Football Features

Global league-by-league breakdown of football’s response to coronavirus so far

By Chris Smith

Global league-by-league breakdown of football's response to coronavirus so far

Published: 10:29, 18 March 2020

As we now know all too well, coronavirus has brought the world of sport – and in general – to a halt.

League after league has fallen to COVID-19, suspending play with no realistic return date on the horizon, meaning any number of outcomes are now possible this season.

This summer’s European Championships have been postponed until 2021 to help leagues and continental competitions cope with the delayed schedule.

However, as it stands, there are still some leagues carrying on, mostly behind closed doors. What follows is a round-up of the current situation in each region.

UEFA

Still playing

Turkish Super Lig

As it stands, thanks to the Russian Premier League becoming the latest to suspend all fixtures, the Turkish Super Lig is now one of just a few European leagues continuing through the coronavirus outbreak.

Games are behind closed doors, including for Friday’s clash between Fenerbahce and Kayserispor. Former Nigeria and Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi has terminated his contract with top-of-the-league Trabzonspor after earlier expressing concerns with the decision to play on.

Other leagues still playing: Kazakhstan Premier League

Suspended: Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, German Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Albanian Superliga, Andorran First Division, Armenian Premier League, Austrian Bundesliga, Azerbaijan Premier League, Belarusian Premier League, Belgium First Division A, Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgarian First Professional Football League, Croatian First Football League, Cypriot First Division, Czech First League, Danish Superliga, Estonian Meistriliiga, Finnish Veikkausliiga, Georgian Erovnuli Liga, Gibraltar National League, Greek Super League, Hungarian Nemzeti Bajnokság, Israeli Premier League, Football Superleague of Kosovo, Latvian Higher League, Lithuanian A-League, Luxembourg National Division, Maltese Premier League, Montenegrin First League, Dutch Eredivisie, Macedonian First Football League, Northern Irish Premiership, Polish Ekstraklasa, Portuguese Primeira Liga, League of Ireland Premier Division, Romanian Liga I, Russian Premier League, Sammarinese Football Championship, Scottish Premiership, Serbian Super Liga, Slovak Super Liga, Slovenian PrvaLiga, Swiss Super League, Ukrainian Premier League, Welsh Premier League

Yet to start: Icelandic Úrvalsdeild Karla, Moldovan National Division, Norwegian Eliteserien (currently postponed), Swedish Allsvenskan

AFC (Asia)

Still playing

Australian A-League

For now, the Australian A-League is carrying on as normal but given the travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand, the situation is rather complicated with Melbourne Victory now having to isolate themselves for 14 days following their 3-0 defeat away at Wellington Phoenix.

“While we acknowledge that the response to coronavirus is constantly evolving, the government’s reactionary behaviour and ad-hoc decision-making on travel and sporting events has placed the players in a challenging personal position,” Professional Footballers Australia chief executive John Didulica said in a statement.

“These players will now have to isolate while their livelihoods will be impacted; they will no longer be available to play and train with their team for the next fortnight.

“More clarity and proactive planning – and less see-sawing – from the government could have prevented a situation whereby we have players departing the country under one condition, and then re-entering on another in the space of 48 hours.”

Phoenix themselves faced a trip to Australia to take on Sydney FC but have now seen that fixture postponed. However, midfielder Ulises Davila has decided against returning to his native Mexico to be with his wife and newborn son.

“At this stage, Uli has decided not to go home and see the season out,” manager Ufuk Talay explained. “We’re in discussions. It’s very tough.

“We had a plan in place but we can’t control what is happening around the world at the moment and we’ll just have to adapt to what’s in front of us.

“He wants to stay, he wants to see the season off and finish the best way possible. It was his decision solely.

“He’s just worried that if he goes and he comes back in a few weeks’ time and he has to go into quarantine again. He’s very comfortable with his wife being in Mexico with the baby because she’s got family over there and he’s got family over there as well.”

