Portugal’s Primeira Liga will go behind closed doors with immediate effect with no date given for reopening stadiums to fans, the Portuguese football federation said Tuesday.
Top-flight as well as second division matches will be subject to the decision to exclude fans indefinitely taken at an emergency meeting of football authorities, the federation said.
The decision followed a government measure recommending the cancellation or postponement of events involving more than 1,000 people in an enclosed space or 5,000 in open areas. Lisbon’s half marathon, set for March 22 with 30,000 runners, has been put off until September 6.
La Liga behind closed doors for two weeks
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, 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.
French Ligue 1 takes tough stand too
All French Ligue 1 and second division matches will be played behind closed doors until April 15, the French football league announced Tuesday. The decision comes after the French government on Sunday announced measures to cope with the spread of the coronavirus, including banning all gatherings of more than 1,000 people.
On Monday, Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League match at the Parc des Princes against Borussia Dortmund this week was ordered to be played behind closed doors in a country where 1,412 cases of COVID-19 infections have been recorded and 25 deaths.