UEFA have cancelled all Champions League and Europa League matches scheduled for next week as the coronavirus pandemic hit football.
In a statement on Friday, UEFA said that the decision was made ‘in light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe’. In one of the latest developments Real Madrid put the entire team in self-isolation after a member of the club’s basketball team caught the virus.
In a statement, the club said: “The recommendation of remaining in quarantine has been followed with immediate effect, with this measure applied to both the basketball and football first teams, given that the two squads share the facilities at Real Madrid City.
“In addition, a decision has been made to close our training ground and it is recommended that all Real Madrid staff who work at Real Madrid City remain in quarantine.
“The EuroLeague basketball match and the LaLiga football fixture scheduled for today and tomorrow will not be played”, the club said.
UEFA’ss full statement:
In the light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competitions matches scheduled next week are postponed.
This includes the remaining UEFA Champions League, Round of 16 second leg matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020; all UEFA Europa League, Round of 16 second leg matches scheduled on 19 March 2020; all UEFA Youth League, quarter-final matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020.
Further decisions on when these matches take place will be communicated in due course.
As a consequence of the postponements, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League quarter-final draws scheduled for 20 March have also been postponed.
UEFA yesterday invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to a videoconference meeting on Tuesday 17 March to discuss European football’s response to the outbreak.”
On Thursday, La Liga also released a statement to announce that it has suspended all top-flight and second-tier games
‘Given the circumstances that have come to light this morning, such as the quarantine put in place at Real Madrid and possible positive cases at other clubs, LaLiga has decided to continue with the next phase of the protocol of action against COVID-19.
“In accordance with measures established in the Royal Decree 664/1997 of May 12, it has been agreed that the competition will be suspended for the next two matchdays.
“This decision will be re-evaluated after the completion of the quarantines undertaken at the affected clubs and other possible situations that may arise.
” As the organiser of the competition, LaLiga has communicated the decision to the RFEF (Spanish Football Federation) the CSD (High Court of Sport) and the clubs’.