Ireland’s scheduled Six Nation’s clash against France has officially been postponed due to fears over coronavirus.
French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu confirmed the decision, but a new date for the fixture has not yet been set.
It is the latest major sporting event in France to have been affected by the virus outbreak, which has claimed the lives of 19 people in the country.
All French Ligue 1 football matches will either be played behind closed doors or limited to 1,000 spectators until April 15, as the country has banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people in an attempt to curb the outbreak.
OFFICIAL: All Ligue 1 matches will be played behind closed doors or limited to an attendance of 1,000 fans up until April 15 🇫🇷 pic.twitter.com/kqU8poC1G7
— Goal (@goal) March 9, 2020
Meanwhile French police have confirmed that the Champions League tie between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday will go ahead but be be held behind closed doors.
Paris police stated in their tweet: “In application of the measures announced by the defence council last night, the Prefect of Police decided that the match #PSGBVB will take place behind closed doors.”
— Préfecture de Police (@prefpolice) March 9, 2020
In the UK, handshakes have already been banned in the Premier League, but more stringent measures could be put in place if the outbreak worsens.
However, an emergency COBRA meeting chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson today has decided that the UK will remain in the “containment” stage of its response to coronavirus, according to BBC News. This means that “social distancing” measures will not be introduced yet.
In Asia, FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have agreed to postpone the Asian World Cup qualifying matches in March and June.
FIFA published a statement via Twitter which read: “Following consultation with Asia’s member associations. FIFA and the AFC have agreed to postpone the upcoming qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2020.”
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) March 9, 2020
Also in Europe, all Liga I (Romanian league) matches will played behind closed doors for the foreseeable future.
A statement by the Romanian Football Federation (RFF) said: “All Romanian league matches will be played without spectators attending until further notice because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“Ticket sales for the 2021 European Under-21 Championship qualifier between Romania and Denmark on March, 31, have also been suspended.”