• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Coronavirus: Premier League And English Football League Suspend All Games Until April 3

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The Premier League and English Football League have suspended all games until April 3 as social-distancing measures to tackle coronavirus are ramped up.

Championship, League One, and League Two fixtures will all be affected by the postponement, which was announced on Friday morning.

Bournemouth announced on Friday that five of their employees, including goalkeeper Artur Boruc, were self-isolating having displayed symptoms consistent with the virus.

A statement from the club said: “Goalkeeper Artur Boruc, along with four first-team members of staff, are self-isolating in line with government and Public Health guidelines. This is a precautionary measure as, at this stage, none have tested positive for coronavirus.”

Football leagues across Europe have either been suspended or ordered to play behind closed doors, but Boris Johnson said on Thursday that while similar measures could come into force, it would not be happening immediately.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the virus on Thursday night with their match on Saturday against Brighton postponed, while Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi is also confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Premier League officials held an emergency meeting on Friday morning amid the ongoing outbreak.

The decision to postpone the games represents a swift u-turn from the EFL’s position on Thursday evening, when a spokesperson said that all fixtures would continue as normal.

The statement read: “In light of today’s announcement by the UK government, EFL matches will continue to take place as normal while the guidance from the relevant authorities remains that there is no medical rationale to close or cancel sporting events at this time.

“The EFL, however, will continue to work with government and relevant stakeholders to further develop contingency plans to ensure the League is best placed to act as and when any potential restrictions may come into force.”

The statement however did confirm that those plans were subject to change.

“The League will continue to liaise with the government regarding ongoing developments and will continue to work with clubs to ensure players, staff and supporters are updated and appraised accordingly,” a spokesperson added.

“These matters are, of course, subject to change and we will update as appropriate.”