Premier League Trophy MCIHUD 2019
Premier League Trophy MCIHUD 2019 | (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Football | COVID-19’s path of destruction on football – Latest timeline

By Neil Leverett

  • Elite football all around Europe has been hit hard by COVID-19
  • Keep track of what is going in with domestic football
UK – The football landscape is changing as the effects of coronavirus continue to wreak havoc on the sporting calendar.

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How COVID-19 outbreak has hit the game

Here are the key events as they have evolved since late January (most recent first):


26 March

  • The FA announces that all football in England below the three divisions that make up the National League will end immediately with all results expunged and no promotion or relegation in these divisions. The same applies to the women’s game below the Women’s Super League and

25 March

  • The suspension of Japan’s J League is extended into May, along with the associated cup competition.
  • Unicef’s Soccer Aid fundraiser, scheduled to take place at Old Trafford on 6 June, is postponed.

23 March

  • All football in Spain, including La Liga, is put on hold indefinitely while the country deals with the spread of coronavirus.
  • The Irish Football Association extends the suspension of the football season in Northern Ireland until 30 April.
  • Uefa postpones the Champions League and Europa League finals, scheduled for 30 May and 27 May respectively, as well as the Women’s Champions League final, which was due to take place on 24 May.

22 March

  • Former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who plays for Chinese club Shandong Luneng, confirms he has tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Australia’s A-League suspends all play with five rounds of the season to play.

21 March

  • Three Portsmouth players, James Bolton, Andy Cannon and Sean Raggett, tested positive for coronavirus.

19 March

  • English football is suspended until 30 April at the earliest, with the end of the 2019-20 season extended indefinitely.
  • Borussia Monchengladbach’s players and coaching staff accept pay cuts during the coronavirus crisis.
  • The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) suspends its football league for four weeks due to the outbreak.
  • Major League Soccer extends the suspension of all matches, with a target return date of 10 May.
  • The Turkish Super Lig is suspended – the last major European league to do so.
  • Rotherham manager Paul Warne confirms two of his players are in self-isolation after displaying symptoms of coronavirus.

18 March

  • The Asian Football Confederation announces all matches in the AFC Cup tournament, the second-tier club competition, are postponed. Games in the west of Asia had already been suspended.
  • La Liga club Deportivo Alaves announce 15 staff members – including three players – have tested positive for coronavirus.

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17 March

  • Euro 2020 postponed until 2021.
  • The African Nations Championship, for players who are based in Africa, is postponed.

16 March:

  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says from Tuesday the Government would no longer be supporting mass gatherings with emergency workers.
  • All football and cricket in South Africa is cancelled.
  • The German Football League (DFL) announces a suspension of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 until April 3, but warned it was likely to last longer, with a review to take place on 30 March.
  • The final six rounds of the Australian A-League season are to be played behind closed doors.
  • The National League, the fifth tier of English football, is suspended until at least 3 April.
  • The Northern Premier League, the seventh-tier of English football, announces all fixtures are suspended until further notice.
  • Football Association advise grass roots football in England to be postponed.

15 March:

  • Five Valencia players and staff are “in good health” after testing positive for coronavirus.
  • Swiss Football Association president Dominique Blanc tests positive for coronavirus.
  • Boreham Wood’s National League home match against Halifax on Tuesday is called off.
  • Mexico’s Liga MX is suspended.
  • Brazilian Football Confederation suspends all national competitions until further notice.

14 March:

  • Morocco’s football federation suspends all football activity in the country until further notice.
  • Five of Saturday’s 11 National League games are called off, despite the league’s board allowing fixtures in its three divisions to go ahead as planned.
  • Barnet’s squad goes into self-isolation after four members of staff show signs of coronavirus. Tuesday’s National League match against Barrow is postponed.
  • The international friendly between Germany and Italy, scheduled to take place in Nuremberg, Germany on 31 March, is cancelled.
  • On-loan Wolves forward Patrick Cutrone is one of two more players at Fiorentina to test positive for coronavirus.

13 March:

  • The Football Association, Premier League, EFL and Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship collectively agree to postpone the professional game in England until 3 April at the earliest.
  • Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tests positive for coronavirus, with Chelsea men’s team squad self-isolating.
  • Everton’s first-team squad and coaching staff self-isolate after a first-team player shows symptoms of the virus.
  • UEFA suspends all football competitions due to be played on 17 and 18 March.
  • French football’s governing body suspends all Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches.
  • German football suspends all league games, seeing all five of Europe’s top leagues going into hiatus.

