FAI and Irish Rugby suspend all related activities with immediate effect
The Football Association of Ireland and Irish Rugby have separately suspended all related sporting activities under their respective jurisdictions with immediate effect.
It follows Taoiseach Leo Varadkar's announcement in Washington on Thursday morning (12 March) that all schools, colleges and public facilities nationwide are set to close until 29 March in a bid to combat the spread of coronavirus.
"The FAI made this decision after a meeting in Dublin today with government, the Department of Health and stakeholders from other national sporting bodies," begins the official FAI statement released on Thursday evening.
"The decision has been taken in light of the growing threat posed by the Covid-19 outbreak and in the best interests of our players, coaches, volunteers, supporters and staff. This decision will be monitored on an ongoing basis.
"The FAI again met with representatives from the National League Executive Committee and the Professional Footballer’s Association of Ireland today, and continues to work with both bodies to help our clubs and players through this difficult time.
"The FAI remains in communication with the Department of Health and UEFA on Covid-19 and will continue to follow all government guidelines."
The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), meanwhile, has followed suit, announcing the suspension of all domestic rugby activity from 6pm on Thursday until 29 March.
"All rugby activities across clubs and schools, from minis to adult rugby, must now cease," notes the IRFU statement on the matter.
"While rugby clubs may wish to continue to operate facilities such as bars and function rooms, they must observe government restrictions in relation to the number of people that may attend indoor (no more than 100 people) and outdoor (no more than 500 people) events.
"We will work with clubs and schools to rearrange fixtures, such as the Schools Cup finals.
"Updates, when available, in relation to the professional game will come from tournament organisers."