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Premier League, EFL suspended until April due to coronavirus pandemic

Premier League, EFL suspended until April
© Reuters
All professional football in England, including the Premier League and Championship, will be suspended until April 3 at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All professional football in England has been suspended until April 3 at the earliest due to the escalating coronavirus pandemic.

Concerns over COVID-19 have grown sharply in recent days, with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi yesterday confirming that they had both tested positive for the virus.

Footballing authorities held an emergency meeting to discuss the outbreak this morning, and it has now been decided that all professional football in the country will be postponed until April 3 at the earliest.

The suspension includes the Premier League, FA Cup, EFL, Women's Super League, Women's FA Cup and Women's Championship, in addition to all Academy and youth team fixtures at club level.

England's international fixtures which were scheduled for the end of this month have also been postponed.

"Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19," Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said in a statement.

"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."

The Premier League has stated its intention to reschedule the displaced fixtures "when it is safe to do so", with their target as things stand to return to action on April 4.

The decision applies with immediate effect, meaning that this evening's Championship London derby between Fulham and Brentford will no longer take place, while Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester United and Everton vs. Liverpool are among the Premier League games to be postponed.

Other leagues around Europe, such as La Liga and Serie A, have already taken similar steps, while Champions League and Europa League fixtures have also been called off.

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