Coronavirus, the vastly-spreading virus which has now reached every single continent on earth bar Antarctica, has taken a toll on several aspects of life. Football is no exception, with many games and matches being canceled or held behind closed doors in order to contain its spread.
In this article, we take a look at the latest updates on how this virus has affected the beautiful game. However, before that, here are the best confirmed protective measures to keep yourselves safe from the coronavirus, as stated by the World Health Organization:
Wash your hands frequently
Maintain social distancing
Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
Practice respiratory hygiene
If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
We advise everyone to closely follow the WHO for credible updates regarding the virus and to stay educated and safe. With that out of the way, here are the live updates on suspended matches, empty stadium orders, and more (article is updated regularly for the latest reports).
UEFA Champions League and Europa League (return dates: Aug. 7 for the UCL, Aug. 5 for the UEL )
UEFA initially opted to hold games in high-risk places behind closed doors. However, European football's governing body has now postponed all club competition matches scheduled for March 17, 18, and 19 in the Champions League, Europa League, and Youth League. Furthermore, the quarter-finals draws for the Champions League and Europa League, initially scheduled for March 20, have now been postponed. No date has been set for when they will resume
Games that were played behind closed doors
Valencia vs Atalanta on March 10, 2020 (Champions League)
PSG vs Dortmund on March 11, 2020 (Champions League)
LASK vs Man Utd on March 12, 2020 (Europa League)
Olympiacos vs Wolves on March 12, 2020 (Europa League)
Wolfsburg vs Shakhtar Donestk on March 12, 2020 (Europa League)
Frankfurt vs Basel on March 12, 2020 (Europa League)
These upcoming matches have all been postponed
Juventus vs Lyon on March 17, 2020
Man City vs Real Madrid on March 17, 2020
Barcelona vs Napoli on March 18, 2020
Bayern Munich vs Chelsea on March 18, 2020
Roma vs Sevilla on March 19, 2020
Getafe vs Inter Milan on March 19, 2020
Man United vs LASK on March 19, 2020
Bayer Leverkusen vs Rangers on March 19, 2020
Shakhtar vs Wolfsburg on March 19, 2020
Wolves vs Olympiakos on March 19, 2020
Basel vs Frankfurt on March 19, 2020
Copenhagen vs İstanbul Başakşehir on March 19, 2020
Basel vs Frankfurt postponed: The 2nd leg of Basel vs Frankfurt, initially scheduled to be played on March 19 in Switzerland, has been postponed as it cannot be held inside the country due to coronavirus fears. A date has not been set for this fixture, which is a big concern for UEFA as the quarter-final and the semi-final draw is set to take place on March 20, the following day.
The second leg (19th March) of our @EuropaLeague Round of 16 clash with @Eintracht will not take place in Basel due to the Coronavirus outbreak in Switzerland. More info to follow at a later date. #FCBasel1893 #zämmestark #FCBSGE— FC Basel 1893 (@FC_Basel_en) March 9, 2020
Sevilla vs Roma, Inter Milan vs Getafe canceled: "travelling restrictions between Spain and Italy" has forced UEFA to call off these two games, initially scheduled to be played on Thursday, March 12. No date has been set for a rescheduled fixture.
Official: Sevilla vs Roma, Inter vs Getafe has been postponed "as a result of the traveling restrictions between Spain and Italy" due to coronavirus.— LiveSoccerTV.com (@LiveSoccerTV) March 11, 2020
LASK vs Man Utd, Olympiakos vs Wolves are set to go ahead behind closed doors. #UELpic.twitter.com/w3KADKpZ9a
UPDATE: The UEFA Champions League will be returning on August 7 and the Europa League on August 5. The quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals will now be straight knockout one-legged tournaments for both competitions. The venues for those three stages have been changed, with the UCL games all taking place in Lisbon while the UEL ones will occur across four German cities: Cologne, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Gelsenkirchen. Teams will be able to register three new players so long as they were eligible for the February registration while the number of subs per game will be increased to five. The venues for the remaining round of 16 ties for both competitions have not yet been decided. Below are the schedules for both competitions.
The 2019/20 Champions League season:
August 7-8: Round of 16 second legs
August 12-15: Quarter-finals
August 18-19: Semi-finals
August 23: Final
The 2019/20 Europa League season:
August 5–6: Round of 16
August 10–11: Quarter-finals
August 16–17: Semi-finals
August 21: Final
La Liga (return date: June 11)
The Spanish top-flight has ordered all games in the next two La Liga Matchdays must be played in empty stadiums as a precautionary measure. This means round 28 and 29 will be played behind closed doors and this will kick into effect starting with Real Madrid's trip to Eibar on Friday, March 13.
UPDATE: La Liga has now been suspended indefinitely. The Spanish top-flight initially postponedonly Matchdays 28 and 29 but given the situation in the country, an extension was needed.
Official statement.— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) March 23, 2020
Spanish football competitions postponed until further notice as agreed by RFEF-LaLiga.
UPDATE: La Liga will be returning on June 11 with the Seville derby between Sevilla and Real Betis, the Spanish government's department for sport (CDS) confirmed.
