Author Topic: Premier League ban extended to end of April due to coronavirus crisis  (Read 503 times)

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Premier League ban extended to end of April due to coronavirus crisis

Football will not resume in England until at least 30 April after the enforced suspension due to the coronavirus outbreak was extended by four weeks, with the current 2019/20 season increased indefinitely as a result in order to complete the current campaign.

A joint-statement from the Football Association (FA), Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and Women’s Professional Game confirmed that the initial two-week ban on professional football until 4 April had been extended to include the entirety of next month, with sport unlikely to resume for the foreseeable future as the nation battle the Covid-19 outbreak.

With at least six weeks being scratched off the football calendar, a decision was taken on Thursday following a conference call to lift the previously agreed season deadline of 1 June, even though Uefa would like to see domestic and European football concluded by that date.

The move comes from all 20 Premier League clubs meeting via teleconference and also comes with the full backing of the Professional Footballers’ Association and League Managers’ Association, meaning that that the top four flights of professional football will conclude by being played out during the summer if allowed.

The statement read: “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.”

Both the Premier League and the EFL went against government advice to postpone matches last week when both Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi confirmed they had contracted coronavirus, which forced football’s leading authorities into action. Prime Minister Boris Johnson subsequently tightened measures in mass gatherings - which includes the majority of sporting events - although the National League and below were allowed to play fixtures last weekend. The FA has since announced a ban on all football events.

With Uefa announcing this week that the start of Euro 2020 will be moved to June 2021, domestic leagues have the time to complete their current campaigns, although the disruption looks certain to carry over into next season.

It will also allow the completion of the Champions League and Europa League, with the plans receiving the full support from the English game.

“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,” the statement added.

“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 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.”
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