Brazilian forward Neymar and his teammates have become the latest victims of the coronavirus pandemic after Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 game at Strasbourg which was scheduled for today, Saturday, was postponed because of the outbreak.
The postponement was contained in a French Football League (LFP) statement on Friday.
“Following an order from the Bas-Rhin authorities concerning the spread of the coronavirus, the meeting is postponed,” the LFP said.
It is the first French league match to be postponed because of the new coronavirus.
No details have been given on when the rearranged game will take place.
Strasbourg’s Alsace region is one of the worst-hit by the coronavirus in France, where 613 cases and nine deaths have been reported.
The decision was made after several people tested positive for COVID-19 in the Haut-Rhin region, which neighbours the Bas-Rhin region where Strasbourg is located.
“Following an order from the Bas-Rhin authorities concerning the spread of the coronavirus, the meeting is postponed,” PSG said in a statement.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced that all schools and nurseries in the departments of l’Oise, in the north, and le Haut-Rhin, in the north-east, will be closed for two weeks from Monday.
“The arrival of 26,000 at the Stade de la Meinau, a quarter of which would come from the Haut-Rhin region, is likely to promote the spread of COVID-19,” local authorities added in a statement.
Runaway Ligue 1 leaders PSG will not be too put out by the postponement, as the decision will give them an extra day of rest before their Champions League last-16 second leg against Borussia Dortmund at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.
Several other sporting events in the country have been affected.
The Paris marathon, initially scheduled for April 5, has been postponed until October 18 and a number of cycling teams have pulled out of the Paris-Nice stage race that starts on Sunday.