Serie A (return date: June 20)
Given that Italy has suffered severely from the virus, they have taken the most drastic measures in Europe's top six leagues. All play in Serie A has been halted in their battle to contain the disease.
How long will this last? As of now, the suspension is until April 03.
Is this only in the Italian top-flight? No. All sport in Italy has been suspended, including the lower leagues.
Serie A suspended, La Liga and now Ligue 1 behind closed doors. https://t.co/8iGaSdaeH8— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) March 10, 2020
UPDATE: The suspension of Serie A has been extended to May 03, 2020 in line with the country's lockdown guidelines.
MAY 13 UPDATE: The Serie A proposed a June 13 return date subject to the approval of the country's government.
MAY 28 UPDATE: Serie A will be returning on June 20, Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora has confirmed.
English Premier League (tentative return date: June 17)
Man City vs Arsenal clash on March 11 postponed: This decision was made for safety concerns after Olympiakos owner Marinakis, who was recently at the Emirates Stadium and met with players and staff, revealed that he contracted the virus. The players are under self-isolation and are thus unavailable to make the trip to Manchester.
Some new details: Arsenal players' self-isolation ends later this weeks 14 days after contact with Marinakis. It's not 14 days in self-isolation from now.— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) March 11, 2020
So expectation players available for weekend.
For now. Man City-Arsenal is off on Wednesday
"The medical advice we have received puts the risk of them developing Covid-19 at extremely low. However, we are strictly following the Government guidelines which recommend that anyone coming into close contact with someone with the virus should self-isolate at home for 14 days from the last time they had contact," Arsenal's statement read.
"As a result, the players are unavailable for tonight's match against Manchester City and the Premier League has decided the game should be postponed."
The 14-day self-isolation ends this Thursday, meaning Arsenal's weekend clash with Brighton will go ahead as planned.
UPDATE: The Premier League has been suspended indefinitely. Initially, the plan was to return to action on the 1st of May but due to the spread of the coronavirus in the UK, the English top-flight will remain halted with no target return date.
MAY 28 UPDATE: The Premier League will be making its return on June 17. This provisional date was announced via a statement on their official website, with Man City vs Arsenal and Aston Villa vs Sheffield set to be the first two games to end the suspension.
Ligue 1 (season canceled)
Just like La Liga, Ligue 1 has banned fans from attending games as a precautionary measure.
How long will this last? As of now, the suspension is until April 15.
Is this only in the French top-flight? No. The same is true for Ligue 2.
UPDATE: The Ligue 1 2019/20 season has been canceled after the French government banned sports until September. PSG were awarded the title while Marseille and Rennes secured the two other Champions League spots -- Lille settled for a Europa League berth. Toulouse and Amiens have been relegated and will be replaced by Lorient and RC Lens.
The final league table, as determined by a points-per-match basis: pic.twitter.com/7q8np75npW— Ligue1 English (@Ligue1_ENG) April 30, 2020
Bundesliga (returned on May 16)
Bundesliga opted for empty stadiums, with the decision to close doors ultimately being made on a case-by-case basis by regional authorities.
German top-flight games to be played behind closed doors:
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Cologne on Wednesday, March 11
Dortmund vs Schalke on Saturday, March 14
UPDATE: German authorities have granted the Bundesliga permission to return to action in the 2nd half of May. The German top-flight, which was suspended in mid-March, looks to be the first major European competition to get back underway. It was confirmed shortly after that the Bundesliga will return on May 16 with five games kicking off simultaneously, Dortmund vs Schalke being the standout fixture.
The German government has given the Bundesliga permission to return in the 2nd half of May!— LiveSoccerTV.com (@LiveSoccerTV) May 6, 2020
Football fans, how excited are you? pic.twitter.com/SX7n4iYUyd
Primeira Liga (return date: June 3)
All games in Liga NOS will be played behind closed doors effective immediately. It remains unclear how long this measure will remain in place.
UPDATE: The Portuguese top-flight has now been suspended for an indefinite time. Bookmark this article or our dedicated Primeira Liga piece to find out when the action will resume.
UPDATE from May 12, 2020: An official statement from Liga Portugal has revealed that the league will return on June 4. There are 10 more matches left to play.
Each club has ten more matches left to play.
Latest news and rumors
UCL and UEL confirm new format and schedule for 2019/20 seasons
After weeks of speculation, UEFA has confirmed the rumored format changes to both the Champions League and Europa League 2019/20 seasons. In the case of the UCL, the quarter-final, semi-final, and final will be a straight knockout one-legged tournament. Those games will all be staged in Lisbon. The competition will return on August 7-8 with its four remaining round of 16 ties: Juve vs Lyon, Man City vs Real Madrid, Bayern vs Chelsea, and Barca vs Napoli. The last-eight has been scheduled for August 12-15, the last-four on August 18-19, and the ultimate game on August 23. All games will kick off at 21:00 CET. Teams will be allowed to register three new players so long as they were eligible for the recent registration in early February. Additionally, the number of subs permitted per game will be increased from three to five for the remainder of the season. A decision has not been made whether to move the four remaining round of 16 ties to Lisbon or to stage them in their pre-planned venues.
