News ID: 266188
Published: 0347 GMT February 26, 2020

Persepolis-Al Taawoun ACL tie called off over virus fears

Persepolis-Al Taawoun ACL tie called off over virus fears

Sports Desk

Iran’s Persepolis’s next fixture at the 2020 AFC Champions League against the Saudi Arabian side Al Taawoun was postponed due to concerns over the new coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East region.

The Group C encounter was to be played in Dubai, the UAE, on March 2.

Al Taawoun made the announcement on Wednesday via its official Twitter account, saying the new date for the game will be announced later by the Asian football governing body.

Asian Champions League matches involving Chinese clubs Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG have already been postponed.

Guangzhou and the Shanghai clubs will join the competition in April, with their group matches due to be played in May.

There are now more than 80,000 confirmed cases of the virus, named COVID-19, around the world and the death toll is over 2,700 – the majority of which are from mainland China.

Infections have also spiked in Iran, Italy, and South Korea while Japan has recorded some 160 cases of the virus as well as 691 discovered onboard a cruise ship docked south of Tokyo.

Worldwide sporting events have been hit by the virus outbreak.

The World Athletics Indoor Championships, scheduled for Nanjing, China, from March 13-15, were postponed until next year.

In addition, four Italian Serie A games, scheduled to have taken place on February 23 in northern Italy, were canceled.

Upcoming Italian top-flight matches can go ahead behind closed doors in areas affected by the outbreak after the government agreed to a request from the country’s football federation.

Concern is also growing over the impact of the coronavirus on the Olympic Games after new cases in Japan were confirmed and the domestic football league games were called off until next month.

On Tuesday, Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), said outright cancelation of the Games, rather than postponement or relocation, would be likely if the disease proved too dangerous for the event – which is scheduled to start on July 24 – to go ahead.





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