Rolling Stone India Pitch: English Football’s Suspension Extended
The FA has pushed the schedule to April 30th due to the Coronavirus pandemic
After Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was tested positive for Coronavirus earlier this month, the Football Association (FA) postponed all games in the Premier League to April 3rd.
Now, the FA have announced that the suspension will be extended further due to the extent at which COVID-19 is spreading across the U.K. and the world. The postponement is currently slated to go on till April 30th at the least with all games in the Premier League as well as the lower English leagues coming to a halt.
With the European Championships also being postponed to next year, it has somewhat allowed football leagues a little more time to complete their respective ongoing seasons. Under current rules, the season was scheduled to end on June 1st. The FA has also agreed that the current season can be “extended indefinitely.”
The FA and Premier League also issued a joint statement in which they promised “a commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019-20 season” and completing all domestic and European matches “as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.”
Premier League team Arsenal has also come out and said that their training centers in London Colney and Hale End were closed for deep cleaning after the confirmation of Arteta’s illness.
The Gunners said in a club statement, “We have now reopened with a small workforce to maintain the facilities and training pitches, while a number of staff, including Mikel and the men’s first-team squad, are currently isolating at home.” It further read, “We’re pleased to say that Mikel is feeling much better. He’s in good spirits, doing detailed planning with the coaches and speaking to the players regularly.”
Hopefully, things subside enough for games to at least go on behind closed doors. Finishing the league season in its entirety should be the FA’s main concern now to uphold the integrity of the competition.