Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on association football

Last updated

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruption to association football (also known as soccer) across the world, mirroring its impact across all sports. Across the world and to varying degrees, leagues and competitions have been cancelled or postponed.

Contents

Club football

By 25 May, 2020 Ýokary Liga, [1] [2] Belarusian Premier League and Liga Primera de Nicaragua were the only three known top flight national football leagues not suspended. [3]

Africa

Both the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals were postponed from their original schedules, to be resumed in October 2020. [4]

Asia

Measure the body temperature of players in Persian Gulf Pro League Sanat Naft Abadan FC vs Esteghlal FC, 17 July 2020 - 02.jpg
Measure the body temperature of players in Persian Gulf Pro League

In China, the 2020 Chinese Super League was postponed as a result of the virus. [5] In Hong Kong, the 2020 Lunar New Year Cup was cancelled on 23 January 2020 and 2021 Lunar New Year Cup was cancelled on 2 February 2021. [6] Other leagues in Asia were affected, including South Korea's K League 1 and Japan's J1 League. [7] [8] The AFC Champions League and AFC Cup was also impacted, a number of group stage and play-off matches being postponed. [9]

According to K League of South Korea announcement, 2020 K League 1 returned on 8 May, changed from original scheduling start from 29 February.[ citation needed ]

In India, the remaining I-League matches were postponed and the Indian Super League final was played behind closed doors. [10]

Owing to the surge in new COVID-19 cases, the Beijing Municipal Sports Competitions Administration Centre announced on June 15, 2020, the suspension of 2020 CSL season. [11] On 1 July it was announced that the season would start on 25 July.

On 9 July, it was announced that the AFC Cup would return on 23 September and conclude on 12 December, with the group stage matches to be held in centralised venues. [12] [13] However, the season was later abandoned on 10 September and was declared void the following day. [14]

In the AFC Champions League, the AFC announced that Qatar would host all West Region matches after restart. [15] Al Wahda were unable to travel to Qatar to play their remaining matches of the group stage due to several team members testing positive for COVID-19. [16] They were considered to have withdrawn from the competition, and all their previous matches were considered "null and void". [17] The same happened with the defending champion Al-Hilal, when they failed to name the required 13 players and were unable to play their final match of the group stage against Shabab Al-Ahli due to them having only 11 players left with the remaining team members testing positive for COVID-19; [18] hence, they were also considered to have withdrawn from the competition, and all their previous matches were considered "null and void", and would not be taken into consideration in determining the final group rankings. [19]

Qatar also hosted all AFC Champions League East Region matches after restart. However, Malaysian club Johor Darul Ta'zim were unable to travel to Qatar to play the final four matches of the group stage due to the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions after they were denied permission to travel by the Malaysian government. [20] Their matches were considered "null and void" and would not affect the final group rankings. [21]

In the 2021 AFC Champions League, the three teams from Australia, Sydney FC, Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar, withdrew from the competition after the draw. [22] Moreover, Chinese teams, Guangzhou, Beijing Guoan and Shanghai Port, opted to participate with a mixture of their youth and reserve teams. [23]

Europe

Post-match handshakes replaced by fist and elbow bumps (August 2020) Fist bumps and elbow bumps Lewes FC Women v London Bees (50288949288).jpg
Post-match handshakes replaced by fist and elbow bumps (August 2020)
Seats at the Dripping Pan marked for social distancing Social distancing seat markings at the Dripping Pan Lewes FC Women v London Bees 30 08 2020 pre season-41 (50289591996).jpg
Seats at the Dripping Pan marked for social distancing
A UEFA Champions League match between FC Krasnodar and Chelsea played in front of a limited-capacity crowd (October 2020) FC Krasnodar vs Chelsea supporters 2020-10-30 (cropped).jpg
A UEFA Champions League match between FC Krasnodar and Chelsea played in front of a limited-capacity crowd (October 2020)

In Europe, various knockout matches in the Champions League and Europa League were played behind closed doors in February and March 2020. [24] [25] On 12 March 2020, UEFA announced that the elite qualification round of the men and women's under-17 and under-19 youth international tournaments had been postponed. [26] The following day, UEFA postponed all fixtures for the following week in the Champions League, Europa League and Youth League. [27] On 17 June UEFA announced that the Champions League would resume in Portugal, and the Europa League in Germany, in August, but all rounds would be single-match affairs, with the exception of the Europa League round of 16 where the first game had already been played.

