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FOOTBALL’S collective governing bodies have announced that the suspension of fixtures – initially earmarked until April 3 – will now be extended for almost a further month, although intentions are still clear that the respective competitions intend to conclude their campaigns.
The Premier League, along with the EFL and FA Women’s Super League will now look to resume on April 30 – subject to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
A joint statement from the English games major organisation read:
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.
The Men and women’s sections at West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal along with Southend United, Colchester United and Leyton Orient – all covered by Yellow Sport – are amongst the clubs left kicking their heels in uncertainty.
Southend chairman, Ron Martin, along with West Ham vice-chair, Karen Brady had earlier suggested that the league season should be cancelled. Both clubs are currently embroiled in relegation battles in their respective division.