EA Sports have followed the lead of governments and footballing bodies by postponing or canceling a number of planned EA Sports FIFA 20 Global Series events, including the CONMEBOL eLibertadores online and live event and FUT Champions Cup stages five and six.
With live events that form the EA Sports FIFA 20 Global Series involving international travel for numbers of competitive FIFA players from countries across the world, holding these events could have posed a risk to both competitors and organisers.
A statement posted on EA website said: "These decisions haven’t come easy, but given the large, global nature of these events, we believe that making these changes are in the best interest of protecting the health of the community, including competitors, attendees and staff. As we continue to monitor the situation around the Coronavirus and receive guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), we’ll continue to evaluate and provide more updates as it relates to all of EA’s Competitive Gaming events."
Both the online and live elements of the CONMEBOL eLibertadores event, scheduled for March 7 and 8 have been postponed, with a new date yet to be announced.
The eChampions League online qualifiers, scheduled for March 14 and 15 will still go ahead, with more information about the live side of the tournament to be announced later.
FUT Champions Cup Stage Five, which was due to take place in Bucharest on April 3 to 5 has been cancelled, with qualified players automatically qualifying for the sixth stage, resulting in online qualifers for that stage being cancelled.
Lastly, the PlayStation Licensed Qualifying Event scheduled for May 2 to 3 has also been cancelled.
Fans who have purchased tickets for live events have been told they will receive refunds in the next four to six weeks.
Players who have qualified for live events have been quick to express their disappointment.
Harry 'Hastag Harry' Hesketh suggested that the lack of live events is a great excuse for the professional FIFA community to get behind more content creation.
FUT Champions Cup 5 cancelled 😭😔— Harry Hesketh (@HashtagHarry__) March 6, 2020
It’s very easy to have a go at EA atm but it’s a bit far fetched having a go at them for a worldwide virus 😂😂
Think it’s time we commit to content creation, bronze team incoming.
Swedish FIFA Pro Ivan 'Boras Legend' Lapanje was also disapointed and tweeted that he doesn't expect this to be the only list of cancelled or postponed EA Sports FIFA 20 Global Series events.
So FUT Champions Cup V in Bucharest canceled due to the Corona virus hysteria, despite the tournament being played behind the closed doors. But I guess you can't argue about these things. Just disappointing news. But I'll be auto qualified for the next one instead...— BorasLegend (@ivanlapanje) March 7, 2020
However I'm not sure this matters as I can't see improvements in the Corona development. There is a big chance we won't see any more tournament in a good while with these precautions.— BorasLegend (@ivanlapanje) March 7, 2020