Similarly, the Europa League quarter-final, semi-final, and final will follow an identical format. Those three stages will be held across four cities in Germany: Cologne, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Gelsenkirchen. Similarly, no decision has been made about the venues of the remaining round of 16 ties. UEL teams will also be permitted to register three more players and make five subs. The schedule for the remainder of the tournament is as follows:
5–6 August: Round of 16
10–11 August: Quarter-finals
16–17 August: Semi-finals
21 August: Final
MLS to return in July 8 with World Cup-style format
Major League Soccer will be making its return on July 8 but the competition will be back in a unique format. The league organizers have announced a special World Cup-style format in the wake of coronavirus, with this new tournament deciding the regular season points, a Concacaf Champions League berth, and $1.1M in prize money. A draw will be held, with the 26 MLS clubs being split into six groups – three for the Eastern and Western Conferences each.
EPL increases number of subs to five
The Premier League has increased the number of subs to five ahead of its June 17 return. Additionally, the number of players on the bench will be increased from seven to nine.
BREAKING: Five substitutions will be allowed in games when the Premier League resumes later this month— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) June 4, 2020
The USL Championship's board votes for July return
The USL Championship looks set to return this month, with the tournament's Board of Governess voting for a July return. July 11 has been set at the provisional date.
Coppa Italia to return a day earlier
Football in Italy was set to resume on June 13 with the 2nd leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals, but this will now take place a day earlier. Juventus vs Milan will be played on the 12th of June while Napoli and Inter Milan will lock horns on the 13th.
MLS to resume training ahead of June return
The MLS has lifted the ban on training, allowing for clubs to resume group training. Individual workouts began on May 6 and the competition has now taken another step towards its return. Additionally, the Major League Soccer Players' Association (MLSPA) revealed that players have agreed to the new CBA, paving the way for the Orlando summer tournament.
La Liga return date confirmed
Another European big-six league to confirm its return date is La Liga. The Spanish top-flight will be resuming on June 11, with the Seville derby between Sevilla and Real Betis getting things back underway.
Serie A to return on June 20, Coppa Italia on June 13
Football will be returning in Italy very soon. As confirmed by the government, the Serie A will resume on June 20 while the Coppa Italia will get back underway a week earlier on June 13.
Premier League return confirmed for June 17
It has been confirmed: the Premier League will be returning on June 17. The 2019/20 English top-flight season will be welcomed back by two games: Aston Villa vs Sheffield United and Man City vs Arsenal.
The Premier League season will resume on June 17 with Aston Villa vs Sheffield United and Manchester City vs Arsenal.— Sky Sports (@SkySports) May 28, 2020
NWSL announces 2020 Utah Challenge Cup
The NWSL has announced the 2020 Utah Challenge Cup to welcome the return of football in the United States. This tournament will be a 25-game competition that will kick off on June 27, 2020. It will be streamed on the CBS All Access subscription service.
It. Is. Happening.— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) May 27, 2020
The 2020 @NWSL Challenge Cup is coming to Utah next month!
The 25-game tournament kicks off June 27 at Zions Bank Stadium, with every game streaming on CBS All Access () or Twitch (everywhere else).
DETAILS | https://t.co/BOdFrkBt5W | #BAONPDX pic.twitter.com/wjCiu7btiG
EPL clubs given permission to begin contact training
The Premier League has taken a huge step towards a return as they have given clubs permission to resume contact training. This is the key factor before the season can return.
Liga NOS approves five substitutes for remainder of the season
The LFP has approved the use of five subs per game -- increased from the usual three -- for the remainder of the season. Additionally, the number of players on the bench will be increased from seven to nine to cope with the upcoming congested fixtures list.
La Liga to add fan noise to top-flight broadcasts
Bored by the lack of an atmosphere in the Bundesliga? If your answer is yes, then rejoice, as Mediapro's president revealed that La Liga will broadcast games with real fan noise recorded from previous games.
FA WSL 2019/20 season canceled
Both the Women's Super League and Women's Championship seasons have been canceled, the FA has announced. No decision has been made regarding the title and relegation/promotion race.
EPL clubs pushing to delay return
According to reports, Premier League clubs are pushing to have the return of the top-flight delayed until June 26 at the earliest. They fear for the fitness of the players, who could suffer avoidable injuries due to the lack of preparation should things be rushed back.
June 19 has been one target date, however, some Premier League clubs are now pushing for a further week to prepare their squads, with a return on June 26.— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 25, 2020
Spain PM gives green light for La Liga to return on June 8
La Liga has taken a huge step towards a return, with the Spanish Prime Minister green lighting its return on June 08. It is believed that the Spanish top-flight is targeting a return on June 11.
Liga MX cancel 2019/20 season
Liga MX has unfortunately decided to cancel the 2019/20 season. As a result, no champions will be crowned this term.
MLS cancel All-Star game, Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup
Major League Soccer has announced that the All-Star game, which was set to be a clash between the best of the MLS and Liga MX, has now been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Similarly, the Leagues Cup aand Campeones Cup have also been scrapped.
