English football extends shutdown until April 30

Above, a football fan wearing a protective face mask walks near the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on March 15, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 19 March 2020

English football extends shutdown until April 30

LONDON: The shutdown of English football was extended until at least April 30 on Thursday after the Premier League and English Football League (EFL) held crisis meetings.
UEFA’s decision to postpone Euro 2020 for 12 months earlier this week could allow games to be completed over the summer if strict restrictions of traveling and mass gatherings to halt the spread of COVID-19 are lifted in time.

“We’ve collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday 30 April,” said a joint statement by the Football Association, Premier League, EFL, players and managers’ bodies.
However, the authorities still hope to finish the season once play can be restarted rather than accepting the current standings as final or declaring the campaign null and void.
“We’re 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,” added the statement.


Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

Updated 10 April 2020

Ibrahimovic’s return to training with Sweden’s Hammarby sparks rumors about future

STOCKHOLM: AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return to training in Sweden with Hammarby, the club he part owns, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to lockdown Italy, has fueled speculation regarding his future.

Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported the 38-year-old Ibrahimovic will choose against renewing his Milan deal which finishes at the end of the season.

The Swedish outfit’s president, Richard Von Yxkull, said the decision was in the hands of the attacker who played 116 times for his country before retiring from international duty in 2016.

“It’s about knowing how Zlatan sees his future and what he wants to do,” Von Yxkull told newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Earlier in April the Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch league winner said he wanted to stay in the game after retiring.

“I want to learn something new about football, with a different angle. I will contribute from the sidelines, not on the pitch,” he told newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Ibrahimovic’s last Milan appearance was the loss to Genoa on March 8.

All football in Italy has been suspended due to the coronavirus which has claimed the lives of nearly 18,000 people in the country.

Measures to fight the outbreak in Sweden are lighter which have allowed Ibrahimovic to train with Stockholm’s Hammarby, a side which he bought a 25-percent share in last November.

Ibrahimovic started his career with hometown club Malmo before trophy-laden spells with some of the world’s biggest outfits including Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain before rejoining Milan in January.