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FRIDAY LATEST: Coronavirus bri...
Soccer

FRIDAY LATEST: Coronavirus brings sport to a standstill

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

13:15 12 Mar 2020

In the aftermath of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's message to the Irish public on Thursday afternoon regarding the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), sporting organisations in Ireland and abroad are unanimously calling a halt to all prospective events. 

Speaking live on Thursday afternoon, Varadkar issued the following message directly related to the occurrence of sporting events: "Our advice is that all indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled."

As a result of the Taoiseach's instruction, the following sports organisations in Ireland have stated the following:

Coronavirus update in Ireland:

GAA:

Shortly after Leo Varadakar's comments, it was confirmed that the GAA would be ceasing all activity up to and including the March 29 guideline.

"This is to include all games, training and team gatherings at all ages and all grades," a statement from the organisation read. "We will continue to liaise with Government officials and review the situation between now and the end of the month, assessing the impact of these measures on our competitions.

"In the meantime, the Association is encouraging all members to continue to follow the guidelines which have been provided by the Health Authorities."

Soccer:

- The Football Association of Ireland similarly called a halt to all activity on Thursday afternoon until the same March 29 guideline.

Rugby:

- The PRO14 announced a suspension "in response to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak."

- Basketball Ireland made the decision to suspend activity across the country on Wednesday evening. CEO of the organisation Bernard O'Byrne spoke to OTB AM on Thursday morning about Basketball Ireland's decision to 'place health above finance' amid the uncertain development of the coronavirus in this country.

Swim Ireland has adopted the same stance of instructing members to "cancel with immediate effect and until further notice all galas, competitions, meetings and any social or fundraising activities." You can read their full statement here.

Coronavirus across the world:

Soccer:

- The FA, Premier League, EFL, Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have all been temporarily postponed for the time being.

- The SPFL decided to similarly postpone all activities until further notice.

- The Champions League and Europa League will both be postponed with immediate effect as per UEFA.

- The Premier League are due to hold an "emergency club meeting" this afternoon after it was confirmed that both Arsenal's Mikel Arteta and Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.

- La Liga has announced a postponement to fixtures for the next two weeks. Meanwhile, Real Madrid are the latest club to undergo a spell in self-quarantine.

Golf: 

- The PGA Tour has suspended all golf tournaments across the next two weeks, including the Players Championship.

Basketball: 

- The NBA decided last night to suspend their season indefinitely after it was confirmed that Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday evening. We were joined by Kavitha A. Davidson of The Athletic on Thursday's OTB AM to discuss an unusual night in the NBA. It has since been confirmed that Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz has also tested positive.

Tennis:

- The ATP Tour opted to suspend all tournaments for a six-week period.

For a breakdown of how earlier events have been impacted by the spread of coronavirus, consult OTB here.

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Coronavirus Covid-19 FAI GAA Leo Varadkar

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