After a chain of coronavirus infections among players and staff, the Health Ministry on Thursday ordered two Premier League (Ligat Ha'Al) soccer clubs to cease all operations.
The clubs in question, Bnei Sakhnin F.C. and Hapoel Hadera F.C., had to cancel all upcoming games and training and ordered all staff and players to enter self-isolation.
Three top-flight games are expected to be postponed as a result of the move – Bnei Sakhnin vs. Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Hadera vs. Hapoel Be'er Sheva on September 20, and Hapoel Hadera vs. Beitar Jerusalem on September 26.
This is the second time the match between Hapoel Hadera and the giants from the capital has been postponed due to health concerns.
Bnei Sakhnin coach, Eldad Shavit, was tested positive for coronavirus last week, followed by four other first-team players.
Hapoel Hadera coach, Sharon Mimer, was diagnosed with the pathogen as well alongside four first-team staff and two players.
The Israeli Professional Football Leagues (IPFL), the responsible body for Israel's two professional football leagues, said that all players and staff from both teams will go through another round of coronavirus testing by next weekend, after which the governing body will decide whether to resume the teams' activities.
An alternative date for the games will be announced after the Health Ministry clears both teams to resume operations.