Premier League suspended due to coronavirus

The Premier League has confirmed the suspension of all fixtures until April due to the rising threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

Premier Leaugue suspended due to coronavirus
Andrew Yates REUTERS

The Premier League has confirmed that all fixtures will be suspended until April 4 due to the worsening coronavirus crisis.

The English league’s decision follows that of Spain, Italy, France and Netherlands, who have all confirmed that fixtures will be suspended as Europe struggles with the spread of COVID-19. Germany’s Bundesliga is reportedly set to confirm a similar measure imminently.

The Premier League announcement comes after a number of high profile English football figures have tested positive for COVID-19, including Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea forward Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Everton, meanwhile, have placed their entire squad in isolation after a player showed symptoms of coronavirus, the club confirmed on Friday morning.

There have been 596 confirmed cases in the UK, although health officials believe the actual number of people infected could be between 5,000 and 10,000.

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.

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters 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."

Despite the challenges, it is the Premier League's aim to reschedule the displaced fixtures, including those played by Academy sides, when it is safe to do so.

In this fast-moving environment, further updates will be provided when appropriate.