Premier League, FA, EFL and WSL suspend games amid pandemic

Another set of professional sporting leagues have suspended games amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Today, the English Premier League (EPL), FA, EFL and WSL have collectively agreed to postpone all professional matches in England due to the spread of coronavirus.

According to the statement, it was “unanimously decided to suspend the Premier League with the intention of returning on April 4, subject to medical advice and conditions at the time.”

This news comes after Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi and Arsenal’s manager, Mikel Arteta, tested positive for coronavirus.

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.”

The Premier League said it will provide further updates when appropriate to do so.

Other sports being suspended

Over the course of the week, several of the world’s professional sporting leagues have decided to put their games and events on hold due to the public health threat coronavirus poses.

In the US, the NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, decided to put postpone sporting events indefinitely after a player for the NBA’s Utah Jazz tested positive for coronavirus. Following the news of an NBA player testing positive for coronavirus, several college basketball conferences cancelled their postseason tournaments and the NCAA have put March Madness on hold.

Formula 1 has suspended its season-opening Australian Grand Prix in response to an outcry from drivers and team members. Prior to this decision, McLaren already withdrew for, the race after one its team members test positive for the virus.

Italy’s football division Serie A has also postponed all games until April 3, while Spain’s La Liga has put the next two rounds of games on hold.

Gambling industry also hit by pandemic

Not only will the suspension of sporting events hurt the sports betting industry, but it has had a wider knock-on effect on the global gambling industry.

The country-wide lockdown in Italy has led to the closure of all land-based betting and gambling facilities across the country. In the Netherlands, Holland Casino has closed all of its branches in the country until March 31 at the earliest.

In the US, Boyd Gaming has closed the Valley Force Casino Resort in Pennsylvania after the state’s Governor Tom Wolf announced that all public schools, entertainment venues and community centres would be closed.

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