Australian football leagues play on amid outbreak

SYDNEY: Australia pressed on with matches in its three main football leagues on Saturday, playing in empty stadiums in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
The National Rugby League, soccer’s A-League and Australian Rules Football’s AFL played on in the midst of the coronavirus crisis that has seen more than 1,000 Australians infected. Around the world sports have suspended leagues or canceled tournaments until restrictions can be lifted on public gatherings and social contact. The AFL, which signed a A$2.5 billion broadcasting deal from 2017 to 2022, opened its 22-round season this weekend with the first of nine matches. In normal times the league attracts enormous audiences, especially in Victoria State where crowds of more than 80,000 are common. – Agencies