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CFL cancels Combine and most other offseason business

Closing for business isn’t just for American sports leagues.

The Canadian Football league announced Thursday it was canceling most football operations for the foreseeable future.

“This is a difficult time for so many people in so many countries around the world,” Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. “And it is certainly a difficult time for the Canadian Football League. At our very core, we are about bringing people together: Teammates, competitors, fans, sponsors, Canadians, and at this point in our history, football playing and football loving people from partner countries on four continents.

“But the health and safety of the entire CFL family is paramount — and it is increasingly clear that we owe it to each other to take some extraordinary and temporary measures.”

Those cancellations include regional scouting combines (in Montreal March 13 and Edmonton March 20),the CFL Combine (in Toronto March 26-28), a media event (March 23-24 in Toronto), along with school visits and community outreach programs.

In addition, their version of the league meetings (in Toronto March 25-26) will be conducted by teleconference, keeping team officials from having to travel and be in the same place at the same time.

“Here at the CFL, we are optimistic by nature,” Ambrosie said. “We remain very hopeful that circumstances will allow us to resume our normal activities soon and well in advance of our regular season, which is scheduled to open June 11. On behalf of our league governors, I want to thank our players, football leaders, partners and staff for their understanding and patience.

“In particular, we thank our fans for their support and spirit. And we say to them: Be well. Keep the faith. We will get back to the business of bringing people together. And, more than anything, we look forward to being with all of you.”

The CFL still has a Global Draft April 16 and their National Draft April 30, events which don’t come with the same kind of fanfare as their NFL counterpart.