Coronavirus: UEFA Champions League final postponed indefinitely
The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League final has been postponed indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak, UEFA announced on Monday.
The final of Europe's elite club competition had been scheduled for May 30 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.
UEFA also announced the postponement of the UEFA Women's Champions League final and the Europa League final, both originally scheduled for May.
"No decision has yet been made on rearranged dates," the UEFA statement said. "The working group, established last week as a result of the conference call among the stakeholders of European football, which was chaired by UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin, will analyse the options available. The group has already begun its examination of the calendar. Announcements will be made in due course."
Twelve teams remain in this season's Champions League after only half of the competition's round-of-16 ties could be completed before UEFA postponed the remaining matches due to the virus outbreak.
Four teams advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals last week, including Atletico Madrid, who beat holders Liverpool across two legs, and Paris Saint-Germain, who overcame Borussia Dortmund. Atalanta advanced past Valencia, while RB Leipzig beat Tottenham.
Four round-of-16 second-leg ties have yet to be played: Manchester City vs. Real Madrid, Juventus vs. Lyon, Barcelona vs. Napoli and Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea.
Euro 2020 has been postponed until 2021 after UEFA reached an agreement with key governing bodies last week.
In other sports, the NBA and NHL have suspended their seasons, the MLB has delayed Opening Day, and the popular NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments have been cancelled for the first time in their respective histories.
COVID-19 is the official name of a new strain of coronavirus that has surged around the world in recent months.
The coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory diseases. Flu is caused by a different virus. There is no vaccine for the coronavirus, though researchers are working on one and hope to begin testing soon.
Older people, especially those with chronic illnesses such as heart or lung disease, are most at risk. The coronavirus spreads mainly through coughs and sneezes, though it also can be transferred from surfaces.
The best way to prevent infection is by frequent hand-washing, cleaning surfaces with regular household sprays and wipes, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.