La Liga suspended over coronavirus

La Liga announced on Thursday that the league has been suspended for the next two matchdays following the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision comes after Real Madrid were placed into quarantine and all activity at their training complex was cancelled after one of the club’s basketball players tested positive.

A statement released by La Liga read: “Given the circumstances known this morning, referring to the quarantine established at Real Madrid and the potential positives from players from other clubs.

“La Liga consider that the circumstances are already in place to continue with the next phase of the protocol of action against COVID- 19.

“Consequently, in accordance with the measures established in Royal Decree 664/1997 of May 12, [La Liga] agree to suspend at least the next two games.”

The Spanish league had already taken the step of moving all games behind closed doors, but with confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country topping 2,000 on Wednesday, it decided to suspend play.

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Sources had told ESPN on Wednesday that talks were underway over suspending the league.

La Liga sources, following advice from the Ministry of Health, had previously insisted that games would go ahead without supporters, before the move was announced to suspend matches.

Sevilla’s Europa League game against Roma, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed while Barcelona’s Champions League game against Napoli next week is in the balance. The Catalan club have already announced the fixture will be played behind closed doors, but it’s not certain the Serie A side will be allowed to travel for the match..

All football in Italy has been suspended until April 3.

Spain and Italy are not the only countries where football has been affected by the coronavirus. Games have also been suspended or will be played behind closed doors this week in England, France, Germany, Greece, Austria and Switzerland, among others.

Elsewhere, Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for the coronavirus, the club announced Wednesday.

Rugani is the most prominent professional footballer to test positive for the virus. German club Hannover also announced Wednesday that defender Timo Hubers tested positive.

Defending Serie A champions Juventus said Rugani and “those who have had contact with him” are being isolated.

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