Philippine football latest to be affected by COVID-19 scare
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 10, 2020 01:22 PM
With the on-going COVID-19 scare, Philippine football matches have been postponed or will be played behind closed doors. (FILE PHOTO)
With the Philippines seeing a massive increas in positive cases of the dreaded COVID-19 virus, public activities, gatherings, and even sporting events have been postponed, supended, and even cancelled.
The UAAP has suspended all events starting March 10th, this was after they played Game 2 of the Boys High School Basketball Finals between National University and Far Eastern University behind closed doors.
Now, even Philippine football matches are taking a hit.
The Philippine Football Federation announced Monday evening that the Philippine Men's National Football Team's upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers matches have been postponed.
"Following consultation with Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Member Associations, FIFA and AFC have decided to postpone the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022/AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 matches scheduled on the FIFA International Window of 23-31 March 2020 and 1-9 June 2020," The PFF said on their official website.
The Philippines has three scheduled matches within those windows:
March 26th vs. Guam
June 4th vs. China PR
June 9th vs. the Maldives
The PFF added that the matches will be scheduled for a later date following further discussions between FIFA and the AFC.
Speaking of the AFC, the upcoming 2020 AFC Cup match between Filipino club Ceres-Negros FC and Indonesia's Bali United on Wednesday, March 11th will now be played behind closed doors at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Pasay City, Philippines.
For the health and safety of our spectators, we regret to inform you that we will be playing our AFC Cup match with Bali United behind closed doors. As such, only essential personnel will be allowed inside the stadium.#AFCCup2020 #Philippines #Indonesia #ceresfootball pic.twitter.com/0noeX1yGRz— Ceres-Negros FC (@CeresNegrosFC) March 10, 2020
This move, according to Ceres, is in support of the Department of Health's drive to prevent the spread of the disease.
Meanwhile, Kaya-Iloilo FC's March 10th match against Indonesia's PSM Makassar will push through as scheduled at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.
Ceres-Negros FC and Kaya-Iloilo FC are on top of Group G and Group H respectively, with 4 points apiece.