Major League Soccer Provides Updates on All-Star Game, Leagues Cup and Campeones Cup https://t.co/G8pfhDXHrS— MLS Communications (@MLS_PR) May 19, 2020
Six people test positive in the Premier League
The Premier League carried out testing in an attempt to return to action, confirming that from the 748 players and staff tested, six came back positive. The English top-flight refused to disclose the identity of those people. However, it has now come to light that a player and two staff at Watford alongside Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan are among the six.
BREAKING: The Premier League has confirmed six positive tests for coronavirus from three clubs after first phase of mass testing— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 19, 2020
Costa Rican top-flight to become first league to return in the Americas
Liga FPD, the Costa Rican top-flight, will be making its return on Wednesday, May 20. This makes them the first championship in the Americas to return from suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic. Fans of this league can tune in to ESPN Deportes as they will be airing the matches live.
Scottish Premiership cancelled, Celtic declared the champions
The Scottish Premiership announced that after meeting with the 12 clubs, they reached a unanimous decision to cancel the season. The final table was decided on a points-per-game basis, with Celtic being crowned the champions and Hearts being relegated.
Ladbrokes Premiership and SPFL Season 2019/20 curtailed as Premiership clubs reach unanimous agreement that top flight cannot be finished.— SPFL (@spfl) May 18, 2020
Full details: https://t.co/RHpIjr8b0V pic.twitter.com/YKI6JWyeIM
Serie A's hopes of returning rocked by disagreement
According to sources, Serie A squad training was set to resume on May 18 but this has not happened due to a disagreement after the league, players' association, and Association of Sports Medics rejected the government's coronavirus protocal. The Italian top-flight wants to isolate a player, and the squad, in the training ground in case of a positive result, meaning they will be quarantined but still training. The government is set to make a decision but the odds of football returning to Italy on June 12 is decreasing.
So the Italian FA is desperately trying to get a new protocol agreed with the govt. to have any hope of even starting full training.— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) May 18, 2020
It has proposed isolating the player with positive test, and also the squad, but within the training ground. So they are isolated but training.
Hopes of restarting the Serie A season on June 13 are receding due to the delay in returning to contact training.— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) May 18, 2020
Government is expected to give its verdict in the next couple of days.
However, this is just training - there is still no agreed protocol for competitive matches.
La Liga to begin training with groups of up to 10 players
After returning to individual training, La Liga is now set to hold sessions with groups of up to 10 players. This is the latest achievement by the Spanish top-flight as they look to ease into a return.
Italian PM permits Serie A squad training on May 18
The Italian Prime Minister has given the green light to the Serie A to resume squad training on May 18. Prior to this, players were forced to do individual sessions in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
Confirmed: Italian PM officially gives permission for Serie A teams to resume squad training from May 18.— Adriano Del Monte (@adriandelmonte) May 16, 2020
One step closer to that June 13 return. pic.twitter.com/RwrKsdpF9E
Russian Premier Liga to return on June 21
The Russian top-flight has announced when they will be back. Taking to Twitter, the Premier Liga revealed that things will get back underway on June 21.
Serie A targeting June 13 return
Serie A has announced that they are targeting a return on June 13. This, however, is a provisional date subject to government approval.
Primeira Liga to return on June 4
The Primeira Liga is the latest top European league to confirm a return date. The Portuguese top-flight announced that they will be making a return on June 4. Ten rounds remain in the their 2019/20 season.
Austrian Bundesliga set to return in early June
The Austrian Bundesliga has set out a plan to get the season back underway in June. The president admitted that should they be able to return to full training on March 15, then the Austrian top-flight could return to action in the first week of June.
Schon bald könnte der Ball wieder rollen. Die behördlichen Rahmenbedingungen sind seit heute Vormittag abgesteckt. Die HPYBET 2. Liga stellt zudem einen Antrag auf Saisonverlängerung über den 30.06. hinaus ans ÖFB-Präsidium.— Fußball-Bundesliga (@OEFBL) May 12, 2020
Alle Infos: https://t.co/LiHPOYVPVw#BundesligaTeamwork pic.twitter.com/MBwa9fQ8EQ
Danish Superliga confirms May return
Denmark's top-flight will be returning on May 28. This was confirmed via the Danish Superliga official website.
Endelig! 3F Superliga er tilbage torsdag den 28. maj, hvor AGF tager imod Randers FC i rivalopgøret på Ceres Park— 3F Superliga (@Superligaen) May 11, 2020
Kamptidspunkter for 25. og 26. spillerunde kan findes herhttps://t.co/IVAd5p1K2x#SLDK#ditholdvoresliga pic.twitter.com/nGMzzq0tdO
MLS reportedly considering quarantining all 26 clubs at Disney World in Orlando
Sources have told the Washington Post that the MLS has proposed quarantining over 1,000 people (players, coaches, staff, etc) at a big resort near Disney World in order to get the season back underway. This means practice and official games would all take place in Orlando.
