Less than a week after becoming one of the last major sports leagues to suspend its season because of the global coronavirus pandemic, the Premier League announced Thursday that it was expending its pause until April 30 at the earliest.
In a joint statement between the Prem, England’s Football Association the lower-division English Football League, the Professional Footballers Association and the League Managers Association, the bodies said that they are “united in finding ways to resume 2019-20 season as soon as it is safe.”
The statement also said that the FA’s board has agreed to scrap the rule that domestic seasons had to conclude by June 1, extending the deadline indefinitely for the 2019-20 season. That would allow the Premier League, the FA National Women’s League and other competitions to extend into the summer months if necessary.
Earlier this week, the 2020 European Championship was pushed back a year to allow leagues across the continent to finish their league seasons.
“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,” UEFA’s statement read.
It also came with a disclaimer, noting the uncertainty still surrounding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and the social distancing measures that have been implemented to combat its spread. At this point, there is no guarantee that the remainder of the English season will be able to resume. The Premier League would have to figure out how to handle such a scenario.
“The progress of COVID-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority,” it continued. “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.”
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