In Brief

English football suspended until 30 April - but the season is extended indefinitely

The FA, Premier League and EFL issue joint statement on coronavirus measures

Professional football in England will remain suspended until 30 April at the earliest because of the coronavirus pandemic - but authorities confirmed that rules have been amended to extend the season indefinitely.    

Last week the Premier League and English Football League (EFL) were suspended until 3 April. However, it has been announced today that the suspension will remain in place until the end of next month. 

Under the current regulations the season was scheduled to end on 1 June, but The Football Association (FA) says the campaign will be extended in order to complete the fixtures.

The postponement of Euro 2020 means there could be a chance to finish the season if football authorities are given the go-ahead to resume matches.

Before this morning’s meeting it was reported that the Premier League would aim to complete the season by 30 June.

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‘Unprecedented times’

The FA, Premier League and EFL issued a joint statement about the “unprecedented times” for sport and society. 

The statement said: “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’re 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’ve 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, our Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019-20 season in relation to professional football. 

“Additionally, we’ve collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday 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.”

Today’s back pages

Football unites against virus as Gary Neville and Roman Abramovich hand hotels over to NHS staff

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