MONTEVIDEO: Uruguay’s football federation has suspended indefinitely contracts of all its 400 staff, including national coach Oscar Washington Tabarez.

This follows a government bar on all sports activities because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A statement said: “The executive committee announces that, due to the current health crisis that has led to the cessation of all activities, it is obliged to make a series of difficult decisions in order to protect its own future existence.”

The decision concerned “all external contracts in all categories”. Only “essential” services were being maintained for the “basic needs of the organisation.”

The measure involves almost 400 people, including Tabarez, the 73-year-old who has been coach of the Uruguayan national team since 2006.

Uruguayan football, like all public events, was suspended on March 13 “until further notice”, the day the first four coronavirus cases were confirmed in the country. According to the latest data 274 people have tested positive.