Russian table tennis, Tajikistani basketball and Ukranian club soccer: The bizarre sports punters are betting on as the coronavirus outbreak forces Australian codes to stop play
- TAB released the five most popular overseas sports Australian punters bet on
- Sports range from Russian tennis to Tajikstan football and Ukrainian table tennis
- Australian codes such as AFL and NRL suspended games after just round one
- The decision to stop sports is to help slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Punters have resorted to betting on bizarre sports played in other countries after Australian codes were forced to stop due to the coronavirus.
TAB listed the five most popular leagues for gamblers on Wednesday during the coronavirus lockdown.
‘Strange times indeed! Here are yesterday’s five most popular sports with the punters,’ they wrote.
Coming in first place was Russian tennis followed by Tajikistani basketball, Ukrainian table tennis, Russian table tennis and Ukranian club soccer friendlies.
Tetyana Bilenko and Ganna Gaponova of Ukraine compete against Jeon Jihee and Yang Haeun of Korea Republic during Women’s Teams doubles – Quarterfinals – Match 3 in November 2019
The AFL lasted one round without any fans during the coronavirus lockdown before announcing it will suspend the season until at least May 31.
‘We will review the situation by the end of April to determine whether a further suspension period will be required,’ AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said.
‘We are prepared to run as late as possible in 2020 to complete the season if it is required.
‘Our key priority is to do everything possible to keep players, staff and supporters healthy and well through this pandemic. Our industry provides livelihoods for thousands and thousands of people,’ he said.
‘But our key focus at the moment, like every organisation in the country, is to do everything that needs to be done to slow the spread of this virus. To keep people as healthy as possible.
‘To say that this is the most serious threat to our game in 100 years is an understatement.’
Maria Sharapova reacts after a point during a World Team Tennis exhibition to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation on Monday, October. 10, 2016 (Russian exhibition tennis)
The NRL suspended its season on Monday after round one due to the coronavirus lockdown.
ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys said the league could ‘no longer guarantee the safety of players’.
‘We aren’t (yet) going to put a time period to the suspension,’ he told a press conference in Sydney.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 2,675
New South Wales: 1,219
Western Australia: 205
South Australia: 197
Australian Capital Territory: 44
Northern Territory: 5
TOTAL CASES: 2,675
‘We are going to look at every available option to us in the next week or so as to how we can recommence the season, be it in other areas, be it in North Queensland.’
NRL executives had until Monday resisted calls for the 2020 season to be called off despite other sporting bodies around the world cancelling leagues over coronavirus fears.
The league’s clubs are believed to be making significant cuts to their staff as a result of the suspension.
Australia’s positive coronavirus cases has soared to 2,675 as of Thursday with 11 dead.
The government enforced lockdown measures to help slow the spread of the killer virus.
The AFL lasted one round without any fans during the coronavirus lockdown before announcing it will suspend the season until at least May 31. Pictured: GWS Giants play against the Geelong Cats on March 21
The NRL suspended its season on Monday after round one due to the coronavirus lockdown. Pictured: Players during the game between the Parramatta Eels and the Gold Coast Titans on March 22
TAB’s top five sports for gamblers during the coronavirus lockdown
1. Russian exhibition tennis
2. Tajikistan national league basketball
3. Table Tennis Cup Ukraine
4. Moscow Liga Pro table tennis
5. Ukraine club soccer friendlies