Sport – described as the most important of the unimportant things.
While it may seem a long way off or irrelevant right now, later this year we could be gearing up for a thrilling 12 months of action.
After rescheduling prompted by the coronavirus pandemic, the postponed Euros, Olympics and Paralympics will all be squeezed into the 2021 calendar.
Here we run down what you can (hopefully) look forward to when the crisis subsides, but first the short-term…
A final decision on dates has yet to be taken on the following events, although several are in doubt.
4 June: England v West Indies, cricket Test series
5-6 June: Horse racing – The Derby meeting, Epsom
16-20 June: Horse racing – Royal Ascot
18-21 June: Golf – US Open, New York
20 June: Boxing – Anthony Joshua v Kubrat Pulev, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
27 June to 19 July: Cycling – Tour de France
4-5 July: Athletics – Anniversary Games, London
16-19 July: Golf – The Open at Royal St George’s
17 July to 15 August: Cricket – The Hundred
19 July: Formula 1 – British Grand Prix at Silverstone
30 July: Cricket: England v Pakistan Test series
8 August: Scheduled start of football’s 2020-21 league campaign in England.
25-30 August: European Athletics Championships, Paris
July or August: World Snooker Championship
TBC Football – Final eight to nine postponed matches of 2019-20 Premier League season and FA Cup
TBC Football – Champions League and Europa League “suspended until further notice”, all international matches in June postponed
TBC: Golf – US PGA Championship, San Francisco
When sport is able to resume, the calendar could be a mix of rescheduled and established events, with a packed autumn schedule and busy 2021 making for a potentially hectic 12 months from September onwards…
20 September to 4 October: Tennis – French Open
25-27 September: Golf – Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin
4 October: London Marathon
10 October: Rugby League – Scheduled end of Super League season
18 October to 15 November: Cricket – Men’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia
TBC: Rugby union- Final Six Nations matches
TBC: Boxing – Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder
15-22 November: Tennis – ATP Finals, London
7 November: Rugby Union – England v New Zealand at Twickenham
29 November – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Last scheduled F1 race of 2020
So what is happening with the biggest events?
EURO 2020 (Postponed)
Original dates: 12 June to 12 July
New dates: 11 June to 11 July, 2021
While it has yet to be decided whether Euro 2020 will actually be known as Euro 2021, the tournament – staged at 12 venues across Europe with semi-finals and finals at London’s Wembley Stadium – has been put back a year.
The Women’s European Championship – set to be held in England in 2021 – will be moved to the summer of 2022.
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has said the 2019-20 season could be lost, although the Premier League is keen to complete the campaign.
OLYMPICS & PARALYMPICS
Original dates: Olympics – 24 July to 9 August; Paralympics – 25 August to 6 September, 2020
New dates: Olympics – 23 July to 8 August; Paralympics – 24 August to 5 September, 2021
The Olympics and Paralympics will still be branded as Tokyo 2020 despite taking place in 2021.
It is expected that the World Athletics Championships, which would have overlapped with the rearranged Olympics on its original dates of 6-15 August 2021, will now take place in 2022.
SPORT BY SPORT – WHAT WE KNOW
Season dates: 13 March to 27 November. First eight races postponed.
F1 chairman Chase Carey has said that he hoped to start a revamped season of 15-18 races some time in the summer, and emphasised that all races could move from their original dates.
The Canadian Grand Prix on 14 June is the first on the original schedule not yet postponed in a season in which British driver Lewis Hamilton is seeking to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 championships.
Formula E is suspended for two months, affecting races in Paris, Seoul and Jakarta.
RUGBY UNION – SIX NATIONS (Postponed)
Original dates: 1 February to 15 March
All matches in the final round of the men’s and women’s Six Nations have been postponed and new dates have yet to be announced.
Men: Italy v Ireland, Wales v Scotland, Italy v England, France v Ireland still to play.
Women: Italy v Scotland, Ireland v Italy, Scotland v France; Wales v Scotland, France v Ireland, Italy v England still to play.
The rescheduled Olympics will be happening around the same time as the three British and Irish Lions Test matches in South Africa, although the games are understood to be 6pm kick offs local time (17:00 BST), which is 1am in Tokyo.
Domestically in Europe, the Pro 14 has been indefinitely put on hold with the final in Cardiff cancelled, and while the Premiership will surely have to be suspended beyond its original date of 20 April, league bosses are still determined to finish the season if possible.
HORSE RACING – Grand National (Cancelled)
Original date: 4 April, 2020
Next date: 10 April, 2021
All racing in the UK has been postponed until the end of April, and a working group is preparing the sport to be ready – if possible – for action from 1 May.
Any return would probably be limited Flat racing without spectators to begin with.
GOLF – The Masters (Postponed)
Original dates: 9-12 April, 2020
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New dates: TBC
Tiger Woods was due to defend his title from 9 April at Augusta National in Georgia but the first men’s major championship of the year could now take place in October.
BOXING – Fury and Joshua
Dates: 20 June Joshua v Pulev; TBC – Fury v Wilder
Britain’s world heavyweight champions Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury are waiting to hear when they will fight next.
Joshua is down to defend his IBF, WBA and WBO belts against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev at Tottenham’s stadium on 20 June, although Spurs have yet to hear if and when they will play their remaining three Premier League home matches.
The WBC champion Fury could fight American Deontay Wilder for a third time in October after their planned bout on 18 July was postponed, according to promoter Frank Warren.
TENNIS – WIMBLEDON (Cancelled)
Dates: 29 June to 12 July, 2020
The All England Club has cancelled Wimbledon for the first time since the Second World War.
RUGBY LEAGUE (Postponed)
Dates: Super League – 30 January to 10 October, 2020
Super League has been suspended since 16 March and some clubs think there should be no relegation.
CYCLING – TOUR DE FRANCE (No spectators?)
Dates: 27 June to 9 July
The Tour de France is considering the option of going ahead without fans.
The Giro d’Italia – set for 9-31 May – has been postponed, while a decision is still to be made on the final Grand Tour of the year, the Vuelta a Espana, which is due to start on 14 August.
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