Statement by football authorities

Football in England is to be suspended until no earlier than 30 April, it was announced this lunchtime.

The professional game's governing bodies issued the following statement in the latest move designed to combat the COVID-19 virus:

"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 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 EFL state that for the avoidance of any doubt, the postponement includes all matches in the Championship, League One and League Two, as well as all Academy, RTC and youth team fixtures.

The EFL Board has discussed providing additional clarity to clubs in respect of training programmes, in line with the objective of ensuring the health and safety of players and staff.

The EFL advises that training activities should be suspended until 3 April, at the earliest, but this is down to individual clubs’ discretion.