What Sports Are Still Being Played Around The World?
It's a tough time to be a sport fan, with coronavirus cancelling most major competitions -- but some sport is still running. Here's what you can still watch.
If you're missing the normal weekend feelings of excitement (or heartbreak) that only sport can bring, you're in luck -- all is not lost.
In Australia, like much of the world, major leagues have been suspended or cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic goes on. It's leaving an emptiness where sport should be in many people's lives, leading them to search for a new spectacle to pin their hopes and dreams on.
Attention has turned to the eastern European nation of Belarus, now the unlikely centre of the football world, with the country's league still going.
Belarus: Vysheyshaya Liga (Belarusian Premier League)
Followers of the Europa League may be familiar with a few clubs in Belarus' Vysheyshaya Liga, with BATE Borisov, Dinamo Minsk and Vitebsk all playing in qualifying rounds this season.
The league has captured the hearts of sport-starved fans around the world, particularly in Australia. A group in Adelaide has started a Facebook fanpage ‘FK Slutsk Worldwide’ that has reached 3,000 supporters for one of the league’s clubs, FC Slutsk.
Watch out for 35-year-old Artem Milevskiy, who may be coming to the end of his career but will be remembered as one of Belarus’ best talent exports.
While the rest of the football world is celebrating the league still playing on, fans and supporter groups have begun to boycott games over coronavirus worries.
The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, has rejected the world’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic and insisted people can stay healthy with vodka and a visit to the sauna.
Finding a legitimate stream for the Vysheyshaya Liga can be difficult, with football fans in Australia hoping Optus Sport can save the day.
It is one of at least four leagues still going on around the world.
Tajikistan: Ligai olii Tojikiston (Tajikistan Higher League)
The new season in Tajikistan’s top flight has started, as the land-locked country in Central Asia has not officially recorded any coronavirus cases.
Reigning champs Istiklol are the team to watch, having won eight of the 11 seasons it has played in since the club was founded.
Nicaragua: Liga Primera de Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s 10-team league began this weekend as well, although many players are quite nervous about playing on during the pandemic.
"We try to avoid touching other players," says Carlos Mosquera, goalkeeper with Deportivo Las Sabanas.
”Football has changed, because you don't go in for a 50-50 ball with the same intensity.”
Burundi: Amstel Ligue (Burundi Premier League)
The top division in the landlocked African nation of Burundi is nearing the end of its season.
Le Messager Ngozi and Musongati are just four points apart in a tight race to the finish.
If football isn’t your thing, Chinese Taipei is still carrying on with its five-team basketball competition, the Super League. Other basketball leagues in Asia are hoping to start again soon.
Wimbledon may be cancelled, but there is still table tennis to be watched. The Moscow Liga Pro is continuing its men’s singles competition.
Esports competitions are also becoming more popular than ever, and don’t require people to leave the safety of their self-isolation.