Coronavirus and Australian sport – a list of the major cancellations

From the football codes to netball and tennis, Covid-19 has disrupted the sporting calendar. Here is an updating list of the state of play


  • A-League season put on hold

  • NRL indefinitely suspends season

  • AFL season postponed after one round played

  • AFLW season cancelled with no premiers named

  • Super Netball season deferred until at least July

  • All cricket in Australia cancelled; NSW declared Sheffield Shield champions

Australian rules football

The AFL season has been suspended after just one round. It had already been cut from 23 rounds to 17, with all 18 teams to play each other once and games to be played in empty stadiums “for the foreseeable future”. The league still intends to complete the season and will convene this week to work out a plan.

The AFLW has been cancelled outright after just one week of finals, with the final match of the season played between Carlton and Brisbane on Sunday. Given the twin conference structure of the AFLW and with the finals series not completed, the AFL commission decided not to award a premiership this season.

The VFL season, along with other state leagues including the SANFL, WAFL, NEAFL and TSL – and their associated women’s competitions – have been postponed until at least 31 May.

Rugby league

The NRL indefinitely suspended the 2020 season, despite the league’s desperate attempts to keep the competition going. The decision, taken after consultation with medical experts, has plunged the game into a “financial crisis”, ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said.

The Women’s Premiership does not start for six months, while the State of Origin series will be played in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane in June and July. No decision has been made on either of those series.


Football Federation Australia suspended the A-League on Tuesday, with a review of that review to be undertaken on 22 April. The W-League season was completed, although the grand final was played behind closed doors.

The Matildas’ upcoming fixtures against the US – in Utah on 11 April – and Canada – in Vancouver on 14 April – have both been cancelled. The Socceroos’ World Cup qualifiers have also been affected – Fifa and the AFC have postponed Asian qualifiers in March and June – while this year’s Copa América, to which Australia were invited, has been postponed by the South American Football Federation.

All grassroots football, including training and matches, has been suspended until 14 April.


It is currently the netball off-season, but Super Netball has been deferred and will not start before 30 June. The league’s commission will review the situation before the end of May and, based on the latest medical advice and government regulation, will determine whether the season start date should be extended out further. The competition’s official pre-season tournament, the Team Girls Cup, has been cancelled.


The remainder of the Australian cricket season – at all levels – has been cancelled and NSW declared Sheffield Shield champions with the final on 27 March called off.

The three-match ODI series between Australia’s men and New Zealand was called off after just one was able to be played, albeit without fans.

Australia’s women were due to play ODI and T20 series in South Africa, starting on 22 March, but that tour has been suspended until further notice. CA said it was monitoring the situation before making a decision on international matches beyond that.


The French Open has been moved from May to September while both the ATP Tour and the WTA Tour have been shut down. The Fed Cup finals in Hungary next month, at which Australia were due to appear, have been postponed. The ITF said it remains committed to delivering the tournament and is working to find a suitable alternative date.

Rugby union

Super Rugby has been postponed indefinitely just seven rounds into 18, after the announcement that travellers returning to New Zealand would have to self-isolate for 14 days made the international competition unviable. Rugby Australia had planned to create a domestic tournament to fill the gap starting in April, but that too has been postponed.

The Super W regular season were able to be completed, but the last two weeks of the competition have been postponed.

There is no guarantee the Wallabies’ three home Tests in July – against Ireland and Fiji – will go ahead.


The Perth Wildcats have been awarded the NBL title after games four and five of the finals series were called off. The Wildcats were leading 2-1 when the Sydney Kings decided not to travel Perth due to fears over the virus.

Motor sport

After the Australian Grand Prix was dramatically postponed at the last minute on Friday, the FIA has confirmed that the Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix will now not take place on their scheduled dates. The Dutch Grand Prix on 3 May and the Spanish Grand Prix a week later are also in doubt. Meanwhile, Formula E has suspended its season until May, which means races in Paris, Seoul and Jakarta will be affected.

The Supercars championship has been postponed until June and rounds in Tasmania, Auckland and Perth put on hold.


The Giro d’Italia, which was due to begin in Hungary in May, has been postponed, along with the Tirreno-Adriatico and the one-day Classic Milan-Sanremo, which was scheduled for Saturday 21 March. The Belgian one-day Classics Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem have all been postponed. In Spain the week-long Volta a Catalunya has also been postponed.


April’s age swimming championships and national championships in Perth have been cancelled. Olympic and Paralympic trials are not scheduled to be contested until June.

A dedicated Covid-19 website has been created by the Australian Institute of Sport with up-to-date information on the virus and its relevance to sport.


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