MAN CITY V REAL MADRID, JUVENTUS V LYON CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCHES POSTPONED

Manchester City’s Champions League last-16, second-leg tie with Real Madrid and Juventus’ match against Lyon next week have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, European football’s governing body UEFA said on Thursday (March 12).

Real said earlier that it had sent all of the members of its football and basketball teams home into quarantine after one of the sports club’s basketball players tested positive for the coronavirus.

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday, leading the Italian club to quarantine their entire squad.

“Following the quarantine imposed on players of Juventus and Real Madrid, the… matches will not take place as scheduled,” Uefa said on Twitter.

Both matches were due to take place on Tuesday, March 17.

City have a 2-1 lead from the first leg in Madrid on Feb. 26 while Juventus trail Lyon 1-0.

As it stands, Wednesday’s two last 16, second legs between Bayern Munich and Chelsea and Barcelona and Napoli are still set to go ahead behind closed doors.

However, UEFA is to have a crisis meeting on Tuesday with representatives from all 55 national associations and club and player bodies to decide how national leagues, European competitions and Euro 2020 should proceed.

Meanwhile, the United States Soccer Federation also cancelled upcoming men’s and women’s international friendlies over concerns of the new coronavirus.

The USSF said in a statement that all senior and youth team activities planned in March and April had been scrapped.

The US men’s team were due to play the Netherlands on March 26 in Eindhoven and Wales on March 30 in Cardiff.

The women’s team were due to face Australia on April 10 in Sandy, Utah, and Brazil on April 14 at San Jose, California.

“With the health of our players, coaches, staff and fans as our main priority, US Soccer has decided it was in the best interest to cancel the majority of our upcoming domestic and international camps at all levels, including our senior men and women’s national team games in March and April, due to the outbreak of Covid-19,” US Soccer chief medical officer George Chiampas said of the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“We have been in communication with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as state and local departments of public health, and after those conversations and continuously monitoring the situation, we strongly believe this is the best decision considering the ongoing worldwide health situation.”

Major League Soccer (MLS) had earlier in the day announced it was suspending its season for 30 days due to the virus pandemic.

“Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season,” commissioner Don Garber said in a written statement.

MLS, which kicked off its 25th season late last month, is the most recent major professional sports league to suspend operations in light of the global pandemic.

-AFP/Reuters