Premier League and English Football League postpone games until April due to outbreak of coronavirus
PUBLISHED: 11:23 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:49 13 March 2020
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The Premier League has postponed games until April 4 and the English Football League until April 3 because of the outbreak of the coronavirus.
It comes after Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the illness.
Premier League and EFL bosses met this morning at emergency meetings to discuss future fixtures and it was decided that Premier League, Championship, League One and League Two games would be postponed.
Barclays FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship games have also been postponed.
In a statement, 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.'
The Premier League's aim is to reschedule the displaced fixtures, including those played by academy sides, when it is safe to do so.
Clubs have also been advised to suspend indefinitely all non-essential activities which include, but are not limited to, player appearances, training ground visits and fan meetings.
In a statement, the EFL said: 'This decision has not been taken lightly but the EFL must prioritise the health and well-being of players, staff and supporters while also acknowledging the government's national efforts in tackling this outbreak.'
Arsenal personnel who had recent close contact with Arteta are self-isolating, which is expected to include the full first-team squad and coaching staff, as well as a smaller number of people from the Hale End Academy.
West Ham have also said that the individuals who came into contact with Arteta when the two clubs faced each other on Saturday are self-isolating.