OTTAWA — Atletico Ottawa players and coaches are headed home, leaving their Spanish training base as a result of a domino effect of restrictions from the COVID-19 outbreak.
All will have to go through a 14-day self-isolation upon their return to Canada, the Canadian Premier League said Monday.
The Canadian soccer league had announced Friday it was suspending pre-season training for all its clubs for 14 days "to ensure a safe environment for our teams in the wake of COVID 19."
Then on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged Canadians abroad to come home. Beginning Wednesday, only four airports in the country – Toronto Pearson, Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal Trudeau – will be accepting international flights.
"Let me be clear, if you are abroad, it is time for you to come home," Trudeau said.
The expansion side had gone to Spain to work out at the well-appointed training ground of Atletico Madrid, its parent club.
Atletico Ottawa is scheduled to open regular-season play April 18 in Hamilton against the defending champion Forge FC. Its home opener is May 16 against HFX Wanderers FC at TD Place.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2020.
The Canadian Press