SYDNEY – Fans will be locked out of this weekend’s Super Rugby clash in Buenos Aires, officials said on Friday, making it the first game in the competition to go behind closed doors over the new coronavirus.
Two Sunwolves games have been moved from Japan to Australia because of the virus, but Saturday’s game between the Jaguares and the Highlanders is the first to bar spectators.
The decision follows an edict from Buenos Aires city authorities banning fans from all major sports events for the next 30 days.
“Super Rugby is an international cross-border competition and with the global outbreak of the coronavirus in recent weeks we always knew that unfortunately at some stage there would be an effect on the tournament,” Super Rugby CEO Andy Marinos said in a statement.
He added that the other six matches this weekend in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa would go ahead as normal.
Sports events around the world have been upended by the virus, including this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, which was cancelled on Friday.