The Indian Super League (ISL) final between ATK and Chennaiyin FC will be played behind closed doors in wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The final is scheduled for March 14 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa.
Football Sports Development Limited, owing to the current preventive measures against COVID-19, has taken this decision.
This follows a directive from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to the Indian Olympic Association (IOC), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and all other national sporting bodies including the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The letter read: "To deal with the Novel Corona Virus (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.”
FSDL will soon initiate the process of ticket refunds and an announcement will be made through ISL channels.
Kolkata Derby could be affected too
The AIFF will hold a Skype meeting with representatives from I-League clubs on Friday, 4 PM in view of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports concerning the recent outbreak of COVID-19 today.
The coveted Kolkata Derby, played between Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, might be played behind closed doors too due to similar reasons.
The fixture, which will be the last Kolkata Derby in the I-League, is scheduled to be played on March 15 at the Salt Lake stadium. The tickets for the derby are no longer available for purchase online on Insider .
The coronavirus outbreak has killed more than 4,000 people and spread across more than 90 nations. It has also hit global sport, with football leagues around the world being postponed or matches being forced to be played with no fans in attendance.