Russia suspends all professional soccer, hockey, and basketball competitions until April 10
To slow the spread of coronavirus, all professional-league soccer, hockey, and basketball competitions in Russia have been suspended until at least April 10, following reported decisions by the Russian Premier League, Kontinental Hockey League, and VTB United League. According to journalist Nikolai Konov, the decision to postpone games and tournaments until next month was made jointly by the leagues’ leaders and was not even discussed with individual team owners.
Russia’s Professional Football League and Russian Football National League have reportedly suspended their championship soccer tournaments until April 10, as well.
On March 16, Russia’s Sports Ministry announced the cancelation of all international and nationwide sports competitions that draw foreign athletes. The agency also recommended limits on any national sporting events that aren’t qualifying stages for competing in the Olympic Games.
As part of the effort to fight the spread of COVID-19, several regions across Russia have temporarily banned all mass gatherings. The federal government says it will prohibit most foreign citizens from entering Russia between March 18 and May 1. At the time of this writing on March 17, Russia has confirmed 93 cases of coronavirus, with more infections discovered every day.