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  • Writer's pictureBy Paul Lagan

Fulham v Brentford off as coronavirus forces football into cold storage

Tonight's much-anticipated clash of Championship promotion hopefuls Fulham and Brentford at Craven Cottage is off, following a decision taken this morning by the Premier League and Football League to suspend all matches.

The earliest the action can resume is April 3, although the uncertainty regarding the evolution of what is now classified a pandemic coronavirus disease makes it doubtful that we will see matches return even then.

It inevitably leaves a huge question mark over when, if ever, the season will continue and reach a conclusion.

A late postponement always looked a possibility, given the speed at which events unfolded this week and although Downing Street last night stopped short on insisting on the cancellation of all major sporting events, the football authorities took matters in hand themselves to call a halt.

News that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had contracted the illness yesterday prompted cancellation of Arsenal's weekend trip to Brighton - the Gunners' midweek game at Man City having also been called off a few days earlier because players suspected of contact with carriers had gone into self-isolation.

Also off this weekend are Crystal Palace's trip to Bournemouth and Chelsea's visit to Aston Villa, along with QPR v Barnsley, Hull v Charlton, Millwall v Derby, Doncaster v AFC Wimbledon and Bradford v Leyton Orient.

The two big games in the capital on Sunday - Tottenham v Man United and West Ham v Wolves - are also among the first casualties.

Tuesday's fixtures were meant to include Brentford v West Brom, Chalton v QPR and Barnsley v Millwall in the Championship and Orient v Plymouth in League Two,

Fulham were due to visit Leeds United on Wednesday, while Chelsea's Champions League match at Bayern Munich is postponed altogether, having at first been scheduled to take place behind closed doors.

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