The IPL 2020 is under massive threat due to the Coronavirus crisis. According to reports, the IPL Governing Council are looking at the possibility of scheduling the mega event behind closed doors with the Indian sports ministry not planning to cancel any scheduled sporting events. The Governing Council reportedly will decide the fate of IPL 2020 in a meeting on Saturday.
The World Health Organisation declared on Wednesday declared COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) a pandemic in an announcement by India’s Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju. It remains to be seen how it affects ongoing Ind vs SA ODI series which kicked off on Thursday, Dharamsala while the second and third ODIs were scheduled to be played at Lucknow and Kolkata on March 15 and 18 respectively. It is likely that following the health ministry's guidelines, the IND vs SA ODI series will be played behind closed doors as well.
Kiren Rijiju revealed that the guidelines of mass gatherings have been overseen by a group of ministers formed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rijiju added that all international events in India have been cancelled but the sports federations are told to comply with the guidelines issued by the health ministry. Talking about the IPL, Kiren Rijiju indicated that fans are unlikely to be allowed entry to the stadiums. However, he added that IPL 2020 will not be cancelled and but will make sure there is no mass gathering.
There are many confusions amongst the athletes at this moment. Two Advisories are issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports for matches abroad and the domestic. There's no restrictions on playing but guidelines to be followed strictly in the larger interest of health. pic.twitter.com/RoohGcsOma— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) March 12, 2020
Kiren Rijiju said that the idea of organising IPL 2020 behind closed doors had been taken as a precautionary measure. Considering that a thousand fans usually attend the IPL matches, Rijiju said that organisers should ensure the safety of the people. He further added that the health of the nation is more important than anything and added the organisers should put in place all infrastructure including screening machines.