EFL ends academy season in England due to COVID-19 pandemic


(Reuters) - The 2019-20 youth academy season in England has been terminated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the English Football League (EFL) said on Friday.

Professional soccer has been suspended indefinitely in the country since mid-March due to the outbreak which has infected 165,221 people in the United Kingdom, resulting in 26,097 deaths.

The EFL said the decision was made independent of discussions regarding the potential restart of the season for the senior teams and they would make another announcement on the final league standings at a future date.

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"The EFL has today confirmed that the Academy Games Programme for the 2019-20 season has been terminated with immediate effect," it said in a statement.

"Additionally, it is intended that any fixtures for the 2020-21 academy season will not commence any earlier than would usually be expected."

Teams competing from the Under-9 to Under-23 categories are affected while the EFL also confirmed the Central League, a competition for reserve team players looking to break into the first team, would not be rescheduling fixtures either.

Premier League clubs are due to meet later on Friday to discuss plans to resume training and complete the season.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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