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Euroleague, FIBA suspend play until further notice due to Coronavirus

Dov Halickman Photography

The Euroleague and FIBA have temporarily suspended all competitions due to the Coronavirus following the lead of the NBA which suspended all of their games on Wednesday evening. Once the NBA decided that the health of the players was the top priority, the top European competitions followed suit.

For the latest updates on all on basketball action in Israel follow The Sports Rabbi on Twitter.

The morning began with the Euroleague Players Association putting out the following memo:

An hour or so later, the Euroleague put out a notice saying that they were deliberating the suspension of the league with the clubs:

FIBA then sent out a press release stating that all of their competitions would be suspended beginning on Friday March 13th:
MIES (Switzerland) – Considering the current situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and in order to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, officials and fans, FIBA today has announced that all FIBA competitions are suspended as of tomorrow, Friday, 13 March 2020. FIBA will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and will evaluate the options for the continuation or not of the respective competitions when and if the situation allows for it.

Last night, Hapoel Jerusalem defeated Peristeri to win their Champions League Round of 16 Playoff Series two games to none. With the win, the Reds will now play San Pablo Burgos, but with the competition put on hold it may be some time until the playoffs continue.

Soon thereafter the Euroleague suspended all of the competitions including the EuroCup and youth tournaments:

This of course meant that Maccabi Tel Aviv would not host Baskonia on Thursday night despite already arriving in Israel on Wednesday.

With all of the off-court action happening by the second, the Israel WINNER League will play Gameday 22 as scheduled, however, no media will be allowed in other than the broadcasting rights holder. After this Gameday, the league will consider the continuation of the competition. Once Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that there can’t be gatherings of more than 100 people, the league announced that all games would be played behind closed doors until further notice. As well, last night, well before the NBA suspended the league, the WINNER League sent the following text to the foreign players in Israel:

Greetings,

This is a direct message from the BSL’s chairman, Mr. Shmuel Frenkel, to Winner League players, staff, referees and everyone who works in the league. We are now in critical juncture of the CoronaVirus outbreak and spread. The number of infected people in Israel is growing in the last week, but the situation is still under control.

In order to finish the league as planned, we’re asking your cooperation with the following instructions:

1.       Don’t leave Israel or take vacation in hotels
2.       Shopping in supermarkets, grocery stores etc should be avoided. It’s recommended to shop online and have it delivered to you
3.       Please minimize your staying in public and crowded places such as malls, concerts, theaters, cinema and so on
4.       Avoid any contact with people who recently returned from abroad
5.       Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
6.       Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food
7.       Avoid shaking hands or any unnecessary physical contact
8.       Minimize your direct contact with surfaces in public places

Your health is and always was our top priority
We wish you and your families good health and best wishes.

What will happen now, is anybody’s guess as many leagues around Europe have suspended operations.

For the latest updates on all on basketball action in Israel follow The Sports Rabbi on Twitter.

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