It’s official — there is no European football in the near term future. Today, after an emergency meeting held between the stakeholders of the three biggest UK football organizations — the Premier League, FA, and EFL — the decision was made to postpone all football matches until April 4 in the wake of the growing coronavirus pandemic.
This decision also covers the women’s game, meaning the Women’s Super League (which falls under the jurisdiction of the FA) is also postponed until April 3.
It is obviously the right thing to do, even as it deprives everyone reading this article a major source of entertainment and sport for a few weeks. It also comes less than a day after these same organizations had in their infinite wisdom decided to continue with matches with spectators, citing “no medical rationale to close or cancel sporting events at this time.”
Hours later, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi were both formally diagnosed with COVID-19, and there’s every reason to believe that there will come more reports of professional footballers with the coronavirus in the near to medium future.
Naturally, this opens up a whole slew of questions including if and when the matches will be made up, what happens if the season is cancelled completely, what happens to the title (which Liverpool has not mathmatically clinched), relegated teams, and promoted teams from the championship.
In a similar move, UEFA has also postponed all European championship matches, including the Champions League, Europa League, and the upcoming round draws for both.
This means we’ll need to find alternate ways to entertain ourselves until at least April 3, when stock will be taken on the spread of the virus and a decision on what to do afterwards will be made.