Many of the domestic European leagues were impacted in February and March 2020. After various fixtures were rescheduled or played behind closed doors, Serie A was postponed on 9 March 2020. [28] On 12 March, La Liga and the Segunda División were suspended for at least two weeks after a Real Madrid basketball player tested positive for the virus, which resulted in Real Madrid's footballers being put in quarantine. [29] The Eredivisie was also suspended (it was officially declared abandoned on 24 April with no champion awarded), [30] while Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga followed suit shortly afterwards (Ligue 1 would eventually end on 27 April after the French Prime Minister ordered all sporting events to be cancelled until 1 September, with Paris Saint-Germain being declared champions). [31] [32] [33] The Bundesliga eventually returned on 16 May following the suspension of play.

On 10 March, the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal, due to be played the next day, was postponed after a number of Arsenal players made close contact with Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who had tested positive for coronavirus, when the two teams had met in the Europa League 13 days earlier. [34] Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the disease, prompting the team's Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion for that weekend to also be postponed. [35] As of 13 March, there has been at least one recorded case of the disease affecting a player in the aforementioned leagues; Serie A footballers Daniele Rugani and Manolo Gabbiadini, 2. Bundesliga footballer Timo Hübers, and Premier League footballer Callum Hudson-Odoi. [36] [37] Rugani tested positive while being asymptomatic. [38] On 13 March, English elite football was suspended until early April, including the Premier League, English Football League, FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship. [39]

By 19 March, the Belarusian Premier League was the only active top flight in all 55 UEFA member associations. [40]

On 5 May 2020, Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) chief executive Neil Doncaster summarised the situation in his country during a video conference involving the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Rugby and others in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic; he stated that "gate receipts make up a far higher proportion of our income than in England, which benefits from huge TV deals, so until we get back to playing in front of crowds, our game will remain in grave peril." [41]

In June 2020, chairman of Premier League football side Tottenham Hotspur, Daniel Levy, revealed that the club has taken a loan of £175 million from the Bank of England. The chairman said that money has been taken to tackle with the gripping effects of coronavirus pandemic on the club. [42]

On June 30, 2020, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters announced £1,000,000 as aid for next seasons of the Women’s Super League and Championship to mitigate the effect of coronavirus. [43]

Wigan Athletic fell into administration on 1 July after being negatively affected by the pandemic lockdown. [44] By appointing Paul Stanley, Gerald Krasner and Dean Watson from Begbies Traynor, it became the first professional club in England to call up administrators since the pandemic had begun. [45] In addition, many small English football clubs were affected by the pandemic as they rely on ticket sales for revenue. [46]

The Bundesliga became the first major European league to return following the pandemic on 16 May. In the subsequent weeks, many other leagues followed suit. La Liga returned on 11 June, the Premier League on 17 June, and Serie A on 20 June.

On 19 June 2020, FC Rostov lost 1–10 against PFC Sochi in the 2019–20 Russian Premier League, as they fielded their junior team, after six players of the senior team have been infected with COVID-19; hence, the whole team was quarantined. [47]

The 2019–20 UEFA Champions League was resumed in August in Lisbon, Portugal, playing only one single tie in each round. [48]

In the 2020–21 UEFA Champions League preliminary round, Kosovar club Drita's match against Linfield in Nyon, Switzerland was called off, due to two players from Drita testing positive for COVID-19 and the whole team being put into quarantine by the Swiss authorities; eventually, Linfield was awarded a 3–0 win. [49] In the first qualifying round of the same competition, Faroese club was awarded a 3–0 win over Slovan Bratislava, in which the match was initially postponed after one staff member from the latter tested positive for COVID-19, [50] followed by a player from this same team, [51] eventually the whole team was put into quarantine by the Faroese authorities, [51] and KÍ were subsequently awarded a technical victory. [52]

