March 9, 2020 / 2:24 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer-Bulgarian FA suspends ticket sales for Euro 2020 playoff

SOFIA, March 9 (Reuters) - The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) said on Monday it has suspended ticket sales for the Euro 2020 qualifying playoff semi-final between Bulgaria and Hungary on March 26 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Bulgaria reported on Sunday its first cases of the coronavirus and the BFU said that all Bulgarian league matches in the next two rounds will be played in empty stadiums.

The BFU also suspended ticket sales the 2021 European Under-21 Championship qualifier between Bulgaria and Estonia on March 29.

“The BFU maintains constant contact with the state authorities and UEFA and is ready to react promptly in the event of a change in situation,” the BFU said in a statement.

The two matches will be “most probably” played behind closed doors, a BFU official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said.

A raft of sports events globally have been called off due to the coronavirus.

UEFA has banned players and match officials from shaking hands in line with recommendations made by the World Health Organization.

UEFA’s flagship competition, Euro 2020, will be held from June in 12 cities across Europe.

The playoffs on March 26 and March 31 feature 16 teams battling for four spaces in the 24-team finals. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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