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National League suspend season within minutes of Government u-turn

National League Vanarama

The Vanarama National League was officially suspended at teatime on Monday within minutes of the Government changing its advice on fighting the coronavirus.

The season was officially suspended soon after 5.30pm, three days after deciding to play over the weekend on Friday and despite the Premier League and English Football League suspending their matches until April 3.

The Northern Premier League also suspended their season until further notice earlier on Monday afternoon as Britain’s battle against the coronavirus continues to escalate.

The competition’s annual players’ awards in April was also cancelled and the NPL Football Academy suspended until further notice.

The National League and the NPL broke ranks with the Southern League and Isthmian League on Friday by not suspending their campaign at the weekend as sport was decimated by the public health crisis.

The competitions had been taking a joint approach to the public health crisis caused by the coronavirus outbreak since meeting with the Football Association and other Non-League competitions last Wednesday.

The statement read: “At its Board Meeting on Friday, The National League decided to use its best endeavours to keep its season going in the face of unprecedented adversity.

“However, with the current coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching global pandemic levels it has to accept that the situation is now out of its own control.

“In the knowledge of the government measures now announced including not to support sporting events with emergency services workers it is clearly not practical for its fixtures to be fulfilled in the immediate future.

“In those circumstances and in line with The Football Association and the Professional Game, at a Board Meeting today, The National League has decided that its competition is now suspended until at least 3rd April 2020.

“The National League will continue to monitor the situation, but trusts that its loyal clubs, fans, players, officials, staff, volunteers and sponsors will accept that it has had no other choice but to reach this decision.

“It wishes everybody connected with the competition and indeed the whole country a safe passage through these turbulent times.”

Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper on a Sunday for the latest news from across Non-League over the last seven days and the growing impact of the coronavirus on the game and society.

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