Turkey’s sports minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu has suspended all football leagues in the country as a measure against the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
Kasapoglu met with football, basketball and volleyball federations to discuss a widening Covid-19 pandemic.
“All handball, football, basketball and volleyball leagues have been postponed as a precaution against the spread of the virus,” Kasapoglu said.
Turkish Football Federation president Nihat Ozdemir revealed that a return date has yet to be set.
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“Our aim is to restart the league as soon as possible, we want to return with fans when the league does resume,” Ozdemir revealed.
Turkey has confirmed 191 cases and two deaths from the virus.
New measures recently brought in have restricted travel restrictions, ordering sports events to be played without spectators and banning mass prayers until further notice.
The Turkish sports authorities came under pressure to suspend the league after resuming play while every other European league had been postponed.
Several players and coaches criticised the decision to continue playing matches.
John Obi Mikel terminated his contract in response to the decision to continue playing games.
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I would like to thank all the fans for their support. I also want to say thanks to all my teammates, technical crew, medical team and kit men Ayatabe 😉 🚬 for all we’ve achieved this season so far, wish you guys best of luck in winning the league🏆. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make, but in current situation we all need take care of our families, spend time with them and protect them. #lifefirst #stayhome #family
FifPro also called on the Turkish authorities to put the league on hold during the outbreak.
— FIFPRO (@FIFPro) March 19, 2020