Premier League and EFL matches have been suspended until April 3 at the earliest in light of the cornonavirus outbreak.
The Football Association, the Premier League, the English Football League, FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have all agreed to call a halt to competitive action with immediate effect. The news was confirmed in an EFL statement.
The decision was confirmed on Friday morning after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the virus.
Government advice on mass gatherings in England and Wales has not changed despite the decision on Thursday to move into the ‘delay’ phase in tackling the virus, but the spread of the illness among competitors has forced the hand of organisers.
A statement from the EFL read: “The FA, Premier League, EFL and Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until 3 April at the earliest.
“This action, which will be kept under constant review, has been taken due to the increasing numbers of clubs taking steps to isolate their players and staff because of the Covid-19 virus.
“The postponements include all matches in the Championship, League One and League Two, as well as all academy and youth team fixtures.
“In addition, clubs are being advised to suspend indefinitely all non-essential activities which include, but are not limited to, player appearances, training ground visits and fan meetings.
“Whilst the EFL board has continued to take the advice and guidance offered by the Government and its health advisors, emerging developments mean now is the time to implement football’s contingency plans in response to the crisis.
“A further update on these plans will be given post an EFL board meeting next week.
“This decision has not been taken lightly, but the EFL must prioritise the health and well-being of players, staff and supporters while also acknowledging the Government’s national efforts in tackling this outbreak.”