PFA suspends annual awards ceremony amid coronavirus pandemic

By PA Sport Staff
PA Media: Sport

The Professional Footballers’ Association’s annual awards ceremony has been postponed, the players’ union has announced.

The 2020 PFA Awards will not take place as scheduled on Sunday, April 26 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on its official website, the PFA said: “This crisis extends far beyond the world of football and we must take steps in accordance with the welfare of the wider general public.

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Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk won the 2019 PFA Player of the Year award (Barrington Coombs/PA)
Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk won the 2019 PFA Player of the Year award (Barrington Coombs/PA)

“The current situation does not lend itself to mass gatherings of this nature and given the uncertainty of when the current season might end and the potential threats to the health of our members and guests the event is not feasible at this time.

“We hope that by making this early decision it provides clarity moving forward and we hope to be in a position to reschedule the event later in the year.”

The PFA has assured its members that it has “taken every measure to prepare for the continuation of services” as the coronavirus crisis unfolds.

“This means that in the event that we are forced to close our offices, we will still be able to operate the organisation and provide support to both current and former players,” the PFA said.

“You will be able to contact our staff in the usual way – by phone, email or DM.

“Having canvassed the views of many of you last week, we have already presented your feedback directly to the leagues – particularly about the concerns of continuing to play matches. We also strongly voiced your opposition to playing in empty stadiums without spectators.

“As your advocates in these uncertain times, we are in constant dialogue with the leagues and governing bodies, strongly putting forward all areas of concern on your behalf to stakeholders.”

The PFA said players’ concerns over contractual liabilities, financial viability, playing games behind closed doors and the potential extended suspension of leagues were high on its priority list.

“The PFA will always focus on your health and wellbeing, this remains our utmost priority as we continue to work alongside clubs and the leagues to find unified solutions to the problems that lie ahead,” the PFA added.

“At this time, football must come together as an industry to protect the game we love. We will continue working hard to protect you, and update you through our communication channels as and when events evolve.”

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