Basketball restarts in China after coronavirus shutdown

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) President Yao Ming receives an interview in Beijing on June 4, 2020. The Chinese basketball league has restarted after an almost five-month shutdown for the coronavirus pandemic, with fewer foreign players and no fans in the stands. The CBA was suspended on Jan. 24, 2020 after the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, a week before it was scheduled to return following a spring break at the end of the regular season. The semifinals stage started Saturday, June 20, 20202 with 20 teams divided into two divisions and limited venues to reduce travel. All stadiums are closed to fans. League chairman and former NBA star Yao praised the work of the clubs and health authorities for helping get the CBA season restarted. (Meng Yongmin/Xinhua via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — The Chinese basketball league has restarted after an almost five-month shutdown for the coronavirus pandemic but is going ahead in empty stadiums and with fewer foreign players. The CBA was suspended on Jan. 24 after the virus outbreak in Wuhan. The semifinals stage has started with 20 teams divided into two divisions and limited venues to reduce travel. All stadiums are closed to fans. League chairman and former NBA star Yao Ming praised the work of the clubs and health authorities for helping get the season restarted. He says as the first national large-scale sports event to be restarted in China the CBA is of “strategic significance.”