The Canadian Premier League has postponed the start of its 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The professional soccer league had been set to kick off its second season April 11.
The decision follows coronavirus directives from governments and health officials banning all public gatherings, a league statement said Friday.
“Collectively with our Clubs and Owners we unanimously agree that our number one priority is to protect the well-being of our fans, players, officials, employees and the general public,” said Canadian Premier League commissioner David Clanachan via the league statement.
The CPL had previously halted all preseason activity and training March 13 with an initial 14-day break.
“We play professional sports for living,” said Cavalry FC head coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. last week when asked about the initial preseason pause. “It isn’t life and death. It’s entertainment. We recognize our role. There are bigger and greater things out there and it’s a way of bringing the community together by playing our part to flatten the curve.”
The commissioner said the league will begin its season once health and government agencies, including Canada Soccer, declare it safe to do so.
“We will continue to work with all of those authorities in order to make a decision on when to begin our 2020 season when it is declared safe by the relevant health and government agencies, including our governing body Canada Soccer,” said Clanachan via the statement.
The statement did not mention a possible start date.
-with files from Canadian Premier League