How is the coronavirus affecting football?

The coronavirus has hit parts of the world hard with over 118,000 reported cases globally. In the United Kingdom alone, the BBC has reported 373 cases as of March 10th.

The virus has affected sports and altered a variety of events. Formula One, Moto GP, athletics, and football have all been hit by the coronavirus. It is believed the Summer Olympics could be cancelled with the threat of coronavirus in Asia being high.

Football is being hit incredibly hard at the moment in Europe. Italy has thus far reported the most cases as emergency measures have been instituted. There is the possibility that the Serie A season will be cancelled. Italian clubs may not be able to take part in European competition or at the very least, they may be forced to play “home” fixtures at neutral venues outside of the country.

This week sees a number of Europa League and Champions League matches taking place behind closed doors. Teams will compete in empty stadiums as local authorities attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus by limiting large gatherings.

So far in the United Kingdom, the low number of infected individuals has meant that sporting events will continue to be held. Of course, that could change in the next week.

Both La Liga and Ligue 1 will hold domestic matches behind closed doors for the next few weeks. The Spanish Players’ Union wants all football matches for men and women to be cancelled. The union states it is looking out for the safety of the players competing in the Spanish football leagues.

Sporting events have not previously been affected as they are currently due to a virus. A decade ago, Swine Flu was a big issue that hit various parts of the world. Mexico was hit hard and football matches were held behind closed doors at the time.

It is a strange time currently for sports around the globe. The hope is it the coronavirus will die down soon and things can get back to normal.

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