La Liga, the top soccer league in Spain, has suspended its season amid growing concerns about the spread of coronavirus. The league announced Thursday that it will not play either of its next two matchdays as previously scheduled. The decision comes after Real Madrid placed its players in a quarantine because a member of the club's basketball team tested positive for coronavirus. Real Madrid's soccer and basketball teams share facilities.
Here's the league's full statement:
Given the circumstances that are coming to light this morning, referring to the quarantine established in Real Madrid and the possible cases in players from other clubs, LaLiga considers it appropriate to continue to the next phase of the protocol of action against COVID-19. As a result, in accordance with the measures established in Royal Decree 664/1997 of May 12, it agrees to postpone at least the next two match days.
Said decision will be reevaluated after the completion of the quarantines decreed in the affected clubs and the other possible situations that may arise.
LaLiga, as organizer of the competition, has proceeded to communicate its decision to the Spanish football federation (RFEF), the High Sports Council (CSD) and the Clubs.
Later Thursday, it was announced that Real Madrid's upcoming Champions League game with Manchester City, which was originally set for Tuesday, was postponed.
Real Madrid said it was recommended to self-quarantine players because the two squads "share facilities at Real Madrid City." The team also closed its training ground and recommended all staff members to stay quarantined. You can read the full statement from the club here.
La Liga is the second major European soccer league to halt play due to coronavirus. Italy's Serie A, as well as all other sports in the country,as the country tries to curb the spread of COVID-19. Juventus, one of Italy's most prominent clubs, on Wednesday.
Other leagues, like the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League, have made alterations to their schedules or have played games behind closed doors but have not yet called for a compete stop in play. UEFA announced a meeting will take place on Tuesday that will involve representatives of its 55 member associations to discuss all domestic and European competitions, including Euro 2020 this summer. You can follow live updates on how coronavirus is impacting the sports world here.