ENGLISH football has been suspended until April 30 at the earliest.

In a joint statement released by the FA, Premier League, EFL and and women's professional game, the previous date for returning to action of April 3 has now been pushed back due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

During a video conference meeting today, which included Cherries chief executive Neill Blake, the FA’s board has also agreed for the date limit of June 1 to complete the season to be extended indefinitely for the 2019/20 season.

Cherries had been due to return to action on April 4 against Newcastle, but that game as well as clashes with Manchester United, Tottenham and Leicester will now all be postponed.

The statement said: "We are 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.

"We have collectively supported UEFA in postponing EURO 2020 to create space in the calendar to ensure domestic and European club league and cup matches have an increased opportunity to be played and, in doing so, maintain the integrity of each competition.

"The FA’s Rules and Regulations state that 'the season shall terminate not later than the 1 June' and 'each competition shall, within the limit laid down by The FA, determine the length of its own playing season'.

"However, The FA’s Board has agreed for this limit to be extended indefinitely for the 2019-20 season in relation to professional football.

"Additionally, we have collectively agreed that the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than 30 April."

The statement added: "The progress of COVID-19 remains unclear and we can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority.

"We will continue to follow government advice and work collaboratively to keep the situation under review and explore all options available to find ways of resuming the season when the conditions allow.

"We would all like to re-emphasise that our thoughts are with everyone affected by COVID-19."

Reacting to the news, Cherries skipper Simon Francis told Sky Sports: "I do think we all saw that coming. Fourth of April seemed far too early but they had to make a decision there.

"It just becomes a waiting game again really to see if in mid-April we have to put that back again.

"Glad to see the high powers say that they want to see the season finish indefinitely. I think that's a must for everybody involved. I think football has to resume this season.

"There are just so many knock-on effects that are going to take place going into next season. Players' contracts are a big part of things now, where they are going to fit the games in and that kind of thing."

He added: "It will take a long time to get back into the swing of things. April 30 is a long way away, will we have any games in between to prepare us, almost like pre-season friendlies?

"There are so many questions that are going to be unanswered for a long time."