Аll sports fixtures in Russia are to be suspended up to April 10 due to the coronavirus pandemic as the country registered 114 confirmed cases, the authorities said on Tuesday, according to The Moscow Times.
The national football and basketball associations as well as the Continental Hockey League issued simultaneous statements saying they were “suspending fixtures until April 10 with the aim of preventing the spread of Covid-19.”
The Russian Premier League, the top football division, said that eight rounds left in the season would be held later, not cancelled.
The Russian Football Union said in a separate statement that it was suspending all the events until the same date.
Two friendlies that Russia was set to play against Moldova and Sweden have been cancelled.
The halting of sports events was expected after Moscow city authorities on Monday banned public events with more than 50 participants. The sports ministry had also recommended the suspension of fixtures until April 10.
Russia is one of the last European countries to cancel fixtures despite calls from top sports figures including club presidents.
Supporters of Zenit Saint Petersburg sang “We’re all going to die” during a match on Saturday with Ural Yekaterinburg, attended by more than 33,000 fans, video footage showed.
“It’s an absolutely correct, predictable and expected decision. It’s a shame of course that as always we are trailing behind in terms of worldwide decisions,” nationalist MP Igor Lebedev told the Sport24.ru website.