People sit surrounded by empty seats as they wait for the start of the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Bournemouth at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, March 7, 2020.
People sit surrounded by empty seats as they wait for the start of the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Bournemouth at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, March 7, 2020.|Jon Super | Associated Press
Soccer

After Arsenal Manager Mikel Arteta tests positive, Premier League and EFL suspend play until April

Sean Miller

Sean Miller

There was hope from some that the Premier League was going to be one of a remaining few options that would be able to play this weekend around the world.

But once Arsenal announced that Manager Mikel Arteta had tested positive for COVID-19, adding his name to a growing list of players and staff around the country that have either started to self-isolate or tested positive, the English F.A. decided on Friday to postpone play until April 4 (at the earliest).

A statement posted on the Premier League website read:

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.

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