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Bulgaria postpones league season start amid increase of COVID-19 cases
Reuters 600px 600px
  • 11 Jul 20
  • Soccer
  • 4
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Bulgarian Soccer League - Levski Sofia v Ludogorets - Georgi Asparuhov Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria - June 5, 2020  Levski Sofia fans are seen in the stands before the match, as play resumes following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)  REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov 691px 444px FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Bulgarian Soccer League - Levski Sofia v Ludogorets - Georgi Asparuhov Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria - June 5, 2020 Levski Sofia fans are seen in the stands before the match, as play resumes following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

SOFIA (Reuters) - The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) postponed the start of next season's domestic top flight by two weeks after the Balkan country saw the biggest increase of COVID-19 cases in a week.

The BFU's Medical Commission submitted a proposal on Friday to the BFU's management to postpone the championship's kick-off "in view of the complicated epidemiological situation."

"The BFU accepted the proposal in order to preserve the health of players, staffs and officials in a force majeure situation," the BFU said in a statement on Saturday.

The current league season is still under way, but on Thursday, the government ordered all games to be played behind closed doors.

The start of the new season, initially scheduled for July 24, will now take place on August 7, the BFU said.

More than half of Bulgarian top flight clubs as well as second-tier teams have been hit by the coronavirus, with Cherno More Varna reporting 16 cases while nine players from Cup winners Lokomotiv Plovdiv also tested positive this week.

Bulgaria reported a daily record of 330 coronavirus cases on Friday and another 292 cases on Saturday. It has so far documented nearly 7,000 confirmed cases and 267 deaths.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Toby Chopra and Frances Kerry)

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Pts P W D L GF GA +/- Pts
1 Liverpool LIV 99 38 32 3 3 85 33 +52 99
2 Manchester City MAC 81 38 26 3 9 102 35 +67 81
3 Manchester United MUN 66 38 18 12 8 66 36 +30 66
4 Chelsea CHE 66 38 20 6 12 69 54 +15 66
5 Leicester City LEI 62 38 18 8 12 67 41 +26 62
6 Tottenham Hotspur TOT 59 38 16 11 11 61 47 +14 59
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers WOL 59 38 15 14 9 51 40 +11 59
8 Arsenal ARS 56 38 14 14 10 56 48 +8 56
9 Sheffield United SHE 54 38 14 12 12 39 39 0 54
10 Burnley BUR 54 38 15 9 14 43 50 -7 54
11 Southampton SOU 52 38 15 7 16 51 60 -9 52
12 Everton EVE 49 38 13 10 15 44 56 -12 49
13 Newcastle United NEW 44 38 11 11 16 38 58 -20 44
14 Crystal Palace CRY 43 38 11 10 17 31 50 -19 43
15 Brighton & Hove Albion BRI 41 38 9 14 15 39 54 -15 41
16 West Ham United WES 39 38 10 9 19 49 62 -13 39
17 Aston Villa AST 35 38 9 8 21 41 67 -26 35
18 AFC Bournemouth BOU 34 38 9 7 22 40 65 -25 34
19 Watford WAT 34 38 8 10 20 36 64 -28 34
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