Football has been growing in popularity across India
Football has been growing in popularity across India Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi: All I-League matches from March 15 and other football activities, barring the Indian Super League (ISL) final scheduled to take place Saturday evening, have been suspended till March 31 due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said on Saturday.

“Adhering to the advisories issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, and directives from several state governments, all footballing activities under the aegis of AIFF stay suspended until March 31, 2020,” said the AIFF in its statement.

“Furthermore, all Hero Second Division, Hero Youth Leagues, Golden Baby Leagues, as well as, National Competitions also stay suspended with immediate effect.”

Earlier on Saturday, the I-League match between Real Kashmir and TRAU FC which was scheduled to be held in Srinagar did not go through. The match was to be held behind closed doors.

On Wednesday, the government had cancelled all visas, except for a few official categories, until April 15 in the wake of the rapidly growing coronavirus cases in the country and across the world.

The Sports Ministry also followed this up by making it clear that all sporting events should be cancelled in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. And if it is unavoidable, the events should be held behind closed doors to avoid mass gatherings.

So far, over 80 confirmed cases of coronavirus have been reported in India and two people have lost their lives due to the disease.