Pro basketball games in Taoyuan to be played behind closed doors

Taipei, Jan.11 (CNA) Professional and semi-professional basketball games in Taoyuan are due to be played behind closed doors starting Wednesday, as the number of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases linked to a cluster of airports in the country is increasing.

A total of 12 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases reported in Taiwan on Tuesday resulted in the closure of a factory in Taoyuan and the city decided to end the current school semester earlier.

Nine of the 12 new national cases were linked to Taoyuan International Airport, bringing the total number of airport-related national COVID-19 infections reported since January 3 to 39.

The organizers of the semi-professional Super Basketball League (SBL), the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA), said in a statement that they will play all 12 remaining games at Taoyuan Arena, January 13-23, behind closed doors. . .

The decision was taken to prevent large gatherings and reduce unnecessary contact, CTBA said in a statement.

Only sports club staff and SBL staff will be allowed to enter the arena on match day, the CTBA said, adding that players and referees will need to provide negative COVID-19 rapid tests on the same day for enter.

With the exception of players and referees on the basketball court, all other staff must wear masks when in the arena, the CTBA said.

Meanwhile, T1 LEAGUE professional basketball league games at Chung Yuan Christian University Gymnasium, home of the Taoyuan Leopards, will also be played behind closed doors this weekend.

The move was made to protect the health and safety of players, staff and fans, the Leopards said in a statement.

The Leopards host the Kaohsiung Aquas on Saturday and the Taichung Wagor Suns on Sunday.

Whether fans are allowed to enter the gym for future games will depend on the COVID-19 situation at that time, the Leopards said.

(By William Yen)

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