March 12, 2020 / 3:59 PM / a month ago

MLS suspends season due to coronavirus outbreak

(Reuters) - U.S. Major League Soccer said on Thursday it was suspending its season for 30 days due to the coronavirus outbreak, as professional sports leagues across the globe implemented measures in response to the pandemic.

“Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season,” Commissioner Don Garber said in a written statement, citing guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health authorities.

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, with the ATP announcing on Thursday that it would suspend its men’s professional tennis tour for six weeks.

The U.S. Soccer federation also said it had cancelled upcoming matches for its men’s and women’s teams in March and April, as well as “the majority of our upcoming domestic and international camps at all levels.”

“We strongly believe this is the best decision considering the ongoing worldwide health situation,” said U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer George Chiampas, citing conversations with the CDC as well as state and local health officials.

The world of soccer has been rocked by the coronavirus outbreak, with competitions across Europe suspended, postponed or played without fans.

Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Chizu Nomiyama

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