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MLS stretches coronavirus match suspension to May 10

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New York (AFP)

Major League Soccer extended its suspension of all matches to May 10 on Thursday after health officials recommended an eight-week ban on gatherings of more than 50 people.

Clubs in the 26-team North American league had played only two matches each before the league announced last week it was suspending play for 30 days to assess the impact of COVID-19.

MLS pushed its targeted return day to May 10 after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tightened limits on mass gatherings, but said it intends to complete a full 2020 season schedule.

"MLS remains focused on playing the entire 2020 season and is evaluating all options, including pushing back the end of the season and playing MLS Cup in December, as the league did prior to the 2019 season," MLS said in a statement.

"The league is also identifying other available dates.

"Throughout this process, MLS will continue to prioritize the safety of our fans, players, employees and partners and to coordinate with federal and local public health authorities as well as other sporting organizations."

Major League Baseball has pushed back the start of its 2020 campaign and the NBA and National Hockey League have shut down their seasons due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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