The EFL and Premier League have announced that all professional football will be suspended in England and Wales until at least April 3rd in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.
After speculation yesterday on whether games would continue to be played behind closed doors the EFL and Premier League initially announced yesterday evening, that fixtures would go ahead as planned with fans able to attend this weekend.
However, after reports of players going into isolation after showing symptoms and in particular Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta contracting the virus, all senior football governing bodies in this country got together for a meeting this morning to revise a plan.
After deciding to suspend matches for a period in order to try and contain the spread of Coronavirus the EFL released a statement:
“In light of overnight developments, the EFL Board has met this morning to discuss the ever-changing circumstances posed by the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Having considered the increased number of cases affecting Club Players and staff, the Board were unanimous in their approach and it has been determined that all football activity scheduled to take place this weekend and until April 3 2020 will be postponed.
For the avoidance of any doubt this includes all matches in the Championship, League One and League Two, as well as all Academy and youth team fixtures and will take us beyond the next international round.
The arrangement of training programmes for professional players in the interim period remains a matter for each individual Club and we advise all Academy training is suspended until April 3, 2020.
In addition to this the League instructs all Clubs to suspend indefinitely all non-essential business which include, but are not limited to, player appearances, commercial activities training ground visits and fan meetings.
We also advise that Club Community Organisations cease their activities until April 3 2020.
A further update will be provided to Clubs post an EFL Board Meeting next week.”
The suspension sees Argyle miss four games including the Devon Derby against Exeter City on March 23rd, a match that was to be shown live on Sky Sports.
This means Plymouth Argyle’s next game is due to take place on Saturday, April 4 at home to Forest Green.
Argyle released their own club statement in which CEO Andrew Parkinson said
“We are obviously disappointed that our exciting season, on and off the pitch, needs to be temporarily suspended. However, we are supportive of the EFL’s decision, and have taken steps to follow the guidance issued early on Friday.”
”We understand that our supporters will have concerns about how this news affects their tickets, hospitality and event bookings, and we will ensure to provide regular updates as the situation unfolds.”
“We thank you for your understanding.”