On Thursday night, the Premier Leauge made the shocking announcement that the league was set to continue as scheduled this weekend.
Then, literally moments later, Arsenal Football Club announced that their manager Mikel Arteta had tested positive for COVID-19. Additionally, Chelsea Football Club also announced that 19-year-old Callum Hudson-Odoi contracted the virus.
Naturally, the Premier League immediately walked back their decision, announcing that an emergency meeting would take place this morning.
Well, that meeting has happened and it has result in a new decision: all professional football games in England are being postponed until at least April.
The league’s full statement regarding the decision can be read below:
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 announcement is a particularly tough blow for Liverpool fans like myself, as the team is currently just two wins away from winning its first-ever Premier League title. Had Liverpool — who currently sit 25 point clear at the top of the table — beaten Everton and Crystal Palace in their next two matches, they would have become to the first side in Premier League history to clinch the title in March.
At this time, the Premier League is scheduled to resume play on Saturday, April 4.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him firstname.lastname@example.org