In September 2020, a German team, SG Ripdorf/Molzen ll, lost 37–0 against SV Holdenstedt ll in 3. Kreisklasse. SV Holdenstedt II who came into contact in a previous game with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, refused to reschedule the match; hence, SG Ripdorf/Molzen ll competed with only seven men for fear of infection and did not offer any resistance. [53] [54]

On 4 October 2020, Italian club Napoli decided not to travel to Turin to play a Serie A match against Juventus, as two of their players tested positive for COVID-19 along with a staff member. Later on, Juventus were awarded a 3–0 win, and Napoli were deducted 1 point by the Disciplinary Commission as punishment for violating the COVID-19 protocol and not attending the match. [55]

In the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League, two matches, Romania v Norway and Switzerland v Ukraine, were cancelled due to positive tests in the teams.

In January 2021, Arsenal received a £120m loan from the Bank of England to help offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. [56]

North America

An FC Cincinnati match during the 2020 Major League Soccer season played without fans (August 2020) FC Cincinnati social distancing COVID-19 2020-08-21 (cropped).jpg
An FC Cincinnati match during the 2020 Major League Soccer season played without fans (August 2020)

On 12 March 2020, the CONCACAF Champions League was suspended with immediate effect. [57] All other CONCACAF competitions scheduled for the next month were also suspended. [58] On 10 November, it was announced that the competition would resume in December and be played in Orlando with single-leg, neutral venue matches. [59]

Also on 12 March, the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), whose season was not scheduled to start until 18 April, canceled its preseason matches, [60] and also imposed a moratorium on team training that initially ran through 22 March. [61]

On 12 March, Major League Soccer was suspended for 30 days. [62] On 19 March, Major League Soccer's suspension was extended to a target return date of 10 May. [63] On 14 April, MLS announced that it was "extremely unlikely based on the guidance of federal and local public health authorities" that they would meet this target, and stated that "our goal remains to play as many games as possible, and while we currently have enough dates to play the entire season, we recognize at this time that it may become difficult to do so." [64] The 2020 U.S. Open Cup, 2020 Leagues Cup, 2020 Campeones Cup and 2020 MLS All-Star Game were also all cancelled. [65] [66]

On 20 March, the Canadian Premier League announced a postponement of their season which was scheduled to start on 11 April. [67]

The 2019–20 Major Arena Soccer League season was terminated early, effective 12 March. [68]

The USL Championship suspended the 2020 season on 12 March, for at least 30 days. [69]

The National Independent Soccer Association suspended the Spring portion of its 2019–20 season on 12 March for at least 30 days. [70] On 27 April, following a second suspension of play, NISA announced it would cancel the rest of its 2020 Spring season. [71] [72]

Match week 10 of Liga MX, Women's Liga MX, and Ascenso MX took place but as of 15 March, club owners and league executives had then taken a decision to postpone all Mexican football activity until further notice. [73] As of 22 May, Mexican football executives announce the termination of the remainder of the current Clausura 2020 championship. [74]

On 10 June, Major League Soccer announced a return to action on 8 July with a mini-tournament, called the MLS is Back Tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, with all group stage matches counting towards the regular season standings. [75] The regular season was then resumed with fewer fixtures and reduced or no attendance allowed, with the playoffs beginning in November. [76] Canadian teams in the league had to play the remainder of their fixtures in the United States, due to travel restrictions between the borders. [77] This would later continue through the 2021 season after travel restrictions continued to remain in effect. [78]

On 24 July, Liga MX inaugurated the 2020–21 Liga MX season, also known as Torneo Guard1anes 2020. The season was dedicated to Mexico’s frontline healthcare and medical staff. Mazatlán F.C. debuted in Liga MX, replacing the dissolved Monarcas Morelia. [79]

On 29 July, the Canadian Premier League announced a return to play on 13 August with a modified format called "The Island Games" to determine a 2020 champion. These games were played behind closed doors at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The shortened season ended in September with the Finals. [80]

South America

On 12 March 2020, CONMEBOL announced that the Copa Libertadores would be temporarily suspended. [81] In addition, the Copa Sudamericana have been suspended after first round due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to be resumed on 27 October 2020, with the final rescheduled to be played in late January 2021. [82]

On 15 March, all top-tier football in Brazil was suspended until April. [83]

