Colombia temporarily suspends soccer league due to risk of coronavirus

BOGOTÁ, Mar 13 (Reuters) – The highest soccer body in Colombia decided on Friday to temporarily suspend the first and second division championships in compliance with a government order that ordered the cancellation of public shows with more than 500 people to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Most of the leaders of the 36 clubs rejected a proposal to play without an audience in the stadiums and only with the transmission of a closed television channel, considering that the ticket sales revenue is important to the teams’ finances.

“All the competitions organized by DIMAYOR are temporarily suspended. The situation will be evaluated on a daily basis following the guidelines stipulated by the Ministry of Health and the National Government,” said the president of the organization, Jorge Enrique Vélez, when reading a statement. .

Colombia, a country of 50 million inhabitants, has so far reported 13 cases of COVID-19, a disease classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and which has killed almost 5,000 people and infected more than 132,000 in 123 countries.

(Report by Luis Jaime Acosta, edited by Gabriela Donoso)