Major League Soccer is set to suspend its 2020 season as the coronavirus pandemic continues to expand its reach in the sports world. According to Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated, play will be suspended “immediately until further notice.”
An official statement was released shortly after the news became public, with MLS announcing play will be suspended for 30 days.
“Our clubs were united today in the decision to temporarily suspend our season — based on the advice and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and other public health authorities, and in the best interest of our fans, players, officials, and employees,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said. “We’d like to thank our fans for their continued support during this challenging time.”
MLS’s decision to suspend play comes less than 24 hours after the NBA made a stunning announcement that it will be postponing its play until further notice. The NBA’s decision was pushed forward after Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. During follow up testing, Jazz all-star Donovan Mitchell also was diagnosed with the virus.
The coronavirus outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponing of many large events including Coachella, SXSW, the Winter X Games, Stagecoach, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, and more. The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be held without fans.
In the United States, coronavirus cases have topped 1,000 across 34 states with at least 32 deaths — most of the deaths in the state of Washington.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.