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All domestic football matches off until April

All domestic football matches off until April

FOOTBALL: The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) yesterday (Mar 4) postponed all domestic matches due to fears of the coronavirus outbreak.

Football
By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 4 March 2020, 09:19AM


Chiang Rai United’s Bill Rosimar, left, vies with Bangkok United’s Peerapat Notchaiya during a Thai League 1 match at the weekend. Photo: Bangkok Post

Chiang Rai United’s Bill Rosimar, left, vies with Bangkok United’s Peerapat Notchaiya during a Thai League 1 match at the weekend. Photo: Bangkok Post

“For the safety of the people and those involved in football ...... Thai League Co and member clubs agreed to postponed all matches,” the FAT said in a statement.

Matches will resume on April 18.

However, FAT president Somyot Poompunmuang said if the situation did not become better, another postponement would be needed.

He said if matches had to be further postponed, the FAT would inform parties concerned by March 31.

The move came after the government yesterday issued more measures to tackle COVID-19.

The government has called on its agencies and the private sector to avoid organising activities with a large number of people.

On Sunday (Mar 1), the FAT announced that all domestic matches scheduled for this month would be played behind closed doors.

The decision was made after the government declared COVID-19 a dangerous communicable disease.

However, a group of Thai League 1 clubs reportedly did not agree with the decision and wanted matches to be postponed instead.

After four matches, Bangkok United and Ratchaburi are joint leaders in Thai League 1 following their perfect starts to the season.

At the weekend, Bangkok United thrashed struggling champions Chiang Rai United 4-1 while Ratchaburi beat Nakhon Ratchasima 1-0.

The leading duo are two points ahead of big-spending Port and newcomers BG Pathum United.

Meanwhile, the FAT said the four national team stars, who are playing in Japan, must be quarantined for 14 days if they are to play for the War Elephants.

The quartet in J-League are Chanathip Songkrasin and Kawin Thamsatchanan (Consadole Sapporo), Teerathon Bunmathan (Yokohama F Marinos) and Teerasil Dangda (Shimizu S Pulse).

Thailand are scheduled to play Indonesia in a World Cup qualifier in Bangkok on March 26.

However, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has not yet announced if the upcoming World Cup qualifiers would go ahead as scheduled or postponed.

In Europe, Uefa has set up a working group with the European Leagues association to handle any fixture fall-out caused by coronavirus related postponements.

With Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs pencilled in for later this month, as well as knock-out rounds in the Champions League and Europa League, Uefa admits it will be tough to reschedule games.

“We met with the European Leagues yesterday to create a coordination group to face the situation and find the best possible solutions,” said Uefa general secretary Theodore Theodoridis at Uefa’s congress yesterday.

“From our side we are addressing the situation by making contact with the WHO [World Health Organisation] and different governments. We don’t want to over-react but have a line of contact,” he said.

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