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Bundesliga suspends play effective immediately

FC Bayern Muenchen v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga

MUNICH, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 09: General view inside the stadium prior to the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and RB Leipzig at Allianz Arena on February 09, 2020 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bongarts/Getty Images

Just hours after re-affirming its intention to play matches this weekend before a previously arranged March 17 shutdown, the DFL has reversed course and suspended play immediately, postponing all Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga matches effective immediately amid growing fears regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

All matches will be suspended through at least April 2, making the Bundesliga the last of the five major European leagues to shut down. Previously, the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and Ligue 1 had all been suspended due to the spreading pandemic.

Earlier Friday morning, the DFL had refused to issue a blanked suspension of play, deferring instead to all local authorities on the possible postponement of individual matches. All matches except Hannover v. Dynamo Dresden had been to this point scheduled to play, all behind closed doors. Hannover had two players test positive for the coronavirus, causing the entire team to go into quarantine.

“The cause is, among other things, that during the day suspected infection with the Corona virus in the vicinity of several clubs and their teams arose and further infections cannot go unnoticed,” the statement read. “Previously, in the 2.Bundesliga after the professional team from Hanover 96, home quarantine was also prescribed for the entire FC Nuremberg first team by the local health authority.”

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