Coronavirus Outbreak: Tajikistan commences fresh football season without fans despite global COVID-19 scare

The Associated Press
·1-min read

Tajikistan has started a new football season, joining a small group of countries around the world where play has continued despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Istiklol Dushanbe retained the Central Asian nation's season-opening Super Cup on Saturday with a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Khujand.

The game was played without fans and a large banner reading "stop coronavirus" in Tajik and Russian covered part of the stands.

Players and staff from both teams mingled freely after the final whistle before officials hung medals around their necks and shook their hands.

Professional football is only continuing in a few countries around the world, with Belarus, Nicaragua and Burundi among the holdouts, attracting interest from foreign fans and international gambling markets.

Tajikistan has not reported any cases of the new coronavirus, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

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