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South Africa's PSL postpone league over coronavirus

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AFP  |  Johannesburg 

South Africa has cancelled top-flight football with immediate effect because of the coronavirus pandemic, Premier Soccer League (PSL) chairman Irvin Khoza said on Monday.

Sixty-two people have contracted the virus as of 1300 GMT Monday, according to health officials in the most industrialised African country, with no deaths reported.

"We will be in contact with the health authorities and review the situation on an on-going basis," Khoza told a press conference in Johannesburg.

"This is our effort to promote the health and safety of all our members, including players, officials, sponsors and staff."

South Africa are following a number of other African nations, including Ghana and Morocco, in cancelling football indefinitely.

The first fixture to be affected, a league clash between title contenders Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in Pretoria on Tuesday, was expected to draw a 50,000 crowd.

On Sunday, the South African government banned gatherings of more than 100 people, leaving football officials with two options: postpone matches or play them in empty stadiums.

The South African league is the richest in Africa with a record 15 million rand ($900,000/810,000 euro) going to the champions this season.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mon, March 16 2020. 21:20 IST
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