By Sarah Livingston
Sporting events across Scotland have been cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The LGT World Men’s Curling Championship was due to take place from March 28 – April 5 at the Emirates arena in Glasgow and would have seen 13 teams competing for the title. The cancellation of an event like this has knock on effects for future sporting events.
Derek Leung, a MScR GeoSciences Candidate studying curling stone damage at the University of Edinburgh explained that because the event was one of the first qualifying events for the 2022 Winter Olympics, it will have a big effect on the teams. “Now the World Curling Federation has to develop a different strategy to qualify the teams for the Olympics. That might be a playoff system, or a different ranking point system for the next year.”, as speculation grows about whether the 2020 Summer Olympic Games will still go ahead in Tokyo this coming July and August.
Not only does the cancellation of the World Men’s Championship affect the teams, but it would have brought thousands of fans to Glasgow and the surrounding areas. Refunds are now being offered on their website.
The Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr Racecourse was also cancelled last week, after the British Horseracing Authority announced all horseracing in Britain would be suspended until the end of April. The Racecourse is now offering refunds for fans who had purchased tickets, while also offering the option to transfer tickets to future events such as the Gold Cup in September or the next Coral Scottish Grand National happening in 2021.
All Ice Hockey in the UK is now cancelled until at least the end of May, after a statement was released by Ice Hockey UK, the English Ice Hockey Association and the Scottish Ice Hockey Association last week.
Scottish Cup finals were set to continue in the coming weeks. North Ayrshire Wild were sitting at 8th in the playoffs before the suspension of the seasons. North Ayrshire Ice Hockey Club has also cancelled all training until further notice as a result.
A further statement about the future of the season is expected on Scottish Ice Hockey Association website on May 1 2020.
Meanwhile, there is growing concern about whether or not the Olympic Games will still go ahead in Tokyo, Japan in under five month’s time. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has admitted that the Games may be cancelled or postponed. Canada has already withdrawn athletes from the Olympics in order to put pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the games until 2021 and is the first country to do so. The IOC will make a decision on the Games within the next four weeks.