Coronavirus Outbreak: South Korean officials considering shortened K-League season, yet to settle on new start date

Representatives of the 12 clubs that make up the K-League met to discuss plans for the new season, which was halted ahead of its original 29 February start as the nation was hit by the coronavirus outbreak

Reuters March 30, 2020 16:42:56 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: South Korean officials considering shortened K-League season, yet to settle on new start date

Seoul: South Korean football officials are considering shortening the upcoming K-League season as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, but have yet to settle on a new start date for the 2020 campaign following a meeting on Monday.

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Representational image. Reuters

Representatives of the league’s 12 clubs met to discuss plans for the new season, which was halted ahead of its original 29 February start as the nation was hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

But, with officials still unable to decide when to kick off the next edition, the league remains in limbo.

“Given the unsettled COVID-19 situation, the representatives from the 12 clubs agreed that it is still difficult to finalise the start date of the season,” K-League spokesman Lee Jong-kwoun said, referring to COVID-19 , the disease caused by the coronavirus .

“What’s important now is to set the date first, because we won’t know how many games we will be able to cut back and reschedule.”

The K-League features 12 teams who play each other three times during the regular season before splitting into championship and relegation playoffs, where clubs in each half of the standings face off against one another to complete a 38-game season.

The 2020 regular season was originally scheduled to finish on 4 October with the championship and relegation playoffs to be concluded in November.

Leagues around Asia have been hit by the outbreak, with the Chinese Super League yet to start and Japan’s J-League halted after one round of games.

The Japanese, however, are set to begin in the country’s lower divisions from 25 April with the J-League’s top-flight slated to restart on 9 May.

Several Korean clubs already played in matches in the group phase of the Asian Champions League before the continental competition was brought to a halt in early March.

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