BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgium’s football association has ordered this weekend’s soccer matches to be played without fans and postponed the final of the Belgian Cup as the coronavirus takes hold in the country.
The order, which will also lead to the cancellation of all youth and amateur matches, will run until the end of March.
The last round of regular-season matches in the top league will take place in empty stadiums on Sunday. There will also be no spectators at the second division’s promotion and relegation playoffs and at women’s super league games.
The Belgian Cup final between Club Bruges and Antwerp, scheduled for March 22, has also been postponed.
The following weekend, the Belgian national team will not now travel to Qatar for a friendly tournament involving Portugal and Switzerland.
Belgium’s government earlier this week barred indoor events with more than 1,000 people, but said that large outdoor events could go ahead.
The Belgian football association and Pro League said they had decided to go a step further to take the maximum precautions to protect supporters and teams.
Reporting by Kate Abnett; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Toby Davis