MLS to Remain Suspended Until at Least May 10 Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIMarch 19, 2020

The new Major League Soccer (MLS) logo is pictured during an unveiling event in New York on September 18, 2014. MLS unveiled the new logo ahead of its 20th season. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad        (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)
JEWEL SAMAD/Getty Images

Major League Soccer will remain suspended until at least May 10 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the league announced on Thursday: 

"MLS remains focused on playing the entire 2020 season and is evaluating all options, including pushing back the end of the season and playing MLS Cup in December, as the league did prior to the 2019 season. The league is also identifying other available dates.

"Throughout this process, MLS will continue to prioritize the safety of our fans, players, employees and partners and to coordinate with federal and local public health authorities as well as other sporting organizations."

The season was originally put on hold for 30 days until March 30, but the suspension has been extended in line with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which has banned gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks.

The 2020 MLS season was just two weeks old when the pandemic forced the competition to be put on hold along with most other sporting events across the world.

Fixtures were scheduled through to November which may give teams plenty of time to rearrange matches and complete the 34-match campaign as planned.

The MLS Cup could be moved to December 19 and may be played at a neutral venue because of the "cold weather in its northern markets that time of year," according to Doug McIntyre at Yahoo Sports.

Thurday's announcement sees the MLS join other leagues around the world in extending the temporary suspension to their seasons.

The Premier League has confirmed football in England's top flight will not return until May at the earliest:

Meanwhile, La Liga president Javier Tebas told El Pais (h/t Goal's Tom Weber) the competition could return in May and be completed by the end of June.

He said: "The fundamental scenario is that mid or late May is the latest starting date to end on June 30.

The Bundesliga has extended its suspension until at least April 2 and could complete the season behind closed doors, per Dom Farrell at Goal.

UEFA have set up a working group in an attempt to find a solution to complete the Champions League and Europa League.

ESPN FC's Dale Johnson shared details of proposed new dates for the two finals:

International football has also been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Euro 2020 has been postponed for 12 months, while the Copa America has also been moved to 2021.

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