View this post on Instagram
Are all 26 @mls clubs "going to @disney"?! Anonymous sources have told @washingtonpost that Major League Soccer has proposed to quarantine over 1,000 people (players, coaches, staff, etc) at a big resort near Disney World to finish the 2020 MLS season behind closed doors at the Disney Sports Complex and other locations. How does this sound? Cool or crazy?
Premier League can return on June 1, government confirms
The Premier League could make its much-awaited return come June 1, the government has revealed. Authorities have given the green light to sporting and cultural events to resume no earlier than the aforementioned but will have to meet strict safety guidelines before things can get back underway in the English top-flight.
BREAKING: The UK government have given the Premier League the green light to restart the season from June 1 behind closed doors. https://t.co/6vqb0cNVki— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 11, 2020
Lyon deny UCL clash with Juve is set for August 07
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas recently claimed that their Champions League 2nd leg round of 16 showdown has been scheduled for August 07 after being postponed indefinitely due to the ongoing pandemic. Lyon have now come out with an official statement denying this allegation from their own president, stating that they are still waiting on a date from UEFA.
We would like to affirm that the date for Juventus v OL, in the second leg of the UEFA @ChampionsLeague Round of 16, has not yet been confirmed, contrary to what has previously been stated.https://t.co/PnKcnl0lbz— OL English (@OL_English) May 10, 2020
La Liga confirm five positive tests but is targeting June 12 return nonetheless
Testing has been carried out in La Liga and it has now been confirmed that two players have tested positive. Nonetheless, Javier Tebas admitted that they are aiming for a return on June 12.
Calls to void the Premier League season increase as three Brighton players test positive
Project Restart is underway in the Premier League but calls for the season to be void have increased after three Brighton players tested positive for COVID-19.
A third #BHAFC player has tested positive for coronavirus, chief executive Paul Barber has confirmed.— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) May 10, 2020
Primera Liga's May 30 return plan under serious doubt after top-flight players test positive
Portugal's Primera Liga had been targeting a return on May 30. However, that plan is now under severe doubt after seven players tested positive for the coronavirus from four different clubs in the top division.
To recap, that's SEVEN players today tested positive for the virus at FOUR different clubs in Portugal's top division.— Tom Kundert (@PortuGoal1) May 10, 2020
Surely the plans to resume Portuguese football on 30 May will have to be abandoned.
Bundesliga to go ahead with May 16 return despite Dresden's coronavirus infection
Both the German top-flight and second division are set to resume on May 16, Bundesliga CEO Christian Seifert stated. This is despite the fact that the squad of 2. Bundesliga side Dynamo Dresden has been quarantined after two players tested positive for COVID-19. Many thought this would delay the return of football in Germany but that does not look to be the case.
IFAB permits five subs per game to handle coronavirus crisis
IFAB has made temporary rule changes, permitting clubs to make five substitutions per game once football returns from the coronavirus suspension. However, those five subs will be made over three breaks in play and it is up to the individual leagues whether they wish to adopt this interim alteration or not.
Use of 5 subs now approved by football's lawmakers.— Rob Harris (@RobHarris) May 8, 2020
Comes into effect now & allowed to be used by competitions scheduled to be completed this year by December 31.
Temporary for now but FIFA says will assess with IFAB if it should be extended into 2021.
Here's the updated Law 3 pic.twitter.com/M2hnc95fyx
Bundesliga and La Liga confirm return dates
After being given permission to return this month, the Bundesliga announced that they will be resuming their season on May 16, with Dortmund vs Schalke being one of five simultaneous kick-offs welcoming back the competition. Elsewhere, the manager of Leganes revealed that La Liga will be returning on June 20 and that the plan is to wrap up the campaign by July 26.
Liga Iberdrola season canceled, Barcelona Femini crowned champions
Liga Iberdrola, the top-flight women's league in Spain, has officiallt been canceled. The 2019/20 has been ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the title being awarded to Barcelona Femini as they were top of the table when the competition was suspended.
Super Lig confirms return date
The Turkish top-flight is currently suspended due to the coronavirus but Super Lig has revealed their return date. The competition organizers announced that they plan on getting the season back underway come June 12.
Bundesliga to return in 2nd half of May
German authorities confirmed that the Bundesliga has been granted permission to return in the 2nd half of May. This all but confirms that the German top-flight will be the first to resume the 2019/20 season.
Premier League considering shortening length of a match
Speaking on the coronavirus and how the Premier League can safely return, Gordon Taylor from the PFA revealed that several ideas have been discussed, including shortening the length of a half to below 45 minutes. While this idea looks unlikely to go forward, this did not stop them from being ridiculed on social media.
PSG declared Ligue 1 champs after season's cancellation
Ligue 1 opted for a points-per-game method in order to decide the season after the 2019/20 campaign was canceled. PSG emerged on top and were thus crowned the French top-flight champions. Marseille and Rennes will be joining them in the Champions League next season.
Ligue 1 cancelled
The 2019/20 season has been cancelled in Ligue 1. This came after France's Prime Ministed revealed the government's decision to extend the ban on all sporting events until September, thus ruling out a return for the top flight. The LFP announced the decision to prematurely end the campaign via a statement on Ligue 1's official website.
