The coronavirus has wreaked havoc yet again in the footballing world, this time in the UAE.

All league matches will now be played behind closed doors until further notice as a precautionary measure against the disease

The UAE Football Association said that it’s constantly following up with the concerned authorities for the latest updates on coronavirus and precautionary measures to be taken

“The UAE FA prioritises the safety of all the players, technical staff, administrators and the loyal fans of football over any other matter. Therefore, it was decided that all the football competitions in the UAE will be played without the presence of spectators as follows: President’s Cup, First Division League, Second Division League, youth competitions, futsal competitions, beach soccer, women’s competitions, effective immediately and until further notice, in coordination with the concerned authorities,” the UAE Football Association said.

“We highly request all the clubs, private academies and football entities to abide by this decision in order to ensure a safe society.

First of the matches to be played in the stadiums without fans will be today and tomorrow as the Round 18 of the Arabian Gulf League resumes. These matches will be in stadiums of Dubai, Sharjah, Al Ain, Kalba, Abu Dhabi and Khor Fakkan

Mohammed Abdullah Hazam Al Dhaheri, Secretary General, UAEFA, said workshops have been held to brief clubs about the precautionary measures to be taken at stadiums

The UAE Pro League, the nation’s professional football league, said it is coordinating with all the relevant authorities with regards to the health situation

“It was decided to suspend fan attendance in all its competitions until further notice, for the safety of the public,” the UAE Pro League said in a statement.

The next tournament to be played in empty stadiums will be the President’s Cup to be held on Tuesday with three teams from Abu Dhabi and one from Sharjah in action.