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Premier League suspends play in response to coronavirus pandemic

Professional football has been postponed across all of England

Southampton FC display a message about coronavirus at a game Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

All professional men’s and women’s football in England has been suspended immediately in light of the coronavirus pandemic. No games will be played in the Premier League, the Championship, League One, League Two, the Women’s Super League, and Women’s Championship until April 4 at the earliest.

Until as late as Thursday evening, the Premier League had intended to fulfill the weekend’s fixtures. However, since then Arsenal and Chelsea have both gone into lockdown following positive tests for Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Additionally, members of the playing squads of Watford, Leicester City, Everton, and Bournemouth have entered self-isolation after displaying relevant symptoms. Accordingly, the Premier League convened an emergency meeting Friday morning, and announced the suspension shortly afterwards.

The Football League, which operates the Championship, League One and League Two, and the FA, which oversees the FA Cup and the women’s game, have joined the decision. Academy and youth team fixtures have also been put on hold.

The announcement leaves Liverpool stranded on the edge of their first league title in 30 years, 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League table with just nine games left to play. Outright cancellation is not, apparently, being considered for the moment, though reportedly a minority of clubs pushed for the voiding of the season.

It also leaves a thrilling Women’s Super League title race in limbo, with Chelsea just one point behind Manchester City, with a game in hand, and defending champions Arsenal three points further back.