Spain’s La Liga confirmed on Tuesday that first and second division football matches will be staged behind closed doors for at least two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The measures follow the decision of the Spanish High Council of Sports that all sporting events in Spain at state and international level should be played without fans to limit the spread of the virus.
“According to information from the High Sports Council (CSD), La Liga Santander and La Liga SmartBank matches will be played behind closed doors from today and for at least the next two weeks,” a La Liga statement read.
“La Liga will remain in permanent contact with the Ministry of Health and the CSD to meet their recommendations and/or decisions, and put first the health of fans, players, club employees and journalists during the health crisis of COVID-19.”
Real Madrid’s game against Eibar at the Santiago Bernabeu on Friday night will be the weekend’s first fixture affected as authorities step up attempts to contain the outbreak.
Two local derbies will also go ahead in empty stadiums as Valencia face Levante at Mestalla on Saturday before Sevilla host Real Betis at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday night.
Spain had registered more than 1,500 cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, with the decision made on Monday to close all schools in the Madrid area from Wednesday until the end of March.
In France, football authorities ordered Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 games to be held behind closed doors until April 15, after the government on Sunday issued a ban on gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
Further details on arrangements will be provided following a board meeting on Wednesday, the league said in a statement.
So far, France has recorded 1,606 cases of COVID-19 infections and 30 deaths.
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