The Football Association, English Football League, Women’s Soccer League, Premier League and Newcastle have released statements addressing concerns about COVID-19, or the Coronavirus as it is being referred to. These statements come after the news that 3 Leciester City players were showing symptoms of the virus, as well as both Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta and Chlelsea’s Callum Huson-Odoi testing positive for the virus.
In a joint statement between the FA, Premier League, WSL and EFL it was announced that professional football in England would be suspended until April 4th
The full version of the Premier League's statement is as follows:
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.
The other Leagues have released similar statements on their respective platforms with the common understanding that football will not be played in England at least until April 4th.
Newcastle followed this statement up with a statement of their own recapping what the Premier League stated as well as announcing that the club currently has no players or staff with COVID-19 and confirming that the club will essentially cease all football related activities at the cub’s facilities for the next 2 weeks.
The club can confirm that no players or technical staff currently have coronavirus or are exhibiting any symptoms.
However, as a precaution, Newcastle United is proactively shutting down all on-site football operations at the club’s Training Centre and Academy for a minimum of two weeks.
During this period, first team players will carry out individual exercise programmes at home. The government has advised the public to follow the latest NHS guidelines, which can be found at nhs.uk/coronavirus.
It is of note that the FA and Premier League are facing some criticism internationally for how they have handled the COVID-19 outbreak. They were some of the last sporting organizations to take action against COVID-19 as the problem began to seriously effect the sports world.
Since Daniele Rugani became the first professional athlete to test positive for the virus the following organizations suspended play for player safety and fan safety before the Premier League did.
- Serie A (suspended until April 3rd)
- La Liga (Suspended for 2 weeks)
- Primeira Liga and Portuguese Football Association (suspended all football activities indefinitely )
- UEFA (All Matches Postponed)
- MLS (Suspended for 30 days)
- NBA (suspended indefinitely)
- NHL (suspended indefinitely)
- MLB (cancelled Spring Training and has delayed the start of the season)
- NCAA (cancelled all remaining championships, effectively ending all seasons for all sports)
On top of being the latest to take action against the virus, the EFL announced yesterday that they would go on with this weekends matches while every other league around them was suspending play. This was something the Premier League was likely to replicate, and it seemed the FA was not going to suspend cup competitions.
Once confirmed cases were reported in the Premier League it was only a matter of time until a suspension of play was going to happen. As of the publication of this article the Bundesliga i the only major league that has not suspended play.
We will keep you updated on what is going on with Newcastle, the Premier League, and this site as we gain more knowledge on the situation.
Stay safe out there CHN family.