Coronavirus: La Liga to be played behind closed doors for at least two weeks

Spanish authorities have decided to continue the La Liga and Segunda Division, but the matches will be held behind closed doors for at least a fortnight.

In a statement, La Liga said it "will stay in constant contact with the Ministry of Health and CSD (High Council of Sport) to learn their recommendations and/or decisions" going forward.   -  Brian Ach/Getty Images for LaLiga

Matches in La Liga and the Segunda Division will be played behind closed doors for at least the next two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Spanish authorities took the decision following a meeting early on Tuesday before advising league officials.

In a statement, La Liga said it "will stay in constant contact with the Ministry of Health and CSD (High Council of Sport) to learn their recommendations and/or decisions" going forward.

It is expected the measures will come into effect as soon as Tuesday's La Liga match between Eibar and Real Sociedad at Ipurua.

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Osasuna had earlier suspended ticket sales for the game against Sociedad on Sunday, with a message on its website telling fans to await further updates.

The news comes after Barcelona announced that its Champions League last-16, second leg against Napoli will be held behind closed doors next week.

However, as of early on Tuesday, there were no plans to hold Liverpool's match with Atletico Madrid at Anfield this Wednesday without fans present.

Some of the La Liga matches to be affected are the derby between Sevilla and Real Betis, Atletico Madrid's trip to Athletic Bilbao, Real Madrid's home match with Valencia and Barcelona games against Real Mallorca and Leganes.

Joris Evers, La Liga's chief communications officer, said on Twitter: "Health is paramount. As a preventive measure, La Liga Santander and La Liga SmartBank will be played behind closed doors the coming two weeks (as will all sporting competitions and events in Spain)."

 

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Spain had jumped to 1,024 on Monday, close to double the number recorded on Sunday. Twenty-eight people have died.

In Madrid - where there are 782 confirmed cases - and in the Basque country, all schools and universities have been closed in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19.

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