American Football

The five football leagues defying the coronavirus lockdown

Football, in particular, has been severely affected with all of Europe's major leagues now suspended for the foreseeable future. However, for those fans desperate for a football fix, there are still some leagues around the world that are playing on. The Belarusian Premier League is now the only active competition left in Europe and has seen its popularity soar as a result. The country's football federation even secured new broadcasting deals in as many as 10 countries, Reuters reports, including Russia, Israel and India.READ: In a world gripped by fear, marble racing proves welcome distraction

Mannequins and cardboard fans

Incredibly, fans are still able to attend the matches in Belarus although attendances have been dwindling with supporters wary of the risks involved. As a result, one Belarusian club has started filling its stadium with virtual supporters.Dynamo Brest has invited its new-found fan-base to pay for their face to appear on mannequins within the ground, with the money raised being donated to the fight against coronavirus.There have been 2,919 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Belarus with 29 deaths, according to the latest figures.Elsewhere, leagues in Tajikistan, Burundi and Nicaragua have also all stood firm against criticism and have continued to play on. Tajikistan and Nicaragua have followed guidance given by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and are playing games behind closed doors, with the latter broadcasting matches live on television and the internet. Taiwan recently became the latest to launch its football division, with the new season starting on Sunday. Players hope the extra attention will help them complete a move to one of the world's more competitive leagues. World players' union FIFPro says it's incomprehensible that games are continuing.Cardboard cutouts of fans filled parts of the stadium for Saturday's washed-out baseball game.

Other sports play on

In addition to its football league, Taiwan has also welcomed the return of professional baseball.The Chinese Professional Baseball League was due to begin on Saturday but a rain delay meant the season instead started on Sunday with a match between Chinatrust Brothers and the Uni-President Lions at Read More – Source


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