Oceania

In New Zealand, the three main competitions, the New Zealand Football Championship, the Chatham Cup and the Kate Sheppard Cup were all cancelled by New Zealand Football. The 2019–20 New Zealand Football Championship season was concluded after 18 weeks, with Auckland City declared the winner. [84] On 23 April, both the national Men's and Women's knock-out cups were cancelled a week before the preliminary rounds were due to kick off. [85] It was the first time the Chatham Cup had been cancelled since the end of World War II. [85] On 15 January 2021, FIFA announced that Auckland City had withdrawn from the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related quarantine measures required by the New Zealand authorities. [86]

International football

On 13 March 2020, FIFA announced that clubs did not have to release players to their national teams during the international windows of March and April 2020, while players also had the option to decline a call-up without any consequences. FIFA also recommended that all international matches during these windows be postponed, though the final decision was left to the competition organisers or member associations for friendly matches. [87]

On 9 March 2020, the Oceania Football Confederation announced that all tournaments were postponed until May 2020. [88]

FIFA World Cup qualification

The qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, it was announced that Asian qualifier matches due to take place in March and June 2020 were postponed to later dates. [89] The South American qualifiers due to take place in March 2020 were also postponed to later dates. [90]

Olympic qualification

Play-off matches between South Korea and China in the 2020 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament were also postponed. [91]

Continental tournaments

On 17 March 2020, CAF announced that the 2020 African Nations Championship had been postponed to a later date due to the pandemic. [92] On 30 June CAF announced that the tournament would be held in January 2021.

Concerns were raised regarding UEFA Euro 2020, being held in twelve host cities across Europe, and the potential impact of the coronavirus on players, staff and tournament visitors. [93] UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said the organisation was confident that the situation could be dealt with, while general secretary Theodore Theodoridis stated that UEFA was maintaining contact with the World Health Organization and national governments regarding the coronavirus. [94] UEFA announced that a videoconference would be held on 17 March with representatives of its 55 member associations, along with a FIFPro representative and the boards of the European Club Association and European Leagues, to discuss the response to the outbreak for domestic and European competitions, including Euro 2020. [95] The tournament was moved by 12 months. [96] As a result, UEFA Women's Euro 2021 was similarly moved back 12 months, due to the original dates clashing with the rearranged Euro 2020 and 2020 Summer Olympics dates. [97]

On 17 March, CONMEBOL announced that the 2020 edition of Copa América was postponed to 2021. [98]

On 21 April 2020, the Oceania Football Confederation announced that due to the pandemic and the difficulty in rescheduling to another date in the FIFA International Match Calendar, the 2020 OFC Nations Cup would be cancelled. [99]

Youth tournaments

On 3 April 2020, FIFA announced that the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, scheduled to be held in Panama and Costa Rica in August, and the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, scheduled to be held in India in November, would be postponed and rescheduled. [100]

Collegiate soccer

Two National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I members announced that they had eliminated their men's soccer teams effective immediately. First, on 14 April, the University of Cincinnati shuttered its team, citing "profound challenges and widespread uncertainty" resulting from the pandemic. [101] Then, on 26 May, Appalachian State University dropped three men's teams, including soccer, "in response to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic". [102]

List of affected events

Leagues

List of affected top-flight football leagues:

