Beijing has suspended all of its planned sporting events with immediate effect following reports of new COVID-19 cases in the Chinese Capital.
According to The Guardian 49 new cases of the virus have been confirmed in the city, which had led to the cancellation of events such as Chinese Super League (CSL) side Beijing Guoan’s planned friendlies with Hebei China Fortune and Shandong Luneng.
The municipal government of Beijing stated: “Due to changes in the situation of epidemic prevention and control in Beijing, all kinds of sports events will be suspended in the city from now on to reduce the risks brought by people’s mobility and gathering, and ensure the health and safety of the people.”
News of the virus’ spread has once again cast doubts over the CSL’s commencement this season, with the competition yet to announce an official date. Moreover, various Chinese clubs have suffered huge financial hardships in recent years such as Tianjin Tianhai, who were declared bankrupt in May.
A time frame as to how long sporting events will be suspended has yet to be revealed, however, if the restriction isn’t short term it could also affect the Chinese Basketball Association’s (CBA) planned restart on 20 June, particularly Beijing Ducks’ clash with the Liaoning Flying Leopards.
With regard to the CSL’s resumption, SportBusiness reported last week that a number of proposals have been made so that the league can start its 2020 campaign, however, none have yet to be approved by the relevant authorities. One such proposal was to change the format of the competition with the 16 CSL sides being split up into two groups, with Shanghai and Guangzhou activating as host cities.