When Rick Grimes awoke from a coma in his hospital bed he ventured outside to find a world that was totally unrecognisable to his previous waking state. The Walking Dead gave us the image of zombies devouring humans at will. The coronavirus is the sporting worlds zombie apocalypse devouring each and every sporting event in its path.
Last week we could see precautions being but in place. No handshakes. We could deal with that. A week on and there is no sport on the planet that hasn’t been touched.
This morning after completing one round of the Players Championship at Sawgrass the PGA have decided to cancel the tournament. Feelings that not even behind closed doors could they guarantee the players safety. Like many sports around the globe the PGA have cancelled the next three tournaments on top of the Players, the Valspar Championship, the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and the Valero Texas Open all removed from PGA Tour schedule.
Arsenal boss Mike Arteta, Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi and three Leicester players all self isolating have signalled the certain cancellations of games in England to add to the closures in La Liga, Serie A, League of Ireland and other leagues across the world.
Formula 1 cancelled the Australian GP following news that a McLaren team member testing positive for coronavirus. Expect more races to struck off.
In America all major sports have been put on hold. The NBA was suspended until further notice after Utah Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus. The National Hockey League (NHL) season has been suspended in both the USA and Canada. Major League Soccer is for 30 days minimum and Major League Baseball has put back its season starting for two weeks which will no doubt be extended.
There hasn’t been a sport that hasn’t been affected. With the exception of the greed of all those involved in the Cheltenham Race Meetings which should never have went ahead. Those there willing to put their own self interests ahead of the health of others especially when a case of the virus was announced on the very morning the meet was to start should hang their head in shame.
So where does this all end? Euro 2020 is almost certain to be postponed for a year. The Olympics are a doubt. But it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. We need to be prepared to wipe our sporting interests clear for most of the 2020 year. Yes we will miss it. Yes financially it is damaging. But as the saying goes ‘your health is your wealth’ and there are those who are most susceptible who we must protect. Sport as we know it will return.