The English Premier League suspended all fixtures until April 4 on Friday after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus.
“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,” the Premier League said in a statement.
Everton also announced their entire first-team squad and coaching staff have been told to self-isolate after a player reported symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Leicester City had three players go into self-isolation on Thursday and Bournemouth said goalkeeper Artur Boruc and four staff members were also self-isolating.
“Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19,” said Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters.
“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.”
The English Football League, which heads up the three divisions below the Premier League, and Women’s Super League will also be suspended until April 3.
England’s two friendly matches at home to Italy and Denmark later this month have been postponed.
However, the authorities still hope to be able to resume and complete the season at a later date.
“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,” added the Premier League statement.
Uefa games postponed
In the light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competitions matches scheduled next week are postponed.
This includes the remaining UEFA Champions League, Round of 16 second leg matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020; all UEFA Europa League, Round of 16 second leg matches scheduled on 19 March 2020; all UEFA Youth League, quarter-final matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020.
Further decisions on when these matches take place will be communicated in due course.
As a consequence of the postponements, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League quarter-final draws scheduled for 20 March have also been postponed.
UEFA yesterday invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to a videoconference meeting on Tuesday 17 March to discuss European football’s response to the outbreak.