The coronavirus pandemic is hitting sport and entertainment around the world and will leave stadia and arenas empty for weeks to come.
The English Premier League has become the latest body to announce the suspension of matches following a meeting of shareholders today.
It was unanimously decided to suspend the Premier League with the intention of returning on 4 April, subject to medical advice and conditions at the time.
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said:
Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19.
In this unprecedented situation, we are working closely with our clubs, Government, The FA and EFL and can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.
Despite the challenges, it is the Premier League’s aim to reschedule the displaced fixtures, including those played by Academy sides, when it is safe to do so.
Sport has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Formula 1 season is set to be suspended until May, meaning the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix will not go ahead as scheduled.
All sport in Italy has been suspended until at least 3 April because of coronavirus. Matches in Spain’s top two divisions will be played behind closed doors for at least the next two weeks.
India has now decided to postpone its IPL Twenty20 cricket tournament until 15 April, while England’s cricket tour to Sri Lanka has been called off.
UEFA will discuss the possible postponement of Euro 2020 on Tuesday.
In golf, the Players Championship in the US has been cancelled and the Masters is in serious doubt.
The PGA Tour has also postponed all tournaments between now and the Masters – the first major of 2020 – which is scheduled to start at Augusta National in Georgia on 9 April.
In the US, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the NBA and the NHL have all announced season postponements or pauses.
Tennis tournaments across the world have been suspended for six weeks.
The financial implications for venues and clubs impacted by the shut-downs could be catastrophic.
Image: Stadia will be empty this weekend