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Healthcare

Soccer-Bulgaria postpones league season start amid increase of COVID-19 cases

SOFIA, July 11 (Reuters) - The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) postponed the start of next season’s domestic top flight by two weeks after the Balkan country saw the biggest increase of COVID-19 cases in a week.

The BFU’s Medical Commission submitted a proposal on Friday to the BFU’s management to postpone the championship’s kick-off “in view of the complicated epidemiological situation.”

“The BFU accepted the proposal in order to preserve the health of players, staffs and officials in a force majeure situation,” the BFU said in a statement on Saturday.

The current league season is still under way, but on Thursday, the government ordered all games to be played behind closed doors.

The start of the new season, initially scheduled for July 24, will now take place on August 7, the BFU said.

More than half of Bulgarian top flight clubs as well as second-tier teams have been hit by the coronavirus, with Cherno More Varna reporting 16 cases while nine players from Cup winners Lokomotiv Plovdiv also tested positive this week.

Bulgaria reported a daily record of 330 coronavirus cases on Friday and another 292 cases on Saturday. It has so far documented nearly 7,000 confirmed cases and 267 deaths. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov Editing by Toby Chopra and Frances Kerry)

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