The Canadian Premier League is postponing the start of its second second campaign.
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed back the opening kickoff indefinitely.
“The CPL has made the difficult decision to postpone the start of the 2020 season, scheduled to commence on April 11, 2020,” league commissioner David Clanachan said in a statement early Friday.
“We have made this decision in support of the announcement by Canada Soccer on March 13 banning all sanctioned soccer activities in Canada, and the directive by our respective governments and health officials to ban all public gatherings.
“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.”
Of course, the CPL is following the lead of other professional sports circuits in postponing its schedule.
The league added Friday that none of its players have tested positive for COVID-19.
“Sport in our country has long been a rallying point for our nation both from a leadership and entertainment perspective and will continue to do so,” Clanachan said in the statement. “Collectively with our clubs and owners, we unanimously agree that our No. 1 priority is to protect the well-being of our fans, players, officials, employees and the general public.
“We will continue to monitor closely all input from our government agencies and medical experts and maintain our consistent dialogue both internally and externally. As more information becomes available, we will provide public updates.”
Members of the CPL’s newest team, Atlético Ottawa just returned to the nation’s capital Thursday from training in Spain, where COVID-19 has killed more than 1,000 people.
The CPL has said in a release that the team’s players have settled in and are following all the requisite government and public health and safety requirements, as a result of international travel and are currently adhering to self-isolation protocol for the next 14 days.
The league consists of Calgary’s Cavalry FC, Hamilton’s Forge FC, Winnipeg’s Valour FC, FC Edmonton, Ontario’s York9 FC, Nova Scotia’s HFX Wanderer’s FC, Atletico Ottawa and Vancouver Island’s Pacific FC.