Serie A to return to training in May
Serie has been cleare to return to training in the month of May. Italy's Prime Minister announced that players can resume training on May 4 but only individually. By May 18, players can train as a team, hinting that the Italian top-flight could be back soon!
OFFICIAL: Serie A to resume training from May 4— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 26, 2020
Players can train individually from May 4 and in groups from May 18 as Italy begins to ease its coronavirus lockdown pic.twitter.com/AaqMgYmC1j
OFFICIAL: Eredivisie voids the 2019/20 season
Eredivisie has officially voided the 2019/20 season. This cancellation means the title will not be awarded to Ajax, who were leading the standings on goal difference, nor will there be promotion and relegation. This decision comes after the Dutch government extended the ban on professional football until September.
Official: The Eredivisie becomes the first major European league to cancel their 2019/20 season.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 24, 2020
No champion will be crowned, and no promotion or relegation will be implemented. pic.twitter.com/Nu5PvH2VFv
New dates for the UEFA Women's Euro revealed
Due to the coronavirus, several tournaments that were set to be held in the summer of 2020 were pushed back to the summer of 2021. This caused a ripple effect, with the tournaments scheduled for the summer of 2021 also being postponed. This is true for the UEFA Women's Euro, which was postponed due to the men's European Championship being re-scheduled for 2021. European football's governing body has now revealed the new dates for the women's tournament, announcing that it will be held from July 6 to July 31, 2022.
The #UEFAExCo today confirmed that the postponed UEFA Women's EURO 2021 will be played in England from 6 July to 31 July 2022.— UEFA (@UEFA) April 23, 2020
Eredivisie set to be cancelled after Netherlands extended ban on professional sports until September
Professional sports will not be able to resume until September in the Netherlands. As a result, the Eredivisie announced that their intention is to cancel the 2019/20 season but will consult with UEFA before making a final decision. European football's governing body had threatened to exclude leagues from the Champions League if they prematurely ended the pending campaign but look set to change their stance partly due to the Dutch top-flight's case.
Belgian Pro League set to crown Club Brugge as champions
Belgium became the first European country to call their league off due to the coronavirus pandemic, with league execs deciding to scrap the playoff stage and crown Club Brugge as champions for the 2019-20 season.
The league is yet to determine how and when the European spots in this league will be allocated. Furthermore, there has been no decision whatsoever regarding relegated or promoted teams.
MLS establishes potential date to re-start the season
In a brief statement, Major League Soccer execs revealed that the North American competition will not re-start for the next eight weeks, according to a recommendation made by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Major League Soccer Statement on CDC Recommendation pic.twitter.com/XRXGfUEtz0— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 19, 2020
Matuidi tests positive
First Rugani, now Matuidi. The Frenchman is the second Juventus player to test positive for coronavirus, the Italian club confirmed. Fortunately, the Bianconeri revealed that he is doing well and is under self-isolation.
OFFICIAL: Juventus have confirmed that Blaise Matuidi has tested positive for COVID-19.— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 17, 2020
The midfielder "is in voluntary home isolation, is asymptomatic and is fine." pic.twitter.com/IfoVN2jXFr
Espanyol confirms six coronavirus cases among their squad
La Liga side Espanyol has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, as six members of the team have tested positive for the disease. The club kept the names of those infected to themselves, but they hint that maybe one or more members of the coaching staff may have contracted the disease.
"All of those infected have shown mild symptoms and are currently following the medical recommendations,"according to the club.
COMUNICAT OFICIAL | Detectats 6 casos de COVID-19 al RCD Espanyol de Barcelona: https://t.co/jxtE8s75uc— RCD Espanyol de Barcelona (@RCDEspanyol) March 17, 2020
COMUNICADO OFICIAL | Detectados 6 casos de COVID-19 en el RCD Espanyol de Barcelona: https://t.co/C4wfhrMg64#Volem | #EspanyoldeBarcelona | #RCDEpic.twitter.com/bD3VA1mMav
Chilean league brought to a complete halt
Chilean football execs had decided to play every game behind closed doors, but since the country is now in Phase 4 of the coronavirus pandemic, the Chilean football federation will now suspend all activity for the next 14 days, starting this Wednesday.
"We want to emphasize that the safety and health of our players, fans, and everyone involved in the tournament is our highest priority".
Atención: Información importante https://t.co/btKm6ETsXL— ANFP (@ANFPChile) March 16, 2020
CAF, Cameroon suspends CHAN 2020 over coronavirus
The 2020 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) which was to be hosted in Cameroon next month has been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. The tournament which was scheduled for April 4 to April 25 was suspended Organizing Committee met in Cameroon on Tuesday.
The decision comes after CAF postponed the next round of the AFCON 2021 qualifying matches which would have been played in the coming weeks. As of Tuesday morning, the Cameroonian government had impose strict restrictions with the number of confirmed coronavirus cases reaching 10.
Below is the statement issued by CAF in response to the new development:
Liga MX will play all games behind closed doors
The Mexican top-flight finally decided to play their games behind closed doors, since coronavirus cases reportedly doubled between Thursday and Friday. The league failed to make the announcement on Friday, allowing two games to be played with a crowd in the stands. From now on, all remaining games in Matchday 10, including América vs Cruz Azul, will be played without an audience.
