Covid: How sport is being affected by surge in cases

A surge in Covid-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant is causing disruption to sporting events around the world.

In football, 10 Premier League fixtures have been called off over the past week.

There have also been postponements in the English Football League (EFL) and Women’s Super League (WSL).

European and domestic rugby has been hit, while NFL and NBA games have also been postponed after Covid outbreaks in the United States.

21 December

  • ALL SPORT: Outdoor events in Scotland limited to 500 people, meaning most festive sport will be “effectively spectator-free”.
  • FOOTBALL: Three Championship games on 26 December and eight more in the EFL are called off.
  • RUGBY UNION: The United Rugby Championship game between Munster and Leinster on 26 December is postponed because of Leinster’s Covid cases.

20 December

  • ALL SPORT: Festive sport in Wales, including horse racing’s Welsh Grand National, to be held behind closed doors.
  • FOOTBALL: Cardiff’s home game against Coventry and Stoke’s trip to Barnsley are both postponed in the Championship plus five scheduled matches in League Two are called off.
  • FOOTBALL: The Premier League and EFL chose to fulfil festive fixtures rather than introduce a ‘circuit breaker’ despite ongoing disruption caused by Covid-19 cases.
  • FOOTBALL: Premier League says there were a record 90 new positive Covid cases from tests on players and staff between 13 and 19 December.
  • RUGBY UNION: The United Rugby Championship match between Ospreys and Dragons scheduled for 26 December is called off because of Covid-19 cases.
  • TENNIS: Rafael Nadal tests positive for Covid-19 after returning home from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

19 December

  • BASKETBALL: The NBA postpones five games due to take place between 19 and 21 December, including two matches involving Brooklyn Nets.