With the coronavirus pandemic having a massive impact around the world, this weekend saw no football taking place across the Premier League or the EFL, as games have been postponed until April 3 at the very earliest, in an effort to try to help with the medical emergency. Fixtures in the biggest leagues around Europe and the world have also been called off, including La Liga, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga.

In these difficult times, Leyton Orient have turned to the virtual world to give fans a fix of football action, with some massive clubs from around the world also getting involved in an epic FIFA 20 knockout tournament.

When Orient originally posted the idea on social media, the idea was to have a 64-team tournament, but they've had to expand the tournament to 128 teams due to the popularity of the idea.

As things stand, Leyton Orient will be joined by fellow English sides Manchester City, Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Wolves, Everton, Huddersfield, Sheffield Wednesday, Derby County, Watford, West Ham United, Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove Albion, Crystal Palace and many more.

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But the tournament has gone international, with teams like Ado Den Haag, Hamburg, KAA Gent, Feyenoord and Sydney FC among the teams to enter the pioneering event.

The club have explained their reasons for creating the tournament and have been delighted by the response.

"With no football on at the moment, we wanted to give our supporters something to get behind,"

"We ran with a Football Manager thing on Saturday which went down really well, and wanted to keep it going.

"We saw the whole Connect Four thing over the weekend, and although it was fun at first, we thought it could be improved. After the media team spoke about it in house, we went for it, and the reaction has been superb.

"We thought 64 was achievable, but that maybe 128 would be too high to aim for. But after a short period of time we’d already hit 64 - so we extended it, and have seen clubs from all over the world get in touch. From Finns Harp to Feyenoord!

"It’s still early days, so it’s hard to know exactly where it will go! With everything around the Coronavirus at the moment, it was important that we did something to plug the gap.

"Clubs are really going to struggle financially during this period, and so far, people have taken to it really well - so let’s see where we end up, and hopefully clubs can get a big boost from this."

Coronavirus and football

Coronavirus is having an impact across sport in Europe, with football league schedules suspended in several countries, including in England, Spain and Italy. But what happens next?

  - The Champions League and Europa League have been suspended, and UEFA have announced plans for what could happen next.

  - The Premier League clubs are set for more talks with a key vote over the next steps regarding training.

  - Decisions have been made regarding other leagues across Europe, including in France, Holland and Germany.

  - Decisions have been made regarding the National League and other non-league football.

  - We asked the fans what they want to see happen, following the suspension of football in the Premier League. Here's what they said.

The club have confirmed that 128 teams will be in the hat, with clubs also encouraged to use streaming platforms for the games too to get their supporters involved. The rules are simple, each club will chose a representative to play throughout. Could be a first-team player, or fan - their call. And, to enter, the club has to be on FIFA, and play as themselves.

With real-life football set to be sparse for the next couple of weeks at the earliest, playing football in the virtual world certainly seems something that will become more popular over the coming weeks, particularly on streaming services like Twitch, Mixer and YouTube.

Esports is already a rapidly-expanding industry, and these kinds of initiatives will only see a rise in its popularity, as Leyton Orient become the first professional football club to host a huge international FIFA tournament featuring 128 professional football clubs from around the world.