MLS calls 30-day shutdown; Conacaf suspend Champions League; all USSF games off

By Paul Nicholson

March 13 – On Wednesday MLS games in Seattle and San Jose were postponed. A day later Major League Soccer had followed in the wake of the NBA and suspended all games, effective immediately, for 30 days, as it continues to assess the impact of the coronavirus.

The speed of the reaction to fears of the spread of Covid-19 in the US was impressive. The second and third tier USL leagues also suspended all football for 30 days, US Soccer announced that all men’s and women’s national team games due to be played in March and April had been cancelled.

By the end of the day the suspension of football across the country was even communicating through to youth and grassroots football with hugely influential state bodies like Cal North and Cal South (California) telling clubs that all games and leagues and training sessions were suspended (the state body provides the insurances) until April 15.

“At the appropriate time, the league and clubs will communicate plans for the continuation of the 2020 season and update the status of league events,” said an MLS statement.

“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,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “We’d like to thank our fans for their continued support during this challenging time.”

Concacaf suspends Champions League

Regional governing body Concacaf also responded to the Coronavirus threat and cancelled its Champions League schedule with immediate effect. Two matches were played on Wednesday night while LAFC had been set to play Cruz Azul on Thursday. 

“At Concacaf the welfare of everyone associated with our matches and competitions is of paramount importance to us. We have been closely monitoring the public health situation as it has been evolving in the US and across the entire region,” said Conacaf in a statement.

“Given the developments last night, including new guidance issued by countries, cities and states, we have made the decision to suspend the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League with immediate effect.

“We are continuing to discuss arrangements for other upcoming Concacaf competitions and will make a further public statement in due course.”


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