The novel Coronavirus, originated in the city of Wuhan in China, found its way into Europe. The sports scene in the continent has taken a big hit from the pandemic, and the most impactful decisions were the cancellation of Serie A and La Liga matches, and also UEFA suspending all Champions League and Europa League games of the coming week. Now, one of the most famous football league in the world, the English Premier League is now postponed until April, along with other English football fixtures.
The news came on the heels of UEFA suspending the Champions League and Europa League matches today. Following an emergency meeting, it was decided that the top flight of English football would be put on hold for atleast three weeks amongst the virus outbreak in the country, until April 3rd.
Along with Premier League, the suspension includes all EFL Championship, League One and League Two matches, along with the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship. Additionally, all academy and youth team fixtures have also faced postponement.
“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,” an official statement was released following the emergency meeting.
Along with cancelling the matches, the clubs were also advised to drop all non-football activities, including player appearances, training ground visits and fan meetings during the suspension period.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was tested positive for coronavirus, along with Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Liverpool gaffer Jürgen Klopp opened up to the club’s supporters about the decision from the authorities.
“Today’s decision and announcement is being implemented with the motive of keeping people safe. Because of that we support it completely,” Klopp said in a publication in the club’s official website.
Liverpool, who are eyeing their first title in 30 years, have to undergo this disruption of the league until they get their hands on the trophy, provided everything moves forward smoothly post-suspension.
“We have seen members of teams we compete against become ill. This virus has shown that being involved in football offers no immunity. To our rival clubs and individuals who are affected and to those who later will become so, you are in our thoughts and prayers,” Klopp added.