The Premier League, the Football League and the Women’s Super League and Championship have suspended all matches until 3 April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This follows the revelation on Thursday night that several Premier League clubs have members of staff, including players and coaches, who are displaying symptoms of the virus.
The Football Association has also announced that the two England friendlies due to be played at the end of March, against Denmark and Italy at Wembley, have been called off, saying that “refunds will be processed to all ticket buyers within 14 working days”.
In Europe, UEFA has announced the postponement of all pending fixtures in the Champions League and Europa League to an as yet unspecified date.
The Premier League said in a statement: “The Premier League, FA, EFL and WSL have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England. Following a meeting of shareholders today, it was unanimously decided to suspend the Premier League with the intention of returning on 3 April, subject to medical advice and conditions at the time.”
On Friday it was announced Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi have both tested positive for coronavirus.
Manchester City’s scheduled clash with Arsenal on Wednesday became the first Premier League match to be called off because of coronavirus.
Olympiakos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis was confirmed to be suffering from the virus , and after he attended the Greek club’s Europa League match at the Emirates Stadium on February 27 it was decided that the Gunners should place players who met him into self-isolation.
La Liga announced that they were suspending matches for the next two weeks on Thursday, while the Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for the virus as Serie A have suspended their league season indefinitely.
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers urged the Premier League to suspend the season after three Foxes players tested positive for coronavirus.
”There is absolutely no doubt, from a logical perspective,” he said. “There’s the public health and ethical side as well.
“Players could be going into games and they could be unclear if opposition players are infected. You think of how it all connects with the throw-ins.
“Ultimately there should be no risks taken in the public’s health which is key.”
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