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NFL to schedule no international games in 2020 due to Coronavirus pandemic

The league is expected to release its schedule this week.

London Experiences Tourism & Construction Boom Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

Update 5/4/2020: NFL to schedule no international games in 2020 due to Coronavirus pandemic

The NFL has confirmed that it will schedule all of its games for the 2020 regular season in the United States, effectively canceling its International Series this year. NFL Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer Christopher Halpin released the following statement about the league’s decision:

After considerable analysis, we believe the decision to play all our games domestically this season is the right one for our players, our clubs, and all our fans in the US, Mexico and UK. We greatly appreciate the support of our governmental and stadium partners in Mexico and the United Kingdom, who all agree with this decision, and we look forward to returning for games in both countries in the 2021 season. We also thank our incredible fans in those territories for their passionate support of the NFL. We will continue to serve them through our outstanding media partners and by being active supporters of both grassroots football and COVID-19 relief efforts in Mexico and the UK.

Original story 5/4/2020: Coronavirus could force NFL schedule makers to cancel international games in 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic is still impacting life in the United States and around the globe, and the sports world is no exception. The National Football League, for example, has moved its offseason workouts and draft into a virtual setting — and that may not be all: the league is expected to release its 2020 schedule this week, and there is a chance that international games get canceled this year due to the global health crisis.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first to report this:

The NFL had previously announced the following plans for its International Series this season:

If the NFL indeed opts to not schedule any international games this year, all four of those teams would play the respectively impacted contests at home.

The New England Patriots had only one chance of playing abroad this year: their road game against the Dolphins was a candidate to be played outside the U.S. That said, it would be a surprise if that contest was chosen to be played outside of Miami considering the Patriots’ status as one of the most popular teams in all of football: the Dolphins would likely prefer having the game against their AFC East rivals played at home rather than elsewhere.