MLS extends team training moratorium as part of coronavirus shutdown

Major League Soccer has extended the suspension on team training for another week as part of the league's efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Players have been told not to travel and advised to maintaining social distancing measures until at least Friday, March 20.

Last week, the league announced a 30-day suspension of all fixtures just two matchdays into the new campaign as part of a worldwide effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

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“Major League Soccer has extended the team training moratorium through, and including, Friday, March 20th,” said a statement.

“During this time, MLS players are expected to remain in each club’s respective market, and have been advised to exercise safe social distancing measures.

“MLS is working with public health authorities, in collaboration with the MLS clubs, the MLS Players Association, and in consultation with the other North American professional sports leagues to finalize a protocol that would permit players to access training facilities for rehab or individual training under safe conditions during the team training moratorium.

“MLS remains in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on this continually evolving situation and will provide further updates as they become available.”

Earlier on Sunday, Mexico’s Liga MX announced that all fixtures are to be suspended after the completion of matchday 10, which were already being played behind closed doors.

The Brazilian FA (CBF) also announced that it will be putting a temporary halt to its competitions because of the outbreak.

They have joined major leagues around the world including the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and La Liga in shutting down in response to the crisis.

Europa League and Champions League matches have also been called off, meaning a major fixture backlog awaits when football is cleared to return again.

European football’s governing body UEFA is to hold a meeting with all 55 member nations on Tuesday to discuss their response to the crisis. It is expected that Euro 2020 will be postponed for a year in order to give European leagues time over the summer to complete their domestic seasons.

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