Former Super Eagles forward Odion Ighalo and other stars plying their trade in the China Super League have been handed an extended vacation due to the escalation of the coronavirus, which has claimed at least 170 lives.
Ex-Premier League players like Yaya Toure, Marouane Fellaini, Oscar, Marko Arnautovic and Salomon Rondon, were due to kick-start the new campaign from 22 February to 31 October.
However, a new starting date for the season has not yet been announced, with weeks to commencements of hostilities.
Other sporting events in China have also been affected by the crisis.
The men’s alpine skiing World Cup races in China, scheduled for 15 and 16 February in Yanqing, have been cancelled.
The 2020 World Athletics Indoor Championships, due to be held from 13-15 March in Nanjing, have been pushed back 12 months after World Athletics sought advice from the World Health Organisation.
Formula 1 says it is “monitoring” the effects of the outbreak in China in the context of the country’s Grand Prix in Shanghai from 17-19 April.
The all-electric Formula E series is also due to hold a race in Sanya, southern China, on 21 March and Formula E says it is also “closely monitoring” the situation in tandem with local authorities.
In a statement, the China Football Association said their move to postpone the “2020 season national football competitions at all levels” was taken to help with the “prevention and control of the pneumonia epidemic of the new coronavirus infection, and to protect the health of the majority of fans, media, players, coaches, game officials, clubs and district staff”.