Which sports have restarted and when will the rest follow?

The British and Irish Lions’ tour to South Africa next summer will go ahead as scheduled.

By Press Association Published: 15 July 2020 - 10.43am

UK

Rugby Union

British & Irish Lions

Sport has taken another step forward from the coronavirus pandemic with the British and Irish Lions’ tour to South Africa next summer going ahead as scheduled.

Here, the PA news agency takes a sport-by-sport look at how the calendar is shaping up.

Golf

This year’s Ryder Cup, scheduled for Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, has been postponed until 2021 due to the extent of the coronavirus crisis in the United States.

The Open has been cancelled for the first time since 1945, but the US Open and the Masters are still scheduled to take place in September and November respectively.

The PGA Tour resumed in the US but a number of players withdrew from its events citing health concerns, and initial plans to allow some spectators at last week’s Memorial Tournament in Ohio were scrapped.

The European Tour resumed last week with the Austrian Open, prior to a six-tournament ‘UK Swing’ behind closed doors, starting next Wednesday with the British Masters and continuing through to the UK Championship at the end of August.

Football

Liverpool have already benefited from the Premier League restart on June 17 – now the race is on to complete the remaining matches and clarify the European and relegation places, with Norwich’s return to the Sky Bet Championship already confirmed.

The second tier also returned on June 20 but Leagues One and Two ended their season early, like Scottish football. Wycombe beat Oxford at Wembley to claim a place in the Championship, while Northampton defeated Exeter to make the step up to League One.

The Champions League will be played out as an eight-team tournament in Lisbon. The eight teams remaining in the competition will take part in a straight knockout tournament between August 12 and 23, with the four remaining last-16 second leg matches – including those involving Manchester City and Chelsea – taking place on August 7 and 8.

This season’s Europa League from the last eight onward will take place across four venues in Germany between August 10 and 21. Manchester United, Wolves and Rangers will hope to be a part of it, concluding their round-of-16 ties the previous week.

Cricket

Hampshire v Somerset – Specsavers County Championship – Division One – Day Three – Ageas Bowl
The Ageas Bowl is poised to host England in July (PA)

England’s delayed three-Test series against the West Indies got under way at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl last week, amid strictly regulated and ‘bio-secure’ environments. Ireland will play three ODIs in England between July 30 and August 4, while Pakistan are already in the UK where they are isolating as a group ahead of Tests in August and September.

County cricket was given the go-ahead to start on August 1 by the England and Wales Cricket Board and the 18 first-class counties are to debate the structure of the domestic season at a meeting early next month.

Rugby union

Saracens v Leicester Tigers – Gallagher Premiership – Allianz Park
The Gallagher Premiership is due to return in August. (Steven Paston/PA)

The Gallagher Premiership restarts the 2019-20 season on August 14. There have been no matches played since March but clubs have resumed training.

When Premiership action does return, the competition will adopt the rule changes recommended by World Rugby to lower the risk of viral transmission.

The paused Six Nations is due to resume in October and conclude on the 31st, with the autumn internationals still slated for November.

Longer-term, it was announced on Wednesday that the British and Irish Lions’ tour to South Africa next summer is to go ahead as scheduled.

Rugby league

A number of contingencies have been discussed to resume the Betfred Super League
The Betfred Super League will resume on August 2 (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Super League will resume on August 2 with a triple-header of matches featuring Hull KR versus Toronto, St Helens facing Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield against Leeds.

It is envisaged that, at least initially, games will be played at a small number of neutral grounds. Clubs have agreed to a reduced 22-round competition with a Grand Final in November.

Tennis

Wimbledon 2018 – Day Six – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Domestic tennis has restarted ahead of a scheduled global resumption (John Walton/PA)

Jamie Murray helped organise a six-day tournament called ‘Schroders Battle of the Brits’ to fill the gap left by the suspension of both the ATP and WTA tours.

The Lawn Tennis Association is currently running a ‘British Tour’ of four events until July 26, while the ATP and the WTA have revised their respective calendars and intend to resume next month.

The US Open will go ahead behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows between August 31 and September 13 while the French Open has been pushed back a week and is now scheduled to take place from September 27 to October 11.

However, a number of top players including Rafael Nadal have indicated their reluctance to travel to the US, while the image of the sport was hit by the Adria Tour exhibition tournaments in Serbia and Croatia last month, which resulted in a number of players, including world number one Novak Djokovic, testing positive for coronavirus.

Formula One

The Formula One season belatedly began with two Grands Prix in Spielberg. The action moves to Hungary this week, before Silverstone hosts two races next month. Races in Spain and Belgium follow, before the teams head to Italy for two races, then Sochi in September.

All races are expected to be staged behind closed doors with a minimum number of team personnel at the circuit as part of plans to create as safe an environment as possible for all those taking part.

Cycling

A revised schedule for the UCI World Tour takes place from August 1, with 25 events planned. The Tour de France will take place with an altered route starting on August 29 and concluding on September 20, while the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana will overlap in October.

Snooker

The snooker season resumed with behind-closed-doors tournaments in Milton Keynes. The rearranged World Championships will start – probably behind closed doors – at the Crucible on July 31.