Major League Soccer will suspend its season immediately due to the coronavirus outbreak. MLS announced the decision to halt matches for a span of 30 days effective immediately around midday Thursday.
“Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season — based on the advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and other public health authorities, and in the best interest of our fans, players, officials and employees,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “We’d like to thank our fans for their continued support during this challenging time.”
Major League Soccer Suspends Season for 30 Days pic.twitter.com/P0HEPmsnkx— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 12, 2020
The move follows the NBA’s suspension Wednesday night after one of its players, Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert, tested positive for COVID-19. His teammate, Donovan Mitchell, tested positive Thursday morning.
Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl broke the news, MLS will take the time to “fully assess the situation,” per Paul Tenorio of The Athletic. The season began less than two weeks ago. The league will reportedly reschedule matches at the end of the season in late September and October, per the Washington Post’s Steven Goff.
MLS planning to reschedule postponed matches on the back-end of the season in the fall. Last season and this season have ended a month earlier than typical in order to stream-line the campaign, so there is flexibility.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) March 12, 2020
Inter Miami managing owner Jorge Mas said the league plans to play all 34 regular season games.
The COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spread through Europe and has forced cancelation of games and leagues there as well. The financial implications could reverberate through the soccer world for years to come.
The United States Soccer Federation will also cancel upcoming friendlies involving the men’s and women’s national teams, sources told Yahoo Sports’ Doug McIntyre.
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