"Games being played behind closed doors"
South American football reveals steps to combat coronavirus
South American leagues have already taken a stand to fight this pandemic, but not all of CONMEBOL's affiliates have decided to shut down their entire football activity.
Here's the list of leagues in South America that will be brought to a complete halt, and which ones will be played behind closed doors.
South American leagues being played behind closed doors:
Primera División Uruguaya (until April 2)
Brazilian First Division (including regional leagues, until further notice)
Bolivian Primera División (until further notice)
South American countries that have postponed their competition:
Peruvian Primera División (until March 30)
Venezuelan Primera División (until April 12)
Paraguayan Primera División (until March 24)
Colombian Liga Águila (until further notice)
Ecuadorian Primera División (until further notice)
*The Argentine league has already ended, but cup games are expected to go on as planned.
Mexican soccer league suspends all leagues
On Sunday, all the games in Mexico's Liga BBVA MX, the second tier Ascenso BBVA MX and women's league Liga BBVA MX Femenil were all suspended indefinitely in a bid to handle the spread of the coronavirus. The decision which had been a long time coming was arrived at following a consultation with the Mexican health ministry.
Uruguay suspends all football matches
The Uruguay FA has announced its decision to suspend all football activities after a number of coronavirus cases were discovered in this country. A statement from the football association indicated that it will be informed once the football matches are allowed.
Five Valencia players and staff test positive for coronavirus
Valencia and Argentina defender Ezequeil Garay became the first player in La Liga to test positive for the coronavirus on Sunday. While four other individuals were also found to be carrying the virus, Los Che's center-back Eliaquim Mangala also tested positive for COVID-19. According to an official statement by Valencia, all the affected individuals are in "good health and under isolation measures".
Bundesliga postpone Matchday 26
The plan in Germany was to stop football from March 17 until April 02 after Matchday 26 but this decision was reversed after the league organizers became suspicious of coronavirus infections surrounding several clubs.
Following current developments in connection with the Coronavirus: The DFL has suspended the 26th Matchday of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. pic.twitter.com/h0W2VtXHG1— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) March 13, 2020
Thiago slams Bundesliga's decision to go ahead with weekend games
The Bundesliga decided to suspend action in Germany but that will only kick into effect from March 17 onward. This means the weekend games will go ahead as scheduled, a decision which Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago did not like.
This is crazy. Please stop fooling around and land on reality. Let's be honest, there are much more important priorities than any sport.— Thiago Alcantara (@Thiago6) March 13, 2020
UEFA postpone remaining Champions League and Europa League matches
Due to Real Madrid and Juventus being under quarantine, and a number of other risks, UEFA have postponed the scheduled European club matches for March 17, 18, and 19. This includes Man City vs Real Madrid, Juventus vs Lyon, Barcelona vs Napoli, Bayern vs Chelsea, Man United vs LASK, and the quarter-final draws which were scheduled for March 20.
In the light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competitions matches scheduled next week are postponed. #UCL and #UEL quarter-final draws have also been postponed.— UEFA (@UEFA) March 13, 2020
EPL, EFL, FA, WSL decide to suspend all profession games in England
All action in England has been suspended until April 04 in the wake of Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Chelsea ace Callum Hudson-Odoi contracting coronavirus. This decision was made in the a crisis meeting held on Friday, March 13 and will see action halt in the Premier League, FA Cup, Women's Super League, Championship, etc.
Chelsea confirms positive Coronavirus test for Callum Hudson-Odoi
Chelsea issued a press release on Thursday evening, revealing that Callum Hudson-Odoi has tested positive for Coronavirus. The team has already stated that Stamford Bridge and other training facilities will be working as usual, while the only building set to be shut down is where the first team is used to train.
Club statement.— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 13, 2020
Mikel Arteta diagnosed with Coronavirus
The Spanish boss was tested during Thursday after he admitted to not feeling well. Once the diagnosis was confirmed, the club revealed that they will not be playing any of their forthcoming fixtures and also announced that their training complex will be shut down.
Club statement: COVID-19— Arsenal (@Arsenal) March 12, 2020
MLS season suspended for 30 days
The North American league has followed the footsteps of the NBA and has ordered the immediate suspension of its 25th season. The press release states that the decision to put the campaign on hold was unanimous.
Major League Soccer Suspends Season for 30 Days pic.twitter.com/P0HEPmsnkx— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 12, 2020
Three unnamed Leicester City players in "self-isolation" after showing coronavirus symptoms
In a press conference held on Thursday, March 12, Leicester City's coach Brendan Rodgers has confirmed three of his players have shown coronavirus symptoms, but the club and the players have already taken measures to prevent the disease from spreading amongst them.
"We've had a few players that have shown symptoms and signs (of coronavirus). We've followed procedures and as a precaution they have been kept away from the squad," Rodgers stated.
CONCACAF Champions League suspended immediately
The regional competition will be brought to a halt after three of the four quarterfinal ties were played between Tuesday and Wednesday.