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12 March:

  • Second leg of Manchester City’s last-16 Champions League tie against Real Madrid is postponed after Real first team quarantined. A Real Madrid basketball player, whose team shares training facilities with La Liga club, tests positive for the virus.
  • Spanish La Liga suspended for at least next two rounds of matches.
  • UEFA calls emergency meeting for following Tuesday at which possibility of postponing Euro 2020 by one year will be discussed.
  • Thee Leicester City players self-isolating after showing symptoms of coronavirus.
  • Sampdoria striker Manolo Gabbiadini tests positive for coronavirus.
  • Major League Soccer suspends matches for 30 days.
  • Juventus announce 121 members of staff, including players, are self-isolating after defender Daniele Rugani tests positive for coronavirus.
  • Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy is self-isolating after one of his family members is taken ill showing signs of coronavirus.
  • Arsenal manager Arteta tests positive for coronavirus, with Premier League fixture against Brighton postponed.
  • The Premier League announces it will hold an “emergency club meeting” on Friday to discuss future fixtures.

11 March:

  • Manchester City’s Premier League match with Arsenal postponed and several Gunners players put into self-isolation.
  • The Europa League ties between Sevilla and Roma in Spain and Inter Milan’s match against Getafe are postponed.
  • Rangers’ game at Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt-Basel tie in the same competition to be played behind closed doors.
  • French League Cup final between Paris St Germain and Lyon on April 4 is postponed.
  • Spanish Copa del Rey final between Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad in Seville on April 18 is postponed.

10 March:

  • Italian football federation says the Serie A season may not finish because of the coronavirus outbreak, with alternative options including staging play-offs, not having a champion for 2019-20, or declaring the current standings final.
  • Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 second leg at Bayern Munich will be played behind closed doors.
  • Nottingham Forest confirm owner Evangelos Marinakis tests positive for coronavirus.
  • Manchester United’s Europa League last-16 first leg at Austrian side LASK to be played behind closed doors.
  • Matches in the top two divisions in Spain and France to be played behind closed doors for at least the next two weeks.
  • Barcelona’s Champions League game against Napoli to be played behind closed doors at the Nou Camp.
  • Borussia Monchengladbach’s Bundesliga game against Cologne to be played behind closed doors, as will five of nine matches in the league the following weekend.

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9 March:

  • Olympiakos v Wolves and Sevilla v Roma ties in Europa League scheduled to take place behind closed doors.
  • All sport at all levels in Italy to be suspended until at least 3 April, the country’s prime minister announces.
  • Paris St-Germain’s Champions League last-16 match against Borussia Dortmund to be played behind closed doors.

8 March

  • UEFA bans pre-match handshakes between players and officials in all its competitions until further notice.

5 March

  • The Premier League bans pre-match handshakes to help prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Valencia’s Champions League last-16 tie at home to Atalanta to be played behind closed doors in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.

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4 March

  • All Italian sport, including England’s men’s and women’s Six Nations matches in Rome and all Serie A games, will be played behind closed doors until 3 April.
  • Italy’s sports minister says Serie A games may be played behind closed doors in an effort to contain coronavirus.

3 March

  • Coppa Italia semi-final second leg between Juventus and AC Milan in Turin postponed.

1 March

  • The Serie A match between Sampdoria and Verona postponed.

29 February

  • Five Serie A matches, including Juventus’ game at home to Inter Milan postponed.

25 February

  • Japan’s J-League postpones all domestic games until the middle of March.
  • Five matches in the next round of fixtures in Italy’s Serie A are ordered to be played behind closed doors.

24 February

  • The start of the K-League season is postponed, with the four teams in the AFC Champions League playing matches behind closed doors.

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23 February

  • Serie A matches in Lombardy and Veneto are postponed. Games in Serie B and Serie D games are also called off.

4 February

  • Asian Champions League matches involving Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG are postponed until April.

30 January

  • Chinese Football Association says domestic games at all levels will be postponed.


READ MORE | Coronavirus Latest | Latest news of sporting events hit by COVID-19


The Premier League is currently scheduled to recommence on Saturday 4 April. Follow Britwatch Sports for all the latest on COVID-19.


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