COVID-19 continues to have a long-lasting effect on many industries across the world, sports being no different.
Football, baseball, basketball, even Formula 1 has been canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Our Sports editor, Paul Neat, is in the studio, for this week in sports.
Paul, starting a little closer to home, we were due to have the 2020 K League football season start at the end of February but it has been suspended indefinitely. What can you tell us about that?
That's right, Connyoung. This weekend, we should have been heading into round three of the new K League season but, because of COVID-19, the season has been postponed indefinitely.
Initially, games in the Gyeongsangbuk-do Province area were called off due to the severity of the virus’ spread in that area. Daegu FC and Pohang Steelers were due to have home games over the first weekend of the season. But, as things got worse, the whole season was delayed with no new start date announced.
We still don’t know when this will be but April 4th has been mentioned by some unnamed representatives of K League clubs. Leaving it any longer would mean it wouldn’t be possible to play the full season out within this year.
Other leagues around the world have decided to take action themselves, in Italy for example, where the outbreak is really serious now, the entire country is in lockdown, games have been played behind closed doors.
Yes, football is part of the culture in Italy and so for fans to be unable to attend games just shows how serious it is. Juventus played Inter Milan behind closed doors, a very big match named 'Derby d'Italia'.
But, it’s not just Italy. Asian Champions League has been suspended, and World Cup qualifiers involving Asian teams for March and June have been postponed, including South Korea’s matches. There is also talk about cancelling the Euro 2020 Championships. UEFA will hold an emergency meeting next week. The tournament is scheduled to start in June.
La Liga in Spain will be suspended for two weeks. Meaning Ki Sung-yeung will have to wait for his full debut with his new club Real Mallorca, they were due to play Barcelona this weekend.
In the English Premier League, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for COVID-19, as have a handful of Leicester City players and Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea. Arsenal’s game with Brighton has been called off, the rest of the games are to go ahead as scheduled.
Elsewhere, in North America, MLS is suspended for 30 days meaning Korean international midfielder Hwang In-beom and his team Vancouver Whitecaps will have to wait before they play again.
Speaking of Korean internationals, Son Heung-min has been out injured recently and returned to Korea to receive treatment. How long is he expected to be out for? Given what's happening, will he even be able to return to the United Kingdom?
Well, initially he was supposed to be out for "a number of weeks" with a fractured arm but then his manager Jose Mourinho said that we shouldn't expect to see him back before the end of the season. According to the London Evening Standard, he is in self-isolation and isn't due back in the U.K. any time soon.
But, he and some other high profile Korean sports stars have recently made donations to help with the COVID-19 outbreak. Son and Park Ji-sung donated around 81-thousand U.S. Dollars. There have been some others too, such as Shin Tae-yong , Lee Seung-woo , Kim Jin-su , and Park Chu-young have all donated large amounts of money.
Okay, thank-you very much for that roundup. We will see you again next time.