An unprecedented but necessary stoppage in football with hopes of containing the spread of coronavirus.
Premier League heads met on Friday morning with other football heads to discuss the growing concern of continuing to play football matches amid the coronavirus spread. Games were all set to go ahead as of Thursday but revelations about Arsenal’s manager Mikel Arteta, Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi, and several Leicester City players having tested positive for the virus urged the big brains to give it a rethink.
All football in England is now officially on hold until at least April 4th.
“The Premier League, FA, EFL and WSL have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England,” begins the Premier League statement.
“Following a meeting of shareholders today, it was unanimously decided to suspend the Premier League with the intention of returning on 4 April, subject to medical advice and conditions at the time.
“In this unprecedented situation we are working closely with our clubs, government, the FA and EFL and can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.
“Despite the challenges, it is the Premier League’s aim to reschedule the displaced fixtures, when it is safe to do so.”
The pause in play covers Monday’s derby against Everton (self-quarantining already) and the Anfield match with Crystal Palace on the 21st. League officials will look to reschedule all the missed games, probably at the end of the regularly scheduled run-in.
After the Palace game week there’s a two-week span already designated for the international break. As that time passes by, public health officials will give a recommendation on whether or not to reopen the stadium gates.
The future of the current season and indeed the full threat of coronavirus on society are far from certain, but if the league is restored when the big brains are predicting, Liverpool’s next match would be against Manchester City on Sunday, April 5th. Hooray.