Dutch football matches postponed over coronavirus fears

Soccer (File)
Soccer (File)

The Hague - Dutch authorities postponed on Tuesday several first division matches in the south of the country in a bid to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

This weekend's Eredivisie games - Willem II-Heerenveen, PSV-FC Emmen and RKC Waalwijk-FC Groningen have been put off until a later date. A second division match between TOP Oss and FC Den Bosch has also been postponed.

All the matches were due to take place in Brabant, the worst-hit province in the Netherlands. The country has recorded 382 coronavirus cases including four deaths.

"The health services in Brabant (province) have decided this afternoon that no professional football matches can take place this weekend," the Dutch football federation KNVB said in a statement.

"This is one of the measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus."

The mayor of the southern city of Eindhoven, John Jorritsma, confirmed that "all professional football matches in the province this weekend are banned."

Several other events including concerts and a carnival parade had also been cancelled, Jorritsma added.

The mayor said they had taken the steps "so the virus does not spread further" in the province.

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