Curtailed

LeagueCountrySeasonStart dateCancellation dateChampions (if awarded)Source
Liga Panameña de Fútbol Flag of Panama.svg  Panama Apertura 2020 25 January 202017 March 2020None [110]
New Zealand Football Championship Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 2019–20 1 November 201918 March 2020 Auckland City [84]
Primera División de El Salvador Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador Clausura 2020 18 January 202020 March 2020None [111]
Liga Nacional de Guatemala Flag of Guatemala.svg  Guatemala Clausura 2020 17 January 202025 March 2020None [112]
Super League Vrouwenvoetbal Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 2019–20 23 August 201927 March 2020 RSC Anderlecht [113]
Mauritian Premier League Flag of Mauritius.svg  Mauritius 2019–20 22 November 20196 April 2020None [114]
Czech First Division (women) Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 2019–20 17 August 20197 April 2020 Slavia Praha [115]
Premier League of Belize Flag of Belize.svg  Belize 2019–20 C 11 January 202018 April 2020None [116]
I-League Flag of India.svg  India 2019–20 30 November 201918 April 2020 Mohun Bagan [117]
Eredivisie Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 2019–20 2 August 201924 April 2020None [118]
Eredivisie Vrouwen Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 2019–20 23 August 201924 April 2020None [119]
Primera División Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 2019–20 26 July 201928 April 2020 Boca Juniors [120]
Ligue 1 Flag of France.svg  France 2019–20 9 August 201928 April 2020 Paris Saint-Germain [121]
Division 1 Féminine Flag of France.svg  France 2019–20 24 August 201928 April 2020 Olympique Lyonnais [122]
Luxembourg National Division Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg 2019–20 3 August 201928 April 2020None [123]
Liga Nacional Flag of Honduras (darker variant).svg  Honduras Clausura 2020 10 January 202029 April 2020None [124]
Girabola Flag of Angola.svg  Angola 2019–20 November 201930 April 2020None [125]
Gibraltar National League Flag of Gibraltar.svg  Gibraltar 2019–20 12 August 20191 May 2020None [126]
Guinée Championnat National Flag of Guinea.svg  Guinea 2019–20 October 20191 May 2020None [127]
Kenya Premier League Flag of Kenya.svg  Kenya 2019–20 20191 May 2020 Gor Mahia [128]
Niger Premier League Flag of Niger.svg  Niger 2019–20 20194 May 2020None [129]
Burkinabé Premier League Flag of Burkina Faso.svg  Burkina Faso 2019–20 16 August 20195 May 2020None [130]
Congo Premier League Flag of the Republic of the Congo.svg  Republic of the Congo 2019–20 5 October 20195 May 2020 AS Otohô [131]
Ethiopian Premier League Flag of Ethiopia.svg  Ethiopia 2019–20 November 20195 May 2020None [132]
Liberian First Division Flag of Liberia.svg  Liberia 2020 29 December 20194 May 2020None [133]
Primera División (women) Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 2019–20 7 September 20196 May 2020 Barcelona [134]
Elite One Flag of Cameroon.svg  Cameroon 2020 202012 May 2020 PWD Bamenda [135]
Linafoot Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg  Democratic Republic of the Congo 2019–20 15 August 201913 May 2020 TP Mazembe [136]
Jupiler Pro League Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 2019–20 26 July 201915 May 2020 Club Brugge [137]
Cypriot First Division Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus 2019–20 23 August 201915 May 2020None [138]
National Premier League Flag of Jamaica.svg  Jamaica 2019–20 1 September 201915 May 2020None [139]
Venezuelan Primera División Flag of Venezuela.svg  Venezuela 2020 30 January 202015 May 2020None [140]
Tahiti Ligue 1 Flag of French Polynesia.svg  Tahiti 2019–20 27 September 201916 May 2020 Pirae [141]
Bangladesh Premier League Flag of Bangladesh.svg  Bangladesh 2020 13 February 202017 May 2020None [142]
Maltese Premier League Flag of Malta.svg  Malta 2019–20 23 August 201918 May 2020 Floriana [143]
Scottish Premiership Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 2019–20 3 August 201918 May 2020 Celtic [144]
Cymru Premier Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 2019–20 16 August 201919 May 2020 Connah's Quay Nomads [145]
Uganda Premier League Flag of Uganda.svg  Uganda 2019–20 201920 May 2020 Vipers
FUFA Women Super League Flag of Uganda.svg  Uganda 2019–20 201920 May 2020None [146]
GFA League First Division Flag of The Gambia.svg  The Gambia 2019–20 6 December 201921 May 2020None
South Sudan Football Championship Flag of South Sudan.svg  South Sudan 2020 20 February 202021 May 2020None
Liga MX Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico Clausura 2020 10 January 202022 May 2020None [147]
Liga MX Femenil Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico Clausura 2020 4 January 202022 May 2020None [147]
Rwanda Premier League Flag of Rwanda.svg  Rwanda 2019–20 4 October 201922 May 2020 APR
FA Women's Super League Flag of England.svg  England 2019–20 7 September 201925 May 2020 Chelsea [148]
Togolese Championnat National Flag of Togo.svg  Togo 2019–20 6 October 201926 May 2020 ASKO Kara [149]
Lebanese Premier League Flag of Lebanon.svg  Lebanon 2019–20 20 September 201928 May 2020None [150]
Premijer liga Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2019–20 20 July 20191 June 2020 Sarajevo [151]
Iraqi Premier League Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 2019–20 18 September 20193 June 2020None [152]
Macedonian First Football League Flag of North Macedonia.svg  North Macedonia 2019–20 11 August 20194 June 2020 Vardar [153]
Serie A (women) Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 2019–20 14 September 20198 June 2020 Juventus [154]
Botswana Premier League Flag of Botswana.svg  Botswana 2019–20 31 August 201915 June 2020 Jwaneng Galaxy [155]
UAE Pro League Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg  United Arab Emirates 2019–20 19 September 201918 June 2020None [156]
Benin Premier League Flag of Benin.svg  Benin 2019–20 6 October 201929 June 2020None [157]
Ghana Premier League Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana 2019–20 28 December 201930 June 2020None [158]
Senegal Premier League Flag of Senegal.svg  Senegal 2019–20 7 December 20199 July 2020None [159]
Nigeria Professional Football League Flag of Nigeria.svg  Nigeria 2019–20 3 November 201910 July 2020None [160]
Sierra Leone National Premier League Flag of Sierra Leone.svg  Sierra Leone 2019–20 4 December 201915 July 2020None [161]
Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1 Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria 2019–20 15 August 201929 July 2020 CR Belouizdad [162]

