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All Ligue 1 matches to be played at empty stadiums until April over coronavirus

The Olympique Marseille game ahead of a match played without an audience, December 21, 2019.
The Olympique Marseille game ahead of a match played without an audience, December 21, 2019. © Jean-Paul Pelissier, Reuters

All French Ligue 1 and second division matches will be played behind closed doors until April 15, the French football league announced Tuesday.

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The decision comes after the French government on Sunday announced measures to cope with the spread of the coronavirus, including banning all gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

On Monday, Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League match at the Parc des Princes against Borussia Dortmund this week was ordered to be played behind closed doors in a country where 1,606 cases of COVID-19 infections have been recorded and 30 deaths.

Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 games would be "fully behind closed doors", the league said in a statement with further details on arrangements provided following a board meeting on Wednesday.

All Serie A matches in Italy, the world's second most-affected country with coronavirus, have also been suspended until April 3 and La Liga games in Spain will be played behind closed doors for at least two weeks.

Lille hosted Olympique Lyonnais in front of over 40,000 fans on Sunday but RC Lens's Ligue 2 home game against Orleans on Monday was played in an empty stadium.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AFP)

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