'We advise against conducting IPL': MEA to BCCI amid coronavirus outbreak

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Mar 13, 2020, 11:07 AM(IST)

Mumbai Indians team players hold the trophy as they celebrate their victory against Chennai Super Kings after the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 final cricket match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad on May 13, 2019. Photograph:( AFP )

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Many tournaments across sports have been either cancelled or postponed and all eyes are now on the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, which is scheduled to kickstart from March 29 with the iconic Wankhede Stadium being the host for the tournament opener.

With the novel coronavirus spreading like a wildfire, the sporting world has taken a massive hit. Many tournaments across sports have been either cancelled or postponed and all eyes are now on the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, which is scheduled to kickstart from March 29 with the iconic Wankhede Stadium being the host for the tournament opener.  With positive cases of COVID-19 rising to at least 71 on Thursday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and IPL governing council are mulling over holding the cash-rich tournament behind closed doors, without any spectators. 

While there is no official confirmation as of now and an IPL governing council meeting set to take place on March 14 (Saturday), the real possibility of conducting IPL 2020 is being considered by the officials. "We are discussing the possibility of playing IPL behind closed doors," the official said while adding, "compensation for teams to be discussed on Saturday."

Should IPL 2020 take place amid coronavirus outbreak?

However, the Indian government on Thursday advised the BCCI against holding the IPL 2020 later in March due to coronavirus outbreak. "We advise against conducting IPL, the final decision lies with organisers," MEA said.

The government has already issued a fresh advisory with suspension on all existing foreign visas, except a few categories like diplomatic and employment, till April 15.

Earlier, Sports Secretary Radhey Shyan Julaniya said that all the National Sports Federations, including the BBCI, have been asked to follow the Health Ministry's latest advisory and avoid public gatherings at all costs.

"We have asked all the NSFs (National Sports Federations), including the BCCI, to follow the Health Ministry's latest advisory, which says public gatherings should be avoided in all events, including sporting activities," PTI quoted Sports Secretary Radhey Shyam Julaniya as saying.

An official statement is expected on March 14 (Saturday) after the completion of IPL governing council meeting in which the possibility of having IPL 2020 will be discussed.

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