On Friday, the French health ministry said that the number of coronavirus infections in the country had jumped by 154 to 577, with two more deaths bringing the total toll to nine.
In response, Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 game at Strasbourg on Saturday has been postponed over coronavirus fears, says the French football league (LFP).
“Following an order from the Bas-Rhin authorities concerning the spread of the coronavirus, the meeting is postponed,” the LFP said in a statement.
It is the first French league match to be postponed because of the new coronavirus.
The decision was made after a number of people tested positive for COVID-19 in the Haut-Rhin region, which neighbours the Bas-Rhin region where Strasbourg is located.
“The arrival of 26,000 at the Stade de la Meinau, a quarter of which would come from the Haut-Rhin region, is likely to promote the spread of COVID-19,” local authorities said in a statement.
Runaway Ligue 1 leaders PSG will not be too put out by the postponement, as the decision will give them an extra day of rest before their Champions League last-16 second leg against Borussia Dortmund at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.
Strasbourg sit 10th in the French top flight, eight points off a Europa League spot.
“Faced with the risks associated with the coronavirus and its spread, we understand that people’s health, in this case spectators’… represents an absolute priority,” said Strasbourg president and former France international Marc Keller.