The English top-flight has followed the lead of Serie A, La Liga, MLS and Ligue 1 by declaring that all forthcoming fixtures will have to be rearranged.
The Premier League has announced that all forthcoming fixtures will be postponed until April 3 at the earliest.
Leading branches across Europe and around the globe have already taken that course of action in an attempt to contain the spread of Covid-19 – Serie A, La Liga, MLS and Ligue 1 will be carrying in enforced breaks as a worldwide pandemic continues to wreak havoc.
And, following an emergency meeting on Friday, the conclusion was made that all kinds of professional soccer in England be postponed until at least the start of next month.
It was shown on Thursday that Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi had contracted coronavirus, whilst Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy was forced into a period of self-isolation, together with a range of Leicester City players.
In addition to the Premier League, matches across the Football League in England are also brought to a stop, together with fittings in the Women’s match and the two friendly internationals which England were due to play against Italy and Denmark.
“This activity, which will be kept under continuous review, has been taken because of the rising numbers of clubs taking steps to isolate their staff and players due to the Covid-19 virus.
“It will also apply to all England team championships at each level and all FA competitions such as the Emirates FA Cup and the Women’s FA Cup, together with the academy and youth-team matches.
“The decision has been made purely on the number of cases requiring self-isolation and the impact on facilities. Given the measures being taken across clubs, there is no choice but for today’s action. However, all parties are committed at this time to attempt to finish this year’s national fixture programme and are liaising to set up suitable options to achieve that.
Any decision to keep on playing or to postpone their individual competitions is a matter for every league as autonomous bodies within the sport.
“With regard to the senior men’s fixtures against Italy and Denmark in Wembley Stadium, refunds will be processed to all ticket buyers within 14 working days.
“Monies will be returned to the card used to make the initial booking. The refund procedure for England’s MU21 and MU20 home fixtures remains to be verified.
“UEFA had confirmed that Elite Round qualifiers across U17 and U19 age groups were postponed. Europe’s governing body will meet on Tuesday to discuss additional implications for global soccer including national-team and club competitions.
A Premier League announcement added to the conclusion: “After a meeting of Shareholders today, it was unanimously decided to suspend the Premier League with the aim of returning on 4 April, subject to medical advice and conditions at the time.
“Premier League Chief Executive Richard Experts said: ‘Above We all want Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19.
“‘In this unprecedented situation, we’re working closely with our teams, Government, The FA and EFL and can guarantee everyone the health and welfare of players, supporters and staff are our priority.’
“Despite the challenges, it’s that the Premier League’s goal to reschedule the displaced fittings, such as those played by Academy sides, even when it’s safe to do so.
“In this fast-moving environment, additional updates will be provided when appropriate.”
The Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) have also verified that soccer in Scotland has been postponed. A statement read: “The combined response team can affirm the conclusion of the Scottish FA board to suspend all national professional and grassroots soccer under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA until further notice.
“As a result, the SPFL has announced the postponement of the weekend’s and after midweek’s fixtures, beginning with tonight’s Premiership match between Motherwell and Aberdeen and the Championship match between Queen of the South and Ayr United.
“The Scottish FA and SPFL will continue to liaise with authorities and UEFA in regard to national, European and worldwide fixtures in the coming days and more info will be communicated at the proper time.”