English Premier League calls off May restart

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Due to coronavirus fears, England's top-tier football division Premier League will not resume play in early May.

The league “will not resume at the beginning of May” and “the 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so," the league said on its website Friday after a shareholders meeting.

In mid-March all professional football matches in England were called off to stem the virus’ spread.

The league also said that as the clubs are being squeezed financially by the pandemic, Premier League clubs will seek 30% salary reductions for all players.

The league also unanimously voted to advance funds of £125 million ($153 million) to support lower-division clubs.

As part of the fight against the pandemic, the Premier League will also give £20 million to back the National Health Service (NHS).

After first appearing in Wuhan, China in December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 181 countries and regions.

Data compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University shows worldwide infections surging past 1 million, with nearly 57,000 deaths. Nearly 224,000 people have recovered.

The UK-wide death toll from coronavirus rose 684 deaths in 24 hours, British health authorities announced on Friday.

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