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Ultimate Quaran-Team: Leyton Orient sign up Man City, Roma, Benfica for 128-team FIFA 20 tournament

22:27 GMT+3 16/03/2020
FIFA 20 Ultimate Quaran-Team
The League Two side have organised a competition with teams all over the world as football clubs look to fill the void left by no fixtures

League Two side Leyton Orient are helping to provide entertainment during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic by organising an international FIFA 20 tournament.

On Monday, Orient issued a call on Twitter for 63 other clubs to join them in the tournament using the hashtag #UltimateQuaranTeam – putting forward a first-team player or fan to represent their club.

By the following day, the tournament had to be expanded with a draw set to include 128 clubs from all over the world.

Manchester City, Roma, Marseille, Orlando City, Standard Liege, Sydney FC, Genk, Istanbul Basaksehir and Benfica are among the clubs set to pick a representative for the global tournament, with a draw to be made on Wednesday.

Some sides have since pulled out of the competition, such as Tranmere Rovers and Bristol City, after learning of Leyton Orient's affiliation with British tabloid The Sun, who sponsor the London club.

Once underway, each club’s representative will have to play as their own team throughout.

With top-level sport brought to a standstill around the world and millions being advised or ordered to stay at home, the tournament could help to fill the entertainment gap left by the lack of live football.

Leagues and organisations are working on solutions which could see postponed games played behind closed doors, or see tournaments cancelled entirely.

It has been suggested that eSports such as competitive FIFA could rise in popularity as sports fans look for distractions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Clubs have been attempting to provide some entertainment on social media, though responses to their efforts have been predictably mixed.

One popular trend has seen clubs’ official Twitter accounts engaging in virtual games of Connect Four.

The trend originated in Southampton, as the Saints looked to replace their scheduled Premier League clash with Norwich with a virtual encounter at the same time as their game would have occurred.

When Norwich didn’t reply, Manchester City stepped in – opening the idea up to clubs all over the world.

Other ideas to help keep fans preoccupied have included clubs running quizzes and competitions, or streaming classic games in full.

However, clubs are also reminding fans and players alike of the severity of the coronavirus situation.

Chelsea have reminded their first-team squad of their responsibilities after 22-year-old Mason Mount was shown breaking his self-isolation by meeting friend and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice to play football.

Shortly after announcing the full line-up for the FIFA tournament, Leyton Orient also confirmed the club would “close its offices, club superstore and stadium until further notice, to protect our staff and their family”.