Premier League soccer season suspended amid coronavirus outbreak
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The Premier League and several other soccer leagues have delayed their seasons until at least April 3 over the coronavirus pandemic.

The Football Association in England said in a Friday statement that “The FA, Premier League, EFL and FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until Friday 3 April at the earliest.”

“This 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,” the statement said.

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The association said the move will also apply to all FA competitions, including the Emirates FA Cup and the Women’s FA Cup, as well as academy and youth matches.

“The decision is being made purely on the number of cases requiring self-isolation and the impact on facilities. Given the steps being taken across clubs, there is no alternative but for today’s action,” the statement said, in addition to vowing to later complete the season.

Other soccer leagues, including the Champions League and Europa League, as well as La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A, have also announced suspensions, ESPN reported

In the U.S., the NBA and the NHL have also suspended their seasons over the pandemic that has infected tens of thousands worldwide. The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments have also been canceled for the first time in their histories.

The Premier League called an emergency meeting ahead of the Friday announcement after Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta and Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi confirmed that they tested positive for coronavirus, according to ESPN. 

There have been more than 135,000 confirmed coronavirus cases around the world since the pandemic began in China late last year. Nearly 5,000 people have died from the virus.