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English Premier League Suspends Matches Over Coronavirus Outbreak in UK

FILE: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, 2nd right, celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Watford at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

The English Premier League has suspended all fixtures until April 4, after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus.

"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," the Premier League said in a statement.

Everton also announced its entire first-team squad and coaching staff have been told to self-isolate after a player reported symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

Leicester City had three players place themselves into self-isolation Thursday, and Bournemouth said goalkeeper Artur Boruc and four staff members also were self-isolating.

"Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19," said Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters.

England's two friendly matches at home to Italy and Denmark later this month have been postponed. However, the authorities say they hope to be able to resume and complete the season at a later date.

"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," added the Premier League statement. (AFP)

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