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BREAKING: Crew announce match against RSL will ‘go as planned’ despite COVID-19 concerns

The match will go on with spectators but multiple safety protocols have been issued.

Columbus Crew SC made a statement early Tuesday morning that Saturday’s home match against Real Salt Lake at MAPFRE Stadium will “remain scheduled to be played as planned.”

The Crew stated:

“Columbus Crew SC, along with Major League Soccer and its other member clubs, have been closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will continue to do so. Major League Soccer’s task force has been regularly communicating with MLS clubs regarding appropriate measures to take as the situation continues to evolve.

The health and safety of the players, staff and supporters are of utmost importance. Crew SC and MAPFRE Stadium, through their dedicated task force, will continue to work with relevant governmental agencies and Major League Soccer to monitor the situation and react as necessary throughout the week.

MAPFRE Stadium undergoes a detailed cleaning procedure before and after every match or event. Many parts of the stadium, including high-traffic areas, will receive extra cleaning prior to and during Saturday’s match.”

With the match continuing to go along as planned, the Crew have added extra safety protocols. These include,

  • Hand sanitizers available in restrooms, guest services and first-aid locations.
  • Attendants in both the men’s and women’s restrooms to regularly clean surfaces.
  • Non-essential pre-match, halftime and post-match activations will be temporarily postponed.

COVID-19 cases were first reported in the state of Ohio yesterday when Governor Mike DeWine announced that three cases were confirmed in Cuyahoga County and declared a state of emergency in Ohio.

Hours after this press conference, the Ohio State University announced they will cancel all in-person lectures, labs, and other classes until March 30th. Classes will move online throughout the remainder of the month as Ohio starts a proactive response to the coronavirus.

As of this writing, there are over 116,000 coronavirus cases worldwide, including over 700 in the United States. More than 4,000 people have died from COVID-19 and over 64,000 have recovered.

Along with the Crew, the rest of the sports world is taking serious protective measures compared to last week. Last night, MLS, NBA, NHL, and MLB announced they will close off locker-room access to media and the Italian Olympic Committee has suspended all sporting events in Italy until April 3rd amid 9,000 plus cases in the country.

Massive Report will provide more updates when they become available.