Postponed

LeagueCountrySeasonOriginal schedulePostponedResumedSource
Ýokary Liga Flag of Turkmenistan.svg  Turkmenistan 2020 6 March 2020 (start date)23 March 202019 April 2020 [163]
K League 1 Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 2020 29 February – 4 October 202024 February 20208 May 2020 [164]
Faroe Islands Premier League Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg  Faroe Islands 2020 8 March 2020 – 7 November 20208 March 20209 May 2020 [165]
Bundesliga Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 2019–20 16 August 2019 – 27 June 202013 March 202016 May 2020 [166]
Liga FPD Flag of Costa Rica.svg  Costa Rica Clausura 2020 11 January 2020 – 17 or 31 May 202018 March 202019 May 2020 [167]
Meistriliiga Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia 2020 6 March 2020 – 7 November 20208 March 202019 May 2020 [168]
Nemzeti Bajnokság I Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 2019–20 21 July 2019 – May 202016 March 202017 May 2020 [169]
Burundi Premier League Flag of Burundi.svg  Burundi 2019–20 10 August 2019 – April 20205 April 202021 May 2020 [170]
Czech First League Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic 2019–20 12 July 2019 – May 202012 March 202025 May 2020 [171]
Syrian Premier League Flag of Syria.svg  Syria 2019–20 20 October 2019 – May 20209 March 202028 May 2020 [172]
Danish Superliga Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 2019–20 12 July 2019 – 24 May 202012 March 202029 May 2020 [173]
Frauen-Bundesliga Flag of Germany.svg  Germany 2019–20 17 August 2019 – 17 May 202016 March 202029 May 2020 [174]
Ekstraklasa Flag of Poland.svg  Poland 2019–20 12 July 2019 – 17 May 202013 March 202029 May 2020 [170]
A Lyga Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania 2020 8 March 2020 – 7 November 202012 March 202030 May 2020 [175]
SuperLiga Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia 2019–20 19 July 2019 – May 202015 March 202030 May 2020 [176]
Ukrainian Premier League Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine 2019–20 28 July 2019 – May 202017 March 202030 May 2020 [177]
Israeli Premier League Flag of Israel.svg  Israel 2019–20 24 August 2019 – May 202012 March 202030 May 2020 [178]
Montenegrin First League Flag of Montenegro.svg  Montenegro 2019–20 3 August 2019 – May 202013 March 20201 June 2020 [179]
Austrian Football Bundesliga Flag of Austria.svg  Austria 2019–20 26 July 2019 – 7 March 202018 March 20202 June 2020 [180]
Kategoria Superiore Flag of Albania.svg  Albania 2019–20 23 August 2019 – May 202012 March 20203 June 2020 [181]
Primeira Liga Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal 2019–20 9 August 2019 – 17 May 202012 March 20203 June 2020 [182]
First Professional Football League Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 2019–20 12 July 2019 – May 202013 March 20205 June 2020 [183]
Slovenian PrvaLiga Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia 2019–20 13 July 2019 – 15 May 202012 March 20205 June 2020 [184]
V.League 1 Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam 2020 6 March 2020 (start date)16 March 2020 (first suspension)
26 July 2020 (second suspension)
5 June 2020 (first resumption)
9 October 2020 (second resumption)
[185] [186]
Croatian First Football League Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia 2019–20 19 July 2019 – May 202012 March 20206 June 2020 [187]
Super League Greece Flag of Greece.svg  Greece 2019–20 24 August 2019 – May 202013 March 20206 June 2020 [188]
La Liga Flag of Spain.svg  Spain 2019–20 16 August 2019 – 24 May 202012 March 202011 June 2020 [189]
Liga I Flag of Romania.svg  Romania 2019–20 12 July 2019 – June 202012 March 202012 June 2020 [190]
