It’s been confirmed that the Premier League, English Football League and Women’s Super League will be suspended until April 4 following the threat caused by the coronavirus.
The decision comes after both Arsenal and Chelsea announced their first-team squads were each in self-isolation following positive coronavirus tests for Gunners manager Mikel Arteta and Blues winger Callum Hudson-Odoi:
A statement released via the official Premier League website included comment from chief executive Richard Masters, who said:
"Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19.
"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."
It also said matches affected as a result of the suspension—including academy games—will be rescheduled “when it is safe to do so.”
Sky Sports reporter Bryan Swanson posted the EFL statement in full, which advised clubs to also suspend all non-essential activities in an effort to limit the spread of Covid-19:
The World Health Organization officially declared the coronavirus as a pandemic on Wednesday.
The Premier League has followed the lead of Italy, Spain and France in deciding to postpone matches for several weeks, with Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1 each suspended for the time being.
European football has also been affected after some fixtures were played behind closed doors during the week. UEFA has since announced the upcoming round-of-16 fixtures in the Champions League and Europa League would no longer go ahead as planned.