March 24, 2020 / 11:18 AM / 4 days ago

Baseball-Taiwan league to start on April 11 with opening games behind closed doors

HONG KONG, March 24 (Reuters) - Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League will start on April 11 despite the global coronavirus pandemic, with games on the opening day to be played behind closed doors.

The sport’s governing body said games in the five-team league’s season-opening weekend will be played without fans, with the situation due to be assessed on a round-by-round basis.

The opening day of the CPBL season was originally due to be played on March 28.

Taiwan has earned praise for its handling of the coronavirus, with low rates of infection and a limited spread of cases.

To abide by rules set out by the health authorities in Taiwan, the CPBL has said it will limit attendances to 150 fans once games are opened up to the public.

Temperature screening will take place, with fans encouraged to keep their distance from one another and to wear face masks.

Sporting events both in the region and worldwide have taken a severe hit from the coronavirus.

Football leagues in China, Japan and South Korea have all been postponed, while China’s hosting of the World Athletics Indoor Championships as well as Formula 1’s Shanghai Grand Prix are among numerous events to have been affected.

The Tokyo Olympics also appears set to be postponed. (Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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