Apr 16th, 2020, 11:31 AM

Sports Events in 2020: What to Expect

By Rosie Liu
By adriaticfoto via shutterstock
How are athletes and sports fans doing during this chaotic period of time?

I'm a big fan of many different sports, but I haven’t turned on my television for a good long while. All the sports channels are replaying matches from last year or digests of “classic matches” over and over again. Instagram is not as interesting as it used to be, either: no more exciting “Match Day!” posts or any cute group photos from the athletes anymore. What’s even worse is for those who had bought tickets for games. Some of us have been waiting for months or even half a year for that match. Yet, we can’t help but see our precious tickets turning back to numbers in our bank account. 

Coronavirus has definitely turned our lives around, but what exactly has it done to popular sports? Here's a quick summary of how different sports and athletes are faring during this pandemic.



Football is probably one of the most popular sports in West Europe. It is quite hard to believe that most football games are actually paused at this point. When this outbreak just started back in March, even though the PSG Vs. Dortmund Champions League match was hosted behind closed-doors (no fans/viewers allowed in the stadium, only athletes and staffs) to prevent the spread of COVID-19, PSG fans still gathered outside of the stadium to celebrate.

video credit: The Telegraph via YouTube

Right now, most major football leagues have all paused the season. On top of that, UEFA Champions League (annual top-devision football competition) is also forced to pause in the middle of Round of 16 and the remaining schedule are still to confirmed. On the other hand, UEFA Euro 2020 (second largest football tournament) has already announced that the tournament will be postponed for a year and the official name has already been changed to UEFA Euro 2021. As for now, J1 League (the top division of Japan's Professional Football) is considering restarting the season with closed-doors. Yet, since the confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Japan, especially Tokyo, is still rising rapidly on a daily-bases, the chances are extremely low. Knowing thirteen out of twenty most profitable professional sports leagues in the world are football, this is a really big deal because there is a massive loss in profits. 

Some athletes might have lost the greatest opportunity in their career because of this change in the schedule. Using French players in FC Bayern (Bundesliga; Germany) as an example: as FC Bayern has been doing so well in the season so far, if FC Bayern won Bundesliga 19/20 and Champions League this year, and France won the Euro cup, the French players in FC Bayern could have won three titles in the same year. This isn’t some kind of chance you get every year.



NBA was suspended after several NBA players were tested positive for coronavirus in mid-March. It all started with the now-infamous microphone touching incident by Rudy Gobert. A few days before Rudy was tested positive for the coronavirus, he had an interview in the media room. Before he left the interview, he made sure he touched every single microphone before he left, showing that he is not afraid of the coronavirus. Ironic enough, a few days later he was tested positive for the virus, and therefore NBA was suspended. Although rumor had it that NBA might restart with closed-doors , with a group of players tested positive for coronavirus, the chances of playing with closed-doors is also very low for NBA.



Regarding tennis, ATP has canceled all tournaments from March until July, including the famous Wimbledon. Wimbledon is canceled for the first time since WWII, which brings a shock to many tennis fans. With many high-points tournaments like Wimbledon (2,000 points) and a few ATP Masters 1000 (1,000 points) canceled, it will be very difficult to come up with the finalists for the tournament since the finalist of ATP Finals is based on each player’s individual score (aka the points they earn from other tournaments, which is also directly linked to their personal ranking) of the year. This might also turn the ATP Finals from last year the last time this tournament was held in the O2 Arena. According to their contract, starting from 2021, this tournament will be moved to Turin, Italy.

In the matter of individual players, the pandemic has probably damaged the “Big Three” the most. The “Big Three” includes Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Roger Federer is turning 39 this year, which is quite impressive as a professional athlete for such an intense sport like tennis. Yet, fans know that Federer will have to retire soon. Knowing this public secret, Federer’s fans would really love to see him winning another Wimbledon’s champion before he retires. However, as now Wimbledon is canceled, the fans can only pray that they can still see him playing next year. Rafael Nadal, also known as The King of Clay (12 French Open titles & 59 titles on clay), will have a serious disadvantage if the remaining tournaments of the year restarts as most clay-courts tournaments are held from late spring till summer, most of them canceled at this point. Lastly, Novak Djokovic was in a really nice condition before this pandemic. People also thought that Djokovic had the best chance to win the Olympics among the Big Three.


France has just extended the lockdown period till May 11th, and most West European countries as well. Even though we can’t see exciting pictures and videos on Instagram for now, it is still pretty nice to see athletes staying at home relaxing, training on their own, and interacting with their families. Nevertheless, it is also a good chance to do some training by ourselves at home, with our favorite athletes!