COVID-19: FA extends English football suspension to April 30th
The English FA confirms that football across England will not return until April 30th. The decision means that the suspension on all major football activities extends to the end of April 2020. The deadline for returning to action extends indefinitely as part of an agreement with the FA.
The decision is in accordance to the agreement of the FA in an emergency meeting between PL clubs earlier today. Although, it is clear that the 2019/20 season is to extend indefinitely but won’t return until April 30th (earliest).
Officials from all 20 English top-flight clubs spoke over a conference call on Thursday morning. With the view to co-ordinate a strategy for completing the fixture list in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. One which led to the suspension of almost all sport.
FA’s Statement about the extension
A statement after the meeting, published by the Premier League 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 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.”
Impact on the UCL season
European football has committed to finish their competitions, including the Premier League, by 30 June.
This date remains flexible, particularly if a FIFA working group agrees to relax the rules on player contracts and registrations.
This remains a fluid environment, with plenty of opinions and ideas. Clubs will continue talks next week but football remains second to public health.
In their words, the English game would like to “re-emphasise our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.
There is obviously a collective desire to finish the season so they are buying time to monitor the COVID-19 situation.
With this, we now know that the EPL/EFL season will not resume until the end of April 30th. However, it is going to try complete the season before the start of June. Football fans would have to wait a while longer to be able to enjoy the beautiful game once again.
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