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Thai leagues close the doors on fans

Thai leagues close the doors on fans

FOOTBALL: The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) has announced that all domestic league matches scheduled for the month of March will be played behind closed doors.

By Bangkok Post

Monday 2 March 2020, 09:57AM

Port striker Heberty Fernandes scores against Buriram United at Chang Arena in Buri Ram. Photo: Bangkok Post

Port striker Heberty Fernandes scores against Buriram United at Chang Arena in Buri Ram. Photo: Bangkok Post

The decision was reached at an emergency meeting of the national football governing body yesterday shortly after the Thai government declared COVID-19 a dangerous communicable disease.

The meeting decided to close all stadiums to fans for all fixtures, starting Friday (Mar 6) to the end of this month.

The announcement covers all four domestic leagues and other competitions staged under the auspices of the FAT.

The decision is a measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus, since football is a sport that brings thousands of people together, from supporters to players and staff, deputy FAT secretary-general Patit Supaphong said yesterday (Mar 1).

Details will be announced later on who will be eligible to enter the stadiums after the doors are closed to the general public, he added.

Live telecasts of the Thai League 1 matches remain unaffected.

Thailand are scheduled to take on Indonesia at Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium on March 26 when the World Cup qualifying fixtures return. They also play a friendly with Curacao on March 30 in Songkhla. These matches have not been cancelled.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is meeting today and is expected to declare mandatory region-wide measures for all members.

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The coronavirus outbreak has affected many sporting events across Asia and Europe with matches in the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean football leagues being postponed indefinitely.

Buriram, Port share spoils

Port’s winning streak in Thai League 1 came to an end last night when they dropped points for the first time this season following a 1-1 draw at Buriram United.

While Port slipped to third spot behind Bangkok United and Ratchaburi, the result hurt the Thunder Castle even more as the six-time former champions skidded down to 11th place.

Heberty Fernandes’ 23rd-minute strike for Port was cancelled out within minutes as Supachok Sarachart scored for the hosts.

Meanwhile, Derley ensured Muang Thong United’s recovery continued, netting the winner against Chonburi early in the first half.

Hosts Police Tero picked up three points following a 1-0 victory Samut Prakan City and BG Pathum United were boosted by a 69th minute goal by Thitiphan Puangjan that gave them a 1-0 win over Trat.

On Saturday (Feb 29) night, hosts Ratchaburi claimed their fourth straight victory with a 1-0 win over Nakhon Ratchasima.

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