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Vietnam suspends domestic football after new coronavirus cases

Phan Duc Thong (red shirt) of Pho Hien FC watches as Nguyen Vu Hoang Duong (right) of Thanh Hoa FC plays the ball during their Vietnamese National Football Cup qualifier match at the PVF stadium in Hung Yen in May after football resumed in Vietnam following a lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus
Phan Duc Thong (red shirt) of Pho Hien FC watches as Nguyen Vu Hoang Duong (right) of Thanh Hoa FC plays the ball during their Vietnamese National Football Cup qualifier match at the PVF stadium in Hung Yen in May after football resumed in Vietnam following a lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus Nhac NGUYEN AFP/File
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Hanoi (AFP)

Vietnam suspended its domestic football leagues Sunday until further notice following news of the first locally transmitted case of coronavirus in nearly 100 days.

After more than three months with no local cases, a 57-year-old retired Vietnamese man in the central city of Danang tested positive for the virus.

Following the discovery, authorities announced Sunday that they have found three more infections connected to the Danang case.

In response, the Vietnam Professional Football (VPF) announced all domestic football leagues have been suspended.

The country's top Vleague and the First Division were supposed to play new rounds starting July 29.

The change in plans is "to ensure the safety of the players", organisers said in a statement.

No details were provided on when the matches might resume.

Vietnam has won praise for its handling of the virus, registering just 420 infections and no deaths despite sharing a long, ungovernable border with China.

Communist authorities were quick to lock down the country after the virus emerged in neighbouring China, with a rigorous state quarantine and contact-tracing system put in place.

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