A Look at Major Sporting Controversies of 2020

A Look at Major Sporting Controversies of 2020

The year 2020 turned out to be a damp squib as far as sporting events are concerned. The COVID pandemic forced the world to be shut down and several events had to either be postponed or cancelled. However, there were still a number of marquee tournaments which managed to be held and even in this brief period, we saw few controversies. Here we list the top 5 controversies of the year.

Novak Djokovic and


It proved to be a shocking year for tennis champ Novak Djokovic as he was found organising a charity tennis tournament in the midst of the global pandemic and this event turned out to be a COVID hotspot. The event, the Adria Tour, was criticised heavily because of the lack of social distancing and many of the venues seen packed. After cases kept piling on, the Serbian had to finally tender an apology.

Lionel Messi threatens to leave Barcelona

This was one of the biggest controversies of the year when Argentinian legend Lionel Messi came out against his club Barcelona and wanted to quit the Spanish giants. “I told the club, including the president, that I wanted to go. I’ve been telling him that all year. I believed it was time to step aside,” Messi said in an interview with Goal.com. However, he later decided to stay put and continues to be a central figure in the Barcelona squad. All doesn’t seem to be well with the Catalans though and next summer could see more trouble.

Racism allegations in PSG vs Basaksehir clash

Huge controversy erupted in the match between Paris St Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir when players of the Turkish team said that a racial slur was used by the fourth official against Basaksehir assistant coach Pierre Webo. The players from both Basaksehir and PSG left the field and the match was postponed for the next day. The Romanian official at the centre of the racism controversy was suspended.

VAR in football

Video Assistant Referee (VAR), ever since it has been launched, has always been under the spotlight and players and officials have questioned its objectivity. This year it was no different and in several Champions League and Premier League clashes, there were numerous questions raised over the use of technology. The questions remain even as the year draws to a close. Many point out that VAR is giving away soft penalties and fouls while others say VAR is acting only on available proof.

Australia cricket team refuses to take a knee

Right through the year, the Black Lives Matter was a massive movement all across the world and athletes across sports took a knee in support of the movement. However, the Australian cricket team decided not to do so ahead of the series against England. This was criticised by many, including West Indies legend Michael Holding.