As more stringent confinement measures begin to take hold, the suspension of football in England has been extended by four weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak.

While the 2019/20 season has been postponed until at least April 30, its length has also increased indefinitely in the hope the current campaign can still be completed.

A joint-statement from the Football Association (FA), Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and Women's Professional Game confirmed the initial two-week ban on professional football until April 4 had been extended to include the entire next month.

With at least six weeks scratched off the football calendar, a decision was taken on Friday (NZT) to relax the standard June 1 finish date given the unprecedented circumstances caused by the global pandemic.


The move comes after all 20 Premier League clubs held an emergency teleconference call.

The decision received the full backing of the Professional Footballers' Association and League Managers' Association which suggests the top four flights of professional football may conclude by being played out during the summer if necessary.

Today's statement read: "The FA, Premier League, EFL and women's professional game, together with the Professional Footballers' Association and League Managers Association, understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by Covid-19.

"We are united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019-20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so.

"The FA's rules and regulations state 'the season shall terminate not later than June 1' and 'each competition shall, within the limit laid down by the FA, determine the length of its own playing season'.

"However, the FA's board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019-20 season in relation to professional football. Additionally, we have collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than April 30.

"The progress of Covid-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority. We will continue to follow government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow. We would all like to re-emphasise that our thoughts are with everyone affected by Covid-19."

In recent days British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tightened measures in relation to social distancing and mass gatherings - which includes calling off the majority of sporting events – and he has not ruled out enforcing a city-wide lockdown on London similar to those being enforced in Italy, France and Spain.


UEFA's announcement this week that the start of Euro 2020 will be moved to June 2021 paved the way for domestic football leagues to complete their current campaigns, though that is a best case scenario with disruption almost certain to carry over into next season.

As it stands, with most teams having completed 29 games, Liverpool sit 25 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the EPL table while Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City are in the relegation zone.