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Premier League announces fixture suspension amid coronavirus outbreak

It had to be done

Leicester City v Wigan Athletic - FA Cup Third Round Photo by Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

After an emergency meeting this morning, the Premier League has announced a suspension to all fixtures until April 3rd, in reaction to the increasing spread of coronavirus.

Just yesterday, Leicester City were the first team to announce that some players were in self isolation after displaying symptoms.

Later that day the Premier League announced that all games would go ahead as scheduled, following a government decision to allow all large events to continue for now.

Within an hour of that proclamation, Arsenal released a statement confirming that manager Mikel Arteta had tested positive for the virus. Shortly after, Chelsea confirmed the same news for player Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Both clubs have had to take drastic isolation measures, and this morning Everton have followed with their full first team squad going into isolation.

That finally prompted the league to do something and the decision has now been made to suspend all fixtures in the next two weeks, which is effectively three weeks due to the international break.

That’s pretty much the minimum action they could take, considering that 1/5 of the league was already unable to play any games during that period.

Earlier today, the French Ligue 1 and 2, which were already being played behind closed doors, were suspended until further notice. Similar decisions had already been made for La Liga, MLS, Eredvisie and others.

A short break does leave open the possibility of the season continuing after, with the missing fixtures rearranged. UEFA will discuss a delay or cancellation to this summer’s EUROs next week, which would allow the league to extend into June is necessary (and possible).

The Leicester games currently affected are this Saturday’s visit to Watford, and the FA Cup quarterfinal against Chelsea next weekend, along with the Women’s FA Cup quarterfinal against Manchester City on Sunday.

Our next scheduled fixture is the visit to Everton on April 6th, but we should probably all be prepared for the possibility of further delays or cancellations depending on how things progress in the next days and weeks.