Major League Soccer (MLS) is suspending its season amid the COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, outbreak that is causing major cancellations across the globe.
The MLS tweeted the announcement on Thursday, March 12, saying that the season would be suspended for the next 30 days.
Major League Soccer Suspends Season for 30 Days pic.twitter.com/P0HEPmsnkx
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 12, 2020
“Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season based on the advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and other public health authorites, and in the best interests of fans, players, officials, and employees,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “We’d like to thank our fans for their continued support during this challenging time.”
The MLS season began only two weeks ago, and it’s unclear if people who bought tickets for upcoming games would get a refund. Digital Trends reached out to MLS to find out what would happen to game ticket holders. We will update this story when we hear back.
Though probably disappointing for MLS fans, the move doesn’t really come as much of a surprise amid the COVID-19 outbreak spreading rapidly. On Wednesday, Washington state and San Francisco instituted bans against large gatherings for the remainder of the month to limit the spread of the virus.
The news also follows major coronavirus-related sports announcements from Wednesday that included the National Basketball Association (NBA) suspending its season and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s and women’s tournament games taking place without any spectators.
Events are being canceled or postponed left and right across the country amid the coronavirus outbreak, including South by Southwest in Austin, E3 2020 in Los Angeles, the New York Auto Show, Google’s I/O Conference in San Jose, California, and many more.
President Donald Trump also announced a 30-day travel ban for most of Europe beginning Friday, March 13, as part of U.S. efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. This does not include the United Kingdom or Ireland.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. In total, there have been more than 127,8600 confirmed cases of the coronavirus worldwide, and 4,718 confirmed deaths. The virus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, but there have been confirmed cases in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, and more countries around the globe.
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