English FA suspends Premier League, EFL seasons indefinitely

…FIFA cancels all internationals

Football in England has been suspended indefinitely due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League, EFL, FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have all been suspended – with matches only set to resume when it is safe to do according to the latest government guidance.

The Premier League had been suspended until April 30 but, after a meeting on Friday, a statement read: “It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May – and that the 2019-20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

“The restart date is under constant review with all stakeholders, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time.”

It is a similar story in the rest of English football, with the EFL, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship also suspended.

An EFL statement read: “Football is committed in supporting the Government’s efforts in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak and the staging of football matches in this country.

“It is clearly something that simply cannot happen at this time.

“The thoughts of everyone associated with the EFL and its member Clubs are with anyone currently affected by the coronavirus.

“The situation will be kept under constant review with matches only returning at an appropriate point and based on the latest guidance provided by the relevant Government departments and health authorities.”

The Premier League has announced its intention to assist the EFL and the National League, with clubs at that level hardest hit by the loss of match-day revenue.

The Premier League said: “The League unanimously voted to advance funds of £125m to the EFL and National League, as it is aware of the severe difficulties clubs throughout the football pyramid are suffering at this time.

The EFL responded: “The EFL notes and appreciates the decision taken today by the Premier League in respect of the short-term financial relief it is to provide EFL clubs through the advancement of solidarity payments, parachute payments and academy Grants.

“These actions will have a positive impact on individual clubs across our three divisions at a difficult and uncertain time.”

Also, all international football matches scheduled for June were postponed on Friday following the first meeting of FIFA’s coronavirus working group.

It was also decided to hold discussions with confederations to draw up a revised schedule for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers which have been shelved.

“The FIFA-Confederations working group… has unanimously approved a series of recommendations following its first meeting, which was organised via conference call today,” said a FIFA statement.

It was also decided by the group to postpone all planned women’s internationals in June.

In the aftermath of the decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics by a year, the FIFA group proposed keeping the age eligibility rule of players born on or after January 1, 1997 and three additional players.

“The FIFA-Confederations working group will continue to hold discussions on a regular basis as the situation evolves,” added the statement. – Sky Sports, BeIN.

 

 

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