Sports Betting Guide

The times sporting events got cancelled for non-sporting reasons

Have you ever seen Champions League or Euro being cancelled for whatever reason during your lifetime? Well, if you haven't, this article is exactly for you. Check out all the cases when major sports events were postponed or cancelled for non-sporting reasons.

cancelled sporting events

As you might already figure, today we would like to discuss the times when the sporting world was affected by something no within. To start off, let’s go back in times.

World War II (1939-45)

People and especially punters will start complaining about even an hour-long delay of the event they have wagered on. Well, what would've they said during the Second World War that has put the whole sporting world on a pause for four whole years.

During those times everyone was quite occupied with war-related things rather than sport. Athletes were fighting on the frontline or assisting the community back home, while regular civilians were busy trying to survive those hard times.

Coincidentally, the 1940 and 1944 Olympics happened to be scheduled during the biggest armed conflict in the world’s history. Both events were cancelled (including the Winter Games, which were also called off) for obvious reasons. Fortunately, everything settled down, and the world saw their first Olympic games in London (1948) after a 12-year hiatus (1936 Games in Berlin).

The Grand National (1997)

Next on our list is the 1997 Grand National horse racing festival. 

Just before the start of the main event at Aintree, something unаforseeable happened. Exactly at 2:49 pm on Saturday, April 5 1997, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) suspected a possible bomb threat, claiming that explosive had been planted at Aintree Racecourse.

The report immediately forced 60,000 people (including punters) to get evacuated just moments before the start. Thankfully, police found two and neutralized two controlled explosions. This was later pronounced to be the biggest evacuation of a sporting event in British history, considering that every single seat was vacated at the stadium.

The city of Liverpool welcomed all the 60,000 people since they were basically left on the street, providing them with housing and food for the night. The Grand National eventually went ahead two days later, receiving the name «Monday National».

Solar eclipse (1999)

The year of 1999 saw something way less intense, however, rather more spectacular than any world war or terrorist attack. 

The following event also took place in the UK during the time of the Worthington Cup fixture between Torquay United and Portsmouth scheduled on August 11, 1999.

That was truly one of a kind type of experience as the UK saw its first total solar eclipse since 1927. Coincidentally, Torquay in Devon was one of the few places where such a fascinating cite could be viewed in full. In that situation, the local police department decided it will not be able to handle such a number of people at once since thousands have travelled all the way down south-west to watch the phenomenon unfold at 11:11 am. The match was postponed for a week, however, there was nothing really exciting about the match itself. The game finished with 0:0 on the scoreboard, and Portsmouth managed to advance further after a 3:0 second-leg win later on.

Foot-and-mouth disease (2001)

Yes, you read it right, the foot-and-mouth or what it is also called hand-foot-and-mouth disease. The decease caused by coxsackievirus had its outbreak in 2001 in the UK. It hugely affected both agriculture and tourism back in a day, also postponing the Six Nation Cup. Because of the potential spread of the foot-and-mouth decease fixtures between Scotland & Ireland, Wales & Ireland and Ireland & England were postponed until September and October.

Well, that was not the biggest sporting event to get affected by the virus. Cheltenham Festival, that is considered to be the biggest betting event of the year, was also hit by the outbreak.

The festival was originally postponed for a month to take place at the beginning of April, however, was cancelled due to the outbreak just 5 miles away from the course. Such a decision cost the local economy more than £10m, while top online bookmakers’ losses were estimated at around £100m altogether.

September 11 attacks (2001)

The world will never forget the events of September 11. The terrorist attack that will be forever remembered by the world and especially by the United States. 

The most dramatic terrorist act made the whole world stand still checking the news. The sporting world was not an exception. The United States of America saw postponements of all active major leagues at the moment including the first-ever MLB season extension until November, the first-ever Super Bowl played in February and the last two weeks cancellation of the MLS season. Other American leagues and events that were also affected by the attack were NASCAR, the PGA Tour, NCAA football and WWE. While the event only took place in the USA, the postponement of the events was not limited just to it. The Ryder Cup which was staged at The Belfry in England was delayed for a year, as well as several UEFA Champions League matches were pushed back a month.

Hurricane Sandy (2012)

One of the biggest natural disasters of the century Hurricane Sandy took place in 2012. The American continent has a long history of being hit by various hurricanes. This time it happened to be Sandy hit the Ney York City back in October 2012.

It all happened during the time of The New York Marathon that has been taken place every single year since 1970, well, with just one exception.

Since the hurricane killed 53 people and destroyed more than 100,000 homes and 250,000 vehicles, causing more than $40 billion of damage in total. Due to that, city mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to call off the event just two days before its scheduled date (November 4). Bloomberg and many others really wanted the marathon to go-ahead, however, the backlash of the affected citizens was so big that Bloomberg did not stand a chance. Thousands of runners decided to help the city during the relief efforts instead, while many ran their own marathon in Central Park.

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