COVID-19, one of a family of coronaviruses, has impacted negatively on the sports industry around the world, leaving stakeholders in a precarious position while bringing immeasurable losses to businesses.
Major football, basketball, cricket and rugby leagues have been suspended indefinitely around the world to curb the spread of the virus.
Gatherings have been suspended in most parts of the world as a precautionary measure.
There are a number of sportspersons who have contracted the virus — and the numbers keep rising.
The suspension of the leagues around the world has brought several businesses down. The teams will incur huge losses from suspended gate takings, advertising, television rights and other sources of revenues.
What will become of the sports industry supply chain is anyone’s guess.
The sportspersons’ welfare is on the line, together with other directly and indirectly involved professions.
The postponement of tournaments and leagues in most sporting activities has led to losses running into billions of dollars in revenue.
In Zimbabwe, the thriving betting industry is also reeling from losses as most sports have been suspended.
The bookmakers are not making any money at the moment as nothing is happening on the field of play.
The English Premier League, Spanish La Liga and the ABSA premiership in South Africa, to mention but a few, have been suspended until, at the least, end of April.
Last week, Europe’s football governing body UEFA announced they were putting in place measures to ensure the current season is completed by June 30 2020.
Zimbabwe’s local premiership was scheduled to start on March 28 but has been postponed indefinitely.
Plans had been made to play matches in empty stadia but authorities totally suspended the games.
Several companies have folded operations while potential job losses are inevitable under such circumstances, as many countries go under lockdown.
Valencia and Argentina defender Ezequiel Garay, centre-back Eliaquim Mangala and Italy’s Serie A player Patrick Cutrone are among players who have tested positive to COVID-19.
German Bundesliga sides Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have suspended training as a mitigatory move to halt the spread of the deadly virus.
African Nations Championship (CHAN) 2020, COPA America and Euro 2020 are some of the football tournaments rescheduled due to COVID-19.
There are several international matches that have also been postponed.
The Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers have been affected while the Confederation of African Football suspended matches.
Though the news came as a relief to Zimbabwe, smarting over the unavailability of local stadia, it gives the nation ample time to renovate its sporting facilities.
The future of the 2020 Olympics hangs by a thread owing to the spread of COVID-19.
Japan is hosting the games this July and has made investments worth millions of dollars.
What will become of the investment if the virus is not contained?
Several stock markets are crashing and the world is in recession.
It will take years to recover from the damages wrought by the virus.
Most bourses have shed off about a third of their value.
America’s Dow Jones, the Wall Street and several Asian-Pacific markets have tumbled due to the impact of COVID-19.
The price of crude oil has also plummeted as the global effect of COVID-19 is felt throughout the world.
As the effect of this coronavirus continues to wreak havoc in the world, panic buying is emptying shops of basic commodities.
Many people have gone into self-quarantine to isolate themselves from the deadly pandemic.
More than 341 684 people have been infected while more than 14 751 have died from the pandemic world-wide.
About 99 041 have recovered from the virus.
Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that usually cause disease in animals.
Seven, including COVID-19, have made the jump to humans, but most just cause fle-like symptoms.
Two other coronaviruses – Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) – are much more severe, having killed more than 1 500 people between them since 2002.
Zimbabwe has recorded two cases of the deadly virus resulting in one fatality of media practitioner Zororo Makamba.
Other African countries have not been spared by the pandemic either, with South Africa and Nigeria among the hardest hit.