Other leagues still playing: Bahraini, Premier League, Cambodian League, Guam Soccer League, Indonesia Liga 1, Myanmar National League, S.League (Singapore), Thai League T1, Ýokary Liga, Uzbek League

Suspended: Asian Champions League, Bangladesh Premier League, Bhutan National League, Brunei Super League, Chinese Super League, Hong Kong Premier League, Persian Gulf Pro League, Iraqi Premier League, Japanese J1 League, Jordan Premier League, South Korean K League 1, Kuwait VIVA Premier League, Kyrgyzstan League, Lebanese Premier League, Liga de Elite, Malaysian Super League, Dhivehi Premier League, Pakistan Premier League, Philippines Football league, Qatar Stars League, Saudi Professional League, Sri Lanka Champions League, Syrian Premier League, UAE Pro-League, V.League 1, Yemeni League

Yet to start: Afghan Premier League, Taiwan Football Premier League, Indian Super League, Martyr’s Memorial A-Division League (Nepal), Tajikistan Higher League,

CONCACAF

Still playing

Costa Rican Primera División 

Other leagues still playing: Digicel Premier League (Barbados), Cingular Wireless Premier Division (Bermuda), Campeonato Nacional (Cuba), Dominica Premier League, French Guiana Honor Division, Liga Nacional de Guatemala, Ligue Haïtienne, Primera División de Nicaragua

Suspended: Concacaf Champions League, Antigua and Barbuda Premier Division, Aruban Division di Honor, BFA Senior League, Premier League of Belize, Divishon Honor Bonaire, Canadian Premier League, Cayman Island League, Curaçao League First Division, Liga Mayor (Dominican Republic), Salvadoran Primera División, Guadeloupe Division of Honor, Liga Nacional (Honduras), Red Stripe Premier League, Martinique Championnat National, Liga MX (Mexico), Liga Panameña de Fútbol, Topklasse (Suriname), TT Pro League, MLS

Yet to start: Saint Kitts and Nevis Premier Division (recently concluded)

CAF (Africa)

Still playing

Elite One (Cameroon)

Nigeria Premier League

Other leagues still playing: Girabola (Angola), Benin Premier League, Burkinabé Premier League, Burundi Premier League, Liberian Premier League, Super League of Malawi, Mauritian League, Réunion Premier League, Sierra Leone National Premier League, Somalia League, Premier Soccer League (South Africa), Sudan Premier League, Tanzanian Premier League, 

Suspended: Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1, Botswana Premier League, Cape Verdean football Championships, Central African Republic League, Comoros Premier League, Congo Premier League, Linafoot (DR Congo), Djibouti Premier League, Egyptian Premier League, Eritrean Premier League, Ethiopian Premier League, Gabon Championnat National D1, Ghana Premier League, Guinée Championnat National, Campeonato Nacional da Guiné-Bissau, Kenyan Premier League, Libyan Premier League, Ligue 1 Mauritania, Botola 1 (Morocco), Rwandan Premier League, South Sudan Football Championship, Tunisian Ligue Professionnelle 1, Ugandan Premier League, Zambian Premier League, Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League

Yet to start: Gambian Championnat National D1 (recently concluded),  Ligue 1 (Ivory Coast, recently concluded), Lesotho Premier League (recently concluded), Malien Premiere Division (recently concluded), Namibia Premier League, Senegal Premier League (recently concluded), Togolese Championnat National (recently concluded)

CONMEBOL

Still playing 

No major Conmebol leagues are still playing, with the only fixtures coming in the form of State Championship games in Brazil. However, with a number of teams and players now protesting, they may also be halted in the near future.

“The countries that are containing the situation are those that adopt strong measures,” said Grêmio vice-president Paulo Luz recently. “We must prioritise life.”

Gremio manager, Renato Portaluppi, added: “Is it not the case that Brazilian football must stop? The whole world has stopped. Will we have to go on strike?”

Suspended: Primera División (Argentina), Bolivian Primera División, Primera División (Chile), Primera A (Colombia), Serie A (Ecuador), Primera División (Paraguay), Liga 1 (Chile), Primera División (Uruguay), Primera División (Venezuela)

Yet to start: Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (State Championships still continuing)

OFC (Oceania)

Still playing

New Zealand Football Championship

Other leagues still playing: National Football League (Fiji), New Caledonia Division Honneur, Papua New Guinea Overall Championship,

Suspended: Tahiti Division Fédérale (French Polynesia), Port Vila Football League (Vanuatu)

Yet to start: Cook Islands Round Cup, Kiribati National Championship, Samoa National League, Telekom S-League (Solomon Islands, recently concluded), Tonga Major League