New Delhi, Mar 12 (GCSports) The Sports Ministry on Thursday indicated that the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) might take place without crowds due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.
Earlier, on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
The IPL Governing Council meeting will take place on March 14 to discuss the fate of the tournament, which was to feature several overseas players arriving from and through different parts of the globe that have been affected by the pandemic.
The government on Wednesday suspended all visas, barring a few categories like diplomatic and employment, in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The foreign players will not be able to provide their service for the league due to visa restrictions imposed by the government till April 15.
Meanwhile, the Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju indicated that fans are likely not to be allowed at the grounds. “We are not stopping the game,” he said. “We are just telling to ensure that there is no mass gathering. Precautionary step is very important for the health of the country.”
The Sports Ministry has urged the national federations including the cricket board to comply with the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry and stay away from mass gatherings in sporting tourney.
More than 120,000 people have been infected with over 4,300 deaths worldwide. In India more than 60 have been infected with virus.
The coronavirus impact has also raised doubts over Tokyo Olympics this year, however, International Olympic Committee (IOC), is confident that the games will take place as as scheduled in July-August.
The Indian Open golf tournament, scheduled to be held in Gurugram from March 19 to 22, has been postponed, with the organisers promising to reschedule the event at “some point” later this year.
The Shooting World Cup, in Delhi from March 15 to 26, has also been postponed, as has India’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Qatar in Bhubaneswar on March 26.
The India Open badminton tournament is going ahead as of now – in Delhi from March 24 to 29 – but without spectators.