The English football season has been extended indefinitely to give leagues every chance to play remaining matches currently on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Play had already been suspended at all levels until at least 4 April, but a resumption has been pushed back to 30 April at the earliest.
The decision has been agreed by the Football Association, Premier League, English Football League, women’s professional game and the players’ and managers’ unions.
“We are united in our commitment to finding ways of resuming the 2019/20 football season and ensuring all domestic and European club league and cup matches are played as soon as it is safe and possible to do so,” they said in a joint statement.
“The FA’s Rules and Regulations state that ‘the season shall terminate not later than the 1 June’ and ‘each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season’.
“However, The FA’s Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019/20 season in relation to Professional Football.
“Additionally, we have collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than 30 April.”
Allowing extra time for remaining fixtures to be fulfilled will give leagues greater opportunity to “maintain the integrity of each competition”, the statement added.
The move comes after European chiefs Uefa this week postponed its flagship international tournament, Euro 2020, until next year, to free up the summer for domestic leagues to be completed.