Argentina has suspended all sporting events until the end of March as a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, the sports secretariat said on Wednesday.
The country’s football team were due to host Ecuador in late March for their first 2022 World Cup qualifying match in Qatar.
The suspension covers “tournaments, preparatory tours for competitions and / or sporting events that will take place in the Argentine Republic,” said a statement from the ministry.
Argentina is one of many Latin American countries to have ordered the isolation of travelers from Italy and Spain, among other countries.
A number of big Argentine stars play for their club soccer in these two countries, including Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Juventus’ strikers Paulo Dybala and Inter’s Lautaro Martinez.
Chile, Colombia and Peru, which are also due to host the World Cup qualifiers later this month, have also announced isolation measures for people arriving from Italy, Spain and France.
In addition, the organizers of the Moto GP of Argentina which was to take place in April announced that it had been postponed to November.
Argentina has recorded 19 cases of the new coronavirus and is one of only two countries in Latin America to have seen a patient die from the virus.
Latin America has been affected much less by the virus than other parts of the world, but its recorded cases now exceed 140 and are increasing rapidly.
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