The Football Association has agreed to extend the 2019-2020 season indefinitely, while prolonging the suspension of all its leagues until at least April 30.
Last week, the FA halted the Premier League, the English Football League, domestic cup competitions and the women’s professional game in response to the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc on the sporting world.
The body’s rules and regulations state that its leagues “shall terminate not later than June 1” but the FA’s board has confirmed the season can now go beyond that date in order to try to complete the calendar.
It was originally decided the professional game in England would be suspended until April 3, with that date now extended until at least the end of next month.
The FA said UEFA’s decision to postpone Euro 2020 until next year allowed for flexibility in their efforts to finish the domestic season.
A statement read: “The FA, Premier League, EFL and women’s professional game, together with the PFA [Professional Footballers’ Assocation] and LMA [League Managers Association], understand we are in unprecedented times and our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19.
“We’re 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.
“We’ve collectively supported UEFA in postponing Euro 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.
“The FA’s Rules and Regulations state that ‘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, our board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019-20 season in relation to professional football. Additionally, we’ve collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday April 30.”
There have been 2,626 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom, with 108 people having died.
Liverpool are 25 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League having won 27 of 29 matches in their bid to secure a first top-flight title since 1990.
Debate has been rife as to what should happen if leagues are not able to be completed, with many pundits saying the season should be declared null and void despite Liverpool’s sizeable advantage, while others have argued they should be awarded the title.
The former option would cause a headache in determining promotion and relegation and the potential make-up of leagues in England for 2020-21.
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