The NBA basketball league has confirmed that it is suspending its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for the coronavirus, while the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has announced that its March Madness basketball competition will be held behind closed doors as the outbreak continues to have an impact on sporting events around the world.

The Jazz player tested positive for coronavirus shortly before the team was due to play Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena yesterday (Wednesday). The affected player was not in the arena and the game was subsequently cancelled, and the NBA has now moved to suspend all games in a move to combat the spread of the virus.

The NBA said it is suspending games “until further notice” and will use the hiatus to determine the next steps for moving forward in light of the coronavirus, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday is now officially a pandemic.

A person speaking to the Associated Press news agency anonymously said the NBA expects to go two weeks without playing games, but the timeframe is said to be “very fluid”.

Meanwhile, the NCAA’s showpiece March Madness tournament, which is scheduled to get underway on March 17, will be played without fans amid concerns over the coronavirus. Only essential staff and family will be in attendance for what is one of the most popular college sports events on the US calendar. The event will still be televised.

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Image: MSG