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How sport reacted to the coronavirus outbreak on March 13, 2020

Sport was severely hit by the coronavirus outbreak on March 13, 2020 as sportsmen started to test positive for Covid-19, resulting in the start of postponements and cancellations.
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Darragh and Darren watch from the stand. Photo: archive.terry-harris.co.uk

The announcement of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s positive Covid-19 test late on March 12 led to a whole host of postponements, cancellations and suspensions throughout the sporting world the following day.

So what happened on Friday, March 13 last year?

1.28am – Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus, with the Blues’ full first-team, coaching staff and a “number” of the backroom team entering self-isolation as a result.

8.06am – Leeds Rhinos opted not to travel to Perpignan for their Betfred Super League clash against Catalans Dragons after a member of their squad showed symptoms of coronavirus, with the game being postponed.

8.36am – The English Football League said it would hold a meeting to discuss the ongoing situation.

9.10am – Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony tweeted that one of his players was self-isolating and said he and manager Darren Ferguson did not want to travel to Bolton for their Sky Bet League One match.

9.15am – FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organisation, released a joint statement declaring that: “All sports bodies must be ready to follow national guidance, based on thorough risk assessments, to stage safe events or take other required actions that protect the health of fans, players, coaches and the broader communities.”

9.27am – Organisers confirmed the start of the 2020 Indian Premier League was delayed until April 15, with the Twenty20 tournament originally due to have started on March 29.

9.31am – Everton announced a first-team player was in self-isolation and that all staff, including the rest of the playing squad, were told to avoid all club sites.

9.46am – Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, the top two divisions in France, were suspended until further notice.

10.07am – UEFA announced all Champions League and Europa League fixtures scheduled for the following week were postponed, as well as the quarter-final draws for both competitions.

10.10am – England’s Test series against Sri Lanka was postponed, with the touring players returning home.

10.15am – Bournemouth announced five of their employees, including goalkeeper Artur Boruc, were self-isolating having displayed symptoms consistent with the virus.

11am – All remaining matches in the Elite Ice Hockey League season were cancelled.

11.06am – All professional football in England was postponed until April 3 at the earliest – with Premier League, EFL, Women’s Super League, Women’s Championship and international fixtures suspended.

11.39am – The Scottish Football Association and Scottish Professional Football League followed suit.

11.40am – West Ham said a number of employees were self-isolating as a precaution having been in direct contact with Arteta – during their Premier League fixture the weekend before.

12.01pm – Wales’ football friendly versus Austria scheduled for March 27 was cancelled.

12.38pm – Having already cancelled the Australian Grand Prix the night before, Formula One called off the next two races in Bahrain and Vietnam respectively.

12.57pm – The Irish FA suspended all football across Northern Ireland until April 4, at the earliest.

1.20pm – The Giro d’Italia, cycling’s first Grand Tour of the season which was due to start on May 9 in Budapest, was postponed.

2pm – The Masters, due to take place at Augusta across April 9-12, was postponed.

2.06pm – Wales’ Guinness Six Nations fixture against Scotland was called off.

2.25pm – Organisers postponed the Boston Marathon, due to take place on April 20.

2.40pm – West Ham announced that manager David Moyes was self-isolating after coming into direct contact with Arteta the previous weekend.

3.13pm – Germany became the latest European country to postpone their football programme as the Bundesliga, 2.Bundesliga and international matches were stopped until at least April 2.

5.06pm – The London Marathon was postponed, with organisers moving the event from April 26 to October 4.

5.28pm – A number of cricket counties – Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire, Kent and Essex – announced a cancellation of overseas pre-season trips or an early return home.

6.54pm – The Premiership Rugby Cup final between Sale and Harlequins was postponed due to an individual developing symptoms consistent with coronavirus.

8.37pm – FIFA advised that all remaining international matches due to be played in March and April should be postponed indefinitely.

By PA Sport Staff