BC Soccer suspends sanctioned activities

It happened in the NHL and MLS.

Now, B.C. Soccer has made the decision to put up the halt sign on the pitch.

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Less than 24 hours after putting out a statement that cancelled events involving 250 or more people, B.C. Soccer has come out and directed its members and affiliated clubs to suspend all activities in light of concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The suspension is for an undetermined amount of time.

The announcement came in a post on the B.C. Soccer website on Friday.

"With this growing and unprecedented uncertainty surrounding this health pandemic, and in accordance with Canada Soccer's direction, BC Soccer is directing all members and affiliate clubs to suspend all sanctioned soccer activities in the province until further notice."

Aiming to limit situations of physical contact, the suspension covers the gamut of events, including and not limited to games, practices, training, coach and referee educational events and team building activities.

Earlier in the day, Canada Soccer posted its decision to suspend all activities, in accordance with consultation with the Canada Soccer Sport Medicine Committee.

"Given the extraordinary nature of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation and after close dialogue with our membership and public health authorities, Canada Soccer has taken the necessary decision to suspend all domestic soccer activity as well as national team programming to ensure the well being of all involved," Steven Reed, Canada Soccer president, said.

The decision impacts this weekend's B.C. Soccer Premier League schedule, as well upcoming numerous levels of Coastal Cup competitions.

Canada Soccer had previously cancelled home matches for both the men's and women's national teams, originally scheduled for March 27 and 31 on Vancouver Island, and April 14 in Vancouver. The 2020 Canadian national futsal championship, slated for April 2 in Kingston, Ont., had already by scratched, as have been a number of national program events.

B.C. Soccer is the provincial governing body responsible for the sport's governance, promotion and development in B.C. It is the largest sports organization in the province, and third largest soccer sport organization in Canada.

For more information and updated decisions, visit bcsoccer.net.

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