BUENOS AIRES, March 11 (Reuters) - Argentina has cancelled international sporting events due to be held in the country in March to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Argentine government said on Wednesday.
The events that will be hit include the South American swimming championship, World Cup fencing events, the fourth of five Olympic boxing qualifiers for the Americas, and three days of South American athletics.
Soccer matches in the Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, as well as World Cup qualifiers due to take place at the end of the month, have not yet been affected, Sports and Tourism Minister Matias Lammens told the TyC Sports channel.
The announcement came on the day the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana matches in Paraguay will be played with no spectators for the next two weeks, in keeping with a decision by the Paraguayan government.
CONMEBOL said soccer’s world ruling body FIFA would decide whether or not to postpone the 10 World Cup qualifiers scheduled to take place in South America between March 26 and March 31.
The qualifiers, which include home games for Argentina and five-times champions Brazil, are the first South American games on the road to Qatar 2022.
Argentina has recorded 19 cases of the coronavirus, with one death so far. (Reporting by Maximilian Heath, writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ken Ferris)