How sport reacted to the coronavirus outbreak on March 13, 2020

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Sport was severely hit by the coronavirus outbreak on March 13, 2020.

The announcement of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s positive Covid-19 test late on March 12 led to a whole host of postponements, cancellations and suspensions throughout the sporting world the following day.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how a manic Friday the 13th unfolded.

1.28am – Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus, with the Blues’ full first-team, coaching staff and a “number” of the backroom team entering self-isolation as a result.

8.36am – The English Football League said it would hold a meeting to discuss the ongoing situation.

9.10am – Peterborough owner Darragh MacAnthony tweeted that one of his players was self-isolating and said he and manager Darren Ferguson did not want to travel to Bolton for their Sky Bet League One match.

9.15am – FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organisation, released a joint statement declaring that: “All sports bodies must be ready to follow national guidance, based on thorough risk assessments, to stage safe events or take other required actions that protect the health of fans, players, coaches and the broader communities.”

A general view of Anfield
March 13, 2020 was the day when football was suspended in England and Scotland (Martin Rickett/PA)

9.31am – Everton announced a first-team player was in self-isolation and that all staff, including the rest of the playing squad, were told to avoid all club sites.

9.46am – Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, the top two divisions in France, were suspended until further notice.

10.07am – UEFA announced all Champions League and Europa League fixtures scheduled for the following week were postponed, as well as the quarter-final draws for both competitions.

Arsenal's training ground was shut
Arsenal’s training ground was shut (Bradley Collyer/PA)

10.15am – Bournemouth announced five of their employees, including goalkeeper Artur Boruc, were self-isolating having displayed symptoms consistent with the virus.

11am – All remaining matches in the Elite Ice Hockey League season were cancelled.

11.06am – All professional football in England was postponed until April 3 at the earliest – with Premier League, EFL, Women’s Super League, Women’s Championship and international fixtures suspended.

11.40am – West Ham said a number of employees were self-isolating as a precaution having been in direct contact with Arteta – during their Premier League fixture the weekend before.

12.01pm – Wales’ football friendly versus Austria scheduled for March 27 was cancelled.

12.38pm – Having already cancelled the Australian Grand Prix the night before, Formula One called off the next two races in Bahrain and Vietnam respectively.

Due to the continued global spread of COVID-19 and after ongoing discussions with the FIA, and race organisers a…

Posted by F1 on Friday, March 13, 2020

1.20pm – The Giro d’Italia, cycling’s first Grand Tour of the season which was due to start on May 9 in Budapest, was postponed.

2pm – The Masters, due to take place at Augusta across April 9-12, was postponed.

2.06pm – Wales’ Guinness Six Nations fixture against Scotland was called off.

2.25pm – Organisers postponed the Boston Marathon, due to take place on April 20.

2.40pm – West Ham announced that manager David Moyes was self-isolating after coming into direct contact with Arteta the previous weekend.

3.13pm – Germany became the latest European country to postpone their football programme as the Bundesliga, 2.Bundesliga and international matches were stopped until at least April 2.

A fan outside St James’ Park in Newcastle
A fan outside St James’ Park in Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA)

5.28pm – A number of cricket counties – Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Yorkshire, Kent and Essex – announced a cancellation of overseas pre-season trips or an early return home.

6.54pm – The Premiership Rugby Cup final between Sale and Harlequins was postponed due to an individual developing symptoms consistent with coronavirus.

8.37pm – FIFA advised that all remaining international matches due to be played in March and April should be postponed indefinitely.

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