Coronavirus outbreaks sees CBF suspend Brazilian football indefinitely

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The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) announced the suspension of all national football competitions for an indefinite period, with president Rogerio Caboclo vowing to help fight the spread of coronavirus in Brazil.

The announcement came in the wake of FIFA's postponement of South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, which were scheduled for March 26 – 31, and affected all national competitions currently in progress and under the CBF's supervision.

A statement on the CBF's official website explained that state football federations would have autonomy over their own competitions but underlined the importance of a coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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"The Brazilian Football Confederation [CBF] decided to suspend, from this Monday, March 16, for an indefinite period, the national competitions under its coordination that are in progress: Copa do Brasil, Brazilian Women's Championships A1 and A2, Championship Brazilian U-17 and Copa do Brasil U-20," the statement said.

"CBF will remain in permanent contact with the Ministry of Health, joining efforts so that the country and the sport overcome the great challenge in relation to the pandemic, hoping that, as soon as possible, we can return to normality."

The statement quoted Caboclo as saying: "We know and assume the responsibility of football in the fight against the expansion of COVID-19 in Brazil."

Brazil follows the lead of most nations around the world in suspending their football competitions in an effort to combat the coronavirus. 

Australia however declared on Monday that football in the country will continue with the A-League and W-League to be played behind closed doors. 

"The scale of football means that we have a key role to play in maintaining the health and wellbeing of Australians, as well as their families and the wider community," FFA CEO James Johnson said, with Australia's football governing body to review the situation for the upcoming finals series.

"We are doing so by allowing people to play, in line with the current government position but with additional guidance to further improve social distancing at football fields around the country.

"We have been working closely with our stakeholders, government health officials and our own chief medical officer to develop our policies for the whole of the game following the COVID-19 outbreak. The situation is subject to constant change, and further measures may be necessary in the future.

"The decision to play the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019-20 season, and the Westfield W-League 2020 Grand Final behind closed doors was made in consultation with the clubs and in accordance with the latest federal government advice."

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