March 10, 2020 / 11:42 AM / a month ago

RPT-Rugby-French league to decide on Top 14 fate on Wednesday amid coronavirus fears

(Repeating to add linked stories in related content, no change to text)

PARIS, March 10 (Reuters) - The French league is expected to decide on Wednesday whether the Top 14, the richest rugby union league in the world, will be suspended or the matches will be played without any spectators amid the coronavirus outbreak.

A source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday that the decision would be made at a board meeting, which will be held by telephone.

League officials have been meeting with the Sports minister on Tuesday and they will discuss the matter with the club presidents in a conference call at 1700 GMT on Tuesday.

“Some presidents are in favour of postponing the games... while others will want to play the games behind closed doors,” the source said, adding that clubs with fewer resources would want to postpone the matches “in order to avoid losing over 100,000 euros ($113,520.00) per game in match revenues”.

France has banned gathering of more than 1,000 in a bid to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected over 1,400 and killed 30. ($1 = 0.8809 euros)

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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