Coronavirus precautions prompt Swiss to suspend top two divisions

March 3 – Swiss football authorities have suspended all matches in the country’s top two divisions because of the coronavirus, one of the strongest sporting reactions to date to try and combat the spread of the illness.

The 20 clubs made this decision at a meeting in Bern on Monday, putting the league on hold until at least March 23 after rejecting the possibility of playing matches behind closed doors.

Switzerland, which has had at least two dozen confirmed cases, introduced a ban last week on public gatherings of over 1,000 people or more until March 15 in an effort stave off the virus. At presstime the country had 43 reported cases of the virus.

As a result, the Swiss League called off all matches in the top two divisions and it has now extended the ban to the international break at the end of March.

“The option of holding the matches without spectators was also discussed,” said the SFL in a statement. “The clubs decided against this step for economic reasons and because there are currently still enough alternative dates available.”

The Swiss league has two divisions of 10 teams each with an average attendance of just over 11,000 in the top flight.

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