The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has decided that the remaining I-League games will be held behind closed doors.
“Adhering to the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, All India Football Federation has decided to complete the remaining matches of the 2019-20 edition of the I-League behind closed doors.
“Besides team officials and players; match officials (referees), medical staff, TV Crew, accredited media, and required security staff — none would be allowed to be in the premises of the stadium on match day, and during official practice the preceding day,” the AIFF said in a release.
The Sports Ministry on Thursday asked all national federations to ensure that any sporting event in India is conducted without any public gathering amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
“To deal with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued advisories and advised the state governments to take appropriate action under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
“You are advised to adhere to the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and ensure that no public gathering takes place in any sporting event. In the event, the sporting event cannot be avoided, the same could be done without allowing gathering of people, including spectators,” the Sports Ministry said in a letter to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and all national sports federations including the BCCI.
The central government had on Wednesday suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus as cases across the country rose to over 70. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also declared COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) a pandemic.