Jurgen Klopp Issues Statement After PL Fixtures Postponed Due to Coronavirus

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 13, 2020

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) head coach Juergen Klopp of Liverpool FC looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Liverpool FC and Atletico Madrid at Anfield on March 11, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Max Maiwald/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has written an open letter in support of the Premier League's decision to postpone fixtures for the time being. 

Per an official statement, the league's shareholders unanimously decided to suspend games "with the intention of returning on April 4, subject to medical advice and conditions at the time."

Klopp wrote that he, along with Liverpool, supports the decision:

"I've said before that football always seems the most important of the least important things. Today, football and football matches really aren't important at all.

"Of course, we don't want to play in front of an empty stadium and we don't want games or competitions suspended, but if doing so helps one individual stay healthy - just one - we do it no questions asked.

"If it's a choice between football and the good of the wider society, it's no contest. Really, it isn't.

"Today's decision and announcement is being implemented with the motive of keeping people safe. Because of that we support it completely. We have seen members of teams we compete against become ill. This virus has shown that being involved in football offers no immunity. To our rival clubs and individuals who are affected and to those who later will become so, you are in our thoughts and prayers."

Prior to the suspension of fixtures, Arsenal announced manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the coronavirus on March 12. Club personnel who had been in close contact with him were ordered to self-isolate, including the first-team squad.

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Following Arteta's diagnosis, the Premier League said it would "convene an emergency club meeting" Friday to determine the next course of action. 

There have already been games impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Manchester City's game against Arsenal, scheduled for March 11, was postponed in the wake of Arsenal players being in close contact with Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis, who also tested positive for the virus. The Gunners played Marinakis' Olympiacos twice in the Europa League in late February.

A total of 10 fixtures were on the schedule for this weekend, including seven on Saturday. 

There are still 10 weeks remaining on the Premier League schedule, including the games to be played this weekend. 

Liverpool currently have a commanding lead in the standings with 82 points, 25 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City.