead in these unprecedented times, and we will do everything we can for the Tour to resume at the earliest opportunity once it is safe to do so,” a statement released by ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said.
The earliest possible return date for basketball games would be May 1, said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in an interview which aired on NBA’s Twitter page. However, Mr Silver said this date is likely to be reviewed and pushed back as well.
“We should just accept that at least for the month of April, we won’t be in a position to make any decisions,” Mr Silver said.
A decision has yet to be made on the future of the 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) season. However it is likely no baseball will be played this year.
Despite this, Ronald Blum of the Associated Press reported potential for the season to occur entirely in Arizona.
“Ideas are still in the early stage, and the Arizona option would have many obstacles to overcome,” Mr Blum said.
Should they go ahead with this, the season could be as early as May or June, reporter Jeff Passan said in an article published on ESPN.
UFC president, Dana White said the upcoming UFC 249 will take place on April 18 as scheduled, since the fights are expected to be held on a private island.
“I’m going to continue to pump fights out,” Mr White said during an interview with ESPN.
Three events have already been postponed, however Mr White said the schedule for fights will resume going forward.
Formula 1 and governing body the FIA released a joint statement hopeful the 2020 season will begin at the end of May, following the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix, just last month.
Due to the sharp increase of COVID-19 cases in Europe, this date will be regularly reviewed, said the FIA in the statement.