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Coronavirus latest: Premier League rules out return at start of May

Coronavirus latest: Premier League rules out return at start of May
© Reuters
The Premier League announces an indefinite suspension on top-flight action due to the coronavirus pandemic, insisting that it will only return when it is "safe to do so".

The Premier League has ruled out the possibility of football returning at the start of May, putting an indefinite suspension on action due to the coronavirus pandemic.

No top-flight football has taken place in England since March 9, with the outbreak of COVID-19 - which has now claimed the lives of more than 3,500 people in the United Kingdom - bringing sport to a standstill all around the world.

The Premier League had previously been put on hold until April 30 at the earliest, but that postponement has now been extended indefinitely with the promise that football will not return until "it is safe and appropriate to do so".

"It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May – and that the 2019-20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so. The restart date is under constant review with all stakeholders, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time," read a statement.

"The Premier League is working closely with the whole of professional football in this country, as well as with the Government, public agencies and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the game achieves a collaborative solution. With this, there is a combined objective for all remaining domestic league and cup matches to be played, enabling us to maintain the integrity of each competition.

"However, any return to play will only be with the full support of Government and when medical guidance allows. The sporting and financial implications for Premier League clubs as well as for The FA, EFL and National League were considered at today's meeting."

The statement also revealed that the Premier League will provide £125m of funds to the EFL and National League in order to ease the financial burden on lower-league clubs, while also donating £20m to support the NHS.

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