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EFL will not suspend football: ‘no medical rationale to close or cancel sporting events at this time’

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Premier League likely to match plan of action?

Oxford United v Coventry City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

As the rest of Europe either suspends (Italy, Spain, others) or even contemplates cancelling the season (rumors of Bundesliga exploring this option) — not to mention UEFA looking hard at options for the Champions League, Europa League, and Euro 2020; plus sports in the USA getting temporarily suspended across the board (NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS) — football in England is set to conduct business as usual this weekend.

The EFL (so the three professional leagues below Premier League level) have confirmed these plans with a statement today, saying that there is “no medical rationale to close or cancel sporting events at this time” even after the UK Government’s warning that many people will die.

While technically a different entity, the Premier League (and the FA as a whole) are likely to follow suit in this regard and hold matches as normal this weekend — the statement mentions that the three governing bodies have “agreed on a consistent approach”. The Premier League canceled Wednesday night’s Manchester City vs. Arsenal match because of the Gunners’ potential COVID-19 exposure, but that may be just a singular consideration at this moment.

Despite this stance, it seems inevitable that football will eventually get suspended. The question then becomes, what happens next?