The Latest: Soccer suspended in Mexico

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The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s effect on sports around the world (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

Professional soccer is shutting down in Mexico following Sunday’s matches, which were already being played with no fans present as a precaution due to the new coronavirus.

The measure applies to the men’s top flight and second division as well as the fledgling women’s league.

Soccer officials said in a statement that the suspension would remain in effect until it’s determined that it’s safe to restart play in coordination with Mexico’s Health Department.

Mexico previously played soccer matches without fans for several weeks during the 2009 H1N1 influenza health emergency, an outbreak with Mexico as the epicenter.

Federal health officials on Saturday night raised the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country to 41, up from 26 the previous day and 11 the day before that. On Sunday at least two more were announced by state-level authorities.

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4:05 p.m.

NCAA vice president of men’s basketball Dan Gavitt says brackets won’t be created for the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments that were canceled due to coronavirus concerns. Gavit says he made the decision and it was supported by basketball committees.

“There is not an authentic way to produce tournament fields and brackets at this point without speculating,” Gavitt said Sunday, the day the men’s NCAA Tournament field had been scheduled to be announced. “And, that isn’t fair to the teams that would be positively or negatively impacted by manufacturing March Madness. More importantly, in light of this global health crisis, I believe we need to keep college basketball in perspective.”

College basketball’s showcase was canceled on Thursday, leading to suggestions from coaches and athletic directors to release brackets for the event even though it won’t happen this year.

“Players and coaches want to see their school name on the bracket,” Gavitt acknowledges. “Members of the media want to dissect matchups. Bracketologists want to compare the work of the committees versus what they’ve predicted. Fans are curious for those same reasons. All of us want something to fill the void we’re feeling. However, anything less than a credible process is inconsistent with the tradition of the NCAA basketball championships. … There will always be an asterisk next to the 2020 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball championships regardless if brackets are released.”

NCAA President Mark Emmert has said postponing the tournament indefinitely was not feasible.

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4:45 p.m.

Brazil’s soccer confederation has suspended all competitions under its control due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The tournaments affected include the men’s Brazilian Cup, the top two tiers of the women’s Brazilian championship, and junior tournaments.

The men’s top-tier Brazilian championship is scheduled to begin in April.

The decision does not affect state championships currently being played. Some matches were held without any fans this weekend in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. São Paulo, Rio and other state soccer bodies are set to decide Monday on their course of action.

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2:50 p.m.

The New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority says all of the ski areas and venues that it manages will suspend operation at the close of business Sunday.

Closures include all Nordic and Alpine ski resorts including Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, Belleayre Mountain Ski Resort in the Catskills, Gore Mountain in North Creek and Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, near Lake Placid.

All Lake Placid Olympic sites will also be closing, including the Olympic Jumping Complex, Olympic Sports Complex, The Olympic Oval and the Olympic Center including its museum and retail shops.

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6:45 p.m.

Soccer players at Brazilian club Gremio have staged a protest of their own by wearing face masks on the field before the start of their game against São José on Sunday.

Gremio players and coaching staff arrived at the Rio Grande do Sul state championship game wearing the masks.

Authorities in Brazil have not ordered the cancellation or postponement of sporting events because of the corona pandemic but recommended that games are held without fans.

Grêmio beat tiny São José 3-2 with no fans present.

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5:15 p.m.

The Italian soccer federation is planning to ask UEFA to postpone the European Championship.

Federation president Gabriele Gravina tells Mediaset TV that Italian officials want Serie A to be completed by June 30.

The Stadio Olimpico in Rome is slated to host the opening match of Euro 2020 on June 12, plus three other games of the tournament.

Gravina says, “The hope is to finish by June 30. … And we’ll need to insert the Champions League and Europa League also. The deadline is June 30, then we’ll eventually see if we need to exceed that.”

He adds, “We’ll propose to UEFA that they postpone the Euros.”

Serie A is currently suspended until April 3, along with all other sports in Italy, the European epicenter of the virus outbreak.

UEFA has a meeting planned on Tuesday to discuss the calendar.

The virus outbreak has also tested the limits of soccer’s World Cup schedule.

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1:15 p.m.

Valencia’s Argentine defender Ezequiel Garay says that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the first Spanish league player to become infected.

“I have tested positive for the coronavirus,” Garay wrote on a social media account Sunday. “I feel well and now the only thing to do is to follow the instructions of health officials to remain confined.”

Valencia added in a statement that a total of five members of its staff and team have the new virus, without specifying if Garay is the only player. It says that all are in good health and confined at their homes.

Garay, who is recovering from surgery after tearing a ligament in February, said in a message posted on Instagram that “it’s clear that 2020 is starting on the wrong foot.”

On Saturday, fellow Spanish club Alavés said that two members of its coaching staff had the virus. It said they are in good health.

The Spanish league has suspended play due to the pandemic.

Most people quickly recover from the global virus after experiencing only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The national office of the NCAA in Indianapolis is shown Thursday, March 12, 2020. The NCAA canceled the men’s and women’s Division I basketball tournaments amid coronavirus fears on Thursday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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