The Football Association (FA) has announced the further extension of the game in England until at least April 30 as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread all over the world and was recently termed 'pandemic' by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The COVID-19 outbreak had earlier led to professional football being suspended till April 3 but it has now been pushed back further.
The FA, Premier League and English Football League (EFL) issued a joint statement to confirm the same and said that they are committed to work collectively and find ways to resume the season and complete all domestic and European matches.
“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 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," the official statement read.
“Additionally, we have collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than 30 April," it added.
The statement further said that they had collectively supported UEFA in postponing EURO 2020 in order create space for domestic and European league matches.
“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 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."
The virus outbreak, which was first reported in December 2019 from Wuhan city of China, has so far claimed the lives of nearly 10,000 people and has affected more than 2,00,000 persons globally.