SPORT is on hold across Ludlow and Tenbury – as it is across the country – with the coronavirus outbreak meaning all grassroots games are to halt for at least three weeks.

After Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Monday speech to the nation advised against mass gatherings and social contact, the largest sporting bodies all announced the cessation of competitive sport.

The decision leaves a number of teams in Ludlow and Tenbury unsure whether their campaigns will be restarted next month or cease completely – and how promotion and relegation will be decided.

At a local level, Ludlow FC’s Ludlow Stadium was closed last weekend by landlords Shrewsbury In The Community for a deep clean, although that was described as a ‘precautionary measure’.

Ludlow and local rivals Church Stretton were both set to be in Shropshire Challenge Cup semi-final action against Shrewsbury Juniors and Gobowen Celtic this Saturday.

However, those ties must now wait to be completed as the Shropshire FA, along with the Herefordshire FA and the West Midlands League, are all following official FA advice to call games off.

An FA statement said: “Following the government’s announcement for people to avoid social contact and gatherings where possible, we are now advising that all grassroots football in England is postponed for the foreseeable future.”

The statement did provide some reassurance for clubs in promotion battles, such as Ludlow and Stretton, who are both vying for second place in West Midlands Division Two.

It added: “We are committed to trying to complete all competition fixtures and will be liaising with the relevant parties to establish appropriate options to do so.”

While professional football was suspended before last weekend, many grassroots organisations went ahead with games on Saturday and Sunday.

However, that will not be the case this weekend, with rugby, hockey and other sports joining football in a complete lockdown.

Clee Hill RFC need just one win to claim the Midlands Four West North title but must wait for the opportunity after the Rugby Football Union suspended all games and training until April 14.

Ludlow men’s hockey team, third in West Midlands One, also face promotion uncertainty after England Hockey advised all leagues to cease competitive play.