"Given the developments last night, including new guidance issued by countries, cities and states, we have made the decision to suspend the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League with immediate effect," the press release stated.
Concacaf suspends Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League with immediate effect— Concacaf (@Concacaf) March 12, 2020
Read More: https://t.co/da5ppF6Wvz
Concacaf suspende la Liga de Campeones Concacaf Scotiabank con efecto inmediato
Más Informaciones: https://t.co/rhK9176abh pic.twitter.com/G6Y7v3Rw3x
UEFA reviewing suspending the Champions League and Europa League: Due to the Blancos quarantine and a Juventus player testing positive for the virus, Man City vs Real Madrid and Juve vs Lyon are now likely to be postponed. As a result, European football's governing body are considering suspending their top two competitions.
La Liga suspended, Real Madrid in quarantine: Real Madrid are currently under quarantine after it was confirmed a player from their basketball team, whom share the same training ground with Los Blancos, contracted the virus. As a result, the Spanish giants are unable to play and have shut down their training facility and sent everyone home. La Liga decided on suspending the league following this announcement for the next two rounds.
BREAKING: Real Madrid's football players have been sent home to self-isolate for 15 days after a member of the basketball team tested positive for the coronavirus.— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) March 12, 2020
Juventus defender tests positive for coronavirus: Defender Rugani has unfortunately contracted the virus, with it being revealed that he tested positive for the coronavirus. Fortunately, he is not displaying any symptoms and is said to be fine. We are all hoping he and all others affected make a speedy recovery.
Sevilla vs Roma, Inter vs Getafe postponed: UEFA have announced that these two first-leg matches, initially scheduled to be played on March 12, have been postponed due to traveling restrictions between Spain and Italy. A new date is yet to be set.
As a result of the travelling restrictions between Spain and Italy imposed yesterday by the Spanish authorities, the following #UEL matches will not take place as scheduled tomorrow.— UEFA (@UEFA) March 11, 2020
Sevilla – AS Roma
Internazionale – Getafe
First German professional footballer diagnosed with coronavirus: Hannover defender Timo Hubers has tested positive for the virus, his club confirmed, becoming the first professional player in Germany to contract Covid-19. We wish him and all those infected a speedy recovery!
Man City vs Arsenal postponed, players under isolation: After it was revealed that the Olypiakos president has contracted coronavirus, the decision was made to cancel the Gunners' trip to the Etihad Stadium. Arteta's men are under self-isolation in order to determine their health.
As well as Man City v Arsenal being postponed, several Gunners players are in self-isolation after Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis contracted coronavirus.— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 11, 2020
Full story: https://t.co/lBxjEztaMI pic.twitter.com/tBJOHRFGGk
Mbappe reportedly tested for coronavirus: According to L'Equipe, the PSG superstar was tested for the virus after suffering with illness. No confirmation has arrived; however, rumors claim that he has tested negative and should be cleared for the Dortmund clash.
TF1 report that Kylian Mbappé's test for COVID-19 has come back negative. In other words, he does not have coronavirus.— Get French Football News (@GFFN) March 10, 2020
Getafe willing to forfeit Europa League trip to Milan: The president of the Spanish club admitted that his players won't be traveling to Milan, a city heavily affected by the virus. He revealed that they asked UEFA to postpone the game or move it to another city but the team is ready to forfeit the game if no action is taken.
Spanish side Getafe have refused to travel to Italy to play Inter Milan in Thursday's Europa League clash due to coronavirus fears. "If we have to lose the tie, we will lose it," said Getafe president Angel Torres— Mninawa Ntloko (@ntlokom) March 11, 2020
Algarve Cup final called off: The clash between Italy and Germany has been canceled as the Italian women players had to fly home amid concerns of being left stranded in Portugal due to their country's travel ban.
OFFICIAL: tomorrow's final between Italy and Germany has been canceled to allow for the Italian National Team to return to its country as flight supresssion due to the COVID-19 virus has limited the options available.— Algarve Cup (@Algarve_Cup) March 10, 2020
Guardiola against banning fans: Man City boss Pep admitted that he favors suspending the league over playing behind closed doors, comparing football to acting at a theater and putting a show for the audience.
Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis has fallen victim to the coronavirus
The Greek shipowner was in north London not long ago for their Europa League clash with Arsenal and was present at Forest's Championship fixture against Millwall on Friday. Both English clubs have come out and assured fans that they are taking the proper measures to confirm the health of those close to the club.
#Arsenal confirm that no staff who came into contact with Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis have reported any symptoms since.— gunnerblog (@gunnerblog) March 10, 2020
Club are following government #coronavirus guidelines, including deep cleaning of areas used by players at Emirates and London Colney.
Gary Neville insists that stadium bans should not be implemented
The Man United icon argued that for some, Matchday revenue is everything.
I do NOT support matches played behind closed doors. If it's necessary to shut down stadiums the associations must find a way of delaying the season and playing the games when it is safe to do so to protect the revenues for clubs that require this income to survive.— Gary Neville (@GNev2) March 10, 2020
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