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Coronavirus: Isthmian League and Southern League issue statements announcing postponement of fixtures for next week as 'immediate step'




The BetVictor Isthmian League and BetVictor Southern League have announced decisions to temporarily suspend all fixtures for the next week, following today's announcement that all elite football will be suspended until April 3.

The Isthmian League have postponed all matches for tomorrow (Saturday, March 14) and midweek while they 'review the situation daily as to when fixtures can recommence'.

Meanwhile the Southern League have suspended all matches between 'Saturday, March 14 and Saturday, March 21 inclusive'.

It affects the league fixtures of Needham Market in the Southern League Premier Central, and Bury Town, AFC Sudbury and Soham Town Rangers in the Isthmian League North Division.

Coronavirus causes flu-like symptoms and can result in pneumonia
Coronavirus causes flu-like symptoms and can result in pneumonia

In the Southern League Premier Central, Needham Market's visit from AFC Rushden & Diamonds tomorrow and next Saturday's trip to Stourbridge are both postponed.

In the Isthmian League North Division, fifth-placed Bury Town had been due to travel to league leaders Maldon & Tiptree tomorrow. With no midweek fixture scheduled their next match is scheduled for next Saturday, away to Brentwood Town, with no decision yet made on next weekend's games.

AFC Sudbury see two fixtures postponed, with the 11th-placed side's visit from Grays Athletic tomorrow and Maldon & Tiptree's visit on Tuesday both called off.

Soham Town Rangers (13th) trip to Great Wakering Rovers tomorrow will similarly no longer happen.

It is not yet clear when these fixtures will be played or if, alongside the number of weather affected matches, the league will be forced to extend the season to allow time to play all the matches.

The Isthmian League statement read: "The safety and wellbeing of all those associated with the league – our players, volunteers, club officials, match officials and supporters – is our number one priority, and we are closely monitoring the situation and carefully following advice from Public Health England.

"The board have decided that as an immediate step matches scheduled for tomorrow and for next midweek will be postponed and we will review the situation daily as to when fixtures can recommence.

"We understand the enormous financial impact this will have on many clubs but the board feels that it is better to err on the side of caution at this time.

"We hope that by taking this step we can delay the spread of the virus and we earnestly hope that with the right approach there will be as few persons as possible suffering either directly or indirectly.

"We look forward to the resumption of the fixtures as soon as possible."

The Southern League statement read: "Further to discussions this afternoon, a decision has been taken that all BetVictor Southern League matches will be postponed between Saturday 14 and Saturday 21 March inclusive.

"Therefore, there will be no matches taking place tomorrow (Saturday), next midweek or Saturday 21 March.

"A review of the situation will take place next Friday, March 20 and everyone will be notified of the decision as soon as possible regarding the continuation or otherwise of the competition from Monday, March 23.

"In respect to the end of season date, that currently remains as Saturday, April 25 but there will be updates on this website should there be any changes to that."

An announcement is expected from the Thurlow Nunn League shortly.