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Off, off, off: Pompey and the rest must kick their heels for at least three weeks
Friday, 13th Mar 2020 11:16 by staff

Pompey - and all other clubs in the Football League - will be out of action until April 4 at the earliest because of the coronavirus outbreak.

It means games against Accrington, Doncaster, Ipswich and Oxford are off - and it seems highly unlikely the EFL Trophy final against Salford will take place on April 5.

Pompey's players are being told to stay at home for now and they will be tested for coronavirus early next week after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta - who was at Fratton on March 2 -tested positive for the illness.

Pompey issued a statement on Friday morning saying: 'The EFL have confirmed that all matches have been postponed until April 3 at the earliest due to the coronavirus. This means that Pompey’s home matches against Accrington and Doncaster will not take place as scheduled.

'Following the news that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has tested positive for coronavirus and as a precautionary measure, all players and management staff have been told to remain at home and keep physical contact to an absolute minimum.

'Testing will be taking place early next week, but no players or staff members have – at this time – displayed any symptoms. We await further instructions from our medical team and will update supporters when we know more.'

Pompey of course are merely in the same boat as everyone else.

This is what the EFL said, also on Friday morning: 'The FA, Premier League, EFL and Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until April 3 at the earliest.

'his action, which will be kept under constant review, has been taken due to the increasing numbers of clubs taking steps to isolate their players and staff because of the COVID-19 virus.

'he postponements include all matches in the Championship, League One and League Two, as well as all academy and youth team fixtures.

'In addition, clubs are being advised to suspend indefinitely all non-essential activities which include, but are not limited to, player appearances, training ground visits and fan meetings.

'Whilst the EFL board has continued to take the advice and guidance offered by the government and its health advisors, emerging developments mean now is the time to implement football’s contingency plans in response to the crisis. A further update on these plans will be given post an EFL board meeting next week.

'This decision has not been taken lightly, but the EFL must prioritise the health and well-being of players, staff and supporters while also acknowledging the Government’s national efforts in tackling this outbreak.'


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