Süper Lig Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 2019–20 16 August 2019 – May 202019 March 202012 June 2020 [191]
Slovak First Football League Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia 2019–20 20 July 2019 – 24 May 202012 March 202013 June 2020 [192]
Allsvenskan Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 2020 4 April 2020 – 8 November 202019 March 202014 June 2020 [193]
Eliteserien Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 2020 4 April 2020 – 29 November 202012 March 202016 June 2020 [194]
Premier League Flag of England.svg  England 2019–20 9 August 2019 – 17 May 202013 March 202017 June 2020 [195]
Russian Premier League Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 2019–20 12 July 2019 – May 202017 March 202019 June 2020 [196]
League of Ireland Flag of Ireland.svg  Republic of Ireland 2020 14 February 2020 – 30 October 202012 March 202031 July 2020 [197] [198]
Swiss Super League Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 2019–20 19 July 2019 – May 202028 February 202019 June 2020 [199]
Serie A Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 2019–20 25 August 2019 – 24 May 20209 March 202020 June 2020 [200]
Persian Gulf Pro League Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 2019–20 23 August 2019 – May 202011 March 202024 June 2020 [201]
Veikkausliiga Flag of Finland.svg  Finland 2020 3 April 2020 – 1 September 202013 March 20201 July 2020 [202]
Kazakhstan Premier League Flag of Kazakhstan.svg  Kazakhstan 2020 7 March 2020 (start date)16 March 20201 July 2020 (first resumption)
18 August 2020 (second resumption)
[203]
J1 League Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 2020 21 February – 5 December 202025 February 20204 July 2020 [204]
Major League Soccer Flag of the United States.svg  United States
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
2020 29 February – 7 November 202012 March 2020 8 July 2020 [205]
Nadeshiko League Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 2020 2 May 2020 (start date)March 202018 July 2020 [206]
Paraguayan Primera División Flag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay 2020 17 January 2020 (start date)13 March 202021 July 2020 [207]
Qatar Stars League Flag of Qatar.svg  Qatar 2019–20 21 August 2019 – April 202016 March 202024 July 2020 [208]
Chinese Super League Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 2020 22 February 2020 – 31 October 202030 January 202025 July 2020 [209]
Botola Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 2019–20 14 September 2019 – May 202014 March 202027 July 2020 [210]
Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1 Flag of Tunisia.svg  Tunisia 2019–20 24 August 2019 – June 202016 March 20201 August 2020 [211]
Saudi Professional League Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 2019–20 22 August 2019 – May 202015 March 20204 August 2020 [212]
Egyptian Premier League Flag of Egypt.svg  Egypt 2019–20 21 September 2019 – May 202014 March 20209 August 2020 [213]
Philippines Football League Flag of the Philippines.svg  Philippines 2020 May 2020 (start date)13 March 202025 October 2020 [214]

Tournaments

Cancelled

TournamentHost countryOriginal scheduleCancellation dateSource
2020 OFC Nations Cup Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 6–20 June 202021 April 2020 [99]
2020 AFC Cup N/A10 February – 7 November 202010 September 2020 [14]

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2019–20 UEFA Champions League 65th season of the UEFA club football tournament

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The 2019–20 UEFA Women's Champions League was the 19th edition of the European women's club football championship organised by UEFA, and the 11th edition since being rebranded as the UEFA Women's Champions League.

