Coronavirus forces football in England to have suspension extended
The professional game in England will be postponed until at least April 30 due to the coronavirus, the Football Association has announced.
A statement from the Premier League, EFL and the Football Association, along with the Women’s professional game, the Professional Footballers’ Association and the League Managers’ Association confirmed the extension to the suspension.
The governing bodies had originally agreed a suspension last Friday until early April.
The statement read: “The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA and LMA, understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.
“We are united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019/20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.
“We have collectively supported UEFA in postponing EURO 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.
“The FA’s Rules and Regulations state that “the season shall terminate not later than the 1 June” and “each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season”.
“However, The FA’s Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019/20 season in relation to Professional Football.
“Additionally, we have collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than 30 April.
“The progress of COVID-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority. We will continue to follow Government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow.
“We would all like to re-emphasise that our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.”
The Premier League had initially been suspended until April 4, with the EFL suspension originally ending a day earlier.
The EFL held a board meeting on Wednesday and has agreed a £50million short-term relief package to assist cash-strapped clubs during the coronavirus crisis.