English football season to be extended indefinitely

A joint announcement by the FA, Premier League, EFL and the women's game have announced an extended suspension of English football.

With the public health coronavirus crisis continuing, the rulers of the elite game in England have declared that no games will take place before April 30th at the earliest.

However, normal rules of all season being completed by June 1st have been set aside - with the leagues determined to complete all existing competitions.

They stress their determination to complete domestic and European fixtures under safe circumstances.

JOINT STATEMENT

"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.

"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. Additionally, we have collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than 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."

UEFA made the announcement earlier this week that the 2020 European Champions have been put back by a year to 2021 - allowing some freedom in the fixture timetable this summer.

Whether games will be able to be played behind closed doors or even at all remains to be seen as countries grapple with the effects of the respiratory virus.

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