March 26, 2020 / 6:50 PM / 7 days ago

Soccer-England's lower non-league divisions and grassroots game to end

LONDON, March 26 (Reuters) - All English soccer below the three divisions of the fifth tier National League will end immediately due to the coronavirus pandemic with all results from the season expunged, the FA said on Thursday.

The top three National League divisions, the Women’s Super League and women’s championship remain in talks about how best to conclude their seasons.

However, with no new teams promoted into those leagues, they could decide to follow suit which would then affect the men’s professional divisions.

The Premier League and other top level soccer in England is suspended until at least April 30 but the governing bodies have said the current season can be extended indefinitely.

“The FA and NLS (National League System) steps three to six have reached a consensus that their 2019-20 season will now be brought to an end, and all results will be expunged,” the FA said in a statement.

“This will mean no promotion or relegation of clubs between NLS steps three to six, and no promotion to NLS step two.”

The National League, popularly referred to as sponsor Vanarama, comprises a mixture of professional and semi-professional clubs.

The FA said all grassroots football was now ended for the 2019-20 season.

“These are challenging circumstances for English football and all decisions taken are in the best interests of the game and in consultation across key stakeholders,” said the FA.

“Today’s steps take into account the financial impact during this uncertain period, whilst considering the fairest method on how the sporting outcomes for the season will be decided with the integrity of the leagues in mind.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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