news update

Coronavirus: English football extends suspension to April 30

The deadline for returning to action has also been extended indefinitely as part of an agreement with the FA.

The further suspension of English football is no surprise. The game cannot continue as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.

The significance of today is the decision of the FA board, and their agreement to “extend indefinitely” the time limit to the end of the season.

Under the FA’s rules and regulations “the season shall terminate not later than 1 June”. Officials have agreed not to enforce this date.

In summary, football has given itself time, in extraordinary circumstances.

There is a clear determination to finish the season before considering the start of next season.

“The progress of COVID-19 remains unclear” said a joint statement, but the English game is attempting to bring a degree of clarity in a hugely volatile and unpredictable landscape.

A revised resumption at the end of April remains ambitious and, in all likelihood, it will change again in a few weeks.

European football has committed to finish their competitions, including the Premier League, by 30 June.

But that date remains flexible, particularly if a FIFA working group agrees to relax the rules on player contracts and registrations.

This remains a fluid environment, with plenty of opinions and ideas. Clubs will continue talks next week but football remains second to public health.

In their words, the English game would like to “re-emphasise our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.

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