Ligue 1 matches will be played behind closed doors or only for 1000 spectators, France's Sports Minister Laura Flessel-Colovic announced on Monday. The announcement comes after a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.
France has reported at least 1,100 cases and 19 deaths due to coronavirus and has started taking active measures to combat the virus.
The decision by the French government comes hours after the announcement that the Champions League Round of 16 match between PSG vs Dortmund will take place behind closed doors.
The French Minister also announced that the Six Nations rugby match between France and Ireland was postponed on Monday to prevent the virus from spreading further. Roxana Mărăcineanu said the decision was taken after discussions with tournament organizers and the French rugby federation. The match was due to take place on Saturday at the Stade de France and no new date has been announced.
On Sunday, French Health Minister Olivier Véran banned gathering of more than 1000 people in the country. This was done as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus.
Multiple sporting events have been affected due to the virus. While some events are going to be held behind closed doors, others have been postponed or even cancelled.
Globally, more than 3,400 people have died due to Coronavirus, with the epicentre being in China. The virus has infected more than 1,02,000 people globally and has now spread to North America South America, Europe, New Zealand, and to more than 90 other countries.
On March 1, UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock released US$15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help fund global efforts to contain the virus. The announcement came soon after the WHO upgraded the global risk of the Coronavirus outbreak to "very high" – its top level of risk assessment. The WHO has said there is still a chance of containing the virus if its chain of transmission is broken.