If you are one of the many fans worldwide anxiously anticipating the returns of Major League Soccer and/or the English Premier League, your wait just got a little longer.
Both MLS and the EPL announced on Thursday that they are extending their season postponements because of the COVID-19 disease outbreak. The two leagues had initially targeted early to mid-April to return to action, but their respective resumptions have been pushed back by several weeks.
MLS, which is two matchdays into its new campaign, did not provide an updated timeline for when games will start back up. Originally, MLS was planning to resume play during the middle of April.
“In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance to postpone events involving more than 50 people over the next eight weeks, Major League Soccer has extended the postponement of its matches during this period of time,” read a prepared statement from Major League Soccer. “MLS remains focused on playing the entire 2020 season and is evaluating all options, including pushing back the end of the season and playing MLS Cup in December, as the league did prior to the 2019 season.
“The league is also identifying other available dates. Throughout this process, MLS will continue to prioritize the safety of our fans, players, employees and partners and to coordinate with federal and local public health authorities as well as other sporting organizations.”
The Premier League, meanwhile, was provisionally looking to get matches underway again on the first weekend of April. The league will now, however, not resume play prior to the end of next month with hopes of concluding the entire campaign by June 30.
“We have collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than 30 April,” read a statement released by the Premier League. “The progress of COVID-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority. We will continue to follow government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow.”