Premier League suspended until April 3 due to coronavirus outbreak

The English Football League is to suspend all fixtures until April 3.

Premier League suspended until April 3 due to coronavirus outbreak

Additional reporting by Digital Desk staff

Top-level English football has been suspended until April 3 at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Football Association, the Premier League, the English Football League, FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have all agreed to call a halt to competitive action with immediate effect. The news was confirmed in an EFL statement.

It follows players and staff becoming affected by the virus, or individuals self-isolating as a precaution after reporting symptoms consistent with Covid-19.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: "Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19.

"In this unprecedented situation, we are working closely with our clubs, Government, The FA and EFL and can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority."

Earlier, UEFA has announced all Champions League and Europa League matches scheduled for next week have been postponed.

A UEFA statement read: “In the light of developments due to the spread of Covid-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competition matches scheduled next week are postponed.

“This includes the remaining UEFA Champions League round-of-16 second leg matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020; all UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg matches scheduled on 19 March 2020; all UEFA Youth League quarter-final matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020.

“Further decisions on when these matches take place will be communicated in due course.

“As a consequence of the postponements, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League quarter-final draws scheduled for 20 March have also been postponed.”

A locked gate at Wembley Stadium
A locked gate at Wembley Stadium

A statement from the EFL read: “The FA, Premier League, EFL and Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until 3 April at the earliest.

“This action, which will be kept under constant review, has been taken due to the increasing numbers of clubs taking steps to isolate their players and staff because of the COVID-19 virus.

“The postponements include all matches in the Championship, League One and League Two, as well as all academy and youth team fixtures.

“In addition, clubs are being advised to suspend indefinitely all non-essential activities which include, but are not limited to, player appearances, training ground visits and fan meetings.

“Whilst the EFL board has continued to take the advice and guidance offered by the Government and its health advisors, emerging developments mean now is the time to implement football’s contingency plans in response to the crisis.

“A further update on these plans will be given post an EFL board meeting next week.

“This decision has not been taken lightly, but the EFL must prioritise the health and well-being of players, staff and supporters while also acknowledging the Government’s national efforts in tackling this outbreak.”

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