With the temporary disruption of the airlift between the United States and large parts of Europe, the sports world will also face logistical challenges. Who are the athletes and events that will be affected by the US action?
Written by Rick Spekenbrink
President Trump announced yesterday that from tomorrow night there will be no more 30-day flights between the United States and European Schengen countries. He hopes to keep the “foreign coronavirus” out as possible.
What does that mean for sport? A series of matches and tournaments have already been canceled in recent weeks. There will undoubtedly be many events. For example, the training match between the Netherlands and the United States, for example, is now unlikely to take place on March 26 in Eindhoven.
Tennis faces perhaps the most complex puzzle. Just like Formula 1, it is a mobile and global circus, only with several leagues spread on different continents every week. The Indian Wells Masters Championship was canceled at the last minute last week. The Masters tournament is due to take place in Miami on March 23. Should the unlikely event occur, European players will only be able to participate if they are already in the United States now, or will not enter the country as of the weekend, or they will have to find an innovative solution by traveling through another country. After Miami, the ATP and WTA Championships are scheduled to be held in Charleston, Houston, Marrakech and Bogota before the next major tournament in Monte Carlo. The most obvious solution, which may be ratified later today, appears to be to cancel all tournaments for the next six weeks. Novak Djokovic, a member of the players’ council, did not wait for the official reports and soon left America for Europe.
But there are more sports with logistical problems. The players’ championship, one of the major international golf tournaments, begins today in Port Vedra. It was followed in a few weeks by the Masters in Augusta. Of course with many European participants to start naturally. Eleven European Indy Car drivers will have to cut the necessary time in America between the first (next Sunday) and the second (April 5) race. And how should European knights, the Amazon and their horses arrive in Las Vegas in time for the World Cup Final, scheduled for April 15?
On the contrary, American cyclists and cycling teams will not be able to return home in the coming weeks. Now that shouldn’t be a problem, with a series of matches on European soil, but of course it is uncertain. If not canceled, the Rotterdam Marathon will have to do without Ethiopian runners. But the select group of Americans won’t appear at first either.
For example, the list of postponed and canceled sporting events is likely to increase in the coming days.
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