2 min read

COVID-19 Watch: Postponements Plague World Sport


The threat of COVID-19 has begun having an increasingly drastic impact on major sporting competitions around the world, the athlete and staff infections causing postponed matches and season disruptions.

In the English Premier League (EPL), the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases across the league and the threat of the Omicron variant has seen the league introduce new measures.

Under the new protocols, athletes and club staff will be required to take a lateral flow test every day for access to training grounds and on game days, as well as a PCR test at least twice a week for added security.

This follows the league recording 42 positive COVID-19 cases over the last seven days, with the cases leading to the postponement of two EPL games in the space of three days.

The match postponements have caused a fixture headache for league organisers, with the decreased gap in between scheduled games potentially leading to greater athlete fatigue.

The measures follow an announcement of increased restrictions from the UK Government requiring fans to show proof of double vaccination or a negative test to attend sporting events in England.

In North America, the NBA has announced new COVID-19 guidelines for athletes and staff following an increased number of infections across the league which led to the postponement of several games.

The NBA revealed NBA athletes who have not received a COVID-19 booster by 17 December will be subject to game day testing, with club staff no longer able to access players, coaches and referees without a booster.

Several players from a number of NBA franchises are currently sidelined due to the league’s health and safety protocols, including stars like James Harden and Zach Lavine, leaving their teams with limited capacity to compete.

Elsewhere in North America, the NHL has announced its third COVID-19 delay of the season, with the postponement of three Calgary Flames games and one of the Carolina Hurricanes’ games after six athletes returned positive COVID-19 tests.

It's free to join the team!

Join the most engaged community in the Sports Business World.

Get all the latest news, insights, data, education and event updates.