Super Rugby has been put on hold in the wake of New Zealand announcing that travellers entering the country must self-isolate for 14 days due to fears over the coronavirus outbreak.
SANZAAR, who run the southern hemisphere club competition, said it "has no option but to suspend the 2020 Super Rugby tournament" for the foreseeable future.
In a statement that followed the decree from the New Zealand government, SANZAAR said it would not be feasible to carry on with the competition, with five teams from the country participating.
The curtain lowered on Super Rugby following the Brumbies' 47-14 win over the Waratahs in Canberra on Sunday.
The penultimate match of round seven between the Jaguares and Highlanders in Buenos Aires was later cancelled to allow the visiting players to return home to New Zealand.
SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos the decision had not been taken lightly.
"After consulting widely with key stakeholders, the SANZAAR executive committee has taken the necessary step to cancel the scheduled fixture with the players' and team management health and welfare paramount," Marinos said.
"As stated previously, while disappointed to be in this position our priority is to ensure the players currently overseas return home healthy and safely to be with their families."
The suspension will leave the trans-continental provincial competition, involving teams from Argentina, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa, in limbo after only seven of 18 rounds.
Tournament organisers hope to devise a plan for the remaining fixtures which will be communicated in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Australia's National Rugby League will continue into the second round of the season next week in closed stadiums.
The NRL started this weekend with fans in attendance despite the wholesale suspension of leagues and events around the world.
Rugby League Commission boss Peter V'landys said that the decision to continue into week two could change at any time given the fluid nature of the situation but warned of a "catastrophic" financial impact on the game if there was a prolonged shutdown.
"It's one of the toughest challenges for us to stay viable in the history of the game," he said.
"This can change by the hour. All decisions we will make will have the safety and health of our players as paramount.
"We are going to review all options including isolating players or suspending the season. We've commissioned a pandemic expert and we are going to act on their advice."
The league was left with little choice but to exclude fans for round two after the Australian government advised on Friday that people should not gather in groups of more than 500 from Monday because of the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
The NRL's sole New Zealand team, the Auckland-based Warriors, were praised for keeping the season alive by setting up camp in New South Wales state.
For the Warriors to head home after midnight on Sunday would mean having to self-isolate for 14 days, which would compromise the competition's integrity.
A couple of players returned to New Zealand but the rest face an indefinite period away from home.