2019–20 UEFA Youth League International football competition

The 2019–20 UEFA Youth League was the seventh season of the UEFA Youth League, a European youth club football competition organised by UEFA.

The 2019–20 season was the 118th season of competitive football in Italy. On 9 March 2020, the Italian government halted all sports events in Italy until 3 April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic in Italy. On 18 May, it was announced that Italian football would be suspended until 14 June. On 28 May, it was announced that Serie A and Serie B would resume starting 20 June. Serie C and Serie D, however, did not resume with table leaders announced as champions in Serie C, and no winners announced.

The 2019–20 season was Manchester City's 118th season of competitive football, 91st season in the top division of English football and 23rd season in the Premier League since it was first created. In addition to the Premier League, the club competed in the FA Cup, as holders of both competitions. They also entered the UEFA Champions League, hoping to win the team's first European trophy since 1970. The Citizens successfully retained the EFL Cup, their third consecutive League Cup win and their fifth in seven seasons.

The 2021 AFC Cup is the 18th edition of the AFC Cup, Asia's secondary club football tournament organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

2019–20 in Scottish football

The 2019–20 season was the 123rd season of competitive football in Scotland. The domestic season began on 12 July 2019, with the first round of matches in the 2019–20 Scottish League Cup. The 2019–20 Scottish Professional Football League season started on 2 August 2019.

2020–21 UEFA Europa League 50th season of Europes secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA

The 2020–21 UEFA Europa League was the 50th season of Europe's secondary club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 12th season since it was renamed from the UEFA Cup to the UEFA Europa League.

2020–21 UEFA Champions League 66th season of the UEFA club football tournament

The 2020–21 UEFA Champions League was the 66th season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 29th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League.

2019–20 FC Basel season FC Basel 2019–20 football season

The 2019–20 FC Basel season was the 126th season in the club's history and the 25th consecutive season in the top flight of Swiss football following their promotion in the 1993–94 season. The domestic league season started on the weekend of 19–21 July 2019. Basel were runners-up in the previous Super League season and were therefore qualified for 2019–20 UEFA Champions League second qualifying round. Basel competed in round 1 of the 2019–20 Swiss Cup on 17 August 2019.

The following are the scheduled events of association football (soccer) for the year 2020 throughout the world.

The 2019–20 UEFA Champions League knockout phase began on 18 February with the round of 16 and ended on 23 August 2020 with the final at the Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal, to decide the champions of the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League. A total of 16 teams competed in the knockout phase.

The 2020 League of Ireland Premier Division, known as the SSE Airtricity League for sponsorship reasons, was the 36th season of the League of Ireland Premier Division.

The 2019–20 UEFA Youth League knockout phase began on 11 February 2020 with the play-off round and ended with the final on 25 August 2020 at Colovray Stadium in Nyon, Switzerland, to decide the champions of the 2019–20 UEFA Youth League. A total of 24 teams competed in the knockout phase.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the most significant disruption to the worldwide sporting calendar since World War II. Across the world and to varying degrees, sports events have been cancelled or postponed. The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo were rescheduled to 2021. Spectators have no games to watch and players no games to play. Only a few countries and territories, such as Hong Kong, Turkmenistan, Belarus, and Nicaragua, have continued professional sporting matches as planned.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Philippine sports

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the conduct of sports in the Philippines affecting both competitive sports leagues and tournaments and recreational sports.

The 2020–21 season is the 52nd season of competitive association football in Australia.

Economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada Overview of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canadian economy

The COVID-19 pandemic had a deep impact on the Canadian economy, leading it into a recession. The governments' social distancing rules had the effect of limiting economic activity in the country. Companies started considering mass-layoffs of workers, which was largely prevented by the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. But despite these efforts, Canada's unemployment rate was 13.5% in May 2020, the highest it has been since 1976.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports in the Republic of Ireland Consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on sport in the Republic of Ireland

The COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland has had a significant impact on the conduct of sports, affecting both competitive sports leagues and tournaments and recreational sports.

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